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DON’T use a nickname or outdated maiden name just because that’s the name you had when you created your original profile.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!
Are you thinking that 2022 is the year you really want to score that executive-level position with your company? Or for a completely new organization? Either way, you’re going to want to have your marketing tools ready for the new year-new job search adventure, and being able to present hiring managers and recruiters a targeted, executive-level resume is the first step in the process.
Whether you haven’t updated your resume in 20 years or two, it’s still necessary to take a long inventory of what is currently on the resume, what needs to be added, and what you can do to make it better. Here are a few tips to get you started…
Everybody knows that you should have your contact information, work experience, and education on your resume. However, this information still needs to be strategically written and displayed, so that it stands out and doesn’t just look like a pile of information you quickly plopped on a piece of paper.
In your contact information, include your name (professional), relevant credentials (CPA, MBA, PhD, etc.), phone number (mobile is preferred), email address (personal-not work or school email), and your location (city/state is sufficient). Your name should be bigger and stand out more than the rest of your information, which should be displayed professionally, either after or underneath your name. Include the word “LinkedIn,” and link your resume to your online profile, if, and only if, your online profile is complete and optimized for your new job search. (It needs to send the same message as your resume.)
Your career history needs to start out with a strong title. PLEASE do not use the words “work” or “employment” in your title. Think of how an executive would talk about his/her career. “Professional Experience,” “Career Narrative,” or “Career Chronology” are some other options. Write this section so that it is keyword-saturated, achievement-focused, and achievements are quantified where possible. If you were a sales leader or in a position where you made an impact in growing business or revenue, this is your opportunity to share this information! Use creative/colored bullet symbols to separate your achievements, and ensure that your job titles and years in each position are accurate.
If you are a new graduate, your education information can be listed at the top of your resume. If you are NOT a new graduate, this section should follow your career history and, depending on how long ago you graduated, you may want to leave the years out of this section. If you make the title “Education & Credentials” (or something of that nature), you can also include any relevant certifications and professional development/training here.
THE EXECUTIVE NEEDS:
Now that you have the basics started, there are other things you need to include in your resume to tell your story, appeal to the reader, and ultimately market yourself effectively for the job you’re vying for.
Use industry-specific keywords and powerful descriptors to paint a brief introductory picture of who you are, what you have done, and the value you can provide in an executive-level role.
Branding is KEY! Come up with a branding statement or at least some type of title at the top of your career summary, so that the reader knows immediately what level you’re at (or want to be at).
What are you known for? What are you good at? What do you love to do? What do you want to continue to do in your next role?
You could also just use a few key terms or even multiple titles (COO, CFO, etc.) to show the reader this information.
If you want to communicate some of your best career successes, adding a “Career Highlights” section just before your employment history is a great idea. Include 3-5 bullets of your biggest career achievements (successful programs you’ve implemented, process improvements, cost reductions); anything that shows where your leadership resulted in a positive outcome for a client or an organization.
Think “results-rich” statements when you are deciding on what to add. Think METRICS. Where did you generate millions in cost savings? What strategies or deep dives did you conduct to see where there were holes and money drains?
How are your problem-solving skills? Do you shine when listening and communicating to your team? Are you good at critical thinking? What about conflict management? Don’t underestimate the power of your soft skills. Companies are hungry for that balance.
Board Leadership & Affiliations
Companies want to hire executives who have industry knowledge and can work with Boards of Directors and/or other c-suite teams. Include your memberships in professional organizations, as well as any board experience you have (paid/volunteer).
How were you able to flex and adapt during the pandemic? What changes have you made, contributed to, or implemented relating to the pandemic? What role did you lay?
Want to level up? Then you better level up the look of your resume. Your format needs to stand out just like your content, so PLEASE, do not do a simple black/white, 12-point Times Roman font for your entire resume! Add some pizzazz! A little bit of color goes a long way in getting your resume to stand out in the pile–and is also very appealing to the eye.
Additionally, including language proficiencies (if you’re seeking a global position), honors, awards, publications, etc., anything that can help the reader to truly get to know you in the brief few seconds taken to scan the resume.
These are just a few things you can do to ensure that your resume is on target to give a strategically written chronology of exactly who you are, what you have accomplished, and the value you can provide in an executive-level position in 2022.
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.
Searching for a new job or have your eye on moving up to the next level with your current employer? You never know when an opportunity is going to present itself, so you need to be prepared! One way to do so is to optimize your online presence, and LinkedIn is the premier site to showcase your experience, achievements, skills, and leadership acumen on a global scale.
Your LinkedIn profile should be one of the most utilized tools in your job search tool chest, so you need to ensure that it is sharp, fully optimized, and maintained well during your job search and beyond.
Depending on what type of device your profile is being viewed on (PC or mobile), the reader will only be able to see a fraction of your profile. That fraction has to be creative and appealing enough to make the reader want to continue to learn more about you. Don’t know where to start? Right from the top!
