If You’re Not On LinkedIn, You Very Nearly Don’t Exist

More than 90% of recruiters use LinkedIn as their primary search tool, this is not an understatement. If you’re a professional, you need to not only be on LinkedIn, you need to be using it to your full advantage. Don’t believe me? Think about it this way: If tomorrow morning, a recruiter logs onto LinkedIn looking for someone in your geography, with expertise in what you do, and you’re not there? Guess who they’re going to find and contact? Yes, that person’s name is “not you.”

LinkedIn is by far the best resource we have available today for networking during your job search. It is the one social media tool you must master. Also make sure your LinkedIn Profile is a mini sales letter vs. just restating the information on your resume or CV. Also make sure your recommendations highlight skills and talents that will increase a potential employer’s interest in contacting you.

Six Tips to Revive Your Job Search

Whether you a recent college grad or seasoned professional, looking for a new job is a stressful process. Unfortunately, your job search will almost always take more time than you anticipated. 

The following tips will help escalate your efforts:

Tip #1 – Identify your skill sets and talents
Rather than searching for job titles that fit your career goals, look at the required skills of a position. You’ll be able to identify the skill sets you already possess and the jobs that best match your experience.

Tip #2 – Utilize online resources, company websites and google alerts
Utilize job boards and website postings to not only search for a specific position, but to also look for similar jobs or suggested jobs that would interest you. Set up Google Alerts for every company you’re targeting as well as every hiring authority.

Tip #3 – Narrow down your search to your “best” options
Rather an apply to all openings you find, only apply to positions that fit your skills, experience and career goals. Also research the company to get a sense of its values and why employees do or don’t like working there. Review your own network to see if you’re connected to someone who has experience at the company and can share their perspective.

Tip #4 – Customize your resume or CV to match each position
Tailor you resume or CV so that it matches each specific job you are targeting to give yourself a competitive edge over general resumes.

Tip #5 – Prepare better than your competition for your interview
Before your interview conduct thorough research on the company, the contact and the products or services offered by this company. Practice answering typical and difficult interview questions. Lastly, prepare how you will show a high level of confidence and interest in the job.

Tip #6 – Ask the best questions
Ask questions that reveal the priorities of each person involved in the hiring process. Let each person talk about themselves and they will like you more.

Implement these six tips and follow up stronger than your competition and you will land your dream job in 2019.

Are You Coaching Your References?

Coach Individuals Who Provide References and Recommendations

When you provide references or accept recommendations, you could be hurting your ability to obtain a job offer. For this reason, it is wise to coach anyone who offers to provide a recommendation or reference.

Recommendations on LinkedIn list the most recent recommendation first. Hiring authorities read your recommendations first or second when they review your profile. Only accept recommendations that highlight your most marketable skills and experience.

The individuals providing a reference for you can often hurt your chances of getting a job offer, while they are attempting to help you. This happens when someone giving you a reference stresses the expertise and talents you have that won’t be used in the job you are targeting.

It is for that reason, that you never want to provide references unless they are requested. Once they are requested, take time to contact your references and share the specifications of your targeted job. This will help them know what to emphasize from your experience during their recommendations and which skills they should highlight. This will help your chances of landing your next job.

Checklist for Switching Career Path

Changing careers is more complicated than changing your old pair of socks. People change careers for different reasons. It could be as a result of change in goals, some core values. With career change on the rise, some have attributed it to more choices and opportunities, especially for those with drive, talent and ambition. Whether the job is unfulfilling or you just need a new challenge, here’s a checklist before you defect.

Evaluate your job satisfaction

Keep a journal of your mundane job activities and consider the good, bad and the ugly. Assess your dissatisfaction carefully, is it genuine or reactionary? You have to be honest.

Have a plan

Identifying your new career path doesn’t mean you will get there. You need to have a well worked plan and execute it to perfection. Set measurable goals and reward yourself when you achieve them.

Develop yourself

It’s a whole new phase so your old skills might be inadequate. You will need to invest a considerable amount of time and sacrifice. While on your current job, keep improving on your skills in order to facilitate a seamless transition

Obtain More Referrals and Recommendations

The basis for any successful relationship is the ability to understand the exact expectations of the other person. You may think you have asked someone for help, but that may not be understood by the people you approach. Be specific about the type of referrals and recommendations you are hoping to obtain as well as what you might be able to do for them. A one-way relationship without communication is never a success either in your personal life or job search.

Avoid the following Actions:

Action: Making negative remarks
Impact: They may hesitate to refer you if you are negative 

Action: Having a depressed attitude 
Impact: They may question your confidence 

Action: Asking if they know of any job openings
Impact: Limits places to just those with openings 

Action: Is their company hiring 
Impact: Answer is probably “no” 

Action: Willingness to do any job, anytime, at any salary 
Impact: It may sound desperate

Instead, ask if they will refer or recommend you to anyone who is either:

  • Well connected

  • In a position of influence

  • Well networked

  • In the field you are pursuing

You want them to realize you don’t expect them to find a job for you, just open their network to you. They all have the capabilities of opening doors for you and you never know which one of those doors will end up in a job offer.

In return, ask what you can do for them. You can’t just reach out to your network asking for a favor, you must be willing to do what you can do for them as well. The more you GIVE in a networking relationship, the more you will receive.