Posts Tagged ‘Profile’

What You Should Be Doing on LinkedIn Every Month, Week, and Day

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

Following up on our last article regarding profile pictures, this time around we’re discussing how to best utilize LinkedIn, not only for your next job, but also for your career in general:

You’ve heard it hundreds of times before (and probably will hundreds of times again): You need to be on LinkedIn.

But once you’ve created your profile, what’s next? If you’re not actively job searching, it can be easy to throw your information up there and leave it alone until you need to reach out to someone or browse open positions.

Well, that would be a big mistake. You’ll be missing out on an opportunity to stay current in your field, interact with and grow your network, and even establish yourself as a thought leader.

The good news? It doesn’t have to take a lot of effort. To keep things simple, here’s your plan for how to make the most of LinkedIn, broken down into easy, manageable chunks.


Interact With Your Homepage Feed

LinkedIn is a great way to keep up to date on industry news and see what your contacts have been up to—both great things regardless of whether you’re job searching. If you check your homepage feed regularly, this will likely be the first place you’ll see viewpoints on news in your field or a contact’s new promotion posted.

Interacting with your feed really only takes a couple minutes—just click over, scroll on down, and write a quick “congratulations” for new positions or promotions or click “like” on interesting new or articles others have posted. You’re done!


Post Something

Aside from using LinkedIn to keep up with your network, try using it to update others on your professional achievements and interests. Target posting an update once a week: If you recently attended a conference or professional development seminar, write a quick update on what you enjoyed about it. Or, if you read something relevant to your industry, post it to the homepage feed to see what others think.

If you want to do something a bit more in depth, LinkedIn now offers a platform for you to write and post your own articles. Much like your very own professional blog, it’s a great way to get your thoughts out there and your work seen.

Add New Contacts

In case you haven’t noticed, LinkedIn is a great way to keep track of your contacts—but that only works if you’re consistently adding them as you meet them. So, set aside time once a week to send out invites (personalized, of course!) to connect on LinkedIn for the new people you meet in your day-to-day work—think vendors, people you’ve met at conferences, new co-workers or clients. Once you’ve connected, LinkedIn makes it easy to interact with your contacts’ updates as well as send personal messages when you want to reach out directly.


Update Your Profile

While this isn’t something you have to do daily or weekly, it’s a good idea for you to keep track of any new job responsibilities or professional accomplishments and update your LinkedIn profile accordingly. Making a point to do this at least one a month ensures you’ll have an easy time updating your resume when the time comes and has the added benefit of allowing others to see your most up-to-date qualifications. Recruiters and hiring managers often scroll through LinkedIn looking for candidates, so even if you’re not actively job searching, having an impressive profile will mean that opportunities will still come your way.

Contribute to a Couple of Groups

Groups on LinkedIn are a great way to interact with professionals with similar interests or backgrounds—but they’re really only as good as you make them. Contributing to larger, better-known groups could even help you establish yourself as a thought leader in your field. Of course, that takes times, so at the very least try to catch up on what relevant groups in your field are up to at least once a month. This will help you stay current, and if you make the effort to comment or contribute to existing discussions, you may even make some new connections.

Reach Out to Old Contacts

Few things feel as sleazy as reaching out to someone only after you realize you need them for one reason or another. To avoid setting yourself up for this uncomfortable situation, regularly reach out to a handful of contacts (switch up the contacts every month) to check in with them and see how they’re doing. Offer some updates of your own, and simply make it a point to catch up. The good news is, LinkedIn makes it easy—just shoot people a quick note, and it should pop right into the email they have linked to their account. No need to worry about up-to-date contact information! Make a habit of this, and you won’t have to feel awkward about reaching out to your contacts when you do need some help.

LinkedIn is an incredibly handy tool for keeping track of contacts, what everyone has been up to, and the latest in industry news. And that’s all in addition to being a platform for you to promote your skills and expertise. So, don’t let your profile sit stagnant—make the most of it by actually using its features beyond the profile.

Original from The Daily Muse

How Your Profile Picture is Sabotaging Your Job Search

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

Something a bit on the odd side this time around, as we investigate some fine-tuning you might need for your online profile (LinkedIn or otherwise) to enhance your passive job search:

Your head shot should add value to your profile. Fix these common mistakes to get it on the right track.

