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!
Job Hunting: Best Practices for Today’s Job Market
A fortunate few never actually look for jobs: they are recommended by colleagues or recruited by former co-workers. For the rest of us, here’s a toolbox of best practices to make job-hunting easier and more productive.
Personal Branding is Part of the Process
DO have a recently-updated resume. Have it reviewed and reworked by an expert.
DO have a recently-updated LinkedIn profile with a clear, professional-looking headshot.
DO make sure the dates and titles on your LinkedIn profile match your resume.
DO ask for recommendations from those who know you and your work well.
Online applications are changing.
Let’s say you are a pharmacist and you spotted a LinkedIn job posting that looked like a perfect next role, but there’s a catch – you need your LinkedIn profile updated. Forbes wrote that more and more companies are asking to include a link to LinkedIn profiles. It is wise that before you start applying for an online job posting, your own profile should be updated too.
Where to Begin Your Search
DO pick 5-10 companies you admire and for whom you think you’d like to work.
DO your research online on each company, find a common connection, and ask for an introduction. LinkedIn is a great resource for this.
DO invite people in these companies for a quick cup of coffee near their office. Say something like, “I’d love to hear what you like about working at X. Can I buy you a quick cup of coffee?”
DO ask people you trust for a recommended recruiter who can help you.
Networking for Your Job Search
DO let friends and family know you’re looking for a new job.
DO attend Meetups in your field of expertise.
DO look for and join LinkedIn groups in your profession.
DO expand your personal network by taking part in volunteer activities. Make sure to choose a cause that you truly care about.
How to Use Company Websites
DON’T rely only on applying to jobs online unless your skills are in high demand.
DON’T regurgitate your entire resume into your cover letter if you’re using one. Keep it simple.
DO try to find an advocate inside the company as well as applying online.
DO tailor your resume to the job, highlighting the most important skills.
New to the search.
A jobseeker or maybe a new graduate may be searching for better employment. The perfect fit to get the right connection may be to check job boards online, especially for those who are looking in the finance field. Right now, this is a booming industry with an array of jobs for job seekers. Finance Jobs wrote that it helps if seekers explore their options to get the job that fits their skills.
Stay the Course
DO look for a job before you need one. 411 is easier than 911.
DON’T get impatient. Depending on your salary, it can take 6-10 months to find the next right position.
DO take consistent action so you feel empowered.
DO take good care of yourself physically and emotionally.
Looking for the right job is tough, but it gets better.
Once you’ve dealt with a couple of bumps while job hunting, you will eventually reach your goal of finding that next job. Though it doesn’t stop there. Beginning a job, whether you are new to the field or not, still takes adjustments. Pitfalls are intimidating in a new environment, says Psychology Jobs. Remember this: the velocity of your search should be the same as when you have a job.
Adding Velocity to Your Search
DO find ways to help others along the way.
DO assume that things are working out for the best, keeping a positive outlook.
DO stay curious and open-minded. That job that doesn’t seem to be a fit could end up being the best one in your career.
DON’T allow yourself to become bitter, angry, or desperate. These attitudes are a repellent, and people pick up on them, even when they can’t pinpoint what it is about you that is off-putting.
Your job search can be a trial, or it can be an interesting and exhilarating adventure. By deciding to take the long view, asking for help along the way, and refining your job-hunting skills, you’ll be giving it the attention it deserves. Happily, your results will reflect this.
Post written by Katherine Davis for ProfessionalResumeServices.com
With the recent global pandemic crisis, many of our nation’s businesses, education institutions, and entertainment venues have either lowered or ceased operations completely.
However, if you are in an active job search mode, there are plenty of ways you can still focus on your job search within the safety of your own home. Meaning…don’t use a global crisis or “social distancing” as excuses to stop your job search (March Madness is out-so do you really have anything else to do?).
Here are some tips for staying on top of your job search and getting closer to landing your dream job, even if you have to do so from home.
