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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.

The Five People You Need to Know on LinkedIn for Your Executive Job Search

The Five People You Need to Know on LinkedIn for Your Executive Job Search

There are five people you need to know on LinkedIn to advance your executive job search. These are the people whose insights you will find helpful when you are in the process of exploring new roles, interviewing, and evaluating job offers–but they are not who you think.

1. A Peer in another Industry

Connect with these five people on LinkedIn for your executive job search.

Connect with these five people on LinkedIn for your executive job search.

So often, we connect on LinkedIn with our colleagues in our own company or in companies similar to ours. LinkedIn loves that we are part of a peer group, and the platform judges our relevance by the company we keep. However, as you search for a new role, you should consider exploring outside your company and your industry to learn what others at your level do and believe. At a minimum, you’ll uncover the parallels between your job and your peer’s job. More likely, you will discover the gaps between what you currently do in your job function and what a day in another industry might look like for exactly the job function. This sort of analysis will help you evaluate your own skill set and perhaps help you set your job search strategy if you do not necessarily want to stay in your current industry.

2. A Superior in another Industry

If you have ever wished you had a “fairy godmother” who could advise you on something sensitive yet specifically related to your career, this is your opportunity to find that mentor or trusted advisor. Perhaps an executive in another industry will not know exactly how your particular company or division works, but this person, a trusted expert in his or her own industry, is likely to have some insight into the way things generally work. As you will make it eminently clear in your request for ten minutes of this person’s valuable time that you are not trying to take advantage of their position to get yourself a job in their company. Then, with this ethical approach in mind, you can use this ten minutes of their time to ask the questions that are important to you about your career advancement strategy and get the advice from an impartial observer.

3. A Recruiter Specializing in Your Industry

Although your LinkedIn profile might not advertise that you are seeking a new executive role, perhaps to protect the position you currently have, you might want to connect with a specialized recruiter or two before you go into job search mode fully. First, do some research to identify which recruiters regularly place candidates in your industry and in your job function. Remember, the recruiters who place candidates in your company likely will not try to place you in another company, as this is a breach of ethics. Instead, with some discreet inquiries or even a quick Google search, find the right recruiting firm and the right recruiter within that firm. Then send a brief, polite invitation via LinkedIn to connect with these one or two individuals. Remember, however, that recruiters do not work with you–they work for the companies that pay them their fees for placing executives like yourself with unique and rare skill sets, so you might want to mention in your introductory note exactly what your unique selling proposition is.

4. An Peer in a Company that Interests You

Your first thought in connecting with someone in a company that you are targeting might be the hiring executive himself/herself. Rather than initiating a relationship with a company with an implied request for a position, start by connecting with people at your level. They might have some unique insights into the way the company works, and it is likely easier to make a friend with someone at your own level than with someone who sits at a level far above yours. Down the road, this person might be willing to advocate for you with his or her own manager or the manager of another department simply on the basis of the good relationship you have built over time.

5. The “Connector” in Any Industry

It might help you to get to know with and connect with on LinkedIn a few LinkedIn LIONs, or “connectors.” These are people who seem to know everyone and have connections across industries and companies. They tend to be outgoing and willing to make introductions. It might be wise to set up a few minutes to talk to someone with these qualities, once you have made that connection on LinkedIn, to ask whether this connector knows someone who can help you (you specify the criteria) and would be willing to make an introduction, on LinkedIn, via email, or in person.

Conclusion

Remember, LinkedIn is only the tool. Set up the relationships on LinkedIn long before you need them for your particular executive job search. When you are ready to start looking for a new job actively, these credible connections that you have already established will be extremely helpful and valuable to you.

Image courtesy of freeimages.com / svilen001

Top 10 Social Media Management Tips for Job Seekers

Top 10 Social Media Management Tips for Job Seekers

We all know the conventional wisdom that if you’re a job seeker it’s great to be on social media. But what does that mean for the busy job seeker, particularly the executive, who might not know how to position himself/herself on a social media platform? Does it mean that you have to keep your Twitter account up all the time? Which is the right social media platform for you? Do you need to engage every day? Read on for the top 10 social media management tips for job seekers.

What social media platforms should I be on as a job seeker?

Social media management stylized abbreviation

Social media management is essential for successful job seekers.

