Posts Tagged jobsearch

TalentTalks Talent Optimization Blog – Talent Topic Compilation 2014 Edition

TalentTalks Talent Optimization Blog – Talent Topic Compilation 2014 Edition

2014 phone screen

From RecruitingDaily.com – Articles Written By Kelly Blokdijk

How to Become the HR / Recruiting Holiday Hero

http://recruitingdaily.com/wonderful-post-year/

Simple Secrets to Make Your Hiring Process Suck Less

http://recruitingdaily.com/simple-secrets-make-hiring-process-suck-less/

HR and Recruiting Professionals: Time to Pull Your Head Out

http://recruitingdaily.com/pull-your-hr-head-out/

#SHRM14 Report – Evolution of Work and the Worker

http://recruitingdaily.com/shrm14-report-evolution-people-management-worker/

Hiring Habits: Holacracy at Zappos

http://recruitingdaily.com/hiring-habits-holocracy/

Picture This: Top Career Motivators for the Best of Us and the Rest of Us

http://recruitingdaily.com/picture-top-career-motivators-best-us-rest-us/

 

From RecruitingBlogs.com – Articles Written By Kelly Blokdijk

The Ticket Scalper Version of Direct Talent Sourcing

http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/the-ticket-scalper-version-of-direct-talent-sourcing

Conundrum of Candidates’ Conjecture

http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/conundrum-of-candidates-conjecture

Recruiter Poll Regarding Active Applicant Interactions

http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/recruiter-poll-regarding-active-applicant-interactions

Are You Bored With RBC?

http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/are-you-bored-with-rbc

Ditch the Double Standard

http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/ditch-the-double-standard

What Does it Mean to Be Employable?

http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/what-does-it-mean-to-be-employable

Does Anything Good Ever Come From Skipping Phone Screens?

http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/does-anything-good-ever-come-from-skipping-phone-screens

Who Should We Blame for Poverty, Debt, Obesity and Robots?

http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/who-should-we-blame-for-poverty-debt-obesity-robots

Recruiting: Just a Series of Conversations

http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/recruiting-just-a-series-of-conversations

Talent Shortage or Trust Shortage

http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/talent-shortage-or-trust-shortage

Job Postings Are Not the Enemy

http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/job-postings-are-not-the-enemy

Grunts & Groans Sound Gross

http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/grunts-groans-sound-gross

Step Inside The Outhouse That Is LinkedIn

http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/step-inside-the-outhouse-that-is-linkedin

Call for Mr. Hole, First Name: Jack

http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/call-for-mr-hole-first-name-jack

Wall of Shame

http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/add-this-guy-to-the-recruiter-wall-of-shame

Recruiting Stuff That Made Me Shake My Head This Week

http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/recruiting-stuff-that-made-me-smh-this-week

 

From Human Capital Institute (HCI) – Succession Planning Webinar & Podcast Featuring Kelly Blokdijk

Podcast – Succession Planning

http://www.hci.org/lib/hcipodcast-succession-planning-and-you-where-start

Webinar – Succession Planning

http://www.hci.org/lib/how-do-you-get-there-here-roadmap-succession-planning

 

From Bulls Eye Recruiting – Articles Written By Kelly Blokdijk

Proactive Career Management

http://bullseyerecruiting.net/proactive-career-management/

Mind Your Own Business and Career

http://bullseyerecruiting.net/mind-your-own-business-and-career/

What Makes a Tough Job Search Even Tougher?

http://bullseyerecruiting.net/what-makes-a-tough-job-search-even-tougher/

A Yellow Guitar to Rock Out Your Talent Strategy

http://bullseyerecruiting.net/a-yellow-guitar-to-rock-out-your-talent-strategy/

 

From Medium – Articles Written By Kelly Blokdijk

Appetite for Disruption

https://medium.com/@talenttalks/appetite-for-disruption-86808d2c580b

From the Depths of Obscurity

https://medium.com/@talenttalks/from-the-depths-of-obscurity-12218514204c

The Messy Me

https://medium.com/@talenttalks/the-messy-me-e0eb750673c0

 

From LinkedIn – Articles Written By Kelly Blokdijk on LinkedIn

Employers Dirty Habit of Treating Job Applicants Like Dirt

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140924235254-4569967-employers-dirty-habit-of-treating-job-applicants-like-dirt?trk=mp-reader-card

Why We Need a More Diverse View of Diversity

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140911040327-4569967-why-we-need-a-more-diverse-view-of-diversity?trk=mp-reader-card

Could 3 Boring Tips Make Your Job Search Better?

