As a Care Manager, I counsel job seekers by assisting with resume creation or improvement, social media instruction, like using LinkedIn and challenging them to see themselves through a potential employer's eyes. Because an employment crisis may happen to anyone, here are some of the top tips that I share with job seekers:
What do you want to be when you grow up?
I know from personal experience that many people have no idea, so I share my story with them: When my husband, Dennis, suggested that I needed to get a job, I was taken aback. This was a time of transition from being a homeschooling mom to contributing in a new way. The problem was that my season of parenting/teaching had been very fulfilling in contrast to the jobs I could already list on my resume.
So, I decided to take some time to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. I found a book at the library called Do What You Are and after taking the personality test that it recommended, I came up with three options. Although the first two, counseling and teaching, didn't surprise me, I realized that four years in college wouldn't really help the financial situation. However, the third recommendation of graphic design surprised and intrigued me, mainly because I had never considered myself artistic. Since I could earn an Associates of Science Degree in just two years, I decided to pursue it.
I was delighted to find that armed with a computer and Adobe Creative Suite software, I could be successfully and enjoyably employed as a graphic artist! Eventually, I opened my own business and enjoyed that career for over ten years.
Why is this relevant?
Long-term goals are essential to having a career mindset. This is very important when it comes to being hired. If you're in school, you may need a job as a server or cashier in the meantime. It is much more promising to hire a professional than a job seeker since a professional wants to know their talents and training will make a difference and a job seeker needs to know where the next paycheck is coming from.
You've Got 8 Seconds to Get my Attention.....GO!
In Take Back Your Career, Jan Marino, recommended adding puppy photos to your resume to get her attention. Normally, that would be considered a huge no-no for a professional! If I were applying for a position with her, however, I would do it!
One of my favorite resume counselors, Beverly Hill, has a wonderful book called "40 Minute Power Resume" which I typically use in my counseling. I put my client's resume next to one of Beverly's resume samples and ask, "Who would you call?" Most clients quickly admit that they would call the other candidate. I recommend Beverly's book which includes "The Peanut Butter Principal" which is a great tool for quantifying your success.
It's not what you know, but who you know.
Ken Sundheim, KAS Placement Staffing, shared with Business Insider, that this normally discouraging phrase can be turned on its head: "Networking: It's Not About Who You Know, It's About Who Knows You."
Create a LinkedIn profile and network. Since I've begun freelance recruiting, it amazes me that it is nearly impossible to see someone's resume, get a phone number, or even an email address! Frankly, LinkedIn is meant to connect (link) people; it's career-based, and it's essential in today's job market.
LinkedIn calls itself the"world’s largest talent pool," so if you don't want to get wet (hired), why have a profile at all? I have connected with over 3K professionals without utilizing the LION (LinkedIn Online Networker) designation which indicates that almost all invitations are invited and accepted. I connect with mainly second connections which means that I need to have at least one first connection in common. Most of my connections originated from joining groups (50 groups is the limit). Search for professional groups that will lead to your desired job opportunities.
Besides connecting with individuals, LinkedIn also allows you to follow companies. This allows you to learn about the companies that you are interested in and their immediate hiring needs. It’s important to use the specific job title that you desire and (Available) in your headline. This will inform recruiters that you are motivated and intentional. This is an essential aspect of professionalism. My friend, Howie Appel, taught me everything I know about LinkedIn, so if you're interested in hiring a professional to help with your resume and profile, visit his website. Many of us have benefitted from his expertise!
RoboRecruiter has to find you first!
I'm not sure what they call the software that is used to pre-screen resumes and profiles. Unfortunately, you need to understand basic search engine optimization and utilize keywords in everything you do. When I search LinkedIn for a candidate, I am given the option of finding "Individuals with Job Title," or to just seek profiles that have the skills, software, expertise, etc. that are required/desired. If you don't come up in the search, then you won't be called: it's that simple.
If you get through Robocop, then you'll need to be sure that you used Grammatik or some type of tool to verify your spelling/grammar, and you'll need to provide a legible and attractive layout to compete. Be sure to compare your resume to a similar one in the book mentioned above since that professional is your competition!
If you apply these recommendations, then you should get some calls: Be ready, willing, and able! The expert that I turn to for her expertise is Lisa Maile (pictured). She created a video series in cooperation with The Orlando Sentinel. I recommend that you follow her suggestions to the letter! She knows what she is talking about! Through Lisa Maile Seminars & Coaching, Lisa coaches individuals to look and project their professional best to make their strongest 1st impression in interviews, and she presents image & communication skills to companies... she has a heart for job seekers! According to Lisa, every interview question is actually "Why Should I Hire You?"
We only have one chance to make a first impression!
Avoid making a JobCase. It would be a real shame to be disqualified for your next job after all this work because you had a bad day and decided to divulge all on social media. No matter how qualified we are or how shocked and appalled we are that we have lost a job, we still need to be discreet and professional online and in person. However, JobCase is another tool in your arsenal. I recommend first updating your LinkedIn profile. When you go to JobCase, you'll be able to join/login by using a LinkedIn button and your profile will be imported. Then, you can create your resume automatically using that profile. Three in one! It doesn't get much better than that! Here's a link to my profile as an example.
I have a lot more information to share in future posts about careers, but I think that's enough information for one day. If you're hungry for more, please check out my Pinterest Career Help board for tons of links to resume and social media tools. If you are seeking employment, please feel free to send me a connection request with a message letting me know. I look forward to helping you make your next profitable and fulfilling move!