5 Software Tools to Jump Start Your Job Search

5 Software Tools for Job Search

“Jumping in” can be the hardest part of your Job Search. Motivation can be difficult to harness when you don’t know where to begin. This article will spotlight some great software products that you can use either free of charge or close to it. Having the proper tools available can make all the difference in your job search from the beginning to the successful ending.

Image courtesy of nenetus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of nenetus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

  1. CRM

Customer Relationship Management (CRM), if this is something new to you, refers to systems that companies use to manage and/or analyze customer data with the goal of improving relationships, studying customer retention and initiating sales growth.

CRM systems are built to organize information about customers including websites, telephone, live chat, direct mail, marketing materials and social media. They can also provide detailed information on customers’ personal information, purchase history, buying preferences and their concerns.

There are several open source options, such as SugarCRM. Open source CRM systems allow you to add data links to social media. This aids companies looking to improve social CRM practices.

Using any of the above mentioned CRM methods varies depending on a company’s business needs, goals and resources. This software can prove to be very beneficial in organizing your networking, sales and contacts. An organized job search is bound to be a successful one.

  1. Office Software

We are all familiar with Microsoft Office, and have probably used it in the past or maybe are even using it currently. It is a great program with applications for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, email and so on. However, it can be an expensive program. We all need to be aware that these types of office applications are also available in free and open source formats.

Open source office software has come a long way in the past several years making it a great choice for your work productivity software. You won’t even lose most features or support. These free software options have countless tools and also provide all the features you need and expect.

Most of these alternatives to Microsoft Office have the basic applications to help you be productive in the office, such as: word processing, spreadsheets and presentations. Several of the alternatives provide even more options, including drawing, database tools and storage.

Below are some great options you may want to consider: Apache OpenOffice, LibreOffice, NeoOffice, Google Docs, and KOffice.

  1. WordPress

WordPress is free web software that you can use to create an awesome website, blog, or even an app. The software has been created by hundreds of volunteers. When you are familiar with the countless ways the software works and want to move onto more than the basics, there are innumerable plugins, customizations and themes available to transform your site into anything you can imagine. Over 60 million people use WordPress; numbers don’t lie!

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

  1. Slideshare

If you haven’t heard of SlideShare, you are one of the few! SlideShare is one of the top 100 most-visited websites in the world. SlideShare provides you with the ability to learn not only faster, but smarter as well.

Rather than scrolling through endless pages of text, you can look through a SlideShare deck and obtain the same information in half the time. You have the ability to learn about any topic you can imagine. You can also share information and insight through many different types of media. SlideShare has endless possibilities that will be sure to send you into any job search well prepared.

  1. LinkedIn

I am confident that you are familiar with LinkedIn, especially if you are in the process of job searching, but just to be sure you are up to speed, LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking service. LinkedIn offers many different services including: Groups, Job listings, Online recruiting, Skills, a Publishing Platform, Influencers, Advertising and for-pay Research.

LinkedIn is also free of charge. This service can be instrumental in job networking as it works like a gigantic web with many connections that you wouldn’t likely find otherwise. Job recruiters, and personnel HR often use LinkedIn as a source for finding potential candidates, more so than ever before. LinkedIn also allows users to research companies that they may be interested in working for. As a potential employee you are able to apply for various jobs right through your LinkedIn profile, using it as a resume. In addition, all of your job applications will be saved for you to use in the future.

Closing Remarks about Software Tools for Job Search

Each of these services could prove to be a valuable asset in preparing for and carrying out your job search. The best part is with most of the options being free of charge they will not add any overhead in a time that may already be proving to be stressful. There are so many tools at our fingertips. We need to be sure to get out there, do our research and put all the best options to good use.

By Brandy Higginson, Five Strengths Contributor

Smart Services to Pay for in your Job Search

Smart Services to Pay for in your Job Search

Smart Services to Pay for in your Job Search

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

When it is time to find a new job, no matter the circumstances, it can feel like a daunting task.  Even when you are tied into career networking and know the direction in which you would like to go, you can often feel very overwhelmed. Let’s talk about some often overlooked tools that you may not be utilizing.  These tools can prove to be instrumental in directing your job search and making it nearly painless.