Fine-tune Your Resume:
Even if you are working remotely from home, you can still find time to dust of your old resume and get it ready for your job search. Focus on updating your achievements, skills, professional development activities, and of course any employment/promotion changes since your last update. Be sure your format and writing quality align with today’s standards, and last but not least, proofread the entire document to ensure it does not have any typos or other errors. If you need help, don’t hesitate to hire a professional resume writing service.
Beef Up Your LinkedIn Profile:
Be honest―when was the last time you actually updated your LinkedIn profile? As this is the biggest professional networking/job search site in the world, you need to use it– and use it daily! Like your resume, your profile needs to contain content that is current and well-written. Are the skills you have on your profile relevant to the skills/qualifications listed in the postings you’re applying to? When was the last time you changed your profile picture? When you created your profile in 2014? Use this site for everything it has to offer―join groups, check out job postings, add to your network, reach out for recommendations, update your settings so recruiters can contact you, etc. With so many people working remotely, you know they are going to be online and not at the water cooler.
Reach out to colleagues and other industry-specific clients who may know of openings in their own workplaces. Email, text, or pick up the phone and call these individuals and let them know you’re looking to make a change in your career. If you’re interested in certain companies, go to their websites and learn more about what they do and if they’re hiring. If so, reach out to the “contact” person listed on the site. Get your name out there!
Plus, during a time of crisis is when people band together in unity. This is a great time to deepen your network even more. Reach out, offer free advice (relating to what you do if applicable), join discussions, and help where you can.
Prepare For Your Interview:
If you’re really ready for a new job, then you really need to be ready to nail the interview. Do you have an interview strategy or style? In today’s professional world, many companies start out with a phone interview, prior to bringing you on-site. How do you sound over the phone? Confident or shaky? Practice answering potential questions and with a voice that is upbeat, full of confidence, and markets you and your credentials. If you’re interview is done via video conferencing, Skype, or FaceTime, then you’re probably also going to need to work on how you will look as you’re answering questions. Practice in the mirror so you can see your facial expressions (my face gives everything away, unfortunately… does yours?).
Do your homework! Know who your audience is (this can be done when talking with the person(s) scheduling the interview with you), as well as the culture of the company so that you have an idea of what to wear to your interview. Gather all of your supporting documentation (resume, references, certifications, etc.), and lastly, look at the travel logistics from your home to the location of the interview, if you do actually have to meet in-person at the company or another remote site.
As with any crisis, there are always things to do to stay positive and keep moving forward in your job search and in life. You may not be able to meet with a hiring manager or recruiter in person for the next few weeks, but you can get yourself prepared to do so in the very near future. While we are all trying to deal with our own version of “Social Distancing”, it certainly does not have to stop job seekers from pursuing their dream jobs. This includes you!
Ever wonder if you are putting the *right* information on your LinkedIn profile?
This is a common question I hear, “I don’t know if this or that should be on there” or “I wasn’t sure so I just downloaded/copy/pasted my whole resume to my profile.”
While you want to establish the information you add is relevant to your brand and impactful, you don’t want it to be a duplicate of your resume. They are meant to complement one another. You want your reader to see a little more of a human side to you as well. Think of the LinkedIn profile as the friendly, humanized version of your resume.
Here are some things to think about when building and adding to your profile:
☑️ Fill out all the sections. Don’t leave anything blank. Fill in the volunteer, certifications, languages, projects, honors, awards. You can add PowerPoints, photos, samples of your work (I have these on my profile) coursework, and things you have done in your career.
☑️ Add a profile photo AND a background cover photo (get rid of that blue LI background!). This makes it uniquely you. I love seeing customized background cover photos on LI profiles. They definitely add personality and/or help brand the client by having a photo of the company, service or product they represent.
☑️ Write a headliner that sizzles. Instead of “Account Executive”, write “Account Executive specializing in the development of groundbreaking sales and service strategies internationally”. Add a little zing to it. Get your reader interested. Some even call the headliner “prime real estate” meaning it’s a great place to add keywords and branding that help direct LinkedIn’s algorithms to your profile. Get as clear and focused as you can. Add buzzwords if you know what they are. Not sure? Find jobs that interest you and notice the same words listed over and over? Add them. Don’t neglect this section.
