Optimizing your LinkedIn profile: JOB TITLES


Optimizing your Job Title be found on LinkedIn

Job Titles are important on LinkedIn

Second only to a name search, Job Title receives the top priority in LinkedIn’s peoplesearch.  What other item is more important to being found that your job title.  If you are a hiring professional you want a candidate for your “Director, IT Operations” opening to be a “Director, IT Operations”.  Who else will do a better job that someone who’s proven doing the job?

Now, not every job seeker has been fortunate enough to already have the job title of the position which they would like to have next, but if you are qualified for the position by your experiences there are ways to put the key words in your job title while remaining truthful.  Take the “Director, IT Operations” for example, if your current role is “Associate Director, Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS)” there is nothing untruthful if you make your current title, “Associate Director, LIMS (Laboratory IT Operations).  The use of brackets is acceptable to help you come up in searches.

What you have now done is make your profile visible if an employer was to search for “Director, IT Operations”.  The search engine would see your profile just as easy as it would see your competition! Now you are coming up in the searches that you want to come up in.

Repetition is also important to being found.  Since LinkedIn’s search engine list results in related order it’s important to repeat the above tweaks to your previous titles.  Longevity is extremely important to coming up in searches.

If you have been with one company for 10 years list each position which you have held with that company as a separate job.  By doing this you will come up higher on the search result lists.  Be sure to look at your titles in the same way and include “IT Operations” whenever relevant in your titles.

By doing this simple update to your profile you can easily improve your chances of being found on LinkedIn.

Posted in career, Job Seeker, LinkedIn, Recruiter, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

A major shift in how candidates apply for jobs

A few years ago almost anyone could be a successful recruiter by simply logging on to their  careerbuilder.com  employers account and searching through mounds of resumes for keywords.  The candidates were always out there. Currently there are more job seekers than there are jobs available in most industries but where are the quality resumes?

Well, I spoke with a sales person of a major job board the other day over the phone. The subject came up that there just aren’t quality candidates out there on the job boards so may of my colleagues have gone to places like LinkedIn and our internal candidate database before searching job boards and that there is less and less value in paying exorbitant fees for a few resumes.  

This is when the sales person started pushing job postings versus the benefits of searching their resume database.  The discussion went further and he indicated that most job seekers are applying directly to the companies that are posting their opportunities on the job board, rather than submitting their resumes through the job board.  They are using the job boards to learn which companies are hiring and then they are going directly to the company’s website and applying for the posted jobs.  

What does that mean for recruiters?  This means that most firms will have to find new ways to spend their efforts seeking new candidates.  Candidates are certainly out there and looking for opportunities.

What does this mean for employers?  This means that even through their are a lot of great candidates out there looking it may be more difficult to find them.  So if you are an internal recruiter who has other responsibilities other than just recruiting, you may want to start thing out reaching out to external staffing firms of hire more people internally to seek out quality candidates.

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Do you even know what your dream job would be?

What is a perfect job?  A perfect job often comes when you (the employee) are happy with the work you are doing for the compensation that you are receiving.  Happiness is what makes a job Perfect! 

I recently posted a poll on LinkedIn.com titled “Do Great Ideas or Great People result in Great Success for a company?”  For this poll I received 247 votes and 44 comments.  The overwhelming response was that it takes Great People working on a Great Idea, with Great people alone coming in second.  Many of the comments came from decision makers in companies (people with hiring power).  I couldn’t find one comment saying that they felt they could run a successful company without great people.  In fact many comments indicated that they were willing to pay more for great people.

People or Ideas make a company successful.

So what makes a Great Person?  A great person is someone who above all else is passionate about their work!  Employers know that if they find employees who care about what they are doing and think about their work as a part of them versus a job that they are at for 40+ hours a week than performance will be improved, employee retention will improve, and the end result will be improved.

 So what makes a Great Idea?  A great idea is relative to the individual.  To one person Twitter sounded like a stupid idea but because of the right people thinking it was a good idea the seed was planted and now fortune 500 companies almost all have twitter pages because they now think it’s a great idea. 

 Your dream job only required 2 things.  A great employee (you) and a great idea (the company).  You have to decide where you will be a great employee. And then find a great idea to join.  So, if you want to land the dream job you MUST chase opportunities that you are passionate about!  When applying for career opportunities you must learn about the company and their ideas.  There will be very few companies that you will have passion for but everyone has something that they would love to do.

 For my son, he is passionate about being a fireman.  He’s surrounded requested that we fill his room with fire engines and get him a fireman’s hat to run around the yard in putting out pretend fire.  The idea that he could get paid for this is the greatest thing in the world.  Although it’s an old idea it’s still a great one because he is passionate about it and believes in his heart that it’s the best idea in the world.  Will he ever make $250K a year working in the local volunteer fire department?  No he won’t, but the money will not be why he’s working.  His perception will be that he’s doing the most important job in the world and getting PAID. (meeting my original view of the Perfect Job).

Think like a child.  What are you passionate about?  Follow that and you will succeed.  Your energy will be felt in the interview.  Your knowledge will be greater than your diploma because you live it and study above and beyond.  You must first figure out what you want to do before you can do it.  You will not just fall into your dream job. 

 I’ll follow up with how to land the Perfect job tips in the weeks to come so check back often.

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Did your resume file title cost you the job?

Make sure you think about your resume document title before posting. I was recently reviewing a candidate resume submission for a Quality Control Manager opportunity that I’m working on filling for a client. The email contained three attached documents.


