Category Archives: Career Search

3 reasons why a résumé alone will not land you a job

One of my close LinkedIn connections told me that a client of hers would only pay her for writing his résumé if she would guarantee he’d land a job. Needless to say, she didn’t take him on as a client. I think most rational individuals would agree that she made the correct decision. I do.

Job Seekers sitting

 

I found this client’s request ridiculous on at least three fronts.

  1. Writing a résumé takes commitment and expertise on the writer’s part.
  2. A job search is out of the résumé writer’s hand after it is written and delivered.
  3. It makes for bad business.

If you are going to employ a résumé writer, consider the role this document plays in your job search. It is an extremely important part of your success, but will not land you a job on its own merit.

What’s involved in writing an impactful résumé?

Good résumé writers go beyond taking your original document and simply editing it. They’ll add value to it, resulting in a better chance of getting interviews. At the very least, they’ll deliver the following services.

The interview

It all begins with asking questions. Some résumé writers will have you fill out a questionnaire, others will interview you over the phone, and others will do both. My preference is to have a client fill out a form and then talk over the phone for as many times it takes.

The résumé writer first needs to know your story. Are you pursuing similar work? What do you enjoy about you work? Adversely, what do you dislike about your work? Importantly, what value do you feel you brings to a company?

Questions like these are necessary to get to know you. But the résumé writer will ask specific questions that flush out your past accomplishments and potential for future greatness. A sound interview is essential in writing the document.

Writing the document

Good résumé writers won’t rely on a résumé template, as each client is different. But generally there are five major sections they’ll address in order: Headline, Summary, Core Competencies, Experience, and Education. In some cases, Volunteer Experience, Hobbies and Military History are included.

1. The Headline is a section that can tell résumé reviewers your value by your title and areas of expertise. This might be enough for the reviewer to put your résumé in the “must-read pile.”

2. The Summary should be concise, yet deliver an immediate impact. The résumé writer will suss out, in three or four lines, the value you’ll deliver to an employer. Take the following example:

Information Systems Department Director specializing in new project planning and achieving business objectives. Budget hundreds of thousands of dollars in project resources. Lead efforts that consistently generate sales exceeding $15K in a competitive pharmaceutical market.

3. In the Experience area, the résumé writer will take painstaking efforts to turn your duties into accomplishments. Here’s one example:

Used Lean methodology to increase productivity in a supply chain operation.

The résumé writer will push you to provide an accurate quantified result to make the accomplishment statement more impressive. Executive Résumé Writer, Adrienne Tom, and other executive résumé writers suggest front loading the statement with the quantified result. For example:

Increased productivity 80%—over a 3-month period—by employing Lean methodology in supply-chain operations. Acknowledged by CEO for this achievement.

4. Education section. You earned Magna Cum Laude in university. As a résumé writer, I would strongly suggest you include it in this section.

Follow up

Some résumé writers ensure their clients’ résumés contain the proper keywords to pass the applicant tracking system (ATS). The résumé writer might invest in a program like Jobscan.co, which offers a premium account for Career Coaches and résumé writers.

For a nominal fee, the résumé writer would scan your résumé against job descriptions, ensuring the tailored document would have a chance of being seen by human eyes.

The résumé writer might include a certain number of emails as follow up, either free or for a small fee. I encourage my clients to reach out to me with any questions they have after their résumé is complete. The same applies to their LinkedIn profile.

The résumé is one piece of the job search

Any résumé writer will not guarantee that their clients land a job based on the résumé alone. There are many facets of the job search to consider. Here are a few.

Let’s talk about networking

To some job seekers, “networking” is a dirty word. Either they’ll begrudgingly do it or won’t do it at all. This is a shame, because networking has proven to be the number one way find a job. Some sources put the success of networking, if done alone, between 60-80%.

Networking is a great way to get your résumé in the hands of the decision maker. After applying for a position online, you should have someone within the company hand-deliver your résumé to the hiring manager, VP, or anyone of influence.

This was the case with one of my clients who gave his résumé to a neighbor that worked at his desired company. The neighbor delivered his document to the hiring manager of the department in which my client wanted to work. He was asked in for a number of conversations, until he was hired.

