Why are we even talking about social media in the context of job search? Simple! Recruiters are using social media to find talent. In fact, several surveys in the last few years point to a very high percentage of recruiters using social media. Adding to this trend, LinkedIn's API has now made it even easier for recruiters to access fresh talent via some powerful recruiting software tools. My philosophy is if you want to make a sale, step into the shoes of your customer. Translation: If you want to land a job, understand how recruiters do their jobs. Then adjust your job search strategy so that you pop up on their radar. The shift here is that LinkedIn's own search capabilities are being used less as more advanced technologies emerge, making recruiting much easier for professionals. If you are still keyword packing, get with the program. LinkedIn is a whole different animal. Keyword packing and most of those SEO tricks for your LinkedIn profile are yesterday's news. There are four main elements that you now need to optimize for. And they are much different then before. (Yes, these are even new updates since my book, Job Searching with Social Media for Dummies came out. 1. For the Passive Search: Bigger IS Better When you look at software such as Bullhorn Reach, you'll notice that primed candidates pop up based on the user's own social network. This means that if you are connected to that recruiter, and you just lost your job, added a hot job title, or otherwise did something to your profile, you'll pop up. Don't believe me? Watch this YouTube video and pay particular attention to minute 1:50. Many of these advanced social recruiting tools deliver search results for the recruiters based on that person’s individual network. Yep. Essentially, if you are not in a recruiter's network, you are not likely to show up in search results. So how many recruiters do you have in your network? 2. Location, Location, Location Another essential factor in whether or not you come up in a recruiter's search is your LinkedIn profile location. It would be a mistake to be too general (like “USA”), but it would also be a mistake to enter your current location if you want to move. If you are looking for a job in Nevada (god knows why!) and you live in North Carolina (okay, lots of sun too), you need to put your DESIRED location in your LinkedIn profile – even though you don't currently live there. Think about how a job board works. You are asked two things: where you want to look for the job and what you want to do. Right? This is exactly how recruiters use their specialized software. They get hired to fill positions, or they are corporate recruiters and are looking for local talent. So they use zip codes to filter names from their list. Be sure your LinkedIn location settings are where you want them to be. 3. Skills to Pay the Bills Did you remember getting an email from LinkedIn a while ago asking you to fill in your Skills for your profile? I'll bet you did, but you probably deleted it with your spam. That was a mistake. Here's why: “Skills” in LinkedIn are set up like tags. You can have multiple skills to tag yourself with, but you can have only one or two industries and only one job title. Many software packages include a skills filter for their LinkedIn searches. Why? Because when a company or hiring manager talks to a recruiter, they aren't always writing clear job descriptions. Often, recruiters have to write or re-write the job description or even guess at what type of person is needed to fulfill a role. So all they have to work with is a list of random skills and they need to go out there and find people with those skills. Remember in the movie Taken, with Liam Neeson? When they kidnap his daughter, he says, "I have a very particular set of skills, skills I've acquired over a very long career." Well, go to your LinkedIn profile and tell the world what very particular skills you have acquired over your career. Joshua Waldman helps frustrated job seekers leverage social media to find work FAST! He is the founder of CareerEnlightenment.com and the author of the new book, "Job Searching with Social Media for Dummies." Sign-up » for his newsletter today and get access to his exclusive training videos for FREE.Read more » articles by this approved career expert | Click here » if you’re a career expertFind out image from Shutterstock
We get it. Looking for work can be scary, especially if you’ve been at it for a long time and haven’t gotten any results.
Understanding which fears are getting in the way and how to overcome them will make all the difference. Sometimes you might not be aware of which obstacle is getting in the way of your goals. If you want to overcome these fears once and for all, we invite you to join us!
In this training, you’ll learn how to:
- Utilize strategies for coping with your job search fears
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- Face your fears and move forward
Join our CEO, J.T. O'Donnell, and Director of Training Development & Coaching, Christina Burgio, for this live event on Wednesday, October 5th at 12 pm ET.
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One portion of an employee’s personal development is work-related, but there is more. When you think of an employee’s personal development do you think of the skills for them to keep current, get a promotion, or transfer to another department? Improving core skills such as analytical abilities, critical thinking, and/or decision making? Skills to take on a leadership role and manage staff? Obtaining higher credentials?
Assuming so, organizational leaders should:
1. Make sure you understand what employees do and how it aligns with the company’s goals
2. Let employees do the job you hired them to do (leveraging their strengths and interests); nobody likes to be micromanaged
3. Challenge employees with stretch goals
4. Encourage employees to learn new things and give them the tools they need to learn:
- Read books, magazines, trade journals, newsletters, blogs
- Watch online videos, listen to podcasts
- Take courses (in-person, online) and attend webinars, workshops, conferences
- Company-provided training - Microsoft Office, application-specific courses
- Hard skills such as an SQL class, foreign language
- Effective communication skills - writing classes or speaking training (e.g., Toastmasters)
- Other soft skills - time management, problem solving
- Learning platforms - LinkedIn Learning, MasterClass
- Leadership-related training
- Supervisor skills, management trainee program
- Some will want to manage people, but others won’t and that’s ok
- Professional license, certification (e.g., PMP, CISSP), college degree
- Don’t forget to support CPE (continuing professional education) requirements
- Groups - professional associations, networking groups, etc.
