Category: Action Words

Six Secrets to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile So You Can Land the Interview

Get a Job Search Superhero on your team!

To answer the question “does having a professionally written, completed and keyword optimized LinkedIn profile really get it looked at by more recruiters?” one only has to ask: where/who do YOU turn to when you need something? When you need to find an auto mechanic, a plumber, a way to get restaurant food delivered to your home, an answer to self-diagnose a suspected illness (although I wouldn’t recommend this), and just about any question you can think of = you search the internet. Therefore, to cut the job search process in half job-seekers must accept that their skills are now best highlighted on the web. LinkedIn has become that platform even more than before since their purchase by Microsoft. With Microsoft’s dominance in cloud based Office 365 software, their goal of LinkedIn becoming a go-to place for recruiters to find candidates was an easy pivot.

Everyone has likely heard about “keyword resumes,” and how keywords that match the job advertisement are critical for your résumé being selected for the interview. But did you know that it is even more important to write a powerful, keyword infused LinkedIn headline that offers a value proposition and gets you noticed? Did you know that having a well-written summary with results oriented statements can get you selected for the next step of an interview? Yes, the résumé is important and is your entry-ticket to the interview, but you will job search while you sleep if you have a well written and optimized LinkedIn profile. See some action steps below to do it yourself, or setup a time to chat with us if you want us to handle it all for you.

1) USE THE KEYWORDS AND ACRONYMS RELATED TO YOUR INDUSTRY
Different recruiters type alternate keywords into their searches, so to raise your chances of being found use common variations of the keywords in your LinkedIn summary, and skills section. For example, if you want a job in New York, use the word “New York,” and/or “New York City,” the abbreviation “NYC” and the postal code “NY” wherever you can on your LinkedIn profile. This way when a recruiter types in a filtered or specific search for a job-seeker from NYC you stand a better chance of being one of the profile results returned in their search.

Keywords are crucial to your job search

2) DON’T SAY YOU ARE LOOKING FOR YOUR NEXT OPPORTUNITY

Instead, use that precious profile real estate space that ranks high in a search to promote what you can do for a new employer. If you were an employer or recruiter looking at a LinkedIn profile, who would you call in for an interview? The person who has this headline for their LinkedIn profile:

“Looking forward to my next opportunity where I can lend my talents to a productive team.”

                                                                         OR 

Director of Sales Emerging Markets ► identify & evaluate opportunities ► develop & execute strategy ► drive sales growth

Obviously the 2nd headline is not only more of an eye catcher telling me what the person’s general career role has been, how they work, and the positive results of their work, all including many keywords (in italic) that usually appear in the job advertisements that person is targeting.

3) ADD ALL RELEVANT SKILLS FOR YOUR TARGET JOB INDUSTRY

When the ‘endorsements’ feature was first added to LinkedIn many though it was pointless to endorse others. How could folks that did not know you possibly endorse you for the work? Well, the endorsements have not gone away and people that connect with you see your posts and learn about your expertise. The skills section while not ranking as high in a search as the headline and summary do, still count as keywords. You should think of all the acronyms, and different skills related to your target industry and add them. Don’t forget to move them around and place the ones you wish to be recognized for up at the top as most folks when prompted will endorse you on the top three skills displayed.

4) DON’T JUST COPY AND PASTE YOUR RESUME

When LinkedIn first started many were copying and pasting their résumé into the job description sections and calling it a day. That is not an accepted practice today since recruiters and potential employers will always seek you out on LinkedIn and are looking to find out more about you. We now write the LinkedIn summary in first person, in a business casual tone, that includes results based statements about how your work has impacted previous employers in a positive way. We need to remember to write our work summaries so we come across as an “achiever” and not simply a “doer.” So as you write your new LinkedIn summary think not so much about what you did for past employers, but think about what the positive results were because of your daily work.

5) ADD AN INDUSTRY RELATED BANNER IMAGE

Go to a site like https://pexels.com and search your industry keywords to see what free banners are available. This website gives you many free downloads to choose from. Some images will be Adobe stock which are on sale for reasonable prices if you really must have that specific image. But there are enough free images that you can easily replace the default LinkedIn teal section above your profile photo. You can also make yourself a keyword banner for free by copying and pasting your résumé into the website https://wordle.net and trying different color patterns and keyword variations in the image you will convert into a banner.

Don’t forget to add a banner related to your target industry or just a pretty sunset

6) ADD A PROFESSIONAL PROFILE PHOTO VISIBLE TO ALL

Resist the temptation of using an old wedding photo and cropping someone out, or a car selfie, or an outdoors hiking photo unless you’re a business dude running that type of business. Certain LinkedIn users will use a photo that represents their brand or niche like I did with my own cartoon-like profile photo. I chose this because I wear the label of Job Search Superhero so I felt the comic art was appropriate for my brand. I am also an artist who has a passion for superheroes and have been drawing them since I was a teenager. However, LinkedIn profile image best practices recommended by seasoned writers across the USA agree that a profile photo should be taken of you wearing at minimum business casual attire and sitting or standing in front of a light-colored background. The tools built into LinkedIn will help you resize the image but it is best if it is shot from about three to five feet away and from the chest up.

