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 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!
Use your name for your Twitter account. You want to be remembered and found.
Complete your Bio. In 2-3 sentences, how will you brand your message? It is OK to have fragmented sentences in your bio.
TWEET SOMETHING RELEVANT
Before you go any further, share one or two tweets. You can share an article you think is important to your next career move, you can share a link to your LinkedIn profile or something you’ve written on LinkedIn.
Whatever you do, make sure you give people a reason to want to follow you.
FIND PEOPLE TO FOLLOW
Remember the list from above… go follow these folks on Twitter.
The movers and shakers in your industry.
People who share a common interest or passion
People in your city/town
Target company employees
You can search Twitter for your favorite news sources and industry movers and shakers. Once you’ve done this, look at Twitter’s recommendations of people to follow. Chances are, you’ll see people who are in the same industry.
To find people in your city, you can use Twitter’s Advanced Search and search by Places. If you are relocating, use your new destination.
To find recruiters, you can search for that job title in their bio. In order to search bios you need to use a separate tool. Try Moz’s FollowerWonk.
Once you begin to find people to follow, be sure you add them to a list. This will help you see what they share more easily.
Keep organized and create lists. You may want to use the list categories from above or create your own. To create a list, click on your profile picture and you’ll see a pulldown menu. Select Lists.
You can make your list public or private. If you add people to a public list, they will receive a notification from Twitter. You can also add a description to your list. This could be helpful if you want to share your list publically.
The nicest way to begin is by RTing the tweets of people you just followed. They will usually thank you. Consider what your response tweet will be, something complementary to warm up the connection.
KEEP YOUR FOCUS
It is easy to get sidetracked by posting “too personal” or unrelated Tweets. Keep it professional. Nobody really cares what you are making for dinner. However, if you’ve had a great customer service experience or a really great dinner, do give credit to the store/person/establishment. Positive nets positive! Never, ever complain.
Each time you log into Twitter, consider it a challenge to Tweet, RT and Thank anyone who has RT’ed you.
Add new people to your following every time you log in
When you read an article or blog you like, see who wrote it and follow them on Twitter.
So are you wondering where the jobs are on Twitter? Well, I am not going to go there. Focusing on job opportunities is putting the emphasis on the wrong part of your mission in my opinion. Your mission is to meet new people, first and foremost.
You can search for jobs on Twitter. But you may find people you follow sharing jobs. To learn more about finding jobs on Twitter, read this: Finding Jobs On Twitter
So this is the year you are finally ready to change jobs. Congratulations! Before you dust off your resume, there are some questions you need to ask before launching your job search.
But first, let me warn you about a few things.
Some employers have been known to terminate employees when they hear they are looking for a new job.
Never use company time or resources to job search. Even if it’s slow around the office, avoid the temptation to update your LinkedIn profile, email friends about job opportunities or update your resume.
Keep your search confidential. Don’t let your coworkers know you are job hunting. You don’t want them to leak the news to anyone within your company.
Be careful about what you post on any of your social media accounts, even your personal ones.
Below are the 9 questions you want to answer to successfully launch your job search.
Do you want to move up, over or out?
Do you want a promotion, a new and different challenge or do you want to work in a new company altogether? You don’t always have to leave your employer to get what you want. No matter which of these you decide on, you’ll need to clear about what you want next.
Job titles can vary widely. In fact, there are new job titles appearing every day. Do some research about roles inside and outside of your company to see what they call jobs that allow you to use the skills you like using most or want to use more.
It sounds crazy, but you are going to want to start here. Create a list of companies you think you might want to work for.
If you plan on staying in the same city, look beyond the companies you already know. Take a look at the top employers’ list for your city or peruse your city’s economic development website to uncover companies you may not have thought of. Want to relocate to a new city? Look for a list of the top employers within that city.
Now, you can view the company’s career portal to see what types of jobs are currently posted and use LinkedIn to see what else you can learn about the company and its employees.
Use your list as a starting point for research and arranging networking meetings with people who work inside those companies.
If you aren’t currently active in any outside organizations, now is the time to find professional associations or groups related to your desired career.
Attend meetings and network with people who are in the field. Bonus: Volunteering for a committee is a great way to gain additional exposure and opportunities to demonstrate your skills and knowledge.
What are your salary expectations?
Early in the application process, will be asked about your salary requirements. Take the time to do some salary research now to make sure your expectations are in line with the reality of the jobs you are interested in. Your last salary may or may not be in line with what other companies are offering and it’s best to uncover that information before you pursue opportunities.
