Category: Trends in job search

5 Tips for Preventing Age Bias in Your Executive Resume & LinkedIn Profile

Avoid Age Bias in Your Job SearchBack in the job market for an executive role? You may have encountered (or wondered about) potential age discrimination when putting yourself “out there” for an executive job search.

If you find yourself experiencing rejection in your job applications, the possibility of age discrimination may seem all too real.

Yet, it’s possible that you’re actually CALLING attention to your age – more so that your leadership qualifications.

Bottom-line, focusing on your executive brand will make the biggest difference to employers. This is particularly true if your work history includes the leadership skills valued in today’s market, such as cost control, team leadership, fiscal stewardship, contract negotiations, and technology expertise.

Consider these 5 ways to get a better reception from employers – and create an “age-proof” executive resume and LinkedIn Profile – if you believe age is working against you: Continue reading “5 Tips for Preventing Age Bias in Your Executive Resume & LinkedIn Profile”

What’s the Secret to Getting Hired From LinkedIn? (Part 3: Analyzing Your Competition)

LinkedIn CompetitionWondering if LinkedIn will REALLY help you land your next job? This strategy is another part of my series in answering these common LinkedIn job search questions:  

“Why are others getting hired off LinkedIn, but not me? What am I doing wrong?”

Part 1 (Build More Connections) and Part 2 (Set Your Strategy for Groups) may already be actions you’ve missed.

Here’s the next step in maximizing LinkedIn for your job search:

3 – You DO need to use LinkedIn to check out your competition.

Let’s say you applied to 12 jobs last month on LinkedIn, but you didn’t hear anything back. Now what?

First of all, figure out who your competition was for these jobs. That’s right – I’m suggesting you look for candidates the same way recruiters would look for YOU.

Use the “search for people, jobs, companies, more…” function at the top of your LinkedIn page, but click on Advanced next to it for a more robust search.

Enter Keywords, Job Titles, and other criteria; change these until you get the most likely candidates for your target jobs (people with job titles and locations similar to yours). Now, you’re looking at your competition!

Do you see any consistent pattern in their skills or career backgrounds that differ from yours? If so, you may need to either adjust your career goal, or set out to learn new competencies.

After all, if you can find these job hunters, so can recruiters.

If you don’t take these steps, you’ll continue to apply to jobs on LinkedIn, and continue to be passed over in favor of these candidates.

Up next: What’s the Secret to Getting Hired From LinkedIn? (Part 4: Improving Your Findability)

Need a competitive edge in your job search?

As an award-winning executive resume writer, I create branded, powerful resumes and LinkedIn Profiles that position you as the #1 candidate – PLUS arm you with the job search tools that will get you hired faster.

My clients win interviews at Fortune 500 firms including Citibank, Google, Disney, and Pfizer, plus niche companies, start-ups, and emerging industry leaders.

Get in touch with me to experience the outstanding results my expertise can bring to your transition.

– Laura Smith-Proulx, CCMC, CPRW, CPBA, TCCS, COPNS, CIC 

What’s the Secret to Getting Hired From LinkedIn? (Part 2: Setting Your Strategy for Groups)

This strategy is part of a series I’ve developed in response to these classic LinkedIn job search questions: 

“Why are others getting hired off LinkedIn, but not me? What am I doing wrong?”

In Part 1: Your Connections, I explained why you MUST build more Connections–even if this seems a simplistic strategy–because doing so will boost your findability and reputation.

Here’s more of what’s needed to make LinkedIn to work harder for your job search:

2 – You DO need to get involved in Groups.

Rather than just joining Groups that represent your personal interests, religion, or current job, consider the Groups that represent your goals.

Where are you headed in your career? What job do you expect to have 10-15 years into the future?

Now join those Groups—the ones that contain like-minded people who’ve already arrived at your career goalpost, or who are likely to be the people you need to use as role models for your ultimate objective.

Get to know them; send a LinkedIn invitation to them and explain why you’re interested in connecting, and how you read their blog, admire their company, or share an alma mater. Find something in common and touch base from time to time.

Participate in these new Groups, instead of being the quiet lurker no one knows. Post an occasional article that reflects your professional views, and ask others for their input. Write an article and after you’ve successfully published it in your field, circulate it in your Groups.

Continue to join additional Groups, study their member behaviors, participate in the dialogue, and circulate information.

THIS is the strong path that leads to becoming a thought leader in your industry! Will it get you noticed? Absolutely – you’ll see a rise in your traffic and Connection volume.

Will it get you hired? You’ll never know unless you try it.

Up next: What’s the Secret to Getting Hired From LinkedIn? (Part 3: Analyzing Your Competition)

Need a competitive edge in your job search?

As an award-winning executive resume writer, I create branded, powerful resumes and LinkedIn Profiles that position you as the #1 candidate – PLUS arm you with the job search tools that will get you hired faster.

My clients win interviews at Fortune 500 firms including Citibank, Google, Disney, and Pfizer, plus niche companies, start-ups, and emerging industry leaders.

Get in touch with me to experience the outstanding results my expertise can bring to your transition.

