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While most companies are hiring professionals and executives throughout the year, the summer months tend to be a little slower. With people taking time off to go on vacation and spending time away from the office, the hiring process takes a little longer than usual. For job seekers, this is the perfect time to clean up your executive LinkedIn profile. Most people don’t spend enough time updating their profile, which could have a few downfalls. Here are some tips on how to clean up yours this summer.

Update Everything

Read your entire executive LinkedIn profile word-for-word and update anything that has changed. Chances are you’ll think about several skills or experiences you’ve developed or had since your last profile update. Having updated information about yourself is one of the keys to the best LinkedIn profile development.LinkedIn profile development

Filter Through Your Endorsements

You may have gotten several LinkedIn endorsements from friends or family that simply aren’t relevant to executive jobs you’re looking for. The amount of endorsements you have isn’t nearly as important as the quality of the endorsements. Filter through all of them and remove any of the unimportant ones so a recruiter will see only the relevant endorsements.

Focus on Your Summary

The summary section is the place where you sell yourself to potential recruiters and connections. If you aren’t a strong writer, you can always reach out to a professional LinkedIn profile writer for assistance. The summary needs to be specific and straight to the point without a lot of fluff. Writing the best LinkedIn summary is an art, so seek help if you need it.

Keep Your Profile Straightforward

Your executive LinkedIn profile should be treated differently from your executive resume, but they do have some similarities. Don’t use a lot of filler words on your LinkedIn profile just to make it longer. Being clean and concise with your words will look more impressive to a recruiter than having to scroll down through blocks of text. If you’re actively looking for a job, make it clear. If you’re currently employed but keeping your options open, make that clear as well.

Professional Resume Services is here to help you with your LinkedIn profile development this summer. Whether you need advice on tidying up your profile, or if you need a professional LinkedIn profile writer, feel free to reach out to us at any time.

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predictive analytics and your career

“While not new, predictive analytics is an important factor in assessing a candidate’s fit and potential. What is new is its accelerating use in corporate America as a means to filter candidates in and out of consideration long before any personal assessment is made.” — Lou Adler

Lou Adler is a regular contributor to LinkedIn and has so much experience and authority in his perspective on the hiring process that it is worth taking the time to understand what he says about the way Big Brother is Now Determining Your Hirability. Today, a person seeking a position is filtered by all that is in their resume, and all that is in their online brand as well. There’s a list of characteristics that fit into a pattern; the pattern of the Achiever.

Here is what the “Achiever Pattern” that many companies look for consists of:

  • lower turnover with growing responsibility
  • quality of the years of experience rather than number of years
  • quickly being assigned (or volunteering) for important projects and/or teams
  • demonstrating same patterns of initiative & responsibility in every position
  • rehiring and being rehired by past co-workers
  • participation in expanding cross-functional teams

Why Are Certain Qualities Desirable?

If you look at the Achiever Pattern’s overall impression, you see someone who is willing and able to work within any setting and maximize the potential. They are good to work with, as evidenced by the fact they hire past co-workers and are hired by people who have worked with them in the past. There’s a pattern there of more than a self-centered trampling on the way to a shinier inflated ego — the achievement they consistently reach is an achievement that is good for everyone.

If you don’t have these qualities, you may be filtered out of the running before you ever get to the interview. It may be a good idea to carefully look at your resume and online presence and see how accurately they are portraying your own achievements. LinkedIn profile development has never been more important than it is today because it reveals a pattern that your next employer uses to predict your hirability.

 

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3 reasons to track the numbers in your job performance

Some of us liked math class, and some of us did not (I am in the latter group). But like it or not, numbers are essential in your career, from resume to retirement and everywhere in between. Job performance numbers are particularly useful for at least three reasons:

  1. they look good on your resume
  2. they help with salary negotiations
  3. and they give you confidence

Performance Numbers Validate Your Resume

When you can state that your work for a past employer resulted in a 15% increase in sales, that is an authoritative statement. It had better be a true statement that you can back up with more information, too! The fact is. illustrating your success with hard numbers always gets a good ROI on your resume because it is specific proof of your worth. Employers looking for a good return on their investment in hiring you will be impressed.

