JEAN'S BLOG. Best & Next Practices in: Executive Resumes, Personal Branding & Executive Job Search

3 Things You Need to Know About LinkedIn

Posted by Jean Cummings

Aug 24, 2015 9:12:03 AM

Image-linkedin-logo-1

LinkedIn is a wonderful resource for career-minded professionals. Here are three things to know as you use LinkedIn:

  1. Forget the personal website – LI now has the functionality to richly communicate your personal brand, and it is highly searchable by recruiters and hiring managers. Your LinkedIn profile gives you options for branding yourself across the written word, audio, video, photos, PowerPoint presentations and other documents, blogs, links etc. In addition, when someone searches on your name, your LI profile is more likely to come up in the first page of results than your personal website is (in most cases).
  1. Want to find something or somebody on LinkedIn? Leave LI’s Search and go out to Google to enter your search term(s) there. LinkedIn is supposed to be improving its Search but it’s still hard to find someone in particular if they share a name with other LI members. One of many reasons why you might want to find people on LI is if they work for the company you are interested in.  You can identify potential contacts and use the method described elsewhere in this blog to seek out and secure employee referrals – a GREAT way to get a job. I've found LI Search to be helpful, though, when seeking to build a list of companies that meet your criteria.
  1. DO take advantage of LinkedIn Publishing, a great way to showcase your brand and subject matter expertise. It is available as an option when you edit your Profile. More than 40,000 posts are published each week. Quoting Geoffrey Colon: “Publishing is the new job board in terms of getting interested third-party companies who want to business with us to connect – as well as attracting the attention of the highest caliber recruiters.”

I know as well as all of you do how hard it is to take time out of a busy professional life to take advantage of these amazing features! It’s the short-term vs long-term thing. In this case, leveraging LI’s features will, WITHOUT A DOUBT, enhance your career prospects going forward. Good luck to you (and me!) in scheduling time to make this happen.

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Topics: LinkedIn

Recruiters Make 25% of Executive Hires in This Place: Are You There?

Posted by Jean Cummings

May 12, 2013 5:52:00 PM

Get social to get hired

Where is that? Yup, you guessed it, social media is where recruiters report sourcing 25% of executive hires. And those are 2012 figures! I'm ready to say it straight out:

"If you're not spending a portion of your time every week on one of more of the following -  LinkedIn, Twitter, blogs, youtube, Pinterest - you will be seriously handicapped in your job search both now and in the future." Here's what you'll want to do: Leverage the power of social media sites to build your thought leadership and make connections with professionals and recruiters in your space.

No longer is private reputation all that matters. What matters is that you are a player in your industry and function and visible as such. I don't say this to make anyone feel overwhelmed - we all have enough of that! But the executive resume is no longer your only reporting mechanism for your professional achievements and brand. The Internet is where recruiters will first make decisions, based on what they find, about whether to contact you.

LinkedIn is apt to be the first place recruiters will be encountering you. So pay AT LEAST as much attention to getting your LinkedIn profile 95-100% complete and keyword loaded as you do to developing a branded executive resume that can be visually scanned in 6 seconds.

So to fight the overwhelm, I'm going to list FIVE concrete, easy steps you can take to start reaping the benefits of social media for job search. But first, get the basics in place and establish a discipline for "keeping at it" in social media. You may actually find this fun after awhile and a valued addition to your usual professional activities.

The Basics: To start, I suggest you have profiles on LinkedIn, Twitter and ZoomInfo. Make sure they are marbled through with the right keywords and that they convey your branded value proposition. Then...

The Discipline: Set aside a half hour a day or 2-3 hours a week (maybe Sun. night?) when you can start to participate in online conversations going on in your industry and functional area. You are aiming to become known. You are also aiming to get to know the movers and shakers in your space and the recruiters who are monitoring where you hang out. Every interaction potentially creates valuable two-way networking opportunities.

The Fun:

- Start curating content relevant to your target market. Mine it from blogs of thought leaders and leading news sources and magazines. Select a RSS reader to aggregate your favorite blogs and enable you to quicky scan for content you would like to comment on and tweet out. There are lots of them. I use Google Reader and now Feedly. Try to do 2/day and space them out, using Buffer or one of the Twitter clients (TweetDeck, HootSuite). Feel free to tweet your own thoughts. One of my clients after implementing this advice says he gets all of his professional information now from Twitter.

- Set up your tweets so they automatically go to LinkedIn as well. When recruiters find your profile through keyword searches, they will see you are part of the conversation in your space. (Good!). Creates credibility and reassures them that you are a solid professional person to contact.

