8 ways to keep the LinkedIn profile process from breaking down

And how it’s like painting a fence.

This weekend I did something I hate. Painting. I hate painting for a number of reasons, but the major reason is the breakdown of process. For example, I’m cruising along painting my picket fence, taking my time, no spills, not a drop on my person (I’m proud of this), hitting every spot; and then whamo….

picket fence

Things start to hit the fan. All of the accomplishments I sustained for half an hour vanish, including not stepping on the top of the paint can and tracking white paint on the sidewalk. Now paint is on my hands, clothes, even my hair.

I lose focus, get sloppy, make a mess of things. That’s the breakdown of process.

If you ask some people who are starting their LinkedIn profile, they’ll express the same sentiment I have for painting—they just want to get it over with and have a profile that will help people find them. In other words, they don’t give it the attention it requires.

Do you relate to this sentiment? Here’s what you ought to do to prevent the breakdown of the LinkedIn profile process.

1. Take your time. When I set out to paint my fence I said to myself, “Bob, you’re going to take your time and do this right. It’s only a fence.”

LinkedIn is not a fence that needs painting, but there is ample opportunity for the process to break down. Following are some areas to pay attention to.

2. Get your photo done professionally. I had mine done by someone who sells one photo for $40.00. I’ve heard they come much more expensively than that. Having your photo done professionally is far better than having a relative take it with her Iphone.

I’m not saying you have to wear a three-piece suit to your photo shoot. Just make sure your photo is of quality. And no iPhone photos with you and your family on the beach or at a campground.

It’s said that a profile with a photo is at least 14x more like to be opened.

3. Think of a headline that brands you. Many people will settle for something like Marketing Professional which doesn’t do them  justice.

Instead, Marketing Director | National Speaker | Author | Revenue Generator | Business Development will do a better job of branding you. Don’t rush and throw any ole Headline up there.

Ask others what they think of your Headline. Does it sell you, show your value to potential employers? This is what you need to consider.

Your Headline is the second element of your profile that brands you; your photo is the first.

4. Write a Summary worth reading. What I’ve seen hundreds of times are LinkedIn Summaries that are a rehash of a person’s résumé Summary. Will this impress anyone? Certainly not.

Instead, take your time and write a kick-ass Summary that tells a compelling story—your philosophy, areas of strength, accomplishments, future plans. This section of your profile is one of the most important ones.

Without an impactful Summary, there’s a breakdown of process.

5. Your Experience section must lower the boom. Have you ever read a résumé that said, “So what? Who cares? Big deal”? Does your LinkedIn profile’s Experience section say the same? Is it a list full of duties and lacking accomplishments?

I suggest an Employment section that states accomplishments only, or strong duty statements and accomplishments. If you’re just starting your LinkedIn profile, copy and paste your résumés Experience section to your profile, but build it from there to be more personal.

6. Show off your writing. For more than three years LinkedIn has offered the a feature which allows you to publish a post on LinkedIn. If you enjoy writing and feel you’re a good writer, show off your expertise and writing style.

To date, I have published over 149 posts on LinkedIn. Obviously I enjoy writing. You can also be featured in Pulse, providing you receive enough “Likes” and views of your posts.

Although, the standards have become tougher to be featured. Don’t be deterred from writing; what counts the most is that you’re sharing relevant information.

7. Have fun with Media. Make use of the Media feature—found in Summary, Experience, and Education—to show off PowerPoint presentations, links to your website or blog, example of your greatest photos of urban blight, or YouTube videos.

LinkedIn is making it easy to showcase your talent to make visitors want to stay on your profile. Take advantage of this. (Watch this video from one of my connections which he places in his Projects section.)

8. List your skills and amass endorsements. Like them or not, endorsements are here to stay; so you might as well list as many skills/expertise for people to click on.

My feelings about endorsements are not all favorable. I believe they are more perceived value and a way for people to engage with each other.

Your skills won’t endorse themselves, just like my wife said about the unpainted fence. But if you endorse your connections’ skills, you’ll get endorsements in return. (Read how to endorse skills properly.)

white paint

This is just the beginning. The line from Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come.” Is hogwash. You can build the Taj Mahal of all profiles, but if you’re not active, no one will notice.

Being active on LinkedIn includes, connecting with people; engaging with your connectionsincluding updating on a regular basis, writing recommendations for others, endorsing your connections.


