“Remodeling” Your Career in 2022

Career & WorkplaceLinkedInResumes

Today, while mindlessly browsing through social media, I came across an article containing a list of home trends that “are on their way out”.  Since I have just recently updated several areas of my home, I was intrigued and moved forward with reading, hoping that one of my remodeling projects wasn’t on the “out” list. I had only read a few snippets of the article when my mind wandered back to work, and I thought about what types of job search and resume trends have also been sent to pasture over the years? The following are some of the “ins/outs” to be thinking about as you embark on your next career “remodeling” project.

Your Resume:

In: Career Summary

Out: Objective

Starting at the top of your resume with the word “Objective” that tells the reader what you are “seeking” in your next career move is a big no-no, and OMG, so bland and boring. Just don’t. Instead, craft a compelling, leadership-focused, and keyword-saturated career summary that packs a punch and pulls the reader in wanting to learn more about you.

In: Accomplishments

Out: Daily job responsibilities

While you were hired to do certain tasks, those are not all that should be on your resume. Today’s resumes need to be accomplishment- and not task-focused. Use your career history section to show readers the impact you made in your past roles. Did your efforts result in revenue generation? Improvements in efficiency/productivity? Sharing the results of your work on your resume only enhances the reader’s understanding of the potential you have and the value you can offer in future roles.

 

Your Online Persona:

In: Presence on LinkedIn

Out: No presence on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the world’s premier professional networking site for a reason – it works. Whether you’re actively seeking a new job or just trying to build your brand and connect with peers in your field, LinkedIn is where you need to be. Sign up for initial services is free, and if you need additional features and can afford them, LinkedIn has them ready for you. Be sure you fill out all relevant sections to build your profile, and make your content engaging so that it builds your brand appropriately and markets you for you jobs in your field.

 

Your Job Search Acumen:

In: Networking, Recruiters, Resume Distribution

Out: Sitting by the phone

So many of our clients tell us that they aren’t getting calls for interviews. So, we ask, what are YOU doing to put yourself out there as a viable candidate? Just applying for a job doesn’t always do the trick. You need to apply, follow-up, and keep looking until you start hearing back from companies and actually have interviews set up. Even if you get an interview scheduled-that doesn’t mean you’re going to get the job. It’s up to you to keep applying, networking, etc. until you land your dream job. Sitting by the phone day after day waiting for a call from the one company you applied to will only result in frustration and more than likely, no further along in your job search. Find a recruiter, network on professional sites like LinkedIn, and just get yourself out there. If you don’t know where to find a recruiter on your own, find a company that offers a resume distribution service where your resume can be sent out to literally thousands of recruiters in a matter of minutes.

YOU control the pace of your search and the number of places you apply. Make a list of companies and track when you applied, if you heard back, interview schedules, etc. If you are unemployed, your job search should be treated as a full-time job and deserves focus and time to get you to the next level.

 

Where to Find Jobs:

In: LinkedIn, Networking, Online Job Boards and Employment Sites

Out: One source shopping

Don’t just peruse your local newspaper (although many still do have a “Help Wanted” section) to look for jobs. Go online! Talk to your colleagues, family, and friends. Ask if they know of openings! Look on well-known job search sites and see what’s out there. Join groups and set-up alerts to be notified when a job that matches your skills/qualifications becomes available. LinkedIn has their own “Jobs” section to peruse. Use it to see what is available in your field/area. Have a specific company you’re targeting? Go directly to their website-you still may be redirected to another job search engine to apply, so make sure you apply per their instructions. If a job posting says “don’t call”, then don’t call. Always follow the application directions, because if you don’t, you may eliminate your candidacy up front. If you don’t have access to the internet, go to the library and use their tools/internet to look for jobs-just remember to completely logout out of any public computer so your personal information is not compromised.

 

Your Ability to Navigate the Job Market:

In: Knowing someone on the inside.

Out: What you know and what you have done will automatically get you in the door for an interview.