We hear of too many people who shotgun hundreds of their résumés online and then wait for the call for an interview. They wait and wait and wait some more.

Those who network are the ones who take their job search into their own hands. They approach companies of interest, get known by said companies, and find themselves in legitimate interviews.

Interviews get people jobs

A great résumé will get the attention of HR, recruiters, and hiring managers. But it will not secure a job offer on its own merit. Performing well in multiple interviews and what follows lands the offer.

Further, a strong résumé increases your negotiating power. Full of relevant accomplishments, your résumé tells employers a portion of your worth.

Of course a résumé alone won’t aptly express your worth. You must be able to sell herself to employers by reiterating your 1) ability to do the job, 2) wanting to do the job, and 3) being a fit in the company.

After the interview you must follow up with a thank you note for every person who interviewed you. Each note must be unique and delivered on time. A simple expression of gratitude isn’t enough; you must show you listened actively during the interview by mentioning an interesting discussion that occurred during the interview.

Going the extra yard

Astute job candidates will make the extra effort of bringing a portfolio of their work to the interview. Or they might bring a business plan of what they would accomplish within 30, 60, 90 days. Madeline Mann, creator of Self-Made Millennial, adds:

Instead of describing how you work, show it. Bring in a portfolio, build a project for the company, ask to share a presentation. In my career, I’ve only seen one or two people EVER go above and beyond like this in an interview.

This makes great sense. Wouldn’t you agree?

Convinced yet?

With all that the résumé writer must do to send the job seeker out into the wild, there still is much work for the job seeker ahead. The document the writer produces is of great value, but the rest of the job search can be of equal or more value. It all depends on how you look at it.

Executive Career Coaches, Austin Belcak and Sarah Johnston help people land jobs through the art of networking and power interviewing. Both of them would say the résumé is merely a piece of the puzzle.

So, given all the résumé writer does and what the job seeker must do upon receiving the polished document, why would a résumé writer only receive payment after a client lands a job. It just doesn’t make good business sense.

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Is Your Text-Heavy Executive Resume Sinking Your Job Search?

This guest post is from Adrienne Tom, Executive Resume Writer. As the title implies, resumes that are text heavy are difficult to read and to determine your value.

Adrienne's Title

Text heavy documents are sinking the job search of many frustrated executive job seekers, who are left wondering why they are not getting called for interviews.

The reason is simple: employers don’t want to drown within long narratives. They desire short and well-tailored overviews that speak to their needs succinctly while showcasing the skills they covet.

In short– the easier a resume is to read, the smoother the sailing will be for job seekers.

The biggest barrier executives face with resumes is summarizing what is often a very robust career.

To start, approach the resume writing process with the goal of quality over quantity. 

A resume is not a biography, it’s a marketing tool.  Avoid listing copious amounts of dry and dusty job details that weigh down the file and water down worth.  Instead, zero in on value and align offerings with needs. Provide a solid sampling of relevant facts related to the targeted role.

Below is a short ‘test’ to help you identify if your executive resume is taking on water.

If you answer yes to any of the points below, grab a life vest and start bailing!

The resume is longer than three pages

Typical resume length for executives is 2 to 3 pages. Definitely no need to cram everything onto 1 page at this career level, but keep in mind that today’s resumes must be leaner and more succinct to capture and keep the attention of busy readers.

Although length alone does not determine resume effectiveness, extremely long or verbose files are rarely appreciated, nor read in full. Save extra facts and supporting details for the interview.

The employment history section reads like a job description

Lengthy overviews of each past role, with heavy emphasis on tasks and duties are a waste of prime resume real estate. Employers are not interested in what you did, but how well you did it. Minimize focus on responsibilities and focus on personal performance instead.

Spoon fed the reader value-enhanced, metric-driven snippets of success to build confidence and excitement.

There are no bulleted points

If you are presenting all details in paragraph form, watch out! Dense text is not only harder to scan and absorb, but it causes key points to become buried. Bullet key points for easier readability and to better separate and highlight key accomplishments, big business wins, and personal achievements.

Bulleted points are long-winded or copious 

Even bulleted statements in a resume can get wordy. Aim to keep points succinct by averaging 2 lines per point as much as possible. If you can’t say it in two lines or less, information is likely getting murky. In addition, don’t ‘bullet barf’ all over the pages.