  1. Have a presence on social media in a way that suits your job search and personality. You don’t have to engage more than you want to, as long as you’re consistent in your approach.
  2. Choose one or two social media platforms and stick with them. Don’t feel like you have to have a huge presence on every social media platform, so choose the ones on which you will be consistent and develop an engaging brand with those who might seek to hire an executive like you.
  3. Make sure that if you’re an executive job seeker, one of the social media platforms on which you engage is LinkedIn.

How should I present myself on social media as a job seeker?

  1. Be authentic. People want to know that what they see in your profile is who you really are, say, in a phone interview or face-to-face job search. This also means be kind and refrain from flaming.
  2. Demonstrate your expertise by posting essential, perhaps newsworthy industry information.
  3. Determine the position you wish to take on issues relevant to your industry or executive level, then stick with them–or create subtle controversy by explaining why you’re switching sides.

How do I manage to engage on social media, because as a job seeker I’m busy and don’t have time to waste? What tools can I use?

  1. Use the social media tools themselves. By working within, say, LinkedIn, every day, you’ll get a good sense of what others are doing and saying in your space.
  2. Get a HootSuite or SocialOomph account for an efficient, dashboard-like approach.
  3. Remember that the rule of reciprocity matters as much in social media as it does in real life. Repost and comment on others’ posts in greater proportion than you do send original microblog posts. Interestingly, this consistent practice makes engaging with social media simple and efficient.

What’s the single best way to promote myself online?

  1. Write a blog, and write it consistently. WordPress is an easy, free platform for you to use–all you need is a URL and hosting company (your investment is less than $50 annually, typically).

Thanks for reading these top 10 social media management tips for job seekers. I welcome your comments. If you are a job seeker and need solid advice on developing your social media presence, contact Five Strengths Career Transition Experts. We will help you develop the platform and social media presence you need to get ahead in your career.

 

Image courtesy of stock.xchng / svilen001.

How to Prepare for a Volatile Executive Employment Marketplace

How to Prepare for a Volatile Executive Employment Marketplace

Executive career change, particularly for those who have not engaged in it for a decade or more, is inherently destabilizing for the individual, that person’s family, and maybe even for that person’s company. So how do you create a “career strategy emergency kit” to prepare for a time when your situation demands change?

Build Your Network Now

Do not wait another day to reach out to that person you met last week—or six months ago—but with whom you never reconnected. Start becoming more active on specific LinkedIn groups of your choice, and turn those online connections into human ones. The executive job market is still about who you know, and you need to meet the right people to advance your career. In the process, you might find the chance to help out others who are in similar situations, so the transactions are not always unidirectional. Always try to give more than you get, and you’ll develop significant goodwill that you can use when you need it.

Talk to Your Boss Today

This is critical–don’t wait for projects to land in your lap by accident. Research your company’s direction and start to feel out your executive leadership about the ways you can contribute. In this process, you’ll achieve two goals. First, you’ll start to interact with key decision makers. Rather than becoming one of those who is always asking for something, you’re communicating with them to offer your expertise and your assistance and asking for nothing but the opportunity to provide it in return.

Second, when you are put onto new projects, you’re developing significant new skills, leadership, and talents. You might find that these will power your plan to apply your talents to an advanced role, a different company, or even a different industry.

Think about What You Want Next

We often hear about executives who have separated from their companies prematurely, whether by choice or by structural change. All of a sudden, they are confronted with a world of opportunities, all of which could be viable choices, some of which are likely, and a few of which are exactly right. Identifying the types of positions, verticals, product groups, and industries ahead of time will save you time as you go through the volatility of looking for a new position.

In conclusion, smart executives need to prepare themselves for a volatile employment marketplace. Executives in career transition seeking stability need to create a solid career change strategy long before they embark on it.

Why Your LinkedIn Profile Is Not Your Resume

Your Resume Will be Your LinkedIn, if LinkedIn Has Anything to Say About It

There has been significant buzz in the last few weeks about what LinkedIn’s plans are for being the forum of choice the job application process. We already know that recruiters are using LinkedIn to source candidates. What about having job seekers turn that around and use LinkedIn as the application “app” of choice?

I recently spoke with Mary Cosgrove, of What’s Working Well? about how LinkedIn can enter this market so easily. She commented, “I think we are on a continuum to figuring this out. Current on-line applications processes are barriers to finding good hires. It’s like, ‘let me waste your time and energy to see how bad you really want to work here.’ We all know it’s broken – Linked in could be a strategy to helping.”