You have heard the saying “It’s not always what you know, sometimes it’s who you know…”? People would not still be repeating this phrase in the job market if there wasn’t some truth to it. In today’s competitive job market, many companies have a candidate in mind even before they post a job. YOU want to try to be that candidate. If you have a friend or former co-worker on the inside of a company you’re targeting, reach out to them. If they can give you some inside information to get you in the door – that’s great. Just be sure your contact has a good reputation with the company leadership. Otherwise, your credibility as a viable candidate may have just gone out the window.

As you are “remodeling” your career path, be sure the tools you are using and trends you are following are not outdated, so that you can optimize the time and effort you are putting forth as you pursue your dream job. If you are struggling with your career remodeling project, hire a professional. You would do it for your home improvement projects–why not for your career improvement projects?

 

 

Making Your LinkedIn Profile Uniquely YOU!

LinkedInSocial Marketing/Online Branding

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!

Banner Photo:

  • 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

Name/Credentials:

  • 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.

Profile Photo:

  • 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).

Headline:

  • 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.

About:

  • 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.

Skills:

  • 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!

 

 

Using Keywords to Create a Compelling Story on your LinkedIn Profile

Social Marketing/Online Branding

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.

HEADLINE:

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.

ABOUT section:

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.

SKILLS section:

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!

 

Top Experts To Know on LinkedIn in 2020

Social Marketing/Online Branding

2019 was my year to get to know LinkedIn.

I mean REALLY get to know it (more on that journey later).

What I’ve discovered—and what gets me—are the stories and storytellers.

I am amazed at the consistent content and relevant messaging these people put out.

Posts rich in real-life experiences, expertise, and valuable information about everything from job search to recruitment to resume writing and LinkedIn in today’s workforce.

There are some amazing thought leaders that consistently offer great content, tips, hacks, examples, on these topics. I’ll list my favorites—most are career-related, others are just plain interesting. If you have time, check out their profiles and see what they have to say:

Resume Writers/Career Coaches
@adriennetom
@annetterichmond
@ashleyjwatkins
@jessicaholbrook
@laurasmithproulx
@masterresumewriter
@maureenmccann
@megguiseppi
@virginiafrancoresumewriter
@wespierce
@thewritingguru

LinkedIn
@andyfoote
@brendameller
@christinehueber
@edhan
@jeffyoungralemoi
@joeapfelbaum
@kevindturner
@selsliger

Career & Job Search
@alokotkova
@austinbelcak
@bironclark
@bobmcintosh
@hannahmorgan
@jtodonnell
@jonshields
@kerritwigg
@kylecromerelliot
@madelinemann
@mariezimenoff
@markanthonydyson
@sarahdjohnston
@susanjoyce

Recruitment & Talent
@chrislonas
@emilylawson
@laurenmcdonaldgogogo
@lauraakiley
@rebeccaoppenheim
@tejalwagadia
@tonyrestell

Speakers, Coaches, Trainers
@tsufit
@jayandrewssolution4u/
@valeriejgordon
@joeapfelbaum

I’m sure I am missing LOTS of people and I will remember them as soon as I hit “publish”, but I am so grateful to these ROCKSTARS who keep delivering great content to jobseekers EVERY. DAY.

Happy New Year! 2020 here we come!

Does A Summer Break Apply to Your Job Search Efforts?

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Professional Resume Services resumes and cover letters
Professional Resume Services resumes and cover letters

School’s out for summer… but what about your job search?

Just because many executives and high-level employees go on summer vacation doesn’t mean you can take a summer break on your job search. One of the mistakes many job seekers make is thinking companies don’t hire in the summer, which simply isn’t true. Companies are always going through resumes and cover letters to find the most qualified candidates throughout the year. And if you decide to take a break during the summer, you may miss out on a great opportunity.

Companies Don’t Stop Hiring During The Summer

The notion is companies will wait until after the summer to start interviewing for different positions. However, it’s actually the opposite. Many companies are busier during the winter months, so they don’t have as much time to interview. So they reserve summertime for conducting their interviews and hiring employees, even if it’s on a temporary basis. Regardless, you need to ensure your LinkedIn profile is current once summer starts, just in case a recruiter happens to stumble upon it.