Bulleted points are great in small groups, but long lists of bulleted points diminish impact. Aim for 3 to 5 bulleted points per position.

Excessive filler words are used: “a, to, the, of…”

Although these words are warranted at times, in a resume they should be eliminated as much as  possible. It’s ok to use more succinct speech and grammar in this critical career file. Distill down details to focus primarily on results and personal actions. For example, instead of saying:

Created and implemented new marketing campaign in close collaboration with five people on the team which generated a 10% year over year increase to sales.”

You can say:

 “Generated 10% YOY sales increase, working with a team of 5 to create and deliver new marketing campaign”.

Career history dates back more than 15 years

No need to list every job you have ever had on your resume. This is a strategic file that requires a careful sampling of related and most relevant career material. For executives, providing the most recent 15 years of work experience, give or take, is all that is required.

The further back in time you get on your resume, the less robust information needs to be. Only provide very early career details if the experience is absolutely required or very beneficial for the targeted role.

Value isn’t easy to spot

This last point is the most important one. In short, every employer has a pain point typically centered around common requirements to make money, save money, or increase efficiencies. Your resume must demonstrate, clearly and concisely, how you are their solution!  Demonstrate value with clear examples of well-aligned achievements and success. Proof of your claims!

Finally, don’t make the reader hunt for the WHY.  Why you are the best candidate? Spell it out! Spoon feed your value to every reader in bite-sized details and use similar language and keywords to increase interest and understanding!


To summarize, employers don’t care about all the details. Only those that matter to them.

They want to read results, but most importantly they want to know if you can make results happen for THEM.

Make it easy for employers to locate key facts and the ROI you offer as a candidate in your executive resume by keeping resume material ‘lean and clean’.

A sharper content focus and format will ensure you enjoy smoother sailing throughout your job search!

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The original article can be found here.

Looking to take your executive resume to the next level to land your next job faster and increase your earning power? Visit me online at: www.CareerImpressions.ca to learn more about my award-winning resume writing, LinkedIn writing, and job search strategies for top professionals and executives located across Canada and the USA.

8 common excuses for neglecting LinkedIn in your job search

“Are you using LinkedIn in your job search?” That’s one of the first questions I ask my clients when I sit with them. Most of them say they are using it frequently.

no-excuses

Others say they rarely are, and a few admit they aren’t using it at all and give excuses for not being on the greatest online networking application there is.

Here are 8 of the most common excuses I’ve heard from people who neglect LinkedIn.

1. I was told to join LinkedIn when I was working but haven’t used it

This is basically saying you don’t use LinkedIn. I have a Pinterest account but don’t know my user name or password. I didn’t see any reason for using it. How ignorant on my part.

I get this. Your boss or colleague suggested you join but you weren’t encouraged to use it for your benefit or the benefit of the the organization.

Smart organizations, especially those who believe in the power of B2B, will strongly suggest that LinkedIn be part of your routine.

2. My LinkedIn profile is great as is

One day I received a phone call from a gentleman who wanted to skip my LinkedIn Profile workshop so he could attend the more challenging workshop, Using LinkedIn to Find a job.

While he was talking, unbeknownst to him I was looking at his profile which was sparse and only showed 94 connections. His inflated opinion of his profile was definitely faulty. Perhaps he’d been given poor advice.

3. I posted my résumé on LinkedIn, so I’m done

Similar to excuse number 3. Whoever believes this has their head in the sand. Start your profile by copying and pasting the contents of your résumé to your profile. But that’s just a start. From there, you’ll turn it into a networking document.

Your résumé is a document you send out when applying for a job, while your profile is a place people come to learn about you as a person and professional.

Read this popular article on How to optimize your LinkedIn profile.

4. I don’t want to connect with people I don’t know

Here’s the thing, networking—whether it’s in person or online—is about meeting people and developing relationships.

Not everyone will turn out to be a valued connection, but if you don’t extend yourself, you’ll never know the potential networking offers.

Read The ultimate LinkedIn guide how to connect on LinkedIn.

