Learn about Career Paths with LinkedIn’s “Past Company”

Learn about Career Paths with LinkedIn’s “Past Company”

Have you ever wondered where you could go from your current job? Are you concerned that your career path is unclear, and you do not know what your next position might be? Use LinkedIn’s “Past Company” built-in search feature to learn where your company’s former employees landed to help you craft your own path.

Your Colleagues' Career Paths Can Inform Your Own

Your Colleagues’ Career Paths Can Inform Your Own

Start by logging into LinkedIn. Now click on the “Advanced” link, to the right of the search bar at the top of your screen. A number of search options beyond the simple search become visible. The one you need to look at is called “Past Company,” and there is an “+Add” icon that you can click to add your current company’s name. You can add your own title, a different title, or prospective title. You also can select the degree of connection (you might not specify this at this point). Now scroll down and click the blue “Search” button in the left sidebar.

The list that results from this type of search yields profiles of your connections — first through third, depending on your choices — who used to work at your company. Explore these profiles to see what types of roles they had, what they did after that, and what their most recent positions are. From a selected sample of these profiles, you might be getting a better picture of the career paths your former colleagues have taken.

To take this exercise a notch up, select for only first-degree connections. Now do the search again. This list can serve as a starting point for your networking and informational interview strategy. You definitely will have something in common with these individuals, which makes for a great conversation starter. You also have a goal in mind for your informational interview: “Could you please tell me how you chose to leave [former role at former company] for [next role at next company]? What led you to that choice? What skills did you need to acquire to make that jump? How do you feel about your decision now?”

Image courtesy of Freeimage.com / ColinBroug

5 Ways to Measure Your Job Search Networking Success

5 Ways to Measure Your Job Search Networking Success

Do you wonder whether you are really getting anywhere with your job search networking strategy? While you are in the midst of networking, the process can seem thankless. Did that connection you made a month ago turn into something? How do you know whether the presentation you attended was worth going to from a networking perspective? Although it is hard to pin job search success onto any one networking event, overall, you can measure your networking success with a few simple metrics.

Where is the bottleneck in your job search networking strategy?

Where is the bottleneck in your job search networking strategy?

1. New Connections on LinkedIn

When you collect business cards at a networking event, do you turn them into LinkedIn connections? If not, you are missing a huge opportunity to broaden your network. Measure the growth of your first-degree connections–those you have met in person and those you “meet” virtually–to see whether your networking efforts are bearing fruit.

2. Telephone Meetings

Often, first-degree connections on LinkedIn linger in purgatory, never becoming real-world connections with whom you have conversations. How many of these first-degree connections result in telephone conversations, during which you can ask your new contact a variety of questions about their experiences, positions, companies, and industries? If your number is small, you might need to open this bottleneck in the networking process.

3. Face-to-Face Meetings

How many of your telephone conversations turn into real-world meetings? Granted, the face-to-face meeting is likely to be a more rare event than the telephone meeting, but this makes in-person conversations that much more important. Stack the deck in your favor, and ASK for the meeting. Your connection might be too busy, but chances are that he or she will feel flattered, particularly if you are seeking expertise from a position of genuine curiosity about this person’s experience.

4. Introductions to Hiring Executives

Now recall the number of times you have been introduced by a connection, personally, to a hiring manager. More rare still, these opportunities to meet actual hiring executives are precious chances for you to demonstrate the value you could bring to a company or an industry. Prepare for these meetings wisely–they are not likely to be frequent, so make the most of the chance to make that special first impression.

5. Job Interviews

Interview offers can come in cold, from the submission of your resume to an indifferent web site or email, but they are more likely to develop as a result of your ongoing, powerful, and planned networking strategy. Therefore, this is the metric that matters most in your networking efforts. Bring your best game, and use this opportunity to show how you are the right fit for the company.

Conclusion: Identify the Bottleneck

Where in this process did your numbers drop off? Was it at step 1? Maybe you are not putting yourself out there sufficiently at the broadest level to create as many new connections as you can. Was it at step 4? Why do you think hiring managers–those with the power to extend critical interview offers–are not following through? Not getting a second interview? Then you must examine your interviewing strategy for step 5. Wherever the bottleneck seems to reside, you have to figure out why your experience has followed this pattern. Not sure why your job search networking strategy is not working? We can help.

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Put Yourself on the Job Search Map: Strategies for Your Address on Your Resume

Put Yourself on the Job Search Map: Strategies for Your Address on Your Resume

Your address on your resume is critical in your executive job search.

Your address on your resume is critical in your executive job search.

Job search in your own region is difficult, but it is even harder and more complicated to succeed in a job search when you are looking to move to a new geography. You might not have the time to go on cross-country treks for interviews, or you might be excluded from the running because you’re not a ‘”local” candidate. Read on for important resume strategies to improve your odds of getting interviews and job offers for executive jobs outside of your region.