So if we start with the assumption that the online job search system is inefficient and frustrating, then we can be confident that there are lots of openings to make the system better, easier, and more efficient for both sides of the hiring process.

LinkedIn Has Stepped in to Fix This Problem

LinkedIn is promoting an app that dumps your profile into a pretty resume template, which users can save for downloading. At the same time, employers can now use an “apply with LinkedIn” button on their web sites. Both of these ease the burden on the part of the applicant and the employer to get applications in quickly.

Donna Svei, The Avid Careerist, recently weighed in on this issue in a recent blog post: “[S]avvy job seekers, who always begin with the end in mind, will write and format their profiles to please recruiters rather than themselves.” Regardless of whether candidates plan to use their profiles as their resumes, her thought–and LinkedIn’s, clearly–is that the LinkedIn profile will equal the resume. However, the profile remains static, unless job seekers are tweaking their public presence every time they apply for a new position.

Mary Cosgrove echoed this, saying, “If you are applying using the ‘button,’ I would recommend changing the profile to match the job. If you apply for more than one, that can prove problematic.” So, I don’t believe that LinkedIn has solved the critical requirement of resume customization per job target—yet.

LinkedIn Is NOT Your Resume

It can’t be. Not yet. LinkedIn is so flexible that it can’t serve as a resume that a job candidate can use to apply for every position worth applying for. The following criticisms of the process have been raised:

  • The templates that LinkedIn offers for resumes are pretty, but candidates need to use LinkedIn’s “Markdown” language to customize and lay out the resume text to bring the resume up to standard. The effort to do this for every new position would be significant on the part of the user.
  • Even though users can create multiple versions of their resume, and export them to PDF or save them in the system, each new resume targeted to a new position requires a live tweak of the profile. We all know that once a user hits “save” on a profile, the profile is live—there is no “holding space” for multiple profile versions. Job seekers would have to save their multiple profile versions on their desktops in Word or Notepad.
  • Resumes—and cover letters—are meant to be customized for each job search target. If a job seeker were to tweak his or her profile for every position, the world would be seeing new versions of that person’s candidacy every time he or she applied for a new position. To me, that’s just confusing.
  • There is no cover letter option in LinkedIn. LinkedIn does not provide an option for a cover letter. Because some hiring managers like them and some hate them, smart job seekers should include them. Enough said.
  • If this process moved forward, HR departments will be flooded with untargeted applications. Probably, with the ease of applying in place, candidates would apply everywhere, regardless of their actual qualifications, endlessly flooding human resources departments with resumes, which would place significant burden on HR to identify the truly viable applicants? There would have to be additional gatekeeper questions on the part of companies to eliminate the needless flood.
  • Hiring managers need to know MORE about candidates, not the SAME things about candidates. Last, and most significantly relative to managing your online presence, when people seek candidates out online, I would think they would want MORE about them, not the same stuff that exists on the resume. The profile is a candidate’s prime opportunity to demonstrate why he or she is unique, capable, and a good fit, using more than simple accomplishment statements. The rules are looser compared to those governing the stringent requirements of the resume, and candidates should take advantage of these open opportunities to enhance their online images.

Is LinkedIn the Promise for the Future of Online Job Applications

I think we all rather hope so. If there was a one-touch option for applying for multiple jobs, the process would be spectacularly easier for job applicants. We all have to work to figure out how best to customize the process so that it is more efficient for applicants and effective for the companies seeking them.

5 Simple Strategies for Career Search Efficiency

You need to think about organizing your career search and defining a strategy that will get you the job you want. Here are some tips you can implement today to manage the time you spend on your job search.

1. Clean your desk.

They say that a cluttered desk is a sign of a creative mind, but it’s also a sign that you’ve gotten off track with your plan. Take 15 minutes every morning to go through an old stack of papers or file bills. Put all those business cards you collected into stack.

Simple strategy for today: Put your business card collection into sandwich baggies. You can label the outside of the bag with industry, company, or other type of contact, and you’ll have the cards stacked neatly at the ready when you need them.

2. Make a list of the contacts you’ve been meaning to call.

Get your networking strategy off the ground by determining whom you need to reach. Networking—online or in real life–is now the number one method of finding a job. For you to use this critical network effectively you’ll need to record whom you have contacted, what they said, and when you plan to reach them again.