5. I don’t have the time to use LinkedIn

I hear this often in my LinkedIn workshops. This is a huge excuse. I only ask them to spend 20 minutes, four days a week on LinkedIn. I see some of them shift in their seats, their eyes roll, some groans.

Using LinkedIn to find a job is an important tool in your tool chest. It’s worth it to put in the effort to help supplement your overall networking campaign.

Just because I am on LinkedIn approximately 30 minutes a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year doesn’t mean my workshop attendees have to do the same. That would be crazy.

6. I don’t want to brag

Related to the previous excuse, what you’re really saying is you don’t want to promote your value to employers and potential business partners.

You’re not bragging if you state facts and provide proof of your accomplishments. And avoid using superlatives, like “excellent,” “expert,” “outstanding.” They’re empty promises.

Too many people have given me this excuse for not promoting themselves both on their résumé and LinkedIn profile. These are people who have a more difficult time getting to the interview.

7. I don’t know how to post a status update

I get this. You’re not sure how you can provide your connections with relevant information.

You’ve just been laid off and lack the confidence to write words of wisdom. Don’t sweat it. At first share blog posts from your connections or from publications you enjoy reading.

This article provides ways to engage with your connection as opposed to just being active.

8. LinkedIn is too complicated

This must be what my daughter is feeling, as I haven’t seen her on LinkedIn…at all. I’ve also heard this from older job seekers who feel they can’t master the technology.

Granted I use LinkedIn on a regular basis, read articles from my colleagues, and have taught it to thousands of job seekers; you don’t have to be an authority on LinkedIn to use it.

LinkedIn might not be as sex as Instagram, but it’s purposes are to help you land a job and, once you’ve landed that job, use it for business purposes. What’s complicated about this?


Ending thought

One young, smug man told me he’d never have to use LinkedIn; he would always have a job as the assistant to the Mayor. He was attending the workshop I was delivering out of curiosity.

After our discussion, he went on a stint of serving coffee, a far cry from what he was doing. He contacted me and asked if I’d review his LinkedIn profile. At first I was inclined to say no, but I couldn’t hold his ignorance against him.

Wake up companies; 5 reasons to hire qualified UNemployed people

I was prompted to write this post when I came across the the post written by Robert Johnson of Business Insider on July 13, 2011. Even though this was eight years ago, I still see my clients, who are well qualified, struggling to find employment.

Rejection2

Do you remember when companies like Beacon Hill Staffing Group, Gecko Hospitality, Kids In Sports, and 69 others were all cited for practicing unemployment discrimination. Using terms like “must be currently working,” “currently working,” or “currently employed on a permanent basis,” these companies sent the message “your kind are not welcome here.”

I Googled the list of 72 companies that might not hire you unless you already have a job was posted by Robert Johnson of Business Insider on July 13, 2011, a day after a press release by National Employment Law Project (NELP) was issued about how this practice of excluding unemployed people from being hired violates the Fair Employment Bill of 2011. He urged job seekers to visit the list and stay clear of the companies on it.

Here are five reasons to hire unemployed candidates.

It’s outright discrimination not to

Word of this blatant discrimination circulated in 2010 and showed up a number of times as questions on LinkedIn. “Have you heard that companies are not hiring people who are unemployed?” bewildered LI users asked.

Disbelief was rampant among the LinkedIn community. Companies felt that during a recession the people who retained their job were the best workers. Essentially saying the unemployed were “damaged goods.”

There seems to be something inherently wrong with companies refusing to hire people who are out of work for one year, six months, and even three months. There are other reasons why employers should consider hiring qualified, unemployed candidates.

It is often beyond a person’s control when he/she is terminated

In 2011, Evergreen Solar closed its plant in Devens, Massachusetts, terminating hundreds of outstanding workers. All very capable and diligent employees, they were not terminated due to poor performance. They were terminated because the company failed.

As well, a company called Jabil Circuit closed its doors in 2009 and was forced to release hundreds of loyal employees. How did Jabil react after laying off its people? It put out a whole page spread in the Boston Globe extolling the quality of its employees.

The Boston Globe at that time wrote: “Jabil earlier this year gained national attention when it advertised its plant closing and urged other companies to hire its ‘exceptionally skilled and experienced workers.’