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140828011309-4569967-could-3-boring-tips-make-your-job-search-better?trk=mp-reader-card

Give Your Network a Hand When You Need Job Search Help

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140806010150-4569967-give-your-network-a-hand-when-you-need-job-search-help?trk=mp-reader-card

Buzzwords Myths and Absurdities in the Job Market

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140721231422-4569967-buzzwords-myths-and-absurdities-in-the-job-market?trk=mp-reader-card

Resume Reality for REAL

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140531030645-4569967-resume-reality-for-real?trk=mp-reader-card

Are Job Hoppers Flakes and Failures?

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140521043046-4569967-are-job-hoppers-flakes-failures?trk=mp-reader-card

Is Who Gets Hired the Best Person for the Job?

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140513044446-4569967-is-who-gets-hired-the-best-person-for-the-job?trk=mp-reader-card

The #1 Reason for Resume Rejection

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140510003311-4569967-the-1-reason-for-resume-rejection?trk=mp-reader-card

Double Trouble Hiring Standards

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140425031917-4569967-double-trouble-hiring-standards?trk=mp-reader-card

Why Who’s Viewed Your Profile Doesn’t Matter

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140423001750-4569967-10-reasons-why-who-s-viewed-your-profile-doesn-t-matter?trk=mp-reader-card

Imaginary Talent Shortage Caused by Real Trust Shortage

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140417232731-4569967-imaginary-talent-shortage-caused-by-real-trust-shortage?trk=mp-reader-card

Ideas, Information and Influence

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140407233830-4569967-ideas-information-and-influence?trk=mp-reader-card

 

From TalentTalks Talent Optimization Blog – Article Written By Kelly Blokdijk

Does Every Day Seem Like April Fool’s Day on LinkedIn?

https://talenttalks.wordpress.com/2014/04/01/13-ways-to-instantly-impress-linkedin-connections/

 

If you like these articles, you may also like some earlier work written by Kelly Blokdijk

TalentTalks Talent Optimization Blog – Talent Topic Compilation 2013 Edition

https://talenttalks.wordpress.com/2014/01/01/talent-topic-compilation-2013-edition/

TalentTalks Talent Optimization Blog – Talent Topic Compilation 2012 Edition

https://talenttalks.wordpress.com/2013/01/03/talent-topic-compilation-2012-edition/

TalentTalks Talent Optimization Blog – Talent Topic Compilation 2011 Edition

https://talenttalks.wordpress.com/2011/12/31/talent-topic-compilation-2011-edition/

 

Subscribe to TalentTalks Talent Optimization Blog here: https://talenttalks.wordpress.com/

Connect with Kelly Blokdijk on LinkedIn here: http://www.linkedin.com/in/kellyblokdijkattalenttalks

Tweet with Kelly Blokdijk @TalentTalks on Twitter here: http://www.twitter/talenttalks

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Get Googly with Kelly Blokdijk on G+ GooglePlus here: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+KellyBlokdijkSPHR/

 

Note: some articles listed above may have appeared on more than one site and/or been modified from previously posted articles by Kelly Blokdijk

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Talent Topic Compilation 2012 Edition

Perhaps like me you struggle to keep up with the mass quantities of information that flows your way each day. Here, I’ve compiled many of the job search, career management, employment market, recruiting and networking articles I’ve posted throughout the year.

The header before the link gives a general idea of the content and the blurb below the link shows an excerpt from the article itself. Please do share feedback by commenting directly on the source site or via private message back to me.

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Career strength takes continuous conditioning

https://talenttalks.wordpress.com/2012/01/24/armed-with-career-strengthening-strategies/

 Professionals must stay vigilant in conditioning themselves for the future. Just like our muscles get soft from lack of use, our knowledge, skills and abilities can quickly become obsolete if we don’t take action to step up our learning regimen.

 

The difference between bad and badass brands

https://talenttalks.wordpress.com/2012/02/03/how-to-build-a-bad-brand/

True experts, geniuses or brilliant innovators don’t go around telling everyone that’s what they are, because they don’t need to. It just shows.

 

Is your message making people tune in or get turned off?

https://talenttalks.wordpress.com/2012/02/20/does-your-song-make-people-turn-up-the-volume-or-change-the-station-2/

People constantly ask me how they can be found, how they can stand out and how they can drive action in the midst of immense competition. There are plenty of techniques that can improve the chances of those things happening, but none of that matters if when found you stand out for the wrong reasons making people think you need to change your tune.