  1. Job Boards

There are almost too many online job boards to count. So how do you know which job boards will not prove to be a waste of time? The truth is, this will take some work on your part.  You will want to stick with the familiar, large, more established sites that have been around and successful for a significant amount of time. Also you may want to start with those that are local if you are hoping to stay in the same geographical location. You may find that there is a minimal cost for access to some of these boards; however, many of them are free to use.

Hint:  Always use the advanced search options when searching for jobs on these sites.  By doing so you will significantly narrow down extra information and jobs that do not relate to your needs. This will help your search to be much more efficient.

  1. LinkedIn

If you aren’t already a member of LinkedIn it may be time to become one.  This network can be a valuable asset in your job search.  Rather than spending countless hours doing research or pounding the pavement looking for the perfect career opportunity, let others help you! By using career networking sites such as LinkedIn, you are sending out information about your job needs to a variety of people in many different types of work environments.  It is just like having a team of job recruiters on your payroll.  Don’t forget to give as much as, or even more, than you get—the more you help others, the more likely you are to receive the help you need as well.

  1. Background Checking Services

Have you ever wondered what a former employer would say about you?  You may not even be aware of this, but there are companies that will provide discreet calls to your last boss or supervisor to determine if they will give you a good reference.  One such company is Allison and Taylor, but there are also others.  These companies will help you to feel secure in knowing what potential employers will be told about you. They can also help you with background check reports and other personal areas that may come up as you search for that perfect job.  These services are not free, of course.  However, if you are serious about landing that position that you are qualified to have and just need to be given the chance, this route may be a helpful option for you.

  1. Resume Distribution Services

Resume distribution services are another excellent option that you may be failing to take advantage of.   These distribution companies can help make the most challenging job searches easy and efficient. They help you to reduce the time you would spend on a traditional job search.  These companies are able to maximize your exposure to extraordinary opportunities across the globe by distributing your resume to recruiters and companies that are actively filling positions in your area of expertise. Do a little homework (or ask Amy L. Adler at Five Strengths), find a reputable company and get your information out there!

  1. Resume Writing Services

The final service that is definitely worth mentioning is a resume writing service.  If you aren’t familiar with exactly how these work, let me give you the details.  You submit your relevant information such as: education, previous employers and work experience, additional skills, locations and fields that you are interested in, etc. You will probably also want to submit some form of a resume that you have used in the past.  Once they have all of the information that they need, they compile it into a simply amazing resume! Obviously this saves you both time and frustration!  Let’s face it, writing an attention getting, professional looking resume that will stand out above the rest is not an easy thing to do.  We are not all equipped with the skills or the time necessary to create an exceptional resume. Call Amy L. Adler at Five Strengths Career Transition Experts to talk about your current career goals and resume writing requirements.

And Remember….

No two job searches are the same.  You must personalize your journey.  Make choices that you have completely thought through and feel good about.  Be patient, it may take time.  There are countless “tools” available to help you, let that be a comfort.  Having many options and strategies to choose from is a great thing. Move forward with confidence!

By Brandy Higginson, Five Strengths Contributor

I Suspect Your LinkedIn Profile is Fake, or 5 Rules for Identifying a Fake LinkedIn Profile

I Suspect Your LinkedIn Profile is Fake, or 5 Rules for Identifying a Fake LinkedIn Profile

Fake LinkedIn Profile

Fake LinkedIn Profile

Savvy LinkedIn users know the value of the circles of connections–why my first-degree contact has first-degree contacts, who are now my second-degree contacts, the contacts of whom are my third-degree contacts. Some become LinkedIn Open Networkers, or LIONs; some keep their contacts more or less private. Wherever you are on the spectrum, you need to know that despite LinkedIn’s best efforts, some profiles are fake. Be wary of these false profiles, so you don’t get sucked in to their scams.

