Posts tagged: Personal Branding

How to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile: Job Search Tactic #1

How can you improve your LinkedIn Profile for a more effective job search?

Brad and I have talked endlessly about how much easier your job search is to found than to find a job. I recently wrote a post on this exact subject.

We did a radio broadcast on how to improve your LinkedIn Profile. We posted our LinkedIn Self-Assessment Scorecard on our site a few months ago –  a download that has become one our all-time most popular downloads. You can get the download and quickly understand how to improve your LinkedIn Profile for Job Search.

Not only is building an outstanding LinkedIn Profile a job search best practice, but it is also an integral part of personal branding (another key element of an effective job search).

More importantly, every recruiter, HR pro, and hiring manager will google your name and look up on LinkedIn BEFORE they decide to grant you an interview.

Google Profiles will be the focus of our next blog article, Job Search Tactic Number 2.

  • Does your LinkedIn Profile capture a viewer’s attention?
  • What elements of your Profile are they drawn to?
  • Would I as recruiter feel that I just had to call you after viewing your profile?
  • Does your profile scream “you’re not going to find a better person” at me?
  • What are the steps in creating an effective job search LinkedIn Profile?

Below we’ll list the key elements of creating an effective profile. We could probably spend an entire blog post series on each element of your LinkedIn Profile.

Here are the LinkedIn Profile Best Practices (in no particular order)”:

  1. Use a compelling headline
  2. Complete all the details of your entire career
  3. List all your accomplishments in detail with as much quantification as possible
  4. Get a lot of recommendations
  5. Recommend others
  6. Include Slideshare Powerpoint presentations of your accomplishments
  7. List the books you’re ready/comment on other book lists
  8. Incorporate Your Twitter Feed and Link
  9. Include a link to your blog
  10. Include a link to your on-line resume
  11. Pull your blog’s feed onto your profile using WordPress
  12. Include links for audio/video files of you talking about your accomplishments and achievements.
  13. Join Groups that are professionally/geographically appropriate
  14. Update your status frequently – as in daily
  15. Dramatically build your network with appropriate contacts
  16. Make it easy to connect with you – phone #s and email

These are the elements of your LinkedIn Profile that will differentiate you from your peers. Read a couple of our other blog posts on this subject of leveraging your LinkedIn Profile for Job Search, including an article titled “Become a Beacon in Your Job Search” and “Are You Difficult to Connect With on LinkedIn in Your Job Search?

Barry Deutsch

Don’t forget to join our LinkedIn Job Search Discussion Group to learn more about leveraging your LinkedIn Profile for Job Search.

How To Leverage Your Network And Get Others To Help You

Most everyone in the market is out doing all the networking they can. Sooner or later they will hear the saying, “Networking is about helping others.” or “Networking is giving before getting.” Both are true and critical to a successful networking process.

But what exactly does this mean? How do you implement this concept?

My experience has been that most are more than willing to help out when asked. Most will make introductions when asked. This is great, but there are other things one can do to give and help others. Even when not asked.

I think one of the best things you can do is share information. My partner Barry and I try to do this daily. We post articles so others can read them and benefit from our 30 plus years of experience. From time to time we will get an email thanking us. In fact, I received one today which was the catalyst for this article.

Here are other ways you can help others.

  • How often do you forward articles  you found helpful to your network?
  • How often to you post the link to your Facebook page allowing all your friends to benefit?
  • Do you post the discussion or forward the article to your Linkedin groups?
  • Do you share it with your Linkedin connections?
  • Do you Tweet and include the link so all of those following you can benefit?
  • Do you make announcements at networking meetings about how you benefited from this article?
  • Have you passed along YouTube videos that you found helpful?

Do you do this? Do you do it on a regular basis out of habit?  Or like many, do you  just read the article and never think about proactively helping others? If you benefited from it so will others.  Just one right tip from you, one article reaching the right person at the right time, may help them land an interview or even a job.