– Laura Smith-Proulx, CCMC, CPRW, CPBA, TCCS, COPNS, CIC 

Does Your Resume Reflect Today’s Personal Branding Trends?

An Expert ResumeIf you’ve spent hours studying current resume trends to see examples of outstanding personal branding, look no further.

The 2013 global Toast of the Resume Industry (TORI) award nominees and winners have been announced!

Considered the pinnacle of personally branded resume examples, the TORIs represent the highest honor achievable in executive resume writing.

(My executive resume writing partner, Kim, and I swept the contest this yearmaking An Expert Resume the #1 award-winning resume writing firm in the world. But don’t take our word for it – view our award-winning resumes from the 2013 competition).

Whether you’re trying to get ideas for a sales resume, IT resume, medical executive resume, or international CV, you’ll see a wide array of strategies, designs, and branding formulas that reflect the latest in resume writing trends.

Why look at TORI-winning resumes? They’re judged against stringent criteria for presentation, content, style, graphics, font choice, and strategy by hiring and careers experts worldwide (people who know what a cutting-edge resume should look like!). The competition, run by Career Directors International, draws entries from writers in Asia, Canada, the U.S., Australia, and Europe.

Of course, you can use these award-winning documents (and our other executive resume samples) for inspiration when writing your own leadership resume.

YOUR “award” may come in the form of a new job!

Need a competitive edge in your job search?

As an award-winning executive resume writer, I create branded, powerful resumes and LinkedIn Profiles that position you as the #1 candidate – PLUS arm you with the job search tools that will get you hired faster.

My clients win interviews at Fortune 500 firms including Citibank, Google, Disney, and Pfizer, plus niche companies, start-ups, and emerging industry leaders.

Get in touch with me to experience the outstanding results my expertise can bring to your transition.

– Laura Smith-Proulx, CCMC, CPRW, CPBA, TCCS, COPNS, CIC 

Why Your Job Application Didn’t Get a Response (And What You Can Do About It)

Eagerly sending your resume to the perfect job posting or trying to contact executive recruiters – but not getting a response?

If you thought your executive resume was strong, and your LinkedIn Profile was ready for prime time, it might seem that your application traveled into a black hole! 

Many executives report similar experiences, with reactions ranging from despair to frustration with employers. Can’t they at least acknowledge your message?

Why don’t recruiters take the time to call you back? What can you do to avoid wondering where you stand?

Before reading too much into the lack of responses, take a look at these common reasons for employer and recruiter silence – along with ways to circumvent the black hole: Continue reading “Why Your Job Application Didn’t Get a Response (And What You Can Do About It)”

Trying to Make Your LinkedIn Profile Private? It Won’t Happen

Trying to keep your LinkedIn Profile information hidden from the prying eyes of your boss or colleagues?

To paraphrase an old advertising slogan:  Sorry, Charlie. There’s no way to add information on LinkedIn and prevent it from being seen.

The confusion arises when LinkedIn users see the option for a Public Profile and believe its purpose is to lock down information. (It’s actually a way to prevent access to your Profile from outside of LinkedIn or by users with no LinkedIn account.)

Even the information from LinkedIn’s Help Center makes it clear that you can’t prevent access to your Profile… yet the myth of “privacy” continues to exist. Just Google “How to make LinkedIn Profile private” and you’ll see the same misinformation, over and over.

Here’s 5 reasons why your LinkedIn data is (almost) always 100% public:

1) The Public Profile doesn’t do what you think it does.

LinkedIn offers you the option of a privacy option for your Public Profile. Again, this is for the URL TO YOUR PROFILE, not the Profile itself! Continue reading “Trying to Make Your LinkedIn Profile Private? It Won’t Happen”

The #1 Misconception About LinkedIn SEO

Customizing LinkedIn URL SEO

Trying to become more prominent or “findable” in employer LinkedIn searches?

Forget about customizing your LinkedIn Profile URL.

A common misconception among LinkedIn users (and even experts), changing your LinkedIn Profile URL doesn’t affect your findability inside the site.

Repeat – it has NO effect on being found by a recruiter or user trolling LinkedIn for candidates with your skills. Why?

Simple: it’s a web address, accessible only from OUTSIDE of LinkedIn. Therefore, it will help your search engine SEO, but not your LinkedIn SEO.

On the other hand, keyword strategy for your LinkedIn Headline, Job Titles, and other important sections can make a huge difference in being found inside the site by employers.

Here’s some examples that illustrate this point:  Continue reading “The #1 Misconception About LinkedIn SEO”

Should You Hire an Executive Resume Writer?

portrait of business executiveReadying your resume for an executive job search?

You’re up against intensive competition from leaders with a wealth of experience.

But will you need a professionally written executive resume to compete at this level? Does every executive outsource this part of the job search?

It depends. While it’s true that every impression counts in today’s job market – and that many executives turn to a professional resume writer, there are cases where you’ll be able to rely on a self-written document.

Weigh these 5 considerations when deciding to use the services of an executive resume writer or go it alone:

1 – Is resume writing your strong suit?