I had the honor to help one of Jabil’s employees land a job and negotiate a higher salary. I knew of his reputation for diligence and quality work. He was a stand up person, one I would hire on the spot. Granted when we first met, he was extremely upset and give me shit when I was leading workshops for the employees.

The unemployed cannot be accused of not wanting to work

In fact, getting back to work is their motivating factor in life. They’re hungry and often times willing to start at entry-level, or for less salary than they were earning.

The same Globe article reported: “And yesterday, dressed in a gray pinstripe suit usually reserved for weddings and funerals, Mitchell, 59, interviewed with Raytheon Corp., which sent 14 recruiters to the Jabil career center as it tries to fill up to 50 skilled manufacturing jobs.

“I’m hoping,’’ said Mitchell, who has worked as a solderer, inspector, and packer of circuit boards. “I’m no good at hanging around. I want to work.’”

Employers should see this as an opportunity, providing the unemployed are qualified for available positions. It simply makes sense to hire motivated unemployed workers, rather than some “passive job seeker” who may be biding their time at a company.

Hiring the unemployed improves the economic landscape

People have to work in order to pour money into suffering businesses. Doesn’t it make sense to hire a capable worker as opposed to someone who is already employed?

You may reason that the person who leaves a company for the next one will be replaced by a new employee. Not necessarily. Companies and organizations aren’t quick to replace vacant positions. (The average time to hire is now 30 plus days.)

Rather than bring someone in from another company, hiring companies must fill any job openings with internal employees first and then look for highly referred unemployed people. Employers’ number one preference of hiring someone is by referral. A highly referred unemployed job seeker should be the employer’s first choice, not a “passive job seeker” who is gainfully employed.

It’s just plain wrong

As a workshop facilitator and career counselor at an urban career center, I see the hopes of my customers crushed by being  interviewed a number of times only to find out that the companies deem them “not the right fit.”

Hiring companies must show compassion and try their best to hire those who need the work. They have a moral obligation to hire qualified job seekers, regardless of their age, disability, race, gender, or employment status.


I can’t lie or hide my disgust when my clients ask me if employers are more likely to hire employed people, rather then hungry job seekers. This fact turns my stomach and makes me even more determined to empower unemployed people land their next job.

5 phases of the extravert’s journey to an interview

We rarely see articles on how extraverts* can succeed at getting to interviews, but we often see articles directed toward introverts on this matter. In fact, I can’t recall self-help articles, let alone books, for extraverts (Es).

100 Strangers

100 Strangers

This said, Es need to focus on their strengths and challenges that get them to interviews.

It all begins with research

Es prefer to gather information through oral communications. Which is great if there are other job seekers or people currently employed to help them through this process, i.e., people with whom to network.

Extensively researching the job description and networking with people in the company can aid Es in writing their résumés, as they should be tailored to each job. Understanding the required skills and responsibilities is essential.

Research will continue in the job-search phase, as Es need to be prepared to talk about their knowledge of the company and quite possibly the industry and the interviewers themselves.

A strength of Es is the willingness to reach out to people in the companies for which they’d like to work. They are more apt to pick up the phone than their counterpart. They are also more inclined to ask for networking meeting, which are very valuable in terms of networking.

A challenge for Es is taking the time to research. It’s said that the Es tend to act before thinking; perhaps by not putting the effort into their written communications and thinking they can just wing it in an interview. They could take a lesson of their counterpart who do extensive research throughout their journey to the interview.

Writing compelling job-search marketing literature

This is a phase of getting to the interview where Es need to focus. While they are quick to act, they need to write résumés and LinkedIn profiles that show greater detail and effort. More to the point, their job-search marketing literature must demonstrate accomplishments that are quantified.

Many people have told me all they need to do is get to the interview and then they’ll be able to sell themselves. My response to this is, first you need to get to the interview, so your résumés needs to be the bait to get you there.

Es are professionals when it comes to disseminating their job-search marketing literature, though. They are not shy when it comes to handing their literature to hiring managers or having a neighbor or friend do it.

This brings us back to research. Es will have to dedicate extensive time to reviewing the job description and write accomplishment-laden résumés that speaks to employers’ needs and pain points. The same applies to their LinkedIn profiles and cover letters.

