If you’re planning on starting a new job search in 2022, you need to know that how you search for a job has changed greatly over the years. Whether you’re a new grad, management professional, seasoned executive, or C-Suite office holder, you need to ensure that you have the “dos” and “don’ts” of today’s job search necessities down to a science BEFORE you start your search. One necessary tool for today’s jobseekers is having an optimized LinkedIn profile! A few easy “dos” and “don’ts” to consider when preparing your LinkedIn profile for a job search….
DO customize your URL and put a link to your profile on your resume. If your name is already taken, use a middle initial, special numbers, or a credential to make your URL unique.
DON’T use the URL that LI assigns you when you create your initial profile.
DO have a customized banner at the top of your profile. There are plenty of free sites to create a banner on, or, if you aren’t into doing your own thing, hire a designer to create one for you. This is where you can show a little personality on your profile while still looking like a professional.
DON’T use the LI default banner or your current company logo – if you are in a job search.
DO post a recent, professional-looking headshot of you (and ONLY you) in the photo.
DON’T post of photo of you cropped out of a group photo at an event or a photo of you from 20+ years ago – you don’t want to see shocked faces when you arrive for your interview!
DO display your name as it appears on your resume and what you go by in the workplace. Add any relevant credentials after your name.
DON’T use a nickname or outdated maiden name just because that’s the name you had when you created your original profile.
DO create a branding statement for the top of your resume and in the headline section of your LI profile. Use descriptive, high-impact, and industry-specific keywords to communicate your brand. You have 220 characters to brand yourself here – make them count!
DON’T use your current job title (LI default) in your headline – ugh…so boring!
DO include a targeted, keyword-saturated career summary at the beginning of your resume and in your LinkedIn profile (About) section. Remember to write toward the job/industry you’re targeting. You have 2,600 characters to write your story – use them to your advantage!
DON’T bypass this section – and don’t just make it paragraphs of boring text – readers will lose interest in you and your qualifications immediately. Use bullets to separate sections that give a brief synopsis of your skills, experience, and achievements. Show the value YOU can offer in one quick read!
DO put your most up to date and relevant information on your resume and LinkedIn profile. Include achievements in bullet lists and job titles that are in line with what is on your resume.
DON’T include your entire career history-only jobs that are relevant to your current career goals. Stay away from posting proprietary or confidential information in this section.
DO include all of your relevant degrees. Undergraduate, graduate, post-doctoral, etc.
DON’T include the years if you graduated 10+ years ago, or information about what you did in college unless it is pertinent and relevant.
DO list certifications/licenses that are relevant to your career goals. If you are currently in the process of getting a certification/license, then just add it with the expected date of receiving the credential.
DON’T list actual license numbers (hello identity fraud???) on LI or include outdated information that is no longer active (unless it matters if you had it in the past).
DO use industry-specific keywords/skills on this list. Be descriptive and ensure that your skills are in line with your level, job skills, experience, etc. “Pin” your top 3 skills at the beginning of this section. LI does this automatically – you need to ensure that the top 3 are truly, well, the top 3!
DON’T list bland words like “Leader” or “Projects”. Focus on stronger terms – “Executive Leadership” or “Project Management”.
DO include your memberships in professional organizations (especially in industry-specific organizations). List your role in each organization (Member, Board Member, Committee Chair, etc.).
DON’T list organizations that you haven’t been affiliated with for years.
DO include recent volunteer work or past work that may be relevant to your current job search goals. Include any leadership positions with organizations or special events you chaired.
DON’T put in volunteer work from 20+ years ago or if it was an event that was a one-hour commitment!
DO look at all the additional sections LI offers (Patents, Projects, Honors/Awards, Courses, Publications, Languages, etc.).
DON’T add a section just to add a section. You want to have relevant and informative content on your profile – not uninformative fluff that takes up space.
DO give/request recommendations from clients, colleagues, supervisors, etc. Encourage those giving you recommendations to make them achievement/leadership-focused, so that the best you have is what they are talking about. You should have recommendations that are as current as possible.
