My name’s Biron Clark. I’ve been a Recruiter for most of my career. This blog is dedicated to helping you advance faster, find better jobs, feel more confident and earn more cash. Get up to the minute advice on job interviews, salary, careers and more by following this blog.
While it’s okay to put a few soft skills on your LinkedIn profile, those aren’t going to win you the interview. Employers look for hard skills on your LinkedIn profile and your resume when deciding whether to interview you.
They’ll try to measure your soft skills (like whether you’re hard-working, motivated, honest, etc.) in the interview!
So focus at least 80% on hard skills.
Here’s an example of an opening line I saw on a real LinkedIn summary/about section, that focuses too heavily on soft skills:
Dynamic, creative, motivated, and adaptable social media and branding enthusiast…
The problem with this is that it emphasizes soft skills first, which is not what employers care about on your profile.
This person would be much better off saying:
Social media and branding enthusiast with a proven track record of…
That way, their hard skills and expertise appear first. (And then, they should ideally go on to name more specific hard skills like “Facebook advertising,” “Content marketing,” etc.)
3. Include numbers and data
One of the best ways to prove you’ll be valuable in a job is to show what you’ve done in past jobs. And nothing demonstrates this better than real results, numbers, and data.
Percentages, dollar amounts, headcounts (if you managed or trained people, etc.)
Putting data like this on your LinkedIn profile summary is going to grab the reader’s attention and help convince them that you’re someone they should interview.
You’ll see how to put data in a LinkedIn profile summary in some of the examples coming up soon in this article.
4. Include keywords for the type of job you want
This is where you can adjust your LinkedIn summary specifically for your job search.
Look at job descriptions for the positions you want to apply for, and notice what some of the most common keywords are.
Then include a few of these keywords in your LinkedIn summary/about section to show employers you’re a good fit for their position.
5. Make your opening sentence as interesting as possible so employers click “see more”
The reader isn’t going to see your full “About” text in your LinkedIn profile summary at first.
They’ll see a small snippet and can click “see more” if they’re interested. So we want to get them to click!
Here’s an example of a LinkedIn summary section that caught my eye and made me want to see more. It’s a bit different, but it did its job – grabbing my interest and getting me to stop scrolling past!
6. Show passion for your work
After you’ve demonstrated hard skills, past results, data, accomplishments, etc., it’s time to show some passion for your work.
Find a way to show that you’re excited about what you do and you’ll attract more employers.
Employers don’t just look at ability and experience. They want to hire someone who’s going to be excited about coming into work each day.
So think about what motivates you and show a bit of that on your LinkedIn profile summary.
7. Show some personality
Showing some personality can also help you stand out and be more memorable, which can get you more interviews.
For example, you might begin your LinkedIn profile summary by saying:
“Hi, thanks for checking out my profile! I’m a digital marketer with 4 years of experience in advertising, social media management, and obsessing over coffee! (Ask me about my own homemade cold-brew!)
That last piece has nothing to do with work but shows who you are as a person.
This will make your summary on LinkedIn stand out from all the job seekers and people who keep it 100% work-related. And if a recruiter or hiring manager is a coffee lover, they might ask you about this.
So showing some personality or even humor in your LinkedIn summary can be a great conversation-starter.
8. Utilize white space and small paragraphs to make your LinkedIn summary easier to read
Hiring managers and recruiters don’t want to read giant blocks of text with 10 sentences per paragraph. (In fact, this is true for everyone online.)
So make sure you relatively short paragraphs with a white space in between each. This will make your Summary section much easier to read.
If you’re not sure what good spacing looks like, take a look at the text in this article you’re reading right now. Notice how it’s spaced out and doesn’t have any massive, 10-sentence paragraphs. That’s by design, and we do it throughout the whole site to make it more pleasant to read.
Try to emulate that type of spacing in your profile summary. You’ll see this in all of the LinkedIn summary examples coming up in the second half of this article, too.
9. Use special characters to further stand out
To get noticed and separate yourself from other job seekers, consider using bullets, checkmarks and maybe even emojis in your formatting.
Just don’t go overboard. It looks tacky when someone’s LinkedIn summary is full of 20 red and pink emojis (I’ve seen this, unfortunately).
Here’s an example of a GOOD amount of emojis and special characters/formatting:
Credit for this profile goes to Career Coach Austin Belcak on LinkedIn.
You’ll notice this profile also has great spacing and isn’t too “dense,” like we talked about in the previous tip.
10. Add relevant attachments
After you’ve written a great LinkedIn summary, you can also add attachments like PDFs, videos, and images.
These attachments will appear in the small “snippet” that people see before clicking “see more” on your summary, which will help you get noticed.
Don’t just attach a copy of your resume, though. I don’t recommend doing this anywhere on your LinkedIn profile. It’s better to make employers ask for that! These attachments should be portfolio pieces, other examples of past work, awards, testimonials, case studies, certifications, etc.
Here’s an example of how attachments look in a LinkedIn summary/about section:
11. Include a “Call to Action” at the end
This is something most job seekers don’t do, yet is highly effective.
Did you know that simply asking someone to do something increases the chances they’ll do it?
So at the end of your summary, ASK them to contact you if they think your background will fit an opportunity they have.
You might say:
“If any of the above sounds interesting and you think it would be a potential fit to work together, send me an invitation to connect and let’s talk!”
Note: This is the only place where I’d recommend indicating that you’re actively looking for jobs in your LinkedIn summary. (I mentioned earlier not to waste space on the rest of your summary with this, and to focus on showing how you’ll bring value to your next employer instead).
5 LinkedIn Summary Examples for Job Seekers (Unemployed or Employed)
Now that we’ve gone through how to write a great LinkedIn profile summary step-by-step, let’s look at some of the best LinkedIn summary examples for job seekers.
These are effective LinkedIn summary examples if unemployed or employed. It doesn’t matter. The idea is the same – to show employers how you’d help their organization and why they should want to interview you.
LinkedIn Summary Example #1
This LinkedIn summary example is well-spaced (no big blocks of text), and includes a ton of keywords showing what this person is best at.
And that’s the type of information that can get you a job interview with employers who need the skills you highlight.
LinkedIn Summary Example #2
This example also has great spacing and uses some unique formatting (star-shaped bullet points) to attract attention.
This person’s LinkedIn summary also does a good job of showing some passion for the work they do (where they say, “The most exciting part of my job is….”)
That phrase is a great way to show that you care about what you do and enjoy your work, which is something employers care a lot about when they decide who to hire!
LinkedIn Summary Example #3
This is an example of a shorter LinkedIn summary. You don’t NEED to have a massive summary section.
Although, I would add one paragraph to this just to provide a bit more detail.
However, even in this one small paragraph, this summary does a good job of including multiple hard skills/keywords like HTML, CSS, etc.
LinkedIn Summary Example #4
This is another LinkedIn summary example that uses unique formatting to grab the reader’s attention.
Instead of putting everything in paragraph format, this person put one brief introductory paragraph, and then bullet points with their top hard skills/keywords.
This will help you get found by recruiters who are searching for talent on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn Summary Example #5 (For College Students and Recent Graduates):
This LinkedIn summary example for graduates does a good job of showing your current situation (about to graduate, just graduated, etc.), and then indicating what type of job you want.
I like this idea of saying, “I’m looking forward to acquiring a job in the __ community.” – It sounds so much better than just saying, “Actively seeking __ opportunities”.
This profile also includes a few good keywords like HR, Human Resources, etc.
If I were editing this LinkedIn summary, I’d recommend adding one additional paragraph to show more of what you’ve done/accomplished in your academic studies, and maybe including a few more keywords (like sub-topics within HR or Business Administration that you studied).
