Guide for Lifetime Career Navigation. You will find everything that has anything to do with getting your job search started on the right foot, keeping your search momentum and even ideas for your success as a solopreneur or small business! Blog by Hannah Morgan.
If you want to get started managing your online visibility for the long-haul, not just while you’re eager to find a new job, here are the secrets to managing your online visibility and building a reputation of excellence!
Listen, Learn, Lead
There are three secrets that will help you improve your online visibility. They are listening, learning and leading!
Let me tell you how they work.
Back in 2008, I was asked to speak to a group of executive MBAs about networking. As flattered as I was, I was also panicked. What qualified me to speak about networking? Sure, I’d been teaching job seekers how to look for work for several years, but was that enough to impress or convince this audience that I was worth listening to? I needed reference material and my own words.
I talked with a friend who pushed me to start blogging. I did a lot of reading. Tom Peters, Seth Godin, Keith Ferrazzi, and Penelope Trunk were early inspirations. I wrote 5 times a week, for 3 years! (I had a lot to say!)
Beyond writing my own articles, I was told by experts that you were supposed to leave comments on other blogs. And as I found more blogs within the job search and career space, I began to leave comments. It was around this same time, someone recommended Twitter. So I opened my account and began following people. Every morning after I wrote my blog post, I would skim my Twitter feed, share interesting articles as well as my own.
I did all this before 7am (while I was working a full-time job). I had 2 kids under the age of 5, and a husband who worked the night shift.
What I didn’t really understand at the time was that I was building an online presence and reputation. I learned about SEO, basic technical stuff like HTML, how to use LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+ to promote my content. Oh, and most importantly, I met some great friends along the way!
I’m an introvert and have pretty good listening skills when I want to. Listening is so important to building your brand and online reputation.
Listen to what other experts in your area of expertise/interest are saying
Listen to your potential employers/customer’s problems
Listen to fill gaps or voids in knowledge
Listen to feedback your friends, family, colleagues and managers give you
Listen for opportunities
As you listen, you learn. Observing behaviors, styles, methods and hacks.
I think it’s smart to know where your strengths lie and where you are weak. There’s no excuse for not having something you know you’ll need. There’s a wise saying, those that can’t do teach. But even wiser is this quote from Benjamin Franklin:
Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.
Engage in learning. Make it a life-long quest for knowledge.
No one needs to give you a title in order for you to lead. Lead yourself. We can all be leaders- in different aspects of work or life. Choose where you want to lead. You’ll build a reputation of excellence and become a magnet for new opportunities!
Now, use these three words to guide your online visibility strategy.
Share Great Stuff With Your Network
Listen to what others are saying and share. You may not have your own thoughts yet but sharing the ideas of others, good or different, shows interest and helps cement what’s important to you.
Where are you listening for information and trends?
If you have been in job search mode for awhile, you are probably sick and tired of it by now. Money is tight and the end of unemployment is looming. You just need a job!
Plan A is to get a job, but… that isn’t as easy as it sounds. You need motivation and a solid plan you can carry out.
There are a couple of reasons why your job search isn’t getting any traction.
You’re only applying for jobs posted online
Presenting Yourself As Over Qualified
You may be presenting yourself as overqualified or desperate in the eyes of many employers. If you are applying for jobs you are overqualified for, make sure you adjust your resume. Sure, some may call this “dummying it down.” The truth is, you are tailoring your resume for the position. Adjusting might include:
Eliminating or re-labeling the “leadership” functions in your last position.
Remove reference to total years of experience. No one is looking for someone with 20+ years of experience.
Limit your work history to the most recent 10-15 years.
Demonstrate use of the specific skills the immediate job requires, don’t imply or force the employer to read between the lines.
If you honestly haven’t used the required skills in awhile, they aren’t fresh. Take a class or refresh your skills by working on a project.
Don’t Rely On Job Boards
Remember, networking is the best way to hear about jobs. You can ready about how to tap the hidden job market. Networking also helps you overcome any obstacles that might be glaring on the resume.
You’ve Got To Show You Want To Do The Job
You want to make sure you have at least a little interest in the jobs you are applying for. You will find more satisfaction and be less frustrated if you can use skills that you are good at and enjoy using.
