Written by Kimberly Rife
Brenda Cunningham, CEO, Push Career Management, LLC
LinkedIn is an invaluable tool for job seekers. Whether you’re trying to tap into the hidden job market or make inroads into a prospective employer, your presence on LinkedIn is important. However, without a plan, you can get less than stellar results and find yourself wasting valuable time, clicking link after link on the homepage or scrolling endlessly through lists of people you may know.
“Doing is the normal mode of Western society. The culture is one of constant interaction…Information and new ideas flood in from all over the globe which can be invigorating to your thought life, sparking dreams and plans for the future, but it can also mean taking on too much and ending up with mediocre results or being so overwhelmed you feel constantly defeated” – Dr. Cindy Trimm
Brenda Cunningham, an expert in the field of career services, stresses the need to have a game plan. If you’re not actively using LinkedIn, you could be missing opportunities. On the flip side, misusing your access to influencers can cause problems. Some job seekers ask to immediately send their resume to people they don’t know, which can be a turn-off. Others mistake LinkedIn for a social network, posting content unsuitable for a professional network. For example, photos of your lunch don’t belong on LinkedIn, no matter how delicious the turkey panini and the latte with the leaf design in the foam were.
To avoid these pitfalls, users should know their strategy. Focus on what you’re trying to accomplish. Be strategic and intentional in your use of LinkedIn.
Brenda recommends setting a timer for 15 minutes and dividing the time as follows:
- 4 minutes – Homepage – Scroll through to gain an understanding of what people in your network are doing and what articles they are sharing. Like and comment on relevant items. Posting your own meaningful thoughts will add substance, help establish you as an expert in your field, and keep you top of mind in your network
- 4 minutes – Search and Invite – Know who you want to connect with. Search for your target companies. Who do you know that works there? Who are the decision makers? Why should they connect with you? Send an invitation to connect that is meaningful to them from within their profile.
- 2 minutes – Say Hello – Rekindle relationships through quick check-ins without asking for anything, even if it has been a few years since you’ve been in touch. “Hello” can go a long way. Don’t be that person who only reaches out when they need something.
- 5 minutes – Groups – Consistently visit a handful of groups so that members will recognize you and view you as a thought leader. Learn from what others have done. When you are working, groups can help find solutions to problems you may be having on the job. After you’re back to work, continue to post your perspectives on what others have posted in your groups.
Be consistent. Check LinkedIn Monday through Friday, even when you’re employed. It’s important to keep doing the work so that you’re ready when opportunities arise. “Keep the pump primed, always be ready, stay ready.” – Brenda Cunningham
Deuce Mangine, HR Manager
Family-owned Brokers Alliance of Fountain Hills strives to incorporate fun into the workday. Hardworking team members can de-stress with video games or a ping pong match in the company game room. Brokers Alliance is comprised of Brokers Alliance, Launched Financial, Life’s Best Insurances (Outlook Advisors), and WiredUp Installation. As a leading, independently owned distributor of life insurance and annuities, they harness experience and technology’s power to provide solutions for insurance professionals to grow and sustain their practices. They offer many benefits and perks, including unlimited Nespresso for coffee lovers. A few positions they are currently hiring for are Life Insurance Sales Agents, Annuity Sales Consultant, and Business Development Representative. To view the full lists, visit Brokers Alliance or Life’s Best Insurances.
Tahara Coleman, Senior Recruiter
Founded in 1922, privately-held Edward Jones is an award winning company with $876 billion in assets under its care and nearly 7 million clients. With headquarters in St. Louis and Tempe, they are the largest US brokerage firm in terms of the number of offices. They provide some of the best training possible and pride themselves on their community service and commitment to diversity and inclusion. Because they want to be sure their financial advisors are growing profitable practices, they offer support including paid training, a guaranteed salary for up to five years, bonuses and commissions. They are currently hiring for financial advisors in their branches and for various roles in their corporate office.
AF Professionals and Staff Logic
Deanne Desautels, President
At Accounting & Finance Professionals and Staff Logic, one of their goals is to find the best opportunity for the job seeker. They are also active in the community and are partnered with Homeward Bound, sponsoring an employment center which serves as a resource for homeless women and families. Their weekly newsletter features positions with employers including government entities such as the State of Arizona and City of Phoenix, as well as many public and private companies. They recommend registering with several staffing companies because each one works with different employers. Some of the positions they are currently recruiting for are: inside sales positions, customer service and data entry jobs, accountants, call center positions, financial analysts, and IT roles. All jobs are not listed on the website because they are often filled quickly.
Rob Stenson, Business and Workforce Development Supervisor, City of Phoenix
Arizona@Work offices offer job search and workforce development services including resume assistance, career advising, job leads, workshops, hiring events, training grants for certifications, on-the-job training grant programs and insight on labor market trends at no cost to the job seeker. Appointments are recommended. Walk-ins are accepted.
Visit Arizona Job Connection (AJC) to post a resume and search open jobs.
Visit Maricopa County Career Planning System (MCPS) to explore career interests.
Phoenix Public Library has resources free with your library card including access to nearly 500 instructor-facilitated online classes and Ferguson’s Career Guidance Center.
Jessica Pierce thanked all of the day’s participants. She reminded people to take advantage of the resources available on site, such as professional portraits and coaching. She urged attendees to visit the Career Advice blog which currently is about how to get your resume to “talk” to Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). The next Career Connectors event is on Thursday, March 16th in Scottsdale. Jack Milligan will be presenting “Salary Negotiation – Make More Money.” For upcoming Career Connectors events, click here.