You can also use the general tips throughout this article to write a great LinkedIn summary as a college student or graduate. You don’t need to follow this one example.
How Long Should a LinkedIn Summary Be?
Your LinkedIn summary should be between 2-8 paragraphs. If you’re viewing your summary on a full-size computer screen, the entire summary text should fit on the screen without scrolling (or should come very close, if not). If it’s longer than this, considering editing your summary to only include the most relevant, important info.
Showing detail is good.
As a recruiter, I don’t love the one-line LinkedIn summaries that just say something like, “life-long learner” without sharing any detail about what value you bring to a company.
But at the same time – nobody wants to read a book’s worth of text in your LinkedIn profile summary, either. So it’s about finding the perfect balance.
If your LinkedIn profile summary is the same length as any of the examples we looked at above, you’re fine.
Follow These LinkedIn Summary Tips for an Easier Job Search
If you follow the tips above, you’ll have a great LinkedIn summary that grabs the reader’s attention and gets you job interviews!
To get started, go open a blank document and begin drafting your own summary based on the examples and steps we looked at. Then paste your new summary into your LinkedIn profile after you’re happy with what you have!
Now let’s get started with the main list. Here are the best remote job boards for finding full-time remote jobs:
Flexjobs is one of the biggest names in the game, and one of the first remote job boards we’d recommend looking at no matter what industry/specialty you’re in.
They offer full-time and part-time jobs. Freelance and permanent positions.
They also offer advanced search features so you can quickly find jobs that fit what you’re looking for, which saves time.
This is another one of the biggest and longest-running remote job boards.
The site looks mainly geared toward programming jobs when you first arrive, but don’t judge too quickly – their list of categories includes far more… from design jobs, copywriting, product management, customer support, sales, marketing and more.
If a category of job can be done remotely, you can find it on this site.
Virtual Vocations is another one of the biggest and best remote job sites on the web.
They have a huge variety of job types including customer service, account management, administrative, engineering, design, social media, sales and far more (see screenshot below).
Also in the screenshot, you’ll notice that you can filter by “Telecommute Level”. So if you want a fully remote job, make sure you select that “100% Telecommute” option.
Remote.co is another large remote job site covering a variety of fields, not just programming jobs.
By browsing their remote jobs categories, you can find positions in accounting, editing, writing, QA, marketing, legal, and much more.
Yes, they also have programming and web design jobs. So this remote job board is worth a look if you’re in those fields, too.
But this site is also a fantastic choice if you’re coming from a background that isn’t always shown much attention on other remote job boards (like legal, accounting, etc.)
This remote job board features primarily full-time remote positions and has a great category/tag system to help you filter down the results and only see what you’d be interested in.
You can see the filters and tag system in the screenshot above. It makes it very easy to start finding jobs that interest you.
This is another medium-sized (but fast-growing) remote job website featuring the usual software-related categories like UI/UX, DevOps, engineering, etc., but also positions like sales, writing, editing and much more.
The site is super easy to navigate with job categories coded by color.
This makes it easy to skim through and see if any of their remote positions fit your skillset.
Remotive.io provides a list of remote jobs that’s updated daily.
The site is modern and easy/simple to use and has a good overall quality of jobs posted.
Categories include software development, customer support, design, product, and marketing/sales. The emphasis seems to be on remote software development jobs, though.
Crossover features a really good assortment of high-paying remote jobs with a focus on long-term, full-time positions, which aren’t always the easiest to find when searching for remote jobs online.
All of the positions show the approximate starting pay which is great, and they have everything from remote individual contributor roles up to Executive positions (VP of Product, etc).
The interface is easy to navigate and you can see the starting pay for each job.
You’ll also notice the category in the screenshot- sales jobs. So this isn’t just for programming jobs, etc. (Although they cover plenty of that, too)
JustRemote isn’t as large as some of the job boards mentioned above, but they still have a good-sized listing of fully remote positions in programming, design, marketing, copywriting and more.
They also have a category for manager/executive positions, which is interesting and not something we’ve seen on a lot of other remote job boards on this list.
This is going to be one of the best job board choices if you’re in a field that’s slightly outside of the “normal” remote job offering – e.g. not a programmer, designer, etc.
Sure, they have that, too. But the strength of this site really seems to be the variety of categories.
They offer remote jobs in everything from case management, recruiting, HR, quality assurance, finance, editing, and more.
This remote job board also has a nice system of tags to filter the search results.
They offer remote jobs in marketing, design, programming and more and seem to have a few new jobs posted every day.
(We saw 7 jobs posted within the past 24 hours when we checked).
Not the best name for a remote job board (in our opinion), since we think of temporary/part-time jobs when we hear the word “outsource”.
However, that’s not the case with this job board. The majority of jobs we saw were full-time.
The job descriptions are detailed, and the jobs seem high-quality overall, so this is certainly worth a look as you search for remote jobs online.
LetsWorkRemotely isn’t as popular as some of the job boards mentioned above, but we love the simple, easy to use layout and the great search filters
You can filter your search by results by category (like marketing, writing, SEO, social media, etc.)
And they offer filters for full-time, part-time, and contract/freelance positions.
So by spending a few seconds setting up good search filters, you’ll only see highly-relevant search results.
Most of the remote jobs we found on this job board listed the starting pay, too, which is great. Nobody likes to apply without knowing what the job pays!
Remote Circle is a site that helps you find remote jobs for your specific time zone.
You’ll need to sign up to start viewing jobs, but after joining, you can view remote jobs and filter by category, keywords, and more.
Authentic Jobs brands itself as “The leading job board for designers, developers, and creative pros”.
So that’s who this job board will be most useful for.
And while it’s not 100% focused on remote positions, the majority of positions we saw were remote.
When searching, use the little blue “wifi” logo to have your searches show remote jobs only.
Remote Work Hub is a popular remote job board and also a job search advice website with good articles and ideas to help you find fully remote jobs and get more job offers.
They’re definitely worth visiting to search for telecommute jobs and pick up a few job hunting tips at the same time.
Employers want to hire someone who is looking for specific things in their job search and knows what they want.
Otherwise, they’re going to be afraid you’ll get bored, not like the job, leave as soon as you find something better, etc.
And how can you know their job is a good fit if you don’t ask any questions?
So not asking enough questions is a huge red flag to employers and will make them worry that you don’t really care what type of job you end up with, you’re desperate and just want any job, or you’re trying to do the bare minimum to get hired.
And all of these are reasons why you’re failing interviews potentially.
You should ask at least one or two questions to each person you meet with. If you want to know what questions to ask, we have a detailed guide on the best questions to ask the interviewer here.
3. You didn’t send emails thanking each person you met with
This is another way to show you’re a hard-worker who takes the extra steps to go above and beyond what’s required, rather than someone who cuts corners or waits to be asked to do something.
And which type of person do you think employers are hiring?
I’d recommend sending a thank you email to each person you met with face-to-face in an interview. Send it the following day at lunchtime, or the evening after the interview when you arrive home.
Also, make sure you’ve prepared a good answer for “tell me about yourself”. This is often the first thing they ask and is a way for you to tell your story while also bringing them up to speed on what you’re looking for right now. (That’s how I recommend ending your answer to “tell me about yourself.”)
6. You couldn’t explain why you want their specific job
After showing them that you know what you’re looking for in your job hunt, be ready to explain how their specific job fits into that!
This is where doing your research helps. Review the job description thoroughly so you can name responsibilities that you’re looking forward to doing and building skills with.
And you aren’t going to get very many job offers by saying you just need a job, or you have bills, or you’re unemployed and need to find work.
