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

Survey Shows Upsurge in Social Media Hiring: Job Search Tips

Posted by Jean Cummings

Sep 17, 2013 10:17:00 AM

 

LinkedIn & Job SearchWondering how much recruiters are using social media to source and vet candidates? Thinking you need to get more active in social networking to grow your career?

These findings from Jobvite's 2013 Social Media Recruiting Survey will give you insight into how much social media has influenced today's hiring practices:

  • 94% across industries have adopted or plan to adopt social recruiting
  • 78% of social recruiters have made a hire using social recruiting
  • In order of preference: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter are the networks of choice
  • Of the multi-channel strategy recruiters use, the channels that have grown the most are social networks, referrals, and corporate career sites
  • 93% of recruiters are likely to look at someone's social media profile

Other findings are important for job seekers to know. Here are some kinds of content that create strong negative responses in recruiters:

  • Illegal drug mentions 
  • Overtly sexual content
  • Profanity
  • References to guns
  • Pictures of alcohol consumption
  • Spelling/grammar mistakes

Strong positives are found for:

  • Volunteering & donations to charity

Neutrals are found for mention of politics and religion, interestingly enough, although I recommend you avoid being to fanatical about either.

Other sites recruiters may check are:

  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Google+
  • Blogs
  • Others

So, take note of the recruiter preferences above when you start to build out your online presence. We've coverered how to build your LinkedIn presence and use Twitter in other posts. We've also written about how to get hired using social media.

Don't lag behind this recruitment trend by ignoring social media in your job search strategy. Online identity can make or break a candidacy. Make sure yours is positive, continually expanding and on brand to grow your career. Good luck!

 

 

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Topics: job search, LinkedIn Profiles, recruiters, Social media job search, the social search

10+ Job Search Tasks to Complete Before September 3rd

Posted by Jean Cummings

Jul 23, 2013 9:29:00 AM

10+ job search tips to work on now

Traffic is less conjested, your favorite TV shows are doing reruns, and you can't count on reaching business people in a timely manner. Yup, it's mid-July and people are on vacation. But Labor Day is just 42 days away, and all that will soon change! The college students will be back, crowding the roads, vacations will be over, and managers will begin seriously looking for new hires to round out their teams. Will you be ready?

July and August are good time to be prepared for the upcoming hiring season (in between boating, going to the beach, and riding horses on a dude ranch!) Hiring is up in many professions, such as software development, and stagnant or down in others, like electrical engineering. But regardless of the jobs forecasts, there are things you can do that will help propel you to a new job.

1. Tune up your LinkedIn profile so that it has the keywords in each section, including headline, that will attract searches. Recruiters are taking advantage of the Big Data that is LI available to them, so you need to be highly competitive here.

2. Bring your profile up to 90%+ completeness. Enhance it with visuals, updates, a Twitter feed, or any other differentiating content, including real time content, that will reinforce your personal brand, your unique promise of value.

3. Grow your LI connections to 400+, join and/or identify 5 groups where the hiring managers for your field and function are present and active, and make a commitment to comment on at least one of them daily.

3. Kick your resume up to the next level. Take a look at resume templates on this site and those of my coleagues for guidance on how to ensure your resume looks professional and attractive, is easily scannable in 6 seconds, contains critical keywords in context, and communicates your brand.

4. Develop and/or add to your target company list. Once you have 50-500+ companies, write two stand-alone approach letters. One will be to your top 15 companies, and you will customize each one to specifically address how you can help the company's situation. The other will be customizable only in company name, address, contact information, and job title sought. Be ready to send the letters out in mid-September to hiring managers of your target companies. Get them ready now. Hire a virtual assistant to execute your direct mail campaign if you need to.

5. Develop your networking plan for when your contacts are back in the office after Labor Day. Do research on which of your contacts work for your target companies. When you get in touch, ask them for 5-10 minutes of their time to ask about company culture.

6. Select your tribe - your closest connections whom you can directly keep abreast of your job search efforts. People love a story and your job search is one! They may, in turn, keep their eyes and ears open for you without your needing to even ask. Leverage LinkedIn features to send out notifications to a select subset of your connections, use email, Twitter or Facebook.

7. Let this be the summer you begin to be more active on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook,and/or Pinterest. Decide which social media platform(s) will benefit you most in your industry and function and become more plugged in to where thought leadership is happening and who is leading the discussion. Consider starting a blog on one of the free blogging platforms and write a post once a week.

