Restarting Your Job Search After The Holidays

Welcome to Monday, January 4, 2016, the first “true” working day of the year.  This is also the day that you have designated to restart your job search after “taking” the holidays off.

Now that the days of holiday cheer have ended here are some tips to get you back into the job search mode.

1.Review your job search strategy

Finding a job is not a happenstance it takes focus work and a dedicated strategy to find the right opportunity.  Some things to consider are you strategize:

  • What kind of job are you looking for?
  • Have you made a list of target companies?
  • Have you compiled a list of the people you know within those target companies

2. Refresh your resume

Think of your resume as the single most important marketing document for your job search campaign.  Now that you have been off the job search trail for a while take a moment to consider these refreshments to your resume:

  • Consider adding a skills summary – outlining what abilities you bring to the table
  • Does your keywords match the current requirements for the jobs you are looking for?
  • Have you listed with measurable metrics the key achievements of your previous jobs?

3. Revise your social media strategy

Social media is now a major driver in any job search effort.  As you restart your job search consider the following:

  • Refresh your LinkedIn profile
  • Retake your LinkedIn profile picture
  • Reuse content and produce new original blog content for LinkedIn Publisher

4. Reengage your contacts

Research from Monster.com indicates that 80% of all jobs are acquired via networking.  Having a vibrant network is key to finding the right opportunity.   Consider these tips:

  • Tell your contacts that you are looking (If you have done it before – do it again)
  • Attend the January meetings of your professional association
  • Set up informational interviews with perspective employers

You Will Find Work In 2016

The American economy and the job market has picked up.  I am confident that if you prepare and are aggressive you will find work.

However, finding work takes work.  So welcome to January 4, 2016 the first true day of work.

Want A New Job By Christmas? 5 Things You Need to Do Today

As I write this post there are 53 shopping days until Christmas.

If shopping for a new job is one of the items on your list, here are 5 things that you should be doing in the days before December 25th.

  1. Know What You Want

Before launching on the other four items on this list. The first question to ask yourself should be: “What am I looking for in the new job?”

Taking the time to think about what is important to you in your next job will elevate and bring great power to your efforts during the days remaining until Christmas.

What Color is Your Parachute? by Richard Nelson Bolles is a great resource that can help bring clarity to your job search efforts.

  1. Create A Target List Of Companies

As you become clearer about want job you are looking for, the next thing to do is create a target list of long companies that you want to work for.

I have been an advocate of the use of a company target list.  Use this six step to get the process started.

  1. Use Your Network Strategically

A 2012 CareerXroads study reviled that 75% of all available jobs are filled either through employee referrals, social media recruiting or the personal networks of hiring managers’.

This mean that your job search must be focused on strategically networking, backing up your list of target companies ensuring you can make the connections needed to find the next job.

My friend Marc Miller, the founder and CEO of Career Pivot has written extensively about networking.  His white paper Strategic Networking is a great guide in how to turn your existing network into a more powerful force for your job search.

  1. Upgrade your LinkedIn profile and other social media

Having an effective presence on social media and specifically LinkedIn is key in finding that next job.  Today your LinkedIn profile is more critical than a resume in fining new opportunities.

Upgrading and keeping your LinkedIn profile refreshed is central in showing that you are serious about your profession and available for new opportunities.

As a LinkedIn Ninja, I have written extensively about LinkedIn.  Here are a few posts from MarbenBland.Com that can get you started:

3 Easy Ways to Upgrade Your LinkedIn Profile

3 Ways To Transform Your LinkedIn Picture From Crappy to Fabulous

5 Easy Ways To Make Your LinkedIn Profile Standout

 

  1. Start Spreading The News

 

The fact that you are looking for a job should not be a secret.  Tell everyone you know that you are looking, counter to what many may think the holidays is a superb time to conduct an effective job search.

In a post I wrote last year called How to Power Up Your Holiday Job Search I outlined strategies for using the parties, dinners and goodwill leading up to Christmas to your job search advantage.

 

Find A New Job Under Your Tree

Job searching, whether employed or unemployed, is never a fun undertaking.

Use the next 53 days to challenge yourself to take your job search to the next

Good luck and have a very merry job searching Christmas.   

 

 

5 Great Reasons Why I Blog on LinkedIn And 1 Reason Why You Should Also

Today as I celebrate my 100 post on LinkedIn.  I wanted to use my 219th post on my WordPress site to share with you five great reasons why I started and will continue to present my original content on LinkedIn along with one reason why you should as well.

  1. Terrestrial Exposure

LinkedIn, is the world’s biggest professional social network with over 300 million users around the globe.   According to group Digital Marketing Strategies the average LinkedIn user spends 17 minutes per month on the site with more and more of that time spent reading content.