This is why self-assessment is so important. Many job seekers see this as a waste of time, especially if the need for income is dire. Relax, and dive into self-exploration. It is well worth the time and we all need a little reinvention right now. You can start here.
How Interest Drives You Forward
Finding a passion that will keep engaged and interested is not as hard as it sounds. The more difficult part is finding a way to make a living using your passion. It isn’t as hard today as it used to be though.
When I was 10, I wanted to be an Archaeologist. Really. There was a barn behind our house and one day, I started digging back there. Why? Why does a 10-year-old do anything…
Each day I dug, I would find something new. I found old bottles, high button shoes, rusty tin cans, an old light bulb (which hangs on our Christmas tree), a thimble case, and all kinds of treasures and junk. I began to learn about old bottles and how to tell their age by the how far up the bottle the seam ran. I had books on the subject which I read and I displayed my bottles at the town’s historical society. It was a passion. I wanted to learn more and more about the items I was finding. 10 year old’s don’t often do research, but I wanted to.
When you are interested in something, you have the extra energy that drives you and keeps you moving forward, even in the face of rejection.
Applying Passion To Job Search
What could I do today if this was still my passion?
I could work in an antique store. I could work at a Historical society.
Those 2 options alone will probably produce at least 50 target companies I could now begin to pursue.
I would first start talking to friends and neighbors to cultivate contacts.
Next, I would get in my car and visit all the target companies. Building relationships at each stop. Scoping out their businesses and making early decisions.
I would write employment proposals to all my target companies explaining why they needed me on their team. I would relentlessly follow up by phone with each owner and ask for a face to face meeting to discuss my proposal (bracing for some higher level of rejection).
Someone out of those 50 organizations certainly needs someone with my passion and determination on their team.
More Personal Branding Actions
Oh, but I am not done yet. I would research local and national associations related to history and antiques. I would attend meetings related to history. Oh, I am still not done. I would go on LinkedIn and scour the search function for keywords related to antiques and history. I would look up people on Facebook. I would share interesting research-based articles as LinkedIn and Facebook status updates. I would also write some articles and submit them to magazines and online forums related to the topic. Still working the social media route, I would go on Twitter to see who’s tweeting about antiques and history in the area.
Out of all of this, something will happen. Well, then again, there are no guarantees in life.
Having fun and feeling good about what you are doing is more than half the battle.
The future of job search is about keywords but it is also about soft skills. As a job seeker, you have to understand how and when to use both!
The recruiting process is becoming more automated. This requires you understand how recruiters and hiring managers are using technology.
But it isn’t just tech. Today, your soft skills are being evaluated too. This means you’ll want to work on your conversational skills and emotional intelligence. And always have proof to back up your claims (especially samples of work).
While it is difficult to predict when a company will adopt new recruiting methods, you can get a jump start and hopefully outshine the competition.
by Caroline Stokes, FORWARD | Undercover Recruiter
Recent research reports that a recruiter will initially skim your resume for 6-8 seconds to determine if you’re a suitable candidate. Scary and sad, right? But Artificial Intelligence is predicted to eliminate the human scan of all resumes. This could be good news.
OK, this is from November 2017. It’s still an under-used resource. Mentoring is huge! How else are you going to develop and grow professionally? This feature is described as: “Whether you need advice on your career path, switching to a new industry or best practices for a project you’re working on, Career Advice can help you find and connect with the right person who can help.”
LinkedIn Keyword Finder – Check your’s out! (no link).
This sums up the whole premise of having a great online reputation:
Just like you wouldn’t hire an overweight, chain-smoking personal trainer, a poor financial advisor or a dentist with missing teeth, make sure you practise what you preach. It will make my job (and any recruiter’s job) a lot easier, when recommending you to a potential employer.
Almost every company today uses ATS. They all function a little differently. Learn what the top platforms are. Then, go read this to learn how they work. How Top ATS Systems Analyze Your Resume (Job-Hunt.org)
If you are looking for a super simple way to get news to help with your career and job search, then you should know about this news reading platform.
Are you tired of subscribing to newsletters that clog your email? Do you log in to Facebook just to find your favorite articles and then find yourself going down the Facebook rabbit hole?