 

With friends like this, who needs enemies?

http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/awkward-placement-approach

As you will notice, this was a generic message sent to my email but not addressed to me by name – probably because I was only one of the thousand or so recipients.

 

Special K for your career

http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/karing-enough-about-your-kareer-prospects-should-konvince-you-to

Wow, here’s another doozy … hopefully an extremely isolated incident, but apparently some poor schmuck actually lost out on a job opportunity because another candidate had a higher Klout score.  

 

Face-to-face with jobs on Facebook

http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/what-about-all-of-the-job-finding-on-facebook

We’ve all seen the various social media articles, career blogs and Generation Y experts that repeatedly promote Facebook as a source of hire, venue for job searching and place to interface with employers. 

 

Everyone’s blogging and you should too

http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/everyone-on-the-planet-should-have-a-blog

Ironically, I don’t recall ever encountering anyone that said, “What the world needs is more blogs.” Frankly, based on the underwhelming quality of many blogs, the opposite is more likely to be expressed.

 

Why you shouldn’t spam a prospective employer

http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/special-delivery-who-ordered-the-spam

Now just sit back and wait for the job offers to flood in…

 

Career lessons from the Brady Bunch

https://talenttalks.wordpress.com/2012/06/26/job-searching-with-jan-brady-syndrome/

Embrace and enjoy what makes YOU, you! 

 

Oh no, not another boring resume!

https://talenttalks.wordpress.com/2012/07/06/5-5-million-boring-resumes-is-yours-one-of-them/

Aside from the obvious deal-breakers such as dreadful grammar, typos, spelling mistakes, improper word usage, incorrect verb tense, random capitalization and inconsistent fonts and formatting, there are plenty of other ways that people fail to make a positive first impression.

 

How to make it easier for your network to help with your job search

https://talenttalks.wordpress.com/2012/08/01/does-your-resume-overwhelm-your-networking-connections-with-tmi/

Much of the content typically included on a traditional resume used to apply for jobs, could potentially distract a professional or personal networking contact from truly understanding the core job search elements that a job seeker needs to share.

 

Crazy and lazy recruiters

http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/turds-on-my-freshly-washed-windshield-and-similar-annoyances

One of my contacts shared this vent with me. Thought it pretty much sums up some of the lazy, sloppy, clueless types that somehow found their way into the recruiting realm.

 

Thoughts about thought-leaders

https://talenttalks.wordpress.com/2012/12/21/purposely-pretentious-professionals/

As I’ve written many times before, I find it alarming that an abundance of outdated, ineffective and inaccurate information is being peddled to those in major need of real help with their employment or unemployment situations.

 

Article by Kelly Blokdijk ~ As a Talent Optimization Coach & Consultant with TalentTalks, Kelly thrives on “Creating a Voice for Talent” by partnering with business professionals and job seekers to build competitive career marketing strategies, customized communication materials and compelling personal branding campaigns to create a lasting positive impression. TalentTalks consults with the business community on innovative, leading-edge human resource and organization development initiatives to enhance talent management, talent acquisition, corporate communications and employee engagement programs. TalentTalks routinely posts employment market and job search related content on Facebook and Twitter – fans and followers welcome!

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Forget fancy, focus on the fundamentals in your job search

If you’ve ever conducted a job search, no doubt you’ve encountered plenty of information that looked or sounded super slick. There’s a ton of advice on the topic and each day more and more experts pop up to share their version of the latest and greatest way to find a job. It all sounds fantastic, fun and fancy until you realize much of it is just a bunch of fluff.

When interacting with job seekers, I almost always spot the ones who have a tendency to go to extremes. On one side, you have the people who meander their way around, never really giving their job search their full attention or taking it as seriously as they say they do. At the other end of the spectrum are the people who latch on to every single piece of advice as if doing so will magically produce multiple dream job offers. Unfortunately, neither type of job seeker really makes the right kind of progress.

Even if you are an exceptional performer in your field, that doesn’t mean you are an expert in preparing an effective campaign related to pursuing a new opportunity. Sometimes, it makes sense to outsource things beyond your ability to someone with more specialized knowledge. It’s far less painful to seek legitimate help than to embarrass yourself through trial and error or getting caught up in habits that hurt your image.