Temporary Could Turn Into Permanent

Since summer is typically slower for most businesses, they may only be hiring for temporary employment. However, many of these positions will turn into permanent positions when business begins to pick up again. Be sure to include in your executive bio if you’re willing to accept temporary employment if the option is available to become permanent in the future. At the very least, you can gain some valuable experience with a temporary position to set yourself up for a permanent position with another company at a later time.

Polish Up Your LinkedIn Profile

Whether you’re going on an extended vacation throughout the summer, or if you feel you need to take a break from your job search efforts for any reason, polish up your LinkedIn profile at the very least. You never know when recruiters are going through resumes and cover letters, or scouring LinkedIn to find the best candidates. Updating your LinkedIn profile could be a great way to get discovered during the summer with minimal effort on your part.
Professional Resume Services is here to help you get through the dog days of summer. We can help revamp your resumes and cover letters during the summer so you’re ready to apply for positions at any time. No matter what you need help with regarding your job search efforts this summer, feel free to contact us at any time.

Expand Your Network with LinkedIn Groups

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Professional Resume Services how to optimize your LinkedIn profile

LinkedIn is a powerful tool for professionals and executives—when used correctly. One of many ways you can properly utilize LinkedIn is by participating in different groups. Joining a few groups can boost your LinkedIn profile development, since you’ll naturally gain more connections as a result. However, you have to be careful with how you approach these groups. Here are some great tips on how to optimize your LinkedIn profile and expand your network by joining groups.

Choose Your Groups Wisely

You can join up to 50 groups on LinkedIn, but you don’t have to actually join that many. Consider joining groups related to your industry, your social life, interests, hobbies, school affiliation and other similar groups. The more groups you join with relevance to your interests, the better chance you’ll have of expanding your network properly with people you can relate with.

Observe Group Conversations

Once you join a group, you might not want to jump right into conversations. People in groups are generally familiar with one another, so they may not like it if you barge in on their discussions. Instead, sit back and observe conversations for a few days or a couple of weeks. See how the group members interact with one another, so you’re able to fit in more naturally once you become more active in the group.

Introduce Yourself

After you’ve made your observations and determined the group is a good fit, make a nice introduction to the group. Tell them to visit your LinkedIn profile to learn your background, but also tell them things about yourself that aren’t on your profile. The more you tell about yourself, the wider range of people you’ll be able to relate to. When you’re trying to boost your LinkedIn profile with more connections, relating to people is the best way to go.

Be Active

When you’ve introduced yourself, be sure to reply to any comments welcoming you to the group. From that point on, people are at least familiar with your name and would enjoy having you in discussions. One mistake people often make is not being active in a group, so other members will forget about you. Activity in LinkedIn groups is the best way to expand your network.
Professional Resume Services is dedicated to helping professionals and executives boost their LinkedIn profiles by giving the best tips on LinkedIn profile development. Feel free to reach out to us any time for tips on how to optimize your LinkedIn profile and expand your network at the same time.

Why Shouldn't You Treat Your LinkedIn Profile in Quite the Same Way as Your Resume?

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Professional Resume Services LinkedIn profile

It takes a lot of hard work and effort to craft the perfect resume. When you’ve finally got it just how you want it, you may be tempted to copy and paste the information into your LinkedIn profile. However, the two should be separated for a few important reasons. The substance of your profile can be similar to your resume, but you need to add a little more style and creativity. Here are some reasons why you shouldn’t treat LinkedIn the same way as your resume.

Repetitive Information is Boring

If an employer likes your resume, they might get online to check out your social media pages. A LinkedIn profile with the same exact information is boring. Employers want to find out new information you normally wouldn’t include on a formal resume. Tell a story or two about certain accomplishments you list on your resume. If you have a hard time distinguishing the two styles, you may benefit from LinkedIn profile writing services. Just think of LinkedIn as an extension of your resume rather than a copy of it. Create an interesting summary, make it personal (you can use personal pronouns such as “I”, “me” or “my” here. Make it uniquely yours.