DON’T use recommendations that are filled with typos or information that is outdated/unmeaningful.
DO check your settings and ensure that they are aligned with how you want to be seen, who you want to be able to see you, etc.
DON’T turn your profile completely off to public viewing. What’s the point of being on LI if nobody can see you?
DO make the profile unique to YOU. Make sure you can back up all the information you have put out there during an interview, and ultimately on the job for your next employer. DON’T take information from a friend’s or colleague’s profile or include skills/achievements that you can’t own. Your LinkedIn profile is a living document – keep it current and fresh. Finally – you have optimized the information on your profile, now you need to network! Engage with others by posting and commenting to get your name/profile seen by more people!
I recently spent some time picking the brains of two hiring managers.
We got to talking about jobseekers, resumes, approaches to resumes, what they looked for in a resume, and job descriptions.
Something they both mentioned as a common frustration is when the candidate’s resume doesn’t match the position they are interviewing for. The job is for a VP of Product Development, but you have spent your career in procurement.
They understood that sometimes people want to transition out of what they are doing. They want to change industries, change positions, want to do something different, or just do something they’ve always been interested in.
But if that’s what you want to do, you need to make a case for yourself.
Prove to the hiring manager why you are the right fit even if your experience has been slightly different. Don’t make them search for it–because they won’t.
Do you have what they need?🤔
Many of my clients and the jobseekers I talk to struggle with what should be on their resume. Do they add ALL of their information? Older info as well, if it was relevant to the role? Less? More? Help!!!
Here are some things to consider when drafting your resume:
✅ 𝗥𝗘𝗟𝗘𝗩𝗔𝗡𝗖𝗘. First, do you really have the experience the position asks for? Be honest with yourself. You don’t want to waste your time or the hiring manager’s time if you really don’t have experience (or transferable skills) in that role. If yes, add examples of what you’ve done. If not, don’t fake it. Leave it off and lead with other experiences.
✅ 𝗞𝗘𝗬𝗪𝗢𝗥𝗗𝗦. Examine the description and notice the words they use over and over. This tells you that those words will most likely be keywords ATS will look for. Does your resume have those keywords? You can sprinkle them throughout your resume, but keep your focus on “above the fold”. This is the area that when someone is reading a document on a computer screen, the words above the bottom of the screen are what stand out first. Many times, if what is above the fold doesn’t interest/pertain to them and what they need, they’ll move on.
✅ 𝗦𝗞𝗜𝗟𝗟 𝗦𝗘𝗧. What skills do you offer the role? Each of us has a unique skill set we bring to the job. Great at relationship building? Expertise in vendor negotiations? Specialize in cybersecurity? Again, refer to the position description. What skills of yours do you see in that description? You may have more than you realize. There may be things you do every day that pertain to that new role. Make sure to add these things to your resume, as well.
✅ 𝗩𝗔𝗟𝗨𝗘. What value do you offer? How can you help the company? In what ways have you achieved success? Use quantitative examples where possible. What awards have you received? What results have you produced?
Offer proof by adding numbers $ or percentages % wherever possible.
It’s not impossible to switch careers mid-career. When you have the skills that the role calls for, make sure they are easy to find on your resume. That will make the decision to call you in for an interview that much easier.
Career Change Can Happen at Any Time…Will YOU Be Ready?
Recently, I was speaking with a client who was eager to get out of the industry she had worked in for 20+ years to follow her dreams of becoming an Interior Design/Home Improvement/House Flipping professional. As she had spent her entire career as a Purchasing Agent in the Automotive industry, she wasn’t sure how to start her journey into a more creative field, especially when she had been in the same one for so many years.
It’s actually quite easy. When making a career change, especially to a completely new industry, it’s important to focus on highlighting your transferrable skills and some of your biggest career accomplishments on your resume and LinkedIn profile. Here are some quick steps to get you moving forward to the job of your dreams:
Change up the format of your current resume – create a format that makes your transferrable skills stand out (don’t let the need to follow tradition scare you!) and ensure that those skills and best leadership qualifications are highlighted in your career summary, branding statement, and keyword list (areas of expertise, core competencies, etc.).
