Tag Archives: job search

The 6 principles of a successful job search

As someone who’s on the front-line of helping job seekers gain employment, I see the frustration on their faces. Most are stoic and not outwardly emotional, but I know they’re struggling with a very difficult situation. Some are beyond frustrated; they’re bordering on hopelessness, wondering how they’ll land their next job.

jumbing

I’ve learned throughout the years that there’s a mindset job seekers need to adopt. They need to believe that, through their mental preparation and subsequent actions, they can positively affect their job search. A critical aspect of their success is practicing the art of persuasion.

Persuasion is often used in the sales arena, but it also applies to folks who are looking for work. Brian Ahearn, one of only 20 Cialdini* certified trainers in the word, often tells audiences, “Getting people to say YES to you is critical to your professional success.”

I agree with Brian’s philosophy and have read many of his articles as well as his book, so I elicited his help to write this article. What’s good for salespeople is good for job seekers, I reason. Today, we’ll take a look at each in the context of your job search.

  1. Liking
  2. Reciprocity
  3. Social Proof
  4. Consistency and Commitment
  5. Authority
  6. Scarcity

Liking

It’s easier for people to say Yes to those they know and like. That means you need to be likable. Liking starts with presenting a positive demeanor, even if you’re struggling with your job search. But there’s more.

We like people we see as similar to ourselves and those who pay genuine compliments. If you know some of the people you’ll meet during your interviews then do a little research using LinkedIn or Google beforehand. Find out what you have in common and how you might pay them a sincere compliment.

If you can’t do the research before the interview, then be very observant during your interviews so you can connect and compliment. You might not land a job just because someone likes you…but I guarantee you’ll never get a job if they don’t like you.

Reciprocity 

Reciprocity is that feeling of obligation to give back to someone who’s first given to you. When someone has done something for you, make sure you reciprocate in some way. It might be as simple as a sincere “thank you.”

Not reciprocating will put you in a bad light because it offends the sensibilities when people don’t give back in some way.

As was the case with liking, to be most effective you want to be proactive. Be the giver and the chances of getting what you want—that next job—will go up. This begs the question; how do you give?

Do what you can to help your fellow job seeker with their search. In other words, practice the six tenets of giving, some of which includes sharing information, mentioning a possible lead, providing moral support, among others. This will yield positive results because those people are likely to help you when you need it.

Social Proof

Social proof is key to creating a strong personal online brand, which can be seen by thousands of people. Some job seekers have the misconception that posting updates 10 times a day on LinkedIn is effective social proof. It’s not. Posting fewer quality updates is the ticket.

The person you interview with will also be impressed if they see you have lots of recommendations. Here’s where your prior influence is so important when asking for recommendations. The more they like you (Liking) and the more you’ve done to help them (Reciprocity) the more likely they are to give you a recommendation on LinkedIn.

Social proof is becoming increasingly more important for job seekers, as employers are primarily looking for talent on LinkedIn, Facebook and even Twitter. When I tell job seekers this in my webinars, some of them express looks of concern on their face because they have no social proof.

Consistency and Commitment 

Consistency and Commitment is all about the person you’re trying to influence. In your case, it would be the person who is interviewing you and the organization they work for. This principle says people feel better about themselves when your words and deeds match theirs.

Gandhi put it this way, “Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony.”

The more you understand the person and organization you’re interviewing with the easier it will be to engage this principle. For example, if a core tenant of the organization is learning, your ability to show you’re a life-long learner will make it easier for the interviewer to see you as a cultural fit.

Do some homework so you know the organization’s mission, vision, and values. Next, give thought to how you align with each. Finally, be ready to demonstrate how you’re the right person for the job because your beliefs and experience are in line with all that you’ve discovered.  

Authority 

images

It’s easier for people to say YES to individuals they see as wise or having expertise. That’s the principle of Authority. This means you have to be viewed as an expert.

Make sure your LinkedIn profile highlights your expertise then be ready to back it up with stories and insights. For example; the best writers, speakers, and curators know what’s trending, and they report on it in a timely manner.

People are more likely to follow the advice of experts when what they’re writing, speaking, or curating is relevant to them. Once again homework is key because it’s essential that you know your audience well. Once you, as a job seeker, become known as an expert or “authority,” what you share will carry more weight.

Scarcity

The less there is of something, the more desirable the object is. This doesn’t only apply to iPhone upgrades when they first hit the market. If you possess a talent, or a skill set, that employers find hard to come by, you will persuade them because you’re a scarce resource. You need to help them realize if they don’t hire you, they’re missing out and might be worse off for the decision.

Don’t worry; this doesn’t mean you have to be a rocket scientist. When it comes to people it’s rare that there’s only one person for the job. There might be combination of things you bring to the table are what make you the most unique candidate. Once you understand that, you need to be ready to talk about your uniqueness in a way that an employer feels they’ll make a big mistake by not hiring you.

I think of job seekers who have the sought after job-related skills, as well as emotional intelligence, as an example of scarcity. If you can persuade employers that you are the full package, your chances of landing a desired job are greater.


Persuasion is not a one-off thing; it involves all six principles. When job seekers visualize each principle, they will be able to master them. One who wants to master Authority, for instance, must put effort into demonstrating through social media their expertise in a topic like digital marketing.

When job seekers use persuasion, they control their destiny. Their situation may seem dire, but it can be turned around. If you’re struggling with unemployment, look at the six principles and see which ones you must improve.

This article was a collaborative effort with a valued LinkedIn connection and friend, Brian Ahearn. Brian teaches Dr. Cialdini’s methodology to salespeople nationally and internationally.

Brian’s book, Influence PEOPLE: Powerful Everyday Opportunities to Persuade that are Lasting and Ethical was named one of the Top 100 Influence Books of All Time by BookAuthority. His second book on Persuasive Selling for Relationship Driven Insurance Agents will be available on Amazon starting January 27th.

In addition to his writing, Brian has recorded the following LinkedIn Learning courses: Persuasive Selling, Advanced Selling: Persuading Different Personality Styles, Persuasive Coaching, Building a Culture of Coaching Though Timely Feedback.

*Robert Cialdini, Ph.D., is the most cited living social psychologist in the world when it comes to the science of influence and persuasion. In his New York Times bestseller, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, he lays out six principles of persuasion which are scientifically proven ways to hear YES more often.

Photo: Flickr, bm_adverts

How to Leverage LinkedIn Posts for Your Job Search

This guest post was written by Ed Han, a recruiter known for his excellent job-search advice. It first appeared on Job-Hunt.org.

Of the four sites typically considered major social media sites, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn are vying for second place behind Facebook.

When it comes to professional visibility, LinkedIn is the clear winner.

Taking a page from the Facebook playbook, LinkedIn added status updates, also known as posts, to the options available for LinkedIn members.

Judiciously leveraging these updates — making posts, comments, and clicking on the “Like” button — can increase your visibility on LinkedIn.

Posts on LinkedIn allow members to communicate with each other and the world — LinkedIn’s version of the Facebook feed.

LinkedIn HOME iconTo create a LinkedIn update, LinkedIn offers several options for members on the member’s home page (the house icon visible on the left). From that page, a member may “Start a post,” or, by clicking on the appropriate icon, share a photo, a video, or a file from their computer.

LinkedIn also offers the option to “Write an article on LinkedIn.” So, five options are available to members from the top of their home page, as shown below.

