Anyone who’s looking for a new job or potential clients has been told they need to be on LinkedIn. That’s true.
It’s also true that you need to be on LinkedIn because whether you like it or not, your LinkedIn profile, or lack of one, is part of your personal brand.
Certainly, recruiters and hiring managers who receive your resume will review your LinkedIn profile. So will potential clients and people that you meet at conferences, seminars, or networking events who want to learn more about you. Make sure what they find is your best self.
That includes having a headshot.
Headshots Are Essential
I know there are people who resist putting up a headshot because they’re afraid of discrimination. Yes, it’s out there. There are people who will think you’re too old or too young. Too ethnic or not ethnic enough. They may take an instant dislike to you because you remind them of a former boss or a neighbor they don’t like.
However, the benefits far outweigh the potential risks.
2020 has been extremely challenging. Most of us have had our professional, and personal lives turned upside down. Many people found looking for a new job frustrating, exhausting, and disheartening.
Finally, 2020 has been kicked to the curb. The holidays are behind us, and a brand-new year, full of possibilities, stretches before us.
If your goal is to get a new job in 2021, it’s time to get going. Don’t wait for tomorrow. Start today.
Get Your Career Marketing Tools Ready
#1 Make sure your resume is recruiter and employer ready. Your resume is often how hiring managers meet you. A boring list of duties and responsibilities is unlikely to motivate anyone to contact you.
People in similar positions do similar things. The best way to differentiate yourself is by demonstrating your value. And the way to do that is by creating a results-driven resume in a modern, easy-to-scan format.
You’re probably familiar with the phrase “everything old is new again.” But when it comes to resumes, everything old is not new again. It’s just old.
Resumes have changed a lot over the last 15 years. They’ve morphed from boring employment histories to compelling marketing documents designed to sell you — the candidate — to recruiters and employers. While some basic components like professional experience and education remain, there are other elements that make your resume and, by default, you look dated.
1. Objective Statement
Although objective statements have been passé for years, I still see them on resumes. One reason they fell out of fashion is that they were all basically the same. Every candidate was looking for a great company, where they worked with awesome colleagues, and had room to grow. Boring. Worse, objective statements didn’t address what every employer wants to know “WIIFM?” (what’s in it for me?). Scrap the objective statement and replace it with a summary that demonstrates your value.
You’ve heard the saying “you never get a second chance to make a first impression.” That’s particularly true during your job search
Certainly, having the right skills, experience, and, in some cases, education is essential. However, recruiters and employers may not contact you for an interview if you don’t make a good first impression.
At least good enough to make them want to learn more.
Recruiters and employers meet you different ways. It might be when they receive your resume. It might be when they view your profile on LinkedIn. It might be when they see something on social media. Since you have no way of knowing, it’s important to cover all fronts.
If you’ve been actively recruited for your last several positions, having a boring, task-focused resume has probably worked for you. It may have been not much more than a formality.
When you’re the one approaching recruiters and employers, however, replacing your boring task-focused resume with a results driven marketing tool and developing a robust, optimized LinkedIn profile will make you more marketable.
Both of those take time, effort, and maybe even hiring a professional writer. That said, there are a few fairly simple, often quick, things you can do to make a better first impression.
These are extraordinarily difficult times. Unemployment is climbing. People on furlough wonder if they’ll be returning to work. Shutdowns across the country make it challenging to look for a job.
Despite everything, this is not the time to stop looking for a new job. The job market has changed dramatically, but jobs are still out there. Employers are hiring. There are steps you can take to move your job search forward.
Here are 10 job search strategies that work. But reading this list isn’t enough. You need to act. You can’t do all of them today, but you can get started.
#1 Make a list of your target employers, companies where you would most like to work. Set up Google alerts to help you follow them in the news. Start contacting family, friends, former colleagues, etc. to see if they know anyone who works for one, or more, of your top employers.
Concerns about the Coronavirus are growing daily. It dominates the news and kitchen-table conversations. Here in Connecticut, events are being postponed or cancelled, some because of a State of Connecticut mandate.
If you’re looking for a new job or want to be prepared in case you need to, you’ll need to adjust your job search strategies.
Several months ago, I created a basic job search plan. I’ve adapted it here to be used during our current public health emergency.
The plan includes job search preparation (PREP) and continuing activities (ONGOING). If you’re actively looking, as in you really want to find a job, follow A activities. If you’re passively looking, you’re open but not in any hurry, P is for you.
Being employed does make you more appealing to employers. But it has a different set of challenges. Sneaking out of the office for interviews can be tricky. Other things, like being dressed appropriately, just take a little planning.
If you work a casual office wearing an “interview outfit” will likely be a red flag. Just as when someone comes into a casual environment for a job interview they stand out like a bikini at a funeral.
If you’re writing your own executive resume, it can be tempting to include everything you’ve done over the last 20 years. Or longer. A long, boring, job history is the perfect way to make sure no one contacts you.
If you want to get the attention of recruiters and hiring managers, it’s essential to demonstrate YOUR value.
Highlight your achievements. Recruiters and hiring managers want to know about the impact you’ve had on your employers. They want to see times you’ve saved time, improved productivity, cut costs, generated revenue, etc. Present your resume in a modern, easy-to-scan format. Focus on positions that are relevant to employers.
You’ve probably heard that many jobs aren’t advertised. While stats indicating 70% to 80% of jobs are unadvertised are dated, most career professionals agree that the best way to land a job is through a referral.
While job board have their place, spending all your time applying to jobs online isn’t practical. Neither is expecting recruiters to contact you, even if your LinkedIn profile and other social media platforms are stellar.
While LinkedIn is still favored by recruiters, its popularity has declined. In 2018 LinkedIn dropped to 77%, down from 92% the previous year, followed by Facebook at 63% according to Jobvite’s 2018 Recruiter Nation Survey. Survey results show that 25% of recruiters are now sourcing candidates on Instagram.
Just remember, recruiters don’t work for you, they work for the employer. They are online looking for candidates to fill specific positions. More precisely, they are looking for a square peg to fit into a square hole. If you are a round peg you’re out of luck.
If you are looking for a new job having a robust LinkedIn profile is essential. Full stop. Sadly, most don’t use LinkedIn to their best advantage.
It’s not just the barely completed “skeleton” profiles still displaying LinkedIn’s generic blue background that make career professionals cringe. It’s the misguided things people do deliberately.
#1 Quotes in the Headline
A lot of people seem to think that having an inspirational quote as their headline will somehow help them. It won’t for a few reasons. First, recruiters search LinkedIn based on jobs, skills, etc. and it’s unlikely inspirational quotes include “skill” words like “performance improvement “ or “business development.”
Second, recruiters want to know if you’re qualified for the job they are trying to fill. If you do come up in a recruiter’s search but your headline doesn’t indicate your qualifications, they may go on to the next profile in their search.
If you feel a quote expresses your philosophy, management style, etc. by all means use it in the Summary section.