Transferrable skills – so many clients have told me “this is what I want to do, but I don’t think I’m qualified”, when actually – they really are. It just requires some thought and creative writing (which is why she hired a professional service). When making a career change, it’s imperative that you include skills you’ve used in your current field that could be applied to the next one. Organizational Development, Brand Development & Promotion, Project Management, Budget Administration, Process Improvement, Team Collaboration, Vendor Relations, Inventory Procurement, Cost Control, Negotiation Strategies, etc. These are all areas of expertise used across industries.
Show where you have made an impact – at any point in your career, you should be able to show where you’ve made an impact to the organization(s) you’ve worked for. Quantifiable results work well when you highlight your accomplishments in a “Career Highlights” section on your resume. Sales goals? Cost savings initiatives? Process or program improvements? Building partnerships that result in revenue growth for your company? Add financial or numerical values where you can, and show the impact you’ve made on the organization’s bottom line!
Education and credentials – this is another one that holds people back. Just because your degree is in one area doesn’t mean you can’t excel in another! Don’t let a label from 20 years ago hold you back! On-the-job training, experience, professional development, etc. are all things that can show you have diversity in what you know and what you are capable of doing in any field! There are also tons of online certifications and skill development you can get to prepare for and show you’re eager to learn about your new field. For this particular client, she was getting her real estate license to get some more experience in the industry, staging, client relations, etc. which will make her a more marketable asset for her clients, etc.
LinkedIn – As with your resume, your LinkedIn profile is your tool for getting noticed – but more importantly, this platform allows you to get noticed on a global scale with basically a click of a mouse. Make sure your profile is optimized with key terms and highlights using language recognized in your future industry. Even if you don’t have the licensing or certifications you need right away, you can still show that you are working toward those goals. Include links to projects you’ve completed to give readers a visual view of your creative style, published works, projects, etc. There is a lot of room for information on LinkedIn, and you need to ensure you are using the site to showcase you in the best ways possible. NOTE: LinkedIn is a huge source for not only finding jobs and connecting with colleagues and other friends, but also for networking and joining groups within your new industry. The more you network and learn, the faster you will grow in your field.
Social Media – in addition to LinkedIn, you can market your skills, experience, and accomplishments on multiple sites to get your name out there. Start a business page, use creative content, and be sure to brand yourself appropriately – even when you are limited in the character amounts you can use – you can still find something short and sweet to speak to your abilities. Effective branding is key in getting noticed and pulling the reader in to want to learn more about you!
Don’t let age, lack of formal experience, or anything else keep you from pursuing your dream job. If you’re willing to learn and work hard, you can do whatever you want in your career and in life – you just need to prepare for the change, ramp up all of your marketing tools, and hit the ground running with a positive “I’ve got this” attitude.
You know the phrase…”it’s never too late to teach a dog new tricks”…it became a popular phrase for a reason. Take ownership of that mindset and rock your new career!
A company you’ve had your eye on for a while suddenly has an opening. You are perfect for it. Not only are you perfect for it but it’s the perfect role for you. More seniority, increase in pay, remote work options, family-oriented, and so on.
You open up your documents and realized you haven’t touched your resume in eight years. Ack!
It can be overwhelming to know where to begin.
Here are a few tips to help you get started.
First, work from your most recent information, gathering what your job titles have been, what you’ve actually done in these roles, and what your career progression has been in those eight years. List your daily responsibilities, and what you were brought in to do.
Next, here are the top five things to quickly address:
𝗜𝗺𝗽𝗮𝗰𝘁. What impact did you have on the company? How did your role impact the bottom-line? What contributions did you make? Were you a decision-maker? Provide examples.