Read: 10 reasons why recruiters and hiring managers dread reading your resume.

Now it’s time to network

Networking can be intimidating for anyone. The word connotes gathering in a large group of people you don’t know and being forced to converse with them. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Networking should be looked at as “connecting with others.”

Keep in mind that one’s preference for introversion or extraversion is about energy level. It’s not about one’s ability to speak. Es generally have more energy than Is.

Is are considered to be great listeners, while Es feel comfortable making small talk; a strength Is envy. Here are things Es have to consider when talking with people:

  • Networking is a two-way street. Don’t go to an event expecting only to receive. Go to give as well.
  • Approach people with the appearance of confidence but don’t come across as arrogant.
  • Ask questions. People like to be asked questions about themselves.
  • Always bring personal business cards. This very popular article explains why they’re needed and what to include on them:
  • Finally, don’t assume networking can only occur in a formal setting. Other great ways of connecting with others is reaching out to the community and inner circle.

Es have a tendency to take control of conversations, which can be annoying to Is who are prone to go into listening mode. There gets to a point where the Is withdraw from the conversation and need to escape.

The ever-important interview

This is where researching goes beyond the job description. It now includes the company; industry/competition; and interviewers themselves, if Es are good. Real-time labor market research, e.g., networking, is sometimes the best way to gather important information.

Building rapport with the interviewers

This comes natural for Es. They come across as confident and outgoing. Interviewers gravitate to this. However, some interviewers might be put off by Es who come across as schmoozing. Their small talk and lengthy answers can be a detriment.

Be ready to answer tough interview questions

This is where the rubber meets the road, as they say.

Having researched the position, company, and the competition, Es should be prepared to answer tough interview question, such as behavioral-based ones. They should have their stories ready structured in the STAR format. For those unfamiliar:

S is the situation

T is the task in the situation

A is the action taken to solve the situation

R is the result of their actions.

Read this article to get a better idea of behavioral-based questions.

Thinking quickly on their feet

This is a strength of Es. They can process information and deliver answers quicker than Is. Marti Olsen Laney, The Introvert Advantage, explains: Is “have a longer neural pathway for processing stimuli. Information runs through a pathway that is associated with long term memory and planning,”

This doesn’t mean Es answers are more accurate; but their quick answers might give a sense of more confidence.

As with networking, Es need to be cognizant of over-talking. Many recruiters and hiring managers have told me that they’ve ended interviews early because candidates were not delivering concise answers.

Finally, follow-up

Here’s where Es could take a lesson from their counterpart, who feel more comfortable communicating through writing. There are well-stated rules for writing follow-up notes:

  • The thank you note/s must arrive 12-24 hours after the interview.
  • Every thank you note needs to be tailored to each interviewer. No formatted notes allowed.
  • Do more than thank everyone for their time; put more effort into it, such as bringing up a point of interest that was mentioned during the interview.
  • Also send a thank you note to the recruiter. They greatly appreciate them, and it keeps the recruiters in your network.

Failing to send a thank you note is failing to conclude the interview. I’ve been told by recruiters, HR, and hiring managers that they appreciate thank you notes. They really do. A few of them have said that not sending one can disqualify job candidates.


*Over the years I have received many rants about how I spell extravert. People tell me it should be extrovert. Both are acceptable spellings. I spell this dichotomy this way because Jung did. It’s just a matter of preference.

Photo: Flickr, Arnab Ghosal

7 reasons why you should be on LinkedIn

In almost every LinkedIn workshop I deliver someone asks me if it’s necessary to be on LinkedIn. Secretly I think they don’t want to make the effort to create a profile, develop a network, and engage with their connections. I get it. It’s like taking up jogging and wanting immediate results.

linkedin-alone

To go into explaining why these few hesitant people should be on LinkedIn would take hours to explain. Instead, I’ll direct them to this article which gives seven sound reasons why job seekers and business people should be on LinkedIn.

1. Your industry/occupation is well represented

The first thing to consider is if you’re in an industry/occupation that’s well represented on LinkedIn. If so, you definitely should be on LinkedIn. My valuable connection, Jim Peacock, painstakingly researched the ranking of all 147 industries that were represented on LinkedIn.