LinkedIn automatically gives you a default banner when you sign up. Get rid of it! This is the first place you have the opportunity to pull the reader in – be creative! You can personalize the banner to show a little bit about yourself and/or use titles and keywords to help communicate your brand. Have a special saying or motto that motivates you? It can easily be included here. Use a website like Canva to design your own banner or hire someone to do it – either way – don’t use the default banner! #lame
Your LinkedIn profile should have the same name that is on your resume, so that your name is consistently known by anyone who views your resume or online profile. Add any relevant credentials after your name, and try to ensure that you don’t use a nickname.
We all know that a lot of us don’t like advertising pictures of ourselves on social media – sorry, but on LinkedIn, people want to see YOU! Be sure to include a profile picture that is professional looking and done at a level that matches the position you’re seeking. Executives should have a photo that looks like an executive and an entry level photo could probably be a more casual photo.
Stay away from photos where you have cropped yourself out of a group, at a bar/party, or have a lot of distractions in the background. Again – people want to see YOU – not a backdrop from your trip to the Grand Canyon (unless you are a travel blogger – lol).
When you sign up with LinkedIn, your current job title automatically defaults to this section. Change it as soon as you can. Your headline gives you 220 characters to share your value, expertise, and skills. Done effectively, your headline can attract ATS systems and recruiters who are looking for candidates in your industry and is a very easy way to quickly tell people what you have to offer in your field. I like to add keywords and branding to it as well.
Take some time to reflect about what you really want to communicate in this section. Don’t just add a one-liner and certainly do not make yourself sound desperate to find a job (even if you really are). Like your headline, this is a great place to share your brand – so make it strategic, appealing, and value-added! As with your resume, the summary at the beginning of your LinkedIn profile should be strategically written, compelling, and a quick synopsis of the best you have to offer, your highlights, and even some of your skills. Using bullets and color in this section will make it stand out more than just including paragraphs of text.
Consider adding a “call to action” at the end of the summary to let people know you are available for interviews or are actively looking for a new position. You have 2,600 characters in this section, but only the first few lines may show up when people are viewing your profile, and the key is getting the reader to click on the “more” to learn more about you. Make your first few lines appealing, inviting, and clear.
The skills section is great but can also be a bit subjective. You need to add the skills that are the most relevant to your industry and position, whenever possible. Use strong keywords in this section, and make sure you are focusing on unique terms that make you stand out. “Staff Leadership & Development” sounds a lot better than “Leadership” and “Global Sales Operations Management” sounds way better than “Sales”.
As for the endorsements, this is where the section gets a little subjective. LI automatically puts the skills with the most endorsements at the top of the section; however, the top 3 skills are something you can…and should change, so that they are your strongest skills and the ones that are most relevant to your job search, regardless of the number of endorsements.
You have the option of including 50 terms in this list and that fills up pretty quickly – use the best fit and stay away from “fluff” terms that are expected in today’s professional world, like “Time Management” or “Team Player”.
These sections are just the tip of the iceberg in creating an amazing, optimized LinkedIn profile – but they are so important if you want to be “found” on LinkedIn, so you need to ensure that the content is unique to your job goals, industry-specific, and an effective marketing tool for your job search!
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!
Using Keywords to Create a Compelling Story on your LinkedIn Profile
If you are currently employed or actively seeking employment, chances are you have already established a presence on LinkedIn so recruiters and hiring managers can find you (and if you aren’t on LinkedIn, then quit reading, sign-up on the site, and then come back to this article). My question is…what are you doing/including on your profile to ensure that you actually can be found? Are you networking in industry-specific groups?
Making connections with colleagues in your field? Applying for jobs? Whatever you are doing, you need to ensure that your profile contains quality content that communicates your value and markets you effectively for the jobs you’re applying to. How do you do that? It all starts with saturating your content with targeted keywords and keyword phrases that are in line with the skills and qualifications hiring managers and recruiters want to see when looking for candidates in your field.
LinkedIn is actually a large database that uses certain fields to sort information on user profiles. Utilizing effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies (i.e. keywords) on your profile is how you will get “selected” during database searches.
Keywords are just what they say they are – “KEY” words that you need to have on your profile to not only be found in candidate searches but also to show that your skills match the qualifications companies are looking for. Here are a few areas of your profile where it is so important that you are using keywords, and not just any words to tell your career story.
Your headline is located just below your name, so it is seen immediately when somebody clicks on your profile. You have 120 characters (yep, that’s it) to pull the reader in to want to learn about you-make the most of that space. Note: LinkedIn automatically uses your current job title in the headline when you sign-up so check to make sure that is what you want on there. Otherwise, you need to change it immediately. Use keywords that are relevant to the positions you’re applying.
For example, instead of “Sales Manager at Acme Products” (which may be your current job title), make your headline “Business Growth Executive: Sales & Operations Management, Revenue & Territory Expansion, Branding, Account Development“.
You have just used 119 characters to tell the world what you can do and not just what your current job title is.
Once the reader sees your amazing headline, the next step will be to find out more about you in your profile’s “About” section. LinkedIn allows 2,600 characters in this section-plenty of opportunity to tell your career story.