How to Recognize a Fake LinkedIn Profile

  1. Your name is in all lower-case letters. I’m not sure why improper capitalization correlates to a fake LinkedIn profile, but it does, anecdotally speaking.
  2. No photograph or headshot. Although not having a current photo is not necessarily a reason to decline to connect with a prospective contact, the fact that a profile has no personal or professional information leads me to believe that I’m reading a fake LinkedIn profile.
  3. The LinkedIn profile does have a photograph, but when a quick search of that photo on Google’s image search function yields some alarming search engine results. Typically, these images show that these images are being posted to multiple profiles, none with the same name. Sometimes they come from paid image sites. You need to judge whether the photo is credible.
  4. The text of the LinkedIn profile is thin. The person’s education is unlikely, given the person’s location and current profession. The work history is spotty, unusual, or unrelated to anything else in the profile. There is no description of the person’s employment, and there is no summary statement explaining the individual’s career path and what he or she offers the marketplace.
  5. The LinkedIn profile has fewer than 50 contacts.  Of course, every new entrant into LinkedIn has zero contacts–this is hardly the worry. A new profile with legitimate content and built out appropriately raises no red flags. But if the profile has few connections and some or all of the foregoing issues, there is high probability for this to be a fake LinkedIn profile.

A Real-World Example of a Fake LinkedIn Profile

Let’s take this to the streets and evaluate a connection request I received yesterday. The email included the generic request for connection. While this isn’t a huge red flag necessarily, it’s never a great idea to generically invite someone to connect. But a fake profile “owner” can’t invite someone authentically, with a real request, because there’s no actual network to invite someone to.

Typical connection request from a fake LinkedIn profile.

Typical connection request from a fake LinkedIn profile.

When I clicked through, I see the following LinkedIn profile:

Example of a Fake LinkedIn Profile.

Example of a Fake LinkedIn Profile.

Take a look at the elements of the profile relative to the enumerated description above:

  1. The person’s name is in all lower-case letters.
  2. There is a photo today, but there wasn’t yesterday, when I first viewed the profile.
  3. The photo is not of the profile “owner.” I saved the photo and searched for it on Google Images. As I suspected, the image is someone’s private photo (as posted on Flickr, of an individual celebrating Manila Day). Clearly, this is not a professional photo of the profile “owner,” as the individual named in the private photo is different.
  4. The content of the profile is thin, misspelled, and not descriptive. Typically, profile owners write their actual job titles, not a vague description, and savvy LinkedIn users fill out their complete profiles. Moreover, the place of employment is listed on the company’s web site as Iowa. The profile owner lists Houston, TX, as his place of employment.
  5. The profile has <50 connections.

Are These Faults Enough?

You might say that none of these faults in this particular LinkedIn profile definitively indicate that the LinkedIn profile is fake. You’re probably right–any one of these, independent of the others, is not cause for particular alarm or disconnection. However, taken together, the whole is definitely greater than the sum of its parts. I’m 99 44/100% sure that this is a fake LinkedIn profile. It lacks authenticity and honesty, and doesn’t even attempt to represent a real human being.

How to Be Authentic in Your LinkedIn Profile

There are many resources on how to write a terrific LinkedIn profile. Rather than describe the many ways to engage in an effective LinkedIn strategy, I’m going to offer one piece of valuable insight: Be authentic.

To design and implement an effective LinkedIn profile, not only do you need to complete the fields within it appropriately, you need to demonstrate that who you are online is who you are in person.

The reason fake LinkedIn profiles raise eyebrows–if not all-out alarms–is that there is no substance behind the skimpy text. What is your substance, and how does your online presence match your true self in the eyes of your audience?

Want to report a fake LinkedIn profile? LinkedIn’s customer service can help.

Connect with me (Amy L. Adler) at http://linkedin.com/in/amyladler.

Learn about Career Paths with LinkedIn’s “Past Company”

Learn about Career Paths with LinkedIn’s “Past Company”

Have you ever wondered where you could go from your current job? Are you concerned that your career path is unclear, and you do not know what your next position might be? Use LinkedIn’s “Past Company” built-in search feature to learn where your company’s former employees landed to help you craft your own path.

Your Colleagues' Career Paths Can Inform Your Own

Your Colleagues’ Career Paths Can Inform Your Own

Start by logging into LinkedIn. Now click on the “Advanced” link, to the right of the search bar at the top of your screen. A number of search options beyond the simple search become visible. The one you need to look at is called “Past Company,” and there is an “+Add” icon that you can click to add your current company’s name. You can add your own title, a different title, or prospective title. You also can select the degree of connection (you might not specify this at this point). Now scroll down and click the blue “Search” button in the left sidebar.

The list that results from this type of search yields profiles of your connections — first through third, depending on your choices — who used to work at your company. Explore these profiles to see what types of roles they had, what they did after that, and what their most recent positions are. From a selected sample of these profiles, you might be getting a better picture of the career paths your former colleagues have taken.

