A Time-Tested Model For Job Search Success

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By Gordon Walter

Simple and straightforward, the following basic job search model works over and over again.  This is not to minimize the fact that effectively looking for a job is hard work.  But the steps to getting there can be boiled-down to the following:

·         Be motivated.  Ensure attitude is positive and upbeat (even if you do not feel that way).

·         Seek assistance.  Be proactive and do not hesitate to ask for help from family, friends or a job search professional.

·         Select appropriate job search approach.  There are many good ones out there, and many work just fine.  The secret is to pick one and get started.

·         Assess skills and identify core competencies.  The Internet or your local library are replete with many fine resources that are available to help with this.   Other good sources can be found at the Career Center website of a university or your local community college.

·         Develop job search plan.  Establish a budgeted amount of time for job search activity, set some goals and when they will be accomplished.

·         Conduct research on jobs, employers, and communities.  Thanks to the Internet, there is a huge amount of information available concerning employers.  GlassDoor.com is a helpful resource on a number of topics, including employer pay, benefits and employment practices.

·         Prepare due diligence to ensure effectively written applications, resumes and letters.  Spend the time NOW to prepare resume, cover letter templates and other correspondence.  Insure they are PERFECT, and ready to send if potential employer suddenly says “send me a resume.”

·         Network for information, advice and referrals.  It is an undeniable fact that most people who get jobs get them as a result of networking.  It can be hard work, but resist the temptation to sit at a computer cranking out resumes to job boards, and spend the MAJORITY of your time in networking activity.

·         Develop winning job interview skills.  Consult with job search websites or contact a skilled professional.  Some employers have honed the selection process to a high art, and you need to be ready updated on what to say, not say, and contemporary thinking on the best interviewing protocols.  The higher a job is on the organization chart, the more complex a hiring process can be.

Motivated * Assistance * Approach * Core Competencies * Research * Due Diligence * Network * Interview Skills

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5 Tips for Job Interviewing Success

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By Marie Magdala Roker

Anyone who is a job seeker knows that looking for a new job or career is a job in itself. Once you have completed the laborious task of writing your resume and submitting it to various companies, you now have to pass the screen test to get the job. Interviews are the gateway to landing your ideal job. These five tips will help you get own your way to making that job yours.

Tip 1.  Be Confident – Your first impression is your only impression.  Nothing is worse than a limp handshake, slumped shoulders, poor eye contact or poor communication skills. A potential employer can tell immediately if you are the man or woman for this job by your body language. Although aggressiveness is a turn-off, being passive gives the indication that you are not sure of yourself or your qualifications. Keep eye contact when answering questions or when the interviewer is speaking directly to you. Smile occasionally to show your interest and enthusiasm. Keeping a steady gaze on the interviewer can be disturbing to an interviewer. Look away occasionally. Lean forward to show that you are interested in what the interviewer is saying. Speak in a concise and clear voice. If you have problems annunciating certain words, don’t try to use them on an interview. If this is difficult for you, practice with a mirror and pay attention to your facial expressions.

Other interview killers: Slouching in a chair, Crossing your arms, Playing with your hair or jewelry, Leaning back in chair

Tip 2. Act As If You are what you believe.  Act as if you had the job. What would you do if you had this position? How would you act? How would a person in this position act and speak? What are your responsibilities in this position? What is a typical day like for you in this job? Change your attitude towards yourself and your strengths. If you start thinking that you won’t get the job, you will do small unnoticeable things to sabotage your chances. Great free resource: www.confidenceworld.com.

Tip 3Know The Company/Know the business.  I once sat on a couple of interviews where the interviewees did not do any research on the company. This sends a message that you are looking for any job, not this specific job. Once you’re interview is scheduled, get on the net and start finding out everything you can about the company. A good place to start is www.hoovers.com, which gives you industry information, top competitors, names of CEO, etc. If you’d like to know what current or former employees have to say about the company, try www.wetfeet.com. Beware of disgruntled postings. Call the company headquarters and ask for the marketing department to get specific information. Weave your research into the interview by stating. I read an article in the Wall Street Journal, which mentioned that your company is thinking about XYZ. This lets the interviewer know that you have taken the time to know more about the company. You can ask questions about something you read, but don’t challenge them or you’ll come across as a know-it-all.

