A Simple LinkedIn Strategy for Career Success

A Simple LinkedIn Strategy for Career Success

Ten years ago during the infancy of LinkedIn, I created my profile and waited to see what happened. You can guess, right? Nothing happened! At some point I realized that the system wasn’t producing any useful results for me. I was at a crossroads and had to make a decision. Should I give up and ignore it, or roll up my sleeves and learn how to use the system better? I made the decision that I would invest more effort into learning how to grow my network in a strategic manner and better use the overall functionality. So, here I am ten years later. Because I made the investment of time and energy over the past few years, I am now in a position to leverage my extensive network when I need it. As mentioned in the Social Media chapter of my job search book Fast Track Your Job Search (and Career!), “LinkedIn is my primary tool for business networking.” LinkedIn can be used for a wide range of purposes. To help you leverage the value of LinkedIn, I want to share one simple success strategy for making changes during your career. Leveraging LinkedIn to Make the Right Connections One of them most important factors in making career changes is connecting with the right people. Whether you want to engage a person who can give you critical information, a recruiter, or a hiring manager, this simple process will help you achieve your goals: – Do your LinkedIn research to determine the “targets” you would like to engage in a conversation. Use the Advanced Search page to identify people by employer name, title, and … most importantly… for only...
Job Search: How to Reach Anyone You Want

Job Search: How to Reach Anyone You Want

“The quality of your life is the quality of your communication.” Tony Robbins What would you consider the most important factor for success when seeking a new job? A great resume? Relevant qualifications that match the job description? An MBA or other educational achievements? Actually, the most important factor for job search success and your overall career advancement is the quality of your communication. And, fundamentally, the first step in quality communications is engaging people who have the authority to hire you for the job(s) you desire. But, we all know that the current hiring system is designed to insulate job seekers from the true decision makers. Online job postings are the most extreme example. Many require that you blindly complete an application and provide various additional information, not knowing if any human will actually see your information. This is a source of great frustration, which is understandable. In contrast to online applications and other ineffective activities, you know that your best bet is to cut out the “middle men” (recruiters, resume screeners, etc.) and connect directly with decision makers who have the authority to hire you. After doing the research and identifying companies of interest, consider the following actions that provide far higher odds of reaching people who can hire you: – Take the time to research your companies of interest and identify the specific person or people who would most likely be your boss. Various online tools are available, most notably LinkedIn. These are your “targets”. – Take a mental inventory to determine who you know in the companies of interest, if anyone. Review your LinkedIn contacts, in case you have casual connections that you have forgotten. Where appropriate,...
Job Search: How to Reach Anyone You Want

Job Search: How to Reach Anyone You Want

“The quality of your life is the quality of your communication.” Tony Robbins   What would you consider the most important factor for success when seeking a new job? A great resume? Relevant qualifications that match the job description? An MBA or other educational achievements? Actually, in my 12 years of coaching career seekers I have found that the most important factor for job search success and overall career advancement is the quality of your communication. And, fundamentally, the first step in quality communications is engaging people who have the authority to hire you for the job(s) you desire. The challenge you face is that the current hiring system is designed to insulate job seekers from the decision makers. Online job postings are the most extreme example. Many require that you blindly complete an application and provide various additional information, not knowing if any human will actually see your information. This is a source of great frustration, which is understandable. In contrast to online applications and other ineffective activities, you know that your best bet is to cut out the “middle men” (recruiters, resume screeners, etc.) and connect directly with decision makers who have the authority to hire you. As a career coach for the last 12+ years, I have seen just about every possible method for making connections. After doing the research and identifying companies of interest, here are my recommendations for improving your odds of reaching people who can hire you. Job Search Actions for Connecting with Hiring Managers – Take the time to research your companies of interest and identify the specific person or people who would most likely be your boss. Various online tools are available, most notably LinkedIn. These are your...
Synchronize Your LinkedIn Profile for a Better Career

Synchronize Your LinkedIn Profile for a Better Career

I spoke with a job seeker this week who is seven months into his search. After receiving his inquiry and before calling him, I did what many professionals and all recruiters do these days…. I reviewed his LinkedIn profile. What I saw was that he had eight jobs in the last 11 years. Yikes! When we got on the phone, I told him that I had reviewed his LinkedIn profile. He shared his background, which I had already seen (and was frightened by) on his LinkedIn profile. I asked what he wanted to do next and he told me he wanted to be in sales or business development with a technology company. After a few more minutes of conversation, I decided to “hit him” with a question that I hoped would get his attention and be helpful to him. (I do this frequently when I see people shooting themselves in both feet.) I asked him “Do you realize your LinkedIn profile is scary?” He said he recognized that his frequent job changes were not good, so he had just updated his resume to lump some of the work together under a title like “consulting” or something similar. Your LinkedIn Profile and Your Resume So, my next question was “Why didn’t you do the same thing on your LinkedIn profile?” He said he hadn’t gotten around to it yet, but planned to do it soon. Remember… this is seven months into his job search! I tell you this story because I want you to avoid making the same mistake this job seeker made… using a scary resume and LinkedIn profile, plus not synchronizing them. In addition...
How to Create Your Next Great Career Opportunity

How to Create Your Next Great Career Opportunity

Earlier this year, I was approached by a successful thirty-something director level who was nearing his fourth year of employment in a multi-billion dollar Atlanta company. As is true of many high achievers who don’t want to settle for less than they deserve, he wanted to find a better, more challenging job in which he could gain more income and find more personal growth. He enlisted me to mentor him in defining his next career role and developing a strategy for gaining such a role. In our first career counseling session together, I was surprised to learn that he wanted to stay with his current employer. (Most high performers in large companies who come to me want to get out.)  Due to the lack of growth and low churn in upper management roles within his company, we agreed that he would probably need to create his next career opportunity rather than wait around for a “standard” position to become open and compete for it. If he could create a job he wanted and for which he was qualified, then he would stand a good chance of landing it without having competition! During subsequent conversations, we were able to define a new role for him and develop a career advancement strategy for securing it. This gained him an immediate increase in income, a title improvement from director to senior director, and more interesting work that made his contributions more valuable and notable to upper management. Create Your Own Career Opportunity You, too, may find it helpful to follow steps similar to ours in order to create your next career opportunity:...
Career Success Tips for Women

Career Success Tips for Women

I realize I’m sticking my neck out here a little… since I’m a guy. What does a guy know about helping women succeed? Given that I have coached a lot of women and helped them advance in their careers, I believe I have some basis for the information that follows. If you are a woman reading this post and feel you have additional suggestions from your perspective, please feel free to add to the ideas presented here. I realize there are many more ideas that likely have not crossed my mind. Let me take a crack at suggesting some things that women can do to improve their career situations: Choose a professional field that is in high demand. One example is STEM – science, technology, engineering and math. Not only are these areas crying for talent, but also they are traditionally underrepresented by women. The old stereotypes and prejudices have largely gone away and women have great opportunities today. Develop your managerial skills and pursue such positions. Younger and more progressive companies are truly interested in placing women in managerial positions. Get clear on how your emotional intelligence, listening skills, people skills, etc. provide you an advantage and explain your advantages in persuasive ways in job interviews and other career encounters. Women, as a group, tend to have natural advantages over men in these valuable areas. Build your self-confidence and get coaching in being politely assertive, so that you are not shy in discussing the skills you have, the value you provide and the results you have delivered. You must speak up for yourself in a positive way. Seek...