In closing, there are many actions you can take to promote your career brand online that will get the attention of recruiters and hiring managers. But you have to work your social media like you worked your job because every keyboard click on LinkedIn signals you are an active user and raises your profile in searches. You have to join LinkedIn groups and engage in conversation or post your own articles and conversation. All of this connects you with the people that could potentially hire you, or steer you towards your next work gig. Job searching in the digital job market is not for the faint of heart. But I have faith that you can do it! We are here to help!

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Job-Seeker Action Verbs — By Skills Sets | Quintessential LiveCareer

One of the parts of the client résumé we like to focus on at The Talent Mill are the action words and phrases that jump out at the reader when they first look at your career document.  Some argue that these words are just “fluff” and distract from the purpose of the résumé to list your skills and experiences.

I would say that synonyms have been around for as long as the English language so why not pick the best ones to describe what you’re good at? Why not tell them in the strongest terms just how your brand and experience translates into opportunities for their company?  To this end, I have included a link I came across that helps you find alternate words per skill set.

“Listing of critical action verbs organized by skills. Action verbs describe key job-seeker skills and accomplishments and make employers take notice.”

Source: Job-Seeker Action Verbs — By Skills Sets | Quintessential LiveCareer

14 Must Follow Steps For Job Seekers

Anyone that has been working at the same job for the last decade and now has to look for work knows it's a whole new ball game.

Anyone that has been working at the same job for the last decade and now has to look for work knows it’s a whole new ball game out here. We can help.

Prepare your brain to be challenged by how the world has changed from the newspaper classified job ads with your paper résumé, to the only way to seek out, find a job, and get seen to get hired today!

Ever notice that even the Sunday paper barely has job listings these days?

As more newspapers go online it seems that the job classifieds we used to turn to when out of work are now worthless

But did you know that online job ads can also be a waste of time too?

Recruiters & Human Resources can receive upwards of a 100+ responses to one job opening.  That’s why as a job seeker, you need to work smart and not so hard by following certain strategy boosting steps:

Step 1 – build yourself a targeted list of companies that you would consider working for

Step 2 – work on building relationships with 2 people who work at a target company (1-2 people for each company on list)

Step 3 – without harassing them or becoming a pest, work towards having a real life coffee date.

Step 4 – ask them if they would be willing to introduce you to the hiring manager or decision maker for the department that you want to work for.

Step 5 – put yourself online before others do with a website, and a LinkedIn profile at the very least.  This will help you to be found online when a recruiter searches for your skills.

Step 6 – Google different variations of your name or common nickname that you have been known by for years.

Step 7 – If you find something potentially negative on the web don’t panic, but start dealing with it right away by following step 5 and maybe adding a few more social sites.

Step 8 – Make sure all your settings are set to private on all the social networks and websites you frequent.  If you make a comment you might have some control to erase it, but if you comment on someone else’s post you might not be able to ever remove it from the web.  Remember that when you are going to rage in comments on Facebook.

Step 9 – Create a twitter account and follow twitter job boards.  Just search #jobs and you will be able to find accounts that tweet about job openings.  You can also make your account private by selecting “protect my tweets” in settings although that can have a negative effect in being found for work via keywords in what you tweet about in an industry.

Step 10 – Make sure to develop a powerful keyword loaded profile on LinkedIn.  LinkedIn is the professional go to network to build connections that evolve into real relationships.

Step 11 – Work on your brand by starting a blog related to the industry you want to work in, or to a related passion or hobby.

Step 12 – Think of all the keywords related to your job title a recruiter or potential employer would use and make sure those are both in your résumé and your LinkedIn profile.  But do not make your LI profile a duplicate of your résumé or that will seem redundant and a turn off.

Step 13 – Do not write “unemployed” or “looking for next opportunity” as your profile headline.  Instead use the last title you held or the job position you were trained in, experienced in, and are qualified to be working in.

Step 14 – Edit each résumé! The reason so many people are failing at getting calls and not getting their résumé past the ATS is that they are not optimizing them with job specific keywords.  Their résumés are being pushed to the back of the pile by artificial intelligence via the Applicant Tracking System (ATS).

Recruiters will also search Google to find candidate résumés or LinkedIn profiles, but they will not search for your name.  They will search for the skills/keywords related to the job they want to fill.  You need to try to match every possible keyword they would use to find you, so you can be found in their online search and make their “short list” for an interview.

Best of luck in your job search!  #JobSearchSuperhero