Tip 4.  Be Prepared – Know what to say.  Most interviewers ask the same standard questions about your strengths, weaknesses, former employers, work history. If you are being interviewed by several people, this might be a good cop, bad cop situation. Pay attention to who is playing bad cop, they are looking for signs of weakness and dishonesty. To be well prepared, before the interview, write out all your accomplishments, both personal and professional. List your strengths and weaknesses. Be honest, it’s easier to remember the truth than it is a lie. Extra Tip: Write out situations in which you have demonstrated: leadership skills, determination, stress management, creativity, and flexibility. Be prepared to answer the question: Why do you want this job? If you’re not sure, reevaluate your decision. If you arrive a few minutes early, review what you wrote in the waiting room before the interview. Great list of interview questions: http://www.indiana.edu/~libpers/interview.html

Tip 5.  Ask For The Job – You get what you ask for.  The most important step in the interviewing process is one most people miss. ASK FOR THE JOB! Most interviewers are waiting for that closure. If you have done everything exceptionally well during the interviewing process, but have not asked for the job, you’ve just wasted an interview. Asking for the job shows the potential employer that you are assertive, confident and right for the job. It might feel uncomfortable, but this is your only chance to ask for something you really want. Make sure your voice is firm and you make eye contact. Think of it as your closing argument, you’ve got to win over the jury. You should also ask the interviewer if he or she thinks you are right for the job. Even if they tell you something unpleasant, think of it as a lesson learned. However, do yourself a favor and ask for the job. You deserve it!

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10 Words and Terms That Ruin a Resume

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By Charles Purdy, Monster.com Senior Editor*

Your resume needs an update — that is, if your resume is like that of most people, it’s not as good as it could be.  The problem is language:  Most resumes are a thicket of deadwood words and phrases — empty cliches, annoying jargon and recycled buzzwords.  Recruiters, HR folks and hiring managers see these terms over and over again, and it makes them sad.

Wouldn’t you rather make them happy?  It’s time to start raking out your resume, starting with these (and similar) terms.

1. “Salary negotiable.”  Yes, they know.  If you’re wasting a precious line of your resume on this term, it looks as though you’re padding — that you’ve run out of things to talk about.  If your salary is not negotiable, that would be somewhat unusual.  (Still, don’t put that on your resume either.)

2. “References available by request.”  See the preceding comment about unnecessary terms.

3. “Responsible for ______.”  Reading this term, the recruiter can almost picture the C-average, uninspired employee mechanically fulfilling his job requirements — no more, no less.  Having been responsible for something isn’t something you did — it’s something that happened to you.  Turn phrases like “responsible for” into “managed,” “led” or other decisive, strong verbs.

4. “Experience working in ______.”  Again, experience is something that happens to you — not something you achieve.  Describe your background in terms of achievements.

5. “Problem-solving skills.”  You know who else has problem-solving skills? Monkeys.  Dogs.  On your resume, stick to skills that require a human.

6. “Detail-oriented.”  So, you pay attention to details.  Well, so does everyone else.  Don’t you have something unique to tell the hiring manager?  Plus, putting this on your resume will make that accidental typo in your cover letter or resume all the more comical.

7. “Hardworking.”  Have you ever heard the term “show — don’t tell?”  This is where that might apply.  Anyone can call himself a hard worker.  It’s a lot more convincing if you describe situations in concrete detail in which your hard work benefited an employer.

8. “Team player.”  See the preceding comment about showing instead of telling.  There are very few jobs that don’t involve working with someone else.  If you have relevant success stories about collaboration, put them on your resume.  Talk about the kinds of teams you worked on, and how you succeeded.

9. “Proactive.”  This is a completely deflated buzzword. Again, show rather than tell.

10. “Objective.”  This term isn’t always verboten, but you should use it carefully.  If your objective is to get the job you’ve applied for, there’s no need to spell that out on your resume with its own heading.  A resume objective is usually better replaced by a career summary describing your background, achievements and what you have to offer an employer.  An exception might be if you haven’t applied for a specific job and don’t have a lot of experience that speaks to the position you’d like to achieve.

* Used with permission

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Cracking the Coding Interview

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Cracking the Coding Interview, 6th Edition is here to help you through this process, teaching you what you need to know and enabling you to perform at your very best. I’ve coached and interviewed hundreds of software engineers. The result is this book.

Learn how to uncover the hints and hidden details in a question, discover how to break down a problem into manageable chunks, develop techniques to unstick yourself when stuck, learn (or re-learn) core computer science concepts, and practice on 189 interview questions and solutions.

These interview questions are real; they are not pulled out of computer science textbooks. They reflect what’s truly being asked at the top companies, so that you can be as prepared as possible. WHAT’S INSIDE?