- Write a blog post once a week or comment on blogs you read that prompt a response in you. You will find that this activity will keep you in touch with emerging trends and news and enable you to filter it through your unique perspective, as a specialist in what you do.

- Select LinkedIn Groups you want to be part of. Choose ones where execs in your target company are active and recruiters participate. Comment, ask for opinions on something, link people to relevant content.

- Make heavy use of LinkedIn Updates and Mentions. More on these in another post. This prominent real estate - the Updates - on your LI profile enables you to give real-time information about an interesting talk you heard, infographic you saw, presentation you are giving, or people who have impacted you professionally in a positive way. If you set your Settings so that the updates go out to your contacts, they will start to know you as an interesting person and active in your field. Mentioning someone's name too is something LI is promoting now - the person mentioned will get notified and a potential connection can be made.

This is JUST ONE plan for getting going in social media. There are lots of other possible ways to engage. But, for executives, this one gives you a solid start. For more on how to create a killer LI profile, see other blog posts here. Good luck and let me know how it goes!

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Topics: LinkedIn, networking, Twitter, Social media job search

7 Key Ways to Use Social Media in Your Job Search

Posted by Jean Cummings

Mar 3, 2013 6:06:00 PM

Using Social Media for Job SearchOne of the biggest concerns my executive clients have is how to use social media in their job search. They know that it's the new kid on the job search block, but they themselves have rarely gone beyond a bare bones LinkedIn profile (LIP). Facebook evokes shudders of horror, and Twitter is deemed trivial.

Some rethinking might be in order. Life calls on us to go out of our comfort zone on occasion - and this may be one of those times. See what you think about these steps to start actively leveraging the good in social media to promote your personal brand for job search and career advancement. Do they feel doable to you?

1. When you see a job you're interested in anywhere, use LI to connect with a couple of managers in the company that posted the job. Ask for 5-10 minutes of their time - say that you are interested in the job and want to find out a little bit about company culture, trends, etc. If it feels comfortable, request that they forward your resume to the hiring manager (not HR - submit that separately as instructed in the job ad). Why would they help you? Employees frequently get financially rewarded for referring a candidate that gets hired.

2. "Rinse and repeat" for your other social media sites: Identify employees, ask for a brief conversation, ask that they forward your resume to the hiring manager.

3. Reach out directly through LinkedIn to the recruiter or hiring manager. Express interest. Send your resume.

4. On Facebook, go to the company pages set up by your target companies and "Like" the company (recruiters say they notice "likes" more than comments!).

5. Expand your online footprint, so that when your name is Googled (and it will be!), you show up, on brand, in a number of places, not just LinkedIn.

6. Search for jobs on LI, Twitter, and Facebook every day or every other day. They (and job apps created around them) all have extensive job listings. To find third-party apps, Google like this: "[Twitter] job search."

7. Watch the activity of companies you are targeting. If you see they are going through M&A (mergers and acquisitions), opening up new offices, expanding product lines, etc., use that information to position yourself as a "solution" in a letter direct to the hiring manager (US Mail) or via email.

This is a limited list, but if you implement some or most of these items, you will be in a good position to both attract recruiter interest and get interviews. Practice until you become adept at leveraging the personal promotional potential of social media sites. Take the advice of my client who "poo-pood" these suggestions at first and now uses Twitter almost exclusively for Healthcare IT professional information. Do it and see. You'll be glad you did.

 

 

Tags: LinkedIn, Twitter, networking, social media job search, Pinterest, youtube

 

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Topics: LinkedIn, networking, personal branding, personal brand, Twitter, Social media job search, Pinterest, youtube

Job Search via Social Media While You Sleep! 10 Tips

Posted by Jean Cummings

Feb 17, 2013 10:43:00 AM

social media job search

Usually we think of "passive" being a negative descriptor, right? Well, in terms of job search and career management in general, being passive in social media is good! Being active is good too! It's a case, not of either/or, but of both/and. Today we're going to talk about the passive job search via social media. Once you implement the tips below, you can be attracting recruiter interest 24/7.

With the acceleration of social media use by recruiters and hiring authorities, no professional in transition should delay in taking advantage of these new job search channels. Here are some tips:

Passive Social Media Job Search - Make sure that when recruiters are searching for candidates on social media sites, they can find you. These are active things you can do so that you can passively job search.