3 Main Benefits of LinkedIn Posts

A LinkedIn public profile — the profile visible to anyone — can tell a viewer your experience, list your skills, and announce your professional effectiveness through Recommendations.

Posts provide additional essential elements in your online visibility. Posts will:

  1. Demonstrate You Are Reachable on LinkedIn  

If a recruiter wants to contact a LinkedIn user about a position, he or she has no idea whether or not the candidate is going to see the message, to say nothing of when they might see it. This is not good — recruiters are always in a hurry to find the right candidate.

For a recruiter, many possible job candidates may be qualified and could be contacted, but the candidates more likely to respond are are the candidates more likely to be considered. When recruiters see that you are active on LinkedIn, you are demonstrating that you are likely to respond if they reach out to you.

[NOTE: Read How to Safely Include Your Contact Information on LinkedIn so that recruiters can reach you quickly and easily.]

  2. Increase Your LinkedIn Visibility  

Posts remind people of your presence and your field (expertise and interests). Check out the posts from others to “Comment,” “Like,” or “Share” them with your network.

LinkedIn Like OptionsWhen you hover over the Like icon, you can choose one of several other reactions: Like, Celebrate, Love, Insightful, or Curious.

When you react to someone else’s posts, LinkedIn sends them a message about your actions, which helps you to expand your network.

Another benefit of the posts is that it is an easy, non-pushy way to stay top of mind for those in your network who are inclined to render assistance in the form of introductions.

  3. Reinforce Your Professional Image  

Obviously, the things one posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are typically not ideal for sharing on LinkedIn. This goes back to the core purpose of LinkedIn, why founder Reid Hoffman created it: professional networking.

Therefore, posts should be focused on professional career-enriching steps:

  • Shared news articles.
  • Skills development.
  • Actual networking events.
  • Helpful comments on the posts of other members.

These posts reinforce your image as a professional. See the examples below.

Making and Sharing LinkedIn Professional Status Updates

Facebook offers this critical lesson for the savvy job seeker looking to maximize the effectiveness of his or her LinkedIn profile: the post (also called the status update)..

The LinkedIn status update can be up to 1,300 characters in length, perfect for letting your network know what you are doing or introducing something you are sharing.

Updates typically stay “live” for 14 days before they disappear from view. And, remember that your most recent posts are visible on your LinkedIn profile.

Share your thoughts and interesting things you find several ways:

  1. Use the “share box” near the top of your LinkedIn home page.  

LinkedIn Profile Homepage Status UpdateYou have 5 options from your LinkedIn “home” page, as you see on the left.

Choose your option. To begin a discussion or ask a question, click on the words “Start a post.”

To share an image, video, or file from your computer, click on the appropriate icon.

Click the “Write an article on LinkedIn” link, and publish an article on LinkedIn (most effective when an image is included).

After you click one of the links above, a box, like the one below, opens allowing you to type in your update, including a URL, if appropriate, or add the image, video, or file. Ask a question or share good information.

You may even create a poll or share that you are hiring, as shown below.

Starting a LinkedIn Post share

To increase a post’s visibility and participation by other members, “tag” the members who would be most interested.

Tag another member by adding their names to your post, preceding each name with an “@” sign. Tagging another user has the bonus of pushing your post into the feed of that person’s LinkedIn network. Do this sparingly, and only when you have good reason to believe he or she would be particularly interested.

  2. Create posts by liking, commenting on, or sharing someone else’s post.  

Build your reputation as a good source of information by reacting to or sharing good information other LinkedIn members (those you follow) have published on LinkedIn as updates or articles. LinkedIn offers several types of reactions beyond Like, as seen above.

When sharing, if you use the originator’s name in the text of your update, LinkedIn will usually notify them that you have shared something they created.

LinkedIn Post or Update options

Be very careful making comments. Don’t share something just to make fun of it or highlight a mistake. Stay professional or your updates will create a negative image for you.

Please do note that commenting is considered the gold standard of engagement by LinkedIn’s algorithm, and therefore is most helpful to the poster.

When you have reacted, LinkedIn then prompts you to comment.

Adding comments to a LinkedIn post

  3. Like or share someone else’s post in a Group.  

When you find good information in someone else’s Group post, “Like” or “Comment” on it. LinkedIn will notify them of your action, which can be the start of a discussion or at least put you on someone’s radar for possible future connections.

LinkedIn Group Like or Comment

This can be a good way to become visible to an employer you are trying to reach. Again, stay positive and be professional in your comments.

Finding Your Updates

You can find your updates by scrolling down your LinkedIn Profile until you find a box labeled “Activity,” as you can see in the image below. This section is usually the fourth or fifth box down from the top of your Profile.

At the top on the right, as shown below, you will find a link to “See all” above your four latest shares or comments. Simply click on “See all” to see the update tracks you are leaving on LinkedIn.

Viewing Your LinkedIn Updates

This section is on everyone’s Profile, so you can see what others are sharing and writing on LinkedIn, too, by clicking on that link on their Profile.

Make Appropriate LinkedIn Posts

If you are in a job search, what should one say in a post on LinkedIn?

For example, consider the logistics professional who shares a new article discussing another way of viewing costs associated with Daylight Savings Time and minimizing disruptions in truck deliveries or train schedules.

I found this eye-opening article about the change in DST and a hidden impact on costs and scheduling [link].

And, imagine an aspiring project manager pursuing the PMP certification. Perhaps he or she has two peers who also plan to sit for the exam in 3 months. A post our project manager could share is:

Looking forward to catching up with John and Mary tonight to prepare for the PMP in 3 months. The discussion is always informative!

Maybe another professional is attending a networking event later in the day. The post could be:

Should be a good time tonight at my local Toastmasters chapter, I think I have turned the corner on projecting my voice powerfully.

Another example that is particularly current during the pandemic:

Excited to volunteer my time making masks and other personal protective equipment to donate to my friend, a first-responder with RWJ Barnabas Health. Please stay safe!

Updates about training you may be receiving, furthering your education, or other proactive steps to help enrich your professional value, are all valuable and tell people viewing your profile something important about you.

Each of the examples communicates that you are engaged in professional development or self-improvement, in addition to letting people know that you are on LinkedIn.

For more on tips on sharing good updates, read How Your LinkedIn Activities Impact Your Personal Brand.

Facebook Sharing Is Inappropriate on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is fundamentally different from most other forms of social media. LinkedIn is professionally-oriented. This means that many of the things one might do on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook are not suitable for LinkedIn.

Yet each of these sites has adopted new capabilities originally introduced on Facebook. Instagram is on the cusp of introducing advertising, Twitter’s targeted ads, and, on LinkedIn, the skill endorsement.

However, these Facebook activities are not appropriate on LinkedIn:

  • Discussions of politics.
  • How you binge-watched a television show over the weekend.
  • Cheering for your favorite sports team and/or making nasty comments about other teams.
  • Personal information like birthday parties, dating, and other family news.
  • Discussing religion and other non-business issues, etc.

While LinkedIn is definitely social media, the focus is not on sharing everything you are doing and thinking, particularly when the subject is not relevant to your professional image.

The Bottom Line

The LinkedIn status update is a powerful tool, and the savvy job seeker can use it to great effect. It can help you to communicate your ongoing professional endeavors and interests, skills development, and further networking by sharing content with your network, all while telling people that you actually do spend time on the site. And it helps keep your name and headline in front of the people in your network.