In order to keep learning about changes and trends in your industry and occupation, it makes sense to read publications and articles. This takes time and requires having a way to easily access the information.
That’s where Feedly (a freemium service) comes in. It is news reading platform. That’s it! It houses articles that you organize so you can easily stay in-the-know. It’s distraction-free (unlike your favorite social media platform). LinkedIn used to let you select news feeds but you can’t sort your news feed by source.
First, decide what news you want to follow then
Add it to Feedly
Skim it regularly
Lather, rinse, repeat
News To Follow
Before you get started, let’s think about the types of news you want to follow. Remember when you used to read the newspaper…you would open up the sports section or the local news. When you categorize the news sources it makes it easy to find what you’re in the mood to read. Here are suggestions:
Industry news (marketing, data science, banking, etc.)
Company news (news from specific companies you are interested in)
Regional news (if you plan to relocate to a new city, keep tabs on what’s going on)
Career news (keep up to date on trends in your career)
Job Search tips (you’ll want to stay current with trends in hiring)
With the free version of Feedly, you are only allowed 3 feed categories. You can opt to add news sources without a category. But that sort of defeats the purpose. Choose wisely or upgrade to the paid version.
Log In and Start Using Feedly
You can use Feedly from your desktop and also download the app to your Android or Apple device.
Search Feedly For News Sources
Now you are ready to start finding and adding your news sources. Type your favorite news source into the search box. You can also copy and paste the web address (URL) of your favorite website/blog into the search box. Also take note of the suggested keywords or # that appear under the search box. These options can help you discover additional sources of relevant news.
When you add a source by clicking on the “follow” button, you also have the option to add it to a category. Add them to the appropriate feed category (industry, companies, regional, career and job search tips). This will help you find the news you are interested in when you need it.
With the free Feedly account, you can add up to 100 sources total under your 3 feed categories so select the most important news sources first.
Reading Your News
When you are waiting for an appointment or have some free time, just open Feedly and select the option to read the new article for “Today” or read articles you had tagged to “Read later”.
When you click on “Today” you’ll see a listing of all the feed articles from your sources. The articles will be grouped by the collection you put them in. This feed is automatically updated when the publisher posts new content. When you see an article you don’t have time to read, you can save it to “read later” and it will be easily accessible from the main menu option.
Read An Article (and More)
If you see an article you want to read, you can preview it on Feedly. Or, if you want to read it on the original site, you can click through to that as well.
Some of these features are only accessible if you have a paid subscription to Feedly. Features such as highlighting, and all the sharing directly to social media platforms requires a paid subscription. But you can always open the article from its original source and then you can share it.
If you choose to save an article to a board, you’ll need to name the board. With the free version of Feedly, you can have up to 3 boards. This might be a good place to save your favorite articles to easily reference later or share when you have time. You may choose to name your boards based on subcategories of your feeds. Ideas might include. FinTech, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Hiring news, Influencers, etc.
If you want to do more with Feedly, like share articles directly to your favorite social media platform (in one click) or search your feeds, or highlight text, or share to Evernote, you’ll have to pay a little each month. Here’s what you’ll get.
This week’s collection of articles will help get you more familiar with important topics related to job search: interviewing, online visibility and little known LinkedIn tips. Job search isn’t the same as it was the last time you looked.
Today’s job search requires mastery of new skills (and new-to-you skills): conversation and communication, online engagement and search engine optimization (SEO). It’s up to you to influence what people find out about you online, so you’ll need to build some new skills.
In this summary of key findings from LinkedIn’s Talent Solutions Report, you’ll learn what interviewing trends are hot among the 8,815 hiring managers and talent acquisition professionals surveyed. Here’s a spoiler:
Soft skills assessment, job auditions, casual settings and virtual reality assessments. You’ll want to read the full article!
Have you ever wondered how to answer this question? There is a reason why employers ask this question. Doyle says that the interviewer really wants to know “What makes you the best fit for this position?” Follow the article’s advice and be ready for this interview question!
This is a question a lot of people ask, so I turned to my friend Mark S. Babbitt to get his take on whether or not job seekers should be active on multiple social media platforms. Go watch our conversation!
by Wayne Breitbarth, Power Formula for LinkedIn Success | LinkedIn
LinkedIn now shows you the top keywords people used to find your LinkedIn profile. Getting found on LinkedIn is another thing you can influence by using the ‘right’ keywords. Learn what to do to improve your profile’s search results.
