5 Musts Before Starting Your Job Search

Like most things, a key element of job search success is planning. Unfortunately, many job seekers just jump right in. They begin looking at job ads and internal opportunities.

Bad idea.

Most people wouldn’t just put their home on the market without some planning. They would consider different neighborhoods, maybe research realtors, and evaluate mortgage rates. They would appraise their home and find out what they should repair or replace to get top dollar.

Yet every day, people decide that today they’re going to start looking for a new job. Once they find a few exciting opportunities they dust off their old resume and realize it needs an overhaul.

They quickly find that jumping into a job search without planning doesn’t lead to success. Here are 5 things you need to do before you begin your job search.

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How To Save Your LinkedIn Data – Steps You Need To Take Today

In September 2016, LinkedIn announced a redesign of its desktop (non-app) user interface. The announcement noted, “This is the largest redesign since LinkedIn’s inception.” The design update is expected to bring the desktop experience closer to what users of the LinkedIn mobile app are used to seeing.

More important than how LinkedIn will look once the redesign is rolled out is what features will — or won’t — still be included.

In the past, when LinkedIn has refreshed its user interface, it has removed features. In anticipation that this may happen with the forthcoming redesign, you should consider backing up your LinkedIn profile right now, so you don’t lose any data.

I don’t have the new version yet, but I know several people who do. I’ve gone through this process, it takes 5-10 minutes at most.

There are two things to do:

The first is to save a PDF of your profile. This will save the content in your profile only (no photos or graphics).

Begin by clicking on the downward arrow next to the “View profile as” button. Choose Save to PDF

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You’ll be able to open the PDF and view your content.

Next, you’ll need to archive your LinkedIn data.

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3 LinkedIn Strategies You’re Probably Not Using

24039012_lWhile I occasionally meet someone actively looking for work who doesn’t have a LinkedIn profile, most job seekers are smarter than that. They’ve heard having a LinkedIn profile is important so they spend a few hours putting one together.

Some job seekers make an effort to complete their profile. Most put up a “skeleton” profile that doesn’t include much more than their name, title, employers, and job titles. That’s just not enough.

Putting up a LinkedIn profile with just the basics will not help your job search. Here are 3 LinkedIn strategies that will make your profile more engaging.

Strong Summary

While your resume needs to showcase your qualifications, your LinkedIn profile needs to do double duty. It needs to convey your value and give readers an idea of who you are as a person.

Your Summary is an opportunity to tell your career story in a more personal way. Perhaps, you will want to share the impetus behind what you do or your management philosophy.

Unlike your resume, your LinkedIn profile should be written in the first person. Some resume writers make an effort to infuse your LinkedIn profile with your own words to provide authenticity.  This can be particularly effective in your Summary. (Here are some tips for your Headline)

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Is Your LinkedIn Photo (Or Lack Of) Hurting Your Chances?

30767835_sIt’s always surprising to me how many people don’t have a photo on their LinkedIn profile. A lot of people just don’t get around to it. These are generally the folks with the “skeleton” LinkedIn profiles with very little information.

Some people don’t put a photo on their LinkedIn profile because they’re afraid of discrimination. While most of these concerns seem to be related to age discrimination, I’m sure others are afraid of being discriminated against for other reasons.

The thing is that when you don’t have a photo on your LinkedIn profile recruiters and hiring managers wonder why. If they don’t see a photo while doing a LinkedIn search many won’t bother to click on the profile.

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Worst LinkedIn Headline For Job Seekers

24914326_sYour LinkedIn Professional Headline is very valuable real estate. It’s the first line people see when they view your profile.  It’s also the first line people see when they do a LinkedIn search. (That includes recruiters who are trying to fill open positions.)

So it’s in your best interest to make it count.

Unfortunately, most people don’t use LinkedIn’s Professional Headline to their best advantage.

By Default

If left alone your LinkedIn headline will default to the title of your current position. This may or may not work to your advantage. If you’re a marketing manager who wants to remain a marketing manager allowing your LinkedIn profile to default to your current position probably won’t hurt you.

Providing you have a robust, optimized profile recruiters trying to fill a marketing manager position may find you. Still, leaving your headline in default mode won’t do much to help you either.

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2016 Job Search Kickoff

38162388_sThere are a lot of things you should do before you begin a job search. Redo your resume. Work on your LinkedIn profile. Create a list of target employers. Research yourself online.

They are all important.

But, before you do anything, you need to decide what you want to do.

This is critical for several reasons.

First, your resume should be targeted towards a particular job. Why?  Because it’s just as important to know what to leave out as it is to know what to include on your resume.

Let’s say you want to work in marketing, but your last few jobs haven’t had “marketing” in the title. It’s important to focus on the things you did that were “marketing” related. For example, maybe you worked on the company newsletter or were involved in community outreach. Many of the skills you used, like writing, giving presentations, and developing an outreach plan, might help you secure a marketing position.

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