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


Career & Job Search

Recruitment & Talent

Speakers, Coaches, Trainers

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!

I Was The Perfect Fit! Why Wasn’t I Hired?

Career & WorkplaceInterviewingJob SearchResumes

How many times have you felt you were PERFECT for that role, but still didn’t get it? You went over the interview in your mind a hundred times, noted how easily the conversation flowed, how they interviewer would nod enthusiastically when you described a certain experience or skill. They seemed excited when they said they would get back to you soon.

Then you got the email that you weren’t chosen.

Safe to say, I think we’ve all been there.

I’m a firm believer in if you didn’t get the job, something better will come along. Through the years, some of our clients have come back to us to tell us about interviews they nailed and were sure they got the job. But didn’t.

However, there are various reasons companies may choose a different route:

They decided to hire internally. As unfair as it sounds, they may have already had a front runner in mind but posted it anyway to see if there is someone better.  Some companies HAVE to post externally due to contract constraints or affirmative action plans. Federal contractors or government agencies may have to post externally as well.

You were overqualified.  Perhaps they think you won’t do tasks you deem “beneath you”. While it’s unfair for them to assume what you will or won’t do, it is a common concern. They may also fear that you will be bored at the job—especially if you’ve been on an impressive career track. Or, that after a while, you will leave and they’ll be back to square one.

You were underqualified. Thinking you’d be great in a role and actually having the experience to master the role are two different things. Read the job description thoroughly and make sure you have the experience to apply for the role.

They already had another candidate in mind. It’s possible they already found their choice but they had to have a certain amount of candidates to interview to fill their candidate roster. It might be company policy that X number of people need to be interviewed before a choice can be made.

Your online presence wasn’t professional or up-to-date. Hiring managers check your social media profiles to learn more about you. Turn on your privacy settings if you have personal pictures or information on there. Also, if you haven’t updated your LinkedIn profile in a while (or years!), now is the time to do it. Lack of LI presence can hurt you as well. Get it up to date.

You shared too much. I’ve talked with recruiters who said the candidate told them their life story—the good, bad, and ugly—and in the process turned off the recruiter. Keep the conversation on the company, their pain points, how you can help them, and that’s it. Don’t talk about your jerk boss, your sick parent, or a personal health problem. They really don’t want to or need to hear it. Keep it professional.

You didn’t know enough about the company. Be very prepared when you go to the interview. Research the company, its mission, what they do, what they sell, or what they are about. Research the role, figure out their pain points. Have questions ready to interview the interviewer, questions like, “What should I know about the role I am seeking? Do you have any other insight?” Be both knowledgeable and inquisitive.

Whatever the answer, you may never know. You might have done everything right and still did not get the job. It might have been narrowed down to you and someone else, but they went with the other person because they had more strategy experience.

Either way, you gave it your all.

About two months ago, an operations exec said to me, “You know, after three rounds of interviews, they finally told me I wasn’t chosen. So, I reached out to a few old colleagues that resulted in a round of interviews with a company I was never interested in and an industry I wasn’t very familiar with. But they liked me and saw what my vision was for their company–and hired me. It has been the best job I’ve ever had.”

If you are struggling with job search, hang tight. The right job will come along.

One Simple Way To Improve Your Language

Assessments & Education


Did you know you can set up your day to have a quick opportunity to improve yourself? One of the nicest things about the internet is the opportunity to learn, and improving your language is going to make a difference in your career.
Here’s why language is important: the things you write online stay there. The impression you make with your speech and writing doesn’t fade too fast, either. If you are consistently using language the way that “everybody” uses language online, then you are automatically closing the street to opportunity.

Learn A Little Every Day

I like Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips because they are funny, memorable, and short. You may prefer another source, and there are certainly plenty out there. I also use the Gregg’s Reference Manual. It’s the bible for grammar geeks. What you need is a regular reminder of common mistakes and how to avoid those mistakes that you will enjoy reading. I’m always surprised at the things I learn. Something new every day!
That small, daily dose of language skills is a regular reminder of the importance of language. It might not seem like much, but the proper use of language moves you past barriers that keep your career from flourishing. It might be true that a top executive dictates letters to a secretary instead of writing them personally, but it’s also true that the executive still has to use language competently.
Learning a little every day is part of being a leader. Looking for life-long learning opportunities keeps your brain active and your attitude flexible for the challenges of being an influence both today and in the future. If your language skills are inadequate, you may have the greatest ideas in the world, but you can’t communicate those ideas very well.
Adding something like a daily grammar feature takes less than five minutes to read and enables a lifetime of opportunity.

Gathering Your References

Job SearchResume Writing

resume cover letter
It used to be that you always ended your resume with the line “References Available Upon Request.” Now that statement is mostly left off of resumes because it is deemed a given that you have references and you will be able to produce them when asked. However, if you have been job searching over a long period of time, you need to recognize that your reference page or list is not a static list.
Who you use as a reference will depend on the type of job you are applying for. For example, it would be better to use a former boss who supervised you at the IT help desk when you apply for your next help desk position rather than someone who supervised you as a cashier. Professional references, people with whom you worked or who have supervised you, are usually preferable. However, some positions may allow you to use personal references too, friends or community members who know you well.
Keep in touch with your references. Make sure that everyone on your reference list is someone who will give you a positive reference. How do you know if they will give you a positive reference? You ask. Don’t hint around. Ask each person on your potential reference list, “Are you able to speak highly of my skills and qualifications to potential employers?” If you sense any hesitation in their response, do not use that person and move on to the next person on your list.
Provide each person on your reference list with a current copy of your resume or curriculum vitae. Also give each person the job description for which you are applying or at least a summary of the type of position you would like. This way, when your reference(s) is called by a hiring manager, he/she can speak with some knowledge of how your qualifications fit into the job requirements. Keeping in touch with your references helps them better able to speak to your strengths so that you get the job. It also provides good opportunities to network.