I’ve talked to so many job seekers who don’t get this, or who are frustrated by this when I explain it.
They say, “I just need a job. Why do I need to act like their job is special?”
The truth is: If you don’t care about their job, they’ll probably find someone who does. This is a likely reason why people fail interviews and don’t get hired.
I’d recommend thinking more about what you DO want to be doing, and then only applying just for that type of job.
Narrow your job search. Apply for fewer types of jobs, but better-fitting ones.
And I don’t just mean jobs you’re qualified for, but jobs you actually want! That’s what I mean when I say “better-fitting.”
You’ll get more job offers when you can explain exactly why you applied.
7. You didn’t show excitement/enthusiasm
Hiring managers want someone who’s going to come in and be positive, energetic, and excited about the work.
It’s okay if you’re not the loudest, most energetic person. I’m not either.
But you need to “turn it up” a little bit and show SOME enthusiasm.
If they tell you about a part of the job that sounds interesting, say so! Try to say, “That’s great. That sounds really interesting” at least once or twice in an interview where you’re learning about the job duties.
You’re joining their team, and they want someone who’s going to be energetic, excited, and care about the work.
8. You were too humble
Don’t forget that your job in an interview is to sell yourself.
While it’s good to be humble and honest, you always don’t want to be too shy about telling them what you’re great at and what you’ll do for them.
Talk about past accomplishments. Talk about what you’re best at. What are you an expert in?
What have coworkers come to YOU for help with in the past?
Have you trained anyone else? Has your boss asked for your help on a subject in the past?
What have you spent the most time doing in your career?
Practice having good posture – both sitting down and walking/standing.
Maintain eye contact when talking and listening. (Most people find it harder to do while talking).
Don’t cross your arms or take a defensive posture when you sit down. Try to sit open and relaxed.
Also, avoid tapping your hands or feet or doing anything else that will distract the interviewer.
For more help with this, we have a full article here on how to show confidence in job interviews. (Including an image of what a defensive posture looks like, and how to avoid it when sitting down in the interview).
These may seem like small details but the impression you give off visually is often just as important as the words you’re saying.
If you’re saying the “right” things but not going into your interviews with an appearance that backs it up, it could be a reason why you’re failing interviews.
12. You didn’t build rapport with the hiring manager
As you go through the job interview, don’t forget you’re talking to a real person.
This hiring manager is deciding who to bring onto their team and work with every day for the near future.
So building a personal connection matters.
If they ask you something about yourself, try to ask them a question in return. (For example if they ask whether you played any sports in college, you can answer and say, “what about you?”)
Also try to look around their office when you sit down and see if there’s anything you can use in a conversation later. For example, do they have photos of their children playing sports, etc.?
I had a discussion about this on LinkedIn recently when I asked people for their favorite job interview tip to stand out:
Hiring managers will remember you for this.
Don’t take the conversation totally off-track if they’re trying to discuss the job with you, but do learn one or two things about them and show you’re interested in getting to know them as a person before the end of the interview.
13. Your skills weren’t quite what they needed
Now we’ve gone through 12 likely reasons why people fail job interviews. And finally – yes, it’s also possible that they invited you to interview and then realized your background just isn’t quite what they need.
It does happen.
But quite often, it’s something else. It’s one of those other 12 factors we looked at above.
So if you keep failing in your interviews, look at the pieces you CAN control. Don’t just blame it on bad luck, or on your resume (which you now know is probably not the problem if you read the start of this article).
There’s a lot you can control and change to start getting job offers instead of failing in your interviews.
“Before buying this guide, I had no idea how to really do an interview. My friends were just saying, ‘Do your best as it’s out of your control’.
I think a lot of people believe this – that’s it’s out of your control. And they’re wrong.
He went on to say:
“Within ten to fifteen minutes, I have realized that I have been doing interviews all wrong the whole time. I was too fixated on simply answering the questions from the interviewers about myself. Now I know to relate my strengths to the job duties and show them how I would help them perform the duties. The ‘no, but…’ method also helped me answer some skill-related questions. Your bonus sections assisted me build a positive mindset for any upcoming interviews so I can prepare and do the best for them.”
This article isn’t a plug for my Job Interview Cheat Sheet. That’s not why I wrote it. However, I think this illustrates the point I’m trying to make here – that you CAN change things and stop failing your interviews.
It IS in your control.
I hope this article is able to convince you of that.
The people who tell you it’s all luck or there’s nothing you can change don’t know what they’re talking about.
So keep trying, keep going. You’re just one good interview away.
But do change something if you keep getting rejected and failing in your interviews. The steps above are where to begin.
Be ready to go into detail about everything you’ve done in the past in the field of customer service.
If you don’t have any previous customer service experience, don’t worry. They obviously liked SOMETHING on your resume or they wouldn’t have invited you to interview.
So you can be direct and say, “no”.
Or if you have some other experience you think is relevant even if it wasn’t exactly customer service, you can say, “no… but…” and then talk about what else you’ve done and why you feel it’d help you succeed in this customer service job.
2. What does “good” customer service mean to you?
Next, the interviewer is going to want to see if you have a basic understanding of the purpose of customer service.
This is a tough interview question because it’s so open-ended.
I’d recommend saying something like, “To me, great customer service is going above and beyond what a customer expects to make sure they have an outstanding experience and want to tell friends about how positive their interaction with our company was.”
It’s important to show that you know your job involves making sure customers are happy with the company, not just you as a person.
You’ll notice a lot of customer service surveys say, “From 1-10, how likely are you to recommend the company to a friend?”
And that’s how they evaluate their customer service representatives.
They’re not asking customers, “Was Jake a nice guy when he helped you?”…
They’re asking whether you’d recommend the company. So that’s what your job really is as a customer service representative – to help customers and give them a positive impression of the company overall.
3. “What motivates you in your career?”
Employers want to know what motivates you and keeps you going aside from money… especially when you interview for a difficult/stressful job like customer service representative positions.
These jobs are DEFINITELY stressful at times.
So employers want to make sure there’s something that will motivate you and keep you going when a day gets difficult.
Don’t say “money” when you answer this question.
They want to know what’s going to keep you motivated besides the paycheck.
That’s what hiring managers are curious about this when they ask this question in a customer service representative interview.
Situation. Task/Challenge. Action you took. Result.
That’s a good way to organize your answer.
So when you’re in a customer service job interview and they ask about a difficult customer you encountered, you could say:
“It was Friday afternoon and we were about to close the store.” (Situation)
“A customer came to me extremely unhappy because __” (Task/Challenge)
“So I quickly did ___ and decided to offer her ___ to rectify the situation” (Action you took)
“She was very grateful and completely understood after I explained ___. And she was thrilled that I was able to give her ___ as compensation for her hassle. She said she’d be back soon to shop again.” (Result).
I’d recommend using this method to break down your answer into smaller pieces and tell clearer and better stories.
This is useful for any behavioral customer service interview question.
6. “Tell me about a time you went above and beyond what was expected to please a customer?”
Employers don’t just want someone who does the bare minimum or sticks to their exact job description as a customer service representative.
So they ask behavioral questions like this one to see if you’re able to really please customers and go above and beyond the basics.
If you have any previous customer service experience, be ready to go into detail about a time you got creative or put in the extra effort to please a customer.
For example, if you worked in a grocery store, what was something you did that they really didn’t expect, and made their day?
Maybe you helped them find their lost child as the store was closing.
Maybe you special-ordered a product that you don’t normally carry.
Think about those things that aren’t on the job description. That’s what to talk about when answering this interview question.
If you’ve never worked in a customer service role before, they might ask a similar question like, “tell me about a time you went above and beyond what was expected of you at work?”