6 ways to give when you’re networking for a job

I was pleasantly surprised to receive a gift (four delicious pumpkin cupcakes) from a member of a networking group I facilitate. Prior to bestowing upon me such a kind gift, Marie had asked me to critique “only her LinkedIn profile Summary.”

give-help

This gift was hardly necessary; although, I have to admit I had forgotten to look at her profile. So I sat with her that day for a brief time and offered some suggestions like, “This paragraph is a bit dense….

“I like the content a lot but perhaps you’d want to reorganize it to match your headline….

“I like your tag line a lot….

“The rest of your profile is great, but you might want to copy and paste some symbols for bullets to spiff it up.”

This interaction is an example of how to give to people when you’re in the job search. Do you have to give baked goods like Marie did? No. You have to reciprocate, however. Here are some ways to give back.

1. Share information

Had Marie sent me a link to an article that could provide fodder for a workshop I lead or a blog post idea, it would be a great way to give back. I’m one who is constantly trolling LinkedIn for information to learn more.

Very little effort required here. For a job seeker it could mean a great post on how to write a resume or some great interview tips. I think sharing information is particularly important for after an informational meeting. You receive information from the person granting you the meeting; now it’s time to return the favor.

2. Make an introduction to someone who could possibly help

You know the saying, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime?” When you make an introduction, this is what you’re doing. You’re telling your networking partner to take the ball and run.

Note: providing an introduction in person or on LinkedIn is the same concept. LinkedIn may be the way to go for the busy people you know, but an in-person introduction is more expedient and, perhaps, more efficient.

3. Tell networking groups about your happy landing

Don’t think your networking partners won’t be pleased to learn about your Happy Landing. They will be pleased. However, don’t return to the group to gloat. Tell them how you landed your job.

Many times people have returned the group I facilitate to tell us about the journey they traveled. Have they always landed due to networking? Not always. But networking has played at least a small part in their success. Tell people what worked…and what didn’t.

4. Provide leads after you land a job

Some people who’ve landed a job have contacted me about advertised or, better yet, unadvertised positions at their new company. They get the point of networking. This is one of the best ways to give back after your job search.

Do you know someone who’s still looking? Keep that person in mind when positions open in your company. Be smart about it, though. Your new company might offer an employee referral bonus; this doesn’t give you full range to tell everyone you know about the opening, particularly if they’re not qualified.

5. If you don’t get the job, recommend someone else

Sometimes you curse a recruiter for not helping you land a job. You’re so upset because the recruiter delivers the bad news that the company felt you weren’t qualified. There was empathy in their voice as they told you.

Instead of holding it against the recruiter, think about how you can possibly help a networking connection. It may hurt but think about the main tenet of networking; provide help before expecting it. And if it works out for your networking partner, you gain the satisfaction of helping that person.

As well, you help the recruiter who can possibly help you in the future. Remember that recruiters have a network of employers who need to fill jobs. Don’t discount them.

6. Provide moral support

In times like these–with unemployment rates high due to the pandemic–it’s important to provide moral support to your fellow networkers. Things have drastically changed from the days when you met one-on-one with other job seekers. Now group networking is done via Zoom or other online platforms.

This alone has isolated people which for many leads to despondency or even depression. People are social animals who enjoy the opportunity to be with others in one form or another.

In one of my job club meetings, a woman led the icebreaker part of the event. She was upbeat and encouraging to her fellow networkers, so much that I applauded her for her enthusiasm. This type of support is an important element of giving.


These are but five ways you can help your networking partners. As I said, it’s not necessary to bring delicious baked goods to show your appreciation, but it does help. Thank you, Marie!

Photo: Flickr, the man at the front desk said i’d find you here

Job-search from home with children: 6 tips on how to do it

Articles on working from home abound. There’s even a hashtag for working from home, #WFH. But there aren’t as many articles on job searching from home, #JSFH. Throwing dependent children in the mix adds a new dimension. Now we have a new hashtag, #JSFHWC.

Photo by Yan on Pexels.com

For those of you who fall under this hashtag know the complication of trying to find a job while also tending to children who are preschool age and demand your undivided attention, or are of school age and were home taking online classes. With school out, a whole set of issues present themselves.

I’ve been fortunate to keep my job (fingers crossed) thus far throughout the pandemic. I’m also fortunate to have two independent children living at home with my wife and I. My daughter goes to work at a farm and my son goes to work (at 12:00 pm) as a lifeguard.

When I’m on a Zoom call or delivering a webinar, they know well enough to be scarce. But this article isn’t about me. It’s about the millions of people who have to look for work while also caring for their children.

I conducted a poll on LinkedIn asking people who are looking for work at home with children if they have a more structured schedule. Not surprisingly more then half of them said they don’t, only 33% said they do, and 14% said sort of.

I also asked the voters to comment on their situation. A valued LinkedIn connection who just went through a job search with her husband offers this sage advice:

My husband just spent the past 2 months job searching – with our kids at home. He had a very structured schedule which included time for job search, time for kids (as I remained working full time), time for himself, and time for other/home activities. It worked well as it ensured we all knew what/when was going on and could respect his focus – and he landed a new role 2 weeks ago. Was it always easy? No.

Adrienne

Fortunately for my valued connection, all worked out well for her husband and their family. He was one of the 33% who was able to structure his job search with some help from her, I’m sure.

One voter writes that structure can go out the window with children in tow. There are brush fires that always need distinguishing when JSFHWC.

I’d say one of the biggest things is permitting yourself to let go sometimes. If the kid’s laptop crashes, then you are IT support. Now! You have to let go of the idea that you can control your day like you can when you’re cocooned in an office with various types of support. Pair that with focusing on a limited list of “Gotta Dos” and you have a shot at meeting your goals for the day, week, whatever. (I use the hierarchy of “Gotta Do”, “Needta Do” and “Nice ta Do” for determining which tasks get done and in which order.)

Adam

These are but two examples of how #JSFHWC? has gone with two job seekers—one positive, the other not so positive. If you are struggling with this situation, here are some tips that might be of assistance.

1. Prioritize: set aside time for yourself

As my connection said, her husband prioritized his job search. This is essential if you want to stay sane and land a job. The first point she makes is that her husband made time for his job search.

It’s important to plan time for your job search and more important to stick to it. This might not come easy to you, but it’s a make or break situation.

A client of mine told me he gets up before the sun rises, gets on the stationary bike, and then dives into the job search almost before his children are screaming for breakfast.

Biron Clark, a career coach and former recruiter, reiterates the importance of setting some time aside for yourself:

Develop a plan and schedule that works for your life. You’re going to get better results in your job search if you’re able to put in consistent effort for at least a couple of hours per day without distractions. This can be difficult when you’re at home with your family, though. If you have children at home, think about whether you can wake up before them to get a few uninterrupted hours each morning. If that’s not an option, then think about another time of day. Either way, set a schedule and try to stick to it as much as possible.

2. Reach out to your support system

It’s also important to develop a network of people who can support you in your efforts. Another voter who commented said that he has support for the times when he has interviews:

I treat my job search as a part time job right now. Both our children are very young and not in school. My job search starts at 5:00 am to 7:00 am then picks up again at 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm 6 days a week. When I have an interview I have help from my neighbors to watch the kids. It takes a lot more planning and time management but we have found this structured schedule has worked best for our family.

Darrick

You might not be fortunate enough to reach out to your neighbors. Call on your family to see if they can entertain your children via Zoom or Facetime. What about your former colleagues, ask if they’d like to do some Kid Share; they entertain your children online or in person and you return the favor. Make sure to physical distance.