Sharing information is just as important as sharing leads. I could make the argument that it’s more important. Leveraging your network by helping others, makes others want to help you. People generally want to repay those that have helped them.

It is also a tremendous way to keep in touch with people without bugging them. You are helping them and they will appreciate it. So stop worrying about bugging people in your network, instead start helping them by passing on helpful and informative information.

I would like to challenge you to not wait until people seek your help, instead be proactive. Send them information you find helpful so they can benefit. I bet you will start getting emails thanking you for helping.

What a great way to be branded as a ” giver.”

I think this is an excellent way to continue to engage your network and at the same time help others.

Isn’t that what true networking is about?

If this was helpful, then please help others by forwarding on to your network, posting on your Facebook page, Tweet with the link, post to your Linkedin groups or status update.  Let’s all do everything we can to help those looking for employment.

For lots of articles and great discussions to start sharing, join our Linkedin Job Search Networking group. CLICK HERE to join.

Download our free sample cover letter that is proven to get results. If you like it, you can share it with others. CLICK HERE to download.

Build a compelling Linkedin profile to  help  you get noticed by recruiters and hiring managers. Our 8 Point Linkedin Profile Assessment Tool can help you. CLICK HERE to download yours. Then share it with others that don’t have a compelling profile.

Brad Remillard

Leveraging The Power of the First Impression Helps You Win The Interview

First impressions are so important in the initial meeting that one would not be too far off base if they argued the most important part of the interview. First impressions set the tone for the interview and often determine the types of questions, length of the interview, and ultimately the outcome. Making a strong first impression is often the deciding factor in who makes it to the next round. If the candidate makes a strong first impression they are immediately liked by the interviewer. This candidate just moved up the point scale towards the next round and they haven’t even been asked one question. On the other hand, if the candidate makes a weak first impression, the candidate starts out in the hole. This hole if often so deep  that no matter how well they answer the questions, the interviewer cannot overcome their first impression. In fact, they may have decided right in the lobby that this person isn’t getting the job.

Tips to making a strong first impression:

· Good eye contact.

· Remain a comfortable distance from the person.

· Firm handshake – even if you think you have one ask someone who will be open and honest. Many don’t, so don’t assume you do.

· Strong introduction coupled with a smile, a strong handshake and eye contact. Practice this introduction.

· Have a couple of conversational questions prepared in advance to engage the interviewer.

· The most important of all are the four “A’s.” A VP of HR at Rockwell Corporation gave us these. They are so important more than 25 years later we still remember them.

  1. Appearance

  2. Articulate

  3. Affable

  4. Assertive

Bring these four to the first impression and you will move up the scale – not down.

Study after study reveals that likability is the single most important factor used when determining who ultimately gets the job. Underestimating this is a failure of many candidates. Those that make a strong first impression will often do better in an interview than candidates with better experience.

Join our Job Search Networking Linkedin Group. There are over 2700 members and an extensive supply of resources for you to tap into. CLICK HERE to join. Membership is FREE.

We have numerous free downloads on our Web site to help you in your search. Sample cover letters, audio downloads from past radio shows,a transferable skills list, Linkedin Profile Assessment Matrix, and our Job Search Self-Assessment Scorecard. All can be downloaded from our homepage at

Every Monday at 11 AM Pacific time listen to our radio show anywhere in the world on channel 2.

I welcome your comments and thoughts

Brad Remillard

Stop All This “Personal Branding” Nonsense

It is hard to be in a job search today and not run across two, overused and misunderstood terms, one is “networking” and the other is “branding,” usually “Personal Brand.” How did these words become the “buzz words” the “must do” the “most important,” words so critical that if you don’t do them, you are sure to fail in your job search?

Who makes this stuff up? They’re the marketing geniuses.

The number of books, blogs and news articles written on “Personal Branding” continues to grow. If it takes that much to explain “Personal Branding” it may just be too complicated to begin with. It’s as if this is some new concept in job searching or as if the “holy grail” of conducting a job search has finally been found.