So even if you’ve never worked in customer service, be ready to talk about a situation where you did more than what was expected in your job.
7. “Tell me about a difficult day you experienced at work. What happened and how did you handle it?”
You’re going to have difficult days as a customer service representative.
So employers want to know that you’re resilient and can handle it.
They want to know that you won’t freak out, throw your uniform and quit.
So show them you know it’s not always easy being in customer service, but that you’re able to stay professional and come back the next day no matter what happens.
Use the S.T.A.R. method (mentioned earlier!) to tell a clear story about a day that really didn’t go your way, and what you learned from it and how you turned it into a positive experience.
What were you able to improve from that experience?
How did you make sure the customer was satisfied?
How did that experience help you avoid problems/mistakes/difficult situations later in your career?
That’s the general approach I’d take when answering this type of question in your customer service interview.
8. “Give me an example of a time when you had to explain something fairly complex to a frustrated client or coworker. How did you make sure they understood you?”
Communicate skills are vital for any customer-facing job, so employers want to see how you explain yourself and communicate.
They’ll judge this throughout the interview with EVERY answer you give them, too.
So make sure all of your answers are clear, concise, and to-the-point.
9. “Tell me about a time you thought you communicated clearly but were misunderstood. What happened and how did you handle the situation?”
This is another customer service interview question designed to measure your communication skills and your ability to recover when things don’t go exactly as planned.
They’re looking to hear a story showing your ability to solve a problem/issue after your first attempt to communicate didn’t go so well.
If you work in customer service long enough, you’ll be misunderstood once or twice. (No matter how great you are).
So the hiring manager or interviewer wants to see you can keep your cool and recover even if a customer totally misunderstands you and gets upset.
10. “Describe an instance when you had to improvise or think on your feet to solve a problem”
Another part of being great at customer service is solving problems and improvising on the spot.
Sometimes the unexpected happens.
A power outage.
An injury to a customer (if you’re in retail, etc.)
So try to use the S.T.A.R. method that we discussed earlier to tell a story of how you improvised in the past to find a solution to an unexpected problem.
7 More Sample Behavioral Customer Service Interview Questions
We’ve looked at 10 of the most common questions you’ll hear in a customer service interview now.
There are 7 other behavioral interview questions that you’re very likely to hear, too, though.
If you follow the advice above and practice these common customer service job interview questions, you’ll be better prepared than most candidates, and you’ll give yourself a great shot at getting the job offer!
If you want more help succeeding in your interviews, here are two additional free resources to check out:
Getting noticed (and getting interviews) on LinkedIn starts with your headline.
It’s the FIRST thing people see after your name…
…When you comment on a post… When you appear in search results (and recruiters are searching LinkedIn CONSTANTLY)… Or when a hiring manager checks out your profile before interviewing you.
>> And a lot of hiring managers view your profile even if you didn’t apply via LinkedIn!
So you really need to make a good impression.
In this article, we’ll look at examples of the best LinkedIn headlines for job seekers, and how to write your own.
The Best LinkedIn Headlines for Job Seekers
The best LinkedIn headlines for your job hunt have a few things in common. They will:
Show your skills and expertise (what do you do?)
Communicate the value you bring to a new employer (why should they care?)
Include at least one keyword/phrase for the type of job you want
(Optional) Show something unique to make your LinkedIn profile stand out – Maybe it’s a specific accomplishment. Or an award. Maybe it’s a passion or a hobby. You’ll see some examples of this coming up.
Let’s jump into examples of LinkedIn headlines for job seekers now, with 10 formulas you can use to write your own headline and get more interviews…
Headline Formula 1:
Role| Specific Achievement
B2B Inside Sales Rep | $2.4MM generated in 2018
Digital Ads Manager | 5 Years Experience Managing 7-figure ad budgets
This is a great LinkedIn headline for job seekers who have past results they can quantify.
…And don’t write this off just because you’re not in sales!
There’s usually a way to quantify your work in ANY role if you take the time to think about it.
For example… if you’re a writer, how many pieces of content did you create?
If you’re in tech support, how many users did you help per week? Or how many requests did you solve?
Nothing beats specific results/proof when it comes to convincing a new employer you’d succeed in their job, which is why this is one of the best LinkedIn headlines for job seekers.
Headline Formula 2:
Role | Years of Experience in Industry | Fun Fact
Human Resources Manager | 10+ Years of People Experience | Disneyland Annual Passholder
Senior Manufacturing Engineer | 6+ Years in GMP Manufacturing | Cat fanatic
This LinkedIn headline formula is a great way to include multiple keywords for the type of job you’re targeting (so you can get found in LinkedIn searches), while showing some personality, too.
This is one of the best LinkedIn headlines for job seekers with at least a couple of years of experience.
I asked her if she had a formula and this is what she gave me…
LinkedIn Headline 6:
Description of what you do or how you meet someone’s pain point | Keyword 1 | Keyword 2 | Keyword 3
I help manufacturers become more efficient through process engineering | GMP-Certified | Project Manager | CQE
The keywords should be what a recruiter or hiring manager would search for if they were looking for someone with your skills or background.
Sarah also added this tip: “I also use free online keyword analytic tools to pick the best keywords. For example, for a while I was saying “job search strategist”, but after doing a keyword search found that more people search for “career coach”. Since shifting my language, I’ve seen about a 30-40% increase in LinkedIn search appearances.”
That’s an important tip to follow no matter which of these LinkedIn headlines you end up using for your job search.
LinkedIn Headline 7:
<Role> specializing in _____, _____ and _____.
Content Marketing Strategist specializing in press releases, blog content, and social media
This is a relatively simple formula that puts your job title or main keyword at the very front of your profile so it gets noticed immediately.
This will get you more clicks from recruiters and hiring managers looking for the skill set you highlight (in the example above, Content Marketing).
Then, there’s an opportunity to include more keywords and show what you’re BEST at throughout the rest of the headline.
Now you’re more likely to get found and clicked in searches for those keywords.
I Don’t Recommend Saying, “Actively Seeking” in Your LinkedIn Headline
You may have noticed that NONE of the LinkedIn headline examples so far have said, “actively looking for opportunities.”
Here’s why I don’t think it’s a good idea to put this as a job seeker on LinkedIn.
First – this communicates absolutely nothing, other than the fact you’re out of work and need a job.
Second – the most in-demand, highly-skilled job candidates never put this. They have multiple opportunities, recruiters chasing them, etc.
And so they conduct a quiet, undercover job search.
I know you may not be flooded with interviews and job offers yet, but you still want to act like it. You want to position yourself as an in-demand job seeker!
And shouting to the entire world that you’re actively seeking a job is the OPPOSITE of doing this.
>>> If you do insist on doing this, at least add some keywords and indicate the exact type of role you’re looking for. Here’s an example…
LinkedIn Headline Formulas 8 & 9: (If you insist on saying “Actively Seeking…”)
<Role> seeking a ___ opportunity
<Role> looking for opportunities in ___ (specific area)
“Certified Public Accountant (CPA) seeking a management opportunity”
“Financial analyst looking for opportunities in the private sector”
That way, your headline at least communicates something about your expertise and what type of job you’re a fit for.
The Best LinkedIn Headline for Entry Level Job Seekers and Recent Grads
LinkedIn Headline #10 (For Recent Grads with NO Experience):
Recent ___ graduate with a focus in ___, ___ and ___.
Example Headline for a Recent Graduate:
Recent Finance graduate with a focus in financial analysis, reporting, and auditing
However, if you’re a recent graduate who has any relevant work experience, even an internship or part-time work, I’d recommend highlighting that with any of the LinkedIn headline formulas that we looked at previously.