  • 189 programming interview questions, ranging from the basics to the trickiest algorithm problems.
  • A walk-through of how to derive each solution, so that you can learn how to get there yourself.
  • Hints on how to solve each of the 189 questions, just like what you would get in a real interview.
  • Five proven strategies to tackle algorithm questions, so that you can solve questions you haven’t seen.
  • Extensive coverage of essential topics, such as big O time, data structures, and core algorithms.
  • A behind the scenes look at how top companies like Google and Facebook hire developers.
  • Techniques to prepare for and ace the soft side of the interview: behavioral questions.
  • For interviewers and companies: details on what makes a good interview question and hiring process

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Interviewing Basics

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By Duncan Gotobed

Let’s face it successful interviewing is much more than just giving the right answers to questions. As with most things, preparation is the key to success. Without proper preparation, you will go into an interview as if you were driving a car blindfolded and on the wrong side of the road.

Plan your travel route.  The last thing you want to do is get lost or be late for an interview, so plan your travel route ahead of time. Find out where the interview will take place and decide how you will get there (car, bus, taxi, etc.), then conduct a “trial run” using that mode of transportation. Factor in any other possible complications such as road construction or rush hour traffic do determine how long it will take you to get to the interview.

Once you know how long it takes to get there and you have factored in other issues such as traffic, add at least 15 minutes to the amount of time you think it will take. This extra bit of “insurance” means you will be better able to deal with unforeseen events and last minute issues.

Get to know the organization.  Potential employers want to know that you are interested enough in their organization to learn a bit about it before an interview. Conducting research to learn about an organization also demonstrates that you are proactive, forward thinking, and willing to put in extra effort to be better prepared.

The internet is an excellent tool for researching an organization, as are marketing brochures and annual reports from the organization. Ask around to your friends and professional contacts to find out if anyone has any experience with or knowledge of the company. Some experts also recommend that you check the electronic archives of the local newspaper to see what, if anything has been written about the company over the previous twelve months or so.

Plan your approach.  Once you get to the interview you will have to “sell” yourself. The interviewer will be evaluating you on the answers you give to questions, of course, but also on many other things that you might not think about, so plan for these in advance.

Dress the part.  The way you are dressed and how you enter the interview room have a huge effect on the first impression you make. Select an outfit that is appropriate for the culture of the organization (conservative, modern, casual, etc.) and practice walking into the interview room with confidence and a smile.

Plan and practice your answers to likely questions, especially those behavioral-based questions that are so popular right now. Here are a couple of example questions:

  • Describe a situation in which you had to deal with an angry customer.
  • Describe a situation in which you made a mistake

The key to successfully answering these questions is to cover three key things – the situation, the action you took, and the result you achieved.  Keep your stories short and factual, and even practice them in advance so that you become fluent when talking about them.

Make no mistake about it, the better prepared you are the more comfortable you will feel in your interview

ABOUT THE AUTHOR.  Duncan Gotobed makes it easy for you to get your next job and hit the ground running. Learn more great ways to enhance your employability. Visit Top Briefings.com today to access a range of e-briefings that can help you become more successful.

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Behavioral Interviewing Questions

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By R.J. Sullivan  

Behavioral interviewing uses behaviors presented in the past to predict future behavior.  It is the best interviewing method to avoid gut feelings, stereotypes and biases.  

The focus on behaviors will allow you to choose the best candidate for the job.

Behavioral interviewing is the most effective way to hire a qualified employee. It takes gut feelings, stereotypes and biases out of the process and allows you to look at candidates in more scientific terms. The process is called behavioral because it uses behaviors presented in the past to predict future behaviors. The process sounds easy but it takes practice and persistence. You need to know the exact behaviors that are critical for the job you are interviewing for and then you need to prepare questions that will illicit the responses you need to analyze the candidates behaviors. When you ask behavioral interviewing questions it is imperative that you probe and allow the candidate time and silence to answer the questions.

  1. Give me an example of a time you where you had a particularly difficult customer and how you handled the situation.
  2. Describe for me a situation where you didn’t agree with a company policy and learned to work within the confines of that policy.
  3. Give me an example of a time when you were given instructions by your manager that you didn’t agree with and how you handled the situation.
  4. Tell me about a time when you had conflict with a co-worker and how you were able to resolve that conflict.
  5. Give me an example of a time when you provided extraordinary service and please be specific with the steps you took to achieve this result.
  6. Describe for me a time when you didn’t understand how to complete a task and what you did to finish the work.
  7. Tell me about a time that you had to use creativity to solve a problem at work.
  8. Tell me about a time when you were not feeling well or in a bad mood and had to motivate yourself at work.
  9. Describe for me a time that you had a co-worker with a bad attitude and how you handled that situation.
  10. Give me an example of a time you made a mistake when working with a customer and how you handled the situation.