Targeting only Local Executive Positions

Your address on your resume clearly places you in a specific location. If you are searching for a new executive role in your region, hiring leaders are likely to believe that you have some flexibility around interview and start date timing. After all, in most cases, an interview day will not require the expenses and frustrations of overnight travel. If you are applying for local role, therefore, your local address can be one more data point that compels a hiring executive to invite you to continue in the interview process. Therefore, including your address on your resume can improve your chances of being selected for an interview simply based on the convenience factor, all else being equal among you and the other candidates for the position.

Targeting Right Executive Job Openings Regardless of Their Location

On the other hand, if your address on your resume indicates that you are applying from a distance of hundreds or even thousands of miles, then the hiring leader might choose to exclude you on the basis of the complexity of bringing you in and, ultimately, requiring a move across the country.

Therefore, you might choose to include only your name, phone number, and professional email on your resume. This practice has become much more standard. Unlike decades past, your hiring executive is more likely to call your mobile phone or email you than send you a letter via the U.S. Postal Service. For convenience, many people keep their longstanding mobile numbers no matter where they move. We have all encountered executives whose mobile phone area codes do not match their locations, and this practice currently raises few red flags.

Targeting Your Executive Job Search on a Specific Region

If you are targeting a specific location across the state or across the country, you can implement a different type of strategy that enables you to include a local address on your resume. You can successfully and legitimately claim a local address

If removing your address and using your nonlocal but permanent mobile phone number make you uncomfortable, consider the following strategies for your address on your executive resume:

1. Secure a local street address in the city or region that you are targeting. The simplest method of doing this is to use a mailbox service with a street address in the new city.

2. If you want to be completely up front about your move, include the words “Relocating to” with a temporary local address.

3. Get a telephone number with a local area code. Many inexpensive or free phone redirect services enable you to have a telephone number with a local area code that redirects to your existing home or mobile phone number.

Your Resume’s Address: The Bottom Line

Your location matters in your job search for several key reasons, all of them financial. On the one hand, your hiring executive might want to interview all candidates within a certain time span, which could make bringing candidates in from other regions difficult. On the other, the costs of moving a family across the country plus temporary housing, meals, and the search for a new home–called a “relocation package”– can be thousands of additional dollars added to the expenses of hiring a new executive.

Of course, a sufficiently unique skill set and the proof that you are truly the right one for the position for the long term can drive a hiring executive to seek you out and negotiate with you for the position. The terms of negotiation could include relocation services directly paid by the new employer or a one-time signing bonus intended to cover the costs of relocation.

 

Image courtesy of freeimages.com / Kolobsek

4 Reasons Your Name Keeps You from Getting Called for the Interview

4 Reasons Your Name Keeps You from Getting Called for the Interview

Your name might be the most important piece of identifying information, but it might be getting in your way as you apply for jobs. Read on to learn how to fix the top 5 ways your name could be preventing you from getting interviews for the career you want.

1. Your Name Is Common

When you look in the phone book for your name, are there a dozen other John Smiths before and after your own John Smith? You are unique among your colleagues, company, and industry, but your name might be so common that a quick search of LinkedIn for your name does not immediately bring your profile to the top of the list. Thus, new networking contacts do not know how to learn anything about you via your LinkedIn or other social media profiles.

The Quick Fix: Start using your middle name or middle initial to differentiate yourself.

2. Some Unsavory Character Has Your Name, Too

Does a quick search of your name bring up a mug shot–that is not yours (if it brings up your mug shot, that’s a different question, of course). Do people believe that the mug shot or court case record might be yours, just because you happen to have the same name as someone with less integrity than you? Certainly, a purported criminal or civil case history, the records for which are all available online, can interfere with your ability to get proper attention from hiring executives, if the mix-up between names is easy to make.No calls?

The Quick Fix: Use your first initial and last name, plus your credentials, in every instance of social media, across all uses and profiles on the Internet. Also use this name configuration on your resume, business cards, phone messages, and voice mail. Do not use it on job applications, as you will need to use your full legal name for those documents.

3. Your Name Is Unusual

Recently, I learned of a client of a fellow resume writer whose complex hyphenated name, matched with her given name, had an unintended and humorous meaning. You might know that your name is perfectly normal, but if you have a suspicion that the words or syllables of your name have an unintended humor to them, you might not be receiving interview offers due to this subtlety.

The Quick Fix: If your name provokes an inadvertent response, perhaps using only part of your hyphenated name, adding your middle name or initial, or using your first and middle initial plus last name only will help your audience focus on your expertise rather than your name proper.