Here is a list of the top 20 followed by the number for each industry*

1 Information Technology & Services 17,076,099 11 Banking 7,472,071
2 Hospital & Health Care 13,445,850 12 Marketing and Advertising 7,447,442
3 Construction 12,878,172 13 Higher Education 7,392,617
4 Education Management 10,294,354 14 Health, Wellness & Fitness 6,599,303
5 Retail 10,289,983 15 Real Estate 6,384,135
6 Financial Services 9,450,549 16 Telecommunications 6,263,932
7 Accounting 8,527,864 17 Oil & Energy 5,986,554
8 Computer Software 7,938,087 18 Food & Beverages 5,805,185
9 Automotive 7,708,673 19 Mechanical or Industrial Engineering 5,257,926
10 Government Administration 7,486,477 20 Hospitality 5,095,957

The rankings have changed over the years, but not by much. There are 147 LinkedIn categories, so this is a limited sample of categories. A safe way to determine if your industry/occupation is well represented is by typing it into the Search field. Or you can access Jim’s ranking of all 147 industries here.

Note: you might think construction isn’t a player on LinkedIn, as far as industries go; but there are close to 13 million LinkedIn members in construction. Keep in mind that there are various occupations in construction, e.g., sales, marketing, finance, admin, etc.

2. Recruiters hang out on LinkedIn

Multiple sources state that anywhere between 87% to 95% of recruiters use LinkedIn to cull talent. But not only are recruiters using LinkedIn. Human resources and hiring managers use LinkedIn to find talent, as well.

Many recruiters who used job boards like Monster.com, Indeed.com, SimplyHired.com, etc., have told me they use LinkedIn more regularly than the aforementioned. To them, LinkedIn provides a better way to search for qualified candidates.

3. Not being on LinkedIn could disqualify you from consideration

An estimated 40% of employers won’t consider hiring someone who is NOT on LinkedIn. Again, if you’re in an industry that’s not well represented, i.e., ranching; you probably don’t have anything to worry about.

Being on LinkedIn shows employers that you have a social media presence, which is huge nowadays. It also shows them you’re tech savvy (somewhat). Also, if LinkedIn is part of their sales and marketing strategy, you’re toast if you’re not on LinkedIn. Think dinosaur if you’re not on LinkedIn.

4. More than 650 million people are on LinkedIn

So join the party. LinkedIn claims 2 people join every second, which means this figure will change in a short period of time. I recall when I joined LinkedIn in 2006, there were about 5 million LinkedIn members.

LinkedIn is used more by business owners and employees than job seekers, so it’s a no brainer if you have to build and nurture relationships. In my mind, connecting with well-established business people is the best method to network your way to a job.

5. You want to present yourself well on LinkedIn

First and foremost, you need a Powerful LinkedIn profile. If creating a LinkedIn profile gives you panic attacks, simply copy what you have on your resume and past it to your profile. But….You’ll need to further develop your profile to the point where it resembles personal resume. In other words, you’ll have to include and develop the following:

  1. Background image that reflects your occupation, industry, or interests.
  2. Quality photo that is professional (headshot and shoulders) or theme-based.
  3. Headline that brands you with keywords or a branding statement.
  4. Kick-ass Summary that tells your story. Write this in first person point of view.
  5. Robust Article & Activities section
  6. Experience section laden with accomplishments, also written in first person point of view. Yes, it can be done.
  7. Education section that goes beyond your resume’s. Talk about what happened when you were in school.
  8. Licenses and Certifications. Volunteer experience. Skills to be endorsed. Recommendations. Accomplishments.

These are the sections that constitute your LinkedIn profile. However, too many people make the mistake of stopping here.

Read this popular article on creating a powerful LinkedIn profile.

You want to build your online network. The second piece of the LinkedIn Campaign puzzle is developing a focused, yet large network. Your network should consist of people who are like-minded. My goal is to maintain a network that comprises 80% of people who are in the same occupation and industry.