3. Rely on your network

Marie Zimenoff, who trains career coaches and resume writers, says when you’re networking to leverage them; don’t do all the work. You have to be explicit in what you’re looking for, including the companies with which you’d like to work.

If you are job searching at home with kids, start with the people that already know, like, and trust you (your Champions). Share your target list with them and ask them if they know anyone there (or who used to work there), if they have other organizations they’d add to the list, or if they have any other insights on the companies on the list. Don’t discount people before you give them the opportunity to help! You can use systems like Facebook or LinkedIn to help connect the dots between those Champions (who won’t mind if your kids are wild in the background) and the “weak ties” who are key to landing your next role.

Don’t let the fact that it’s difficult to reach out to your network in person deter you from contacting them. This pandemic has taught us that using modes of communication like the phone, video platforms, email and LinkedIn are essential. Those who don’t grasp it will have a hard time networking.

4. Use LinkedIn for more than its job board

What many people don’t realize is that LinkedIn is a powerful research tool that can help you locate people in your target companies. Your goal is to connect and develop relationships with as many people as you can in your target companies.

Sarah Johnston, an executive career coach, produced two LinkedIn Learning videos—one that explain the importance of making an extensive list of your target companies and the key players you need to connect with—and a second one that explains how to use LinkedIn’s search capabilities to find said people.

Also use the little time to make changes to your LinkedIn profile. You might be new to LinkedIn and haven’t polished your profile. This article gives you some ideas of how to update your profile during the pandemic.

5. Use the job boards sparingly

Too many people consider applying online as their primary/only method of searching for jobs. This is a huge mistake, as it’s been proven that the success rate is extremely low—5% is a conservative estimate.

This said, I tell my clients to use the job boards, e.g., Indeed, Monster, Dice, etc. sparingly. Set aside time to get on your computer and access your favorite sites. Or if you’re with your children outside, use the apps while keeping one eye on them and the other on the apps.

Couple your job-board use with LinkedIn. Like Sarah says in her video, LinkedIn can be a great way to find people on LinkedIn before or after you’ve applied for a position at a company.

6. Get outside

More than ever people are walking and running in my neighborhood. Fresh air and exercise do wonders, not only for your body but for your health as well. This is an acceptable part of your job search. When I was out of work, I increased my walking from 45 minutes to an hour. It was a great way to clear my head.

Take care of yourself. One of my LinkedIn connection, Vincent Phamvan, says it well:

Spend some of your time on activities outside of your job search. Spend time with family, take walks, try to eat healthy meals. This will keep you mentally fit and ready to rock your upcoming interviews.

Use this alone time to strategize about how you will tailor your resume to that position for which you’re perfect. Listen to books on tape regarding the job search or podcasts from my valued connections, Mark Anthony Dyson and Virginia Franco.


I have heard from job seekers that the pandemic has made it impossible to job search from home with children. Some have abandoned the job search entirely, relying on unemployment plus the $600 provided through the CARES act, which at this writing has stopped.

Career coaches can’t change the mind frame of people like this. Job seekers need to realize that unemployment benefits will eventually run dry, so they need to adamantly dive into their JSFHWC.

10 Resume articles that will help you in the job search

This compilation of resume writing articles is based on my and others’ knowledge of writing resumes that will get you to an interview. Read one or many of these articles. As I publish articles, I’ll add them to this compilation. Enjoy, and I hope the resume articles help you get to your next interview.

The ultimate comparison of the résumé and LinkedIn profile: a look at 12 areas

Occasionally I’m asked which I prefer writing or reviewing, a résumé or LinkedIn profile. To use a tired cliché, it’s like comparing apples and oranges. The first fact we have to realize is that each has its own purpose.

The Summary is the loser out of 3 resume sections. More than 2,000 people have voted

Would you have guessed that out of three resume sections—Skills, Summary, and Education—the Summary is the least necessary? I wouldn’t have. So much has been written on how to write the Summary, how to brand yourself, keep it brief, and show your value to employers

Does resume length matter? A poll and 13 career authorities say it does

Just when you thought the debate was over, a poll and 13 career authorities prove differently. Should a resume be one page, two pages, or three pages long? Or does it depend?

Why your LinkedIn profile resembles a combination resume

What is a combination resume? Simply put it’s a functional resume and chronological resume combined. Your LinkedIn profile About section satisfies the first component and, well, we know how LinkedIn’s Experience section is a chronological format.

Hot resume trends for 2020: What the experts say

A decade has ended and now a new one is upon us, so what will 2020 bring in terms of résumé trends? One thing is for sure; if you plan to submit the same tired résumé for all positions, your chances of success will hover around zero percent. Some résumé trends will stay the same as they did in 2019; whereas others will change, or at least be reinforced.

Is it time to declutter your resume? 10 items to consider

I’m not a proponent of limiting the number of résumé pages to one, or even two. But seven-pages is definitely overdoing it. Now, I’m asking you what has to go when you declutter your résumé. Here are 10 items you should remove from your document before submitting it for a position.

Store your resume and 6 other documents on your phone

Consider this situation: you’re hundreds of miles away from your computer, where your résumé is stored. A hiring manager from a desired company sends you a text that reads, “Saw your LinkedIn profile and am impressed. Trying to fill an operations manager position. Like to see your resume today.” The only device you have is your phone.

3 reasons why your resume 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. There are NO guarantees that a resume will land you a job.

Is the resume Summary dead?

In this article, we take a look at the resume Summary and if it’s even useful. Experts weigh in. Result, most find the Summary a useful section to sell yourself early on. Others say to leave it off the resume, as they go directly to the Experience section.

45 resume words that need to be made extinct

There are a lot of words that should be left off your resume. Check out the list. Does your resume have some of the words on the list?

Updating your LinkedIn Profile during COVID-19: 5 major areas

We’re in the midst of COVID-19 which has forced many of us to stay at home. To make matters worse, unemployment has risen to unprecedented levels. On the surface, things aren’t looking good. But I don’t need to tell you this if you’re out of work.

serious adult bearded worker using tablet near window in workshop

I also don’t need to tell you that being stuck inside probably leaves you sitting in front of your computer searching for jobs online; checking your LinkedIn and Facebook streams; or worst-case scenario, watching Netflix and the good ole tele. You have some time on your hands.

Now is the time to work on your LinkedIn profile, especially if it needs a lot of work. Not for nothing, I’ve reviewed and written hundreds of LinkedIn profiles, so I know there are some great ones, average ones, and downright poor ones.

Writing a profile is hard work and time-consuming; but if you want to separate yourself from the poor to average, you’ll have to dedicate some effort. Take advantage of the time all of us have on our hands due to COVID-19. Let’s take this step by step.

First, think about your accomplishments

Now is the time to think hard about your accomplishments. Easier said than done, you think. You think everything you did while working was just part of your job. Nothing special. I get it. But you have accomplished more than you think.

I tell my clients, who claim they can’t think of any accomplishments, to reach out to people with whom they worked for help thinking about their accomplishments. Like my clients, you might be too close to your accomplishments to recognize them as such.

For example, you led a team of five people that always delivered assignments on time despite tight deadlines. You don’t think of it as a major accomplishment. But if you were to reach out to members of your former crew, they’d tell you how your leadership made all of it possible.

The question is how do you reach out to your former colleagues? Put your computer to better use; set up a time to meet with video streaming platforms like Zoom, Skype, and Facetime. In some ways it’s easier to communicate with people than getting together for coffee.