Remember to research the behaviors needed for the position you are interviewing for and prepare your questions carefully. Also, use silence and probe further so you can get the information needed to make an informed hiring decision. Behavioral interviewing will take the gut feelings, stereotypes and biases that we all have out of the equation and you will make better hiring decisions.

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Phone Interviewing Quiz

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Most interviewing processes start and stop with the phone interview. In our opinion this is the most important interview. Not only because if you fail here the process stops, but mainly because it sets the stage for the in-person interview if you do well. Have a great phone interview and the mindset of the person bringing you in for the face-to-face interview is already positive, they believe you must be qualified, and you are starting out in a strong position.

Here is a quick quiz to see if you are ready to, “Win The Phone Interview.” Answer these in your mind, not fair if you already read the book or downloaded the free chapter. (Answers below)

  1. List all three factors that can be measured during a phone interview. Must list all three.
  2. How long should you talk before re-engaging the interviewer?
  3. Is the format for answering a question different than a face-to-face? If so, what is different?
  4. Is there a possible benefit from not answering the phone? If yes, what is it?
  5. What is the only purpose of a phone interview?

If you can answer all of these, then you are aware of how different the phone interview is from the in-person interview. If you can’t answer all of them then you should consider doing your homework. It is possible you’ve missed an opportunity because you were weeded out during a phone interview.

To help you, we have a number of completely FREE resources to make sure you know how to win the phone interview.

  1. Our chapter on “Winning the Phone Interview” from our job search workbook is free to download. It answers all these questions and more.
  2. We just posted a 1 hour audio file from our radio show focused completely on the phone interview.
  3. There are also a number of other blog entries dedicated to the phone interview for you to read.
  4. Our Linkedin discussion group is a great forum to discuss any issues you have regarding your job search.
  5. Our monthly Candidate Open Forum tele-conference has been one of our most successful methods to discuss all job search related topics. These forums fill up in less than a day. Click here for the next date and time.

Please consider taking advantage of these. They are all free tools you can use to ensure you not only win the phone interview, but win the job.

Help your friends and family know how they can win a phone interview by sharing this with them.

Please let us know how you did on the quiz. Did you really know all of the answers?

Answers:

  1. Energy level, technical abilities and communication skills
  2. 1 minute.
  3. Yes, since it shorter and you can’t read their body language it is very important that your answers are succinct and impactful.
  4. The hiring manager leaves a message sayingArticle Search, This is the VP of HR from ABC company. I’m calling about X opening and would like to speak with you.” Now you can do some basic research on the company.
  5. To screen you in or screen you out.

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Smile, You’re On Video-Conference! Overcoming Obstacles When Job Interviewing

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By Karen Friedman

In today’s competitive job market, companies are looking for ways to save money when interviewing prospective job candidates.  For many, that means being interviewed by satellite or video conference versus a trip to the home office.  How can you shine?  What do you need to know about making a good impression from miles away?

It’s all the rage especially if your company is doing a little belt tightening and you can score some points by saving a few bucks. Instead of paying for travel expenses and spending your free time whining and dining a lot of potential job candidates, what about speeding up the time consuming process by conducting the interview during a videoconference that is inexpensive by comparison? Companies can save time until they’ve narrowed the search and job seekers can try to impress without traveling to all corners of the globe. After all, universities offer videoconference lecture series and companies frequently use the technology to hold global meetings. In fact, a study on web conferencing quoted in HR Magazine shows the market jumping nearly 300 percent between 2005 and 2011, to $2.9 billion. So clearly, the technology is certainly gaining popularity. The question is: to whose advantage?

While there are clearly benefits, from where I sit as a communications coach, there are also a host of barriers that prevent job candidates from feeling at ease and making their best impression. How can you possibly connect with someone and make them feel who you really are if you can’t shake their hand and look them directly in the eye? It’s like buying a car without taking it for a test drive. Given that first impressions are critical, if the job applicant is unfamiliar with the technology, appears nervous or looks off, then decision makers may form incorrect impressions. Then there’s the lighting issue. If the lighting isn’t good, the applicant can look pasty or washed out. Additionally, there are often delays as video and audio are compressed and transmitted between locations. So, that means people unknowingly talk over each other or try to fill the silence without realizing that those on the other end of the connection are still listening to someone’s response. On the other side of the screen, interviewers often forget that they are also visible and need to make a good impression. That means no slouching, checking e-mail; leafing through magazines and making potential employees feel as if they’re boring you.

