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!*

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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?

Why You Need to Use Overused Terms on Your Resume

Resume_icon_jdI’ve been reading a lot about (and in fact tweeted about) overused terms on resumes. It seems to be a big topic, and many applicants want to stand out from the crowd by finding new terms. I hate to break it to you, but you’re almost always going to have to use those old, tired terms. Why? Because recruiters use them in job descriptions.

By now you should know that many recruiters narrow down applicants by using software to search for key terms in resumes. If they are using these key terms in the description, it’s a good bet they’re using them in their keyword searches as well. Plus, many career coaches will tell you to reuse terms the recruiter has used in the description to make your resume fit as closely to what they are looking for as possible.

Until recruiters get fresh terms and more interesting descriptions, unfortunately, it seems you may have to use those same overused terms over and over again as well!

What do you think? Should you shy away from those terms even if the job description lists them?

Twitter Vine and the Job Search

vine-twitter-logo-edit-large-370x229Twitter Vine has been met with a lot of criticism (most recently the app changed it’s rating to 17+ due to inappropriate content), but there is definitely an untapped potential to make a splash in your job search with it. At it’s simplest, Vine is an app where you can share 6-second videos, shot right on your iPhone. Brands have embraced this app, and even the porn industry wants in (ergo age restriction!)

Yet to be seen, however, is anyone using it to market themselves to potential employers. Job seekers should utilize this new app as a new, fun and easy way to stand out and show how innovative they are. Two ways I can think of:

  1. Try taking shots of you doing things related to your job, or images of how many followers you have on Twitter, YouTube, etc., or shots of you volunteering, or images of you on the news, or anything else pasted together into a quick slideshow-type video.
  2. Or take 6 seconds to quickly say, “Hi, I’m Joe Smith and I want to work for you, [company]. You should hire me because I can help your campany do [some specific thing that company would be excited about].

Or a myriad of other creative ideas!

This is a wonderful way to capture someone’s attention. Honestly, who doesn’t have 6 seconds in their busy day? I love this so much more than video resumes (which can be much too wordy, long and boring).

I would love to hear if anyone else has tried using Twitter Vine for their personal networking or the job search. Anyone have an example? Or a different idea?

The Challenge of a Mini Business Card

Mini Business Cards Tori Randolph TerhuneTa-da! My new business cards came in! I love them and I’m excited to see how people react to them, especially since they have a trackable QR code on the back!

They are the “mini” business cards which have been around for quite a while, but I’ve only received one mini business card to date (from a very forward-thinking, brilliant executive in New York City). I’ve kept the card simply because it was different. I loved the look and decided to emulate him and try it for myself.

The Challenge of a Mini Business Card:

You can’t fit as much information…obvious, right? But it turned out to be a great motivator to innovate! I could only include the top level of what I do and how to contact me. Then — with what little space I had left — I decided to include a trackable QR code to view my book on Amazon.com. I love the potential functionality of this, and can’t believe I didn’t think of it sooner!

So far I’ve had many positive responses and only one negative response to them on my networks. Has anyone else had success with mini business cards or QR codes on business cards? Do people like them? Do they keep the card? Use the QR Code? I can’t wait to share what I find from the tracking feature…Stay tuned!