Think of your “About” section as you would a cover letter, tell a little about yourself and your career trajectory. Include some quantifiable highlights and your keyword list, or a list of core competencies.
This is an ideal section to get the most bang for your buck when you are trying to get the right keywords for SEO purposes. Be creative and clear when using keywords to share your best attributes. Don’t just put “Management”, instead use “Global Operations Management”. You have the space, you just need to use it to your advantage to effectively market your skills and competencies.
You only get 50 entries in this section, so it’s imperative that you make each one count. As with your “About” section, you want to use the right keywords (skills). Instead of “Leadership”, try “Executive Leadership”. Not only does that tell the reader that you are a leader, it also tells them what level of a leader you are! Are you in HR? Do you really want to consult and not just be in one spot? Then add “Human Resource Consulting” as one of your skills.
Once you start putting information into this section, LinkedIn will automatically give you some suggestions as to other skills you may want to use that are related to your field. If the skill fits, use it. Try to fill this entire section, but if you can’t, don’t try to fill it in with soft skills or fluff. Your skills must appear relevant and dynamic–fluff won’t help you get found during an SEO search. Hint: you can always look at the profiles of some of your colleagues to see what industry-specific keywords they are using in their “Skills” section.
The bottom line…the “key” to increasing traffic to your online profile is to ensure you are applying effective SEO techniques and strategies. Use the right keywords in the right places so that you get noticed by hiring managers and recruiters looking for candidates in your field!
Too many executives today aren’t getting the results they expected as they go through their job search. Most of those times, the job seeker either didn’t prepare enough or prepared the wrong ways. When you visit executive resume writing services, the importance of a strong resume will be stressed. However, it will also be expressed that a quality resume isn’t the only thing to help you land an interview. There are many different variables in any given job search today, so here are three ways to help you prepare.
Identify Organizations of Interest
Targeting your job search is the number one thing executive resume writing services will tell you. Without a target, you have nothing to aim for. Make a list of a dozen or so organizations you have interest in working for. Once you develop your list, narrow it down by researching each company individually to ensure there’s the possibility of a mutual fit. Take note of the culture, the qualities, skill sets required and more. You can eliminate some organizations quickly and focus on the ones that seem like the best fit for both sides.
Know What You Bring To The Table
You may have years of experience, but your next employer wants to know what value you bring to them. Through your own LinkedIn profile development, take a look at the profiles of employees of the companies you’re interested in. See what skill sets they have and how they present them in their profile. These can give you some good ideas to start from or build on if you have similar experiences. Being able to present relevant skill sets will help you stand out on your resume, LinkedIn profile, when networking or anywhere else.
Focus on Personal Branding
The concept of personal branding for senior level managers is more important now than ever before. Employers want to hire executives who are leaders, will fit into the culture and bring innovative ideas to the workplace. You can boost your personal brand by focusing on your LinkedIn profile development and demonstrating unique soft skills. Your confidence in your personal brand will be clearly evident in your writing and speech, and will help you stand out. Professional Resume Services is here to help executives at any part of the job search process. Preparation is critical for any job search, and not spending enough time on it can lead to results you don’t necessarily want. Our executive resume writing services will provide you with assistance every step of the way, so never hesitate to reach out to us for assistance.
Employers today are using applicant tracking systems (ATS) more than ever before. The purpose of ATS is to help hiring managers electronically sort through large stacks of resumes and to filter out unqualified candidates. As an executive job seeker, you have to keep ATS in mind when writing resumes that get you hired. You could put together the best executive resume format, but if certain keywords are missing from the resume, then it could quickly be sorted away. So how do you know if you are defeating ATS or if it’s defeating you? Here are important points to consider.
Understanding Applicant Tracking Systems
Applicant tracking systems can differ, so job applicants never really know what criteria any particular system has. The majority of them will pick out specific fields in the resume, such as relevant experience, educational background, contact information and other common headers. ATS can also identify keywords throughout the resume and use all the information to provide the recruiter or hiring manager with a score for the resume. The employer will have a certain score they look for, and if your resume does not pass, then it will never be looked at by human eyes.
Keywords Are Critical
Using the right keywords in your resume is critical for getting a passing ATS score. However, ATS can identify keyword stuffing as well, so they have to be used appropriately. The best professional resume writing services will help you strategically place your keywords throughout the resume, based on the keywords located in the job description and job requirements of the posting.
Is it Possible to Defeat ATS?
Many job seekers work diligently to have the best executive resume format and focus completely on defeating ATS. While it is entirely possible to include the right mix of keywords and relevant information on a resume, you have to remember that once you pass ATS, an actual human will read the resume as well. For example, if a certain job description requires a certification, you will eventually have to back up your claim that you either have the certification or are actively working to obtain it. Simply including the word “certification” in your resume may get through ATS, but it won’t help you land the job if you can’t back up the claim when a human asks you about it. Professional Resume Services understands the struggle of defeating ATS. Writing resumes that get you hired today is more difficult than ever before, mainly because of the automation and technology available to help hiring managers sort through resumes. Our professional resume writing services are available to help you through these struggles, so don’t hesitate to contact us at any time for assistance.