Like any interview or presentation, the key to success is for both sides to prepare in advance. The first step would be to set up a phone call and talk about videoconferencing etiquette.

PHONE PRIMERS – Before the interview, the company should schedule a phone call with the applicant to explain video protocol. For example, tell them how the room will be set up, who will be there, where to look, how wide the video image will be or what technical issues could arise. Can they interrupt? Who will hear them? Will there be feedback or delay time? What’s the format and how much time will they have? It’s up to the company to send a message that says they want the interview to be successful for the prospect.

THINK TV – Appearing for a video interview is a bit like being on TV. You have to connect with people you can’t see so it’s important to engage your audience quickly. In most cases, you want to look directly into the camera so you seem completely attentive to the people on the other side of the screen. The trick is to appear natural and not over focus on the camera which is very hard for an untrained person to do. Instead, pretend that camera is one person. As a former television reporter, I used to speak to more than one million people every evening. By pretending the camera was my Mom or a friend, it was easier to speak from the heart and focus on the information I wanted to convey. It’s also important to gesture and use your hands so you’re animated, but movements can be magnified on the screen so aim for smaller, smoother movements.

DRESS FOR SUCCESS – What looks good in your mirror doesn’t always translate to the big screen. The number one rule is to wear what makes you feel good as long as it doesn’t distract from your message. For women, that means leaving big earrings, frilly tops and clunky jewelry at home. But putting on some lipstick, eyeliner and a little blush will prevent you from looking washed out. Both sexes should avoid small patterns like checks and tweeds which can “bleed” on screen. As for colors, warm bright colors typically look great, but if that’s not your style, think contrast such as a white shirt with a navy blazer as opposed to just a white shirt. And men, a viewer’s eye will go straight to your tie, so make it a good one! Finally, find out what the background is. If you’re up against a green screen and you wear green, oops, you’ll disappear.

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT – Set up a video camera and practice with a pal who can ask you questions and offer feedback. Play it back and check your body language, expressions and pace. Are you talking too fast? Are you speaking loud enough? Do you look friendly and approachable?

While videoconferencing should not replace face to face interviewing, as technology gets easierScience Articles, so will video interviewing. And the job of tomorrow may very well come down to the person who seems at ease on camera.

 

The ABC’s of Writing a Competitive LinkedIn Profile

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By Gordon Walter

A LinkedIn profile can be beautifully written, with perfect grammar/punctuation/prose and be ignored entirely by hiring professionals.  Following are primary considerations for job seekers when writing a LinkedIn profile that is more likely to attract the right kind of attention and get results.

Achievement Emphasis.  Employers are naturally searching for the best.  The great thing about LinkedIn is sometimes the job comes to you.  With this in mind, you must think of your profile as a marketing tool to promote your performance successes in the summary and experience sections.  Even if in your modesty all you can think of is that you had excellent attendance, then highlight it.  You know that it will be music to some employer’s for whom attendance is a keyword.

Appearance.  There are two significant ways in which a LinkedIn summary will be viewed: desktop or mobile.  Depending on which platform, only so many characters will appear on the profile summary:

  • Desktop: the first 220 characters are immediately visible, with the rest requiring a user click on “View More.”
  • Mobile: the first 92 characters are immediately visible.

Because viewers will need to take an extra step to see this other content, each of those first 220 and 92 characters are critical: 58 percent of LinkedIn’s users are viewing it via mobile (LinkedIn 2016 Q1 quarterly results), so maximizing the impact of those first 92 characters is especially important.

These two broad categories are technically further divisible by platform: on the desktop, what web browser (Chrome, Firefox, Edge/IE, or Safari) is used; on mobile, which OS (Android, iOS or Windows) applies.  Sometimes, website information is not displayed uniformly on each platform, OS, or screen size. However, differences are likely to be minor and, in the vast majority of cases, hard to notice.

Authentic. Don’t be afraid to communicate something authentic and personal, while remaining positive: this can make a substantial difference.

Blog Leverage.  If you have a WordPress-type blog, it is good to feed it into your profile (unless, of course, the content is not in alignment with LinkedIn.  To enable this setting, select “More” in the main navigation bar, then select “Applications.” From there, choose the WordPress application and enter the link to your feed.  The blog will then appear in your profile and will update each time a new post is added.

