LinkedIn is without question one of the most powerful business networking tools available – and as an extension – one of the most useful tools for professionals, managers, and executives conducting a job search. Many candidates are not effectively leveraging the power of LinkedIn to build their brand, differentiate themselves from peers, extend the value of their resume, and networking with recruiters and employers to uncover the hidden job market. We identify and discuss the wide range of FREE tools and components on LinkedIn that can be leveraged to improve the effectiveness of your job search. Learn how to build a powerful profile to attract recruiters and employers conducting searches.
CLICK HERE to download or listen to this recording
This is about your “digital first impression” and six ways to screw it up. Every recruiter has his pet peeves about resumes and I’m no exception. Like it or not, in this digital, email, on-line world, your first impression as a candidate is often the resume and cover letter you send. (OK, I admit, I don’t read cover letters much. I cut to the resume first. Sometimes I come back and read them, but the resume is what I’m interested in.)
I’m not going to write about all the strategies and methods of creating a resume and cover letter, I’m just going to tell you the things that will irk most recruiters (or at least this one) so you should avoid them. In no particular order:
• Size matters: Look at the whole first page of your resume. Would you want to read it or does it look like the fine print on your credit card statement? Don’t cram so much information into it or make the type font so small that people will strain their eyes to read it. I know, we can enlarge it, but it just shows you aren’t thinking about your reader.
• I won’t believe you can walk on water: A summary of your experience in terms of function, industry and accomplishments is fine, but skip the flowery descriptions. I see “hands-on”, “profit driven”, “strong leader”, “dynamic”, “visionary” in summaries all the time. I don’t read them because I know the candidate wrote them. I’ll decide how “dynamic” someone is when I interview them, not when I read their resume. Save the space for more accomplishments.
• Attendance doesn’t count: Companies don’t pay you just to do things; they pay you to accomplish things. Resumes that are long on responsibilities and short on accomplishments indicate someone who just ‘showed up’ and are not the top quartile talent that companies are looking for.
• Osmosis is not my strong suit: Probably the best way to get your resume tossed is to list the name of a company with no description of what it does. This is especially true of middle market companies. (Even if a company is a household name, include what your division, group, etc does!) The reader has no context from which to assess your accomplishments until they know what the company does and its relative size. I automatically toss these resumes. How can you present an executive to a client if they don’t demonstrate this simple piece of common sense?
• Chronological or functional? No contest here in my book, make it chronological. I want to know what you accomplished and where. If you just list a bunch of accomplishments and a list of jobs, I can’t tell where you did what. You may have the exact accomplishment I’m looking for, but if you’ve worked in different industries or different sized companies, I can’t tell how relevant the experience is.
• Goldilocks syndrome: Resumes can be too short or too long, and there is a “just right” length. In general, I find one page resumes to be too short to be meaningful, and they don’t “peak my interest”. I don’t want to ask you for more information. Give me what I need to assess your background against my requirements. Three page resumes or more are usually too long. There’s either too much detail or you’ve gone back beyond 10-15 years in your career. Put those older jobs under Prior Experience. The last 10 to 15 years of experience is usually the most relevant to what we’re looking for.
OK, I got that off my chest. These tips aren’t going to guarantee you get the job, but they should help keep you from being eliminated before the game starts.
When you land that next job, and start to build your team, check your hiring process first.
For more, join our LinkedIn Job Search Networking Group. CLICK HERE to join.
View our 5 minute video, Vital Information Missing From Many Resumes. CLICK HERE to view.
Download a FREE sample cover letter to go with a great resume. CLICK HERE to download.
For information on how to arrange for Hagerthy & Co’s complimentary Hiring Process Assessment go to www.hagnco.com/page13.html#HiringProcess. Mike Hagerthy is the founder of Hagerthy & Co, an executive search, training and consulting firm.
It is time to look forward to 2010. Regardless of 2009 happenings and all its trials and tribulations, 2010 is upon us and now is the time to think about how best to approach the year with regards to your career or job search.
Here are some ideas that you might want to consider:
1. If you are actively searching for a job, make a serious evaluation of your 2009 search. What worked, what didn’t, what successes did you have, what are the strong points to your search and what areas need to be improved in 2010? To help you do this, you can download for free our 8 Point Job Search Self-Assessment Scorecard. This will highlight some of these areas.