The people who do “get it” usually skip the shiny shenanigans and buckle down for the old-fashioned basics. Here are few job search concepts that I try to help people keep in mind regardless of their career level.

Tip 1: Take the process seriously and allocate proper time, effort, energy and financial resource investments accordingly

There are no short-cuts, nor should you short-change yourself by expecting something for nothing. Getting the basics right from the start will make the job search process much more tolerable and productive. For example, despite countless catchy articles proclaiming the “death of the resume” they are still the most widely accepted and expected tool to convey information to prospective employers. Having a relevant, concisely written, error-free, achievement-focused resume is crucial to communicate one’s professional credibility and credentials.

Tip 2: Research, assess and understand your target audience and adapt your strategy, approach and customized communications (online, on paper & in person) to create the best possible impression

The most obvious sign of a person who naively follows rudimentary job search advice is that their resume, LinkedIn profile, business bio or verbal introduction looks, reads and sounds like everyone else’s. Stale, cliché phrases and repetitive, redundant vocabulary is evident from the first syllable and generously deposited throughout their career marketing communications, making the recipient feel as if they’ve seen the same message over and over. That’s because they probably have already viewed plenty of professional positioning statements describing a results-oriented, team-player with a successful track-record of expertise as a seasoned professional with 17+ years experience as an experienced, expert superstar professional. Trust me, unless you are trying to convey blah, bland and boring, your content needs to compelling and pertinent to get and keep someone’s attention.

Tip 3: Scrutinize each and every available source of information, search technique and piece of advice to ensure it makes sense for your unique situation versus following generic practices that might cause more harm than good

When I have more in depth conversations with people, they often share with me what they’ve been doing, what ideas they’ve tried and what they think is or isn’t working. Right away, it is evident when someone has been steered down the wrong path for their specific needs. They often react to my guidance and clarification with “wow, I hadn’t thought of that” or “that is a great idea and it makes perfect sense” or “thanks for letting me know how that might work against me, I won’t let that happen again.”

If you or someone you know is struggling in your job search, think about whether making some changes might help. Many job search service providers offer no cost, no pressure, no obligation initial consultations to prospective clients and those researching various support options. Put those external resources to use and learn how to decode the right blend of intelligent job search methodology for your unique circumstances.

Article by Kelly Blokdijk ~ As a Talent Optimization Coach & Consultant with TalentTalks, Kelly thrives on “Creating a Voice for Talent” by partnering with business professionals and job seekers to build competitive career marketing strategies, customized communication materials and compelling personal branding campaigns to create a lasting positive impression. TalentTalks consults with the business community on innovative, leading-edge human resource and organization development initiatives to enhance talent management, talent acquisition, corporate communications and employee engagement programs. TalentTalks routinely posts employment market and job search related content on Facebook and Twitter – fans and followers welcome!

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Job seekers should NEVER pay for resume writing or job search coaching

When I’m out and about at various local networking events, it’s not uncommon to encounter a large population of unemployed people. In fact, conversations with unemployed people often provide me with ideas related to career management, job search and employment market issues that I write about and include in presentations.

Recently, while chatting with a person that I had previously met and spoken with a number of times at similar events, an interesting topic came up. They were describing a fee-based LinkedIn class they had heard about being offered by someone they knew. I asked what they thought about the class and what paying participants should expect to get from it. They immediately said, “I would never pay for that type of class.”

Next, they proclaimed, “In fact, I would never pay for any professional job search advice, including resume writing or job search coaching.” Finally, they stated, “When I first went to ____ job search organization, they told us not to pay for anything, because they were going to give us all of the information we needed for free.”

Those comments didn’t really faze me at first, as it certainly wasn’t the first time I’d heard that sentiment. Even though that person knows my professional background, I didn’t take offense or find it personally insulting. Though I thought it was a bit awkward and unfortunate that they were so adamant about it. Rather than try to dispute their remarks, I simply suggested that people should do what they think is best, especially if what they are doing is working and producing results.

However, upon further reflection, I felt sorry for that person and any others who hold similar beliefs. They were basing their job search approach on what someone else, likely completely unaware of their situation, told them to do or not do. The main concern I have with this is that we are dealing with some particularly challenging circumstances. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I don’t think this is a case for a one-size-fits-all set of rules delivered by virtual, uninformed strangers.

When people refuse to admit their shortcomings to consider trying something new, they likely will miss out on any potential for different outcomes. While I would never try to convince someone to pay for anything that they don’t find valuable or worthwhile, I think it is short-sighted to automatically dismiss the possible benefit of doing so.