I’m happy to say my white picket fence is finished and looking great. The process of painting broke down, much to my chagrin, but I learned valuable lessons: take it slow and focus on quality.

The words my wife told me, “It won’t paint itself” are a good lesson for writing your LinkedIn profile and putting it into action. You’re  are responsible for your LinkedIn process; you alone.

Photo, Flickr, David Alston

LinkedIn’s mobile app versus the desktop: 8 differences

One gets the feeling that LinkedIn is migrating its desktop platform to its mobile app. Maybe not tomorrow, but gradually. The most obvious hint is the way the desktop’s interface increasingly resembles the app. We noticed this when LinkedIn launched its new, slimmed-down platform almost a year ago.

LinkedIn Phone

We also noticed enhancements made first to the mobile app, such as photo enhancement and video features. If I were a betting man, I’d say the demise of the desktop platform is nearing the end. Maybe not for awhile, though.

Is this a good thing? It is if you prefer to use the app. Personally, I use the app approximate 50% of the time, which falls in line with the figure Forbes.com gives. My phone is on me all the time, where as my laptop isn’t. This is perhaps why the mobile app is gaining more popularity; its convenience.

Recently I asked my workshop attendees how many of them are using the app. Only a handful of them raised their hands. The concept of LinkedIn on the move hasn’t entirely caught hold, which is unfortunate; because if you’re not using the app, you could be missing opportunities.

The similarities are immediately apparent when we look at the navigation bar from the desktop and mobile app versions respectively.

Top Navigation Bar

Top Navigation Bar phone

Both versions include Home, My Network, Jobs, Messaging, and Notifications; although not in the same order. As well, the icons are identical. Let’s look at the limitations, similarities, and advantages of your Home page on the mobile app.

Home

Limitations

1. Search is limited. Like the desktop version, you can search for Top, People, Jobs, Posts, Companies, Groups, and Schools. But that’s as far as it goes. There are some limitations. For example, when I searched for my school, I am unable to locate Find Alumni. This is because it doesn’t exist on the app.

As well, searching for positions is easier on the desktop. I searched on the app for accountants and when I chose Easy Apply, I was prompted to install a “LinkedIn Job Search” app.

Find Alumni and Searching for jobs on the app are topics for another post.

2. You can’t write or edit articles. One disappointing aspect of the phone app is the inability to write or edit an article. You can, however, read and check out the stats on your articles using the mobile app; but if you want to write or edit one, you’ll have to wait until you’re at your desktop.

3. Finding groups on the app is cumbersome. On the desktop the process is straightforward; you simply go to the Work icon. Not so with the app. You must type your groups individually in the Search field to get to them.

(By the way, when I questioned someone from LinkedIn about the future of groups—why they’re hidden in Work dropdown—he told me, ‘They’re on hold.'”)

4. Views of your visitors and latest posts are not available on the app. You don’t have the ability to see the number of people who’ve viewed your profile in the past 90 days. You also can’t see how many views the post you shared most recently received. In order to see this information, you must go to your profile where it is listed in Your Dashboard.

Similarities

Home view phone

5. Posting updates is no problem. Do you want to post an update? Not a problem with the app. Just click on the icon of the pen and paper at the lower right-hand corner.

We’re all aware of how to share an update on the desktop; the field in which you write your updates says, “Share an article, photo, or update.”

If you want to Like, Comment, or Share an article; LinkedIn gives you the capabilities for that on the mobile app.

6. Searches are decent on the phone app. With the desktop, you have the ability to search for people by location, current and past companies, industries, profile languages, and schools. The only criterion you can’t search by is languages.

Advantages

7. You can post a video with the phone app. This hasn’t yet taken hold like LinkedIn thought it would. But it could be a great feature (one that already exists on Facebook), that allows people to report their thoughts anywhere in the world. This feature is currently not available on the desktop version of LinkedIn.

8. It’s easier to get to your profile with the app. No matter which page you’re on with the app, clicking on your photo at the top right-hand corner brings you to your profile. On the desktop, once you leave your home page, you must click your photo at the top right-hand corner for a drop-down that allows you to chose “View Profile.”


Overall, LinkedIn’s mobile app offers you powerful features that will get you by as you’re waiting for your daughter to get out of dance rehearsal. Are there limitations? Certainly there are. But I think LinkedIn will improve the functionality of the app.

Next we’ll look at the differences between the My Network, Messaging, Jobs, and Announcements features.