2. Dust off the old resume and update it. All professionals should maintain an updated resume. Even if you are not searching this is just prudent. It is useful to ensure when you do need one that it is ready, as it reduces the stress of trying to remember what happened in the past, and helps to identify whether or not you are growing or doing the same thing you did last and the year before that.
3. From the resume, step back and take a look at your career and either update or create your career plan. Remember the 6 Ps – Prior Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance. This is true in business and in your career. You should be able to answer some basic questions:
A. What are your career goals for 2010? This doesn’t have to be advancement to the next level. It could be what additional experience, training or skills you would need to reach your goal.
B. If advancement is your goal, are you able to get the right experience in your current company? When you write your resume and find you have been doing the same things for the last 2 years you may need to reconsider. Did you add to your marketability in 2009? This doesn’t mean in terms of dollars. In today’s market, getting a job without going backwards is a good thing. So are you more employable today than a year ago?
C. What experience, skills, or training, does your boss have that will help you be qualified for their position?
4. Write out a job description that meets your goals for 2010. Include the additional experience you need to move your career forward. For example, manage people, participate in system implementation, additional experience in running a trade show, experience in assisting with union negotiations, international sales experience, these are all examples of some experience to include in a job description.
5. Schedule a 1-2-1 with your boss. This should be a separate meeting from your annual review. Make it clear that this meeting is about you and your career. Sit down and do some career planning with your supervisor. Discuss the issues in #3 above. Is your manager willing to help you get this experience? If so good, if not, then you have a decision to make. It is possible that your manager may be able to provide some additional experience you never thought about obtaining.
6. Identify at least two organizations you will actively participate in. If you already belong to a professional association then become an active member. Active means attending at least 80% of the meetings, serving on a committee, becoming a board member, etc. Do whatever it takes so that people in these groups get to know you and know you well. These associations are prime hunting grounds for recruiters looking for top talent.
7. Consider serving on a nonprofit board. This serves the community, makes you feel good, helps others, and it helps with getting more people to know you and your abilities. Great referral sources.
8. Consider working with a certified career coach. Highly skilled career coaches can really help. They help you clarify the issues above and assist you in making a plan that makes sense to you.
9. If you are in a job search get an accountability partner. We have two articles available to help you identify the characteristics of a good accountability partner and the duties, tasks and responsibilities of a good partner. (See these two articles).
10. Identify the resources you need in 2010 to advance your career. What books, classes, white papers, etc., do you need to make sure you stay on your career path? There are a wealth of resources and tools, many of which are free on the Internet, to help you with your career plan. (This is NOT The Position I Accepted was written specifically for this purpose).
11. Implement. Planning is great, but absolutely worthless without execution. Set up some 30, 60 and 90 day goals. Once they are achieved, then schedule out the next 30, 60 and 90 day goals. Trying to schedule a year out leads to, “I will do that next month as I still have plenty of time.” Before you know it, the year is over. Short term goals are easier to manage and achieve.
2010 is a great year to take control of your job search or career. There are so many resources to help you, that all you need to do is take control and do it.
For some free resources to help you consider:
Joining our LinkedIn Job Search Networking Group. There are numerous discussions and articles to get you started in 2010.
Download the Skills Assessment in the What’s New section at the bottom of our home page. It starts with identifying your skills and finding out which ones are transferable.
Download the sample cover letter from the What’s New section at the bottom of our home page. This is a great tool that will align your resume with the company’s needs.
If this has been helpful to you, then please consider helping others by passing it along to them. Consider forwarding the link to your network, tweeting it on Twitter, adding the link to your Facebook, or updating your LinkedIn status. Let’s all try to help others in 2010.
Changing a few basic interviewing techniques can dramatically change your interviewing success rate. Whether with a recruiter, HR or hiring manager these few Do’s and Don’ts will prove to impact your job search. We discuss the three or four most common mistakes candidates often make, what you can specifically do to fix them and provide you with simple solutions. Few candidate even know they are committing these do’s and don’ts. In just 45 minutes you can be on a path to a great interview.