That’s REAL experience that employers will care about and value. So you can use any headline we’ve previously looked at.
How to Choose the Right Keywords For Your LinkedIn Headline
If you’re job hunting, you want to get found by recruiters.
So try to brainstorm industry-specific keywords that can go into your LinkedIn headline, no matter what formula/example you’re using above.
Avoid generic phrases like, “Experienced Leader” and think about hard-skills and specific knowledge useful in the type of jobs you’re seeking.
This can be technical terms or specific areas of work within your industry.
Phone Customer Service
HR Compensation and Benefits
This is important for every job seeker, but especially those who are changing careers or industries.
Make sure you include keywords that employers are looking for in your NEXT ideal job.
One More Tip – Your LinkedIn Headline For Job Searching Doesn’t Need to Include Your Last Job Title
You may have noticed in a lot of the headline formulas/templates above, there’s a place to include your role or main area of work/expertise.
However, there’s no rule that this needs to be your exact job title.
You can put the title of the jobs you’re targeting, for example.
Or if you have an unusual title like, “Client Happiness Manager,” you can change it to something more common/recognizable. (Which will also put a more relevant keyword in your LinkedIn headline).
So just keep this in mind as you use the templates above to write your own LinkedIn headline for job searching.
Think more about what keywords/titles your future employer will want to see, rather than what your past employer decided to name your previous role.
What To Do Next: Write Your Own LinkedIn Headline for Job Hunting
Don’t go turn on the TV or YouTube and forget all this. Put this info to use!
Go grab a piece of paper or open a blank document on your computer, and try to plug your information into some of the LinkedIn headline examples above.
Come up with 2-3 headlines that sound good to you and then come back a day later and see which one stands out to you (stepping away for a day after writing something is a good way to come back with a clear perspective!)
When they ask questions like this, you want to show you’ve done your research and know what their job involves.
Then confirm that you’re interested in this type of work, and if possible, talk about one or two of your key skills or past experiences that you feel will help you succeed in this role.
(A lot of job seekers are surprised when I tell them that just saying, “I need a job to pay the bills” isn’t good enough. But I can say with 100% certainty – employers ALWAYS want to hear a reason why you want their specific job).
2. Tell me about your last job
Whether you held a data entry job before your current interview or not, employers are going to want to know what you did most recently. (Even if it’s listed on your resume already).
So be ready to go into more detail about past accomplishments.
And try to make everything sound as relevant as possible to data entry, if you didn’t hold this type of job in the past.
Show similar work.
For example, maybe you saw on the job description that you’ll be working in a fast-paced environment.
Well, even if you didn’t do data entry in the past, you’ll want to point to other jobs you’ve held that were fast-paced and required you to work accurately and quickly.
If the job description mentions attention to detail, talk about how your past jobs required attention to detail.
The absolute best place to gain clues about what the employer is looking for is by studying the job description.
They might directly ask you if you’ve worked in data entry in the past. Be ready to answer directly and don’t try to avoid the question.
If you have, you can say, “yes, I did this at <company name>”
If not, you can say “no”.
However, I prefer to say, “no, but…”
And then share what you’ve done that’s most similar.
Here’s an example…
“No, but I did manage customer records and transaction data in Excel at my last job, and I had to make sure it was entered promptly and accurately at the close of each month. I wasn’t in a dedicated data entry role, but we were a small start-up and I was the primary person responsible for this.”
4. What type of data have you worked with?
If you’ve done data entry in the past, you’re likely to be asked for specifics about the type of data you worked with.
In general, employers want to see as much similar past work as possible. So it’s better if you’ve worked with similar types of data, or done data entry in a similar industry.
This isn’t always a “hard” requirement, but is almost always seen as a plus.
So expect some data entry job interview questions about the industries you’ve worked in and the types of data you’ve dealt with in the past.
5. What are your professional strengths?
If they ask you about your strengths in the interview, you should try to name strengths that are related to the type of job you’re interviewing for.
So you could say your greatest strength is your attention to detail, or your ability to work in a fast-paced environment while maintaining accuracy of your work.
Be prepared to give an example of whatever strength you name.
You’d want to be able to continue quickly and confidently if they ask for an example, and say something like, “In my most recent job, we had a situation where ___”…
If you want more help with this, I wrote a full article on handling the greatest strengths interview question HERE.
6. Why should we hire you for this job?
Employers get a LOT of applicants for the average data entry job, and some employers might ask you directly in the interview, “why should we hire you?”
Make sure you’re prepared if they ask this, and be ready to give a confident, clear answer without rambling on.
In your answer, try to highlight one or two key qualifications you bring to the role. If you worked in data entry in the past and have a track record of succeeding in this type of role, mention that.
If not, mention whatever work you’ve done that’s most similar.
Avoid saying, “I’m not sure.”
I know this is a tough question to answer, but you really want to be ready with something specific when they ask this.
You don’t have to say, “I know I’m the best person ever for this position!!”… you just want to be able to give them some tangible reasons why you’re a good fit for their job, and why their team would be better off with you on it!
7. What do you know about our company?
You always want to be ready for this question, especially in phone interviews, which is where you’re most likely to hear it.
And you’ll hear this question a lot in data entry job interviews because employers want to make sure you fully understand what the job involves.
They don’t want to hire you and have you get bored six months later and quit.
So when you answer this question, show them you’ve reviewed the job description.
And try to mention the two or three main things the job will require you to do.
For example, you can say, “Well, I looked at the job description before applying and it sounds like the majority of my time would be spent doing ___ and ___, as a part of the ___ team. It also seems like I’d be doing some ___, too, but not as much. Is that correct?”
8. Give me an example of a challenging situation you’ve encountered in your past data entry work
If you’ve done any data entry in the past, you’re likely to hear an interview question about challenges you’ve faced.
Be ready to give an example of a past challenge, what steps you took to overcome it, and the end result you achieved (ideally a successful end result, or a successful turn-around if a project was struggling).
If you have *not* worked a data entry job before, you still might hear an interview question similar to this in your data entry job interview.
In this case, you’ll hear something like, “Give me an example of a challenge you’ve faced in the past, and how you handled it.”
So be ready for that one, too. For that interview question, you should be ready to name a real failure, but also what you learned from it and what steps you’ve taken to make sure it never happens again.
Don’t blame others. Do sound humble and accepting of what happened. And show how you turned it into a positive learning experience.
That’s good advice job interview advice in general – whether it’s a data entry job interview or any other interview…
Employers never want to hear you badmouth or blame others. And they always want an honest, genuine response when they ask questions about failures, struggles, etc.
The key is just to show you’re always learning and improving, and that you don’t let the occasional failure stop you.
9. What questions do you have about the position?
You should be asking questions at the end of EVERY interview.
If not, employers will assume you’re not interested in their job, or just don’t really care about your job search and career in general.
You don’t want to look like you’ll take any job and that you don’t care. (You’ll end up with NO job if you do this. You’ll struggle to find a job for months).
In this article, I’m going to walk you through the best jobs for recent college grads who want to earn more money, have better job security, and find enjoyable/exciting work at interesting companies.
After years of working as a Recruiter, learning about different positions, hearing what different jobs pay, and studying employment trends… these are what I feel are the the best jobs for recent college graduates.
And the top 3 careers I recommend can all be started with ANY college degree.
This list isn’t just about the highest-paying entry level jobs, but also job security, future career growth opportunities, and finding interesting work.
However, you’ll see below that many of the jobs listed below ARE some of the best-paid jobs, because the higher-paying, in-demand jobs also tend to have better job security and more options/choices in the future.
