Ways of Using LinkedIn in your Job Search

LinkedIn in your job search

Image via Wikipedia

LinkedIn is a really important tool for your job search.

Of course you have completely filled out your profile on LinkedIn, yes?  And not simply posted a generic resume.  Instead, you have written about the skills you enjoy using and what you have done with them.  You have filled it out as completely as possible and also posted a good picture of you, smiling.

While you are on your profile site, click on the “number of people who have viewed your profile in the last 3 days” button on the right hand side. Do this daily.

These are your first and second degree connections by name and anonymous if more distantly connected.  You can connect with your second degree viewers in many ways – directly, through a first degree connection (check on the viewers profile), through a group you both belong to (you do belong to appropriate groups, yes?), or through the use of Inmail.

Thank them for looking at your profile.

Ask them what you can do for them today.  Interact! Network!  It doesn’t take much time at all!

You need at least 400 people in your LinkedIn Connections to really make this work for you. Most need to be people in your niche, not recruiters, or even your college roommates if they are not in your industry.

“Business friends” are the ones you will work for, find jobs for and who will find jobs for you.  Who are yours?  Do you have a list on your computer?  Do you contact them regularly, even when you are NOT looking for a job?

LinkedIn in your job search is not the only tool.

Your email and social media are important as well.  The phone is too.  Do you know how to use them, long before you write a resume?

Need some help figuring out who they should be or how to keep in contact with them?  Book a coaching call here.  ($125/30 minutes)

What do you look like on social media?

social media is crucial

Social Media can make or break your chances of getting hired.  

Many people WILL look you up on social media like LinkedIn, G+, or even Facebook to see who you are, what you present, even what your politics are.

Hiring managers and recruiters will surely look at your social media presence.

I look up people I’m meeting in coffee shops so that I don’t have to bother people I’m NOT meeting.  Do you have your picture on your LinkedIn Profile or G+ Profile?  Can I tell it is you? Or is it you in the distance? Or do I need to figure out which of the 3 people in the picture is you? 

What will Hiring Managers and recruiters see?  

Do they have to dedicate hours to finding your last embarrassing picture from that party in high school? (which, of course, they won’t.)  Or is it right there, easy to find and perfect for trashing your chances of even getting a phone call for that professional job?  Of course you know to remove them, but what if someone else has it on their page and tags you?  What about Instagram or other, newer forms of social media?   

Or, if you graduated from high school before the internet preserved our mistakes for posterity, is your LinkedIn Profile skimpy?

Is it hard to read, making it impossible to imagine you doing what the hiring manager needs to have done? Or have you posted your grab-bag resume instead of choosing your words carefully? This is your personal “online real estate”.  It is your billboard and you want it to be at least presentable.  

Do you need help discovering “your” words?  Writing them in good “dragon-slaying” stories?  Knowing how to use the more interesting parts of the Profile? Did you know that you can put slides, pictures, documents, even videos on your LinkedIn Profile? How can use use this to be more easily found by the people who need your skills?

One of the tasks of the job seeker (or even consultant) is to be visible online, since that is where we go now to find people and solutions.  If you are afraid of identity theft or too many emails, there are certainly steps you can take.  If you never want another job or client, are now retired or being “kept” and are certain that life-as-you-know-it will not change in your lifetime, then don’t be visible!  But if you know that change is, protect your personal brand by keeping your social media serving your own best interests!   

Click here for some help!

Immediate Next Bioscience Job Search Steps

Bruce Douganby Guest Blogger
Bruce W. Dougan, SPHR

So, you just got the news….

You along with millions of other Americans have just received the news that you are no longer needed at your place of employment.  Call it a lay off, call it downsizing, call it termination of employment…the result is the same – you are unemployed and you need to start your job search.

How you handle the news and what you do immediately will set the stage for the next “chapter in your career.”  I am only going to cover the initial steps to take to “get going.”

Learn from the old role,
Determine the story,
Refresh your network, then
Start the job search

The first step is to take some time to quietly reflect on your past role; What went really well? What did you learn from the role and from your co-workers? What were your Key Accomplishments? Do these first, as we seldom remember the good things.  Only when this list is exhausted, should you write down the improvement/opportunity items.  The purpose is not to lay blame or assign fault, but rather to really search deep inside to position yourself for your new role.

We are not writing your resume nor writing the great American novel here, but simply you need to be clear in your mind what your accomplishments were in your role, why they are important, and why you left this role and are searching for a new role.  Everyone will ask these questions and you need to be prepared; friends and family will want to know how you are doing and what you are going to do next, recruiters will definitely ask why you left and this is great practice for your 30 second elevator speech. So determine the story you are going to tell and move forward.

You likely have neglected your network while you have been working… We all do, the job is your focus and your network is secondary. Now it is time to focus on your network.  Dust off the lists you already have; friends, family, school contacts, LinkedIn, Facebook, recruiting firms, charitable groups, etc.  Don’t send out anything, just update the list and make sure the information is correct.  Now with a newly refreshed networking list, send out your first note using a format that includes some background, what help looks like, and how you can help each other.  Remember, you are NOT asking for a job, you are looking for more contacts that will lead you to a new role.