Buzzwords.  What do the words responsible, creative, effective, analytical, strategic, patient, expert, organizational, driven, and innovative have in common? They are on LinkedIn’s list of the most overused buzzwords on their site.  If you look closely, these words are not likely to be keywords and therefore can be readily replaced.  The text will read and sound more alive with the use of such words minimized.

Connections – Play The Numbers.  Maintaining 50 or fewer connections on LinkedIn tells recruiters one of three things: A. You do not know many people; B. You avoid connecting with others, or C. Technology and social media are not your “thing.”  None of these have a good connotation.  It is not at all necessary to have many hundreds of connections to have an effective network.  LinkedIn recommends approximately 200-250 people is a connections “sweet spot.”

Current Job – Even When There Is None.  Since many recruiters search exclusively using the “Current Title” box to search for candidates; you should create a job listing in the current section that includes the job title(s) you’re targeting, e.g., “Full-Time Student/Financial Analyst in Training.  This should be followed by a phrase such as “In Transition” or “Seeking New Position” in the Company Name box.

Discretion.  People are often fearful of doing anything on LinkedIn because their employer may find out.  Settings can be adjusted, so your boss doesn’t see it.  The privacy settings are easy to find:  sign in, and click “settings” in the drop-down menu, where your name appears in the upper right-hand corner, and make the appropriate selection.

Endorsements.  Endorsements can be a great way to highlight skills, as long as your profile isn’t top-heavy with too many.  Keeping your skills updated.  As new skills are developed, or new responsibilities are added, drop the somewhat outdated skills and add the ones you want to be known for.  Visitors to your page, will then only see the most relevant skills.

Enthusiasm – Is Contagious.  People who are energized are more exciting and can come across as having much to contribute.  Ensure profile shows interest.  Join and participate in groups related to your profession.  Use “Status” line to announce what you are doing professionally.  Share articles, news, and relevant updates.  Connect with recognized industry leaders.  It all works to attract good attention and to build your “Brand.”

Findable.  Do not neglect to add your contact information (e.g., email address (or blog, or Twitter handle, etc.), to the contact information section of your resume.

First Person.  First-person should not be used on a resume, but it is OK to use it on LinkedIn.  As previously stated, never use third-person.

Fit.  When hiring for permanent positions, hiring managers and other decision-makers have a strong preference for prospective employees who are a good fit; those who can comfortably fit into the organization’s culture.  Some places are of a more laid-back character and prefer people to work collaboratively.  Other places are comfortable with confrontation when views differ.  Others still will prioritize individual initiative to a greater or lesser extent.

As you know, every recruiter and many hiring managers have questions they ask to gauge how strong culture fit a candidate may be, with those less strong a fit being weeded out by those questions.  But as importantly: recruiters are fed up with all of the “detail-oriented,” “motivated” professionals.  Those catchphrases appear far too many times in far too many cases where these terms do not apply.

Groups.  LinkedIn Groups are an excellent source of education as well as job search activity. Joining a group relevant to your profession/industry shows that you are engaged in your career.  Also, you will forge connections to people and some relevant discussions to keep you informed and up-to-date.

Headline.  The headline doesn’t have to be job title and company.  Be innovative by using headline space to briefly showcase your specialty or value-added.  The more specific you can be about what sets you apart from the competition, the better.

Job Description.  Look at job descriptions of targeted positions, and insert them into a word cloud tool like “Wordle.”  See which words stand out.  They are likely what recruiters are searching for.  Make sure those words and phrases are sprinkled throughout summary and experience.

Keywords – Which Ones?  Identifying the right keywords to use in your LinkedIn profile summary can seem a bit overwhelming, but there are resources available to help find them:

  • Organization Charts. If there is a more senior, well-respected professional in your field, look at that person’s LinkedIn profile (Use LinkedIn Search function to locate).  Copy/paste his or her summary into your favorite word cloud site (Wordle.net is a popular one) and see what keywords are most prominent.  Do the same with the summary you are currently using, and compare the results.  Repeat this process with others, and a pattern should emerge.
  • Job Advertisements. Job advertisements are also content that is job-oriented and keyword-based and hence is also a great resource.  Once you identify the targeted job title for your search, look at job advertisements for the job title and its variations.  I copy/paste this text into a Word document.  Those words/phrases that are repeated are the keywords.
  • It goes without saying, but keywords of behavior, skills, and attributes that do not apply to someone’s experience cannot be used.  Also, a great profile not only has the right keywords but is also appealing to a human reader. Take the time to pull the keywords and the narrative together, so your profile is engaging and easy to read.