Performance Numbers Bolster Your Salary

When you come into a salary negotiation equipped with the numbers showing your worth, you have a powerful argument for getting a raise or added benefits. You have provided the company with more profit and are worthy of a bigger wage. Again, the numbers need to be backed with additional information so it can be verified if questions come up. If you are due for a salary increase, be prepared to bolster your claims with the numbers to prove it.

Performance Numbers Boost Your Confidence 

When you are keeping track of what you do at work and the difference that it makes, there’s a record of your valuable input. Even something as simple as attendance means you were on the job — and if you are tracking all the numbers of your particular job you should see which numbers will be valuable for your resume and salary negotiations. You will also begin to see indications and trends in your personal work habits and opportunities that will help you establish goals.

Keeping track of your own job performance numbers puts you in control of your own career.

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6 ways to turn your social media savvy into a career
Did you know that many businesses are looking for someone to be their Social Media Manager? It’s true — because social media is fast becoming an essential part of marketing and customer relations, companies need somebody to devote a lot of time to doing it right. Scarlett Wilson recently shared the Top 6 Skills Employers Look For In A Social Media Manager on B2C (Business 2 Community) and the list is worth considering:

  1. Experience in using social media tools — the more, the better.
  2. An analytical mind-set — the ability to use analytical tools to interpret data and explain what the numbers really mean.
  3. Ability to plan long-term social media strategies — understanding your particular market and trends, etc.
  4. Ability to write quality content — this is crucial because search engines increasingly look for relevancy, and people insist on it.
  5. Additional digital marketing skills — blog writing, keyword optimization, formatting, or anything in this category should be on your resume because they are in demand.
  6. Communication skills — because social media is all about communication. So is business, actually.

Social Media Skills Are Marketable

It used to be that things like LinkedIn Profile Development were considered to be a good networking device for an individual career and that was all. Most business owners didn’t think about their business social media development unless reputation management became an issue. But today the reality of internet marketing means social media has to be an integral consideration.

If your company doesn’t do any social media marketing, and you have these skills, you could be able to convince your boss that it would be good to let you start doing something in this field. If you are looking for a job, make sure that you have any social media skills listed in your resume and can explain why they are there.

An old-school employer may not understand why it’s important until they are shown some facts. Any employer who is at all concerned about the company’s internet presence will be very interested in what you have to offer.

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Swearing

Some industries tolerate a lot more colorful language than others. But even in fields known for cursing, having a foul mouth can cost you big time. Pro football’s Rex Ryan, coach of the Jets, was recently “stunned” that the NFL fined him $100,000 for profanity toward an official. He says he didn’t expect what he thought was a private conversation to result in such a big penalty.

The Things You Say Have An Effect

Probably the language Rex Ryan used was to emphasize what he wanted to say. Then again, maybe he talks like that all the time because he hears it all the time. That old saying, “garbage in, garbage out” definitely comes into play when it comes to our words. So how do we discern when the cost of letting it fly is too high?

  • Figure out if you have a tendency to use words like the F-bomb without thinking about it. If you don’t realize what your language is like, you already have a problem because your brain isn’t in gear when your mouth is in motion. While it can be argued that an occasional curse word will emphasize a point, that same word littering your sentences is meaningless pollution.
  • Listen to the way upper level management speaks. If your industry doesn’t condone salty language, your saltiness will keep you from advancing. Swearing around the boss is far more offensive when the boss doesn’t ever swear at work. There might be lots of it tossed around the cubicles, but if management doesn’t do it, then you shouldn’t either.
  • How do you express frustration or anger to a colleague? A raging rant full of expletives might be a venting mechanism, but it isn’t solving any problems. If all you do is curse the darkness, your contribution is negative. But lighting a candle — working on a solution — shows you have something valuable to offer.