  1. If you haven't done so already, put up a 100% complete LinkedIn profile (LIP): professional headshot; keyword-relevant, branded Headline; keyword-rich, branded Background and Skills & Expertise; Experience section with top accomplishments with their contexts; URLs for your personal website and your personal presence on Twitter Facebook, Pinterest, youtube, etc., and Recommendations.
  2. Enhance your LIP by joining groups and adding slides. Please note: former LI applications are being switched over to a new format in the form of media links to images, presentations, videos, documents. This feature is not rolled out to everyone yet. When it is, jump on it.
  3. Consider posting frequent updates in your LIP "Activity" space. If you have a public job search, keep your network (or a select number of your close connections) posted on your jobs search activites. It will keep you top-of-mind as they hear about job opportunities.
  4. Expand your network to 500+ by sending invitations to connect to managers in your target companies (where you'd like to work), recruiters in your industry, and everyone you know.
  5. Participate in select LI groups. Set aside dedicated time each week to make comments and start discussions in groups where your target companies, industry thought leaders, and recruiters hang out.
  6. Consider setting up a professional Facebook page. Facebook is the #2 place recruiters go among the social media sites.
  7. If you use Twitter, set up your Twitter feed to forward to your LIP. This frequent updating will improve your chance of being found in a Google search. Google loves new content!
  8. Get active on Twitter. One of my clients said he "poo-pood" this suggestion when I made it. Now that he has his great new job at 10% higher salary, he says that he gets the vast majority of his professional information from Twitter! Follow thought leaders and recruiters in your field.
  9. Tweet professional comments and interesting links on Twitter. Re-tweet, with comments, interesting tweets from people you are following.
  10. Comment on other people's blogs or arrange to be a guest blogger on blogs that have good visibility to people who might be in a position to help you with your job search.

This is a limited list, but if you implement some or most of these items, you will be in a good position to both attract recruiter interest and get interviews. Take the advice of my client: even if you "poo-poo" these suggestions, do them anyway! You'll be glad you did.

In our next blog post, we'll have 7 tips for actively job searching via social media.  Stay tuned!

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Topics: LinkedIn, networking, Twitter, Social media job search, Pinterest, youtube

Representing Your Company at a Conference? 10 Job Search Dos & Don'ts

Posted by Jean Cummings

Jan 7, 2013 7:50:00 AM

Job Search Dos and Don't at Conferences

Conferences can be goldmines for executives involved in a confidental job search. Here are 10 tips:

1. Do NOT ask about positions or do anything else close to looking for a job. Being paid to rep your company, you have to strictly observe your charge, loyalty to your company.

2. DO collect relationships lavishly - business cards from everyone - but, also, make an attempt to make a real connection so that you are memorable - use your brand "The strategic cloud computing expert with a business focus." Any non-work connections/interests will help you be memorable as well.

3.  Offer to help new contacts in any way that you can - including connecting them with people you know to help them with their job transitions, if they ask about that.

4. When you get home, invite all the people on your business cards to connect on LinkedIn - also follow them on Twitter.

5. Email the ones you feel you can trust with knowing about your confidential search and ask for a couple of names of people to contact at companies for which you may want to work. Be specific about position - Senior Director of IT - and size of company and industry, so that your contacts can be most helpful to you. Offer to do the same for them, either now or at any time in the future.

6. Select a trusted group of LI connections whom you want to keep updated on your job search. Send an update from LI each week or two telling them about any interesting new meetings or developments in your job search - to keep you "top of mind."

7. For all your connections, including your new conference ones, do regular LI updates - weekly or biweekly - about any (non-job search) activity at your company, your professional pursuits, etc. - again, to keep you top of mind.

8. Join LI groups where key connections belong. That includes recruiters who place IT executives!!!

9. Leverage the new contacts you've made at the conference and send out regular newsletters or links to your blog posts to them. If you don't have either now, consider either or both. They are fantastic networking vehicles.

10. Keep your new contacts alive through occasional personal emails or quick phone calls.

Networking is still the best way to get a job. Make it part of your professional life no matter whether you are in job transition or not. Contacts from conferences - because you can meet so many face-to-face - can be especially valuable, if you use the techniques above. Good luck!

Image attribution: FHSMUN 34


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Topics: job search, LinkedIn, networking, conference networking

How Becoming an eBay Seller Can Help Your Job Search

Posted by Jean Cummings

Sep 5, 2012 7:28:00 AM

eBay can help your job search

A few weeks ago I opened an eBay store and became an eBay seller for the first time. This is a sideline to my regular business, a way to indulge my avocation. It has been a very steep learning curve for me - how to set up a store, how to list and upload images, how to take good photos, how to source and price products, identify vendors, and engage with buyers, etc.

