via How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile for Job Search
This is great advice – very common-sense and accessible. And yes, it’s so obvious, a lot of people miss or forget it.
The irony of job search advice: There’s so much available that you don’t have to spend more than four seconds Googling about before you land on some nugget of wisdom or another.
Yet, at the same time, there’s so much available (some of which completely contradicts other advice you’ll find) that it can easily overwhelm you. Which, in fact, is probably the exact opposite outcome you’re looking for when you go sleuthing for genuinely useful counsel in the first place.
So let’s do this: Let’s boil things down to a short list of sound, timeless job searching tips that’ll help you fine-tune your strategy so that you may sail through the process (or at least cut out some of the unnecessary time and frustration).
1. Make Yourself a “Smack-in-the-Forehead” Obvious Fit
When you apply for a job via an online application process, it’s very…
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When you’re looking for a new job, you may find yourself working with recruiters. I’ve talked to hundreds of them over the past 30 years, and I’ve found that there are certain things they all want to know.
They need to know those things, because that will direct them in their own search for the perfect position for you. Once they know the answers to the following questions, you can continue the conversation and develop the search from there.
But before anything can happen, you need to tell them the following:
- What is your current status? Are you employed or not?
- If you’re open to new opportunities.
- What the timeframe of your next move is.
- What type of position you’re seeking – contract, permanent, contract-to-perm, W2, corp-to-corp, remote/telecommute, etc.
- How much you want to make (per hour for contract, annual for full-time).
- Where you want to work, geographically.
- Where they can get your most current resume.
I’ve got a new section on this site covering these in more detail — 7 Answers Your Recruiter Wants to Hear – And Why. I’ll be elaborating over the coming weeks, to help you better understand how best to answer them — and why it matters.
Ultimately, the most important thing is to have a consistent answer to each of these questions, so whenever you talk to recruiters, you are giving them the same info each and every time.
“Mixing and matching” is not helpful at all, and it only muddies the waters. So, the more clear you can be with everyone, and the more consistent your answers are, the better your chances of actually finding a new position that works for you.
When you’re just starting out, it’s so easy to get caught up in the thrill of the job search. And then you actually have an interview at a great company… and your mind blanks out on anything but that one opportunity.
But as they say, keeping in the game is so critical.
One of the important aspects is your image, as the hiring company perceives it. The last thing you want, is to look desperate and willing to jump at the first offer – no matter how well it fits you. There are other considerations, too – and this post makes a lot of sense — check it out!
We see it all the time: Candidates get excited about a specific company or position and don’t want to look at anything else. They think if they just focus really, really hard on this, it will all work out. Or they start to lose interest in other positions without the luster of their dream job. […]
For those in the “infopreneurial” line of work, the concept of passive income should be familiar. It’s the income that arrives in your bank account from something you create once, and then sell over and over. A book is a great example. Or a pre-recorded course.
Naturally, the better you market it over the long term, the better your chances of generating more passive income. The point is, you don’t have to keep doing that same thing over and over, such as producing a product that people consume. If it’s relevant and in-demand, information can sell itself.
The same principles can apply to your résumé. A well-written narrative of your career path, what you’ve accomplished, what skills you’ve acquired and put to good use, what value you’ve added to the companies where you’ve worked… If it’s done right, your résumé generates its own sort of passive income, in that it can attract and inform the very people who can connect you with the kinds of opportunities you’re looking for.
When it comes to job-hunting, my résumé does most of the work for me. I’ve spent 25+ years refining my approach, so clearly it wasn’t that fantastic, when I started out. But I learned as I went, and I applied the lessons I learned right away. So, it worked in my favor. In fact, if anything, finding out how my résumé sucked, was the best lesson of all. It got my act in gear and motivated me to get things cleaned up and sorted out.
You learn these things as you go, and each time your résumé doesn’t perform (i.e., attract the kinds of job opportunities you’re looking for), you get real-world feedback that shows you what will actually work. It’s even quicker and more immediate than floating some market research & placing some Google ads to see if your info product has an audience. If nobody “bites” or you it’s all crickets after you re-post your résumé, it’s pretty clear that you’ve got to rework things up a bit.
I know there are a lot of résumé writers/designers out there, and some of them make a pretty penny. But I have to say that your own personal experience with your presentation can be the best teacher of all. I’ve also seen résumés “fixed” by professionals, and I’m not sure that their edits actually translated into improved chances for the applicants. In fact, I know that in at least several cases I witnessed, they did not. If anything, they did the opposite.