In today’s marketplace, it’s not enough to have a well-written resume and a list of great referrals; it’s essential for every job seeker to develop and actively monitor their online professional brand.

While a photo on your resume is still considered taboo, recruiters have come to expect a picture to accompany your online professional profiles. In fact, your LinkedIn profile is 40 percent more likely to get clicked on if it contains an image.

However, not just any image will do. Choose your picture strategically so that it enhances, rather than damages, your professional brand.

Below are nine profile picture pitfalls to avoid:

1. Blurry or Too Small

Ideally your photo should be 200 x 200 pixels or larger. Anything smaller and you’re guaranteed to end up with a fuzzy or teeny tiny image that just screams unprofessional. I recommend choosing a square head shot, as it’s sure to work with all your professional social media accounts.

2. Too Close or Too Far Away

Stick with a standard head shot for your profile pic. Prospective employers and those in your professional network have no desire to examine your dental work, and a shot from far away won’t help them identify you at an event or interview.

3. The Group Shot

Remember, this picture is supposed to represent your professional brand – no one else’s. Don’t make recruiters guess which person you are in the photo. Use an image that shows you and only you.

4. The Crop

Cropping yourself out of the group shot doesn’t work either. While it may be your favorite picture, no one wants to see half of your loved one’s face or your best friend’s hair on your shoulder. Stick to a solo shot that doesn’t require Photoshop.

5. Bad Lighting

Not only do these pictures look creepy, but they are certainly not providing employers with a positive, professional first impression.

6. Too Serious

Opt for photos where you’re looking at the camera and smiling. You don’t necessarily need a cheesy grin on your face, but you want to appear friendly and approachable. The “glamor shots” aren’t doing you any favors.

7. Goofy Expressions

Remember, this image is supposed to represent your professional brand. When you look at your profile photo, does it send the same message as your resume?

8. Pet or Baby Pic

Yes, your puppy is adorable and your family is beautiful. However, that’s not what your professional network or a prospective employer needs to know about you. Save these cute pics for your personal social-media channels such as Facebook or Instagram. Stick to a photo of yourself for your professional profiles.

9. No Photo

As mentioned earlier, recruiters today expect to find a head shot with your professional profile. The first thing recruiters and hiring managers notice is your photo… or lack of one. If you have no photo, their initial thought might be, “What is this person trying to hide?”

If you’re concerned that including your photo could cause people to discriminate against you, I urge you to carefully weigh the benefits and drawbacks of the profile photo before making a final decision. The right image can reinforce your brand and help viewers connect more easily with your profile.

Overall Best Practices

Use a recent head shot that meets the file type and size and pixel size recommended by each site. Consider your outfit, the background of the shot, and the lighting to ensure it reflects your current professional brand and career goals.

Having no photo is better than uploading one that doesn’t project the right image, so put some thought into the picture you choose to represent your professional brand.

Original from the Ladders.

How to Network For A New Job — Without Losing Your Current One

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

Ah, the age old conundrum: How do you get out of that job you sort of hate, without losing that job you sort of hate?

OK, maybe you don’t hate it. But if you’re looking to exit stage left (ASAP) from your current job, how do you network with other professionals—the very people who may be instrumental to your forward progress—without tipping off your colleagues (or, worse, your boss)?

Carefully, that’s how. Very carefully. Here are just a few ideas to help you pull it off.

1. Approach Networking With Genuine Interest, Rather Than Obvious Job Search Intent

If it’s imperative for you to keep a lid on the fact that you’re searching, you don’t want to approach relative strangers and immediately bust out the details about what you’re up to. Because guess what? Those relative strangers may know your boss, your colleagues, or your clients. Not ideal.

A better way to go about it is to approach people who may be helpful to the hunt in a curious, genuine manner. Ask them about their jobs, their companies, and the things they enjoy most. Probe, without coming right out and saying, “I want a job at your company. Can I give you my resume?”

Instead, be interested in and interesting to the people you approach. You can gather tons of good information about a prospective employer using this method and, if you build enough rapport and trust with this person, you may feel comfortable revealing your intentions as the conversation unfolds.