Having written countless targeted resumes, bios and profiles and provided personalized job search coaching for plenty of individuals over the years, I have a hard time understanding why someone would take such a stand, without at least exploring those alternatives first. The majority of referrals I’ve received have been from colleagues, senior business leaders, HR executives and staffing industry professionals. The feedback I’ve received has been overwhelmingly positive and complimentary. Without going into specific details, most comments are along the lines of “WOW! I never would have been able to do that on my own.” Or, “I can’t thank you enough for all of your help. I am so impressed that you came up with exactly the words, tips, tools and advice I needed.”

Following that initial incident, I had a separate conversation with another individual and mentioned the above. They also found it a bit shocking and blamed it on the rampant malpractice taking place in the job search realm. What they were referring to is the free, yet tainted Kool-aid being dispensed by various newly appointed gurus of all things career-related. It is known issue, but sadly those needing clarity the most, are least likely to pay attention to the warning signs.

Ironically, the person who said job seekers should never pay for resume writing or job search coaching has been unemployed for 2+ years and doesn’t seem to be concerned with the typos and incoherent content on their LinkedIn profile. These are exactly the things that drive a person like me crazy.

The jobless Kool-aid drinkers are all starting to fall into the same general categories: middle-aged, long-term unemployed, active networkers bragging about the quantity of their LinkedIn connections and readily passing out job search advice to anyone and everyone else under the guise of being helpful. Since everyone is doing it, it must be working right? Wrong!

Likewise, I frequently see people who seem oblivious to their interpersonal and communication styles and habits that may be potential turnoffs. There seems to be a sense of entitlement for help based on the fact that many of these folks falsely believe they are helping others due to their insistence on robotically asking everyone they meet: “How can I help you?”

And, don’t get me started on personal hygiene, wardrobe and grooming malfunctions that aren’t doing them any favors. Some of these problems can be quickly and easily fixed and for minimal, if any, expense – like buying tweezers, a lint-brush or an iron. Wrinkly clothes, pet hair, nose hair, ear hair, exposed chest hair and Andy Rooney eyebrows are not in demand in this competitive market. Ask anyone!

Who knows what may have happened had some of them been willing to make a few calls to investigate what type of help is available before so much time had passed and the damage to their professional reputation has been done… Most, if not all, providers of career services assistance offer free initial consultations. There is no reason not to take advantage of those being generous with their time and who actually have the specialized knowledge to help those who need it most.

Perhaps, the fact that there are so many fraudulent and unprofessional sources of information out there is a deterrent to getting legitimate, professional guidance. I personally know of several reputable resources that I would be glad to recommend. Please get in touch if you are interested in learning more about them.

Article by Kelly Blokdijk ~ As a Talent Optimization Coach & Consultant with TalentTalks, Kelly thrives on “Creating a Voice for Talent” by partnering with business professionals and job seekers to build competitive career marketing strategies, customized communication materials and compelling personal branding campaigns to create a lasting positive impression. TalentTalks consults with the business community on innovative, leading-edge human resource and organization development initiatives to enhance talent management, talent acquisition, corporate communications and employee engagement programs. TalentTalks routinely posts employment market and job search related content on Facebook and Twitter – fans and followers welcome!

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10 most popular pesky LinkedIn pet peeves

Thousands of professionals from all walks of life have built extensive networks and found ways to expand their online reach through the professional networking site, LinkedIn. While almost everyone is aware of the need to create a positive first impression, here are a few of the most common issues observed where that may not be happening.

1. Outdated, incomplete or inconsistent profile content
LinkedIn’s member count is rapidly growing, though it is hard to tell if it includes those that forgot that they had a profile and ended up creating more than one. It looks careless and confusing to others if someone has more than one profile, especially if they’ve or also failed to manage a cohesive message. Plenty of people neglect their profiles and leave up old company information or status messages even if they’ve made a change. Others complicate their profiles by not matching their content to their purpose for using LinkedIn. One of the most obvious clues that a profile is incomplete or untended is the lack of a photo. Profiles with photos are far more likely to be viewed than those without a picture.

2. Generic links to websites, blogs or other content
LinkedIn provides a place for users to connect their business website, blog or professional portfolio. Many people either don’t take advantage of that feature or simply keep the default terminology in place. Whenever it is possible to customize, users should be specific about where the link will lead. For example, instead of leaving the “company website” default label, a person should state the actual company name, the title/theme of their blog or the context for their portfolio. It is important to keep links, documents and attachments updated and properly labeled regardless of the application being used.