Now it’s time to actually start your job search.  There are absolutely tons of resources on how to conduct a successful job search.  I’ll leave that up to the experts, but by immediately (at least within the first week) completing the first three steps (learn, story, refresh) you are ready to begin with a positive attitude, knowledge of what was successful during your last role and a great networking list.

Good luck.
by Guest Blogger
Bruce W. Dougan, SPHR
Group50 Consulting


iPhone, Android, iPad, or Nexus – what Apps work for you?

Today's latte, Google Play.

Today’s latte, Google Play. (Photo credit: yukop)

Back in 2012, I asked my subscribers (click here if you would like to subscribe to the newsletter) to tell me what apps they have on their smartphones and tablets.  Here are some of the responses (the programs that are no longer around are strikethrough:

Andrew de Guttadauro, expert in business development (IP, M&A in the biotech world), said, “Here are the ones that I currently favor:
Communication:  Skype (great for saving money when overseas and a wifi connection is in hand)
Organization:  Evernote & Pocket (I’m a big believer in cloud-based software and these two apps work great in tandem to allow one to clip, tag, organize, and store just about anything that comes across a computer, smart phone, tablet, or other similar device)
RSS & News Streamers:  Reeder, Flipboard, Zite, and Feedly (admittedly, this is overkill, but I’m a news and media junkie and these apps all do a wonderful job of combining my RSS feeds, and other news sources of interest, into organized news channels/feeds that are more pleasing than the underlying RSS engine – Google Reader, in my case)
Task Management:  I favor Wunderlist because, like my other apps, it’s platform-agnostic and cloud-based, so I can access my “to do’s” whenever and however I like or need (Remember the Milk is a good alternative)
Data and Info Storage:  Dropbox is great, but it’s important people realize that Dropbox isn’t especially secure as the company wants to give users the choice of security/encryption software so it’s important to use 2-step authentication plus “True Crypt” if using Drop Box to store anything even remotely sensitive
E-mail:  I use the native Apple app for Outlook but favor Google’s Gmail app to access the latter service (despite it being from Google, this app could use additional improvements).  I also recommend using Xobni if possible, to help sift through Outlook more efficiently.
News and Sports:  ESPN, Huffington Post, The Atlantic
Travel:  Kayak
Web:  Chrome’s my favored browser on all devices
– Shopping:  Amazon (via app on iPhone or via browser and website on iPad), Target app
– Dining:  Open table, Yelp (applicable in the shopping category as well)
Social Media:  LinkedIn
– Bookmarks:  X-Marks
– Media:  Amazon streaming, Netflix streaming, Hulu Plus, HBO GO

That pretty much covers the apps.  I would recommend to everyone that 2-step authentication should be used on any site where it can be enabled and that separate signups be used on any site where possible (never use Google, Facebook, or LinkedIn username/passwords to access other sites as you’re needlessly exposing yourself to sequential hacking).  Finally, I use a password management tool but do not have the app loaded on either smart phone or tablet as it makes me too antsy viz. potential loss of the device. I also don’t have bank or insurance apps loaded on my devices for the same reason and would recommend using such apps only if you don’t keep permanently signed in to either (I’d rather access such info through the added hassle of the web browser instead).

I hope this proves helpful and look forward to hearing what others are using.”

These are available in both Apple and Android.  Reeder, True Crypt, Xnobi and X-Marks are Apple-specific.

Personally, and many devices later, I have many that Andrew had and some others.  They do multiply!!



Navigation (Google maps)
News & Weather (native Android)
Calendar (native Android)
Contacts (native Android)
Messenger/Messaging/Voice Message
Voice Recorder
Voice Search
Gmail and my other emails
Adobe Reader
Out of Milk (but only for grocery shopping)
an alarm clock, a stopwatch, a calculator, a music player
Kindle and Play Books
and my camera and gallery
Plus more, of course.

I’ve only linked a few of these, all the rest can be found at the app marketplaces. 

What do you have on yours?

Is Your LinkedIn Profile a Dud?

Most jobs are filled by personal networking.

https://biosciencejobkit.com/is-your-linkedin-profile-a-dud/But 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


How big is your career network? Who, in your industry, knows you?

career network

A segment of a social network (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


A good career network contains at least two people from each of the companies you would like to work for plus everyone you have ever worked with (if it was civil) and those from your industry that you have met otherwise. For a useful LinkedIn network, you need at least 400 people with less than 5% recruiters and most of the others in your industry and niche.

How many people do you have in your career network? LinkedIn, associations, former co-workers? 

You probably have other people in your network as well, but these are not as critical.

Do you need a review of your LinkedIn or other profiles?

Help deciding whom to approach as a connection?

What needs to be done to keep in touch?

How to turn all this into your next job?


Join me for my Open Office Hours on Fridays


updated 4/18/17

What are the steps in a job search?

4 big steps to your next job

Job search needs to be organized, not just shooting your resume or your elevator speech in all directions. 

Many people wait for the Fairy Job Mother to drop a job in their lap. That doesn’t work.