The Best Jobs And Careers For Recent College Graduates:
Let’s get started with the list of best jobs for recent college grads now.
In no particular order, these are the absolute BEST jobs and careers for recent college graduates in my opinion.
1. Software Engineering/Programming And Related Fields
This is one of the best jobs for recent college graduates interested in technology and software.
Software engineering is hands-down one of the best fields you can get into right now in terms of salary, demand for your skills, and future career growth.
These positions pay extremely well.
(Some software developers earn $100K+ after just two or three years in the field).
And demand is rising as more of the world’s businesses rely on software. (Even businesses that have been around forever like UPS).
And while you’ll have a leg-up on the competition if you have a 4-year degree in Computer Science, it’s not necessary or required for all jobs in this field…
There are many coding “bootcamps” and schools teaching this skill set in a matter of weeks, rather than years.
And some of them help you find a job after graduating as well.
Here are a couple of the top programs for learning software development:
General Assembly – a coding bootcamp with physical locations in many major cities such as New York, Chicago, Boston, Dallas, Denver, and many more. Plus international cities including London, Sydney, Melbourne, Paris and Singapore.
They also offer online courses if you’re not in one of the cities they operate in.
Lambda School – a 9-month immersive program teaching you modern programming skills, with no upfront cost. According to their website, “Instead of paying tuition, students can agree to pay a percentage of their income after they’re employed, and only if they’re making more than $50k per year”
It might also be worth checking out LinkedIn Learning, one of my favorite online learning platforms for a variety of topics. (they have 10,000+ courses across a very broad range of categories).
Note: I’d also put careers like data science and data engineering into this group of some of the best entry level college graduate jobs.
I expect the demand (and pay) for these positions to be as good as software engineering in the coming decade and beyond.
However, jobs in data science and similar fields tend to require an advanced background in mathematics, statistics or computer science, so it’s less likely you’ll be able to get up to speed with just a short “bootcamp.”
So that’s why I talked more about software development jobs above… because you can learn the skills necessary to develop apps and websites (and get a job doing this) much faster.
2. Digital Marketing
Don’t want to learn programming? No problem!
There are a couple more great careers for recent college grads with any degree, and digital marketing is one of them.
At this point, every company knows they need a digital presence, even the very old-fashioned companies that traditionally relied on off-line marketing.
(Go try to find a single large brand without social media accounts. You can’t).
And as companies get on-board, they’re realizing they need a lot of help in this area.
Specific work in this field includes creating and managing online advertisements (on Facebook, Google, Instagram and more)… managing “organic” social media posts (non-paid ads – regular posts that companies put out to their followers.
There are many other areas as well, including website optimization, email marketing, and much more.
It’s also a relatively new field so you won’t be competing against people who have 20-30 years of experience.
Some of the most knowledgeable digital marketers are in their 20’s right now.
So you can earn a great salary ($50-60K within one or two years, and much more over time) in this field.
If you want help getting started in this field, I wrote a detailed review of the one online resource I recommend for learning digital marketing. You can read more here:
And while there are a couple of other careers that are good for recent graduates, they often require a specific degree.
I’ll cover them below anyway…
Other Good Entry Level College Graduate Jobs (Requiring Specific Degrees):
The following careers also provide some of the best entry level jobs for recent college graduates, but you need a specific degree for them.
I also don’t see as many opportunities for future growth as you advance in your career in these jobs.
They’ll start out with a high salary, but you may struggle to keep earning more as time goes on.
That’s just based on what I’m seeing RIGHT NOW and doesn’t even factor in the threat of automation replacing some of these jobs below (which I think it could happy… for all 3 entry-level jobs I’m going to name…)
Nursing is a great occupation that can pay $50-60K in some cities, which is great entry level pay for a non-business field.
But you need a nursing degree.
So if you found this article by searching for the best jobs for recent college grads, then the last thing I’d recommend is going back to get another degree if you don’t already have a degree in nursing.
Various types of engineering jobs will pay extremely well right out of college. But like Nursing, you’re going to need a specific degree to get started.
So again- if you happen to have a relevant degree, you can earn great money in areas like these:
Plus as an engineer, there’s an opportunity to work at some of the most exciting companies. For example, SpaceX hires a lot of engineers both for their software and rockets.
But I realize most people don’t have an engineering degree, which is why the jobs I listed earlier don’t require any specific degree.
Accounting is one of the best entry level college graduate jobs right out of the gate in terms of salary.
(I’ve seen recent grads in Accounting get jobs paying $45-55K with no experience).
And there are some good career paths forward…
You could continue earning more and more with this by becoming the head of an accounting department, a Controller, or CFO (Chief Financial Officer).
But many accountants get stuck at the “Staff Accountant” level forever.
And I personally just don’t think the work sounds very interesting.
However, I know some people out there love accounting. I studied Finance in school and took enough Accounting courses to know I’d never want to do it.
But if you majored in this field and want an accounting job, go ahead and try it!
The starting salary will be good, you’ll learn a lot about how businesses operate, and you can also switch into a finance or sales/marketing role if you decide accounting isn’t for you.
Are These The Only Good Jobs For Recent Graduates?
No – there are certainly others.
However, the first 3 I mentioned in this article are the BEST right now in my opinion. (Software, Digital Marketing, and Sales).
I didn’t set out to create a list of 20 mediocre jobs for entry-level job seekers; I want to give you the best of the best.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t good choices for you, though.
For example, recruiting isn’t a bad job or career, especially when looking for entry-level positions as a recent graduate.
I personally learned a ton working as a Recruiter, was well-paid, and it gave me the knowledge and inspiration to start this website which turned into my full-time business now!
Yet I didn’t put “Recruiter” on the list because I feel Sales is better (and very similar, even though most people don’t realize it).
It’s okay if you want to do something that’s not on this list.
If you’re passionate about something else, you’ll probably succeed with it!
Passion goes a LONG way toward motivating you in your career, helping you stand out and get promotions, etc.
As long as you don’t take a total dead-end career path, you’ll do fine if you’re passionate about something.
In fact, in the jobs I struggled in very early in my career, the whole issue was I had zero passion for what I was doing. (Customer service, client support, etc.)
I was miserable…
…Not because the work was particularly tough. It was just that I couldn’t care less about what I was doing!
So every little thing became stressful and difficult.
You’ll be much happier and more successful if you find something you actually care about doing. That’s the big take-away here.
Use the list of best entry-level careers and jobs above as a guideline if you recently graduated, but don’t think you have to follow one of these options, because you don’t.
What do you think? Did I forget anything on this list of the best jobs for recent college grads? Leave a comment below and let me know.
So I learned digital marketing and worked as a freelance marketing consultant for over a year.
And it changed my life.
It allowed me to earn $50-100 per hour (depending on the project).
And it gave me the freedom to live where I wanted, travel, etc. (I was working 100% remotely. Employers didn’t care because there just aren’t enough qualified digital marketers to satisfy their demand.)
Now… I know not everyone wants to be a freelancer or wants to travel around. And that’s fine…
You may just want to find a higher-paying job with better job security. And digital marketing is a great choice for that, too.
So now let’s look at where to learn digital marketing online in a way that will also prepare you to find a job in this field.
Where To Learn Digital Marketing Online
You don’t need a marketing degree (or any degree) to learn digital marketing online and get a digital marketing job.
It’s all about building the specific skills employers need in this field… and those skills aren’t taught in universities usually.
>> So first, we need to learn the skills.
>> Then we need to demonstrate to employers that you know these skills so you can get high-paying job offers for digital marketing positions.