Simple strategy for today: Build a networking spreadsheet. Label the columns with name, dates, subject, industry, and anything else you find relevant to your job search. Keep this record of your contacts up to date, and you’ll always have a handy reference to your networking strategy.

3. Answer a LinkedIn question.

Remind your LinkedIn contacts that you’re still in the game and that you truly are an expert in your field. Pick a question or two and deliver great resources. You’ll prove yourself to be an online expert and likely gain some new connections for your network (see #2 above).

Simple strategy for today: It takes a lot of effort to use online resources effectively without getting distracted by all of the possibilities the web has to offer. Commit to answering one or two questions, then walk away from your computer. Don’t spin your wheels trying to find a job online when you could be calling a contact or going to a networking group in real time or face to face.

4. Read a book on career search strategy.

My weekly trips to the bookstore reveal that there are simply dozens of career strategy books. Clear your mind and get some good information at the same time (not to mention a great cup of coffee). Sit down with yourself for an hour and learn something new.

Simple strategy for today: The next time you’re completing #3 above, ASK this question of your LinkedIn network: What is the best book you’ve read on improving your career search strategy. You’ll get some amazing advice, and, again, effortlessly build your connection base.

5. Do whatever it was that you were planning to do for your career search but got sidetracked.

We all get sidetracked. It’s human nature to be attracted to the next best thing. I know that you’ve had something in your head that you have been meaning to do that you simply keep forgetting to do. Set a time and a date to do this one thing, and commit to getting it done.

Simple strategy for today: Write down this one thing you have been meaning to do. Someone once said that a goal is only a wish until you write it down—make this one thing an actual task with deadlines and boundaries. Put this goal on an index card and tape it above your desk. When you finish, hang up another index card with another goal. You’ll be amazed at how much you can complete and how far your own personal career search strategy will take you.

 

Your Online Strategy to Finding a Job–No Matter What the Economy

Today’s Yahoo! Homepage highlighted an article entitled “Disappearing Jobs: High-Paying Careers With No Future.” I read this article with interest, as I’m always working to get my clients into positions that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to achieve. A variety of sources suggest that as many as 80% of jobs are found through networking—you’ll be the wise and strategic job candidate if you take advantage of online networking resources to improve your professional presence.

Professional Sectors on the Outs as the Economy Shrinks

This article pointed out that so many positions are disappearing due to specific factors, namely offshoring of positions, budget cuts, and the distributed approach to work.

Of note:

  • Domestic production facilities are losing market presence, so much of our factory work is going to cheaper international sites.
  • The value of true journalism (and writing in general) is slowly waning due to the instantaneous availability of online news and blogs.
  • Travel agencies are disappearing, as online sources enable individuals to plan their own travels and trips easily and cheaply—without the middle man.

Narrow the Distance Between You and Job Search Success—No Matter What the Economy

The question that remains, then, is this: What if you happen to be a travel agent, or a production manager, or (gasp!) a writer? What can you do if you need to get a new job in this failing economy in sectors that are slowly drying up?

The answer is this: Be the best you can be at what you do. The likelihood that every position in these and other industries is going to disappear is slender. But that means that in your job search, you have to be tactical and strategic in your job search technique.

You can up your ante in the job search process by engaging in several steps that will put you head and shoulders above the other candidates who are also seeking choice jobs.