To take this exercise a notch up, select for only first-degree connections. Now do the search again. This list can serve as a starting point for your networking and informational interview strategy. You definitely will have something in common with these individuals, which makes for a great conversation starter. You also have a goal in mind for your informational interview: “Could you please tell me how you chose to leave [former role at former company] for [next role at next company]? What led you to that choice? What skills did you need to acquire to make that jump? How do you feel about your decision now?”

Image courtesy of Freeimage.com / ColinBroug

LinkedIn’s Gamification of Profile Views: More Harm than Good?

LinkedIn’s Gamification of Profile Views: More Harm than Good?

The gamification of LinkedIn?

The gamification of LinkedIn?

LinkedIn’s new “How You Rank Among Your Connection” function stacks your profile against those of all of your first-degree connections, according to the number of profile views yours is receiving compared to all of theirs. I described this new feature in detail in “Compete with Your LinkedIn Network for Profile Rank.” I was astonished by the overwhelming response to this post. Therefore, I am digging deeper now into the value of LinkedIn’s gamification of your profile. My initial impression of the new metric is that it can do more harm than good for legitimate job seekers.

See Compete with Your LinkedIn Network for Profile Rank for my initial thoughts on LinkedIn profile view rankings.

You Are a Job Seeker, Not a Gamer

First and foremost, you are a job seeker, not a gamer trying to “win” in any arena other than the employment marketplace. To reduce your very real job search to a game is uncivil at best. Correct use of LinkedIn is essential, but for you to be focusing on an artificial competition imposed on you by the platform detracts from your true purpose in using it–building essential connections that drive your career transition. The new metric of how you compete with your network for page rank engages you to focus on the unnatural competition between you and the very people who are likely to be your most precious asset in your job search.

The Profile Rank Metric Measures Your Position but Tells You Nothing

Second, just because LinkedIn can measure something does not mean that the measurement has inherent value. Let us assume that your network is composed of one of three types of connections. On the one hand, you have those who can help you in your career transition but who could gain nothing otherwise from being your connection, such as senior executive leadership if you are a newer entrant to the employment marketplace. (Or you might be that leader who enjoys connecting with more junior players because you value the process of unearthing exceptional talent.) Next, you have those who can only gain from including you in their network, such as recruiters and those seeking to hire someone like you. Last, you have people professionally similar to you in industry and job function.“The new metric of how you compete with your network for page rank engages you to focus on the unnatural competition between you and the very people who are likely to be your most precious asset in your job search.”

In slightly different terms, the first category is composed of people similar to you but to whom you pose no competition in the employment marketplace. The second category is composed of people who need your connection on some level (or vice-versa). The last category is composed entirely of connections with career histories, job functions, and experiences substantively similar to your own.

Unless your profile is actually composed 100% of people in the third category, the idea of ranking yourself against your every single one of your first-degree connections is baseless. There is truly no point in comparing your rank for profile views with, let us say, that of your grad school professor’s, that of your accountant’s, or that of your company’s CEO. The comparison measures two like things–the number of profile views you each receive–but relationship might be more apples-to-oranges than apples-to-apples than is immediately obvious.

Let us take a step back and look at this a different way: If we construct an artificial environment in which your first-degree connections are 100% like you, then the comparison metric makes sense. Theoretically, at one time or another, or even right now, you will be competing with this group for the scarce resources of informational interviews, knowledge of job opportunities, job interviews, and job offers. Of course, savvy job seekers connect with people across the three types, because all can influence and improve his or her success in the employment marketplace.

Your LinkedIn Profile Is Not Your Resume

Another critical problem with the gamification of your LinkedIn profile is that the comparison of profile views across your network encourages you to tweak your profile the way you might tweak your resume. Of course, there are very good reasons to consistently build a robust LinkedIn profile, and every participant on the platform should work hard to ensure that the profile represents the professional brand. However, tweaking for the sake of “beating” the competition has no value, given the fact that despite LinkedIn’s best efforts, your profile will never replace your resume.

There are going to be those who disagree with me; perhaps those in LinkedIn’s leadership will argue to the contrary, given the recent emphasis on applying for jobs posted on the platform (a revenue source for LinkedIn, clearly). However, smart job seekers know that not all job postings within an industry or job function are the same, so some tweaking is essential. LinkedIn has pitted savvy job seeking strategy against rank for page views.