All that has happened is that some marketing person put a clever name to it. It’s as if once you “brand” yourself you will be the NIKE, Apple, Coke, Michael Jordon or Tiger Woods in your field or industry.

Silly me, for 29 years as a recruiter I’ve just referred to this as, “differentiating yourself” or “making yourself unique.” I didn’t know I was telling my candidates to “BRAND THEMSELVES.” I’m not sure that is all there is to a brand, but it pretty much sums up all you have to do in a job search.

It’s not so complicated that it takes a 200+ page book to explain it.

For the sake of appearing up to date and current, it is critical in any job search to communicate “why” you are different from your competition. What unique skills, traits, talents, accomplishments, experiences and passions do you bring to the party? If you can’t define these, you are a commodity. The problem with being a commodity is that the only thing you have to negotiate on is price. In a job search price is compensation.

Call it “branding” or something else, we can’t stress enough that every candidate needs to step back and take some time to determine what makes them unique. Often each position may require a different set of skills, experiences or talents. It is possible that you may have to differentiate (oops brand) yourself differently for different positions. It also means that you may not be the best qualified candidate for every position.

Do a S.W.O.T. (Strengths, Weaknesses, Obstacles and Talents) analysis of yourself. List them out. Once you have the list, for the S and T, identify accomplishments and examples that demonstrate these strengths and talents. For the W, develop a plan to work on improving your weaknesses and for the O develop a plan of action to overcome any and all obstacles in your way to getting the position you want.

So forget about “Personal Branding,” it is way too complicated and probably just a fad. Just get back to the basics and figure out what differentiates you from all the others like you. Then go market it.

In the future you will see articles I write on “Personal Branding.” I will even title the article using the word “branding” because if I don’t, nobody will read it. So I will reluctantly conform.

Conformity has never been a “brand” for me.

Our job search book provides a template called,”Personal Success Profile.” This will help you identify what makes you different and add guidance for completing the SWOT analysis. You can get this for just the cost of shipping $5. CLICK HERE to review the book.

Listen to our talk radio show every Monday at 11AM PDT on It you miss it, you can download all of our past shows from our Web site. CLICK HERE to review the past shows and download the ones you want. All are free.

Please give us your comments and feedback.

Brad Remillard

Hope is NOT a Job Search Strategy

Job Search based on crossing your fingers for hope and luck

Liz Lynch, over at The Smart Networking Blog, just posted a blog article by this very same title. This is one of my favorite phrases I use all the time in our Job Search Webinars, Workshops, Seminars, and Private Coaching.

Why do most job seekers base their job search on hope and luck?

This is NOT a strategy. Trying to “will” the phone to ring is NOT effective. Liz talked about a candidate profiled on CNN who submitted their resume over 600 times to job ads on job boards and had a response rate of around 2.5%. It’s a waste of time and a useless technique.

Yet, many job seekers continue to base their entire job search strategy on hope and luck centered around answering ads on job boards.

My experience in 25 years as an Executive Recruiter is that most candidates fall into the trap of answering ads and praying the phone will ring because of 3 reasons:

  1. This is what they know and what they did 5 years ago. They are trapped in a tribal paradigm of conducting an out-dated job search.
  2. They are unwilling to learn how to conduct an effective job search. They refuse to read the blogs of Barry Deutsch and Brad Remillard, Liz Lynch, Jacob Share, Dan Schwabel, Miriam Salpeter and the hundreds of other outstanding experts in resume writing, personal branding, networking, and interviewing. They don’t take advantage of the FREE audio recordings, videos on YouTube, and products and services offered by these award winning experts. I just wrote a blog post on this topic basically raising the question of “Don’t Be the One! Why is Job Search Like Playing a High School Sport?” focusing on why candidates mistakenly feel they have to go it alone in their job search?”
  3. Although the techniques of conducting an effective job search are simple, the effort is intense. It requires long hours, hard work, and a disciplined approach. Most importantly, you’ve got to have a great plan and then work your plan. You can’t treat your job search like a hobby. Many candidates are NOT willing to work hard at finding a great job.