If you’re a naturally expressive writer, you might be able to compose the detailed, achievement-rich story of your background needed to capture interest at an executive level.

However, if you dread writing in detail about most subjects – and you haven’t kept up on the latest trends in executive resume writing, then it’s time to consider bringing in an expert.

This is especially true in cases where your background is complex, and you anticipate devoting hours to weeks on the task.

Rather than spending considerable time on your leadership resume, it can make more sense to concentrate on efforts that only you can undertake – strengthening networking relationships, starting conversations with executive recruiters, and polishing your LinkedIn / social media presence.

2 – Do your executive competitors rely on resume experts?

Look around at your executive competition to see if their LinkedIn Profiles appear polished and personally branded – AND if they’re successfully landing new jobs. You might see some trends.

Executives in sales and marketing roles, for example, regularly tap into resume writing services to help them edge out the competition. (Many resume writers will tell you their main business is centered on serving sales leaders).

In fields involving more jargon and technical skills, though, you may find executive resume writing services to be the exception. As an example, some medical professionals are able to target a leadership role if their degrees, places of residency, or areas of practice speak for themselves. In the case of this Chief Revenue Officer, an expertly crafted resume was instrumental in organizing large amounts of data.

Many CEO, CFO, COO, CIO, CTO, CNO, and CLO candidates seek executive resume writing services because they’re accustomed to outsourcing tasks of high complexity. At this level, your executive resume will be routinely compared against these well-crafted portfolios. Don’t come up short!

3 – Are your skills extremely rare – and in hot demand?

If your phone is already ringing off the hook with calls from executive recruiters, or you’re receiving at least several LinkedIn messages per week from employers eager to bring you in for an interview, you may not need to turn to an executive resume writer (as long as you’ve compiled your career history into a presentable document).

The same will be true if your field has few experts – and your resume or LinkedIn presence will therefore generate interest quickly.

On the other hand, if you find sending out your executive resume only results in the sounds of silence (even after multiple rounds of tweaking it to fit the job description or to add accomplishments), then it’s time to look closely at an executive resume writing service as part of your strategy.

4 – Have you been able to write (not just talk) about yourself effectively?

Many people can tell a colorful story of their achievements and career high points – but only if asked probing questions, and only in talking through their stories. (This is why I interview executive clients and take copious notes.)

If you possess this type of “blind spot,” then struggling to write your own executive resume can be a daunting task. In this case, you’ll find collaborating with a top-notch resume expert to be invaluable, as they’ll spend the time to draw out both your career stories and the relevance of each one to your ultimate goal.

However, there are executives who’ve stayed in close touch with their inner marketer, continually documenting success stories that effectively describe their career paths. If this applies to you, then writing your own executive resume isn’t that much of a stretch.

5 – Are you up to speed on trends in executive resume writing?

Many people are surprised at the new look of leadership resumes, particularly when they review executive resume samples to get an idea of what others are using in job search.

If you’ve stayed relatively current on resume trends, or had a resume professionally written within the past 2-3 years, you may be able to put together a striking presentation that will capture attention.

Conversely, if you’re unaware that an executive resume can take up more than a page, or if you’ve never experimented with fonts beyond Arial or Times New Roman, then your job search can suffer significantly from a bland resume – and you’ll need expert help.

In summary, executive resume writing services can be effective, but they’re not for everyone.

Consider your situation and needs in context against the job you’re seeking, and make your decision accordingly.

Executive Resume Writer

Need a competitive edge in your job search? As an award-winning executive resume writer, I create branded, powerful resumes and LinkedIn Profiles that position you as the #1 candidate.

My clients win interviews and top C-suite, EVP, VP, and Director positions at Fortune 500 firms, niche companies, start-ups, and emerging industry leaders, enjoying the competitive advantage of powerhouse documents and executive job search techniques tailored to today’s job market.

Get in touch with me to experience the outstanding results I can bring to your transition.

– Laura Smith-Proulx, CCMC, CPRW, CPBA, TCCS, COPNS, CIC, CTTCC

Watch Out for These LinkedIn Myths

scaredmanUpdating your LinkedIn Profile, but worried that you’ll somehow slip and expose your job search, or otherwise “out” yourself to your boss?

Before you log in, panic-stricken, to change the controls on your Profile, read this first!

LinkedIn settings—and the visibility associated with them—not only change often, but are regularly misunderstood, as shown by these 3 common myths:

1 – The Contact Settings Giveaway.

Some months back, before LinkedIn’s massive 2012 changes, it was possible for other users to see what types of contacts you were willing to receive.

These options, called Opportunity Preferences, are still available from the Contact Settings (select Settings and go to “Email Preferences,” then “Select the types of messages you’re willing to receive”).

Here, you’ll see Opportunities (“Career opportunities,” “Expertise requests,” “Consulting offers,” and so on).

While it used to be advised to carefully select options other than “Career opportunities,” this no longer applies. LinkedIn now hides your Opportunity Preferences on your Profile, and they are only used to filter you in group searches. Continue reading “Watch Out for These LinkedIn Myths”