4. Your Name Is MISSING

If your resume starts with the word “Resume” on the first line, then this quick fix is for you. Applicant tracking systems–called ATSs or online application systems–require you to upload your resume online for job postings. If the word “Resume” is at the top of your document, the word “resume” will populate the name field or fields of the system. Thus, to the company to which you are applying, your name will be “resume”–just like the rest of those whose resumes did not start with their names and addresses.

The Quick Fix: Take the word “Resume” off your resume–even if you never plan to upload your resume online. It is poor practice regardless.

Top 10 Etiquette Tips for Working with Recruiters

Top 10 Etiquette Tips for Working with Recruiters

One of the biggest questions I frequently receive is how best to work with recruiters. As part of a well-rounded career search strategy, working with recruiters can be extremely valuable. If you choose to work with a recruiter, or a recruiter seeks you out, follow these top etiquette tips to ensure that you have a smooth, positive, mutually rewarding relationship with your recruiter.

Proper etiquette will help you build relationships with recruiters.

Proper etiquette will help you build relationships with recruiters.

1. Be Findable on LinkedIn

Recruiters and sourcers know how to find candidates, even the ones who are working in jobs they love. However, you can make their jobs easier by publishing a robust LinkedIn profile, joining relevant industry or function-related groups, building a strong LinkedIn network, and ensuring your profile is set to public viewing.

2. Be Responsive to Recruiter Inquiries

Speed is one of the most critical factors when working with a recruiting firm, especially contingency recruiters. If a recruiter is trying to reach you to discuss an opportunity, he or she will want to talk to you right away and will likely move on to someone else if you are hard to reach. You might consider getting a second phone line that you use only during your job search and an email that you use only for your job search. If you have a standard gmail address of firstnamelastname@gmail.com, you also can sign up for a Google Voice number, a free redirecting phone number that rings to an existing number of your choosing, such as your mobile phone.

3. Be Respectful of the Recruiter’s Time

Remember too that recruiters are often working on numerous search assignments simultaneously. Many recruiting firms require a minimum number of successful placements each month for the recruiter to keep his or her job. Consequently, be mindful of the recruiter’s time when you make contact.

4. Treat the Recruiter as a Valuable Networking Contact

Build a relationship with a recruiter. As a general rule, you should always take a recruiter’s call, even if you are not looking for a new position. A recruiter in your industry can provide valuable industry information and help you shape your own career path.

5. Be a Valuable Networking Contact for the Recruiter

You can be a good source of information for the recruiter as well. Be a good contact for an industry/sector recruiter — keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities and candidates and share that information with the recruiter. If you are not a fit for an opportunity you are contacted about, but you can recommend someone else, share that information. A recruiter will remember that you provided a new contact for him or her when the opportunity was not exactly right for you and will think of you the next time.

6. Be Specific about Your Career Requirements

If you are looking for a position, be up front with the recruiter about the type of work, type of company, salary expectations, and so on that you need to have to explore opportunities further. The recruiter’s goal is to fill open positions, so the more information you can provide about your non-negotiables and on what you are willing to compromise, the less likely you will be to frustrate a recruiter who has worked very hard on your behalf in positioning you to the wrong company.

7. Know that You Are Not the Right Candidate for Every Recruiter

Don’t contact too many recruiters — especially at the same firm. Recruiters often have access to an internal candidate management system that allows them to see what contact you’ve had with other recruiters within the firm, and other positions you’ve applied for.

8. Be Up Front about Your Recruiter Relationships

Let your recruiter know when you are working with another recruiter. If two contingency recruiters submit you as a candidate to the same firm, you may not be considered by the client company at all, even if you are a perfect match. Companies don’t want to mediate an argument between recruiters about who “owns” the candidate (and, consequently, who would receive the commission if the successful placement is made).

9. Recall How Recruiters Earn Their Fees

If you are working with a recruiter, don’t apply for the same positions you are being submitted to as a candidate. You may end up inadvertently disqualifying yourself because the employer does not want to risk having a recruiter claim a commission if you are hired directly. If you see a position advertised and are contacted by a recruiter for the same opportunity, you can decide whether you want to apply directly or be submitted as a candidate by the recruiter. If you have a networking contact at the company, you may decide to apply directly or determine that a good recruiter can get you in front of a hiring manager more easily than you could get noticed yourself. (This is particularly true if the employer uses an applicant tracking system to screen resumes. Recruiters can often reach hiring managers directly.)

10. Be a Compelling Candidate

Last, but certainly not least, develop a compelling professional brand that appeals to hiring executives–and thus to recruiters. Demonstrate in your executive resume and your LinkedIn profile that you are rarely and uniquely suited for hard-to-fill roles to ensure that recruiters find you for the unusual skill set you bring to the employment marketplace. While you will not automatically fall off recruiters’ radar for being fabulously average, you are more likely to capture a busy recruiter’s attention if you can demonstrate the scarce skills and assets that a hiring executive is demanding.

 

Image courtesy of freeimages.com / pixelbase

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