8. Prepare to connect or re-connect with your professional association(s). They are goldmines of contacts and opportunities to express your own branded thought leadership.

9. If recruiters are going to be a promising avenue for you, identify the ones active in your space and prepare to send them a resume and cover letter in the Fall so you get on their radar. Another way to get in touch with recruiters is to join the groups they're in on LI and ask to connect with them.

10. Sit down and establish a job search schedule to follow. Begin as soon as you can to follow it. If the above steps seem overwhelming, they can seem less so if you have a plan for making progress on each one of them. If you are unemployed, schedule 40 hours/week for these activities. If employed, plan when you are going to free up 12-20 hours to implement these strategies. Will you get up a half hour earlier? Block out afternoons on weekends? Be as specific and disciplined as you can.

(11) You'll notice that I didn't list checking job boards. I'm going to add that as an extra step, but a step you should spend only limited time on. Much of hiring does take place from job boards, but, for the individual, the chances are not very good that you will get a job from there. Checking the job aggregator sites liked indeed.com and simplyhired.com and one or more niche sites in your field/function should be sufficient. And, if you decide to send in materials, be sure to send them in in ASCII format, with the right keywords and customized content for the specific posting.

What i have outlined is a basic plan for being always ready in the job market for your next great opportunity. I know it seems like a lot, but think about what's at stake. +/-$100k in annual salary, the work satisfaction that can make 40+ of your waking weekly hours great or not so good, a path forward that will meet your goals for progressively advancing your career.

When you consider how important the outcome is to your life now and in the future, pursue these and other strategies in a steady, workmanlike manner. You have had some experience with project management, apply those principles to your job search. It is hard to do today's job search. And it does require learning new skills for many. But the payoff is huge. Good luck! Jean

 

 

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Topics: networking, recruiters, the new job search, today's job search, the social search

Job Search: What LinkedIn Tactic Will Get You Noticed by Recruiters?

Posted by Jean Cummings

Mar 16, 2013 7:59:00 AM

Secret LinkedIn Tip for Job SeekersI was prompted to write this post in response to a comment on an earlier blog post found both here and at CareerHubBlog:

7 Key Ways to Use Social Media in Your Job Search

Rory says:

"Thanks for sharing this, Jean. You make some good points - particularly as it concerns the value of a site like LinkedIn in the application process.

In all my years recruiting I've only had one candidate reach out to me on the site (and not even for a position I was sourcing), but I was so impressed that I went out of my way to get the recruiter actually handing the job to give the candidate a phone screen."

Amazingly, some of the simplest tactics can pack the biggest punch when it comes to job search. Going into your target company's Facebook page and clicking "Like" is one. Rory, the recruiter I quote above, confirms that reaching out through LinkedIn can work well.

Here's how to do it:

Find a way to connect with the recruiter working for the company (or, in Rory's case, any recruiter in the group). You can do this by reaching out through your first or second degree connections or using one of your Inmails (~$10/connect). Or, if you aren't connected, join a group that the recruiter is in (see Groups lower down in their profile). That will enable you to connect with another member of the group.

What do you say when you connect? That you saw the job posting and wanted to reach out directly. State your value proposition for that position and add a comment about something unique to that company - a challenge they are experiencing you can help with, for instance, an acquisition, new product line, expansion, new contract etc. Tie that challenge to your experience. Ask if they would be free to talk for 5 or 10 minutes about how your specific experience could help the company with the current challenge. Thank them and give them a phone number and email where you can be reached. Always have a professional voicemail message.

What if you can't find the recruiter or hiring authority on LinkedIn? Go to the company search bar and type in the name of the company. For many companies, employees who are on LI will be shown. Is there someone there who can connect with your target person because they are in the same dept, do a similar job, or are in the same location? Ask if they would like to talk for a few minutes about the company's culture and what it's like to work there - because you are interested in the company. If, when you are talking, the occasion arises for you to say you would like to submit a resume for a posted job, would they hand it to the hiring manager, all the better.

What if you can't find the recruiter or hiring authority on LinkedIn or don't have the name? Try a general Google search on the company name. Or go to Manta.com and find the company - they will often have officers of the company listed.

The short of it? LinkedIn offers a number of ways in - take advantage of all of them - become a LinkedIn athlete!