After you’ve accumulated accomplishments you didn’t realize you achieved, you’re ready to go to work on your LinkedIn profile.

Your profile

Countless articles have been written on how to create an optimized profile that brands you. Take a look at yours and if it doesn’t accomplish this, now’s the time to make it right. I’m going to point out the most important sections on which to focus. Once you’ve nailed these, work on the others.

Snapshot area: background image, photo, headline

This is the area is at the top of your profile. It should include a background image first and foremost. Make sure your background image brands you by illustrating your industry and/or occupation. An image of a mountainscape or seashore is acceptable, as it describes your personality.

You might consider this statement to be too strong: you must include a photo because without it you won’t come across as memorable, trusted, and liked. What’s most important about your photo is that it’s high quality. This might be a tough order, as many photographers aren’t open for business.

Fix: have someone with a smartphone take your photo. I’ve seen some really great photos taken with an iPhone and Android.

A strong headline is essential. If your Headline is about your situation—you’re unemployed—it adds no value to your profile. This is where you want to tout your areas of expertise. Make it keyword rich like this:

Marketing Manager ~ Collaborative Planning | Customer Business Management | Brand and Product Marketing | MBA

A branding statement will also work but it won’t draw as many searchers, e.g., recruiters, as a headline that includes industry-related keywords will.

About section: the why, how, and what

The most important lines in your About section are the first three, where you need to entice the reader to continue reading. This is approximately 50 words, so make them count. Look at your opening paragraph as the Why. In other words, why should they click “see more.”

The “What” you do (to solve the “Why”) can be the next paragraph. Finally, “How” you do what you do rounds out your About section. Throw in some accomplishments here. As mentioned above, if you’re having trouble thinking of your accomplishments, ask people you worked with or your spouse.

Note: Don’t forget your call to action: your email address and telephone number (if you want to include it.

woman working at home using her laptop

Experience section: be more descriptive

The Experience section has been much neglected, in my opinion. Again, take some time to think about what you’ve accomplished at your previous jobs. Many people simply list their company name, title, and years of tenure. This is a shame. Even if you are/were the CEO of a company, at least describe what the company does.

Another thing people don’t realize is that you can add more to your title. For example, you are a Financial Analyst at Biogen with areas of expertise in Data Analysis, Project Management, Contract Negotiations, and Renewable Energy. Your title should read:

Financial Analyst ~ Data Analysis | Project Management | Contract Negotiations | Renewable Energy

You’ve been told not to simply copy and paste your résumé’s Experience information to your profile. I agree…to a point. While you won’t want to include everything from your résumé everything, including the kitchen sink, you will list only the highlights from your résumé.

And don’t be hesitant to show some personality in your Experience section. This is another place where you can tell your story. Here’s the job summary of my profile:

I’m more than a workshop facilitator & designer; I’m a career and LinkedIn strategist who constantly thinks of ways to better market my customers in their job search. Through disseminating trending job-search strategies, I increase our customers’ chances of finding jobs.

Read: 5 reasons why you shouldn’t ignore your LinkedIn profile Experience section

Education section: continue to tell your story

This is another section that can be expanded to tell your story. Sure you earned a Mechanical Engineer degree at MIT. Impressive, but that wasn’t all that you did while there. You were also an editor of the engineering newspaper. You also rowed Varsity crew.

I always ask my clients if they earned a degree while working full-time. Hands go up. “Do you have this fact listed on your profile,” I ask them. Hands go down. I reprimand them saying this factoid shows diligence, time management, among other skills. It’s not easy. Ask my wife who’s earning a Masters in Project Management.

Skills and endorsements/recommendations: help others

I want you to take some time to endorse your connections for their skills in the Skills and Endorsements section. A close connection of mine, Shelly Elsliger, prompted people to do this for a day. I thought it was a great way to get people active. Now that you have time, endorse your connections.

The same goes for writing recommendations for people you managed. Take this time to make their day and send them a recommendation out of the blue. Don’t wait for them to ask, because they probably won’t. This is a great way to show your authority and the values you hold in employees.

If you need recommendations, ASK! I find this is one of the hardest parts for people who are developing their profile. Fear of rejection. Afraid of putting people out. There are a number of excuses. Take this time to write your own recommendations and have someone approve it.


The rest

The easy part is done. What, you’re thinking? That’s right; you have reacted to what I’ve suggested. Now it’s time to activate your profile by reaching out to like-minded people to create a focused network. Once your network is established, you need to engage with them.

I won’t tell you that what we’re going through is a blessing, but I’ll tell you that you need to make the best of this unfortunate situation. Begin with your profile and work from there. One more thing, your profile doesn’t need to be perfect in order for your LinkedIn campaign to be put to use.

3 facts about this impersonal job search: why adapting is important

With the COVID-19 pandemic, job seekers don’t have the option of attending in-person networking events, job clubs, buddy groups, or coffee meetings; at least for the time being. A time will come when they can engage in face-to-face networking. When this will happen is not certain, but it will happen.

woman typing a business plan on laptop

Similarly, face-to-face interviews are canceled at most companies. Job candidates look forward to interviewing at companies, as it promises the hope of landing positions at their desired companies. Again, a time will come when job seekers will return to face-to-face interviews.

This is the problem. What’s the solution? Virtual meetings via Zoom, Skype, GoToMeeting, Facetime, GoogleHangout, and other video platforms are the solution. The good ole telephone can’t be dismissed, but it doesn’t offer the intimacy that video conferences do.

1. What’s missing

Being in the moment is the most obvious missing piece in networking and interviews. Eye contact, a clear view of people’s facial expressions, body language overall are sorely missing. I, for one, feel more alive when in the moment of having human contact. I’m an introvert, so this is not an introvert/extravert thing.

Also missing is physical contact such as shaking hands, handing a networking partner your business card, or even a tap on the shoulder. The same goes for in an interview scenario where the handshake is considered one of the most important components of body language.

What about eye language? This is also key in both scenarios. Eyes speak. They can show sincerity, intelligence, interest, concern, or on the flipside dishonesty. Companies that use AI in their pre-recorded video interviews believe that eye contact counts for a lot.

We are human. We enjoy being present. There’s comfort in standing or sitting across from someone. Shaking hands, making eye contact, and the rest. Even getting in our cars to drive to networking events and interviews are part of the job-search process. There’s comfort in this.

2. What can job seekers do?

This will take a little practice for job seekers. It will require them to get into their stretch zone. They’ll have to make use of whatever resources they have. Maybe they’ll need to spend money they don’t necessarily have. It will require them to readjust their thinking.

If you’re looking for work, this is a time when you’ll have to rise to the challenge of the impersonal job search. At least for the time being. It will require a different mindset. For example, you might be using a laptop which rests on your lap or sits on a table. This is your contact with a person or people miles away.

Getting used to looking at that little bright dot at the top of your laptop will seem weird at first or forever. But it’s something you need to do in order to make eye contact with whomever you’re communicating. I do webinars on a regular basis and believe me, it will never be natural.

Smiling at someone or ones on the other end of the line might also seem weird but it’s something you’ll have to do. People will judge your enthusiasm based on your smile. Smiling will show you’re friendly, approachable, likable, et cetera.

Finding the proper space to conduct your video interview might be a challenge, as well. Find a place in your home or apartment that is well lit. I find bright overhead lighting as well as lighting directed at my face on both sides to be the best. There’s nothing less appealing than dark lighting.

