Posts Tagged 'LinkedIn profiles'

Brand Awareness – Hitting the bulls eye!

What if you were able to tell 1000 people tomorrow that you are looking for a new job?



Would they know how to help you?

How important is awareness that you are seeking employment if your audience is not familiar or loyal to your     brand?

There are basically two types of people

1)      Those that know what you do and how well you do it.

2)      And those that are unfamiliar with your core competencies and track record.

You need to tailor your message to both. You then need to think through how will you mobilize both constituencies to drive your cause.

To mobilize others, you need to be clear as to your positioning and what you want.  You then need to make it as easy as possible for others to put forward your candidacy.

Salespeople face this all the time and are constantly building ROI’s or writing business case justifications on behalf of their clients and prospects.  They also provide ‘white papers’ to defend their track record with proven results including past experiences.  The same rigor and techniques should be used in job search.

Are you making it easy for others to be your brand ambassadors?

Are you very clear on what your brand is or are you copying others LinkedIn profiles in hopes of masquerading as someone else?

Specificity is the key in this day and age.

  • Are you sales or are you marketing?
  • Are you manufacturing operations or are you quality control?
  • Are you a team leader or an individual contributor? 

It is very hard to get hired today without a clear brand.   One of the biggest traps job seekers fall into is to position as a generalist/jack of all trades who is good at a lot of things.  Too many resumes, cover letters and online profiles suggest individuals are good at multiple disciplines, when in reality most people are good at one or maybe two.  How many people have literally led an engineering team that developed new protocols while also running quality testing? Or, Truly ran sales teams while also running product development?

Focus in on what your brand is. Be realistic and honest.  Then reinforce it with others.

If it’s real, when you get the opportunity to tell 1000 people, your brand, will be meaningful and lead to a great outcome.


Job Search: Hide & Seek


Hide and seek, a classic children’s game.  The premise is simple.  One child is “the seeker” and all the rest are asked to hide.  The last one hiding is the winner.

Job Search is just the opposite. You want to be the first one “caught”.  Thus, you need to be the most obvious place “the seeker” will find you.  Put another way, you need to visible in the most likely place “the seeker” will be looking.

In the Winter-Spring 2010 Staffing Management magazine, there is an article called: New Age of Recruiting Relies on Direct Contact. The article was based on the finding of JCSI Corporate Staffing survey of Human Resource professionals.  Interestingly, the survey participants said they have no plans to use;  TV/radio ads, online videos, open houses or newspaper ads.  So where are companies looking to fill open positions?

If you are a job seeker and you want to “get caught”, you need to put these additional survey finding to work:

Human resource professionals plan to increase:

  • The usage of LinkedIn
  • The usage of Facebook & Twitter
  • Tapping into employee referrals
  • Their own corporate websites as a recruiting platform.

Human resource professionals plan to decrease:

  • The usage of retained search professionals
  • The usage of contingency search professionals
  • Posting positions to online Job Boards
  • The old fashioned career fairs

If you look at the eight bullet points above, one cannot help but notice 3 Internet driven recruiting techniques are growing, while the use of search professionals and job boards are decreasing.  This is exactly the job seeking shift we’ve been talking about for the past year.

Do not fight these trends.  Embrace the Internet as the emerging central platform for finding your next job faster.  Build a strong online identity, use automated job search software and “Get caught”.

Do I Need a Personal Website?


“The new phone book’s here! The new phone book’s here! This is the kind of spontaneous publicity I need. My name in print. That really makes somebody. Things are going to start happening to me now!”

Steve Martin, as “Navin R. Johnson” in The Jerk (1979)

This is extremely apropos as we think about an individual’s online identity management in 2010.

Job Seekers, recruiters, human resource professionals and even venture capitalists, continually ask me about the value of a personal website in 2010. Folks have trouble grasping the value of a centralized platform that they control.  Perhaps this is understandable, given the market reach of LinkedIn, Google Profiles, Facebook and a cadre of other social media.  Folks simply cannot accept that a personal website is still of extremely high value.

I ask…Do you think if you are a graphic artist or marketing professional that having a personalized web address to showcase your work has value?

…Is there value to password protecting work samples, white papers etc…?

…Why limit yourself to a template and compete with all the other folks with the exact same name?

… Where do companies spend the most money and time highlighting their service and value proposition on the Web? Why is personal marketing different?