Your Online Strategy to Improving Your Access to Choice Positions

  1. Network, network, network—the In-Person Strategy. Yes, we’re talking about online strategy. But all good networking starts with in-person contacts. This means putting yourself out there, even if you’re an introvert. Go to industry-related events, and bring your business cards. Ask your friends if they know someone at your targeted company. If you’re a recent graduate or new to the job market, enlist the help of your professors. And then ask those you’ve networked with for recommendations on additional contacts you should be making. And make them.
  2. Network, network, network—the Online Strategy. Build out your online profile, particularly with LinkedIn. If you’re not findable, you’re invisible, so make sure that your profile addresses the type of professional you are in the industry in which you want to work.
  3. Online Profile Development. Infuse your online presence not only with your expertise but with your personality. Additionally, take advantage of all the great options that LinkedIn has to offer. Use their apps. Move bits of your profile around. And absolutely create a vanity URL—it’s an option in your profile settings. By doing so, your profile will be associated with your name (mine’s amyladler), not a meaningless series of letters and numbers.
  4. Other Online Venues: Facebook and Twitter. Use them to your advantage. A jobseeker can post what he needs, what he’s doing, and with whom he wants to network. I’m always amazed by the great responses I get to my Twitter posts—all at 140 characters per microblog.
  5. MySpace. For kids. Not worth your time and effort relative to your job search.
  6. Google yourself. You’d be wise to Google yourself to see what turns up. If by some chance you’ve got the same name as a convicted felon (I’ve heard of this happening), you’re not going to get the offer, no matter how good your experience is or how well your interview went. Circumvent any trouble by ensuring that your online name is unique. For example, if your name happens to be John E. Smith, you might want to clarify your online presence with a new moniker: J. Ezra Smith, perhaps. Use this name online, on your resume, and in uploaded job applications, so you won’t be confused with others.
  7. Google others. You can be sure your prospective hiring manager is looking for you. When you have the name of the person with whom you’ll be interviewing, you’d be wise to research that person as well.

True, these strategies will work for you no matter what your industry. But if you’re trying to find a job in a flagging industry, you will be wise to work the online system in a stringent, strategic manner to ensure that you are beating out the hundreds of other candidates competing for the same jobs. But, if the Bureau of Labor Statistics data cited by the Yahoo! article rings true, even though the numbers of positions available in these industries might be shrinking, their salaries are still high. Be wise, and prepare now for ever-increasing competition with a clearly defined online job search strategy.

Amy L. Adler, Career Search Strategist, is the president and founder of Inscribe / Express, a career search strategy and resume writing company. She prepares resumes, cover letters, post-interview thank you letters, executive profiles, and other critical career documents that get interviews for savvy job seekers. Contact Amy at (801) 810-JOBS.

Market Your Professional Branding Message

Your personal branding is a statement of the why and how you are an expert in whatever it is that you do. Just like McDonald’s is known for burgers and fries, people should remember you for one or two areas of expertise. If you think you’re an expert in 5 or 10 things, you’re probably not sure what direction your career should take, and you’re certainly not ready to start applying for positions.

These one or two skill sets or areas of proficiency should pervade three components of your career documentation. With a unified, clear marketing message, you will make the connections you need with your next hiring manager. Market your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile with your unique selling proposition, and you’ll present yourself as clear, focused, and ready to solve a hiring manager’s pain, starting on Monday.

Target your personal brand

Focus your personal brandYour value makes you special.

Your resume

Say who you are and what you do in your headline. Rather than title your resume with Resume or Summary of Qualifications, use strong, interesting language that will pique the interest of a hiring manager as well as provide excellent fodder for a digital applicant tracking system. For example, if you’re a project manager who only manages construction of airport parking garages, say so. As a selling strategy, it sure beats Objective.

Once you have distilled this headline, elaborate on this headline in your professional profile. This paragraph, rather than being a literal summary of your experience, should demonstrate the benefits of hiring you. Think of it as an expanded headline.

Your cover letter

If your hiring manager is not a fan of cover letters, convince her otherwise with a killer cover letter that conveys something really special about the value you deliver—your unique skill set and expertise. Rather than rehash your resume, explain how when the doors open on Monday morning, you’ll have a list of implementable solutions founded on significant expertise.

In summary, no matter who you are, no matter what industry or what level of expertise, you have something special to offer your next hiring manager. When you have refined what makes you great, make sure that your message flows through every marketing document you send.

Your LinkedIn profile

Poorly engaged LinkedIn profiles look like copied-and-pasted resumes. Instead, capture your audience’s attention with a well-written headline (different from, less formal than the one on your resume; see above). Infuse it with your personality. Make it clever. Invite people to read more. For example, a resume’s “Project manager for Airport Parking Construction” becomes LinkedIn’s “Project Manager Overseeing Parking Lot Construction: I built it, they came, and they flew away.”

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Indispensability + Findability = Employability

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Amy L. Adler is the president and founder of Inscribe / Express, a resume and career documentation company focusing on the health care and information technology industries. She prepares resumes, cover letters, post-interview thank you letters, executive profiles, and other critical career documents on behalf of clients at all levels of employment. Credentialed as a Certified Advanced Resume Writer, Amy has earned a Master of Business Administration in Information Technology and Strategic Management as well as a Master of Arts in Publishing. Contact Amy at (801) 810-JOBS or .