LinkedIn is NOT dead but must step up its game in 6 areas

An article on Observe.com post entitled “The death of LinkedIn” caught my eye. This post spoke mostly about how business is being conducted on Facebook and no longer on LinkedIn. But I want to speak about job seekers on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn flag

One claim the author makes in his article is that LinkedIn is now only populated with recruiters trolling for job seekers. Reading this article left me thinking that if LinkedIn is, in fact, where recruiters dwell, it needs to step up its game in order to make it the ultimate platform for job seekers.

1. Many recruiters I see posting on LinkedIn are posting on Facebook at a greater rate. I asked one recruiter why I haven’t seen him on LinkedIn as much, as LinkedIn is my preferred place to hang out, and he told me he sees more candidates on Facebook.

This is true. SilkRoad.com presented an alarming figure stating that more job seekers (64%) are on Facebook, while more recruiters (87%) are using LinkedIn to cull talent. Job seekers should smarten up and hang out where the recruiters are. That would be LinkedIn, by the way.

2. LinkedIn’s groups are not what they used to be. Ever since LinkedIn took away the ability to search for people in groups and communicate directly with all members, regardless of degree, participation has waned. Yes, there was spam and yes, group members complained; as a result we have now is less activity.

Groups are supposed to be platforms for conversations, as well as business transactions. But this is not happening as it was supposed to. The aforementioned article may be correct on this front when the author writes

Facebook groups are much more valuable nowadays for business than LinkedIn. There’s so much value and quality in conversations that it’s unbeatable.” 

When LinkedIn placed Groups in the Work area—rather than making it prominent on the navigation bar—this sent a message of the unpopularity and, perhaps, death of Groups.

3. LinkedIn giveth and LinkedIn taketh. The feature that hooked me on LinkedIn was one that LinkedIn did away with around a decade ago. I’m speaking of Answers, which created a community that was asking questions and answering them. Granted not all answers were of the highest quality.

Many of the same people are turning to Quora, but the community that was created with Answers was affected by this move. Other features that have disappeared are Events, Reading List (people are still searches for a post I wrote on this feature), to name a couple.

4. You’re on your own with LinkedIn Pulse. No social media platform has the reach LinkedIn has for sharing one’s knowledge. Whether you’re in business or unemployed, you can share articles through Pulse.

LinkedIn hasn’t made efforts to dissuade its members from sharing information, but it has made reaching out to your connections more difficult.

LinkedIn once alerted your connections of every article you wrote, which gave you ultimate reach. This is no longer the case. LinkedIn made it clear that you’re responsible for marketing your own articles.

If what the aforementioned article says is true; only one percent of your connections will see your posts (based on a large network), you better do a great job of marketing your articles.

5. LinkedIn ain’t sexy; Facebook is. Facebook is emotionally charged; people might write stupid things. They post topics on politics, current events, and share photos of their vacation in Italy. There are no secrets on Facebook; people pour out their souls. But it’s all good to Facebook friends.

So why do I find myself spending approximately 50% more time on LinkedIn than I do Facebook? LinkedIn is a great source of gaining knowledge. I learn more about my industry than I do on Facebook. Nonetheless, the unspoken rule is don’t show too much personality in your LinkedIn updates.

6. LinkedIn makes job seekers pay for previous features. I haven’t paid a penny on Facebook and services have remained consistent; whereas LinkedIn requires its members to upgrade to premium accounts to recoup the features they used to have.

Read Are job seekers welcome on LinkedIn?

Case in point, with the advent of LinkedIn Lite, users must upgrade to Sales Navigator to retain Advanced Search features, tagging, and the full blown profile, among other features. This is an $80 a month investment.

I have suggested that all members pay a flat fee in order to be on the same page, and if they want high level sales or recruiter features, their companies can pay for said features. My suggestion that every LinkedIn user pay $9.99 a month is not popular; however, it would separate the true users from the ones who rarely use LinkedIn.

Good News: you can use Google to find a LinkedIn Trainer on LinkedIn. I wanted to find people in the Boston area, so I used this string:

site:linkedin.com (inurl:in OR inurl:pub) -intitle:directory -inurl:dir -inurl:jobs “greater boston area” “linkedin trainer”

LinkedIn isn’t dead

I stopped bashing Facebook in my LinkedIn workshops exactly one year and five months ago when I joined Facebook. Immediately I fell in love with it. But I also realized Facebook is a platform for a different purpose. It’s like comparing apples and oranges. So I interact differently on the two platforms.