Check salary websites and ask people who hold similar jobs what they think the going rate is for that type of work.
Ultimately, you want to have a range in mind. You’ll need it when filling out a job application. Also keep in mind that some industries like non-profits and higher education, tend to pay less.
What does Google say about you?
Go search for your name in a search engine, Google or Bing for example.
What comes up on the first page of search results?
Is every result the right one and information you would want a future employer to see? You can fix this by creating your own website with your name as the URL, publishing articles to industry newsletters or even writing a book review on Amazon.
If you are active on other social networks, you may want to clean those up now too.
Is your LinkedIn profile job search ready?
Before you update your profile, be sure to turn off the “sharing profile edits” option. You don’t want to let all your connections know that you’re making changes to your profile.
The best, less obvious place to start is with your Summary. Keep in mind, when someone views your profile, they’ll only see the first 200 characters – unless they are tempted to click and “see more”.
Your summary is sort of like a pre-pre interview. Make sure it answers the question “tell me about yourself.”
Include your top skills, career highlights, and your professional interests. You may want to goone step further and write about what motivates you at work and the types of projects you are interested in.
Update your work history and be sure to mention the skills and projects that will qualify you for your next role.
Carefully reevaluate your headline. Will it help someone viewing your profile know what you are good at doing? If you don’t want to draw attention to any chances, then you may not want to modify your headline.
Finally, now that your profile is updated, begin to use the tool to connect with more people and share one article a day. Share news about your current employer’s success, client successes, and news about industry trends (current and future).
Is your resume up to date?
When you find do find a job you are interested in, you’ll want to make sure your resume shows you are a match.
In case you’re not sure, your most recent job is the one hiring manager and recruiters will look at first. Make sure it is up-to-date. But don’t just list your job duties. Start by reviewing each job requirement and make sure your resume explains how you’ve done similar work. Every bullet on your resume should include the results or outcomes in terms of money saved, improved productivity or efficiency, or the quantifiable impact you made.
Here’s some advice to help you craft a better modern resume.
Here’s the deal. 60% of employers research job candidates on social media and over half are reluctant to hire candidates with no online presence, according to CareerBuilder. Heed this list of 9 things you should do to put your best foot forward online!
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) means “appearing in the search results on a search for your name or your skills. For a successful job search and career today, personal SEO is a necessity. Not being found (also known as being “invisible”) kills your credibility, and labels you as “out-of-date” or, worse, fake.”
I love Nick’s response to the long gripe a job seeker has about the job application process. Nick agrees, the process stinks and goes on to say “Why do people persist in trying to change other people’s mindsets? Change your own mindset. That, in turn, will allow you to change your behavior. Only your own behavior is going to enable you to change the outcome of your job hunting efforts.” So learn what you can do to turn the situation around!
Following up is not optional during job search. It is mandatory! Instead of hoping you’ll hear back, these are things you can do to improve your odds of getting a response.
You’ve applied for dozens if not hundreds of jobs online. You haven’t heard back. Join the club. This is probably one of the biggest frustrations of job seekers. So what can you do?
Adapt Your Resume and Cover Letter
Did you take the time to personalize, customize and make your cover letter and resume relevant for each of job posting? Can the employer clearly see (without having to think) how your experience relates to the job?
Review the job posting line by line and highlight the wording they’ve used that matches what you’ve done. Now, go back and make sure you’ve used that EXACT wording in your resume.
As for your cover letter, you must show the company you are interested in working for them. Do you know people who like working there? Have you used their product or service? Does the company have a mission that aligns with your values? It’s up to you to explain why you want to work there.
Stop waiting. Take action. If you are really interested in any of the jobs you applied for, then take the time and effort to follow up with an email or phone call. The only way you’ll know what’s going on with the job is if you follow up!
A word of caution. Be sure you follow the instructions, for example, if the job posting said “No calls please”, that means you shouldn’t call. Looking for some advice on making these follow-up phone calls? Read my post Follow-up Tactics.
Find an Insider
Talk to everyone you know and find someone who works for that company. When you find someone who works there, ask them if they know about the job, its status, and who they might recommend you speak to. Be super nice to them because you will want them to be an advocate for you or at least an informant.
You might be able to find names of people to contact on the company website.
You might be able to find the company and its employees on LinkedIn
You might be able to read the company’s blog to gather names or information
You might be able to follow the company on Twitter
Timelines Slip…Don’t Give Up
I read an article that suggested that job seekers give up if they haven’t heard back from an employer. I would caution against this, especially if it is a job/company you are really interested in.