- Other - internships, volunteer opportunities
These are great work-related considerations, but there is more. There is a saying by Confucius: “I want you to be everything that’s you, deep at the center of your being.” Do you encourage employees’ personal development (and the key word is personal) to be the best version of themself? Have you asked them what is important to them? If it’s important to them, it should be important to you too.
Developing A Growth Mindset
Personal development is lifelong learning and it’s never too late to start. Encourage employees to develop a growth mindset and continue learning while working for the company. This includes opportunities to:
1. Enhance their quality of life such as health/fitness, self-care, self-confidence2. Self-improvement to fully develop their character, capabilities, and potential
- Develop a reading habit
- Personal finances, personal creativity, or other personal-related learnings
- “Work-related” skills listed above even if they aren’t relevant to their current role
- Some organizations (such as Amazon, Chipotle, and Starbucks) have free or practically free college programs for front-line employees, which removes financial barriers
3. Realize their dream - maybe to become an entrepreneur and start their own business
How To Create A Custom Personal Development Plan For Employees
Has your organization recognized that they need to think differently about developing employees? They should work together with the employee to create a custom personal development plan (PDP) based on what the employee is interested in (including both work and personal aspects). Four basic steps are:
1. Perform a self-assessment
2. Establish and prioritize goals (both short and long term) breaking up the goals into manageable tasks
3. Create a step-by-step plan identifying required resources, timelines, etc.
- Identify objectives to reach the goals as well as strategies to achieve the tasks
- Identify any weaknesses, development needs, barriers
4. Measure progress
- Reward and celebrate accomplishments
- Be prepared for setbacks - adjust and course correct
As a leader, be available when employees want to talk with you as well as periodically check in with them to ensure they have a good work-life balance. Both of these could be good coaching/mentoring opportunities.
When there is a comprehensive personal development plan, the employee is more likely to be and stay excited about what’s next (and stay with the organization longer). For more information about personal development, follow me on LinkedIn!
I got an email yesterday from a client wanting to know if I had any job search tips. Unfortunately, he had been recently laid off and found himself on the job market. Talking to him got me thinking...What really makes a job search successful?
The bad news is that there isn't a magic formula. The good news is that there are a number of very simple things you can do to improve your marketability.
Here are four easy steps to follow if you want to speed up your job search:
1. Update Your Resume As Soon As Possible
This might sound simple, but it is by far the most important (and first) step in a job search. You need to have your resume ready to roll at a moment's notice.
The way I see it, there are two kinds of job seekers. There is the job seeker that draws confidence from being prepared and then there is the kind of job seeker that gets blindsided by the unexpected. I know which kind I'd rather be.
The best time to focus on your resume is when you don't need it.
2. Figure Out Who Your Resume Is For
Is your resume for you or is it for prospective employers? The resume might have your info, experience, and accomplishments on it, but, ultimately, the documents that make it past the ATS not only have the right amount of keywords peppered throughout but also show, very clearly, what the applicant can do forthe potential employer.
When writing your resume, always keep potential employers at the forefront of your mind. Make sure you quantify your experience, skills, and accomplishments. Give them a preview of the kind of positive impact you could have on their organization if they were to hire you.
3. Realize It's Not About You
Really. It's not. The most successful job seekers understand that it's about what you do for others, not about what they can do for you.
This is a fundamental idea that for some I hope turns the act of "networking" completely upside down. In every interaction, the most important thing is to demonstrate, "How can I help YOU?" It's the folks who unselfishly look out for those around them who make opportunities happen. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
What connections can you help make? Ask open-ended questions. You may even choose to treat the conversation like an informational interview. What professional needs does the other party have and how can you fill them?
4. Determine Your Target
This is such a simple concept, but it's probably the biggest obstacle I see with many of my clients. You need to have a target. It is as easy as that. How can you expect to reach the goal of employment without aiming for a bullseye?
The first step is to clearly identify the job/profession/industry you are targeting. You may even have a company that you've always wanted to work at. (It's always a good idea to have an interview bucket list—a list of companies you're passionate about that you'd love to work for someday.)
Make sure that your goal aligns with your experience. Then (and only then) are you free to begin outlining a plan to achieve your goal.
Here's an example:
I have an open door policy with my resume clients and I keep tabs on them throughout their job searches. Out of all the resumes and resume clients I've ever had, only one resume didn't work. One. When I wrote the initial resume, my client was targeting retail sales positions. Then she called one day a couple of months into her job search wondering why she wasn't getting any responses. I asked her to send me an example of the jobs she was applying for and guess what? All the online job applications she had filled out were for human resources positions. No wonder her resume didn't work!
After rewriting her resume, she found work relatively quickly and it just goes to show how important it is to aim before you pull the trigger.
Know your audience, be proactive, and remember that it's not about you. If you apply these things to your job search, you'll be employed in no time!
Need more help with your job search?
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This article was originally published at an earlier date.