LinkedIn has forced us to do with less, yet many LinkedIn faithful still spend more time using LinkedIn than Facebook. Some aren’t even on Facebook. I continue to use LinkedIn, because I believe it is the best way to network online.

Business to business networking, job seeking, developing relationships, disseminating and gathering information are LinkedIn’s purposes. As long as another product doesn’t come around that can promise these features, LinkedIn will stay alive.

Photo: Flickr, Coletivo Mambembe

 

 

6 reasons why older job candidates shouldn’t discriminate against younger interviewers

Amy, a colleague of mine who looks no older than 30, came to me to tell me of a meeting she just had with a job seeker. In her excited, rapid voice, she told me that an older male treated her as though she were a child. She was outraged and rightfully so.

older-candidate

Amy is well revered by the staff at our career center and respected by the customers with whom she meets. She knows a great deal about the job search and training, so being disrespected by this man rubbed her the wrong way.

We sat and talked about her meeting with him and wondered aloud if this is how he presents himself in interviews to interviewers younger than him. And if he does, what his chance of success in this job market is. Slim to none, we concurred.

Eventually she calmed down.

Her advice to me was to bring up in my Mature Worker workshop this attitude toward younger interviewers . (She told me three times.) I totally agreed with her and immediately made a change to the presentation slide: “Treat younger interviewers the way you would like to be treated.”

We career advisors often come to the defense of older workers who experience age discrimination; but we don’t talk as much about reverse age discrimination, such as what Amy experienced.

We are reluctant to tell people who are unemployed how the interviewer might feel about this type of rude behavior. But this is wrong of us. (Read 10 ways you can kill your job search with a negative attitude.)

This is the message I would impart. Think about if you were younger and on the opposite side of the table interviewing people for a position, where personality fit is as important as technical abilities.

How would you react if an older job candidate looked at you with disdain and without saying it, called you inexperienced and beneath his level? Further, what would you think if you were going to be his immediate supervisor?

Hiring him would not be a marriage made in heaven. You, as the younger hiring manager, would have to prove yourself to the, albeit highly qualified, candidate on a regular basis.

He would question your every decision and tell you how he would do things. Any effort you would make to correct his actions or even reprimand him would be met with resistance. You would feel powerless. You finally reason that hiring him would be crazy.

The large majority of older workers have a great deal of value to offer employers. They’re knowledgeable in their work and possess life experience that younger workers do not. They want to work and are flexible with their schedule. They’re dependable, able to mentor others, and are great role models. These are but a few qualities of the older worker.

But there are a few older workers who think they’re all that or who have a chip on their shoulder. They are convinced that they’ll experience age discrimination at every interview. In other words, they have lost the job before the interview begins.

Susan Jepson, who directed the National Senior Network, wrote an article addressing reverse age discrimination practiced by older workers. She believes that sometimes it’s not intentional. She writes:

Without intending to, or without knowing it, mature workers can come across as arrogant, condescending; that behavior can invite rejection. Examine your beliefs and assumptions and work hard to be open and communicative with your interviewer, without prejudice of any kind.

Susan Jepson is a mature worker, so she speaks objectively.

If you happen to be one who intentionally discriminates against younger interviewers, remember that the person sitting across from you deserves as much respect as you do. Also keep in mind that your livelihood might depend on how much they value you as a potential employee. More specifically, remember:

1. She earned her job. Whether she has less experience on the job than you is irrelevant. Someone in the company determined that she was the most capable to manage a group of people. And yes, they could have been wrong.

2. Her job is to hire the best person. You are the best person, but if you show contempt or even hint to your superiority, she won’t see your talent through the less-than-desirable attitude you demonstrate.

3. She will appreciate your points of view. Once assured you’re not after her job, she may see you as a mentor and role model. Younger colleagues like the approval of older workers. Take it from someone who supervised someone 20 years my senior; her approval meant a lot to me.

4, She might have some growing to do. And if you want to succeed, you’ll realize that people of all ages have some growing to do, including you. You can help her through this process by building her self-esteem and confidence. It’s a wonderful thing to see someone grow under your tutelage.

5. She might fear that you’re after her job. So put her fears to rest by NOT talking about you would eventually want to assume a position like hers, or her position specifically. Rather, assure her that your career goal begins with doing the best possible work at the position in question. Ultimately you want to help the company succeed.