Companies do not purposely keep applicants hanging. There are many valid reasons why you haven’t heard from the company: timeline slips, priorities change or they’ve put the job on hold for some reason. Don’t give up. Find out from your information (company insider) what’s going on!
Feel Empowered, Not Victimized
Sure the employer has what you want…a job. But, what can you do to feel empowered? Take action. At least you can say and know that you did EVERYTHING possible. Waiting isn’t taking action. One email isn’t enough. Be pleasantly persistent!
Here is a post I wrote which addresses the fear of many, What will they think (you don’t want to come across as aggressive or desperate, so how much is too much follow-up?)
Searching and applying for a job online may be the worst approach to job search. Are you using the latest and greatest job search strategies to propel your search?
Every week I read and share hundreds of articles related to what’s going on in the world of hiring. This summary includes news about the new LinkedIn privacy setting you must know about, where to find companies to add to your target list, how career success is being redefined and advice from a top recruiting consultant.
I hope you can use this information to update your job search strategies!
You gave LinkedIn permission to use your profile information and you didn’t even know it. New changes allow Microsoft Word resume templates to pull info from LinkedIn profiles to help people write their resumes. Learn how to stop your profile information from being used. This article was updated 3 times within 24 hours based on changes LinkedIn made to its privacy settings menu!
You can’t job search without a target list in today’s world. Check out ways you can find companies that are likely to be hiring for positions you are interested in. This pro-active job search method will improve your results!
Based on analysis of jobs posted on LinkedIn and profile data, here are the top 20 most promising jobs for this year. The list takes into consideration these data according to the post: “high median salaries, strong job openings and year-over-year growth, and the jobs most likely to lead to a promotion or advancement within an organization.”
The number one job title may be new to you, so I wanted to share it! Click on the job title to see jobs posted on Linkedin and learn more about what an Engagement Lead is.
Dan Schawbel interviews Lou Adler, a consultant helping companies make better hiring decisions. He answers questions about how recruiting has changed and what advice Lou Adler would provide to job seekers today. I think you’ll learn some new things reading his answers.
If you’ve been applying for jobs, now is the perfect time to do your pre-interview prep. It’s never too early to start preparing answers to job interview questions.
There are standard questions you can expect to be asked during a job interview. These questions are designed to see if you have the skills and interest to be a good fit for the job. You can begin thinking about these answers and prepare your responses today.
Cramming for a job interview isn’t the best idea. You want to come across confidently qualified during the interview and that takes practice and time.
About your application
What made you apply for this role?
Why do you want to work for this organization?
Why do you feel you’d be suited to this role?
Questions about your career choices and decisions
What made you enter this [industry/profession]?
What’s the biggest highlight of your career to date? Why was it a highlight?
What’s your biggest career mistake to date? What did you learn from this mistake?
Where do you see your career going in 3 years (…or 5 years, 10 years time)
Questions about each of your roles
What made you take that particular role on?
What were your reasons for leaving that particular role?
What did you deliver in each of your roles? Can you quantify these achievements?
Questions about you
What type of work have you enjoyed the most? What was it about them that you enjoyed?
What types of work have frustrated you the most? What was it about them that was frustrating?
What are your strengths? Can you provide me with a specific example to back each of them up?
What are your weaknesses? What are you doing about them?
How would you describe your personality and working style?
What’s unique about you? How are you different to all the other people we’re meeting?
Behavioral Job Interview Questions
Then there are behavioral job interview questions…
Tell me about a time when you had a disagreement with your manager.
Describe a stressful situation at work and how you handled it.
Give me an example of a time when you were able to successfully persuade someone to see things your way at work.
You can see a list of more behavioral interview questions here. >>
There is a trick to answering these questions. You use the acronym STAR.
Each of your answers should use a STAR story. And it’s really important to use quantifiable information in the results part of your story! Try really hard to quantify the productivity, efficiency, performance or outcome of your actions.
Situation – what was going on (Briefly stated) Task – what was it that had to happen Actions – step by step, what did YOU do Results – what happened because you did what you did
It isn’t enough to just think about your answers or write them down. YOU MUST practice these answers out loud. Your answer sounds different when spoken than it does in your head or when you’ve written it out.
Review The Job Posting- Again
You’ve already thoroughly reviewed the job posting when you created your resume. But dig out the job description again and review each requirement and develop a STAR story to provide proof you meet that requirement.