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

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

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

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

Job Search Next Practices: Online Identity as Competitive Advantage

Posted by Jean Cummings

Jan 26, 2012 4:20:00 PM

Build out your online identity to get a job

You'd be surprised, but only about one out of 10 of the technology executive clients I speak to have a built-out online identity - that is, they show up in more places than just LinkedIn. The time is past when a progressing executive can afford to be invisible on the Web. In fact, a built-out Web presence can serve as a critical competitive advantage, whether you are in a job search mode or not. The one thing to remember is:

EVERYONE GOOGLES EVERYONE!

This is even more true of recruiters and hiring authorities. In fact, the executive resume may well be one of the last pieces of marketing content they see, following the LinkedIn profile, FaceBook, Twitter, and whatever else they turn up in a Google search of your name.

This fact is actually good when you consider that you are able to present yourself and your career brand in full-color 3-D. Let's look at the sought-after candidate of the future:

  • He doesn't just have a 100% complete LinkedIn profile, he takes advantage of everything LI can do. He adds a PowerPoint presentation to convey subject matter expertise or achievement. His Twitter feed on LI shows that he is in touch with what's going on in the industry and function. A video he embeds in his profile gives viewers a chance to see him in action and hear his voice. His Groups activity demonstrates once again that he is a player. He provides insightful Answers.
  • She has a Twitter profile and a significant following of at least hundreds of interested followers. Her tweets are a record of her professional interests, expertise, and resource sharing.
  • She skillfully blends professional and personal on her Facebook page, ensures that Timeline has a clean record of her comments, and puts up a profile on Monster's BeKnown.
  • He uses Slideshare or Sliderocket to store PowerPoint presentations.
  • He is on YouTube giving talks on his areas of subject matter expertise.
  • She may have tasteful photos on Flickr that show more of her life, including travels, family, etc.
  • He has profiles up on Jigsaw, ZoomInfo, and other similar sites.
  • He has an about.me page with URLs to properties where he can be found online.
  • She has her own personal website or blogsite where you can see her resume, testimonials, projects, leadership highlights, etc.
  • She blogs regularly on professional issues and comments on other people's blogs.

Perhaps a Google of Bing search will also turn up entries from press releases, published materials, speaking engagements, etc.

It simply will no longer be enough to just have a resume if you are embarked on a job search or seeking advancement within your own organization. So begin now to build out your online identity so that a search will find on-brand content you want people to see. If you do so at the dawn of 2012, you will have an edge on the competition.

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

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