Brad and I recently released a new Scorecard to assess the effectiveness of your job search. It’s our FREE Job Search Plan Self-Assessment Scorecard. We were stunned when candidates started filling it out and sharing their “Score” with us. Very few candidates we discovered meet a minimum threshold for having a plan that will lead to an effective job search.

I challenge you to take the Self-Assessment – Score Yourself – See where the holes and gaps are in your job search plan. If you can fix these holes and gaps, you’ll be able to reduce the time it takes to find a great job.


P.S. Don’t forget to join our LinkedIn Job Search Discussion Group, one of the fastest growing job search discussion groups on LinkedIn. Learn and discuss how you can conduct a more effective job search.

Job Search: On-line vs. In-Person 1st Impressions

Job Search Effectiveness: On-line Job Search vs. In-Person First Impressions

Chad Levitt, a guest blogger at Dan Schwabel’s Personal Branding Blog posted a blog a few days ago titled “What is Your Digital First Impression?” Chad claimed that making a digital first impression was very similar to making a personal first impression. He inferred in the blog posting that when people are searching for you on google, those first few links that come back are your first impression.

By the way, Chad is an extraordinary authority figure on personal branding, particularly in networking and sales. His own blog at The New Sales Economy Blog is one of my favorite.

No disrespect intended, but I think Chad may have defined digital first impressions a little too narrow.

In a personal meeting, you typically have one chance to make a good first impression. Blow it – and it’s over. Rarely will you have another opportunity.

On-line, first impressions are radically different. Not only are your first impressions scattered across a wide array of sites, such as LinkedIn, Google, Facebook, forums, discussion groups, Twitter, and many other indexed sites/comments.

Not only is your first impression scattered across a wide variety of sites as compared to a one-time event in person, you also have the ability to constantly improve, manage, build, develop, and evolve your first impression on-line. What appears today in a Google Search is NOT what has to appear next week.

The major question is: are you continuously working on your digital first impression so that you can be “found” by buyers, hiring managers, senior executives, recruiters, and human resources?

Let’s tackle one small area of starting to more effectively manage your digital first impressions: A few months ago, we posted on our website an 8-point Success Matrix to evaluate the effectiveness of your LinkedIn Profile. The scorecard was intended to determine if your LinkedIn profile was strong enough to let you be found by hiring managers, recruiters, and human resources.

Our research around the use of LinkedIn as a Personal Branding Tool and for Job Search 1st Impressions was depressing. Less than 10% of those who took the challenge to assess their LinkedIn Profile using our Scorecard met the minimum standard for effectiveness.

If you would like to gain a deeper understanding if your LinkedIn Profile can be more effective in helping you to be “found”, download the LinkedIn Profile Self-Assessment.


Join our LinkedIn Discussion Group where we release first all our new tools, templates, and advanced self-assessments.

Why is building a job search network worthless?

Effective Job Search through best practices in job search networking

Building a job search network is usually worthless since that is the end goal for most people. Contrary to popular opinion, size does not matter (at least initially). The most important goal of networking is engagement.

Regardless of whether you build your network on-line or off-line, you still need to provide value to your network. Keith Ferrazzi, Author and Blogger at “Who’s Got Your Back” writes in a recent blog posting about the need to be organized to “ping” your network.

Who do you want to communicate with? How often? What will you provide to your network?

The heart of any effective job search networking is to show your network you are a valuable member of their network. How do you do this? You do it through constant engagement.

Do you conduct drip-nurturing with your most important contacts to stay in front on them and have a “top of mind presence”? How often do you call, send interesting articles, provide links to good information, and focus on their specific needs?

