Top 6 Tips To Use LinkedIn in Your Job Search

linkedin job search torirterhune tori randolph terhuneImagine knowing you have all the traits of a desired candidate for a position at your dream company. You may be a math wiz, a stellar writer or a tech expert but the key people don’t even know you exist. Frustrating, right? Have no fear, LinkedIn is here! LinkedIn has broken down the wall and given job seekers the ability to connect with seasoned professionals at various companies. In fact, 63 percent of hiring managers use LinkedIn to research job applicants. Here are six tips to stand out on LinkedIn and brand yourself as a phenomenal candidate.

1. Upload A Professional Photo
You’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it again. Get a professional headshot. Now. Research your dream company and see the style of headshots their professionals use. Wear similar clothing and use a similar background/style of photo.

2. Write A Keyword-Heavy, Professional Headline
Do not write student or job seeker! Be specific. The headline on your profile is top real estate (right next to your amazing headshot), so use it! Load the headline with keywords for SEO that you believe recruiters will search to find you. For example, write: “Aspiring Public Relations and Social Media Pro Studying at Fresno State,” (my alma mater) or use something like mine: “Author | Speaker | Powerful Social Media & Online Solutions for Personal Brand and Companies” HINT: I always recommend using the “|” to break up your headline and make it easier to read than a comma list.

3. Skills Endorsements
First, make sure you like the skills that LinkedIn recommends for people to endorse. If not, you can edit them. Either delete some that you don’t think tie to your brand, or add some that you think will help you build your brand. Then endorse as many of your connections on LinkedIn as you have time for. It’s as easy as a click, and won’t take too long, I promise. Your connections will likely reciprocate and endorse your skills as well. This will give your brand the edge of third-party credibility, and show you what others truly think about you, your talents, and your brand

4. Get Recommendations
If a supervisor from your last job or the volunteer coordinator at your service-learning project gives you any kind of recommendation or testimonial, ask them to post it on LinkedIn. You can even write out what you want them to say and politely ask them to post it. Only ask for a recommendation, however, if you have worked with that person recently. You may also want to remind them how awesome you are and why they should recommend you while asking for it. Remember, you only need one recommendation for each job or internship position listed on LinkedIn.

5. Join Groups
Join groups in your industry. This will show how passionate you are about your industry and keep you at the forefront of your industry’s discussions with daily updates. You can even start your own group. Pick a topic related to your industry and update content frequently. You can even share others’ blogs that interest you (you can even share this one!) 🙂  This is an excellent way to get your brand recognized by people outside your network, and get more connections.

6. Use Company Insights
Want to know what your dream company is looking for in a candidate? Go to a company’s LinkedIn profile page and click on Insights at the top of the page (example: Cisco Insights). From there you can see what positions they’ve hired recently, people who work for the company that are close (or in) your network to get introduced to, the top skills and expertise of their employees (make sure these are on your page), other companies the employees have worked for, and similar companies that you might be interested in working for. Woah!

Do you have any other tips on using LinkedIn for the job search? Comment below!

*This is the first in a series of blog posts on using social networks to help your job search. If you have a network you would like included in the series, please let me know by commenting below!*

Top 5 Resume Tips to Stand Out

Resume Tips Social Media Tori R TerhuneWhile scrolling your Twitter feed, you see an opening at your dream company— whether that is the San Francisco Giants or Disneyland (my two dreams!). Before you frantically email the HR person begging for an interview, take a look at your resume. Take an objective point of view and think: If you were a hiring manager, would you hire yourself?

Here are five tips to make your resume stand out in cluttered inboxes or sky-high stacks of papers.

1. Keep it to One Page

First and foremost, make sure you have a one-page resume. Employers generally throw out a resume that is longer than a page. Only list the positions that you feel showcase your abilities and prove that you are the ideal candidate for the specific position. This means you will probably tailor your resume for every position, and keep the most relevant items to verify your resume is short. You can list additional work-related experience on your LinkedIn profile, website and other networks. You can also utilize columns to make your resume shorter.

2. Design it to be Aesthetically Pleasing

You can use a free design template, buy a template online for around $5 (Google search “resume template”), or even call a friend in graphic design to give your resume an eye-catching scheme that will make it stand out. The goal is to have a neat-looking, unique resume that attracts the hiring manager’s attention. Make sure the layout is easy to follow and the best parts of you stand out on the page!