Fortunately, There’s An Online Training That Covers Everything In One Place
I’ve also spoken with the course creator, Seth, and he’s a brilliant guy.
I was impressed by not just his knowledge of digital marketing, but exactly how to market yourself to employers to get high paying jobs with these skills!
As a former Recruiter, I can tell you it’s rare to see someone outside the recruitment/HR industry with such a good understanding of resume writing and what employers really want to see during the hiring process.
There are certainly other methods you could use to learn digital marketing, so let’s talk about other options now.
There are a few options (that I feel aren’t as good, but might still work):
1. You could do what I did – go to meetups, network like crazy, and hope to meet an experienced digital marketer or two who’s willing to teach you.
I got lucky and met a brilliant marketer from Canada while traveling in Asia, who helped me learn digital marketing… but the odds of that happening were pretty slim.
And it required a lot of travel, time and money just to visit a few cities where digital marketers tend to meet up… with no guarantee of me getting anything in return.
2. You could also try to learn on YouTube and by searching Google.
Here’s my problem with starting out like this…
There’s some good information out there, but it’s difficult to pick out the good information from the bad.
I like Google as a method to search for specific things once you’ve built a basic skill set. (For example, you might take an introductory online course on marketing, and then google something like, “Good examples of Facebook ads”.)
…But I don’t think Google is the best way to learn the fundamentals or build a foundation in digital marketing.
There’s too much bad info mixed in with the good.
You need someone to guide you… Someone who has a proven process and knows what they’re doing.
It’s the best place to learn digital marketing online if you’re serious about building a solid foundation and finding a high-paying job with these skills after you’re done.
Now that I’ve shown you the place I recommend learning this skill set, and how to get started for free (just click that link above or go HERE)… let’s talk about how much you can make as a digital marketer.
Digital Marketing Is One Of The Best-Paid Jobs Without A College Degree
If you’re wondering how to resign from a job, then you’re in the right place.
If you’re wondering, “Do I need to give two weeks notice?”, we’re going to cover that too.
Giving a two week notice is an essential part of quitting a job gracefully, and I’ll explain the two big reasons why below.
Then, we’ll look at the other steps you should follow when you resign from a job to make sure you leave a great last impression and quit gracefully and professionally.
Should You Give Two Weeks Notice When Resigning?
So you might be wondering why bother with a two week notice? Who cares about the last impression? You’re leaving anyway, right?
Well, there are two big reasons to care about how you resign from a job.
Reason #1 To Give A Notice When Quitting
It’s likely you’ll run into one or more of your coworkers in the future. They change jobs/companies too and you never know when you’ll see them again.
And leaving them with a bad final impression now could stop you from getting hired at the employers they work at in the future.
Even if they’re not the hiring manager, the person in charge of hiring will likely see that you worked together in the past (via LinkedIn) and ask them about you.
Reason #2 To Give A Notice When Quitting
You’ll need good references if you plan on getting hired for future jobs.
So you always want to leave on good terms with your former bosses/managers so you can feel comfortable asking them to be a reference.
That’s why you should give a two week notice.
In the next section, we’ll look at how to resign from a job gracefully and professionally, and I’ll recommend a few easy templates you can use for writing your two week notice.
How To Properly Give Two Week Notice And Resign From A Position
Now that we looked at why it’s worth giving a two week notice, I’m going to walk you through the right way to quit your job gracefully and how to properly give two week notice, plus some mistakes to avoid.
This is how you give a two week notice and quit a job the right way:
1. Make sure you’ve thought about your decision
Don’t resign or give your two weeks notice out of anger or short-term frustration in the heat of the moment.
Quitting a job should be a well-thought-out decision. Think about what you’re doing and your financial situation, and make sure you’re not reacting in the moment and doing something you’ll regret.
To be clear – I’m all for quitting a job if it’s a bad situation or if you have a better opportunity.
I’ve personally quit two jobs with NOTHING lined up and it worked out fine both times.
(One time I traveled a month and came back to find my first ever job as a Recruiter! And the next time, I quit my last job as a Recruiter to go into business for myself!)
But just make sure you’ve thought about the decision.
2. Schedule a specific time to talk to your boss (in-person)
I like sending an email… Something simple like, “Hi <NAME>, can we talk for 15 minutes this afternoon? I need to speak with you in private.”
Don’t bring up the topic at the end of another meeting or conversation with your boss (like a regularly-scheduled weekly check-in).
Have a separate meeting to discuss this.
3. Walk in with a printed letter of resignation and tell them that you’re giving your two weeks notice
There are plenty of simple, short resignation letter templates on the internet. Here are a couple you can use:
And keep it professional and positive because the company will keep this document on file! This isn’t a place to vent, let out frustration, etc.
If you’re resigning, it’s no longer your problem or concern. Just keep it generic and polite and non-emotional.
NOTE: Some templates online have a place where you tell your boss where you’ve accepted a new job. I don’t recommend this or think it’s necessary.
When you talk to your boss in-person and deliver the letter, you can share where you’re going next if you’d like. But I don’t think it’s necessary to write it in the actual resignation letter.
4. Have a normal conversation after
If your boss is half-decent, they’ll ask what you’re going to be doing in your next opportunity, they’ll wish you luck, etc.
Don’t let anxiety take over and rush out of the room.
This is a chance to leave a great final impression with your Manager and even suggest keeping in touch if you feel it’s appropriate.
They may be in a different company you want to work for in the future.
You may want to use them as a reference.
There are so many reasons to leave on great terms whenever possible. Those are just a few examples.
And it’s worth sticking around for a few minutes (if your Manager is up for it) to discuss your future plans, thank them for any help/mentoring they gave you, or for the opportunity in general.
5. Submit your notice to your boss before you share the news with your work friends
This is especially true in a small or mid-sized organization but I think it’s important advice in any organization.
News travels fast and people LOVE to gossip. Telling even one or two friends that you’re planning on leaving opens up the risk of them telling one or two other people, who then spread the news further!
If this happens before you personally tell your boss, it’ll leave them feeling betrayed and hurt, and will make you look extremely unprofessional.
The only guaranteed way to avoid this is: Resist the urge to tell friends before you tell your boss.
After you give your formal two week notice and hand in your resignation letter, you can tell people without this risk.
6. Be strategic about timing your resignation
I’d suggest doing this all in the afternoon on a Friday so you don’t have to go back to your desk for hours after.
Although, other people suggest doing it in the morning to get the “jitters” out of the way. You can decide what’s best for you.
The last time I quit a job I gave my two week notice after lunch.
You may want to consider which day is best, too.
A reader on LinkedIn offered this great advice when I brought up the topic of how to resign from a job:
“Be strategic about your last day… For instance, in my past role, if I stayed through at least the 1st of the following month, I received health care for that entire month (versus losing it immediately by leaving at the end of the month).”
And I think it can also boost the final impression you leave when you resign from a job, too.
The message will be a bit different, but the idea is the same:
Take a few minutes to write up an email personally thanking them for their time, telling them you enjoyed working with them, learning from them, etc.
This is a great step toward being able to reconnect with these people in the future for networking, references, etc.
So pick the people you enjoyed working with (hopefully including your bosses/managers), and then send a brief email a couple of days later to each individual person, just thanking them a final time for everything (even if you thanked them in person, this is still a nice touch).
So that’s one more extra step you can use to leave a great final impression when resigning.
“Employers Don’t Give Me Two Weeks Notice If They Let Me Go. Why Should I?”
I get it – it’s not fair.
I’ve personally given a two week notice properly and professionally… and was forcibly WALKED OUT of the building midday as if I had stolen from the company or something.
It was humiliating and felt awful.
