Archives for Job search on LinkedIn

Stop Treating LinkedIn Like An Online Résumé

Photo courtesy of www.flazingo.com/creativecommons.

Photo courtesy of www.flazingo.com/creativecommons.

Are you using your LinkedIn profile as an online résumé?  In other words, does your profile reflect a personal brand you’ve carefully crafted, or does it just mirror your résumé? You know as a professional you need to have a presence on LinkedIn. You created an account, made a few connections, and copied a few items from your résumé to create your profile. In fact, you used so much material from your résumé that it is impossible to distinguish it from your LinkedIn profile. Your LinkedIn profile deserves to be so much more. A résumé is a document that reflects your past experiences and is meant to be seen by future employers. In contrast, a LinkedIn profile is a vital part of your online presence and is meant to be seen by a much wider audience. It should compliment your résumé in an exciting and engaging way.

Your LinkedIn profile is different from your résumé

Let’s imagine a scenario for just a moment. You have been using your LinkedIn profile as little more than an online résumé tool, and a hiring manager comes across your profile. You have already sent them your résumé as part of a job application, and they decided to Google you. Imagine their disappointment as your LinkedIn profile is exactly the same as your résumé. Or, on the flipside, they’ve seen your LinkedIn profile and ask for your résumé. Again, both your résumé and your profile are indistinguishable. This redundancy isn’t helpful because that potential employer won’t learn anything new about you, and you’ve done very little to set yourself apart from other job candidates. A redundant LinkedIn profile is also a major missed opportunity to show employers, connections, and others members of your online audience how unique and interesting you are as a professional. It’s a chance to allow people into the back story of who you are. Help them visualize what it’s like to speak and work with you.

Your résumé is concise, is customized for your potential employer, and is designed to show an employer how you are uniquely qualified for their opportunity. You can’t include all of your past work experiences, recommendations from others, or general interests. In short, your résumé needs to be laser-focused on a specific role, and on a specific employer. However, your LinkedIn profile can include all of your work experience, recommendations and interests. A good profile allows you to weave an engaging professional narrative that showcases your personal brand far beyond your résumé.

Use your LinkedIn Profile to dazzle your audience

LinkedIn should compliment your résumé by being a creative vehicle that illustrates your professional life. Every aspect of your profile should enhance your personal brand. If you’re using the default headline, ditch it. I previously wrote about the importance of strong headlines in my article titled “Increase views: Ditch the default LinkedIn headline.” The experiences section is an opportunity to list vital keywords that will attract the attention of job recruiters. I covered the importance of carefully using keywords in another article, “Use Keywords With Care or Beware.” The summary is where you can exercise the most creative freedom. In contrast to your résumé, you are allowed to talk about yourself in the first-person. Use this section of your LinkedIn profile to breathe life into your experiences, skills and professional achievements.

You don’t want your profile summary to come off as trite and uninteresting. These types of summaries are often subjective and vague. Just think of a profile summary filled with boring buzzwords shaken up in a bag, poured out into a pile, and arranged in the semblance of a paragraph. Here’s an example of a profile summary filed with cliché words pulled right out of a résumé:

“A dynamic individual with great leadership skills who is highly organized. A proven track record of accomplishments and great teamwork. An effective communicator with a strong business sense and a can-do attitude…”

Most career consultants and recruiters viewing this LinkedIn profile would be tempted to close the page quickly as they stifled a yawn. I believe a person with such a profile is capable of so much more than a lifeless summary. Don’t fall into the trap of creating a boring paragraph of buzzwords. Tell your audience a captivating story. Here’s an example of a more engaging profile summary:

“From a young age the phrase, ‘Shoot for the stars,’ has always caught my attention. It spoke to the core belief that I should never do anything half-heartedly. If I’m going to do something, whether it is professionally or personally, I’m going to go above and beyond anyone else.

‘I have over a decade of experience managing large IT projects, and leading large teams to success. Under my leadership, members of my team knew exactly what was expected of them. The results of our projects were some of the best in the industry…”

This type of profile summary captures a reader’s attention and gently invites them to learn more about you. In short, it compliments your actual résumé and adds a new level of distinction to your online presence. Earlier, I mentioned a hiring manager coming across your LinkedIn profile. Now imagine their delight as they read a captivating profile that brings a new dimension to your résumé.

The point is to captivate your audience and polish your personal brand to until it shines. Again, your résumé is a brief account of your job qualifications, while your LinkedIn profile is a living part of your online presence. It is a compliment to an already great résumé. Your audience should be entranced by your profile, and should want to connect with you. A redundant LinkedIn profile that mirrors your résumé is a wasted opportunity. Unveil your brilliance by showing your online audience just how creative and interesting your professional life is!

Daryl Hall & John Oates – Missed Opportunity

1988 Music Video for Missed Opportunity

I am NOT a rock; I am NOT an island

Outer_Aleutian_Islands_NASA_Goddard_Photo_and_Video

Outer_Aleutian_Islands_NASA_Goddard_Photo_and_Video

You’ll never hear an authentically successful person say, “I did it all by myself,” because it’s not true.

