Is Your LinkedIn Profile a Dud?

Most jobs are filled by personal networking. if you want a recruiter to call you, we have to know that you exist.  Make it easy for us – Fill out your LinkedIn Profile! Recruiters are on LinkedIn every day. Even if you are not now looking for a job, keep your profile current. Since most jobs last only about 5 years these days, having a LinkedIn profile is essential.

keywords for job search

Job and key concept

Recruiters search by keywords.  Some of those are job titles at particular companies.  Some are by industry and title.  Many are by keywords, skills and expertise. 

You need to:

Have a professional head shot – It can be taken by a friend on a cell phone camera, but it needs to be of you, in a professional outfit, hair combed, and a smile on your face.  Think – this is the first impression.  How do you want to be perceived?  First impressions count.

Your headline section does not need to be your current or last title, but it should contain your most descriptive keyword, one that the general public would understand.  Don’t look desperate; don’t use this to say “looking”.  

Your summary is where you can shine, show what you like to do and use those keywords.  Use them naturally, don’t spam by repeating the keyword multiple times in a row.  Remember that you are writing to create a professional impression.

Knowing your keywords can be a challenge, especially if you are staring at a blank screen and trying to capture them out of thin air. Click here for some suggestions

Your experience is proof that you can do the things you have described in your summary.  Use the space.  Use keywords and, if you can, use numbers – for example, “managed 6 people doing (keyword)”.  Avoid passive verbs, use active ones

If you choose to use the Skills and Expertise section (and I encourage you to do so), ask your first degree connections to endorse you for those skills that you want to highlight and which they know that you have – the person that worked at the next bench will know that you can do PCR (or whatever) but a recruiter will only know that you said you could. 

The more you can complete your profile, the more people will know you.  You want a job that suits you, not one that requires you to do only the things you don’t like to do.  Use your LinkedIn Profile to showcase your interests as well as your skills.

If you find yourself polishing your resume before you have identified any open positions, use that effort on your LI Profile instead.  Sending a generic resume to job boards and openings is like making multiple copies, stuffing them in empty bottles and tossing them in the ocean in the hope that someone will rescue you.  We know that recruiters look in LinkedIn, not in the ocean.

Remember that less than 20% of jobs are filled through job postings and less than 5% by recruiters.  You do need to have a web presence on LinkedIn, but even more, you need to use it to grow your personal network and number of friends.

Book a review of your LinkedIn Profile here


Looking for work? Get a strategy!

Do you have a work strategy when you see the writing on the wall?

Are you about to be downsized?

Is that expensive PhD not insulating you from the economy?

Now is the time to develop your Job Search Strategy using Targeted Networking so that you are not dependent on job postings, job fairs or recruiters to find the next step in your career, but you can use each to your advantage.

Do you know what the next step should be?  What your title should be? Which companies employ people with that title? Which ones are the best fit for you?  How to network your way into those companies?

If you are not ready with that, then I have a simple (although perhaps not easy) program to polish your network and manage your career.

5 secrets to steer your career to greater heights

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I will not share your contact information with anyone unless you give me your explicit permission (for a specific job).

What Should Be in YOUR Resume?!/Full-review-your-resume-or-CV-and-advice-for-changes/p/50288854

Companies need people with specific skills to accomplish specific tasks.  If you try to write one resume to send to every company or any job, you won’t be as desirable as the person who “nails” the needs of that particular company and team in that particular resume.


If you need someone to review your specific resume for a specific job click here

Does your LinkedIn Profile turn off recruiters?


Nederlands: Linked In icon

Nederlands: Linked In icon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Recruiters are all over LinkedIn, searching daily for the right people to fill their open positions.  Are you visible?  Do they like what they see?

The people who are most active on LinkedIn are seen the most – just as the people who attend networking events are seen by more people than those who sit behind their computer instead.  You really need both.

How can you be active on LinkedIn?

First, use that Status Update box at the top of your Home page.  Ask a question, share a link, make a statement.  This is called “engaging”.  Do be engaging in the other meaning of the word – be nice.
You can Like, Comment or Share right from your Home page.  Choose to do so once or twice a day.  Pick the people from companies you are interested in, or who have jobs like the one you are interested in, or just because you agree or disagree with what they posted.  You will also find jobs listed here. (Remember to apply only for those for which you have at least 85% of the requirements)

Go a bit deeper:

Join a few appropriate groups (you can have as many as 50, but only join those you can keep up with). Like, comment, share AND start a new conversation/discussion. Check out the Members tab in the Group.  Invite a few from the group, especially those whose posts you have commented on or who have commented on your posts. 