6. Whether you like it or not, she will be your boss. What are your options right now? Enough said.

You may arrive at interviews where age discrimination is blatant due to no fault of yours. This is the time when you are the bigger man/woman and leave with your pride intact, your head held high.


In the end, my colleague, Amy, told her customer that his behavior was unacceptable and it would do him more harm than good. He apologized, admitting his error. We are never too old to learn valuable lessons.

If you enjoy this post, read why younger interviewers shouldn’t discriminate against older workers.

7 ways managers can improve the hiring process

For you hiring managers, you might have taken notice upon seeing the title of this post. While it’s true that job seekers can benefit from advice on their job-search techniques, there’s something to be said about how you can improve the process.

hiring-manager2

You can make the hiring process a better experience for job candidates. This is within your power, as you are usually the one making the hiring decision. Your goals is to hire the best possible candidates; it’s to your company’s benefit.

Read this article by FastCompany.com about some mistakes hiring managers have made.

Are there hiring managers who interview well? Absolutely. They have mastered the process and hire great candidates. But for those who don’t, here are seven things to consider.

1. Get trained on how to interview properly. Smart companies send their hiring managers to training on how to interview properly. Hiring managers are taught about which questions to ask and how to conduct an interview that draws the best attributes out of job candidates.

“I’ve been managing people for years, and I was never trained how to interview candidates,” one of my workshop attendees said after I made the bold statement that some hiring managers are not the best interviewers.

The statement from my workshop attendee did not surprise me; training can be expensive and time intensive. The Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) provides training for hiring managers. Among the various techniques SHRM teaches is which questions to stay away from, namely illegal ones.

2. Don’t ask illegal questions. One of my clients told me he went to an interview and the second question the hiring manager asked was, “How old are you?” I asked him to repeat his statement. I was so shocked by this blatantly illegal question.

Although it’s hard to prove, under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 candidates 40-years and older are protected by age discrimination. But age is not the only topic hiring managers should stay away from. Questions about nationality, marital status, gender identity, race, disability, political preference, and religion are taboo.

3. Don’t discount the value of the mature worker. Related to the previous reason, some hiring managers—young and older alike—discriminate against age. They are subtle about it, or quite obvious. Many of my clients, who average 53-years of age, tell me about times when they could see this on the hiring manager’s face.

This is not only illegal, it’s bad practice. Mature workers add value, through their job experience, maturity, great problem-solving skills, dependability, and more. Am I saying that mature workers don’t lack some skills younger workers do? No. Every age group has strengths and weaknesses.

4. Hiring the best candidate is a priority. Probably the last thing hiring managers want to do is interview someone for—as an example—an office manager, when she has multiple projects to oversee. Here’s the thing, the hiring manager needs someone who can run the office and make her life easier. She needs a problem solver.

Yes, overseeing the projects is important, but finding the right administrative assistant should take priority. Rushing through the process could lead to a wrong hire which doesn’t relieve the problem and can be expensive (approximately 30% of the candidates first annual salary).

5. Be willing to interview strangers. The preferred method of hiring a candidate is through a referral because candidates come with a mark of approval. But sometimes the best candidate is not known someone who works in the company or someone who knows someone who works in the company.

Herein lies the rub: hiring managers need to go through the process of reading résumés from strangers and interviewing them. As unpleasant as it may be, if they want the true problem solver they seek, the right person might not be a referral.

6. Work with your recruiters and HR. A complaint I often hear from recruiters and HR is that they need to play a bigger role in the process. They want to do more than conduct phone interviews to determine a candidate’s salary  and experience.

Recruiters and HR want to be business partners and know hiring managers’ thoughts before approaching potential applicants. They should not go into screening candidates without a full understanding of what hiring managers are looking for in terms of: “the must haves vs. the nice to haves,” the interview layout, etc. Read this article from the Muse.

7. Stop looking for the purple squirrel. This is a common term meaning the candidates must be perfect. Candidates must be able to hit the ground running, a fit for the work environment, and liked by the hiring manager.

A candidate who has the required experience and  is compatible with his colleagues and the hiring manager is essential; but some hiring managers want a clone of themselves and someone they would want to go out for drinks with. What’s most important is that the candidates possesses high EQ.