Donna helps you keep up with all the latest LinkedIn changes, like the new way LinkedIn shows your skills and endorsements. There’s no article, just this image. But go check your profile and see if you have this new feature!
If you want to gain a better understanding of job search tech (and you should), then this is for you. The more you know about how recruiters use job search tech and how you can too, the easier it will be to secure a new job!
This collection of articles will give you insight on how different ATS search and eliminate resumes, tips on cleaning up and posting on social media, as well as some cool tools and ideas about the technology you can use to organize and streamline your job search.
What you don’t know about ATS is hurting your job search. This gives you a good overview of some of the top ATS used by employers. Did you know: resumes are eliminated because they didn’t use the one keyword a company needed, this is called a “knockout.” Or you might not have used the keyword often enough. “Frequency” is another way ATS eliminates resumes. Or your resume may not fall into the highest ranking match, “hot match” and therefore gets ignored. Learn what you can do to prevent your resume from being eliminated.
Twitter, really? Learn why Twitter may be the missing ingredient in your job search. This tool can give you access to new people, help you connect, and so much more! A huge “thank you” to Meg for summarizing our conversation! And by the way, Meg and I met on Twitter many years ago!
If you are an MBA candidate, do you know what you should put in your LinkedIn headline?
Most MBAs have spent significant time updating their resumes, contacting alumni and applying to dozens if not hundreds of MBA-level jobs. But have you given enough attention to your LinkedIn headline?
Why Your LinkedIn Headline Is Important
What a lot of MBA job seekers don’t take into consideration is the importance of a solid LinkedIn profile. It’s just one more piece of the job search.
Your name, photo and headline are the only things that show up in search results.
LinkedIn’s new algorithm relies heavily on your headline and this determines where your profile ranks within LinkedIn search results.
Over 90% of employers are looking at LinkedIn profiles at some point during the hiring process. (Jobvite 2017)
Company recruiters are using LinkedIn’s recruiting tool to search profiles to find talent with the right qualifications.
Your headline is the first thing someone sees when they look at your profile. It must contain the right keywords. Keywords are the skills or terms someone would search for to find candidates for the type of job you are looking for. Does your LinkedIn headline convey that you are qualified for your next role?
Let’s take this one step further. Your mission is to stand out from the other MBAs, right? If your headline reads like every other MBA candidate, will that accomplish your goal? Using the same headline as your classmates or top business school MBA candidates isn’t going to differentiate you.
Crowdsourcing LinkedIn Headline Tips
I asked for help from my network on LinkedIn. I wanted to see what these LinkedIn profile writers and job search pros recommended as the best LinkedIn headline for an MBA candidate.
Here is the question. (You can click on the box below to see the comments on LinkedIn)
“2018 MBA Candidate, [Name of School]” prompted this reaction from a recruiter:
“Great, you’re a freshly-minted MBA from [school]–so’s everyone else in your class. What do *you* bring to the table that the rest of your classmates *don’t*?” – Ed Han
What To Put In Your LinkedIn Headline
These are recommendations of what should be included in a LinkedIn Headline for MBA candidates.
“Lead with true differentiators, keywords or achievements.” – Lisa Rangel, Chameleon Resumes
“You can include MBA Candidate in your headline as long as you also indicate your core field and skills.” – Julia Erickson
“Add more information like target job (keywords!) or job function (keywords!) and type of employer (keywords!).” – Susan P Joyce
“Show areas of study / expertise the student hopes to use.” – Laura Smith-Proulx
“Find a niche that grabs decision makers ‘ attention and fulfills a need.” – Debra Feldman
Examples of MBA Candidate LinkedIn Headlines
“Marketing, Business Development, & Advertising, Branding for Market Differentiation & Analysis. 2018 Northwestern MBA” – Laura Smith-Proulx
“2018 MBA candidate at [name of school], concentration in [name of concentration], goal: data analytics role” – Susan P Joyce
Tips and Tricks to Keep In Mind
You have 120 characters (2oo+ if you edit using the mobile app). Make them count.