Download free sample cover letter to help get your resume noticed at http://www.impacthiringsolutions.com or CLICK HERE
As candidates become more and more desperate in their job search they often turn to desperate measures that more often than not hurt the candidate. One example of this is with the resume.
Lately we have been noticing an increase in resumes that contain some sort of gimmick or strange presentation to get noticed. This is not necessary. If your resume is focused, well presented, and easy to read, it will get noticed – at least by us.
If your resume has a lot of highlighting, gimmicks, smells like perfume, or is on bright colored paper, all that is saying to the reader is, “I’m desperate.” Companies today don’t want to hire desperate people. They still want to hire the best and the brightest.
The best ways to get your resume noticed and read is:
Have a good cover letter. Download a free sample from our Web site. CLICK HERE.
Have an easy to read resume. Use bullet points instead of long paragraphs, make sure it is not over crowded, has white space, 12 point fonts, two pages, and does not have a lot of abbreviations, functional or industry jargon.
Make sure vital information used for screening stands out such as,company description and industry, title, dates, organization, number of people managed, scope of responsibility, etc.
Pleasing to the eye.
Well organized and laid out.
Highly recommend chronicle not functional.
It should be as targeted to the position as possible and that bullet points address what the hiring manager is looking for. NOT a generic one size fits all.
There are probably more and feel free to comment and add your ideas. Just don’t try and stand out by using desperate gimmicks and tricks.
Join our Linkedin Job Search Networking Group along with the other 3000 members. The group contains extensive articles and discussions on conducting a job search. CLICK HERE to join it FREE.
Please download our free sample cover letter to make sure your background aligns with the job needs and stands out. CLICK HERE to get your copy.
An effective job search is one that has a map to follow. So many job searches fail because candidates are going in all directions depending on how the wind blows. That works is good times, but in tough times it takes a map to be successful. We walk you through the 5 steps of an effective roadmap. Each step not only prepares you for a job search, but will also help prepare you for the,”Why do you want to work here?” or “Why do you feel qualified for this position?” questions.
We discuss some of the most common interviewing mistakes candidates make. This program is dedicated to helping ensure those that listen will not make these mistakes. The mistakes are so common that most candidates don’t even know they are making them. Having conducted over 10,000 interviews as a recruiter for over 30 years and co-interviewed thousands of times with clients, these common mistakes are the biggest reasons most candidates don’t get the job. If candidates would avoid these few mistakes their success rate would dramatically increase.
By doing these few things (not knowing them – doing them) and your competition making these mistakes, you will win the job and they will be eliminated.
There are two sides to every job search. We all know the tactics of a search, writing the resume, interviewing, networking, etc. These are important but the most important aspect is the personal and emotional side of every search. Sooner or later these emotions take hold. Dealing with the family, spouses, finances are the 800 pound gorillas in the room that few if anyone ever talk about. Our guest, Pam Christian, is an expert dealing with the personal side of un or under employment. Pam speaks nationally, she has been on numerous radio shows, written books and conducts workshops and seminars on this subject. Pam shares with us her life experiences going through the tough times while unemployed and how her family survived this 4 year period. She also gives solutions and resources you can tap into BEFORE the worst happens to you. Her website www.wydk.org lists these resources and future events for you to download. In addition, you can download from www.impacthiringsolutions.com a FREE skills assessment tool to help you evaluate your transferable skills
Studies in recruiting and hiring indicate that over 95% of all recruiters, human resource professionals and hiring managers are using LinkedIn to search for top talent. Are you visible in their searches for candidates? Or are you beige – fading into the woodwork and invisible to recruiters and hiring managers? This episode of our weekly Internet Radio Show on Job Search and Hiring Top Talent dug deep into how you can easily become visible on LinkedIn to improve your job search to generate an abundance of job leads and referrals.
Understanding the 4 key best practices all top notch sales professionals use to attain success. Apply these sales best practices to your job search to cut your transition time in half. Ever wonder why some candidates can complete their job search in half the normal time, have an abundance of great job leads and referrals, and quickly find an outstanding opportunity? The reason why some candidates “succeed” in their job search and some “fail” miserably is that the most successful job search candidates apply the 4 key best practice of sales to their job search. These top caliber candidates “Put On Their Sales Hat” in their job searches.