What should go on your Profile?

LinkedIn has choices for everyone, but some won’t apply to you.  Remember that this is where you go to see and be seen.  There will be some things that you don’t want people to know about – that dreadful short-term job you had in college, the exact date you graduated from school or left a job, or got an award.  You only need to go back 10-15 years in your experience section.  Put your volunteer work, boards of directors you have been on, all non-employment information in the Additional Information section and use the categories there.

And if you are looking for work, please put your contact info – either email or phone number somewhere in the Summary or Additional Info. If you are not a 1st degree connection of the recruiter or hiring manager (and how could you be?), they will have to dig to connect with you outside of LinkedIn.  

Most frustrating of all are the Profiles that have your name and title and that is all.  You are missing a wonderful chance to be seen while still behind your computer.

Contact me if you need some help with your Profile!





Your Resume is NOT About You

A resume is not about you.  It is about how you can solve that particular company’s particular problem.

No company hires unless they have a problem or situation that they can’t fix with the people they are already paying.  It may be that they need someone to duplicate what is being done because they have run out of time, or it may be that they need someone with a different skills set.

Resumes get about 6 seconds of “eyeball” time.  Next time you are watching a commercial on TV or at the movies count to 6.  What did you learn about the product? Does it “speak” to you?  YOU get those 6 seconds to convince the resume reviewer (who may NOT be the hiring manager) that you have what they need.

So what do they need? Do you even know what problem they have?  If the position is an entry-level job, not managing, not in research or development, then probably the problem is that the people who are doing this job simply don’t have the “man-hours” available to get it done.

If it is a new position or even a replacement, then the company has a situation/problem that needs more than just “butt in the seat” or even “hands at the bench”.  What problem is it?  Can you solve it?  Do you want to?

We all have dealt with problems that we hope never to see again.

If this company has that problem, it probably is not a good fit for you.  Why waste your time trying to get the job?  If you can see that it is not a fit, what makes you think that the hiring manager won’t see it? And if you were to get this job, how long will you and the manager be happy?

How can you format your resume so that the things you know the company needs, that you know that you can do, that you know that you want to do, stand out on the top half of the first page of your resume?  Everything after that (“below the fold”) is simply proof that you can do those things.

The company is not interested in your career objectives.  They don’t care.  They just want to know that you can do the job that they need to have done.  And they want to know that you have done these things in the last decade.

Need some help with this?  Click here

Do You Use These Alternatives to Your Resume?


revised 4/19/17


Virtual Interviewing – are you prepared?

Are you prepared for online, on-camera, video interviews?


English: A Logitech QuickCam Chat for Skype we...

English: A Logitech QuickCam Chat for Skype webcam Italiano: Una webcam (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you know how to use Skype?  G+ Hangouts? Your cell phone? Other online interview sites?  Does your computer even have a webcam?  More and more companies are using these tools to do first interviews, especially if you are not local to the company you are interviewing with.

It is not hard to use these tools but you don’t want your first time to be in the interview.  You need and want to make a good impression.

Make sure that the background that can be seen behind you is bland and not distracting – hang a sheet or use a blank wall.  You don’t want the interviewer wondering where you are and what that is in the background.

Be sure you know how to use the webcam and the tool that you will be using.  Plan to use it first with a friend or colleague.  Many people are very comfortable with their webcam but many of us are not daily users and need to get more comfortable.  You don’t want the camera to point up your nose (all too common with a cell phone or tablet), be too close or miss your face altogether.

Unlike phone interviews where you can be in your sweats, do wear the same clothes that you would to a face-to-face, in-person interview.  Look nice and be sure to smile.

Do have notes for your answers and questions but don’t look at them continually. Place them as close to the camera as you can so that you can look into both the eyes of the interviewer and see your notes.  Don’t read them.  

Do you have other tips for video interviewing?

Want to practice?  Book a call here






Where are you in your job search?

Where are you in your job search?

Typically people think:
I need to start looking for a job.

I need to update my resume’.

I need to write my elevator speech.

I need to apply for all the jobs I can find online that appeal to me.

I need to  talk with and network with recruiters.

I need to go to group functions and tell people my elevator speech.

I need to apply online to every job I think I can do.

I need to find a way to get someone to call me for interviews.

I need to prepare for interviews.

I need to ace the interviews.

What to do instead:

How job search really works

I know what my next job should be.

I know what skills I want to use in my next job.

I know which challenges I want to handle in my next job.

I know how to present myself online.

I know what I need in a company.

I know exactly which companies would suit me.