Support Your Claims

Your resume is designed to make you look good in short statements. LinkedIn allows you to support those statements with evidence. If you’ve received an endorsement or a recommendation from a former supervisor or boss, include it on your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is designed to let you show your accomplishments instead of just talking about them. The more detail you go in to support your claims, the better off you’ll be.
The best place to start is listing any specific accomplishments regarding a past job. Go into detail about how you were able to accomplish something and how you helped the company grow or succeed as a result. Employers want to know how you did a task just as much as they are interested in what you did. Your LinkedIn profile is the perfect place to showcase that.

Be Conversational

Any LinkedIn profile development services will tell you to avoid resume language when creating your profile. The more conversational you are in your writing tone, the more you will relate to the person reading about your skills and expertise. If writing isn’t your strong suit, consider having a friend or a professional read over your profile before you publish it. Without sounding like you’re bragging on yourself, you need to highlight what you’ve done at past jobs and how these achievements make you a good fit for the job you’re looking for.
Developing a LinkedIn profile different from your resume may seem like a tough task. However, once you find the perfect balance between professional and casual, it won’t be difficult at all. If you need help getting started, or at any point in the process, feel free to get in touch with us.

Five Helpful Methods of Incorporating Social Media as You Look for Work

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Professional Resume Services can help you with LinkedIn profile development!

When you’re in the middle of a job hunt, it can be hard to know which resources to focus on most and which are worth your while. While the Internet—and especially social media—has been brushed off in the past as a means of finding work, it now can serve as an extremely valuable tool during your job search efforts. Here’s how you can make the most of it!

1. Communicate

Social media is just that: social! Now is a prime opportunity to try and reach out to other people in your industry. Many of today’s social media platforms feature chat rooms about a myriad of subjects. You can easily find one related to your chosen industry and get to know other professionals in your area of expertise. They can help point you in the right direction as far as who’s hiring and what’s going on in your field.

2. Take Advantage of Popular Social Media Platforms

Thanks to their widespread usage, you may have come to associate the most popular social media sites, like LinkedIn and Facebook, as either purely for socialization and fun, or are simply skeptical as to whether they can really help you during your job search. As it turns out, this is one situation where you should truly believe the hype!
While sites Twitter, Facebook and others like it are most commonly used for social networking, you don’t want to discount the networking aspect. If you play your cards right and focus your efforts on business, you can use your social media accounts to forge worthwhile connections that can lead you to better job opportunities. Now would be a great time to create your LinkedIn profile if you haven’t already.

3. Google Yourself

While this may sound a bit vain, you’ll want to Google yourself before you set up any social media accounts just for the sake of seeing what comes up. Letting this go unchecked means you risk the chance of potential employers running into something unsavory when (and not if!) they look you up. You’re better off playing it safe and checking up on what’s associated with you on the Internet. Otherwise, it could end up costing you valuable job opportunities.

4. Be Direct

You don’t need to be discreet about your job search! Let those close to you know you’re in the midst of a hunt. You’ll need all the help you can get, and you never know where great connections will come from! Even if they don’t know any people who can directly provide you with work, they’ll be able to keep a look out for opportunities for you.

5. Focus on Networking

One of the best and most important aspects of any social media platform is its ability to quickly and easily put you in contact with millions of people, regardless of location. Be sure to use this to advantage! This will a key element to your Facebook and LinkedIn profile development. By researching the higher ups of the companies you’re interested in working for, you’ll know how to frame your social media accounts to better appeal to them. It will also be easier for you to get in touch with them and make a good impression.
We hope these tips will help you utilize social media far more easily as you look for your next career position. Of course, if you find yourself overwhelmed or confused, you can always turn to LinkedIn profile writing services to help you make the most of professional social media usage. Don’t hesitate to turn to your nearest resume writing service for your other job search needs!