However, everyone, job seeker or employed, should extend beyond people in their occupation and industry. Below is a pyramid of various types of potential connections. I list the most important people with whom you should connect from the bottom up.

pyramid-of-connections-21

Read this post to learn how to optimize your network: The ultimate LinkedIn guide: how to optimize your network

You want to engage with your network. You’re finally there. Now you need to communicate with your connections to solidify your community, or tribe. There are many ways to to engage with your connections. Here are some examples:

  • Direct messaging your connections.
  • Writing long posts to express your views. Yes, even if you’re unemployed, you should share your expertise.
  • Share articles that will be of value to your connections.
  • Create videos, if you’re daring. This is something that I’ve tried but realize my strength lies more in writing than producing video.
  • Writing your own articles and using LinkedIn as a vehicle, or writing directly on LinkedIn’s Publishing feature.
  • At the very least, reacting to your connections’ posts.
  • If you don’t engage with your connections, you ‘ll be forgotten. Out of sight, out of mind, as they say. As well, you get more views when you engage with your network.

Read this popular article on engaging with your connections.

6. You want to support your strong personal brand

You worked hard to brand yourself by the work you’ve done in the past. Further, you were respected by your colleagues. Now you have to present yourself to the world as someone who will add value to an organization.

In the job search, you will offer insightful information to your audience (network), whether it’s posts you write and comment on, articles you share or write, consistently pinging your connections, etc.

You’ve also refrained from being negative on LinkedIn. And this has benefited you in the long run. Some people don’t realize that employers and other LinkedIn members take note of negativity, whether it’s bashing recruiters, employers, other LinkedIn members, etc.

7. You want to continue using LinkedIn when you’re working

I’ve spoken about using LinkedIn to find a job. Now I want to reinforce the message that you should not stop using LinkedIn once you’ve found a job. All too often I see this happen.

Continue to grow your network. The old saying, “Build your well before you need to drink” is partially true. More accurately would be, “Continue to build your well and engage with your network to strengthen your opportunities for future employment.” If you have to look for another job, you’ll want to have an established network.

You’ll want to be a passive candidate. Sadly, some recruiters wrongfully believe that only passive candidates (those already working) are the best ones. You’ve proven that you’re hireable; now prove that you will be a right fit for a position you desire.

Hint: make sure you have Career Interests on your Dashboard on. Only you can see this.

You’ll need to accumulate endorsements and recommendations. I see my clients lament over having four endorsements for their skills, so I tell them they need to accumulate them when they are working. Listing skills is important. Are endorsements vital? The jury is still out on this.

The same applies to recommendations. As you were asking for recommendations when looking for work, continue to ask for them. Also write recommendations for others, as it shows your leadership responsibilities.

It’s great for business. Did you know that LinkedIn was originally build to generate business opportunities? Most LinkedIn members are using it for business, not the job search. However, job seekers see it as a great way to network online for work. This said, if your job entails B2B networking, using LinkedIn is a no-brainer.


Should you be on LinkedIn? You should if:

  • Your industry or occupation is well represented.
  • Because recruiters and other hiring authorities are looking for you.
  • You might be not considered for a position.
  • LinkedIn is one big party with more than 650 million people on it.
  • You can create a strong profile, develop a focused network, and engage with your connections.
  • You want to support your strong personal brand.
  • You’re committed to using it after you’ve landed your job.

These seven components make you a strong candidate for being on LinkedIn.

*Your search will produce a slightly different number than Jim’s list did, but generally his numbers are accurate.

Reciprocity in the job search isn’t as hard as you think

After reading an article, Principle #1-Reciprocity, from my valued LinkedIn connection Brian Ahearn, I began thinking about how difficult it is for some people to reciprocate in the throes of their job search.

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This is not the first time Brian has given me an idea that can help job seekers. Brian writes about the art of persuasion. He is “one of only 20 people in the world personally trained by Robert Cialdini, the most cited living social psychologist on the topic of ethical influence.”

One example of a job seeker having a hard time reciprocating is when he’s networking and wonders how can they return the favor. For example, a fellow networker provides him with a few leads of people they can contact. One of the leads turns into an interview and eventual job offer.

He might not be able to reciprocate in the same manner, but he can do something as simple as help the giver with enhancing her résumé. Or he may let her know of any openings at his new company. I’ve witnessed many of my former clients reciprocate in this manner.

Read Brian’s article, Principle #1-Reciprocity, and see how you can reciprocate a favor someone pays you when you are networking.