  1. The LinkedIn Pulse Apt

Nestled in the sweet spot between blogging and a social network LinkedIn Pulse is an award-winning application that makes it easy to consume business news on mobile phones and tablets.

With Pulse your content can be targeted at a market and people of your choosing.  Pulse sends all of your followers and contacts a notification alert on their mobile devices whenever you create new content.

So now those unscripted moments when your contacts and followers are commenting to work on a bus or in the minutes before the start of a meeting or even while waiting in the Starbucks line they can interact with your ideas delivered to them conveniently by Pulse on their friendly mobile device.

  1. Your Posts Will Open Doors

Michael Sherman of Big Couch Media Group in his LinkedIn Post LinkedIn Publishing Could Be Your Golden Ticket For Exposure writes about Kathy Caprino, a career coach and leadership trainer, wrote the second-most-viewed LinkedIn post of all time (including Influencer posts), which has nearly three million views to date.

Sherman reports after that June 2014 post went viral, Caprino told LinkedIn that it “opened doors for new projects, consulting gigs, speaking engagements, and radio and TV interviews.”

Yes it is true that none of my posts have gone viral however, several blogs have reached nearly 10,000 people.   While that reach is not typical what I can say is that my posts have resulted a net 30%-40% jump in views to my profile every time that I post.

And like Kathy Caprino those profile views have led to increased opportunities.  Look at it this way; your profile is in competition with millions of others profiles for attention. Your posts will bring attention to your profile and that is what networking on LinkedIn is all about.

  1. Let LinkedIn Promote Your Content

LinkedIn is a viable and less rigid alternative to more traditional blogging platforms, such as WordPress, according to Brian Meert, CEO of digital agency AdvertiseMint.. “The biggest benefit [is] that you don’t have to do as much of the promotion legwork required with something that’s independent from your existing social network profiles.

Meert goes on to say that LinkedIn Pulse gives publishers a wide potential audience, because it allows for specialized targeting.

  1. Publishing on LinkedIn Is Free

While it is true that Facebook has a tremendous reach. Its new algorithm make it nearly impossible to reach a ton of people without ponying up big bucks to Facebook for promotion.

Currently LinkedIn does not charge for posting or the promotion of your content on Pulse. However, as we all know things change quickly with LinkedIn often without notice.  Therefore, I would suggest that you start posting now on LinkedIn while the posting, and more importantly the promotion is still free.

The One Reason Why You Should Be Posting on LinkedIn

Because the people and companies that you are competing with for sales, opportunities, and jobs are posting and getting the valuable exposure by showcasing their expertise.

Ready, Set, Start Posting

Perfection is the biggest roadblock for many in the posting of content.

The legendary World War II General George S. Patton perhaps said it best.

A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.

So forget about perfection – just start producing the best content you can and get it out for the world to see you will be amazed by what the simple act of sharing your thoughts can do.

P.S. Find something that you love to do.  And for the rest of your life do it as often as you can.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Easy Ways to Upgrade Your LinkedIn Profile

Oh yes!  Those lazy, crazy, hazy days of summer.  The perfect time for a back yard cookout, a great vacation and upgrading your LinkedIn profile?

That’s right!  Now is the perfect time to upgrade your LinkedIn profile.  Not certain that you need an upgrade?  These 3 simple questions are designed to provide some guidance for you.

  1. Have you made any changes to your profile in the last six weeks?
  2. Are you in a job search, either active or passive?
  3. Would you like to reach more clients, share more information or get more out of your LinkedIn experience?

If the answers to these questions have led you to believing that a LinkedIn profile upgrade in your future. This post will get you started with 3 easy steps that you can take today.

1. Upgrade Your Profile Picture

A study conducted by job search website “The Ladders” found that recruiters spent more time examining a LinkedIn user’s picture than their qualifications.

Be ready for this examination by upgrading your profile picture.  Your profile picture is a real big deal.  So, take it seriously by upgrading with a photo taken by a professional photographer.

Find out how to get the most out of your photographic upgrade by reading my blog 3 Ways To Transform Your LinkedIn Picture From Crappy to Fabulous

2. Upgrade Your Recommendations

With all the changes over the years, LinkedIn recommendations have become a bit over looked. However, there have never been a more powerful way to increase your profile views while putting more punch in job summaries.

Recruiters report that they use recommendations to search out new candidates.  Picture this, a recruiter is looking at another profile and they see a recommendation that you wrote for them.  They become intrigued and look up your profile.  Sounds unbelievable; but, true recommendations are the two way gift that keeps giving.

This summer, I have set a profile upgrade goal of getting 5 new recommendations. How can it be done?  Simple, the best way to get recommendations is to make recommendations.