3. Build in Verbs

Verbs give a powerful voice to your resume. Start phrases that list responsibilities in your professional work-experience category with verbs such as managed, lead or implemented.

4. Quantify by Using Numbers

Emphasis your work-related statistics in your resume. Quantify your achievements. For example: Maybe you managed X number of people or increased a company’s Twitter followers by Y amount. Numbers stand out on the page and PROVE that you are a great manager, multi-tasker, etc., rather than just stating it.

5. The More Eyes, the Better

Think typos don’t matter? 61 percent of surveyed hiring managers will throw out a resume with typos. Don’t trust your own eyes, and after you proof your resume several times, have someone else read it for you. Generally this means more than just a friend. See if your advisor will assess it with you. Advisors are helpful because they also know your strengths and background.  Try not to simply email it, but come in person so you can understand the feedback and contribute to brainstorm better ideas. Listen to your advisor and follow his or her instructions. Remember, these professionals have much more experience than you and know what hiring managers are generally looking for.

BONUS: Try QR Codes!

I’ve heard from many job seekers that their resume has stood out to recruiters because they placed a QR code on their resume that sent recruiters to either their LinkedIn page or a YouTube video of them explaining why they are the best candidate. I love this idea!

What do you think? Have you used any of these tactics? Any others? What works best for you? Comment below!

Will Resumes Become Obsolete in the Face of Social Media?

Social Media Resume Job Search

Will the word “resume” become a foreign word to future job seekers? Using LinkedIn, job seekers now have a virtual record of experience, projects and recommendations that can be edited and updated with the click of a mouse. And with 98% of recruiters going social to find their new recruits, the resume has a much smaller role in hiring decisions.

Many of these recruiters are shying away from traditional resumes and going social to sites like LinkedIn because social profiles paint the bigger picture of a job seeker’s background. For example, LinkedIn provides wider descriptions of job seekers’ in-depth background, specific posts and content, recommendations, specific skills and expertise, a full biography, test scores, publications, organizations the candidate belongs to and more (as long as the job seeker in question has fully utilized their profile!).

Recruiters can also see which groups job seekers belong to and find out how involved they are in their industry. All of this gives the recruiter an in-depth view of the job seeker and how he or she could be essential to the company, much of which is simply not available on a resume.

My personal opinion: I don’t think resumes will become extinct in the near future, as many HR departments like to have a paper trail, and having some kind of handout to give potential employers at career fairs, etc., is essential. However, the face of resumes will change (and are already changing ) drastically in the coming years.

What do you think? Will resumes ever become obsolete?

Social Media vs. Online Media

Social media is a term that has been overused, over-broadened and, frankly, abused. “Social media” brings to mind Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, YouTube, blog sites, and a grand list of networks which continues to build every day.

There are some who advocate ditching the term “social media,” opting instead for “online” media. This is an appropriate shift as many use these profiles for extremely different reasons. Here are a few examples of non-social online media use from top-tier networks to get you thinking:

Twitter. This one hits close to home; I know when I started using Twitter I didn’t use it to be social, I used it as a way to receive breaking news, interesting tidbits and hilarious jokes/memes/etc. I used Twitter every day, but I went at least a year without actually tweeting anything (I know, how very anti-social of me). I also know that the sole purpose of many young tweeters is to simply follow their celebrity crushes and get all the gossip first.

LinkedIn. LinkedIn is similar in that you can set up a profile, fill it out and then it can sit there for years without an update, which again isn’t very social.

YouTube. Millions watch YouTube without ever posting a video or a comment. And even if users upload videos, some upload them for purposes other than social (blasting their opinions, oversharing, etc.).

Facebook. Scary but true, there are the Facebook stalkers out there! People sign up for Facebook simply to watch what others are up to, and even create fake accounts to use while catfishing.

WordPress/Tumblr/Blogspot. Some bloggers are unfortunately guilty of blasting at people. Sharing thoughts and opinions with no real intent of connecting with others. It’s the idea of holding a megaphone and yelling at/over people, rather than sitting across from someone and engaging (or listening, as I like to call it).

What do you think? Are you up for the overhaul of the word “social” in your media? Are you social or merely online?