This last point is why many of my clients are frustrated by the time it takes employers to hire them. Three, four, five rounds of interviews. According to SHRM, the average time it takes employers to hire job seekers is 26 days. This figure seems low to me, as I’ve seen some of my clients wait two or three months for employers to pull the trigger.

Coupled with poor hiring methods and a long process, job seekers are frustrated. Do you blame them? I don’t.

Photo: Flickr, Kristof Ramon 

 

Why are you on LinkedIn? Three types of LinkedIn members

Congratulations, you are one of more than 500 million LinkedIn members. LinkedIn is touted as the most professional online networking platform. Many job seekers have used it to find jobs, while others have had no success. You don’t want to fall into the latter category.

why

The success of using LinkedIn depends on knowing why you’re using the networking platform and how to better use it. LinkedIn can be beneficial to your job search, but first decide if you should be using it.

You Have No Idea

You went through the easy process of securing your LinkedIn membership. Because you’re in the job hunt, a career expert told it would be the answer to your prayers. I curse the people who told you this.

If you really believe LinkedIn alone will land your next job, stop drinking the Cool Aid. LinkedIn is not the magic elixir that people might have told you it is. This is the hard truth. Now let me tell you what you have to do.

Have you seen the television program, “The Biggest Loser.” This is you. You will work harder than you’ve worked before…not to lose weight, of course. If you think I’m exaggerating, ask people who have succeeded using LinkedIn to find a job.

Here’s what you need to do: create a profile; connect with people you don’t know; and engage with said people. This is a tall order, but you can do it. The most promising thing about you is that you’re open to all advice LinkedIn authorities offer you. The question is if you’re hungry enough to do what it takes.

Please read this sequence of posts for a full explanation on how to use LinkedIn

You’re Half-Committed

Maybe you’re a tweeny; you have an inkling of an idea of LinkedIn and are knowledgeable enough to be dangerous. You joined the last time you were out of work but neglected LinkedIn after you landed your previous job; now it’s time to get back on the horse. You have promise, though.

First things first; your profile resembles your résumé. That’s because it is. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I suggest to my clients that they start with their résumé as a foundation, but from there they need to turn it into more of a networking document.

The solution is to do serious work on your Branding Headline, create a Summary that reflects your passion and value, and beef up your Experience section. This is what I mean by making your profile a networking document, while still maintaining your value to potential employers.

Next, slowly reconnect with with people in your network. Slowly because you don’t want to come across as someone who needs something only when you contact someone. My kids do this. Don’t be like my kids.

Finally, you’ll become more visible by sharing updates on a regular basis. I generally suggest sharing updates two times a day, four days a week…at a minimum. For those who are a little more committed, engaging with your connections every day is your goal.

Read about the next LinkedIn member, The Pro.

You’re a Pro

You know exactly why you’re using LinkedIn. You have a solid strategy that will land you a job. You’re a pro. This post may not enlighten you, other than you are curious to see if you are on track. You are.

I know your’e a pro when I ask you how often you use LinkedIn, and what you use LinkedIn for. The answer to my first question is…you guessed it, every day. How you’re using it is to continue your lifelong networking efforts.

You are making efforts to connect with people at companies for which you want to work, which means you have a target company list. You’re making substantial connections, some of whom you have met for coffee, or at the very least talked with on the phone.

Occasionally you use the Jobs feature to apply for jobs online, but you know this isn’t the most productive way to spend time looking for work. You notice the alumni who work/ed at your target companies, so you reach out to them. You’re stoked if your fraternity brothers work at a few of your target companies. Hey, bro!

Here is a partial list of what you have in place:

  1. A profile that effectively brands you. There’s nothing more that can be done with your profile.
  2. Keywords that put you within the first four pages of profile searches.
  3. More than 1,500 connections, many of whom are recruiters. Yes, it’s cool to connect with recruiters.
  4. Engaging with your connections in a number of ways, such as sharing illuminating industry updates, writing posts on LinkedIn that brand you, asking questions that provoke thought, etc.
  5. In industry groups, where recruiters also hang out, and starting and adding to discussions.
  6. Most importantly, introducing your fellow job seekers to people who can be of assistance.

Coupled with your strong LinkedIn campaign and personal networking, you’re not going to be unemployed too long. Your strategy is straightforward; connect with quality LinkedIn members and create a mutually helpful relationship. As they say, you’re killing it.


Far be it from me to suggest no one joins LinkedIn. The most important thing to discover is why you’re on LinkedIn. Once you’ve determined this, you’ll have to put in the appropriate amount of effort.