PS Taking non-obvious routes to get noticed in your job search are worth taking the time for. Another is to send a US Mail letter (no resume) directly to the hiring authority for the particular job. Do it overnight delivery and it will get opened.

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Topics: job search, networking, recruiters, LinkedIn for job search

In a Job Search? The #1 Thing To Do on Facebook Now

Posted by Jean Cummings

Dec 17, 2012 4:14:00 PM

image facebook logo

A recent survey asks recruiters what is the #1 way to get on a company's radar on Facebook? 86% say to "like" them on their company page.

If you've never checked out the company pages on Facebook, now's the time. Some companies have a robust, built-out presence - others have almost nothing. But if companies you are targeting are active on Facebook at all, you have a golden opportunity to interact with them there.  You can comment on the company's news, keep tabs on what they are doing, and "like" even specific comments.

It sounds as though recruiters are monitoring the activity - and it would benefit the job seeker who is part of it.

 

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Topics: networking, recruiters, faceboook, company pages

Is Your Executive Resume Ready for Prime Time? 2 Simple Tests

Posted by Jean Cummings

Oct 1, 2012 1:51:00 PM

Is your resume good enough?

Most people approach the matter of submitting their resume with some trepidation - certainly with the sense that there is some mystery surrounding whether a recruiter or hiring authority will, in the first place, see it at all and, in the second place, act positively on it. And so much rides on whether they do! Success or failure can make the difference between getting an interview or not.

So, what should a resume be these days? Everyone knows times have radically changed in terms of job search and recruiting. Old-fashioned networking is still a good way to get a job. But companies and job seekers alike are finding new opportunities for networking and search on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other online networks. And the increasing use and sophistication of applicant tracking software (ATS) has put a premium on knowing the keyword rules.

But there are a couple of tests you can run your executive resume through that will give you an idea of whether yours is ready for prime time. The first has to do with whether a human being viewing your resume will be inclined to put it in the Yes pile. The second has to do with whether your resume has a good chance of being retrieved electronically so the recruiter will actually see it.

Test #1 HUMAN EYES

Can the reader figure out your unique selling points in 4 seconds? Since you have ONLY 4 SECONDS to make an impression, is your resume set up to be visually accessible and with critical key content that will motivate the recruiter to contact you?

Test #2 ELECTRONIC RETRIEVAL

Does your resume have the keywords and formatting that will enable it to be retrieved in an electronic search by a hiring authority or recruiter for a specific job?

If you've answered "Yes" to both #1 and #2, read no further. But if you've answered "No" to either, keep reading for 6 quick pointers on effective ways to get your resume to pass both these tests.

HUMAN EYES - 3 POINTERS

1.Customize your resume for each opportunity. State your career brand - your unique promise of value for that specific opportunity - right at the top under your contact information. If you don't know what yours is, look through my earlier posts or contact a Certified Personal Branding Strategist like myself for help.

2. Use the target title (as listed in the ad) somewhere in your profile, and use the core competencies required for the particular job somewhere in your profile, preferably in text or in columns/lists if you have too many. This is important, because when a human being scans your resume, s/he will be looking for a match with their open job.

3. Make your top accomplishments stand out visually. For instance, in the experience section below your job title, select the one stand-out contribution you made when you held that particular job title. Then bold it, box it and/or graph it. And use numbers! Then there will be just 3-5 such statements over your whole career that the eye will have to process. Take advantage of the 4 seconds you get to whet the recruiter's appetite for reading about the other accomplishments for each position in more detail!

ELECTRONIC "EYES" - 3 Pointers

1. Identify the keywords in the ad. They will be the required and desired titles, skills, degrees, training and technologies listed. Try to include them in the text portions of your resume as well as in lists/columns. Newer, more sophisticated ATS systems can identify keywords in context and may drop or give less value to lists.

2. Save your resume in ASCII/text format. This is because the formatting you use in your Word version may not translate well, therefore making your resume very hard to read. To save a Word doc as a .txt file, choose Save As from your drop down menu under File and select "text only" - then clean it up and save.

3. Keep your section headings simple and obvious in your ASCII/text version: Summary, Work Experience, Education. The ATS is geared to look for these. If it doesn't recognize a heading, it may well drop that whole section, deep-sixing your resume's chances.

Although all of the above may sound daunting, make every attempt to render your executive resume both people- and machine-friendly. Swing the odds in your favor!

 

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Topics: personal branding, executive resume, executive job search, ATS, recruiters

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Tyrone Norwood