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LinkedIn's Top 10 Job Search Tips


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LinkedIn's Top 10 Job Search Tips

  1. 1. Focus on KeywordsWhen creating your resume, think about how recruiters will discover it. Which keywordswould you use to search for someone with your background?Many recruiters use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to gather and evaluate resumes.They also use social media, LinkedIn, job boards, and Google to search for candidates. Inall of these cases, keywords are extremely important. The more keywords you match, thehigher up on the results page you appear, and the more likely that a recruiter will click tolearn more about you.For example, a tactful approach with the keyword “Microsoft Excel” would be to sprinkle itaround your resume in different sections such as:a) “Superuser of Microsoft Excel” in the skills sectionb) “Used Microsoft Excel to create charts and graphs” listed as a responsibility for one jobc) “Developed a database using Microsoft Excel” as a responsibility for a second jobTo determine the right keywords to use, try pasting job descriptions into a word cloud site(e.g., Then, if you have those skills and qualifications, thoughtfully add them toyour resume and your LinkedIn profile in your summary, skills, and job descriptions.Be ConsistentPractically every company will do a background check before hiring, so be honest aboutsalary, titles, degree completion, dates of employment, and reasons for leaving. Also, makesure the titles and dates on all versions of your resume are consistent with each other andyour LinkedIn profile.I once met a candidate whose LinkedIn profile said that she was Director of Finance andTechnology, while her resume listed her as Director of Finance. When questioned, sheexplained she was handling both roles, though she didn’t have the official title. After muchdeliberation about her integrity, we ultimately hired her, but we easily could have made adifferent decision.(continued next page)Top Ten Job Search Success TipsTrue Tales and Tips from a Real Recruiterby Abby Kohut1.2.
  2. 2. If your title doesn’t fit your actual role, you can add more details in parentheses, e.g.,“Director of Finance (also handling Technology).” In addition to being truthful, you’ll beincluding both the Finance and the Technology keywords in your title.Differentiate Yourself in Your Cover LetterContrary to popular belief, most recruiters actually read cover letters – and they can reallyhelp or hurt your chances.The typical cover letter has a generic salutation, followed by your life story. While I may beable to evaluate your writing skills, what I really want to know is: Why do you want to work formy company? Why did you choose us over all the other companies in our industry? A coverletter is the perfect place to explain why you truly want the job.The most memorable cover letter I received was from a Purchasing Agent who started offwith “Money, money, money. All I think about is how to save money”, and then went on todescribe how saving money is part of her personality both at work and at home. We endedup hiring her because we believed she would not only thrive in the job, but actually enjoy it.Network Your Way Into a New JobEvery time you apply for a job, check LinkedIn to find the hiring manager and see whetheryou share any connections. If so, ask your connection to pass on your resume with a briefrecommendation, either by email or in person.The larger your network, the more chance you’ll have a second-degree connection to thehiring manager. To grow your network quickly, first invite the people you already know toconnect. Also, try attending job search networking events, and then invite the people youmet to connect on LinkedIn.A side benefit of going to these events is that you can meet recruiters searching for talent.Once, I scheduled an IT technician for an interview at a networking event (and later hiredhim), because he mentioned customer service was his top priority, and that was a qualityour company was looking for in an IT professional.Call To Follow UpOnce you know a hiring manager has your resume, follow up. First, do some research on thecompany and its challenges, and then illustrate how you can help solve them.Before you call, send an InMail to tell the hiring manager exactly when you’ll be calling. Alsomention who referred you and why you believe you can solve the company’s challenge.When the Hiring Manager picks up the phone, begin with something like, "John forwardedyou a copy of my resume and I’m following up as I promised. I have ABC experience and aminterested in discussing how I can solve your XYZ challenge. Do you have a few minutes toexplore this now?" If they agree, consider yourself on a phone interview. Role-play thisconversation with a friend until you can say it with confidence.3.4.5.
  3. 3. Demonstrate Your PassionRegardless of qualifications, hiring managers and recruiters want to hire someone whoshows interest and excitement for the position and company.Before your interview (even a phone screen), list out why you’re excited about this particularjob, this specific company and industry. This will guide you through the interview and makeyou stand out, even if other candidates are more qualified.The only caveat when demonstrating passion is to avoid sending the message that this isyour only opportunity, which can imply desperation. Subtly reinforce that you’re consideringdifferent opportunities by saying things like, "Ive explored a variety of options with otheremployers, but sofar, this one seems to have all the components of what I’m looking for.”Write Effective Thank You NotesDon’t forget to write a thank you note to stay top of mind with the hiring manager. This isyour chance to remind them about how your background fits the open position and providemore examples of your qualifications and experience.Keep your thank you note short and sweet. It’s okay to use the same opening and closing foreach person who interviewed you, but make sure you personalize the body with details fromyour conversations with the specific interviewers.You can send your thank you note by email, InMail, snail mail, or the Pony Express--just makesure you send one. It may just be the final thing that will convince your interviewer you’rethe best fit.Be Patient Yet PersistentOnce you’ve interviewed and sent a thank you note, rest assured you’ve done your best andmove on to uncovering other terrific opportunities. Set a goal for how many jobs you want toapply for each week, but be sure that you’re only applying for roles that you’re at least 75%qualified for and 100% passionate about.Meanwhile, a little bit of cheerful persistence can go a long way. Feel free to use InMail,email, or a phone call to contact recruiters directly and ask if you’re still being considered.Calling or emailing once every few weeks is acceptable, but calling five times a day is not.Recruiters are unlikely to call back unless they have something specific to tell you, so don’tbe concerned if you don’t hear back.Prepare Your ReferencesRight before a company decides to hire you, a recruiter will typically request to check yourreferences. Typically, we’re interested in speaking with two of your recent managers.Reach out to each reference to explain the details of the position and ask them to return ourcalls promptly. Also, make sure you’ve given us the right phone number!(continued next page)
  4. 4. 10.Copyright © 2013 LinkedIn Corporation. LinkedIn, the LinkedIn logo, and InMail, are registered trademarks of LinkedIn Corporation inthe United States and/or other countries. All other brands and names are the property of their respective owners. All rights reserved. 10-LCS-139-G 0413Some companies have a policy of not divulging reference information, but in most casesany type of reference will provide us with some brief but valuable information. If yourrelationship with your former manager wasn’t positive, find someone else at the companyat or above their level who will provide you with a positive reference.Manage your LinkedIn NetworkDon’t be shy about asking people to join your LinkedIn network, but do be specific. Mentionhow you know each other, how you can help them by being a part of their network, and/orhow you hope to work with them in the future.Also, don’t be afraid to accept invitations from recruiters. Sometimes we send connectionrequests to candidates we hope to place in the future. Recruiters tend to have largenetworks, so an added benefit of connecting with them is that you’ll acquire a tremendousamount of new second- and third-degree connections.Searching for a job may seem intimidating at first, but using a few proven tips andtechniques can help you get your foot in the door – and put you on your way to finding yourideal career.Abby Kohut, also known as “Absolutely Abby,” is a recruiter who has hired over 10,000people. Her website, speeches, and books teach job seekers secrets about the jobsearch process that other recruiters wont tell you. Abby is currently on a nationwidetour fulfilling her mission of helping one million job seekers find a job. Learn moreabout at Abby