Are you a connector in your network, constantly looking for ways to put people together that is mutually beneficial. Do you get constant requests to be connected with others in your network?

Can you publish information (such as through a blog) that your network might find valuable?

Once you take care of engaging with your job search network, you’ll be stunned at the abundance of job leads, referrals and opportunities that drop through the network into your lap. One of the most frequent complaints I hear from job seekers is “I have a large network, but I don’t get any leads – it doesn’t seem like it’s worth it to build a network”. Remember – the operative word is not building – it’s engaging!

Discover if your effective in your job search networking – both in traditional off-line networking activities and in on-line social media networking – to generate an abundance of job search leads, referrals and offers by downloading our Job Search Planning Scorecard. This FREE tool will help you focus on the most important steps to take in your job search, not just in job search networking, but across every dimension of your job hunt.


P.S.: Be sure to download some the archived radio show broadcasts on networking that Brad and I have posted to our FREE Job Search Audio Library.

6 Reasons Why LinkedIn Is So Critical In A Job Search

A candidate recently asked me, “How do I find a hiring manager in a large company like Microsoft?” There are a lot of ways to do this but one of the easiest and best is using LinkedIn. When I recommended this to the candidate he completely agreed, however, the problem was he only had about 60 connections. Too few to be effective.

So often I speak with candidates that just don’t understand the value of LinkedIn as a job search tool. We constantly are sent invitations to join someone’s network only to find after months of searching they are just now starting build a LinkedIn network. You should consider building your LinkedIn networking all the time. NOT JUST WHEN IN A JOB SEARCH.

Some benefits to a large LinkedIn database of contacts:

  1. People can find you. The more people at the second and third degrees of separation the more times you will show up in a search. For example, I have around 500 contacts. However, I am linked to over 5 million people on LinkedIn. When I search for a candidate that is a huge database.
  2. LinkedIn will eliminate the need for resume databases on Ladders, Monster, Careerbuilder and other job boards. This is because it costs on average between 5,000 and 10,000 dollars to have access to these resume databases. LinkedIn is free. Why would a recruiter or any company pay that when we can use LinkedIn for free.
  3. Resumes databases by the job boards are not pick up by Google or any search engine. These are the ones you want to make sure you show up on. LinkedIn is and you can even improve your search results for as little as $25 a month. (See prior blog article SEO Your Search On Google)
  4. It helps you find the people you want an introduction to. This is very powerful. I have helped numerous people with introductions as a result of LinkedIn. On a weekly basis I receive requests indicating they found a person in my connections and would I make an introduction. I always agree.
  5. Even when working this is a great tool for resources, customer contacts and introductions, references, service providers and even potential hires for you or your company.
  6. On a personal basis it is a great way to stay in-touch with friends, colleagues, prior employees and networking contacts. When you update your profile they will get a notice and likewise when they update theirs.

Work hard at building your connections. Make every effort to reach that magic 500+. If you use Outlook download the LinkedIn tool bar. It makes inviting people very easy.

There are many more positives to building your LinkedIn network than there are negatives. Many have resisted. I believe this recession has proven to be good thing for everyone’s network.

If you have other ideas share them by adding a comment. Lets help everyone build a strong network.

A good way to start is building a network is making sure your profile is complete. If it isn’t start there and then begin expanding your contacts. Don’t miss the opportunity to get a high ranking on Google.

You can download for free our “8 Matrix LinkedIn Profile Assessment” tool.

Our complete job search home study course the, “Career Success Factor Methodology” is a comprehensive resource that covers all 5 steps in an effective job search. You can review the complete system for just $14.95. We will even pay the shipping and to ensure your success include in a copy of our job search workbook. To review the Career Success Factor Methodology CLICK HERE.

Job Search Plan Self-Assessment Scorecard – NOW Available – FREE

Effective Job Search - Are you ready to take time off in the race to finish your job search?

Are you ready to start conducting an EFFECTIVE JOB SEARCH?