LinkedIn, the Latest in Popularity Contests?

In conclusion, you need to decide for yourself how much you want to play the popularity game. Do you want more profile views, or do you want BETTER profile views? The best card you can play in this game is delivering top-flight content that accurately portrays your career history, accomplishments, and overall professional brand. I maintain that it is better to get 10 appropriate views by those

  • In your industry or job function
  • Connected to people who might be able to influence your career direction at some point
  • Needing your help to improve their career prospects
  • Positioned to influence the hiring people with your skills and expertise.

than 100 profile views from individuals unrelated to your area of expertise, whom you cannot help, or who cannot help you. If you focus on quality over mere popularity and cultivate meaningful connections, you inevitably will create real value out of your LinkedIn profile views. You will not be satisfied with the metric of LinkedIn profile view ranking as an end in and of itself.


Image courtesy of freeimages.com / steved_np3

Compete with Your LinkedIn Network for Profile Rank

Compete with Your LinkedIn Network for Profile Rank

LinkedIn's race to the top for profile views is on. Where do you rank among your network?

LinkedIn’s race to the top for profile views is on. Where do you rank among your network?

LinkedIn has rolled out a competition in the form of ranking profiles against your network that can help job seekers with their job searches. Use this new tools to bring your networking efforts online and to ensure that you are maximizing the LinkedIn platform’s opportunities–but do not get lost in the competition and lose sight of the true value of LinkedIn for your job search.

LinkedIn Games “Profile Views”

LinkedIn’s latest update challenges its users to “beat” their network for profile views in a new feature called “How You Rank.” This feature positions each user against those of his or her network, showing the individual’s relative popularity as measured by page views.

How this can help you: Of course, you should always be seeking to grow your network strategically with:

  • Colleagues
  • Recruiters
  • Potential connections in new industries
  • Hiring executives
  • Alumni
  • … and more.

Gamifying LinkedIn?

Just when you think that job search is not complex enough, that you are competing with a select group of elite executives for rare career opportunities, LinkedIn has found another way for you to compete. LinkedIn’s goal is to improve your engagement with the platform by having you regularly update and refine your profile. LinkedIn improves its value to you, and you improve your value to it, via your network. Your network will see that you have made changes and thus view your profile (driving your profile rank). You see improvement, and try to elevate your profile even more. The outcome, to your benefit as a job seeker, is that you polish your profile, improving your ability to be found, and LinkedIn improves its page views across the platform. Everyone wins.

Can Gaming LinkedIn Harm You as a Job Seeker?

On the face of it, no. Updating your profile regularly absolutely can help you in your job search. There are probably multiple aspects of your profile that you have ignored to date to which you can add content. For example, do you have a patent? Make sure that they are recorded on your profile. Did you earn a new certification? Add that as well. Did you use all 2000 characters for your summary? Max that section out today. Add every project on which you have worked in the projects section. The list goes on.

On the other hand, tweaking your profile every day has repercussions. To start, for each of the examples above, you need to decide whether your network needs to know about these immediately. It might make sense for you to update your profile with notifications turned off, so you do not inundate your network with small changes to your profile.

Do Not Get Lost in the LinkedIn Profile View Game

More important, however, is that you do not let your message get lost in the medium. Changing your profile every day, or multiple times per day, is too frequent for you to see the results of your changes. I recommend that you do update your profile in one big push to start but make additional changes and measure your stats only weekly. That should be enough time for the changes you make to have an impact on your overall profile views.

LinkedIn’s take on this feature is that it pushes all users to put their best social media presence out there, but I think there is more to it than that. The more engagement you demonstrate on LinkedIn, the more you will be actively engaging with others, which can only lead to better visibility and interaction for you as a job seeker. Also, always reach for quality connections and profile views over quantity. It does not matter whether you are getting 150 profile views each day if none of those individuals are in your target market, hiring leaders, your alumni, or anyone else who might be able to inform your job search strategy.


Image courtesy of freeimages.com / jabsandrew

How to Convert Your LinkedIn Profile to the Functional Format

How to Convert Your LinkedIn Profile to the Functional Format

Converting your functional resume into LinkedIn is possible, and if you’re one of the perhaps 1% of job seekers for whom the functional resume style makes sense, then this strategy is for you. You might have been frustrated by the fact that the LinkedIn interface does not lend itself to the functional format. Use these strategic tips to get around this “lack” in the LinkedIn platform.