3. Unimaginative and repetitive status updates
Many people follow a schedule for their status updates. Others don’t seem to pay any attention at all and leave up the same “happy holidays” message for two years at a time. Regarding those who post updates, one of the most annoying habits is being a broken record. These are the people who constantly post the same exact message each and every time they decide to update. For example they may list links to their website, webinars, blogs with the same headline each time. Not only is “same old, same old” underwhelming and boring to see, but people associate traits of the message with those of the messenger.

4. Ineffective group participation
LinkedIn allows users to join up to 50 groups as well as sub-groups of each. Within each group are discussions that people can join or they can start their own topic. One of the unfortunate outcomes is when people post to a topic without thoroughly reading the original post or subsequent replies. Participation in a discussion is usually best when the conversation remains on topic with each person adding a different or new perspective. Simply posting a “me too” comment doesn’t add any value and reflects poorly on the person posting. Another issue is when people post topics or questions without a clear or specific subject line. Examples would be “question” or “need help.” Of course abusers such as spammers and people posting off topic content should be flagged for the group manager to address.

5. Obsessing over SEO
For years search engine optimization has been a moving target in the Internet world. Countless people continually develop methods to place as high as possible on various search sites and outsmart the competition. There are many different techniques, formulas and strategies used to accomplish this; some very impressive and some downright foolish. Many LinkedIn users have been instructed to mimic these trends by imbedding strings of key terms or buzz words in their profiles. The problem with this type of overt and somewhat unsophisticated approach is that it creates a disjointed and choppy flow to the person’s information. Rather than writing a compelling description incorporating how those terms are relevant, some people simply place a chunk of text with any and all of these commonly searched words, regardless of how sloppy it looks. They are doing this to increase their number of profile views instead of focusing on creating a more impressive story that attracts not just looks, but leads and opportunities.

6. Locking down contact settings
For most people, a key benefit of using LinkedIn is management of professional networking contacts. Sadly, some people claim that they are using LinkedIn to expand their network, get found by prospective business connections and similar reasons, yet they keep restrictive settings on their profile making it difficult to impossible for anyone to reach them. Of course, everyone is concerned with privacy and protecting their confidential information, but that doesn’t mean it is necessary to prevent others from easily finding one or more ways to get in touch.

7. Appearing needy, desperate and stating the obvious
LinkedIn has rapidly enhanced functionality and features making it an extremely valuable research resource for recruiters and job seekers alike. It is common knowledge that recruiters search LinkedIn for talent. Likewise, job seekers are hoping to leverage the tool to locate their next opportunity. An interesting, though perhaps not advisable status update is when a person posts that they are seeking a new XYZ opportunity along with request for anyone who sees that message to help them with that pursuit. Being that LinkedIn provides a space to show one’s talent in the best light, a more impressive twist would be to show the type of value that person brings, appearing helpful instead helpless.

8. Posting TMI
Related to status updates and discussion posts, there are assorted ways that people post too much information. The fastest way to turn off your networking connections is to forget that LinkedIn, facebook and twitter are different venues with distinct audiences and purposes. Some people use platforms that connect all of their social media profiles so they can type one message to be distributed to each site. The problem with doing this is that it clutters up everyone else’s screen with each tweet or check-in. Most of those messages have nothing to do with professional networking. The other way people over share is by posting personal problems, questions, controversial opinions and complaints on discussion boards. One incredibly important thing to keep in mind is that what happens on the Internet, stays on the Internet.

9. Incoherent profile information
One of the easiest ways to build credibility is by demonstrating relevance to one’s target audience. The fastest route to lose credibility is to post information that hasn’t been proofread for typos, spelling and grammar issues. It sounds obvious, but many LinkedIn profiles are full of errors, contain redundant and repetitive statements and are just downright difficult to read.

10. Sending impersonal connection invitations
Making connections is a primary function on LinkedIn and there is even a quick and easy way to do so. However, far too many people appear lazy and clueless when they resort to blasting out generic connection invitations. While space is limited within LinkedIn’s invitation scheme, it is always a good idea to personalize any professional correspondence. It only takes a few moments to draft a brief note to accompany the invitation or reply to an invitation to connect.

What would you add to the list?