The thing is – your résumé is a reflection of you. It tells the story of your past, your present, and your hopes, dreams, and plans for the future. And nobody knows that better than you. You really need to tell your own story, as far as I’m concerned. It’s great to get tips from others, but you really need to manage your own presentation — and your résumé is central to that. It’s the first thing people usually see of you — if they haven’t see your LinkedIn profile yet. And when you show up to interview, you’d better be consistent with what you’ve said in that printout the hiring manager is holding.
If you’re not, it’s not the end of the world. But it certainly doesn’t help you present a cohesive, coherent image, which is what you’ll be judged by.
So, yeah. Sinking a lot of thought and effort into prepping your résumé is important. It’s not a waste of time — it’s not even an expense. It’s an investment. And if you do it properly, the time and energy and attention invested will come ’round to benefit you for years to come.
It can open doors you didn’t even know existed. It can pave the way to bigger and better things, saving you tons of time and anxiety by setting the stage for who you really are, and what you can really do. So, while you’re thinking about what else is possible in your life, spend some time updating your résumé, post it to some job boards, and see what happens.
You might be pleasantly surprised… as I have often been.
So, you want a job… You’re not alone.
Maybe you’re in a job you don’t like, and you need a change.
Maybe you’ve been out of work for a while, and you’re not having much luck finding something new.
Maybe you’re fresh on the job market, with a recent degree under your belt.
Maybe you’re just wondering what your next steps are going to be.
If you haven’t spoken to a recruiter, yet, now would be a good time to start.
Seriously, recruiters have a ton of contacts, they are in constant contact with the job market, they have their finger on the pulse of trends. They know who’s hiring, and for what skills. And while Indeed.com can show you a lot of details on salaries, recruiters can give you a human connection with more personal context.
Because they talk to people. They know people. And if they’ve been in the business for a while, they can provide irreplaceable insights and inside information. Sometimes they even know who’s laying off staff, well before it becomes common knowledge.
There’s definitely an art to having a productive discussion with a recruiter. You don’t want to give away too much information about yourself that would lessen your bargaining power. For example, you definitely don’t want to let on that you’re insecure and uncertain about your ability to find the job of your dreams. You have to stay clear and strong and confident — put everything in positive terms, and have the attitude of expansion and capability.
When you talk to a recruiter, you want them to know — and believe — that you will be a great representative of them. You need to “sell” yourself as someone who will make them look good — and get the job, if it’s a good fit. You also want them to know you’re not going to take just any old position that’s offered. You have to play hard-to-get, if appropriate.
It’s a dance. And you definitely don’t want to be the one following all the time. You’ll trade back-and-forth, as you go through the motions of exchanging information, getting to know each other, targeting the right opportunities, and closing the deal. Job searching, after all, is an extended negotiation — it’s a deal that you have to carefully and cautiously navigate, as well as be able to jump on, at a moment’s notice.
Yep, it can be draining. Exhausting. Euphoric. Horrible. But with the right recruiter(s) in your court — and you may have more than one, at any given point in time — you can get good support and back-up, so you both get what you need: You — a job — and the recruiter — the commission.
Get inside info and insights on working effectively with recruiters here — 7 Answers Your Recruiter Wants to Hear – And Why
Here’s some great guidance about how to do the seemingly impossible — revise your resume to fit the job you’re going after. The same principles apply, when you’re trying to attract recruiters who are looking to fill certain types of positions. You don’t need to wait till you find a job to update your resume. You can also updated it to match yourself with a the potential “kind” of job you want to get.
Remember, hiring managers and recruiters are often looking for specific types of skills and abilities and backgrounds, so match your resume to not only the job you’re going after right now, but the kind of job you’re going after in the future.
Great read – check it out!
You will often hear recruiters saying that it is important to match your resume to the position you are applying to… But what does this mean exactly and how do you achieve it?
It means that you will need to do some active and in-between the lines reading to build a tailored resume for each role you are applying to. Here’s how to do it in 3 steps:
- Look at the requirements and description of tasks carefully
The first step when you read a job description to build your resume is to look at the requirements and analyze them. Look at the IT skills you will need, the education degree, the years of experience, the soft skills needed etc.… This will give you a first idea of what type of profile they are looking for.
When you analyze the description of the tasks, it is important to note that most…
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This is a great post about “stealth” job-hunting. I concur with many of the points, and I’ve done many of them, myself. The one thing I’d add is, updating your resume and posting it on quality job boards. I’ve found that competent recruiters often reach out to me within 24 hours of updating my online resume.
It has been a great run. The company that you are with had done well, you were able to add value, you had a great team and came to work with purpose and eagerness to keep it rolling.
But something happened along the way.