But I can tell you that in just a few short weeks I can see that the level of customer service you provide is everything on eBay. Here is the reason why it's important to provide exceptional customer service as a seller:

If you don't, your seller rating - number of stars and percentage of satisfied customers - goes down and people may not be willing to buy from you. Your rating is very obvious and a key reason why customers decide to trust you. People with Top Seller status, dependent on their rating, in part, get more traffic and can charge higher prices, because their service is known to be trustworthy.These are some ways that can help you get a good rating on eBay:

  • Have positive email interactions with buyers.
  • Ship out your products by priority mail - 2-3 day delivery.
  • Do it within 48 hours of receiving payment.
  • Contribute a percentage of every sale to a charity of your choice that is displayed on your page.

With eBay, you learn that it is critical to respond to customers POSITIVELY, VERY FAST, AND EVERY SINGLE TIME. I am struck with the almost-pleading requests many Top Sellers and others make to prospects/buyers below their product description. It goes something like this: "Please, if there is anything you don't like about the product, the shipping, or our communications, tell me first so that I can fix it. Do not just give me a negative rating. Let me make it right. Customer service is VERY important to me."

With your very livelihood at stake, you have to prioritize customer service as a critical value on eBay. So what does this have to do with job search? If you interact with your social networks, LinkedIn, your contacts at companies, interviewers, recruiters etc. with the level of customer service eBay conditions you to, you will be noticed, you will be remembered. How do you do this?

1. Respond to email and phone messages FAST.

2. Send out thank-you notes or emails IMMEDIATELY.

3. Communicate REGULARLY, CONSISTENTLY, AND POSITIVELY.

4. GO OUT OF YOUR WAY to meet the needs of the other.

5. Do your work and engage with other to a STANDARD OF EXCELLENCE.

6. Do 1-5 EVERY SINGLE TIME.

So customer service in your job search shouldn't be just one aspect of the process. Make it ALMOST EVERYTHING - and see what happens. Maybe 5 stars, 100% satisfaction, and Top Seller status will translate into the job of your dreams.

 

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Topics: job search, LinkedIn, networking, eBay, customer service

You don't want to do it...do it anyway! Facebook & Your Job Search

Posted by Jean Cummings

Aug 21, 2012 7:42:00 AM

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Facebook is considering launching a job board. How you react to this information in a Forbes' blog post may well impact your success in your job search some day soon:

Facebook Jobs Could Kill LinkedIn's Momentum

So, will Facebook eat LinkedIn's lunch re job search and recruitment? Never underestimate the power of the 900M-active-monthly-users Gorilla!

Can I tell you what the percentage of the time my tech exec clients say they steer away from Facebook? Approaching 99%.

Time to play catch-up ball! Already Facebook has job apps such as Glass Door and JobVite. With a new job board/aggregator, it will be a force to be reckoned with. Don't think recruiters haven't noticed the huge database that is Facebook. They have, and companies are already using Facebook to build a recruiting and employment-brand presence.

LI is still the #1 source with 89% of companies having hired people using LI. Only 26% have hired via Facebook. But those numbers may be about to change.

So get ahead of the curve. Establish a public profile on Facebook where you can post mostly professional activity. Or, if you have a personal profile that adds to your brand rather than subtracts from your hireability, begin to insert professional updates.

Being on Facebook doesn't have to be ugly! And it may well get you a job one of these days.

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Topics: job search, LinkedIn, personal branding, Facebook

2012 Survey on Hiring Trends Busts Resume Myths

Posted by Jean Cummings

Jul 19, 2012 11:09:00 AM

 Image Pow

Has anybody told you...

You MUST have a 1-page resume. Not true! The Career Directors International survey of recruiters, HR managers, and career coaches/resume writers shows that most people care more about the quality of the material than the length of the resume.

You MUST not go over two pages. NO, see reason above.

You MUST have a QR code on your resume. NO, so far there is no indication that this practice is catching on in a big way; if you put one on your resume, only some will click through.

A video resume is the way to go. NO, with 25% saying they would not view one and 13% saying they would, don't go out of your way to make one.

You don't need to be on social media. NO, Only 27% of people said they don't or rarely use social media to check out a candidate before deciding to interview them.

So, what should job seekers do in a positive direction?

  • Get on Facebook!
  • Get on Twitter!
  • Create a branded 100% complete LinkedIn Profile! Add apps!
  • Write a resume of 2-3 pages that has excellent content.
  • Visually present information so that the resume can be scanned in 1-2 minutes.
  • Extend your online identity footprint; make your content on other sites support your personal and career brand as expressed on your resume.
  • Take advantage of online opportunities for visuals: LinkedIn's slide app, Pinterest, youtube, etc.