…. Is there a competitive advantage for jobseekers to fully express themselves with graphics, color, navigation and depth?

My weekend case study:

I am active on the web.

  • I have a Google profile.
  • I have a Zoom Info profile that I manage.
  • I have a robust LinkedIn profile.
  • I have a Twitter account.
  • I have plenty of personal content on the web, including this blog.

This weekend I decided to “search me” using Bing (Microsoft). I did this because I am a Google junkie and never tried searching myself with Bing. It is also important to note that Bing now has 12% of the search market and is the fastest growing of the major search engines.

When I searched myself on Bing, nothing appears on page one for me accept one entry, my personal website.

Not my Blog, not my LinkedIn account, not my businesses.  Just the personal website I built using Site in 60.

I now have another reason to tell all the folks asking me, why individuals in career transition should have a personal website.  Bing me.

Top Ten Online Job Search Tips-Career Builder Revisited


As you may be aware, Career Brander is sometimes critical of job boards and their utility for job seekers.  Additionally our Job Search Radar is often mentioned as a disruptive technology to the job search market. That said, we really must admit,  that job boards  do sometimes lead to new positions for individuals and that sometimes Job Board’s offer great content.

Today’s, case in point is an article recently found on Career Builder that outlines Top Ten Online Job Search Tips. It’s a great list!  Below is the Career Builder  Top 10.  After each suggested Career Builder strategy, we’ve added an opinion, link or comment.



When it comes to a fruitful online job search, successful  job seekers follow these 10 guidelines.

1. If you build it, they can come.
Instead of simply posting your résumé on a Web site, take it one step further and design an easily-navigable Web site or online portfolio where recruiters can view your body of work, read about your goals and obtain contact information.  We strongly agree with this.  That is why Career Brander created Site in 60.  Utilizing Site in 60  job seekers  create their own personal website with no technical skill.

2. Check yourself to make sure you haven’t wrecked yourself.

Google yourself to see what comes up — and what potential employers will see if they do the same. If you don’t like what you find, it’s time to do damage control.  We strongly agree with this and suggest you also check Zoom Info, Bing, Yahoo and Ask.  After you finish your research we suggest, if necessary, you claim your Zoom Info profile.  Then set up a search me button.  If you have serious false information, issues with your online identity, or need help in establishing an online identity you might consider hiring a company like

3. Narrow your options.
Many job boards offer filters to help users refine their search results more quickly.  You should have the option to narrow your job search by region, industry and duration, and, oftentimes, you can narrow it even more by keywords, company names, experience needed and salary.  In the current economy targeting is more important than ever. We recommend focusing on industry, company size, geography for your initial filters.  However we feel strongly that at this stage job seekers are better served mining databases as opposed to job boards.   Job candidates need to look at the whole universe of potential hirers not just those on job boards.

4. Go directly to the source.
Instead of just applying for the posted job opening, one of the best strategies to finding a job is to first figure out where you want to work, target that company or industry and then contact the hiring manager. Also, many employers’ career pages invite visitors to fill out candidate profiles, describing their background, jobs of interest, salary requirements and other preferences.  We do believe in targeting best-fit companies.  That is why we offer Hoovers premium listings inside of Job Search Radar to help job candidates better identify best-fit target employers.

5. Find your niche with industry Web sites.
Refine your search even more by visiting your industry’s national or regional Web site, where you can find jobs in your field that might not appear on a national job board.  More and more employers are advertising jobs on these sites in hopes of getting a bigger pool of qualified applicants. Staying current with trade group websites is a great job search strategy.

6. Try online recruiters.
Recruiters will help match you with jobs that meet your specific skills and needs.  Not sure where to start?  Sites such as,, and provide links to online headhunters for job seekers.  Great idea. In addition to these resources , we offer our own searchable 20,000 recruiter database inside Job Search Radar.

7. Utilize video résumés.
Video résumés are just one more way to stand out to employers.  Intended as supplements to — not replacements for — traditional résumés, video résumés allow job seekers to showcase a little bit of their personalities and highlight one or two points of interest on their résumés. We do not recommend using video resumes. Our research shows most recruiters find these cumbersome and are hesitant to accept them.  Many corporations have specific policies prohibiting them.