The language we use is part of who we are, but it can give the hearer a negative impression of how you will be in a higher-level position. That false impression is why the language of our lifestyle can ruin a career opportunity. It would be a shame to let it happen to you.

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don't give up

It stings when you are not hired after an interview for a job you really wanted. It stings even more when you are sure you are well-qualified for the position and have worked hard on your resume and interview skills. What you do with rejection is going to make a big impact on what happens next.

Don’t Assume That You Are The Reason For Rejection

A company has to conduct interviews even if they already know someone inside the corporation is getting a position. It may be that you are well-qualified for the position, your resume is stellar, and you were impressive during the interview, but the person who is getting the job has the advantage of experience.

Getting into a downward spiral of dejection in this case is a mistake. You aren’t the reason for rejection if someone else is a better choice for the job because it isn’t your failure that determined the choice here.

Admit What Is Wrong

Sometimes you actually are the reason for the rejection. It might be that you didn’t seem like a good fit for the company culture, or you didn’t look the interviewer in the eye and that came across as sneaky. Maybe you were sloppy or had too much makeup or wore perfume that made their nose itch. Perhaps you checked your cell phone for messages during the interview or some other automatic habit was a problem.

The only way to know is to work on honing your interview skills and getting help identifying your blind spots.

Be Willing To Change And Learn

If you got to the interview stage, your resume and cover letter are probably not the problem. It’s not a bad idea to go over them to make sure your qualifications are evident for the next submission, but they were good enough to get you in the door for a face to face talk. Congratulations! An interview is still a good thing even if you didn’t get the job.

You have the experience of that interview to build on, and the knowledge that you were impressive enough to call in. Now it’s time to analyze what happened and learn from it. Appreciate all the advice you can gather, apply it analytically without letting your feelings get in the way, and let rejection be the catalyst that makes your success a reality.

 

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does your ego show during the interview?

There was a very interesting study done at the University of British Columbia where narcissistic behavior was studied in context of job interviews. According to UBC Psychology Prof. Del Paulhus,

“A job interview is one of the few social situations where narcissistic behaviours such as boasting actually create a positive impression. Normally, people are put off by such behaviour, especially over repeated exposure.”

The study was conducted by having participants answer questions to rate their narcissism, then be observed in a job interview scenario. Those who fell higher on the narcissism scale made more eye contact, asked questions, talked about themselves, and joked around a bit. This made them more attractive as candidates despite the reality of what they’d be like as coworkers.

It’s also interesting that a cultural bias was observed, where candidates from cultures emphasizing humility (as do many Asian countries) did not impress as well during the interview despite being equally qualified. I think many women also have been trained to avoid being pushy and this would apply to that as well.

Interviews Need Some Narcissism

There’s a difference between a self-inflated egoist and a legitimately confident candidate. If you are qualified for the position and have the resume to show it, you’ve got healthy reasons to talk about why you are the best fit for the job. Your qualifications are the foundation of your confidence and you just need to look at yourself carefully to build on it.

  • Making eye contact is a skill that takes practice if you aren’t used to it. Remind yourself to do this with people you talk to all the time and it will get easier.
  • Asking questions also takes some skill. Do some research on questions to ask at your job interview and be prepared.
  • Talking about yourself isn’t comfortable if it was discouraged in your past. Think about the reason you are talking; they need to know if you will be a good fit for their company. Help them know you by sharing who you are.
  • Joking around a bit can backfire if you really are a narcissist because there’s an insensitivity to people around you. But being comfortable enough to joke makes everything a little less stressed.

The question in the title was, “does your ego show during the interview?” The answer to that question depends on how you view “ego”, but there’s truth to the idea that who you are needs to come across when you sit in the interview chair. Narcissists aren’t afraid to talk about who they are, and that’s why they make such good impressions in job interviews.

 

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the top reason professional resume distribution works

Is anybody in your family interested in your family history? My mom is our family historian. She has our family tree going back to the 1600’s! It’s pretty amazing what she’s found out and who she has met along the way. One thing most genealogists will tell you is that researching a family tree is a lot like networking. Many families will have one person in the generation who is willing to keep all the photos and letters and information, and finding that person is like finding a treasure trove. Instead of laboriously working on finding one branch, suddenly you discover that they’ve got the connections to a whole bunch of branches and they know the people who are the keepers of the photos and letters and information for all of them.