☑️ Create an About section that speaks to the reader. That section used to be more formal and many people wrote theirs like a biography–3rd person, boring, etc. These days, it’s all about the conversation. Get them interested in what you have to say. Write in first person. It’s OK to be a little more human here. People expect it—and love it. The About section should be engaging, interesting, and conversational. Think of it as if you are speaking to someone at a networking event. How would you speak? What would you say? You’d keep it professional but interesting, right? You want to tell a story about why you do this type of work and what makes it interesting. Be enthusiastic.
☑️ Add Content! Make sure to add descriptions of what you do at your job. Add your daily responsibilities as well as your accomplishments. This is where I see clients fall short. They add their company and job title but nothing else. LinkedIn rewards content. While you don’t want to copy and paste chunks from your resume, you also don’t want to leave critical information out. Rewrite those areas but make sure to add content to your roles. What were you most proud of accomplishing? What projects have you worked on that added value? What is interesting about where you work?
You can also add numbers and percentages. If you are hesitant about sharing exact figures, you can say, “increased revenue 87% in two years”. Adding numbers adds to your credibility and gives the reader a glimpse of what you have done.
☑️ Get a recommendation. A recommendation or two on your profile livens it up and gives you more credibility. What good do thousands of connections do for you if you don’t have one recommendation? It might feel awkward, but once you’ve asked it’s done and guess what? You’ll most likely get that recommendation!
☑️ Create an endorsements section. Complete the skills and endorsements section and pin the top 3 that related to your job hunt. Again, these are key with algorithms and recruiter searches as well.
When all of this is done, remember the key to a strong LinkedIn profile is engagement. The more you use LinkedIn, the more it rewards you by showing your profile in recruiter searches. Reach out, plan on getting on LinkedIn 10-15 minutes every other day and watch it go to work for you.
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:
Your executive LinkedIn profile brings you more benefits than simply the ability to connect with other professionals. When you incorporate LinkedIn comments into your job search strategy, you can give your online presence a boost, naturally grow your network, demonstrate your expertise and always be at the top of the mind of other professionals. Of course, the type of comments you leave makes a difference as well, so never post anything negative about anyone. Here are some effective ways LinkedIn comments can help with your c-level personal branding efforts.
Comment On Original Articles
Part of your LinkedIn profile development may be to publish original articles periodically. It’s a good strategy to implement and you’ll notice others have a similar strategy. One way to earn even more credibility is by commenting on those articles by your peers. You should only write a few short sentences about the article, stating what you liked most, what you agreed with, what you found or anything else you deem to be appropriate. The author will appreciate the time you took to comment on it and will likely return the favor at some point.
Be Active in Group Discussions
LinkedIn groups are also a great place to build your c-level personal branding. People who actively comment in groups can demonstrate their brand and what they represent as a person and a professional. The biggest challenge with LinkedIn groups is finding the ones relevant to you and your job search and knowing who to communicate with. You never know whom you may encounter in these groups, but active communication can open up many doors.
Always Look Out For Updates From Connections
When your connections post significant updates, don’t hesitate to comment and congratulate them on an achievement or start a discussion with them. Also, be sure to post updates on your executive LinkedIn profile as well so people have the opportunity to comment on your updates. You don’t want to go overboard with your updates at any given time, but it is valuable to post an update once a week or so. When your connections see you comment on their updates, your c-level personal branding efforts will get a boost since they believe you have a genuine interest in what’s going on in their professional life.
Professional Resume Services helps executives with aspects of LinkedIn profile development they didn’t think were important. Something as simple as commenting on someone’s original article can go a long way in boosting your c-level personal branding efforts and can promote great discussions. Being active on LinkedIn can tap you into the hidden job market in many different ways, so contact us today to see if your profile and activity are on the right track.