𝗗𝗮𝘁𝗮. Numbers and percentages prove your quantifiable contributions and success. A chart or graph is a great visual and works well if you have strong numbers. Have you helped increase revenue? Expanded the client base? Come up with a solution that cut costs, reduced risk, or played a key role in something? Talk about it and use numbers, when possible.
𝗙𝗼𝗿𝗺𝗮𝘁𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴. While some advanced formatting and graphic formatting is visually appealing, don’t clutter up your resume so much that it turns the reader off. Keep the format clean and consistent. Add bold where needed to differentiate daily responsibilities from accomplishments or to point out a key company name, etc. Finessing your format is so important. Having the right amount of formatting in combination with strong content creates a visually impactful and interesting read.
𝗥𝗲𝗹𝗲𝘃𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲. The no. 1 complaint I hear from recruiters is that the candidates applying for jobs aren’t a fit. Make sure you have the skills necessary for the position. If you don’t, don’t try to squeeze yourself into a role that isn’t meant for you. It only annoys the recruiters, and your resume will get permanently tossed.
𝗕𝗿𝗮𝗴! This is your chance to sell yourself and show what you can do. It’s OK to talk yourself up. You’ve earned it. You are the product, so show off what you’ve done and how what you did is unique and valuable to the next company. This is not the time to be shy or to step down and let someone else take the credit for what you’ve done. Strut your stuff!
Once you’ve got these basics covered, writing the rest of your resume should flow pretty easily for you. As always, let me know if you have any questions. I’m happy to help!
Did Coronavirus Send You to the Unemployment Line? How One Candidate is Bouncing Back
Adam has spent the last 10 years building a successful career as an innovative Information Technology Manager for a major Tier 1 automotive supplier. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic hindering our country’s automotive industry, Adam is currently on furlough, receiving unemployment benefits to help make up for some of his lost income, and is truly wondering if he will even have a job to go back to when his organization reopens, or if it will reopen.
While Adam knows that he is well-liked by his current employer, he still needs to prepare himself for the fact that his furlough/unemployment status may become permanent, and that he will probably have to start looking for a new job.
Knowing that he will be joining hundreds of candidates looking for new jobs in a competitive field, Adam will have to go back through his 10+ year career and start strategizing his way to a successful job search.
As we have worked with professionals like Adam for years, here are some key steps Adam will be taking as he begins a new job search:
Start with the basics – a resume that is written by a professional resume writer. Years ago, resumes were just a piece of paper that outlined a candidate’s career history; today’s resumes are strategically-written marketing tools that don’t just document each job worked, but are more focused on targeting specific jobs and industries, using a candidate’s accomplishments, experience, and skills. And yes, many employers will still want a cover letter to accompany the resume. Hiring a professional will save Adam time as well as will ensure that his career documents are up to par with other candidates who will be competing for the same jobs.
Establish a presence on LinkedIn and start networking. LinkedIn provides job seekers endless ways to market themselves, find jobs, and connect with specific companies and industry leaders. Adam needs to ensure that his profile is current, appealing, and contains the right information to position him for IT jobs in markets not only in the automotive industry, but in other industries, as well. Tip: recruiters wouldn’t be using some of LinkedIn’s premium search features if they weren’t finding quality candidates for their clients through the site.
Expand the search by looking for jobs/companies outside your current industry. IT candidates are needed in almost every industry in today’s professional world. Adam will need to be open to using his skills and experience in a field outside the automotive market.
Brush up on interview skills. Chances are when Adam does get called for an interview, it will be done via Skype or Zoom, or some other teleconferencing system. Even in a remote setting, he will still want to prepare for this interview as if it is a “in-person” meeting. Having a resume, list of his biggest career achievements, and answers to common interview questions by his side during the interview will help him to be able to speak confidently and with ease as he uses solid details to communicate why he is the best candidate for the job.
Whether our current economic crisis has you currently unemployed, furloughed, or preparing for a potential job loss in the near future, you can use the above tips to ensure that you, like Adam will be ready to take on whatever lies ahead in your career, and will find a job and success in your professional life.