First Things First

The first thing you need to do is determine whether you truly need a functional resume for your job search. In most cases, if you believe your resume is failing you, it’s because your existing reverse-chronological resume does not successfully reflect your brand or your accomplishments. This is not a problem that converting to a functional resume can solve. It’s a strategic question that an expert executive resume writer can solve for you using a more standard format 99% of the time.

If all else fails, try converting your LinkedIn profile to the functional format to stand out.

If all else fails, try converting your LinkedIn profile to the functional format to stand out.

However, if you believe that your career history and aspirations demand a functional resume format, read on to learn how to convert your functional resume to the LinkedIn platform.

Step 1: Save a Copy of Your Existing LinkedIn Profile

If this is your first attempt to change up your LinkedIn profile, you would be wise to save your existing content. In fact, it is always a good idea to save your LinkedIn profile to Word to text, because you might want to tweak it offline before uploading it. If this functional strategy turns out not to work for you because it is so nontraditional, you will want to have a copy of your prior profile to which you can easily return.

Step 2: Rewrite Your Summary with Functional Categories

Review your existing reverse-chronological resume and identify the functional areas of expertise you are representing.  Group your accomplishments within functional headings under each job description, so your audience knows your pitch at the highest level. This makes for a great keyword strategy as well.

Step 3: Rewrite Your Experience with Functional Categories

Although you cannot get out from under LinkedIn’s requirements that you include titles, companies, and dates for each position you’ve held, you can tweak the plan to accommodate a functional strategy. Divide up each position’s accomplishments according to the functions you want to highlight. Then, put each “function” into its own job, along with your job title, company, and years. You thus will have multiple entries for each role you’ve held, but each area would focus on a different functional area. Remember, you have 2000 characters, including spaces, for each new “position,” so maximize your audience’s experience by using as much of the space allotted for your accomplishments within each function.

Step 4: Measure and Test Your Success

After you load in your refreshed functional LinkedIn profile, keep track of your profile views. If you are getting more views and more contacts, then your profile revamp can be considered a success. If you are not getting any of the results you expected to get, you might wish to revert to a more traditional LinkedIn profile style.


Keyword Strategy for Your LinkedIn Profile

Keyword Strategy for Your LinkedIn Profile

Do you know how to choose the right keywords for your LinkedIn profile? Start with your goal in mind: For what do you want to be known? What executive job are you seeking? With a few smart tweaks to your LinkedIn profile, you will see the number of your profile views grow.

Start with Knowing What You Stand For

Your brand will dictate most of what goes into your profile. Certainly, your LinkedIn profile will contain your career history. But the way you craft it and the keywords you choose can help propel your profile to the top of the search results for the phrases on which you want to be found.

Let us examine an example of a senior vice president and chief operating officer. This SVO/COO is known for his turnaround strategy as well as for his financial leadership. In fact, he functions more like the CFO of the company than the COO. So his LinkedIn profile keywords are going to reflect his expertise. They might include:

√ Senior vice president
√ Chief operating officer
√ Turnaround management
√ Financial strategy

Of course, the details of what this person has done in his career are going to be much more extensive, but these are, broadly speaking, the categories of his expertise. So he would be wise to include these phrases in his headline, his summary, and in his experience sections.

Continue with What Hiring Executives in Target Companies Need to See

At the same time, he might be targeting a COO role. So he might collect several job descriptions of the COO role in his industry. These might require specific experience and expertise; his experience and branding should reflect exactly what the hiring executives in his target companies are seeking in their next hire. Although the LinkedIn profile is not a direct copy of the executive resume, elements of key experiences (less private corporate data that should never be publicized on LinkedIn) should be evident.

Wrap Up with a Quick Word Cloud View of Your Profile

If you are not sure whether your profile is promoting the right keywords, create a word cloud as a visual map of your LinkedIn profile. In the example above, the word cloud of the profile should show words like “financial” and “strategy” more prominently than, say, marketing or sales, words that are not in our keyword list. If you find that your keyword strategy has failed, you will need to rewrite or edit your profile until you are confident that the keywords you have chosen for yourself are the ones that LinkedIn will understand to be your branding.