Note: Arlene Pierret, a recruiter at Facebook, recently said during a panel discussion for Hope Summit that recruiters will most likely give you a break on your space, but it’s best to handle it professionally.

Your background is also important. It should be devoid of embarrassing clutter in the background. I’ve seen people with laundry piled up in the background. Not good. What’s acceptable are nice prints, books, plants, et cetera. A room with items in it also reduces echo.

Background noise is also a negative. I’ve spoken with people who’ve had to conduct their virtual meetings from inside a closet, which in return causes an echo. Try to find a room that has items in the room and, most importantly, a door you can close.

3. Why this can be a good thing

The good news is that this impersonal job search is prepping you for remote work. You might be learning how to use Zoom or other video platforms. You have to practice better time management skills. No one is looking over your shoulder telling you what to do.

You’re learning to adapt to less than ideal circumstances. Like me, you’re realizing that there aren’t enough rooms in the house and that you can’t escape to a quieter place outside the house, but you’re adapting and this is a good thing.

You might be spending more time with loved ones; time you didn’t have in the past. You’re having family meals that might have been seriously curtailed by your former work schedule. I know these seem like small things now, but you will look back on them with fondness.

Employers are still hiring

If you think employers aren’t hiring, think again. Employers are hiring, albeit slowly. A few of my clients have been offered jobs during the pandemic. Some of them are being delayed with onboarding, others started immediately with a little difficulty in terms of logistics.

Employers continue to prepare for a time when they will open their doors. This means that you might be offered a job that begins in a few months, which is a long time. So be smart and consider looking for other positions. From a SHRM.com article:

Says, Joseph Puglise, senior director of executive search and recruiting at JMJ Phillip, a global executive search firm, “We’re seeing a mixed bag around how companies respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. We have many clients that are pushing the interview process forward for critical openings, with slight modifications.”

Champion of job seekers, Susan Joyce, publishes a weekly list of companies that are advertising positions. It is an extensive list, but Susan stresses:

Employee referral makes you stand out among the vast crowd of people who apply anonymously. So, leverage your network (LinkedIn is helpful for this). Find people who work at one of these employers IF you want to work for that employer.

Nonetheless, take a look at the list of open positions Susan publishes. It might give you ideas of other similar companies to include on your target list.

You have more time to do what you should, research employers of interest. Many job seekers spend the majority of their time on their computer applying for jobs. They blast off tens of resumes a week and wait for a response from employers.

Instead use this time developing a company list and researching them extensively, thus setting you up to write tailored resumes and being prepared for interviews.

Your work future might be different

Adaptability will be required if you want to jump out of the gate to land your next gig. For example, you might have to change your career if you were in industries like retail or food. This isn’t to say you can’t get back to what you love. But “transferrable skills” will become a familiar term.

Things will be different when you land your next gig. In other words, you might not return to an office, or if you do the employees could be staggard, as The Washington Post suggests. Working from home could be a thing for quite a while.

Or working at home might become the new reality. It costs some companies less to have their employees work from home. They can reduce office space and overhead costs.

Hopefully you’ve have become more proficient with video interviewing platforms. You held buddy networking groups and job clubs online. You learned better time management skills. Don’t take these skills lightly.

There are organizations that weren’t up to speed with this simple technology before COVID-19 hit. They’re playing catch-up. You could be a savior that teaches them more about the technology you’ve been learning.


There’s no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has turned the world on its head. Things have changed dramatically. Now is the time when we can embrace the change or buckle under it. I opt for embracing it and adapting to the way things are and the way things will be.

25 activities to make your life and job search easier during COVID-19

Tempers are starting to run high in our household. When we were first quarantined about three weeks ago, life went surprisingly well. Think about it; even the most congruent families will start to feel like caged tigers after awhile. Well, our time just arrived.

Yoga

I came home from a five-mile walk to hear the crashing of pots and pans. When I asked my wife what was wrong, she said the pans weren’t cleaned properly. An outburst like this is not common in our household. Yes, the time of implosion has definitely arrived.

In an article from Psychology Today, the author lays out the psychological symptoms of social distancing and being quarantined:

Perhaps you’re experiencing some of these symptoms or all of them—especially if you’re working from home for the first time, homeschooling your kids on top of this; on furlough; or unemployed.

For whichever reason it is, you didn’t choose the situation you’re in. But you realize you can’t let yourself and family members become angry at the slightest drop of the hat. You have to reduce the anxiety and possible depression you’re experiencing.

For me a daily four- to five-mile walk does the job. It gets me going in the morning before settling down in my chair, which is my office, to conduct the work I have to do. My wife enjoys cooking better meals than what I produced as well as taking walks with one of her friends.

We also love talking with our two daughters and parents—who are within driving distance but self-quarantined—via Facetime, Zoom, or the phone. Here are some ways you can reduce the stress in your life.

Ways for everyone to make self-quarantine more bearable

Stop using your treadmill as a coat hanger. You’ve been looking at that thing for years wondering why you’re not using it. Now’s the chance to use it if you don’t have anywhere to walk.

Catch up on old The Office episodes. This is one of my favorite shows, especially the seasons starring Steve Carell as Michael Scott. I also recommend Ozark on Netflix or Luther on Amazon Prime.

Search through your bookshelf. I don’t understand why people, like a colleague of mine, re-reads books. That’s not me. Maybe you’re a re-reader.

Start that puzzle you purchased at the beginning of the pandemic. My wife bought one that has yet to be assembled. Maybe we’ll get to it. Maybe.

Stay in touch with family. One of the things I love doing is talking with Mom during my walks. As mentioned earlier, my wife and I Zoom and Facetime with the girls. It’s the next best thing to being there.

Tell your spouse you’re taking a walk. A long walk. You need to get away from your kids if you’re home-schooling them. That’s okay. Take turns; don’t do it by yourself.

Gas up the minivan. We called it forced family fun (FFF) when the kids were younger. We’d corral them in the van and tell them we were going for a ride. Of course they’d want to know where we were going. The answer was, “You’ll find out when we get there.”

Bake a cake. Or brownies, apple crisp, cookies, or whatever strikes your fancy. Our son who is home from university was exposed to baking. It didn’t take.

Take yoga online. My daughter has taken a liking to watch and perform yoga exercises. I tell her it looks too painful for me. This video with Yoga with Adriene has close to 3.5 million views.

Take a hike. For the more adventurous people, find an area that isn’t heavily populated—maintain social distancing—and enjoy nature while you’re walking ascending trails and climbing rocky terrain. Just don’t fall.

Break open a great bottle of wine. You have the right to relax. How you decide to do it is up to you. After the kids have gone to bed, take the moment for yourself and your loved one.

Ways for job seekers to utilize this time

Look at this time of self-quarantine as an opportunity to ramp up your job search. Despite the hit our economy has taken, it is going to rebound and employers will need to fill positions that employers were originally going to.

Note: for other great advice, check out a post that is heating up.

Develop a wellness strategy. Sabrina Woods advises job seekers to create “more calm and enhance productivity by:

  • Creating and following a schedule every day.
  • Paying attention to how much news/media you consume, as these will impact your state of mind.
  • Staying connected with friends and family (set up phone and video chat dates).”

Take on a project. A valued connection of mine, Sarah Johnston, writes that she’s painting old furniture as a way to take control of the chaos we’re experiencing. Take your mind off the job search by doing something that is cathartic.