Are you ready to take time off in the race to finish your job search?

As promised, Brad I committed to release our long-awaited, deeply researched, field-tested, and validated FREE Job Search Plan Self-Assessment Scorecard.

You can download the Job Search Plan Self-Assessment Scorecard and tool by joining our LinkedIn Job Search Discussion Group. We apologize about this two step process. However, Brad I have made the commitment to our job search community to release all new scorecards, self-assessment tools, templates, and other FREE Job Search Resources into our LinkedIn Job Search Discussion Group first.

We’ve worked very hard over the last few months to put together a FREE simple scorecard and tool that can make a dramatic difference in your job search.

If you take this self-assessment and work very hard to improve your scores from “0” or “1” into the “2” and “3” levels, you’ll be able to significantly reduce the time it takes to complete an effective job search.

Not only will this scorecard help you in overcoming the Top Ten Job Search Mistakes, but it will also help you in your job search by reducing the time it takes to find a great opportunity.

Here’s a great example: If you’re an executive and the average time in this poor job market is 9-12 months to find a new executive level position, this Job Search Plan Self-Assessment Scorecard will help you cut in half the time it should take to find a new job. Imagine saving $30,000-$60,000 in reducing your job hunting time by conducting a more effective job search.

Join Brad and I on our Weekly Internet Radio Talk Show this coming Monday – August 31st – 11-noon PST on LATalkRadio. We’ll be talking about how to overcome the Top Ten Job Search Mistakes and Errors by using our new FREE Job Search Plan Self-Assessment Scorecard.


P.S.: We look forward to your comments, ideas, and thoughts in our LinkedIn Job Search Discussion Group. How might we improve this scorecard in a future revision? What insights about your job search effectiveness did you gain after spending a few minutes taking the assessment? After you take the assessment, what’s your specific plan to improve your job search?

Are You Difficult to Connect with on LinkedIn in Your Job Search?

Why hide and put a lock on your contact information on LinkedIn if you are conducting a job search? Recruiters and Hiring Managers will ignore you if it's too difficult to network with you on your job hunt.

Many candidates are obsessive about protecting the confidentiality of their contact information on LinkedIn when they are in a job search, even when they indicate on their LinkedIn Profile that they are open to career opportunities.


This doesn’t make any sense!

Here’s the sad part: Most recruiters, human resource professionals, and hiring managers will skip right by you on LinkedIn searches for candidates when recruiting if you make it too difficult to connect with you. When I do a search on LinkedIn for candidates in our Executive Search Practice, if you make it too hard to connect I’ll move on to the next candidate – I might sound a little harsh – regardless of how much you might be a perfect match – I just don’t have the time to play games or dig too deeply – particularly when there is lots of other great talent available.– I’ll define “too hard to connect” as the following:

  • You have no phone number on your LinkedIn Profile
  • You have no direct email on your LinkedIn Profile
  • You have not checked the settings for “open to career opportunities”
  • You have not checked the settings for “open networker”
  • Your group settings prevent me from sending you a direct message if we are in the same group

You could be missing out on great opportunities because of inappropriate fears of confidentiality or security. What’s the risk that someone has your cell number or email address when you’re looking for a job. At a minimum, what’s the risk in adding to your account the “open networker” designation so that recruiters and others do not have to use up their precious allotment of inmails?

I’ve had my phone number and email address on my LinkedIn Profile for years. I can count on one hand the number of solicitor calls and inappropriate emails from that contact information. It’s irrational to think you’ll be bombarded with solicitors and crank calls/emails. Take a risk and make yourself available – you’ll be amazed at the increase in the number of calls and emails you get when recruiters, human resource professionals, and hiring managers reach out to you when they are recruiting to fill an open job.

Take a look at my profile on LinkedIn as an example. I would also recommend joining our Discussion Group on LinkedIn and participating in the discussion regarding LinkedIn Profiles for your Job Search.