5 Tips to Getting the Most out of LinkedIn for Your Job Search By John Yurkschatt

LinkedIn is probably the best social networking site for connecting with professionals.  To be effective in your job search through LinkedIn, you need to make sure your profile is working for you.  Here are 5 tips to get the most out of your profile on LinkedIn:

1) Brand yourself. Think about how you want to be seen by others online and make comments and add content accordingly. Remember every time you make a comment or appear on LinkedIn your tagline is shown with you. Make sure that people can see you the way you want to be seen.

2) Set your profile settings properly. Your profile setting should be set to “public” to make sure people can find you. In addition, set your contact settings to include career opportunities, consulting offers, new ventures, and job inquiries. Recruiters look for these things.

3) Make your profile a sales tool. Every part of your LinkedIn profile should be selling you as an excellent candidate for the type of role you are seeking. Your “Summary” box should state what expertise and experience you bring to the table as well as why you stand out from other candidates.

4) Ask for recommendations. People are happy to provide feedback and recommendations for a job well done. Ask your best customers and colleagues to write recommendations for you on your LinkedIn  profile. These are prominently displayed making it easy for prospective employers to read.

5) Optimize your profile. When recruiters search LinkedIn for candidates and they use keywords to find the. Think about the keywords that you might want to be found against and keywords used in your resume. Make sure they appear throughout your profile and are consistent with the type of job you’re seeking.

As you work on creating and/or editing your LinkedIn profile for your job search, make it a point to periodically update it and check all your settings.  A well-constructed LinkedIn profile may mean the difference between getting a job interview or getting overlooked.

If you have any LinkedIn job search stories to share, please post your comment below.

5 BIGGEST Resume Mistakes by John Yurkschatt

John Yurkschatt Head Shot 2015

The quickest way for your resume to end up in file 13 is to submit it with mistakes. Beyond the obvious grammatical and spelling that will cause your resume to arrive DOA (dead on arrival), there are 5 other BIG mistakes to be aware of and stay away from:

1) Not including keywords that match the job. Your resume must show that you are qualified for the job so include keywords on your resume to refer to the specific position. You have very little time to grab a hiring manager’s attention so don’t send a generic resume. You will be lost in the pile.

2) Focusing on the wrong thing. Candidates often explain their responsibilities but forget to include results. Set yourself apart from the pack by highlighting specific accomplishments. The more quantitative, the better. In fact, numbers and metrics speak louder than words.

3) Being too modest. Don’t forget to include any awards or recognition you’ve received such as “President’s Club Member” for being over quota by 25%.  Also include any community service awards you received. Hiring managers look favorable upon people who not only work hard at the office but make a difference in the community as well.

4) Leaving unanswered red flags. Candidates usually wait until the first interview before addressing any gaps that may be on their resume. Big mistake. Most candidates won’t even make it to a first interview if the issues are not explained on their resume, cover letter or even LinkedIn profile. So if you moved around a lot in your career, it would be to your benefit to explain the reasons for your movement.

5) Writing too much. When writing your resume be as succinct and concise as possible. Keep your resume to 1 or 2 pages max. Bullet points and short paragraphs enhance readability. Limit your resume to the last 10 – 15 years of work experience. You don’t need to include everything you ever did.

If you have any stories about resume blunders, please share or comment below.

Building Soft Skills by John Yurkschatt

A few months ago, DCA’s Managing Partner, Frank Myeroff, was highlighted in the HIStalk.com Reader’s Write column for his article about “The 7 Most Important Soft Skills for Healthcare IT Consultants.” 

For those who missed Frank’s article, soft skills are a collection of personality traits, positive attributes, social graces, communication abilities and competencies that enhance an employee’s relationship and performance on the job that lead to a “total fit”.

Since that article appeared, we’ve heard from a number of healthcare IT consultants and FTE candidates who want to know how to build the soft skills that they don’t already have.

The most important piece of advice that I can give to any consultant or candidate is to start by being keenly aware of your current soft skills and behaviors especially how you interact with your bosses, co-workers and people in general. Once you turn off the autopilot and start paying attention, you’ll become immediately aware of your behaviors and how they affect others as well as what you need to keep, what to change and what to develop.

Once you are living in a state of consciousness, you can begin to acquire and hone the most desired soft skills in these simple ways:

1)      Watch Others.  Who are the top performers where you work? How did they get to that level? Take the time to identify the reasons they received promotions. Also, when you are drawn to someone or trust someone, ask yourself why.  Another suggestion is when you receive excellent service from someone, think about what impressed you the most. You can learn a lot from observing others.

2)      Become a Student of Success. There’s plenty of seminars, webinars, articles and books about soft skills and how to develop them. I strongly suggest you start consuming content on the subject and put what you learn into practice.

3)      Practice Leading. Take the initiative to lead small group discussions when appropriate. Ask your teammates questions and bring them into the conversation. Also, keep a positive attitude in difficult situations and remain calm and clear headed in moments of crisis.

The great thing about soft skills is that you can acquire them on your own. If you have a story on how you developed your own set of soft skills and additional advice for others, please post below.

DCA on HIStalk…Get Ahead with Mobile Recruiting

According to a recent report from The World Bank, three quarters of the world now has access to a mobile phone. In addition, ownership of multiple mobile devices is becoming increasingly common, suggesting that their number will soon exceed that of the human population. Unbelievable, right?

Recently, at HIMSS, I encountered numerous people who were there to network about jobs in the industry. While speaking with many, I couldn’t help but notice that they were checking their smartphones often during our conversation. It became apparent that they were engaged in mobile networking at HIMSS as well. In fact, today’s job seekers are avidly using the following job related functions on their smartphones:

1. Search for jobs

2. Receive e-mail job alerts

3. Read about recruitment process and tips for interviewing

4. Apply for jobs

5. Share content on social networks such as Twitter

In the age of mobile technology, the job hunt is only a click away. The rise of mobile technology is changing the face of how job seekers conduct their search and how employers and recruiters are reaching out to top talent.

Savvy job seekers are using a number of mobile apps. I found three apps to be extraordinarily powerful for the job hunt and for meeting those people who have the jobs:

Hidden Jobs

This app provides you with job opportunities that are not posted on the company website. It tracks close to 2 million unadvertised jobs from companies that are growing and making headlines. In addition, if you are ever seeking a job at a particular organization, or within a geographic area, you must try Hidden Jobs.

LunchMeet

According to its site, LunchMeet is a great tool for talent hunters; job seekers; career development professionals; entrepreneurs; people who seek or offer free consultation over lunch or drinks; business school students; business development, sales, and marketing people; and anyone who is interested in strengthening and expanding their professional network.

Sonar

While this app is not necessarily a job search tool, it is the ultimate app to have while attending a conference. In fact, some job networkers at HIMSS found this app handy. Having Sonar enables like-minded individuals to easily connect while attending a conference, or within a certain geographic location. If I were in a networking frenzy, I would turn on my Sonar app and look for folks with similar interests. It is a great way to meet people you may have not known prior to arriving at the conference.

Let’s face it, mobile technology is changing the way people search for jobs and the way companies search for talent. It will only grow in popularity. Get a step ahead, or maybe, don’t get left behind. Take your job search mobile.

John Yurkschatt is project coordinator with Direct Consulting Associates.

Get Ahead with Mobile Job Hunting