Take inventory. My valued colleague, Maureen McCann advises to “research what you have to offer the market.” She created a great video summarizing how to do this. Check it out.

Read books relevant to your job search. Jim Peacock, another valued connection, is always peddling books and even writes reviews. Or read some fiction to take your mind off your search.

Join a free or inexpensive virtual program. Speaking of learning, Edward Lawrence suggests joining virtual trainings which are inexpensive or free through the Massachusetts Council on Aging, The Professional Development Collaborative of Boston, or MassHire in Massachusetts.

Now’s a great time to update your résumé and LinkedIn Profile. My connection Susan Joyce advises taking this time to finetune your LinkedIn profile. She suggests, among others, that you focus on your problem, actions, results (PARs) to write accomplishments.

Grow your LinkedIn campaign. People who I’ve coached know that I’m a staunch advocate for building one’s like-minded network and then engaging with them. Great opportunities arise from LinkedIn.

Networking must go on. I wrote an article that talks about how I run job club meetings via Zoom. We jokingly call ourselves the Brady Bunch, but it’s all serious business. Mark Babbit suggests reaching out to mentors and former colleagues via video platforms.

Be proactive and reach out to recruiters. They have time on their hands and any recruiter worth their weight in salt will welcome new connections that fit their industry. More importantly, recruiters are hiring for certain industries; maybe yours.

Be prepared for video interviews. “Practice zoom interviewing, use zoom to grab informational meetings, get very comfortable in front of the lens, it’s going to be more prevalent than ever, says Andy Foote. He offers some tips which you can read in the post.

Talking about being prepared; know your story: Gina Riley advises job seekers to get an understanding of employers’ pain points and be able to explain through your stories who you can solve them.

Attend virtual events. Do you want to take a deep dive into networking? Brenda Meller suggests attending virtual professional association events and gives as examples some events she’d attend: Detroit Together Digital, American Marketing Association, or Troy Chamber of Commerce

Take online courses. This suggestion comes from my valued connection Paula Christensen. If you’re not taking advantage of LinkedIn’s free Premium upgrade, do it. You can take advantage of LinkedIn Learning.

Take care of yourself. Vincent Phamvan says it well: “Spend some of your time on activities outside of your job search. Spend time with family, take walks, try to eat healthy meals. This will keep you mentally fit and ready to rock your upcoming interviews.”

Back away from high expectations. This one comes from Patricia Harding, and I thought it was so insightful that I’ll allow her to say it: “I think it’s also ok to back away from high expectations of yourself (and others) and slow down and do nothing now and then.”

Read what many other career-search pundits have to way about the job search in this COVID-19 time.

Photo: Flickr, Timothy George

Employers, job seekers, students, and career strategists—stay the course

As a career strategist at a MassHire career center, I’m asking employers to keep the hiring wheels in motion. Employers, you might have to close your doors, due to the Coronavirus, but this doesn’t mean you can’t stay the course.

man climbing

Job seekers, I’m talking to you, too. This is not the time to give up. Especially not now. There will be some who will give up; don’t be one of them. Develop a competitive mindset and don’t let other job seekers beat you to the jobs that are available. There are jobs available.

These are certainly tough times. We get this. My clients are stressed enough trying to get their careers on track, so taking 14 days or more off is not what they want. They want to work and need a job “yesterday.”

Employers, don’t wait to fill your positions

Employers, you can interview candidates for open positions even if you have to shut your doors or limit access to the public. If you have open requisitions for positions, fill them. Be creative in the ways you employ your new hires.

Our career center has been instructed by the state to deny access to the public. This is smart. But we’ll continue to work and communicate with our clients via telephone and Zoom. We’re going to make it work.

I’ll offer my customers the option of Zooming and advising via the telephone. This is not ideal, especially in a service industry where that human connection is so important. But, for now, these are the best ways our career advisors and I can service our clients.

Recruiters, you can go about business as usual. You have technology like Zoom/Skype, assessments, the phone, and text—to name a few—to continue interviewing job candidates who are already in the pipeline.

Hiring managers, you can still communicate with recruiters, HR, and most importantly candidates. Consider how job seekers are feeling about this new normal. It doesn’t feel that great for them. Many of them will sink into despondency.

My LinkedIn colleague and good friend, Mark Anthony Dyson, offers some great ideas for technology to use in his article, Increase Your Work-From-Home Efficiency: 9 Handy Tools for Remote Workers, published on Job-Hunt.org. These tools are free or inexpensive. Use them.

Job seekers, more than ever you need to stay the course

I don’t want you to give up your search. Reach out to recruiters at the companies you’ve been communicating with. Also reach out to hiring managers, if possible.

Demonstrate your desire to work. Show employers you’re not giving in to this temporary pandemic. At the same time prepare ahead of time; drive forward networking with new and existing connections. Use Zoom or Skype to conduct virtual meetings.

Continue to update your resumes for potential jobs. Write tailored resumes to each job. Complete your LinkedIn profile, continue building your focused network, and engage on LinkedIn. Use LinkedIn at least four times a day, 20 minutes each day.

Reach out to new recruiters and staffing agencies in your industry. If you are engaged with employers, don’t disregard other possibilities. Things going slow? Don’t rely on employers who are dragging their feet.

For my clients who have job offers but haven’t started, consider approaching other employers to begin communications. If you’re asked whether you’re working, you can truthfully tell them you’re not.

Consider volunteering until you land your next gig. Volunteerism has proven to be one of the best ways to conduct a job search. Think about it; you can volunteer 20 hours a week and spend the rest of the time using other methods to job search. If you volunteer in your industry, use it to fill a gap on your resume.

Lastly, get out of your house. Take walks, go on road trips, do your hobbies. In other words, don’t let life stop.

Students, you need to stay on track as well

My daughter is a senior who is supposed to graduate in May. Her senior year has essentially been ruined. You probably have the option of completing courses online. Take advantage of this. Don’t let your studies slide.

And professors, don’t let your students down. I’ve heard of professors who refuse to adopt new technology to teach their courses. Don’t perpetuate the stereotype that older workers cant’ use technology. Accept help. Hire an assistant.

Seniors, your goal is to graduate. You may have been robbed of the last semester of your senior year, but there’s still the possibility of having a party to beat all parties when this disruption as ended. My daughter will.

Career strategists, you’ll play a large role in helping job seekers land

Job seekers need your guidance. They need your expertise as well as your moral support. You know what employers are looking for in resumes, LinkedIn profiles, and interviews. You know how to brand your clients.

If you’re in the public realm, like me, be empathetic and stretch yourself further than before. I’ve found that some of our clients arent’ shy about reaching out, but there are others who don’t know how to ask or think they don’t have the right.

Career coaches and resume writers, you’ll be in high demand. I know how hard you worked in the past. Now your plate will be overloaded, not simply full. Perhaps you’ll have to outsource your resume writing.

Your client base will change. Whereas you had employed clients, your new ones will increasingly be unemployed. The might not be able to afford your high-end services. Consider offering a menu that is more affordable.


Employers, I know the pandemic has changed business as you knew it. There are more fires to put out. Don’t forget the most important fire at hand; hiring an employee to make your life easy.

Job seekers, the search goes on. Don’t give up. Don’t rely on an extension of your unemployment insurance benefits. If you’re newly unemployed, apply for benefits immediately.

Students, make us proud and ace your online classes. I know the future seems scary, but eventually the economy will right itself.