Photo: Flickr, Marco / Zak

6 reasons why you landed your job

Searching for a job was scary and one of the most difficult times in your life. But you made it. You landed the job you wanted. Your job search took longer than you would have liked, but you persevered for six months.

Success

When you think about what led you through your journey and to this new opportunity, you can pinpoint 6 distinct reasons:

1. You demonstrated emotional intelligence (EQ).There were times when you felt like throwing in the towel. You felt like staying in bed dreading the days ahead. Your feelings of despondency were unseen by others, save for loved ones and your closest friends.

When you were networking in your community, attending networking groups three times a week, and taking workshops at the local career center, you showed a confident demeanor. You were positive and demonstrated a willingness to help others. Despite negative thoughts, you did your best to help yourself and others.

Read 12 ways to show emotional intelligence.

2. You developed a target company list. Taking the advice of your career advisor, you made a list of companies for which you wanted to work. She told you to spend time researching your target companies and contacting people for networking meetings before jobs were advertised.

You left each networking meeting with different people to contact. You had the sense that one person, a VP of Marketing and Sales, had an interest in you. He led you to the door saying, “We might be in touch with you real soon.” But you didn’t rely on this one occurrence.

You continued to build your target company list and ask for networking meetings. You were spending less time applying for jobs online and more time meeting with quality connections. You were optimistic. You felt productive.

Read 4 components of job-search networking emails.

3. You networked the proper way. At networking events you were attentive to others, while also willing to ask for help. Many people think only of their situation, not of helping others. Not you. You kept your eyes open for opportunities for your networking companions.

When people ask you for leads at companies of interest, you gave them the names of hiring managers in various departments. You became known as the “Connector.” Weeks later, you were happy to learn of one of your networking companions landing a position at a company, based on one of your leads.

You also networked in your community. Told everyone you knew that you were looking for a job and asked them to keep their ears to the pavement. Who would have known that your neighbor across the street would be the reason you landed your job?

He worked at one of your target companies and knew the VP of marketing and would deliver your résumé to him. Put in a good word. You were asked to come in to have a few discussions.

Read 10 ways to make a better impression while networking

4. You wrote killer résumés. Yes, plural. Because you tailored as many of your résumés as possible to each job, knowing that every employer has different needs. A one-fits-all résumé doesn’t work. In addition, you eliminated fluff from your Performance Profile. It’s better to show, rather than tell.

Most importantly, you packed a punch in your Experience section by listing accomplishment statements with quantified results. Results like, “Increased productivity by 80%” sounds better than simply, “Increased productivity.”

Using your network was key in getting your résumé into the hands of the hiring managers, such as the time your neighbor delivered your value-packed résumé to that hiring manager.

Read 8 reasons why hiring authorities will read your résumé.

5. You nailed the interviews at one of your target companies. There were five interviews for the job your neighbor led you to; two telephone, two group, and a one-on-one. You were prepared for each interview, having researched the company, the position, their competition, even the interviewers.

You used LinkedIn to discover who the interviewers were. One was a youth soccer coach, like you. Another had gone to your alma mater. And another was a veteran, so you were sure to thank her for her service. That went over very well.

After each interview you sent unique follow-up notes to every interviewer, ensuring that you mentioned a specific point of interest made by each one. You even sent a thank-you note to the receptionist. Smart move.

After 6 months, you received an email from the VP of marketing telling you they were offering you the position of marketing manager and were also exceeding your salary requirement.

Read 6 ways to interact with one of the most important people in the interview process 

6. Your work was not complete. You didn’t forget the people who helped you along the way, such as the person who helped you revise your résumé, the people with whom you formally networked, and certainly your neighbor who led you to your new job. They deserved thanks.

In the true spirit of networking, there were people who you could help in a more meaningful way, such as Sydney from your networking group who was looking for an engineering position.

There was a mechanical engineer position opening in your new company. You mentioned the position to Sydney and gave her a good word. Wouldn’t you know; you changed Sydney’s life for the better.

Read 6 topics to include in your thank-you notes.

I’ve heard many stories from my clients who have similar plots to this one. Their job search wasn’t easy. Their landing was well deserved. But they had to display EQ, do their research, help others, and be willing to help themselves. If you are dedicated to do the same, your job search will be shorter.

A portion of this post appeared in Recruiter.com

Photo: Flickr Marc Accetta