2. Be Aware of Your LinkedIn Messaging, Especially in the Headline and Summary

While you most certainly want to align your LinkedIn headline and summary sections to the requirements and preferences of your target audience, don’t make it obvious that you’re up to something.

For instance, if you’re currently working in a territory sales position but want to shift into corporate finance, it’s going to look a bit fishy if, all of the sudden, you’re showcasing nothing but your finance strengths on LinkedIn. Certainly, you can—and should—weave some of this messaging in (and reach out to people in the financial sector as you network), but keep in mind that your current boss and co-workers may be popping by your profile. And, yes, they’ll wonder what you’re up to.

Likewise, if you join any career or job search related groups on LinkedIn, hide the logos from your profile. Nothing screams “Hey, I’m looking!” quite like a bunch of job seeker group logos.

3. Consider Volunteering at, Instead of “Attending” Certain Networking Events

I worked with a client—a covert job seeker—who revealed that he’d recently attended a local career networking event. Five minutes in, he bumped into the director of marketing at his current employer. Hello, awkward moment. He still can’t look her in the eye, and it’s been three weeks.

One great alternative to this scenario is to consider volunteering at job search networking events. Just call up the coordinator and see if she needs someone to work the registration desk or help out with other tasks. That way, you get all of the benefits of the networking opportunity (typically, at no cost), and if you bump into the director of marketing? You have a perfectly good explanation for being there.

4. Be Careful Who You Tell

People love to blab. They just love to. So, for the love, don’t count on colleagues (unless they are beyond tight confidants) to keep mum when you whisper, “I’m trying to get outta here” in their ears. Pick your networking people wisely.

Likewise, when you begin interviewing, be sure and emphasize to everyone in your path (including recruiters and prospective employers) that your search is confidential. Mention it more than once.

It’s definitely tricky navigating a career transition when you’ve got to fly under the radar, but it’s by no means impossible. Networking will (truly) get you everywhere in job search, so don’t scrap it entirely out of fear you’ll get caught.

Instead, get scrappy. And strategic. You may have a job that you sort of hate, but don’t lose it before you’ve landed that job you really love.

The Only Resume Advice You’ll Ever Need

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

Ok, so I’m probably being a little bit facetious regarding the subject line, since people have written reams and reams of information over the decades about resume writing and books are regularly published on the subject and this site itself has tons of useful information regarding how to prepare and what to avoid.

But if you have ever been looking for a job, I’m sure you’ve asked yourself: “What can I do to make my resume stand out and get an employer to seriously consider me for a job”? If you Googled the term “resume”, you know that there’s a dizzying array of information and advice out there about what works best in putting something together that presents you best. How do you make sense of it all? I’m going to make it easy for you – I have looked at thousands of resumes and talk daily with Recruiters (I’ve been one myself) and HR Directors who are often the ones making the first pass at your resume. No matter your experience level or what kind of job you’re looking for, these are the most important “insider tips” you will need to know and do:

  1. The “one-size fits all” approach won’t cut it in a marketplace of increasingly specialized needs. So plan on having several versions of your resume adjusted for the different jobs you are applying for. Include ways you can make an immediate contribution to the organization that reflects the homework you should be doing about the organization you’re applying to. Make sure that you – and at least one other person you trust – carefully review your resume and adjust it to contain the “key words” that recruiters will be searching for.
  2. Don’t worry about an objective – employers will skip over this, or worse, will screen your resume out based on an objective that is not a perfect match for the job they are hiring for. Instead let your experience, skills and results-driven descriptions make the case for you.
  3. “Space equals importance”, so put the most critical information first and spend more time and space talking about the skills, experiences, and results that are directly related to the job you are applying for.
  4. Avoid all complicated fonts or design elements. To be considered an applicant, you will likely be uploading your resume to an applicant tracking system (ATS) on a company or third-party web site. These systems have a difficult time deciphering elaborate fonts or design elements and if your resume can’t be read easily, it won’t be read at all.
  5. >Quantify whenever possible. We live in a metrics driven work culture and it’s no longer enough to state that you increased sales or productivity, you need to back it up with quantifiable data whenever possible.
  6. Check your resumes for errors of fact, typos, formatting woes or omissions. After you checked it and before you send it to an employer, let a trusted person in your network review it as well. One inaccuracy or misspelling could cost you a second look.
  7. Omit any unnecessary, or potentially controversial, information, including sexual orientation, religious or political affiliations. It’s illegal for employers to ask for this information and irrelevant to whether you are a strong candidate for the job. Best to avoid adding a photo as well.
  8. “Size matters” and no one has the time to spend a long time reviewing a resume. Keep the resume to one or two pages depending on your experience. If your resume is more than a page, be sure to include your name and email contact on subsequent pages and do your best early on to make sure the recruiter will want to read more!