Susan Adams, career and corporate social responsibility writer at Forbs.Com has written a great post to get you started with all things recommendations. Everything You Need To Know About LinkedIn Recommendations

3. Update Your Content

 With the publisher and pulse platforms LinkedIn has morphed into a content monster with a staggering 75% of its views generated via content viewing.

The upgrade opportunity for you is to generate increase profile visibility by writing or sharing content.  This is my 99th post on LinkedIn publisher.  Each post typically nets a 25-35% increase in my profile views.

Start writing posts.  You will be amazed what it will do for your status within the 300 million strong LinkedIn community.   If you are not a writer, share and like posts. This activity will also produce dividends.  Start right now by liking, sharing and commenting about this post.  I would be grateful for your support.

Enjoy Your Summer Upgrades

An effective presence on LinkedIn is a must for today’s active professional.  I leave you with some posts that will be helpful with your upgrade efforts.

5 Easy Ways To Make Your LinkedIn Profile Standout  

5 Ways To Power-Up Your Networking in 2015

7 Ways To Make LinkedIn Find You A Job

 

 Marben Bland is a LinkedIn Ninja, who coaches business and individuals on how to use LinkedIn more effectively. 

5 Easy Ways To Make Your LinkedIn Profile Standout

If you are looking for a job, trying to make a better professional impression or closing a sale, having a standout LinkedIn profile is important.

Here are 5 easy ways to make your LinkedIn profile standout:

  1. Have a Standout Picture

LinkedIn research indicates that your profile is 14 times more likely to be open when it contains a picture.

Recommendations for a Standout Picture:

  • Professional Photo: No Selfies
  • Headshots Only
  • Be Friendly and Approachable: Smile look at the camera
  1. Turn Your Headline Into Your Mission Statement

Your name and headline follows on LinkedIn. So, make it easy for people to know what you want or are about by using it to make that statement.

I am currently conducting a job search so my headline reflects that by simply stating:

Human Resource Executive Looking For A Job

3.Use the Summary Statement to Confirm Your Headline

 So your mission as indicated in your headline is telling everyone that you are looking for a job. Great! Now, confirm and tell your readers more about your efforts in your summary statement.

Don’t forget to include contact information; including links to webpages and phone numbers in your summary.

4. Likening and Sharing

In the world of LinkedIn, content is the name of the game. Your profile will standout with more views when you “Like” or “Share” the content of others.   It is really easy to do. The next time you are standing in line, for example, at the coffee shop or lunch counter, go to LinkedIn, using your smartphone and read an article. If you like it, click that you did, and that update will be visible to all of your contacts on their home page. Hint: Get started now by liking this post!!

 5, Extra, Extra Write All About It!

As a professional, we know the importance of staying up-to-speed on industry trends and business news. Now, LinkedIn is in the content business in a big way with LinkedIn Publisher.   Publisher provides commentary from big names like Bill Gates, Richard Branson and Barrack Obama along with letting you become part of the discussion by posting your own writings.

Publisher is a wonderful tool to make your profile standout by drawing people via your writings. I consistently get a 20-30% bump in profile views when I post.

Here are LinkedIn’s recommends to boost your blog views:

  • Pay attention to the headline

Great headlines carry a lot of weight. They draw in readers who might otherwise skim and move on; help keep your writing focused and give search engines valuable information. One rule to remember: Use puns or jokes sparingly.

  • Write about what you know

Get inspiration from your professional life. Use LinkedIn as a sounding board – share your ideas, then get feedback to refine your topic or just have a friendly debate.

Your Profile Can Standout

It’s clear with a little work you can easily create a Standout LinkedIn profile that will meet your goals and expectations. With over 200 million members worldwide someone is looking for you and you are just a standout profile away from that connection.

 

©Copyright 2015 Marben Bland

5 Easy Ways To Make Your LinkedIn Profile Standout

If you are looking for a job, trying to make a better professional impression or closing a sale, having a standout LinkedIn profile is important.

Here are 5 easy ways to make your LinkedIn profile standout:

 1. Have a Standout Picture

LinkedIn research indicates that your profile is 14 times more likely to be open when it contains a picture.   Professional Woamn1

Recommendations for a Standout Picture:

  • Professional Photo: No Selfies
  • Headshots Only
  • Be Friendly and Approachable: Smile look at the camera

2. Turn Your Headline Into Your Mission Statement

Your name and headline follows on LinkedIn. So, make it easy for people to know what you want or are about by using it to make that statement.

I am currently conducting a job search so my headline reflects that by simply stating:

Human Resource Executive Looking For A Job

LINPro

3. Use the Summary Statement to Confirm Your Headline

So your mission as indicated in your headline is telling everyone that you are looking for a job. Great! Now, confirm and tell your readers more about your efforts in your summary statement.

