You’ve probably heard the saying that it’s easier to get a job when you have a job. Well, what if you don’t currently have a job? What if you haven’t had a job for a long period of time?
Don’t despair. It may take some extra effort to land a job after a long period of unemployment, but it is absolutely possible. Here are five Es to guide you:
First and foremost, it is a mistake to hope that employers won’t notice that you are currently out of work. A gap in your LinkedIn profile or your resume is certain to raise a red flag. You need to address it directly.
Depending on the reason for your time away and your personal comfort level, you can either explain the gap at the beginning of your LinkedIn profile Summary or in your InMail correspondence or cover letters to recruiters when you apply for positions. In whichever place you choose to give your explanation, do it quickly, honestly and positively.
Here’s an example if you stopped working because of a layoff:
I am a creative, client-focused public relations professional with deep experience in the financial services industry. Since ABC Public Relations closed its financial services practice in June 2012, I am currently seeking a new opportunity to join a large agency.
Here’s an example if you stopped working for personal reasons, such as childcare:
I am a corporate generalist attorney with substantial in-house legal experience. For the past three years, I have focused on raising my family and I am now eager to commit my substantial energy to a full-time position as an in-house counsel for a small- to medium-sized company.
Happy New Year! I love new beginnings, and January 1st is the newest and freshest start of them all. If you’re a job seeker, now is the perfect time to reinvigorate your efforts, try some new strategies or consider a fresh perspective.
With those goals in mind, here are three career trends I’m predicting for 2013 and tips on how you can incorporate them, with the help of LinkedIn, into your New Year’s job search:
LinkedIn profiles replace resumes
We’ve seen this happening for some time — people leading with their LinkedIn profile vs their resume. I believe 2013 is the year that many employers will rely more on LinkedIn than traditional resumes to make their hiring decisions. Employers may still request traditional resumes, but those will take a backseat to your LinkedIn presence. The reasons why are numerous: a LinkedIn profile provides so much more information and richer context for one’s career path, skills and experience; a resume limits you to one or two pages while a LinkedIn profile is unlimited; and your LinkedIn profile is public, so employers consider it to be more trustworthy (i.e., very few people lie on their LinkedIn profiles because their connections would quickly call out any untruths or exaggerations).
In some ways, your LinkedIn profile needs to mirror your resume. Factual information, such as your job titles, dates of employment and educational credentials, need to match exactly. And your overall skill set, experience level and areas of professional focus need to remain consistent so you don’t appear to be two completely different job candidates.
Beyond those basic similarities with your resume, your LinkedIn profile is completely customizable. To make your profile most appealing to employers, first craft a compelling, keyword-rich headline, such as “Big Idea Salesperson with Track Record of Success in the Construction Sector.” Not sure what to say? Gather inspiration by researching the LinkedIn profile headlines of some successful people who have the type of job you want.
Next, add a professional photograph to your profile to help recruiters match your name with your face when they meet you in person. Then, make sure that the rest of your profile acts as a more comprehensive version of your resume, including all of your experience, unique accomplishments, measurable results (e.g., “decreased average customer service call wait time by over 2 minutes”) and recommendations from former colleagues and managers.
Once you feel your profile is the best it can be, tap a few trusted friends or family members to review it with a critical eye. Specifically, ask them two questions:
Is it clear from my profile what kind of job opportunities would be a good fit?
Is it clear what makes me unique and valuable?
If your friends can’t answer these questions, or their answers are not what you’re hoping for, then go back to the drawing board.
One last point: remember that your LinkedIn profile is a living, breathing representation of you, so regularly revisit your profile to make sure it’s up-to-date with new accomplishments. You can also keep your profile fresh and appealing to recruiters by frequently sharing interesting articles or brief commentary about topics that matter to you. These shares appear right at the top of your profile in the “Activity” section, so they will keep your profile looking active and compelling.
Read the rest of this post on the LinkedIn Blog...
This week I had the pleasure of presenting during "office hours" for The Levo League, a new community for professional women of the Millennial generation.