It was funny to see a someone applying for a Quality Control Manager title their resume REDUCED QUALITY RESUME. While this may just be funny to you and I there is a good chance it could cost this person the job.

Think about it. They are applying to be a quality manager. The company is looking for improvement to their quality team, not a reduction of quality. As we all know, quality professionals need to be attentive to detail and the fact that they missed something like this could indicate that they don’t pay attention to the details required for the position.

When reviewing submissions I hardly ever read a cover letter and I will usually only review one copy of any given candidate’s resume. The typical choice is either “Resume” or “CV”. This all depends on the position but I’ll typically choose to read the resume first if given the option. The other types of resumes that I receive are going to be industry specific resumes from candidates. For candidates who’s careers have been diverse they have often prepared multiple versions of their resume with separate title/industry specific emphasis.

I choose which resume to read by the title as do most other recruiting/staffing professionals. That being said it’s important to think when saving your resume document. Most people save it in the standard “Resume_First Name_Last Name.doc” format which is acceptable. Other’s will include the target title or potential employers name. These are all great.

Just make sure you take a moment to think about the title of your resume document. It could mean the difference.

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How to follow up with your resume submission

One of the results of having a huge LinkedIn network is that I’m constantly contacted by job seekers who have applied and are eagerly awaiting feedback for positions they have applied to.  They usually ask me if I know the hiring manager or have any connections within the company that they applied to.

More often than not I know someone within the company.  If you’ve been submitted by a recruiter you’ll have someone to reach out to but what happens if you applied directly through the company site?  The only contact you have is an email at most, and they typically are “No-Reply” email addresses.

So, once you find people within a company who do you ask?  Do you ask the HR person?  Do you ask a friend within the company?  Do you ask someone in the department that you think the position is in?

Well, if you have a friend that’s usually the best place to start.  If you don’t have a friend people often thing contacting the Internal HR staff will be of use.  This is a huge “No No” in my opinion.  ­Do not reach out to HR unless they have first contacted you with a reply of interest.  You have to think about it like this.  HR is the gate keeper.  They are the ones who are responsible for going through resumes and picking out the select few that the hiring manager will have to consider.  They will typically only contact you if they are interested. If not, you should accept that they have given you their answer regarding their evaluation of your resume compared to the requisition that you have applied for. By contacting them you are only begging for them to reconsider, which most humans do not respond well to.

Rather than begging for a second opportunity I suggest locating the hiring manager or someone within the department you wish to be considered for.  Finding the hiring manager may be difficult but if you ask someone in the department to pass your message along you may get lucky.

The hiring manager’s decision is final so if they don’t reply it’s a finished topic.  If they are interested they will act and request HR to push your resume through and set up an interview.  By going to the decision maker you ensure that your resume is seen by the person that has the power.

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Does the PERFECT resume guarantee the job?

As a recruiter I see perfect resumes a few times a week.  I’ve learned that this doesn’t ever guarantee the job, or even an interview.  Here’s the thing, job descriptions rarely tell potential candidates exactly what the company needs.  When I look back at some of the jobs that I have worked over the years I can’t think of one that truly matched the job description that I applied for.  Sure, they are all in general a summary of the position, but they always seem to leave out a few things that end up being a large part of your daily duties. Do companies purposely do this?  I don’t think so, it wouldn’t make much sense.  I do however think that most companies could improve.

Job descriptions are seldom written completely by the hiring manager.  More often they come from a list of requirements prepared by the hiring manager and then forwarded to HR who rewrites the notes to match the companies’ job post format.  In larger corporations these job descriptions are written to match a job code or salary level in a given department and everyone has the same job description to the letter.

In the real world every professional department has weaknesses and strengths.  A good manager will notice the departments’ weaknesses and seek new employees who can pick up the slack and improve the department.  In some groups the importance is to find someone who can mesh well with the personalities of the group.  For these reasons and countless others job descriptions are rarely going to tell you more than the general ins and outs of any given opportunity.  For this reason the perfect resume does not guarantee the job, or even an interview.

You’re probably thinking, so why spend all of this time on keywords, cover letters, and filling out lengthy online job applications?  Those things are all important!  The goal of your resume is to get you to the hiring manager.  Without an ideal resume full of keywords and experiences that hit the nail on the head, you will not be considered by the hiring manager.  Once the hiring manager reviews your resume he/she can do one of two things, pass on the interview or schedule a time to speak with you.  This is where the magic happens and the job is decided.  While your PERFECT resume didn’t get you the job, it landed you the interview.

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The dreaded “can you tell me about a time when” interview questions

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We’ve all attended interviews and been asked the old. “Can you tell me about a time” question.  These questions can often be the most nerve racking questions and really slow down the interview.  Interviewers ask these questions to learn about … Continue reading

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What ever happened to that job I applied for, they never called me.

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I hear from candidates all of the time that they are frustrated by the lack of feedback from employers.  I also hear that they feel that employers are placing fake job post out there to just gather resumes with no … Continue reading

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Social Media makes looking for a job when you’re not looking the easy thing to do

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There are many factors that motivate people to seek out new employment opportunities.  The usual that come to mind is being passed up for a promotion, being laid off, being terminated, lack of growth potential, or you just aren’t happy … Continue reading

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TextIn from LinkedIn – Update LinkedIn via Text Message

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Smart Phone technology is changing the way we network.  Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter apps are common on most phones.  LinkedIn currently offer LinkedIn apps for both iPhone and Blackberry phones but has missed the boat on Android phones. (LinkedIn added … Continue reading

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