8. Run queries.
You run searches on everything else, from your high school sweetheart to low-fat recipes, so why not jobs?  Enter a query that describes the exact kind of job you’re seeking and you may find more resources you wouldn’t find otherwise (but be prepared to do some sorting).  We also suggest running queries on LinkedIn to optimize your profile.  See our January 25, 2010 blog post on optimizing LinkedIn profiles.

9. Utilize job alerts.
Most job boards have features that allow you to sign up to receive e-mail alerts about newly available jobs that match your chosen criteria.  Or go a step further and arrange an RSS (really simple syndication) feed from one of these job sites to appear on your customized Internet homepage or your PC’s news-reader software. Job Search Radar will email you every morning any new job listings associated with your targeted best-fit companies.  It will also email you an organized view of any and all news associated with your target best-fit companies.  We believe this business intelligence is often more actionable in job search than actual new job postings.

10. Get connected.
How many times have you been told that it’s not what you know, but who you know?  Thanks to the emergence of professional networking sites like, job seekers no longer have to rely on the old standby of exchanging business cards with strangers.  These sites are composed of millions of industry professionals and allow you to connect with people you know and the people they know and so forth. (A word of caution: When you sign up for online social networking sites, you are in a public domain.  Unless you are able to put a filter on some of your information, nothing is private, and it can be difficult to erase once it is posted.)   Most jobs are found through networking and online social networking sites allow individuals to network faster than at any time in history. Once you begin to build your online networks you will be amazed how different people in your life know each other and can potentially help you find your next job.LinkedIn’s connection features are embedded inside Job Search Radar so you can do all your career networking from one  website.

Optimize LinkedIn Profiles for Job Search


→August 30,2011 update–this article has been read over 25,000 times and the tips and tricks to optimize your LinkedIn profile are still applicable today.


LinkedIn continues to gain momentum as a resource utilized by both internal and external recruiters to find well qualified candidates. A quality LinkedIn profile is quickly becoming an essential element of a complete career marketing package.

Like a resume, a LinkedIn profile serves as a summary of your work history. Both your resume and your LinkedIn profile need to be well-organized, well thought out, and well written. Although a resume will typically go into greater detail of accomplishments, a LinkedIn profile needs to offer enough facts to drive further action by recruiters.

As every job seeker is hopefully aware, when resumes are submitted to corporations or job boards, they are then filtered by Applicant Tracking Software.(ATS) The software looks for “key words” to decide which of the thousands of resumes being reviewed, deserves a personal review by the recruiting or hiring manager. There are great resources on the Internet to help job seekers identify for inclusion, commonly searched key words utilized by ATS systems.  These resources will be make specific keyword suggestions based on the position a job seeker is targeting.   However, in the end, once the resume is submitted, it is a bit of a “black box” in terms of how your resume is actually parsed. So although, you may attempt to include all the right keywords to go to the top of the pile, a candidate is never really sure how a particular ATS system will treat their resume.

Conversely, LinkedIn profiles are not a black box. A simple audit will allow you to see which queries bring your profile to the first few pages of a search. Try it.

• Go to the peoples tab and hit advanced search.
• Now enter a keyword or keywords associated with your targeted position. Ex: customer service manager
• Now enter a geography zip code and a distance quotient. 50 miles is a reasonable choice.
• Then select an industry or multiple industries that apply to you. Understand the broader you make your search the lower your ranking will be.
• Now hit search. Can you find yourself in the first few pages of the LinkedIn results?

Now look at the top few names that have appeared and open their profiles.  By looking at the highlighted words, you will see the criteria that LinkedIn used to filter the search.    As of today, LinkedIn appears to scan  only four categories: Professional Headline, Titles, Specialties and Industries. LinkedIn scans these categories for frequency of the keywords selected. In our example: customer service manager.

So what do you do with this information? The simple answer is optimize these four LinkedIn categories with the keywords that you believe a recruiter would most likely use when looking to fill the employment position you are targeting. If you invest an hour to insert the keywords to make sure you show up in the first few pages of a LinkedIn search for the position, geography and industry you are targeting, you will increase your chances of being found.

Now remember, a quality job search strategy encompasses both pull and push marketing. Optimizing your LinkedIn profile is only one important component of a “pull marketing” job search strategy.  Never forget as a job seeker, you should focus the majority of your time and effort on a “push marketing” campaign focused on targeted job search networking.

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