 

Probably about 5% of the referrals that I know of from my clients, partners, and friends and family actually follow up – not even for a free résumé and campaign evaluation. There are far too many people from going around without direction, without insight on how to use the tools available to get the best results, insistent that they do it all by themselves. An equally small percentage of these people may get lucky and find a good opportunity in spite of this. It is disheartening to know, however, that the vast majority of these people will be losing income and may potentially have to settle for a job that under-utilizes their talent,  leaves them unfulfilled, and under pays them for their true value. Another fraction of these people will fall into an abyss that they may never escape, not because they’re not able to, but because over time it will be harder; they’ll be less likely to believe that there’s any hope of getting out.

 

The most common fatal mistake that these people make is not asking for help. (If you are asking for help and you’re not getting it, please see my YouTube vlog, Get Interviews Through Your Network – The #1 Key Ingredient Most People Are Missing.)

 

The percentage of jobs filled through job boards and newspaper ads is probably even lower then the data suggests. The year before LinkedIn emerged,  job boards were responsible for less than 1% of jobs filled! Do you think the numbers going up or down?

 

According to Jobvite, employees are hired through referrals start 16 days sooner than those found on career sites, and 40% of all hires came from employee referrals.

 

I know better than anybody that there is a lot psychologically and emotionally that can inhibit people from trying to attain the utmost success. Especially in recent years, I have learned a lot about how we form beliefs about herself and the world. These beliefs are not easily reconciled. It is why there is a 1%. It’s the reason for the 80/20 rule.

 

My old boss will say I’m a dreamer, I’m not the only one. In fact, and in the past month I might’ve met my professional soulmate, who I hope to join in a collaborative mission to revolutionize careering and hiring, eliminate the unemployment crisis and establish proof of professional utopia. Okay, utopia is a strong word, but if you shoot for the stars, you just might hit the moon, right?

 

Into 2006 when I started this business, I was one of the only LinkedIn trainers for jobseekers and recruiters. Into 2010 after attempting dive back in after having a baby, LinkedIn trainers were a dime a dozen. In that short amount of time, LinkedIn had changed and evolved; I need to remaster it. Before I got back into speaking and training on LinkedIn, I wanted to see if perhaps, considering with my new work-at-home lifestyle, somebody else might have been doing a better and I could just partner with them to provide my clients with the best training available. I watched a lot of different presentations on LinkedIn from professionals of all walks of life. Jason Alba was one of my favorites, and I thought his introductions to LinkedIn and social media were user-friendly, and easy-to-follow. The tools were practical and I use them with a few of my clients to complement the coaching that I was giving them on how to manage their time, activities and resources. There was a few critical ingredients that I saw were necessary to arm the job seeker with all of the tools necessary to achieve epic success. One starts with the most important ingredient of a successful career – passion! You can do any number of tactics to land a job, but if you really want to be strategic about your career, you have to identify the source of your passion and use it as a fuel. Jason had encouraged me to distinguish my flavor of LinkedIn training by promoting the recruiting perspective.  Well, I did see some presentations by recruiters on LinkedIn, which represented the traditional recruiting standpoint –  make candidates as marketable to as many positions as possible. That is a tactic for making candidates placeable, but it is not an effective career management strategy. It does not take into consideration what the actual next best step is for an individual. It is absolutely helpful for jobseekers understand how recruiters and companies are using LinkedIn and other social media to find the right candidate. That’s Marketing 101. However, I wholeheartedly disagree that a job seeker should be planning their career around the most attainable job. From my perspective, after coaching people through the best practices of career transitioning for over 10 years, I’m prone to believing that most any job is attainable, so people should be pursuing the job they want most.

 

Rather than compete with all of those folks who had greater availability than I to make public appearances and promote their expertise, I developed a free 90-minute webinar prerecorded that I made available on my own website. With my time for my business cut in half (by choice to stay at home with my kids), I didn’t put in the time that was necessary to get this webinar to a wide audience and help as many people as I’d like to. Fast forward a couple years, my daughter is now four and I have a two-year-old. My mission of helping people harness the power of social media  to optimize their careers and their income is no less vivid that was before. In fact, now that I have the future of these two little girls to think about, I am even more driven to make an impact that contributes to a revolution in careering and hiring.

 

I’m playing a big game, and what I need to make this vision come to fruition is  – help. I’ve had to ask for help quite a bit along the way, and through the practice of intention, network nurturing, and the application of the laws of success, help has manifested. A man on the west coast who has made far more progress on the same mission found me through LinkedIn, and I’m very excited to watch this collaboration take shape. I’m not sure exactly what it will look like, but he has designed what I consider to be a best-in-class LinkedIn course that has all the components that I see is being critical to your utmost success.

 

I always said that if I found somebody was doing it better, I’d let them take the reins. I don’t know if I’d say he’s better (; ^), but he is definitely doing it right, and he’s really quite an amazing inspiration with a lot of power and resources behind him, including me.

 

I hope you don’t see this blog as an advertisement, but rather an endorsement of a product and a person that I believe can help you achieve what you really want for your life and your future. So far, I have done a good bit of research on him, and the deeper I go, the more impressed I am. He’s the real deal. I think he will be the first household name associated with employment empowerment. He is Ron Nash. As of this moment, I get no kickbacks or commissions for promoting him or his products. Though, don’t be surprised if that changes, since it would be a dumb entrepreneurial move to spend my time or resources promoting a product I believe in without benefiting from a surge in profits.

 

I don’t know what the future holds between my company and his, but, as I mentioned in my last post, life can sometimes be way too short, and I don’t want to wait to share this with you. Your future is waiting.