Original from Forbes

How Job Hunters Should Use Facebook To Find Work

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

Thanks to Facebook’s dominance as the leading social network, combined with ways recruiters are using it to locate talent, if you’re serious about finding work, you must have a presence on this site.

There are three reasons Facebook is so essential when you’re looking for a job in today’s social media–focused world:

1. Most jobs come from referrals. If most jobs come from referrals, and most referrals come from friends and family, guess which social network has the highest concentration of friends and family?

2. Facebook has more users than the United States has citizens. The number of interconnections, relationships, and interactions between people in the network are infinitely complex. That presents a wonderful opportunity to meet new connections and expose your personal brand to more people to accelerate your career.

3. You can use Facebook to find out more about a company. Just as firms can get the inside scoop on job candidates by looking at their Facebook profiles, you can discover the facts and vibe about a business by “liking” its Facebook Page. (Find out whether your target company has a Facebook Page by entering its name in the search bar at the top of your Facebook account. If a page pops up, click on its “Like” button.)

You can also research a company from its Facebook Page, using links to the firm’s blogs and websites and seeing information about its benefits and culture.

Sometimes, you can find out about job opportunities through a company’s Facebook Page, too. Many firms are now using that space to attract new talent and interact with potential candidates.

How to Get Found on Facebook

As a job seeker, you want to be found. So be sure the “About” section of your Facebook profile is complete and current; update it if it isn’t. This way, hiring managers and recruiters can learn more about you and Facebook can find new people to suggest you add to your network.

Your “About” section should serve a similar function as your LinkedIn profile summary, communicating who you are professionally and what makes you unique.

Be sure to fill out your Work and Education section as much as possible. This helps Facebook make friend suggestions for you of people you’ve crossed paths with in your career or at school. Who knows what new opportunities old friends can bring?

Don’t Be a Stranger

So, if you consider people in your network to be important for your job search, interact with them regularly. You could comment on their Timeline posts, include them in your Timeline posts with tags or message them.

What Not to Post

Avoid posts like, “Help! I need a job. Can you pass my résumé on?” You don’t want to come across as desperate. Remember, your goal is to provide value and be upbeat.

Instead, post articles with your opinions of them or bring up current events to kickstart conversations with members of your network.

At least once a week, post something on your Facebook timeline that’s related to your industry. Sharing your opinion about professional issues can help position you as an expert.

How to Get Referrals

Nothing’s wrong with asking your Facebook network for a little help sometimes. Because the power of your network is in who the people in it know, the best thing you can do to help yourself is to ask for introductions.

But if you want to ask your Facebook contacts for a referral, be specific. For example, don’t ask: “Does anyone have connections at a CPG company in marketing?” Instead, say something like: “I’m looking for work as a business analyst at a CPG company. Do you know of anyone in marketing at Purina?” You’ll get much better results if you can say the name of the company and the exact role of the person you want to meet.

Don’t Reveal Secrets

Be careful not to reveal something you shouldn’t about the companies you’re interviewing with. For example, if you learn what your salary range might be, keep it to yourself. One woman interviewing at Cisco told her Facebook network the salary the company offered her. She was immediately disqualified for breaking Cisco’s non-disclosure policy.

How Facebook’s Graph Search Can Help

Graph Search is a way to explore Facebook’s network of information about people. It’s the technology behind the big search bar found at the top of your Facebook profile. By using search phrases, instead of keywords, you can discover all sorts of people using Facebook.

Previously, it was very difficult to know which companies were represented in your network and your extended (friends of friends) network. Now, you can see what companies you have connections to, locations you might have acquaintances in and even the brands your network prefers.

This feature opens up all kinds of research possibilities, like finding out if your friends have friends working at your target company.

Original from Forbes