The Importance of Staying Up to Date With Your Online Presence
Many executives don’t appreciate the importance of having a positive online presence. And some don’t understand their online presence should always be kept up-to-date. If you’re actively looking for a job, you’re putting yourself in a big hole if recruiters can’t find you online. Having a clean and updated executive LinkedIn profile is a necessity today rather than a luxury. It’s worth hiring a professional LinkedIn profile writer if you’ve never developed one before, and there are plenty of other ways to develop and maintain a positive online presence. Here are some reasons why it’s so important.
Recruiters Always Look For An Online Presence
One of the first things a recruiter will do when they receive a resume is conduct an online search for the person’s name. If you have a negative online presence, or no online presence at all, then your chances of moving to the next step in the hiring process are slim. At the very least, develop your executive LinkedIn profile to the point where it shows up at the top of the search results. That way, you’ll know exactly what recruiters are seeing when they search for your name.
Tips For Enhancing Your Online Presence
With the high-level of importance of personal branding for senior level managers, there is always room to improve your online presence. Being active on LinkedIn and other social media platforms will increase your visibility. You can also publish original articles to your blog or social media profiles. Joining LinkedIn groups and participating in discussions on professional forums can also help promote your name. Just be sure to think carefully about everything you post online, as anything you say can be used against you.
Monitor Your Online Presence Regularly
Once you feel comfortable with your online presence, you can’t get complacent. You should always be looking to improve your presence and brand. Monitoring your brand online is critical since anyone can post negative information about you. Do a search for your name periodically and see what results show up. While you may not be able to remove information completely, you can combat it by responding appropriately. You don’t want to let any negativity about you linger online for too long since it could tarnish your reputation.
Professional Resume Services is here to help you upgrade your executive LinkedIn profile and more. We are much more than just a resume writing service. We take pride in working with every one of our clients individually and look at the big picture in terms of job searching. Your online presence is just as important as your resume itself, so contact us to see how we can help you build and maintain yours.
Do You Have the Spark to Advance Your Executive Career?
We all hit points throughout our career where we hit a stall or things become stale. This could be due to getting comfortable with your current position or simply not knowing what direction you want to go. Using your LinkedIn profile for networking purposes can help you find some direction and potentially lead to other opportunities. It’s natural to hit a stall in your career, but it’s also possible to move forward when you’re ready. If you know you’re ready to advance your executive career, but can’t seem to find a spark to get you going, we’ve got some tips to help you out.
Let Career Detours Be Inspirational
If your career path isn’t headed exactly how you planned it to, don’t get discouraged. Everyone will have detours in their career. Instead of looking at those detours negatively, view them as inspirational and work harder to get back on track. Revisit your executive resume biography as a reminder of where you are now and where you want to be in the future. When your path changes, look for ways to grow from it and make any adjustments you deem necessary.
Always Look For Ways To Grow
One of the biggest sparks executives experience in their career is learning a new skill. Being able to add a new skill to your executive resume biography is motivating, so consider taking an advanced course or work on projects of your own in your free time. The top resume writing services encourage people to step out of their comfort zone occasionally because it will lead to growth no matter what. Learning experiences are valuable for career growth, but you won’t experience any of them if you don’t take the first step forward.
Network With Like-Minded Experts
Networking can lead to many different opportunities and can be a big spark for your career. You don’t even have to attend a networking event with the intention of finding a new job. Simply talking with like-minded experts can give you new ideas on how to approach your career or certain projects to help you move forward. Be sure to have your LinkedIn profile updated, though, since you’ll likely want to reconnect with people you’ve met through the platform.
At Professional Resume Services, nothing is more satisfying to us than seeing executives get exactly what they want in their career. We are considered to be one of the top resume writing services because we have a wide range of expertise designed to help people advance in their careers. We understand everyone goes through a stall in their career, and we are here to help you get out of it when you’re ready. Never hesitate to contact us if you’re ready to spark your career and take it to the next level.