Executive Job Search and Research Strategy: Twitter, Google+, and Facebook

Executive Job Search and Research Strategy: Twitter, Google+, and Facebook

LinkedIn is always going to be primary source of networking contacts and research for executive job seekers. But do not forget Twitter, Google+, and Facebook for one unique reason. If you are not using these three microblogging tools in your job search, you are missing out on a critical opportunity. Read on to learn why.

Executive Job Search and Research Strategy: Twitter, Google+, and Facebook

Executive Job Search and Research Strategy: Twitter, Google+, and Facebook

If you are using LinkedIn correctly, your privacy settings are adjusted to give you visibility. That means that your profile is visible, and your photo and name show up in the list of people who have viewed an individual’s profile. You are out there in full force, and people can see you. In fact, that is the point of LinkedIn–to see and be seen.

However, Twitter, Google+, and Facebook are not subject to the same rules concerning visibility. On the one hand, if you are on these social media platforms, you are visible to anyone else with an account. On the other, if you visit someone’s profile, or follow their hashtags, or read all about them in their background information, they do not see that you have visited them.

This might seem like a matter of small importance, but it is truly not. You get to use these tools to do as much research as you need to, on whomever you need to do it, and you leave no trail–no evidence of your having visited the profile once, twice, or ten times. Thus, you get to do the research you need completely anonymously.

Take advantage of this unique opportunity to research your potential networking contacts anonymously. Then take your research to the more traditional networking platform, LinkedIn, armed with more knowledge and understanding about your target contact’s needs, experiences, and background.


Image courtesy of freeimages.com / celalte


Cool Tools to Search for Jobs Online

Cool Tools to Search for Jobs Online

Stop wasting hours searching for jobs online. If you are spending more than 10% of your time searching online for jobs, you are wasting your time. Use these cool tools to automate the search process, so you can focus on networking into the right role.

Monitor 87 Social Media Channels with IFTTT

Put the Internet to work for you--get job alerts and company information emailed directly to your inbox, automatically!

Put the Internet to work for you–get job alerts and company information emailed directly to your inbox, automatically!

Setup an application called “ifttt” — “If This Then That” — to send you an email whenever you are mentioned on Twitter.

Sign up for a free account at http://ifttt.com/

Browse and use recipes for pre-made monitoring, such as:

  • Sending an email alert when your target company is mentioned in The New York Times.
  • Sending an email alert when your name is mentioned on Google+.
  • Track all new Twitter followers.
  • Email tomorrow’s weather, so you know whether to bring an umbrella to your interviews.
  • And anything else that you need to know or can think of.
  • Create an Evernote page with saved hashtag searches on Twitter.

Be as creative and detailed as you need to be to monitor your online presence effectively.

Set Up Google Alerts

Sign into your Google account, and visit http://www.google.com/alerts.
Use your name as the search query and determine what information you want searched:

  • Everything, News, Blogs, Video, Discussions, Book
  • How often you want to receive email alerts
  • How broad you want the results to be (Everything, Only the Best Results)
  • Where you want the alerts sent.

Now select the phrases that you want to monitor:

  • Your own name.
  • The name of an executive with whom you hope to interview.
  • The names of companies you are targeting.
  • Industry topics of interest.
  • And anything else that you need to know to enhance your job search.

Some tips:
Using quotation marks results in these sample search results:
Removing the quote marks makes it more likely that you will receive results that are irrelevant.

You can modify these alerts at any time, so start with broad results and you can refine them over time.

Set Up Alerts from Job Boards

Let Indeed.com, Glassdoor.com, Monster.com, Dice.com, and LinkedIn do the legwork for you. These automated alerts (sometimes called “agents” or “saved searches”) will generate the results you need without your having to visit each site every day. Considering the fact that you should be spending more time on human connections than on scouring the job boards, this is an easy method to ensure you are not missing any good opportunities without requiring you to commit endless time to the process.

Now select the phrases that you want to monitor:

  • Job title
  • Geographical region
  • Industry
  • Job characteristics
  • And any other specifics of your target job that you want to know about.

Setting up alerts will save you time and frustration in your executive job search. If you need assistance in setting up these alerts, or in any other aspect of your job search process, please call Five Strengths.


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