Career strategists, your role is more important than ever. Be prepared for more demand. And be that supply job seekers need. I’m dedicated to helping my clients and taking on more MassHire clients.

Photo, Flickr, Y-Shumin

Are recruiters to blame? 4 tips for working with recruiters

Recruiters are often the front line of the hiring process; they advertise an open position, read more résumés than they’d like, interview and screen multiple candidates, and finally present the best of the best to the hiring manager (HM).

Recruiterman

And for this service, employers pay a hefty price—25% to 30%—of the new hire’s first annual salary. You could say recruiters are the middle-person between job candidates and employers. You could also say it’s a pressure-filled and thankless job at times.

Recruiters earn their salary from their employers. Some candidates don’t understand the pecking order of the hiring process. In this sense, these candidates might feel slighted. I witness this in my role as a career strategist in an urban career center.

Said job seekers feel that recruiters are unresponsive, clueless about the role, don’t have their interest in mind, make them promises that fall through, ghost them, among other faults. In some cases, job seekers’ complaints are warranted, but in other cases their blame is unwarranted.

Understand that recruiters are humans, too

No one takes a job to fail. They don’t start on day one with the mission of being a lousy employee. Some people may approach their job halfheartedly, not quite sure what they’re doing, but they don’t say to themselves, “I want to be the worst employee possible.” This applies to recruiters, as well.

Recruiters face the possibility of failure on a daily basis. Agency recruiters, who get paid only when they place a candidate in a company, face rejection from the companies that employ them.

Likewise, corporate recruiters who have the ear of HM—more so than agency recruiters—get frustrated when they find the ideal candidate, only to be rejected for one reason or another.

According to Steve Levy, a principal recruiter, and social media consultant, a very small percent of recruiters are cut out to succeed in their trade. I talked to him recently to get a feel for the life of a recruiter.

Steve’s goal is foremost to find the most qualified candidates for his boss, but he also aims to help candidates succeed in their job search. The two are not mutually exclusive. If a candidate is not a fit for Steve’s boss, he’ll refer them to other companies where they might be a fit.

Hiring managers ARE the bottleneck

But it’s not this simple.

It’s often said that HMs are looking for the purple squirrel, someone who meets all the requirements of the position, plus some. This might be true, but only because of their reluctance or fear of hiring the wrong candidate and having to start over.

Hiring the wrong candidate is costly. This can include opening a new requisition for a replacement; paying a recruiter fee, yet again; weeks of searching for a replacement; setting up benefits; training; and, if the employee was customer-facing, the possibility of lost customers due to damaged relationships.

Recruiters and candidates are both victims of HMs who are unresponsive, making them wait days, if not weeks, for the verdict. The candidate is in a state of limbo, waiting anxiously by the phone for a yea or nay from the recruiter.

The recruiter on their part tries to keep an open line of communication, but they only know as much as the HM tells them. Being in a state of limbo is disheartening for the candidate and recruiter.

Then there’s the fact that HMs aren’t necessarily astute when it comes to interviewing candidates sent to them by recruiters. I asked recruiters who frequent a Facebook group, Recruiters Online, how they feel about hiring managers.

One respondent, Steve Lowisz, added, “Most hiring managers have never been trained on how to work with internal or external recruiters….We need to stop, and educate them on the process of how to interview”

4 tips to make the recruiter’s job easier

Apply for jobs for which you’re qualified

One major complaint recruiters have of job seekers is that they apply for jobs for which they’re not qualified. If you have little to no experience in program management, don’t apply for a program management position.

“Carefully read the job description,” Levy advises, “to make sure you are qualified. If you’re not, don’t apply.” Sounds like a simple directive, right? Unfortunately some job seekers don’t heed this advice and use what’s called a “spray and pray” approach.

Write a sound résumé

This starts with expanding more on positions that are relevant, not positions you performed in the past. Shelby Mangum weighed in from Recruiters Online about telling the proper story with your résumé:

“The jobs most relevant to what you’re applying to, typically most recent, and had the most seniority should have the longest bullet points. Too many times I see people with barely an explanation of their current director job, but they tell me all about that entry-level coordinator job from 7 years ago.”

There is some difference of opinion when it comes to the length of your résumé. Levy, for example, says, “I don’t care if a résumé is three-pages long. If it has great content, I’ll read the whole thing.”

Other recruiters require that their candidate submit one-page résumés, presumably because they’re too busy to read the deluge of résumés they receive. Levy says this is laziness.

These are two of the basic tenets of résumé writing. Candidates must also sell themselves with their résumé. Keep the summary short, but provide an accomplishment or two within it to entice the recruiter to read more.

In the experience section, this is where you really want to hit recruiters on the head with accomplishments that include quantified results. Trish Wyderka, a résumé writer and coach writes, “The advice that I give to all my clients is to be sure [they] address how [they] can help a company make money, save money or save time.”

Finally, candidates need to submit résumés that can pass the applicant tracking system (ATS). this speaks to a tailored résumé that fits the job’s requirements. A generic résumé, which fails to address the required skills and experience, will fail miserably when it is “read” by the ATS.

Ace the interview

Interview older man

Job candidates need to be better prepared for various types of interviews. Gone are the days when you received a phone call telling you to come in for a face-to-face interview, perhaps followed by another.

Today, the interview process is more complicated, to say the least. Many of my clients who haven’t had to look for work in the past 10-30 years are shocked by the way companies are interviewing candidates.

The interview landscape is changing. Traditional interviewing isn’t going away anytime soon; however, newer innovations are emerging on the scene.

Employers are using personality and analytical assessments. To job seekers, these are challenging not only because of the questions that are asked but also because candidates are timed.

Despite the failings of traditional interviews, recruiters still use telephone interviews to determine a candidate’s salary range, as well as if the person can actually do the job. Recruiters also conduct in-person and Skype, Zoom, FaceTime, and other electronic interviews.

The first bit of advice is to arrive at an in-person or Skype interview prepared to answer the difficult questions. Former recruiter, Jenn Gorius Gosselin, advises, “Know what you can do, what you want to do and why the job and this company interest you. Ask for the job if you indeed want it.”

Recruiters want to hear your enthusiasm for the job and company. During a telephone interview, recruiters need to hear the enthusiasm in your voice, and they need to see it in your body language in an interview.

Know where recruiters hangout

Jobvite.com claims that 87% of recruiters and other hiring authorities use LinkedIn to find talent. However, the majority of job seekers are on Facebook (approximately 65%). This might be the case because two billion people use Facebook compared to 650+ million LinkedIn members.

If you want to know where recruiters hang out, it’s not as simple as you’d imagine. LinkedIn is certainly populated by recruiters, but Facebook has become a platform of choice for many recruiters. Levy says he’s disenchanted with LinkedIn and uses Facebook and Twitter as much, if not more, than LinkedIn.

Louysa Akerley says, “I use primarily LinkedIn, but I really feel that Facebook is an untapped market for recruiting since the majority of the population is on Facebook, while only a certain percentage are on LinkedIn.”

Lastly, create a strong presence on social media

Do yourself a favor by cleaning up your Facebook profile eliminating any incriminating photos and reference to politics. Then befriend recruiters who serve your industry. As for LinkedIn, make your LinkedIn profile complete, connect with recruiters and industry leaders, and engage with your connections. This way you’ll cover the two major social media platforms.

Photo: Flickr, Les Roches Global Hospitality Education

Photo: Flickr, Seattle Search