If you are interested in finding the connections in your ancestry, you need to find the people who are already doing the research. They have already made connections you have no access to until you contact them. For example, if you never meet Great Aunt Irma, then you won’t get to see all the letters your grandma sent to her dad with the pictures of your dad as a baby.

Networking

Companies use recruiters to fill executive positions and many other types of openings. A professional resume distribution service has carefully maintained connections with many professional recruiters so that a resume goes to the right recruiters for that job seeker. The connections have already been made: These are professionals who rely on networking for their career and carefully maintain the connections between them. Instead of Great Aunt Irma keeping your dad’s baby pictures, they’ve got first knowledge of job openings, and you won’t find out about it unless you connect to the right one.

This networking is the reason professional resume distribution works so much better than a blind email blast to every company in the phone book or a hopeful query out of nowhere. If your resume is presented by a reputable distribution service, that reputation enhances your resume by association. Recruiters get untold numbers of resumes all the time. It makes sense to filter them for efficiency. The fact you recognized quality and respected professional standards weights your submission with authority.

 

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how to fix interview mistakes

It happens to everybody: You make a mistake about something during your important interview. It my the way you dressed for the occasion and you went too formal or too casual. It might be addressing your interviewer by the wrong name. There are lots of ways a candidate can make a mistake, and it’s true that a mistake can possibly cost you the job. It’s also true that the way you respond to your own mistakes can be what makes the interview successful and gets you the job.

Mistakes Can Be Opportunities

Everyone makes mistakes, but those who are confident enough to admit their mistake and correct it appropriately are valuable in any workplace. If you walk into the interview without having done anything to hone your interview skills or research the company, then your mistakes will be more like learning opportunities and use the interview as a reminder to be prepared next time. But a mistake by an otherwise qualified candidate is an excellent opportunity to display how you will be on the job.

It’s helpful to remember that most interviewers will give you cues for correcting something. If you are not obsessing about being dressed too formally or whatever your mistake was, you can pick up on those cues and correct it. It shows that you are able to see past your discomfort and effectively respond to a problem.

This is a skill that everybody needs. When you get defensive and defeated about making a mistake, it’s making that mistake worse because you are amplifying and distorting it instead of seeing that mistake as another reminder that you are human like the rest of us. It’s a skill because it has to be learned, and you learn from your mistakes.

If you make a mistake in your interview, that’s an opportunity. Learn from it.

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the one thing that puts you ahead on the job

Did you ever think about what a potential employer is really looking for in all openings, no matter what the job description is?

Reliability.

No matter what that job description is, and on top of any skills listed as requirements, their foundational need is a worker who shows up on time consistently and does the job responsibly every time they are expected to do so. Sometimes an unforeseen crisis may prevent a perfect attendance record, but an employee who is reliable is a better investment than hiring a brilliant whiz kid who doesn’t show up or goofs off most days.

This need for reliability is why references are so important. Your references are people who testify to the way you are to work with, the kind of person you are, and ultimately how reliable you will be. And that promise of being able to rely on you for a job well done is what an employer is putting their faith in when they hire you. So, how do you go about getting a good reference…regardless of the circumstance that discolors a dubious job history? Sometimes the work situation was not your fault but affects your record. If this is the case, choose your reference providers with care.

If you can, do some volunteer work that will show you are reliable. You want to make a case for your potential reliability by showing how you have been reliable in the past and proving it with the testimony of those who worked with you in the project. If you must address the issue during your interview, avoid disparaging remarks about your previous employer and be professional in your representation. Point out your best accomplishments and the fact that you look forward to being more productive.

Diplomacy is professional and always impressive. You are showing in real time that you can be relied upon to do the best you can in any circumstance, and that puts you ahead of the pack.

 

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