Top Tips and Techniques for A Successful Job Search
Searching for a job is a crucial part of your professional career. It isn’t just about simply submitting a copy of your résumé to a recruiter and then waiting for a call. Because of the ever-growing influx of job seekers everywhere and the impact of the internet in our society, the process of job searching has changed a bit. Job searching nowadays is online and network-based. It’s a matter of using the resources you have at your disposal to get hired. And if you don’t have enough weapons on your arsenal, then you will have a tough time landing a job. If you’ve just hit another dead-end on your job search, then consider another plan of action. Here are some top tips and techniques for a successful job search to help you in crafting a job search strategy.
Take a Path to Self-discovery
First up, you must discover yourself. Do a detailed self-analysis to determine your skills, interests, achievements, ambitions, values, and potential. All of these are factors essential in finding the right job for you. Once you have found out what you really need and want, then it will be smooth-sailing from there. The next steps rely on what you find out in this process.
Adapt Your Résumé
Take as much time as you need to focus on writing a tailored résumé specifically targeting the job(s) you wish to apply for. Make sure that every important detail is mentioned clearly. Give the recruiter a chance to know why you are the best candidate for the job. Remember that most online job hiring posts can get pretty crowded, particularly a high paying job with good benefits, so the recruiter should be able to identify the skills you define at a glance on your résumé.
Find the Right Match
Find a shoe that fits. Since you have already discovered your needs and wants, it will be easy. Follow your interests, values, and skills to find the appropriate job to apply for. Do the necessary research and learn about the companies that you are interested in. See which ones have a suitable job offer that checks off the boxes on the list of your self-discoveries.
Be Proactive in your Approach
The normal thing to do after you’ve sent out your applications is to wait for a response from the recruiters. Do not do that. Although there is some truth to the saying “Good things come to those who wait,” you have to remember that we are living in a modern world. Instead of waiting, go out there and go after the things that you want.
Capitalize on Your Network
As cliché as it sounds, being able to “name drop” on your résumé or cover letter can elevate your application to the top of the pile or close to it. Make the best out of the network that you have to land a job. Reach out to former colleagues, team leaders, or supervisors to see if there is a job vacancy that they are aware of. If you just got out of school, you can ask your family members or friends if they can recommend you to a company.
Track Your Job Search Processemployment
The good thing about recruitment nowadays is that it’s done online. In the era of smartphones, it’s easier to keep track of your job search activity and applications. Keep tabs of all the applications you’ve sent. This way you’ll know which ones to follow-up one, what responses you’ve received, etc.
Set Your Goals
And last but not least, remember to set your goals, weekly or daily. This allows your mind to be an active participant in your job search. Make sure that you set attainable and measurable goals, which you can look back on in the future as a way to track your progress.
Author’s Bio: Rosette Monell works as a human resource personnel in an Asian firm. Aside from her job, she’s also a freelance writer who talks so passionately about public relations, different work ethics, and culture. On her free days, she likes to spend time alone with a good book about career building in one hand and a warm cup of tea in the other.
It happened…the call about the executive job of your dreams opening up just came through via your contact, and the HR Director wants to see your resume. You might be ready to take the next step in your career, but is your resume ready for an executive-level position? Submitting a bland, non-focused resume with boring content will do nothing but get you taken off of the “call for an interview” list.
Moving on from a middle management position to the c-suite is not for the faint of heart, and your resume needs to show that you have the experience, skills, ROI, and drive to do the job, and do it well. Writing your resume is not just including your career history and where you received your degree, it’s more about creating a document that tells the complete story of who you are, what you have achieved, how you achieved it, and the value you will provide at the next level…in a creative and exciting manner. Below are 5 quick tips that will help you to ensure that your updated resume effectively states “I’m ready for the c-suite and you need to hire me”…
Your format matters – People judge books by their covers! Start with an eye-catching format. While you don’t need to put so much color on your resume that it looks like the 4th of July blew up on your piece of paper, a pop of color will appeal to the reader and help your document to stand out right from the get-go. A font style that is clean and business-like is just as important. Fancy scripts may look pretty, but they are difficult to read and you don’t want people having to work hard to read your text (and believe me, if they have to work hard, they aren’t going to read much past your name).