I remember riding the glass elevator down to the first floor with my bag and my boss standing next to me and feeling everyone looking.
It’s not fair and it’s not right that companies request a two week notice but don’t hold themselves to the same standard, or even guarantee they’ll accept your notice!
But here’s what I’ll say:
You can do what you feel is right, or you can do what’s best for your career. The advice above is how to resign from a job in the way that’s best for your career.
That’s what I’m here to help with.
Unless you were very badly mistreated by a company and have serious, legitimate reasons for not being able to be there for two additional weeks, that’s what I’d recommend doing.
You won’t regret doing things the right way. I don’t. The colleagues I did care about will remember that I conducted myself properly, even if the company did not.
How To Resign From A Job Gracefully – Quick Instructions
Make sure you’ve thought about your decision and are not resigning impulsively
Schedule a specific time to talk to your boss in-person
Walk in with a printed letter of resignation and tell them that you’re giving your two weeks notice
Remain in the room for a few minutes to thank your manager for the opportunity and tell them you hope to keep in touch (you never know when you’ll need a good reference or what company this manager will end up working for)
Submit your notice to your boss before you share the news with any of your work friends
Be strategic about timing your resignation – think about the best day and time to resign for your exact situation
Stay in touch with past colleagues so you can network and hear about opportunities in the future
Note: If you’re quitting a job but haven’t found another one yet, be sure to check out our new job hunting resources:
The best answers for, “what’s your desired salary?” on job applications and interviews will AVOID telling the company your specific salary requirements.
In fact, you want to wait until you’re sure the company is interested in offering you the position to reveal your salary goals.
Sharing your salary requirements too early can cost you thousands of dollars… or cost you the job completely, and I’ll explain why in this article.
So make sure you read this before applying for jobs or interviewing with any new companies.
We’re going to look right now at the best answers for, “what’s your desired salary?” on job applications and interviews.
Let’s get started…
How to Answer “What Is Your Desired Salary?” on Job Application Forms
First we’ll cover what you should put in the “desired salary” field in job application forms. You’ll see this in many online forms, and even paper forms a company gives you when you first go in to interview with them.
There’s a blank space, and they ask you for a number.
And you’re probably wondering… “should I put my desired salary on job applications?”
The correct answer is NO…
You shouldn’t write your desired salary on job applications.
If you say a number that’s too high, you could scare them off immediately.
Whereas if you spoke with them and did a great job impressing them with your interview answers and interview skills, maybe they would have been able to stretch their budget to give you that number.
But at this stage, they know NOTHING about you, and they definitely don’t know if they want to hire you yet.
So they’re a lot less likely to want to stretch their budget.
And it works the opposite way, too: If you put a number that’s too low, it can cripple your ability to negotiate later.
When you’re filling out your desired salary on a job application, you know nothing about the job yet.
So maybe you put $40,000 on the job application, but you realize during the interviews that you feel $50,000 is much more fair because this job involves a lot more than the other jobs you’re interviewing for.
If you said $40,000 on the job application form, you’re going to have a difficult time getting $50,000 at the end of the process.
(They’ll say, “Well, when you applied, you said $40,000 was what you’re aiming at, and we’re prepared to offer you that amount.)
So it’s a lose-lose. You gain absolutely NOTHING by telling them your desired salary on a job application form, and you could potentially lose a lot (thousands of dollars, or the opportunity to continue interviewing at all).
So what should you say when they ask this on job applications?
You have a couple of options.
You can leave it blank, write “negotiable,” or put “9999” if a number is required (Some online forms might say, “Enter numbers only”).
Then, if there’s a place to put a note later in the application form, you can say, “Regarding starting salary, this is negotiable and can be discussed during an interview.”
That should get you the job interview! Now let’s talk about what to do if they ask about your desired salary in an interview…
Best Answers for “What Are Your Salary Requirements?” in Job Interviews
Now that you’ve made it to the interview without revealing your desired starting salary, they’re likely to ask again at some point.
So let’s look at some good answers for the desired salary question in interviews.
Some employers ask this in an initial phone interview, and some employers ask later in the process when they’re thinking of making you an offer but still aren’t sure yet.
So you’ll need to be ready throughout the whole interview process.
If they ask about your salary requirements on a first interview/phone interview:
Here’s how to answer questions about your desired salary in a first interview:
“I don’t have a specific number in mind yet. At this point in my job search, I’m focused on finding the position that’s the best fit for my career. Once I’ve done that, I’m willing to consider an offer you feel is fair.”
This is a great answer because it’s polite, professional, and makes it unlikely they’ll try to “push” you further because you’re saying you don’t have a number in mind.
If they push back or insist on getting a number from you, just repeat:
“I really don’t have a number in mind yet.”
They can’t push you for a number if you don’t have one!
If they ask about your salary requirements in a second or third interview (face-to-face):
Your goal when it comes to salary discussion should be to delay talking about this topic until you know they want to offer you the job.
Then you have leverage to negotiate with. Now they want you, and you can make requests/demands.
Until then, it’s NOT in your best interest to discuss salary.
So maybe you’ve gone on a few interviews and they waited until now to ask about desired salary, but they still don’t quite want to offer you the job yet.
Here’s how to answer:
“I usually reserve salary discussions for when I know I’m being offered the job. Is it alright if we discuss the role further to determine if this is a good potential fit first? After we know it’s a good match for both sides, I’d be happy to talk about compensation.”
Or at times, you may be unsure if they’re offering you the job or not. You can simply say:
“I usually reserve salary discussion for when I’m being offered the job. Is that the case here?”
If they say “yes,” then you can negotiate.
If they say, “no”, then you can respond:
“Perhaps we can finish discussing the role and then discuss salary after we’re sure it’s a good match. What else can I answer to help you determine if the job is a good fit in terms of my background and skill set?”
The Goal: Save Salary Discussion Until You Know They Want To Offer You Their Job
That’s the goal of everything we’ve covered above.
Before this point, they’re not even sure they’re interested and you really have no leverage to negotiate with or make demands with.
I mentioned earlier- but if you say a number that’s too high, you’ll scare them off. And if you give a number that’s lower than they would have offered, it’s going to chop thousands of dollars off of your starting salary.
So when employers ask for your desired salary on job applications and in interviews, the best thing you can do is to delay the discussion until they’ve decided they want to hire you.
Re-focus the conversation on your skills and their job responsibilities, to determine whether it’s a good potential match. (That’s the whole point of going on a job interview).
Tell them one or two things about the job that excite you.
But keep the conversation focused on their job and your skills/abilities (as they relate to the job).
Then, when they decide to offer you the position, you can discuss salary and bonuses with them knowing they are interested in hiring you and are likely to meet some of your demands if they’re reasonable.
How to Answer Questions About Desired Salary – Quick Instructions
Delay providing a specific number until you’re sure they want to offer you the job
On job applications forms, leave your desired salary blank, put “negotiable,” or “9999” (with a note saying salary is negotiable and can be discussed in interviews, if there’s a place to leave a note)
If the employer asks about your desired salary in the interview, tell them you don’t have a specific number in mind yet, but you’ll consider any offer they feel is fair.
The goal is to delay discussing salary requirements until after you’re sure the employer wants to offer you the job, because then you have leverage to negotiate with
If you’re in an interview and you’re not sure they’re ready to offer you the job or not, say, “I typically reserve salary discussion for after I know a company is interested in offering me the position. Is that the case here?” (And if not, go back to discussing the job).
Be firm and don’t let an interviewer or recruiter bully you. If they keep pushing you for a number, just keep repeating, “I really don’t have a specific number in mind yet. I’m focused on finding the job that’s the best fit for my career.”