Leadership changed, markets declined, good people left, culture morphed into a place that feels stuck or stagnate. Something happened to dampen that enthusiasm.
It started as a feeling, a nagging somewhere deep inside that something just is not right. It has since been growing to an inclination to find the irritations or things that are wrong rather than being able to see the brighter side of situations.
It is now an uncomfortable feeling that has you having internal conversations. Asking if it is worth it to stay, will things change back, will they get better, can you stick it out?
Left untouched, this feeling will turn…
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When I was first getting into the job market, back in 1987, I didn’t hear many good things about recruiters. People called them “headhunters” and dismissed them. However, based on what I’d seen in the world, it seemed to me that they could really be helpful to me.
Back in high school, I hung out with a bunch of folks who were older than I. And one of those friends was a guy who’d been out of high school for a few years, but hadn’t gone to college. He didn’t have a regular job, but somehow he always had more than enough money to do what he wanted to do. He had a tricked-out car with all kinds of custom features he’d added himself. He had money for gas, movies, meals out… pretty much everything he wanted. Compared to his peers, many of whom were in college, he was living the high life. (Of course, this was from my high-school point of view.)
How did he do it? Whenever he needed money, he picked up the phone and called an employment agency, and they found him a job for a few days or a few weeks at a local factory. He worked a while, then stopped and did other things that interested him more. Now, granted, this was back in the early 1980’s, so the cost of living was much lower than it is now, but even so. He seemed to be way ahead of everyone, in terms of standard of living.
A number of years later, after I’d left college, I was in a bind. I was just back from Germany, living in the New York metropolitan area (northern New Jersey), and I needed a job. I had to pay my bills, I had to build up my savings, I had to get on with my life. But having a background in anthropology and German didn’t seem very in-demand. I combed through the want ads, day after day, and I couldn’t find anything that looked like it would work for me.
So, I picked up the phone and started calling recruiters. And they found me work. And along with a steady paycheck, making pretty decent money for someone my age, I got free training in the software and computer systems that were just then starting to come on the business scene. It seems so long ago, that offices actually used typewriters, not computers, and the concept of spreadsheets was cutting-edge, but I lived it. And yes, it did happen.
All because I got connected with the right recruiters — almost as soon as I got my feet back on American soil.
The funny thing was, everyone around me was incredibly dismissive of recruiters. They called them “headhunters” and talked about them like they were scum — a necessary evil that was best avoided at all costs. Of course, that was easy for others to say, when they were well-established in steady jobs with predictable career paths. They weren’t starting from scratch, at a disadvantage. They weren’t living in the new real world of shattered employer-employee contracts and non-existent job security.
Plenty of “grown-ups” said I was wrong to contact them. I was wrong to take “temp” jobs. I was wrong to get professional help in connecting with opportunities. But I knew I was right. And the proof is in the pudding. I’ve done well for myself — better than anyone expected, and better than many who went job-hunting alone.
Over the years, I’ve talked to hundreds of recruiters, and they’ve not only gotten me great jobs, but they’ve also helped me hone my resume-writing and interviewing skills. By interacting with them, I have learned how to better interact with hiring managers and HR reps, and that’s all added up to a pretty amazing track record of continuous employment at some pretty amazing companies.
So, while many folks pooh-pooh recruiters … “head-hunters”… and dismiss them, to me, they’re my best and closest allies.
If you’re not already working with recruiters, you may want to consider it. I’m writing a guide called 7 Answers Your Recruiter Wants to Hear – And Why, which walks you through the main points of working with recruiters. It’s designed to save you time and energy, and also teach you to focus your conversations with recruiters, so they have exactly the right information they need to find you the opportunities that actually work for you.
It’s all possible — you just have to have the right information, and you have to use it in the right way. And that’s what I’m all about helping making happen.
Good food for thought from DePaul – for beginning job seekers. I agree with most of what they say, although I really advocate a more pragmatic approach. Think less about what you want to do for your job… think more about what you can get hired to do, so you can do what you really love on your own time — without anyone running the show, but you.
Job searching can feel a little daunting at times. Formatting resumes and cover letters, researching companies, making to-do lists, initiating handshakes and introductions, and interviewing all start to swirl together.
It’s important to take a step back and start from a place that allows you to center your interests, skills, work values, and personality all in one place so you can focus your search in a way that is intentional and makes sense to you. Before the job search, begin with a bit of reflection:
By answering these questions, you will be able to create a foundation that will ultimately help you approach your brand, resume and cover letter, and will act as an aid during your job search.
- Interests: What areas are you naturally drawn to and how do they connect to career choices?
- Work Values: What motivates you and supports job satisfaction?
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