If you do use a pipe | or backslash / or some other character, leave a space before and after for SEO purposes.
LinkedIn weights current Job Title, past Job Title and Headlines more than any other sections in your profile.
Search LinkedIn and get ideas from MBAs who have used original, keyword rich headlines.
Other Reasons Your MBA Job Search Isn’t Working
There are several reasons why any job search is unsuccessful.
Lack of focus (not sure what type of role or industry they are targeting or why)
Lack of a value proposition (haven’t differentiated themselves and the value they will deliver)
Unclear or poor messaging/communication (outreach via email or phone is not well-crafted)
Narrow job search strategy (relying on job ads or not taking advantage of other sources of hiring)
No sense of urgency (not putting in the time or effort to get results)
Your best chance of landing a job is right now. You have access to tools and resources through your career center that decrease or go away once you graduate. Put in the effort now. Dedicate time every day to your job search.
If an employer is looking for someone with the skills and qualifications to fill a job, will your profile show up? It’s time you optimize your LinkedIn profile. Use these steps to improve when and how you show up when employers and recruiters search LinkedIn.
When you invest the bulk of your time only pursuing posted jobs, you are missing out of the opportunity to meet with individuals inside companies that could potentially hire you and this is where the real opportunities lie!
Companies don’t like hiring. It is a painful and time-consuming process. Not to mention, a risky proposition. Here are four reasons you need to stop chasing jobs and be proactive, not reactive, during your job search.
The majority of jobs are filled by internal hires.
It is so much easier for a company to promote someone internally. The candidate already knows the company, the culture, the processes, etc. However, that doesn’t always mean an internal candidate is the best choice.
Even if there isn’t a job available, you should be having conversations with people inside companies you would like to work for.
As you meet with people to learn more about their business, be sure to share how being an outsider offers fresh, valuable perspectives on solving their problems.
Inevitably, they will be hiring someone and you want them to think of you as their next great hire!
You are competing against hundreds of other job seekers
Once a job posting goes public, everyone and their brother is applying. All the employer can see is your resume, if they even see that.
If your resume doesn’t contain the right keywords or skill sets required by the company’s screener, chances as slim that anyone will ever see your resume. And what makes you think you are a stronger, more likable candidate than the hundreds of external candidates AND the handful of internal candidates? What tips the scales in your favor when the competition is so steep? Can you see how much more difficult it is to stand out?
They may have already hired someone else
or have a strong candidate in mind
By the time the job posting goes public, the hiring manager has already been asking everyone they know, inside and outside the company, who would be a good fit for the upcoming open job. Sometimes this has been going on for months before the job gets announced. Imagine all the people who come to mind and who are referred for the job.
If all you do is wait for posted jobs, chances are, your name won’t be in the running. Once the job does get announced, perhaps it has been custom tailored to match the very unique and specific skill sets and background of the predetermined candidate. You will never meet the requirements of the job if this is the case. You can’t. It has been written so that only one person is truly qualified.
It drives reactive job search, not proactive
How frustrating is it when you don’t see any good jobs available? And then there is the frenetic rush on the rare days when you see more than one job available and you have to research the company, tweak your resume and customize your cover letter to get it to the company ASAP.
When you only look at posted jobs, you have peaks and valleys of activity. Your job search activity is driven by their timeline, not one you have influence over. I would prefer you have more control over your activities and use of your time, wouldn’t you?
We’re already a month into the new year, how’s your job search going?
Refresh your job search and apply some new strategies.
Fresh job search strategies include submitting an ATS-friendly resume, a robust LinkedIn profile, and taking a proactive approach to your job search. All these are spelled out in the articles I shared this week on social media. They did so well, I’m featuring them here.
Not getting contacted after you submit your resume? Are you putting your contact info in a header? Are you using fancy fonts or charts? Common typos can even hurt your chances. Learn how to easily fix common resume mistakes.
In this article, Will talks about how defeated he felt during his job search. Most job seekers feel this way. It’s a painful process. He shares four things you can do to shift your job search strategy and feel like you have more control.
Call it a gig, extra-income or testing your entrepreneurial savvy. It’s crazy to put all your eggs in one basket (one job). Explore some of the options in this article. At the very least, give the idea of a side hustle some thought!