Others post their need for a job on social media.  Only Lady Luck can respond. Companies don’t hire because you need a job.

Still others apply to any job that looks interesting, using their generic, personal, whole life on two pages, resume.  Your chances of getting a phone screen/phone interview are about 2% at any of the 200 companies you will need to send it to.

Others meet with their current friends, and perhaps even acquaintances, for coffee and chat.  If you friends are not in your industry niche, they won’t have any good leads for you.  They will have lots of off-target suggestions.

The people who hunt for their next job, using a real plan and set weekly goals find their next, good, job quickly and will have set up a network that will help them find each job after that.

These are the steps you need to take to be in this last group.  75% of all jobs are filled through the “who do we know” method.  Who knows you?  What do they know about you?

  • All about you: What you offer, what you want and where you want it. How to build your LinkedIn and other social Profiles so the right people can find you.
  • https://biosciencejobkit.com/bioscience-li-checklist
  • All about them:  Companies that meet your criteria, who works there, and how to get to be known by them.
  • Reaching out – a networking plan, one-on-one, in person and at events and follow up
  • Resumes and Interviews – how to write your own and how to prepare for the interviews 

Talent Communities – Do you belong?

What is a talent community and why is it important to belong to the right ones?

where is my bioscience job? ww.biosciencejobkit.com

Speaking the same (science) language

Marvin Smith of ERE.net has written on “Talent Communities”. His classifications of talent communities are:

  • Talent network
  • Company-branded community
  • Profession-based community
  • Hybrid (branded & profession-based) community

An example of a “talent network” is LinkedIn.  It is becoming more and more important to have a completed profile that demonstrates your skills and expertise.

A “Profession-based community” would be RAPS or ASQ or many of the other associations and groups in our industry.

“Company-branded community” is the one you may not be as aware of.  Some companies, usually the larger and more well-known ones, have a social media presence where people inside the company are available to interact with outsiders. This is a great opportunity to become known to people at the company you want to work for. 

You can’t interact on Genentech’s company website, but you can on their LinkedIn Company Page.  Likes and Comments will begin to introduce you to the people inside the company. This page also will let you know where Genentech people will be (booths at career fairs, etc.).  They also are highlighting people who work there – are you connected to these people?  Can you get LinkedIn to them? Genentech also has a very interesting Facebook presence where you can LinkIn with their recruiters. And an additional page where there is less interaction.

“Hybrid (branded & profession-based) community” is a new and advanced feature that is a combination of both a company community space further subdivided by department or profession.  These are much rarer in the biosciences industries.  Please do let me know if you find any.

You need to be in the talent communities for your profession and for the companies you are most interested in.  It may well be that the smaller companies you like will not have a “talent community” and you may have to find other ways to become known to the people in the department you want to join.  Doing some “forensics” on their web pages to find out what conferences and other networking events they attend may be necessary. 

Have you put together a dossier on each of the companies you are most interested in working for?

For more information about targeting your networking, join us on Wednesdays at 11:30 am Pacific



How Did You Get Your Last Job?

network with red person in centerMost open positions are filled through personal

Only 20% (at the most, quite possibly closer to 10%) of jobs are filled through postings on job sites or company websites.

And … HR really doesn’t have the time to sort through all the resumes of people who just want a job, any job.  Please do NOT send your resume to a company just because you want to work there when you don’t have the right skills for the job they have posted.  There simply is not enough time in the day for an HR person to really read resumes and put yours aside for a role that has yet not opened.

More than 50% of jobs (and perhaps as much as 85%) are filled through a direct connection with someone in the company that eventually hires you.  Employee referrals and offline (face to face) networking fill at least 45%. These are sometimes called “hidden” jobs.  That means that they simply have not been posted.

So where does that leave you? 

You have to be the one to initiate the contacts.  And you need to be strategic about it.

Also … just like you can’t eat an elephant in one bite, so you need to divide up and prioritize your search in a way that makes sense for you to be hired for the position you want.

Sign up for the free newsletter (below right) for my free tips on how to create your job search strategy.

Or click here to schedule a complementary consultation

Social Media & Your Job Search

Some common sense from a colleague from Canada – Pronexia

Social Media & Your Job Search – Please Don’t Post That Party Pic

Mayer in her viral video, "I Am Your Gran...

Mayer in her viral video, “I Am Your Grandma” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There’s no doubt about it, these days we all spend a decent amount of our time on social media. Whether it’s checking out the latest viral video on YouTube, confirming our attendance to a friend’s birthday party on Facebook or searching for a new recipe on Pinterest – it’s become an everyday occurrence in our lives. That isn’t going to change (unless you move to some remote jungle location).

When preparing to search for a new career opportunity, you need to be sure that all of your social profiles are in check.  Here are a few pointers to help you make sure you get started on the right foot:  For more click here
If you are fresh out of school and looking for your first job, this advice is right on target.  If you have been in the industry for some time, take another look at your postings. And decide if those pictures of your kids serve both you and, eventually, them in the job market. Managing your career and personal brand is becoming more and more important.
Need some help with this? Check out Connie On Call or Office Hours.  
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