This list of keywords should then be the framework upon which the resume and profile are written.  Any skills, accomplishments, etc. that do not align with this keyword list should be considered of secondary importance and therefore not included.

Keywords – Work In LinkedIn.  When writing a resume, the intended audience is another person, but when it comes to a LinkedIn profile, the writing is more for search engines.  Recruiters and others search LinkedIn to find talent matching their needs, so the right keywords turning up in these search results is necessary.  There is an entire science to this discipline: search engine optimization.

Although the specifics of search engine optimization (SEO) are very technical, the concept is a simple one: keywords and their variations.  Anyone who has used a search engine understands how important the search terms can be.  And for the same reason, these keywords are highly relevant in a job search.

Multimedia.  LinkedIn permits adding photos, videos, and slideshows to your profile summary.  Instead of just talking about your work, you can show examples. As long as information shared is not proprietary to the employer, is OK to use.  If something might be legally protected, you can create a sample presentation on a relevant topic that shows your communication and presentation abilities.  Such material can make the profile way more interesting to read and prompt an employer to want to know more.

Numbers.  Highlight past results in summary, and when possible, include numbers and case studies that prove success.  Do not underestimate the power of a few key statistics to impress a reader.

Overdoing.  As LinkedIn offers a growing list of cool features and functionality, it is tempting to take “some of each.”  As with many other things in life, the Law of Diminishing Returns can apply to LinkedIn.  Invite others to assess your profile and give feedback.  If it appears to be a bit too much, then less can be more.  Remember, if, in a job search mode, you want your future employer to see the behaviors, skills, and abilities you have to offer in relationship to how they will help them.  You do not want that central message “lost in the lights.”

People – Known To You.  There is some inherent risk in accepting requests to connect with people you do not know.  Social risks aside, if enough people reject your request and say they do not know you, it is possible that LinkedIn will shut down your account.

Personalize.  Even though the profile is LIKE a resume, in other ways is not a resume.  Confusing?  Yes, a little.  The profile should be written as if in a conversation, so is perfectly reasonable to insert something of whom you are, your personality.  Things like values and passions are permissible to mention, though always when in alignment with the keyword list for targeted positions, industry, etc.  Therefore it is OK to mention the part of you that exists outside the workplace.  However, I tend to steer clear of listing activities that could be offensive to some people/organizations.  Your call whether to include something and if in doubt, go for it.

Photo.  Choose a clear, friendly, and professional image.  Look at what people in your targeted company, industry sector or business level are wearing.  Some professionals recommend showing yourself in an “action” photo in an appropriate work setting.  A good photo can convey passion, energy, charisma, empathy, and other soft skills that are hard to describe in writing.

Recommendations.  Do not shrink from asking people for a recommendation on LinkedIn.   And, it is OK to specify what you’d like them to focus on in their statement.  Getting generic recommendations are not as helpful as something more specific, that happens to align with a keyword(s) and if possible can include a metric (i.e., dollars, percent, numerical values, etc.).

Resume – Like A.  Someone’s resume isn’t merely a list of job duties, but is a place to highlight the behaviors, skills, and accomplishments the candidate has that the company needs.  The same considerations should go for the LinkedIn profile.  For example, the experience section must contain bullet points that accurately showcases the who, what, when, why and how of your career.

Summary.  The summary should be 3–5 short paragraphs long, preferably with a bulleted section in the middle.  It should cover work passions, key skills, unique qualifications, and a list of the various industries worked within over the years.

Unwanted Recommendations.  If you get a recommendation that is not well written or is unsolicited, you can hide the recommendation instead.  Select “Profile,” then “Edit Profile,” then “Manage” (when at the relevant position).  Uncheck the box next to the recommendation that you want to hide, and click “Save Changes.”

Update Status.  Status can be updated as often as you wish. Update it professionally and strategically (articles recently read or written, etc.), and as often as weekly.  The entire group of connections will see the updates, both in news feeds and in the weekly LinkedIn network updates emails.

URL.  It’s much easier to publicize your profile with a customized URL (ideally linkedin.com/name), rather than the clunky combination of numbers that LinkedIn automatically assigns when you sign up. To get one:  On “Edit Profile” screen, at the bottom of gray window showing your basic information, you’ll see “Public Profile URL.  Click “Edit” next to the URL, and specify what you’d like your address to be. When  finished, click “Set Custom URL.”

