Written by Debbie Webber
Jessica Pierce’s success with Career Connectors is gaining media attention. The lifestyle show Sonoran Living (channel 15) recently highlighted Career Connector’s ability to help returning veterans develop the network they need to find a job. Both Jessica and Career Connectors’ LinkedIn expert and Navy veteran Carl Forkner, Ph.D. were interviewed during the clip. Now thousands more individuals are aware of the impressive list of free services and support that Career Connectors offers to those in job transition.
Ted Robison started his information-packed presentation Get LinkedIn or Get Left Out by telling us his goal was to get us a job! He was a fount of information, covering LinkedIn fundamentals, why everyone should be on LinkedIn, personal branding and imaging, groups and associations, the hidden job market and using LinkedIn to prepare for interviews.
Why Should I Be on LinkedIn?
- To Be Found!
- To Find Jobs
- Most Recruiters and Hiring Managers use LinkedIn Exclusively
If you were not already a LinkedIn believer, you should be. Ted told us that job boards are broken (only 1-2% of people using job boards actually GET a job) and recruiting agencies account for the same 1-2% of job placements. 87% of people get jobs by networking.
So the more connections the better. Ted believes we must have at least 500 first degree connections to capitalize our networking abilities. This gives us several hundred thousand second connections and well over 1 million third connections. Connect with everyone—and be sure to connect to Ted!
Personal Brand and Image Promotion
- Use keywords that allow for SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
- Develop your LinkedIn site for the Wow Factor by focusing on your S.E.E.S. (Skills, Experience, Expertise and Style)
- Create your own unique URL. For example: www.linkedin.com/in/tedrobison
According to Ted, your resume is like your obituary—it tells what you’ve done in the past. So you need to bring excitement about your value and passion on your LinkedIn profile—differentiate yourself from everyone else. And if you have a common name, don’t use numbers after your name when you create your own URL. Use your middle initial or other creative way to remain unique.
Right now there’s really no need for individual job seekers to pay for the premium version, but over time Ted is certain that LinkedIn will begin to charge for what is now free. LinkedIn now has stockholders to consider, so free services will begin to whittle down.
A headshot business photo is absolutely required. Use the headline to list the title that you want and not that you are in transition and looking for a job. And remember that your current job title is the most important field to fill for you to add points to the algorithm that brings you to the top of recruiter search results. Use your previous title even though you don’t have the position any longer—or use the job title that you’re looking to land.
Do NOT simply transfer your resume to the summary portion. Instead, talk about who you are—use your S.E.E.S. (see above) to describe your hard skills, your soft skills, your expertise and what you’ve done. The style you display in this area is very important—many people have the experience required for the position, but your style and value proposition will differentiate you from all the others.
Ted strongly suggests you collect four to eight recommendations. Two from your peers, two from subordinates (if you managed people) and two from clients or customers. Pepper your profile with keywords that you pick up from job descriptions of the positions you seek.
Groups and Associations
- Reasons to join groups: Target Market, Personal Interests, Professional Associations
- They will Help you Raise your Brand and your Image.
- Build your own Groups
You should find and join between 30 – 50 groups, based on the three specifications listed above. Don’t just lurk—join conversations and start new ones. Connections are good, but relationships are gold. Relationships are how you will get your next job, and groups/associations are the best way to develop relationships on LinkedIn.
Target Companies – and the Hidden Job Market
- Up to 80% of positions are not posted—but many times you can find them on LinkedIn
- Create a target company list of 30-50
- Follow your target companies on LinkedIn
So how do you find your target companies? One great place to start is the Phoenix Business Journal Book of Lists. You can find this publication at your library, along with other online resources, such as Reference USA. These sources are both free. Once you’ve determined your target companies, create leverage by using LinkedIn to locate individuals in your connections that work for that company and build a relationship.
Preparing for Upcoming Interviews/Business Meetings
- Research your interviewers—it will help you connect with them when you meet
- Research the company—know the competitors, products, services, culture, core values
LinkedIn makes it easy to research companies and gives you valuable intelligence about the company.
In closing, Ted commented that all the LinkedIn techniques he’s covered won’t work every time. You need to differentiate yourself—really think about your values and what unique skills you will bring to your next company. He encouraged us to contact him if we’d like specific advice about our LinkedIn profile.
Scott Janowski, Manager Talent Acquisition at LifeLock commented that his company had just completed 37 consecutive quarters of growth. LifeLock works to protect their members’ identities by detecting misuse of an identity, alerting the member, and restoring the stolen identity. Check their website for the great “perks” they offer. Apply for jobs at www.LifeLock.jobs
Recruiting Director/Owner, Roy Palomo, of Hotfoot Recruiters explained the Tempe company places individuals in the full gamut of positions—temporary, temp-to-hire, and permanent placements. Their employer clients are valley-wide and positions run from entry level to senior and c-level positions. Opportunities are updated daily, so apply online at their website. Or give them a call and they will be happy to talk to you about how your skills may fit a current open position.
Wednesday, June 4, 9:00 am, Phoenix: The 180 Shift, Michael Bernoff. Hiring companies: Maricopa County, Revena, Insight