Get in gear for the new job search with these suggestions!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Topics: job search, LinkedIn, executive resume writing, executive resume, Twitter, Facebook, social search

6 Ways to Ensure Your Job Search Will Likely Fail

Posted by Jean Cummings

May 29, 2012 2:34:00 PM

The new job search requires skill

It's amazing, though understandable, that so many people are pursuing job search strategies that are apt to yield no results.

The job search environment is more complex and requires greater sophistication to navigate than ever before. Here are 8 of the things you should not do to avoid getting stalled in your job search.

1. Give your resume to your contact list and assume you've done their networking

2. Failed to get your resume into the hands of the right people at all of your target companies

3. Spend significant time searching on job boards and company websites looking for jobs to apply to

4. Put your profile up on LinkedIn without attention to keywords and your personal/career brand and assume that "if you build it they will come"

5. Spend just a few hours per week on your job search

6. Do your entire job search from home without making appointments to meet with networking contacts and hiring authorities

The new job search is a social search - involving the use of Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook, among many others. These are places hiring authorities are looking for candidates. And they are places you can also create networking opportunities times 10.

The new job search is more competitive. Recruiters want 10 out of 10 of their requirements met. Hiring authorities can usually find someone who matches their needs on LinkedIn, which has become a Big Data resource for them.

That means there is a premium on alternative job search methods that will produce direct face-to-face contact with decision makers, a context in which you can pitch your value, not just be someone evaluated with a checklist. It also means that, to get results, you need to spend serious time each week looking for the right job.

The savvy job seeker of 2012 has mastered new skills that will hold him or her in good stead for now and into the future - understanding that new changes are sure to come that will require further adaptive skills.

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Topics: job search, LinkedIn, networking, resumes

Your Executive Resume is No Longer Your Calling Card

Posted by Jean Cummings

Feb 5, 2012 4:06:00 PM

Populate your online identity

Many things may happen before a recruiter or hiring authority ever sees your resume. These are some: s/he Googles your name, searches for you on LinkedIn, checks Facebook to see what kind of person you are, checks Twitter for evidence of thought leadership.

Then, if you pass those screens, s/he will typically, if hiring for a large company, see an Applicant Tracking System-generated form that has automatically sorted your resume into standard categories (summary, work, experience, education). If at that point you have passed muster, s/he may actually look at your nicely formatted Word resume or the ASCII/Text you submitted.

There are ways to optimize your online identity and resume submissions to improve your chances of being considered for a job. We've talked about some of them earlier in this blog. But what, fundamentally, do you have to do at every stage of your career attract the interest of employers? Show your work results.

Seth Godin has a gift for asking profound questions in a simple way and with few words, an anomoly even in the world of short-form blogs. One of his questions has to do with the answer to "Can I see your body of work?"

He says, "Few people are interested in your resume anymore. Plenty are interested in what you've done." So, how and where can you tell them what you've done, if your resume isn't the first thing they look at?

1. Your own website. Grab a URL from GoDaddy that is your name or your name + your professional identity:  JimJames.com or, if that's been taken, JimJames_Agile.com. Build out a simple 5-page blogsite using Typepad or Blogspot. Home page: your headshot and your branded value proposition. A second page with a beautifully formatted branded executive resume. A third page with selected leadership initiatives, project highlights, or success stories. A fourth with Testimonials about your work. A fifth with your blog. (Yes, the more we know about current competitive job markets, the more blogging - or active tweeting - can help you convey your thought leadership.) And PUT YOUR CONTACT INFO ON EVERY PAGE.

2. Put your branded executive resume with Challenge-Action-Results success stories after every position up on Google docs. Then publish it to the Web making it searchable by search engines. Google docs also lets you share Presentations and Spreadsheets to enrich your presentation of your brand.

3. Build out your LinkedIn Profile. Make it 100% complete and then use some of the apps that allow you to showcase further the value you bring to the table. PowerPoint Presentations, videos, your Twitter feed, reading list etc.

Doing these three things will give you a good foundation to build on as you progress in your career. Keep these items current. You can do this by keeping a record of your projects or inititives with their results and periodically uploading it.

Your identity on the Web should be on-brand and on display on as many professional properties as possible. Godin, with his signature cut-to-the-chase communications, says that if you don't have achievements to convey, you perhaps need a different job.

So, celebrate the work that you and your teams do. Let people know about it. Go public. Ensure that the recruiter or hiring manager going through the steps of an online search on your name pre-qualifies you before ever seeing your resume in hard copy!

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Topics: LinkedIn, executive resume, Online ID, online identity, online reputation management, Twitter, Facebook

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