Article by Kelly Blokdijk ~ As a Talent Optimization Coach & Consultant with TalentTalks, Kelly thrives on “Creating a Voice for Talent” by partnering with business professionals and job seekers to build competitive career marketing strategies, customized communication materials and compelling personal branding campaigns to create a lasting positive impression. TalentTalks consults with the business community on innovative, leading-edge human resource and organization development initiatives to enhance talent management, talent acquisition, corporate communications and employee engagement programs. TalentTalks routinely posts employment market and job search related content on Facebook and Twitter – fans and followers welcome!

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Respect the urge and resist the cheesecake

Every now and then I see a bumper sticker that makes me giggle. One of the silly trends I remember from my youth was when people would remove a couple letters from their In-N-Out Burger bumper sticker so it read in-n-out urge. It was harmless humor, possibly referring to craving a chocolate shake in a palm tree decorated cup or perhaps an innuendo with a more risqué interpretation.

Either way, I’ve always admired the simplicity of In-N-Out Burger’s business model. Their reputation is built on cleanliness, quality and value. One of the reasons they’ve successfully grown and retained their favored position amidst a very competitive fast food industry is their streamlined menu and consistent focus on doing what they do best.

Instead of inventing and offering new items that confuse customers and complicate their service structure, they keep it easy to understand and quick to process. Obviously, it makes perfect sense for this concept to be reinforced in their jingle: “That’s what a hamburger is all about!”

Over the years as I’ve coached job seekers from various backgrounds, I’ve come across professionals who resemble the specialized In-N-Out way and others who follow a more diverse smorgasbord approach to describing what they do. When translating that idea to building a resume, I recommend and prefer being very targeted even if that means creating multiple versions.

Most people don’t like to hear that type of suggestion and many stubbornly resist that advice. They think it is best to keep their options open by covering the gamut of work experience, even the parts that have nothing in common with their future career goals. Imagine your auto mechanic doing dental work or a web designer being an airline pilot and a hairdresser. Even if someone happens to be simultaneously qualified for multiple professions, most of us can’t comprehend a logical way that those things might fit together in our workplaces.

Unfortunately, people who try to include everything they’ve ever done or every skill, duty and responsibility they’ve mastered tend to appear scattered. As the recipient of (probably thousands of) resumes, I can confirm that these are the first to be added to thanks, but no thanks pile. Of course being unfocused isn’t as embarrassing or detrimental as having a resumes full of typographical errors, grammatical issues, punctuation problems, improper word usage or freaky formatting, but it doesn’t exactly equal a stellar first impression.

When you see someone dining at The Cheesecake Factory for the first time, you notice how overwhelmed they get and how long it takes them to place an order because they have to review so many pages of information in the spiral bound menu book. Even though all of the entrees are beautifully pictured and described, they are also drastically different types of cuisine that aren’t usually blended in one place.

That is what a generic “I’ve got a little of everything and I can do it all” resume looks like. Each individual item might be delightful in the right context, but displaying the entire collection all at once is burdensome to the reader.

Contrast the distraction-filled half inch thick Cheesecake Factory novella to the jumbo menu board at In-N-Out where main choices are clearly illustrated and highlighted so you know exactly what’s available in one glance. It makes decision making much more efficient when everything fits in a sequential and orderly manner.

The trouble with too much information is that if I’m hungry for a tasty #2 cheeseburger with grilled onions, no tomato, fries and large diet coke, I don’t expect to see shrimp scampi, teriyaki pizza, jambalaya, eggplant pasta, pulled-pork ciabatta, barbequed chicken chopped salad, lemon chiffon cheesecake and cinnamon iced latte. That stuff all sounds delicious, but I bet plenty of people still select one of the burgers if that is what they are in the mood for…

While composing their customized messages, job seekers should consider their audience and just point out the critical pieces and ingredients related to their target position. That way their unmistakable theme song can say: That’s what (my specialized expertise) is all about!

Article by Kelly Blokdijk ~ As a Talent Optimization Coach & Consultant with TalentTalks, Kelly thrives on “Creating a Voice for Talent” by partnering with business professionals and job seekers to build competitive career marketing strategies, customized communication materials and compelling personal branding campaigns to create a lasting positive impression. TalentTalks consults with the business community on innovative, leading-edge human resource and organization development initiatives to enhance talent management, talent acquisition, corporate communications and employee engagement programs. TalentTalks routinely posts employment market and job search related content on Facebook and Twitter – fans and followers welcome!

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