I love the mission of the organization -- Levo is the Latin root of the word “elevate,” which captures the organization's mission for professional women to ascend together and achieve their career dreams -- and I had fun answering questions from Levo Leaguers about social media and personal branding.
Here are some of the tips I shared for networking and building a strong personal brand through social media:
Take a “clicks and mix” approach to networking online. "Clicks and mix" is a phrase I borrowed from my friend and social media expert, Diane Danielson. It means to combine the online and offline in your networking efforts. For instance, you can get an introduction via social media, but then make a date to meet for coffee. Never hide behind your computer screen.
Get serious about your LinkedIn profile. The very top of your LinkedIn profile is the first thing people notice. Make sure you have a great professional headshot on your profile, and make sure your profile headline is a broad description of who you are, including keywords that a recruiter or client might use to search for you.
Use Twitter as a research tool. Think of Twitter as your own personal news feed. Create a stream or list) where all you’re following are companies you want to work for or clients you want to pursue. Have a stream or list that is totally career related. (You can follow Ashton and Lady Gaga elsewhere!)
Click over the the Levo League blog to read more tips!
If you could work for any company in the world, which employer would you choose? You can see the most popular answers to this question on LinkedIn’s recently released list ofMost InDemand Employers, which ranks the most sought-after companies on LinkedIn, ranked geographically and by job function.
If your dream employer appears on this list, you’re certainly in good company. But it also means you’re up for some intense competition. What does it take to land a job at one of the world’s most sought-after employers? Here are some tips:
It takes confidence. Yes, it can be challenging to apply to a top organization, but don’t take yourself out of the running before you take the first step. The very first step in landing a job with your dream employer is believing it’s possible. You’ll never get a job you don’t apply for.
It takes a good fit. That said, you have to be realistic about what opportunities you pursue. Just because a company is popular doesn’t mean it’s the right career or cultural fit for you. Take time to thoroughly research a potential employer by exploring that organization’s website and reading through its LinkedIn Company Page. The “Careers” tab of any Company Page will provide information about that organization’s culture, and the company’s status updates — which you can follow by clicking the “Follow” button in the upper right hand corner of any Company Page — will alert you to the organization’s current news and priorities.
I also recommend following a potential employer’s competitors (which you can generally find under the Insights tab of the Company Page under “People Also Viewed”). Research how a potential employer compares to its rivals in terms of culture, services, career opportunities and more. If you prefer another organization’s activities and positioning, then perhaps that company is your dream employer instead.
Read more on the LinkedIn Blog...
If you’ve been feeling the urge lately to buy fresh pencils and open the first page of a crisp new notebook, you’re not alone. Whether you graduated two years ago or 20, September always feels like the beginning of a new school year.
For job seekers, this sense of a new beginning can inspire you to inject new energy into your hunt. In particular, the fall season is a nice time of year to reconnect with members of your college or university alumni community, who may be feeling nostalgic for their school days as well (particularly if you have a good football team!).
Here are some tips for connecting and reconnecting with fellow graduates of your alma mater:
1. Join your alumni community. The first essential step is to become a member of your university’s alumni group on LinkedIn. Virtually every college and university in the world has one or more, as do many high schools as well. Go to the Groups Directory and search for the name of any educational institutions you attended. You’ll find that some schools have multiple groups, so join as many as appeal to you.
Once you’re a member, scan the group’s Discussions, Members and Jobs for networking opportunities. For instance, join a discussion of fellow alums talking about your industry, comment on an article someone has posted or introduce yourself to the Group Manager, who is often a representative of the Alumni Association (often a very connected and helpful person).
You can also start your own discussion, perhaps posting an article with a few personal comments or posing a question to group members. Or, you can introduce yourself and your goals: “Hi fellow Tigers: I’m new to the group and excited to connect with fellow alums. I’m currently looking for a job as a graphic designer and eager to connect with any other job seekers or design folks. Happy to help anyone I can. Thanks!”
Remember also that LinkedIn permits you to send a message or connection request to anyone with whom you share a group on LinkedIn (as long as that person has opted to accept such messages), which will help you build one-on-one relationships with individual group members.
Read the rest of this post on the LinkedIn blog...
Image: Trinity University