I know at least two people who work at those companies.

I know when I met and will meet with each of them.

I know what challenges each company is facing.

I know who is trying to handle the challenge at each company.

I know what to say to them.

I know when to follow up.

I know how to write a tailored resume for each job I want.

I know how to prepare for each interview.

I know what to say in each interview.

I know how to ask for the job.

I know what to do next.

I know how to keep up my network.

Need more help?

Click here for more information

Don’t be a Networking Nuisance

don't be a networking nuisance

Don’t beg for a job like Oliver Twist!

Does networking makes you feel like Oliver Twist, begging for another bowl of gruel?  That you are bothering people?

Well, that is NOT networking!

Networking is where you give something that doesn’t cost you much and your networking partner receives something that he/she values and the other way as well.  You need to give at least four times before you ask for something. Networking is not a one-time event.  It includes, at the least, 5 follow-up connections (emails, letters, phone calls, coffee dates, etc.)

So what can you give?

Time, attention and active listening – with our short attention spans these days, truly attentive, active listening (not planning what you are going to say next) is a rare and precious gift.

Knowledge – you are spending your time wrapping your arms around your industry (especially if you are networking for your next job).  Put the information you are gathering for your search in a “swipe file” so that you can share it with the people to whom you have listened and with whom you are networking. Send them the information that connects with what they have talked about.

Links – you are also collecting links of information. Save the web pages in a Favorites file on your browser titled Swipe for Job Search or Swipe for (your department or industry here). You will want these for general networking and also specifically for follow up with the people you have talked with about their problems at their companies.

Connections – as you grow your LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Labroots, Naymz, Viadeo, etc networks, you can connect your new networking connections to others that they might be interested in. Remember that your career network is one that will last you for the rest of your career and you will find jobs for people in your network as much as they find jobs for you.

What other ways can you think of that you can give to your network?

Another job search coach, J.T. O’Donnell, has also talked about this.

Want to talk about it?  Book a call here!

Targeted Networking: Connecting with the right people

We had a great webinar today about Targeted Networking for your career, but I was all thumbs on the tech and it did not record properly.  So I re-recorded it and here it is for those of you who could not make an 11 am call.

You don’t need to be known by many, many people: the beekeepers of Africa and the shepherds of Mongolia probably don’t need to know your name.  But you do want to be known by the people you work with or want to work with.  You want to know them and be known to them as someone who is a member of their “tribe” and who speaks the same jargon about the problems in your field.  

But before they can know you, you have to find them and introduce yourself. You don’t want to spin your wheels with the people who are not a future “member of your tribe” if you are urgently looking for your next job.  (Of course these other people can make your life far more interesting, but not in a targeted, strategic way!)

So where can you find them?  Watch the video above or come to Open Office Hours and we can talk about it.

Please do leave your comments or questions below!


What do LinkedIn and romance novels set in the 18th century have in common?

18th century Redingote A Promenade 1797 - LinkedIn and romance novels

How can LinkedIn and romance novels set in the 1800’s have anything in common?

Have you read (in Jane Austin novels) how people would get all dressed up and go to the park at a certain time to “promenade”? What do LinkedIn and romance novels have in common?

It is the place to see and be seen – followed up by invitations to tea/coffee. Not much has changed – it is now simply virtual – LinkedIn is the place to see and be seen and now we drink more coffee than tea. 

LinkedIn and romance novels and 1960's promenade

Is your LinkedIn profile “all dressed up”?

Do you have all of the parts of LinkedIn filled and showing your very best “dragon-slaying stories”? Or do you just have your name, current title and employer and perhaps the last job you held?

Can we even tell if you might be interested in a job we may be looking to fill?

  • Are you using the keywords that a recruiter or hiring manager may be looking for?
  • Are you following your college so that your old college pals can find you?
  • Are you in groups that your “tribe” belongs to?     

Is your picture professional and recognizable?

First, do you have a picture on your profile?  Can we recognize you if we met at Starbucks? Do you look employable? Professional? Since LinkedIn changed where they put the picture, be sure to look straight ahead into the camera.

Can the casual viewer figure out how to get in touch with you outside of the LinkedIn protocol?

Some people feel that LinkedIn can make them too vulnerable to identity theft. But you can get around that a bit by using an email address only for LinkedIn (and perhaps Google+).  Don’t allow people to see your phone number, don’t use your middle initial, etc.  But if people can’t look you up, a resume to an online job posting won’t get you seen either.

It is not what you know,
or even who you know.

It is who knows you. 


Do you need someone to optimize your LinkedIn Profile? click here