Don’t forget to include contact information; including links to webpages and phone numbers in your summary.

MDB Summary

4. Likening and Sharing

In the world of LinkedIn, content is the name of the game. Your profile will standout with more views when you “Like” or “Share” the content of others.   It is really easy to do. The next time you are standing in line, for example, at the coffee shop or lunch counter, go to LinkedIn, using your smartphone and read an article. If you like it, click that you did, and that update will be visible to all of your contacts on their home page. Hint: Get started now by liking this post!!

 5. Extra, Extra Write All About It!

As a professional, we know the importance of staying up-to-speed on industry trends and business news. Now, LinkedIn is in the content business in a big way with LinkedIn Publisher.   Publisher provides commentary from big names like Bill Gates, Richard Branson and Barrack Obama along with letting you become part of the discussion by posting your own writings.

Publisher is a wonderful tool to make your profile standout by drawing people via your writings. I consistently get a 20-30% bump in profile views when I post.

Here are LinkedIn’s recommends to boost your blog views:

  • Pay attention to the headline

Great headlines carry a lot of weight. They draw in readers who might otherwise skim and move on; help keep your writing focused and give search engines valuable information. One rule to remember: Use puns or jokes sparingly.

  • Write about what you know

Get inspiration from your professional life. Use LinkedIn as a sounding board – share your ideas, then get feedback to refine your topic or just have a friendly debate.

Your Profile Can Standout

It’s clear with a little work you can easily create a Standout LinkedIn profile that will meet your goals and expectations. With over 200 million members worldwide someone is looking for you and you are just a standout profile away from that connection.

©Copyright 2015 Marben Bland

P.S. I am in job search mode now, looking for a senior human resources, staffing or training positon. Location and most other details are flexible. Drop me a line marben@marbenbland.com if you have any leads.

5 Reasons Why You Are Still Unemployed

The Great Recession is over and while job growth is still not at the chart topping rates of the early 2000s, jobs are out there and employers are hiring.

So, why are you still unemployed? After nearly a quarter of a century of helping people to find jobs and helping employers to find talent; I realize that matching the right person with the right job is difficult.

However, as a job search candidate there are many critical variables that you can control. Here are five reasons why you might be still unemployed.

1. You refuse to relocate.

The job recovery has not come to all parts of the country. Job seekers who are willing to relocate stand a better chance of matching with an employer in search of their skills.

2. You are applying for jobs exclusively on job boards.

Less than 50% of all open jobs are posted on job boards. Job seekers with a diversified job search strategy have more options. My post How to Tap The Hidden Job Market will provide details on getting off of the job board treadmill.

3. Your friends and family are unaware that you are looking for a job.

If the Great Recession has taught us anything, there is no shame if you are unemployed. Therefore, job seekers should tell everyone they know that they are looking. Your friends and family can be your best allies; by giving you an extra set of eyes and ears for opportunities. If you’re worried about being a bother; stop it. People love to help when there is a need; especially family and friends.

4. You are ineffectively using LinkedIn.

Sure, you have a LinkedIn profile; but, is it really getting you notice by recruiters? Are you using the site to find companies and hiring managers; long lost, but influential classmates and most importantly, jobs? A LinkedIn profile must also include a comprehensive strategy to leverage the entire tool to get you notice; and find the people that can lead you to the job of your dreams. My blog How to Get Noticed on LinkedIn is a great read as you start developing a LinkedIn job search strategy.

5. You are not networking

A U.S. Department of Labor study confirmed that a staggering 80% of all jobs are acquired via networking. Networking is the key to finding a job. Personal face to face networking and follow-up is the number one skill I teach my job search clients. I believe in networking and the power that it can bring to the job search. I have written extensively about networking.

Here are some posts that will turn you into the kind of networker that can find a job:

How To Network With LinkedIn

How to use LinkedIn to Build A Great Network,

The 10 Best Places for Career Networking

Fortune Favors the Prepared Networker

Thought Leadership

Final Thoughts: You Will Be Employed

Believe me. I have been unemployed and I know what it is like to mount a job search. The discouragement, uncertainty and lack of income can be overwhelming. However, I also know that no matter how long you have been unemployed, you can find a job. If you are guilty of one or more of the items listed in this post take heart. You can turn it around in an instant. How? A little understood fact about the job search process is that the candidate is really the one in charge. You can make it happen, and with God’s grace and mercy you will find a job.

©Copyright 2014 Marben Bland

Marben Bland is a professional speaker, writer and business strategist. Specializing in assisting business with the acquisition of human and financial capital along with the strategies required to succeed in the marketplace.