An exciting executive summary is a must – create a strong career summary that communicates what you have done in your career and the value you can provide at the next level. Include position and industry-specific keywords (not buzzwords…there is a difference!) that match your target position.
Highlight your biggest achievements – include a “Career Highlights” section to give a brief synopsis of your biggest accomplishments if you want. Hint: quantifiable achievements speak the loudest and make a stronger impact than just a bullet list of text. Graphs and charts tell a quick story as well!
Your career history needs to make a big impact in a small amount of time – if you are at an executive-level, it’s pretty safe to say that you have had quite a few years of employment under your belt. Focus on your most recent work experience, and don’t go back more than 15 years into your career history (you can summarize the earlier stuff). A chronological format is the easiest, most clean-cut way to do this. The exception – if your career goals/new job are unrelated to your current job…then you will want to use more of a function format to show that you DO still have the skills and experience for the job you’re trying to land.
Your education information is not as important as your career history – so move it to the end of your resume. Like your career history, degrees received 15+ years ago are probably not going to be as important to the hiring manager as your most recent career experience. Include your degrees and any relevant certifications, but remove the years. The degree is what is important, not when you received it, and announcing “I’m really old…” on your resume is probably not going to win points with the hiring manager. Minimize ageism by eliminating years if they go beyond fifteen. Wow them with your accomplishments and skillset instead.
If you are being recommended for that coveted c-suite position, be sure you have a resume that can back-up up the recommendation. Don’t embarrass yourself (or the friend that recommended you) by submitting a bland resume that does nothing to market you as the ideal candidate for the job. Instead, take the time to update your resume and maximize your chances of being the candidate whose next phone call is “we’d like to offer you the position”!
Choosing the Right Executive Professional Resume Service
With the widely known importance of writing an effective resume, more companies are popping up claiming they write the best ones. Choosing an executive resume service is a big decision relating to your executive career. It’s easy for these services to claim to be the #1 service, but how do you really know they aren’t just using a standard template and switching things around to make yours look unique? There are plenty of ways to distinguish a legitimate executive resume writing service from a fraud. Here are some things to consider when you’re looking for one.
Make Sure They Are Experts In Your Industry
If the resume service doesn’t indicate specific industries they have experience in, then you may need to look elsewhere. Resumes have to be very specific and specialized. If they aren’t, recruiters will see right through them.
Ask For Credentials or Certifications
When you contact an executive resume service, the writer should be able to provide you with one or more certifications. Those certifications could include:
Certified Expert Resume Writer (CERW)
Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW)
Certified Master Resume Writer (CMRW)
Certified Executive Resume Master (CERM)
While these aren’t the only certifications and credentials available, your resume writer should be able to show proof of at least one of them.
Check Out Any Samples
Any executive resume service should have an abundance of samples to provide you. Sometimes the key to writing a professional resume is incorporating different ideas from other resumes into your own. This is a good practice for writing your own resume, but the best resume writing services will treat you as a unique individual instead of just another resume. Samples should be available, but only for your own benefit.
Talk to An Actual Resume Writer
It’s always important to call an executive professional resume service prior to hiring them. If you talk to a sales person who only offers you their different services instead of learning about you, then you need to look elsewhere. A good company will ask you insightful questions about your career, accomplishments and achievements to get a complete understanding of your background. This could be in the form of an online survey, a phone interview, an in-person interview or a combination of these. The more questions they ask you, the better you should feel about their service. At Professional Resume Services, we take the time to get to know the backgrounds of each of our executives. We can’t write your executive bio unless we know your complete career history, accomplishments and aspirations, so gathering as much information as possible before getting started is key. Feel free to contact us to learn more about our services and how we can be the right executive resume service for you.