When NOT To Use A Resume


If you are looking for an easy way out of creating a resume you are out of luck. You will need a resume for practically everything, including a promotion within your own company.
While it will be different for every company, most will require a resume of some sort. Even for entry-level positions. This means that you need to have a resume no matter what. Not only will it save you heartache during your job search, but it will be impressive to employers who have not required a resume. By having a resume, you make it easier for potential employers and it also makes your job of “selling” yourself to the company easier. It is just a good idea to have a resume no matter what.
However, there are definitely some cases where you won’t need a resume. If in the job posting it specifically says “no resume needed,” then you are in luck. Another case may be if a company has an application that they want all applicants to use instead of a resume for organization and record keeping, then you have again lucked out, but for the most part, this will not be the case. The vast majority of the time, employers want a resume from you so you better be prepared to give them what they want or they won’t give you what you want — the job.
A resume is not difficult to put together if you take the time to do it. And if you really feel you can’t write an impressive resume, hire a resume service to help you out. There is no harm in having a resume, and who knows? The resume may just get you that job.

How to Get a Job When No One Is Hiring

Job Search

The most popular misconception when the economy is less than outstanding is that no one is hiring. It’s actually almost never true that no one is hiring. What is true is that companies tend to streamline when times are tough and while they may not officially be hiring, there is always room for someone with a proven track record. Most job seekers are fully aware that it’s easier to get another job when you already have one and that is never more true than when the economy is down.
The problem is that when you suddenly find yourself without a job it can be tough to both deal with the emotional shock and hit the ground running to find another job as quickly as possible. There is where your previous networking skills as well as an updated resume come into play. You can immediately start looking and contacting people letting them know that you are looking for a job change (think: networking & LinkedIn).
It’s also important to remember that you have a proven record of success and you have been in the business world for a number of years. This immediately places you ahead of many candidates that are recent graduates with no real-world experience. Unfortunately, many young people today do not have the appropriate business skills, and as a result many hiring managers are reluctant to interview them. They have a large pool of seasoned applicants to choose from so they opt for experience. This works in your favor if you have practical experience.
The best way to get a job when no one is hiring is to remember that there is always room for someone who is energetic, driven and has a resume that shows them to be an asset to their employer.

What Do You Do When You Disagree With Your Resume Writer?

Executive ResumesJob SearchResumes

Hiring a resume service can be a very helpful tool for many job seekers who are stuck and don’t know what to do or where to go with their resume. Sometimes, however, you may disagree with your resume writer or service. You may not feel that their vision coincides with your vision and tension may occur. Dealing with that tension and disagreement can be difficult, but here are some things to remember that should help you get through the process and end up with a great resume.

  • Have A Clear Idea In Your Own Head: If you don’t know what information you want to put in your resume, then how can you expect your resume service to know? You need to think about what you want to do, where you want to be,  and what skills and experience you have had to get you to your next career.
  • Communication is Key: Talk to your resume writer. Make sure that you have given them adequate information and have clearly expressed your career goals and vision. Even the best writers cannot build a resume unique to your needs if you haven’t communicated where you want to be in your career. Give the writer as much information as you possibly can, then let them do their job and streamline the information to create a resume will appeal to employers.
  • Keep It Professional: It will only make the situation worse if you are angry and bitter. Keep yourself calm and it will not only make the communication easier, but it will also be more enjoyable.
  • Above All, Remember You Are Their Boss: You have hired them. You are paying them to help you, not the other way around. Don’t let them walk over you. If what they are doing is not what you want, then you have the right to talk to them and get it fixed. However, also know that you hired them because they are certified, skilled writing professionals. You are paying them to stay on top of industry trends and share their knowledge of what content and layout works best to communicate your expertise and career history. You just need to make sure that your resume truly represents who you are and where you want to be in your career.

Keep your relationship with your writer open and professional, and you will end up with a great resume that truly markets your value to employers.

Contract and Freelance Resumes – How to Highlight Your Employment History

Executive ResumesJob SearchNetworkingProfessional ResumesResume KeywordsResume Writing

confused man
If you have worked full-time for only one employer at a time, the Employment History section of your resume is going to be pretty standard. You list the names and locations of the companies you’ve worked for, your job titles,  and a description of your duties. It is pretty straightforward to write and easy for a recruiter or hiring manager to see your career progress.
However, writing your employment history when you’ve been contracting and freelancing is a bit different from full-time, permanent employment and can be tricky. If you are a contractor through an employment agency, while you may work at Company X, you are actually an employee of that employment agency. Some contracts specify that you cannot list Company X on your resume, which means you must list the employment agency and a description of your duties that also describes the company. So, for example, if Company X is a software design company, you may list one of your duties as software testing for a software design firm without specifying Company X. Other contracts may allow you to list “Company X contract through ABC Employment agency.”
Freelancers often compile the Employment History section of their resumes by listing a title such as “Freelance Website Designer”, the dates during which they have been freelancing, and something along the lines of: “Client list includes: Companies A, B, and C. However, you must be careful. If your freelance agreement specifies that you cannot list an individual company for which you have done web design, then don’t do it. Also, do not misrepresent your work and state on your resume in separate entries that you worked at each company as a web designer. Listing the companies this way can be construed as you were a full-time employee when you really were a freelancer. You must make it clear that it was freelance work and not ongoing work.
Before you start writing, know what your contract and freelance agreements allow/do not allow you to publicize on your resume. If you’re really struggling with the format and word choice, consult with a professional resume writer who is skilled in creating resumes for contract/freelance clients.