Volunteerism, Languages, Special Accomplishments.  Were you a member of the U.S. Olympic team, or play professional sports?  Do you possess relevant certification?  Volunteer for an organization?  Speak another language?  If so, including such information on the left when editing your profile is a great way to showcase those unique skills and experiences that make you stand out from other candidates.

Welcoming.  Showcase the positive attributes about you, with your target reader in mind.  Help them get to know you at a high level.  Think about first impressions.  Craft it in the first-person.  Do not come across as pretentious. Keep your brand message in mind and realize that LinkedIn is a platform designed for interaction.

Work Experiences – Ditto.  (See Multimedia.)  The same principle applies to each work experience item.  Add links to company websites, projects worked on, articles drafted, or anything else that provides a better, more comprehensive view of your work

Writer – Be A.  LinkedIn now permits users to write and publish their work on the platform. Share perspectives about news in your profession, or tell a story that showcases writing and communication skill.

LinkedIn is only a tool.  Like most tools, it needs to be used, be controlled, and be recognized as an investment to be most effective.  This list may seem daunting at first, so be methodical and establish a goal of addressing a set number of items per day, and per week until completed.  Seek help from YouTube tutorials, from LinkedIn, and from friends.  Will this effort make any difference concerning your job search?  You may be surprised at the outcomes.

The 3 Biggest Mistakes Teens Make When Trying to Get a Job

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By Stu Schaefer 

As an employer, I interview a lot of folks… and a lot of teens. I hate to say it, but teens usually have no clue how to interview and get a job! They blow it!

This article will address the three mistakes most teens make so that you or your kid can learn how to get your favorite job.

  1. Resume

I would say about 8 out of 10 kids drop off a resume with misspellings. This is the FASTEST way for the resume to be thrown in the trash!

In addition, most resumes look like someone just spit a bunch of information into a template and hit print. The information is rarely organized and often unformatted. The result is a messy-looking resume with misspellings that gets thrown in the trash before there’s even a chance to interview.

Here are a few keys for a good resume:

  1. Triple check spelling!
  2. Don’t add an objective. Rather, write a couple of sentences explaining why you’re different and HOW you would help the company.
  3. List the jobs you’ve had… and how you impacted the company rather than just the job. I don’t care that you were a pizza delivery person. What did you do different that helped the company?
  4. List your education at the bottom because it’s not as important.
  5. Contain your resume to ONE piece of paper – front side ONLY. Most people don’t want to read a lot, and multiple pages just makes things difficult.
  1. Follow-up

OK, let’s say you submitted a great resume… that’s the least of your worries now. Many companies won’t call you back.

I don’t call anyone back. Why? Because I want to see if they’ll take the initiative and call me. I want to know if they’re a go-getter and willing to be persistent.

Most people never call back!

The call-back is very simple. All you have to do is ask if they received your resume. When they say yes, simply say “Great! Well I’d love to set up a time to interview.”

Maybe they’re actively looking for employees so they will set up an interview. Maybe they want resumes because they want to have some people ready to call IN CASE they need someone. In that case they might tell you they’re not hiring.

Ask to interview anyway. Tell them you understand, but you want to meet them so they know who you are in case they need someone.

If someone called me and said that… I might even hire them and replace one of my employees that wasn’t doing a good job. That kind of call shows initiative and demonstrates that you would be a great worker.

  1. Dress & Presentation

So now you have the interview… big deal. Most kids blow their chances because they dress terrible – They wear a tank-top, shorts, and flip flops to the interview.

Even though that might be standard clothing for most teens, it creates a bad first impression. As an employer, we think, “Oh no, this kid is unprofessional. They’re probably not a good fit.”

You just made a great phone impression, so you need to reinforce that with a good visual impression. Make sure you wear a collared shirt, either slacks or khakis, and some nice shoes. Women should wear the same thing or a nice dress that isn’t too short.

his will set you apart from the other kids applying, and it will leave a great impression with the employer… HELLO JOB!

In addition to dressing well… always remember to sit tall and speak well. Make eye contact and answer questions confidently.

When you slouch, chomp gum, or look around, it makes you look dumb and unqualified.

There you have it! If you can make these simple changes, you will make yourself much more valuable to the employer and be more likely to get the job you want!

Prepare your kid to nail the job interview!

Check out this free lesson and video tutorial that will explain, step-by-step how to get the job and set yourself apart from the other applicants!

https://preparemykid.com/lesson/nailing-any-job-interview/

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Stu_Schaefer/2447706

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