Has a recruiter approached you before on LinkedIn? If you answered yes, this means you’re probably doing LinkedIn right. If not, and you’re currently job hunting, you’re in luck today.
Here’s a cheat sheet you can use to up your game and have recruiters approach you.
1. Your profile picture – This goes without saying. A professional profile picture is the equivalent of “first impressions matter” and determines whether or not a recruiter will approach you. While a cute family picture may look cute on Facebook, the same should not apply on LinkedIn seeing as it’s a professional platform mostly centered around career-related content and information.
2. Headline – Recruiters use diverse headlines to filter out profiles or industries they’re hiring for. It’s critical that your headline depict the kind of career path or industry you’re in so that you come up in the search results. Avoid using complicated terms or jargon to not hurt your chances of being discovered.
3. Summary – This feature lets you highlight and sum up your career experiences, accomplishments and qualifications, and possibly, what you’re looking to do next. Don’t know how to create a good eye-catching summary? Here’s an article with 5 templates you can use to update your summary if you haven’t already.
4. Career experiences – This includes; your position titles, description of your responsibilities as well as accomplishments and how long you’ve been/were there. Just having your position titles and period of time you were there is not enough. A recruiter wants to get the full list of your work experiences so that they can make an informed decision of how to approach you, or if they need to.
Other things recruiters look for on your profile are:
- Your location; determines how a recruiter should approach you depending on the location of the job they’re hiring for
- Listed skills, endorsements and recommendations from people who have worked with you in the past
- Education and any professional certifications, including any affiliations to professional bodies
- Whether you’re open to new opportunities
Currently, job hunting and wondering how you can utilize LinkedIn to land your next job? Read our blog for 5 tips you can use to possibly get your dream job.
Asking questions in an interview has always been a skeptical approach for most job seekers we interact with. Many are actually surprised that we encourage them to come for interviews with questions about the role and the organization. It’s not a trick, we just love to engage with our candidates, and ensure they fully understand what they are setting themselves up for! It’s an equal win for both the employer and the employee. And while we’ve shared a couple of linked articles in the past on this topic, today, we’re sharing with you our top 3 favorite questions that we hope more job applicants would ask us and why they’re important.
1. What will be expected of me in the first 60 days?It’s critical that you anticipate and mentally prepare for the role’s expectations, especially during the first few weeks or probation period. This is usually a period where your abilities and contribution to the organization are still being assessed. Therefore, asking this question may prevent you from taking on a role whose expectations you can’t meet within a given timeline. It also shows that you’re enthusiastic about the position and are likely to hit the ground running.
2. What does success look like for this position and how will it be measured? Asking this question makes you aware of the position’s milestones and enables you to re-assess your ability to take on the position, and whether they are aligned to your career goals. Further, this question also shows the recruiter/hiring manager that you’re prepared to be accountable for the positions’ milestones and are not afraid of achieving them. It can also be an opportunity for the hiring manager to re-evaluate the clarity of the role during this conversation and identify any missing pieces.
3. What aspects of this job will be the most challenging? Receiving this information feeds into your decision-making process because it gives you an understanding of the roadblocks you’re likely to encounter and enables you to envision if you’ll be a good fit for the organization. Additionally, this can also be an opportunity for you to communicate your past experiences dealing with similar challenges, further proving your capability to succeed in the position.
Preparing for a job interview? Read our article about getting ready to succeed in an interview and nail your next interview!
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Everyone is looking to get a job that they like, and that is aligned with their career ambitions, which is not an easy feat considering the statistics around unemployment. As such, there is a TONNE of advice given; from friends, family, acquaintances and the internet about job-hunting techniques. Some of it is great, some of it…..not so much.
Today we share with you 4 pieces of advice we believe you should ignore if you’re in the job-hunting stage:
1. Your CV is the only important document that matters – As recruiters, we have severally received job applications from job seekers who have great CVs, but effortless application responses. The CV is no longer the only document thoroughly analyzed and is not the only tool used to make a decision. Companies with application forms do so for a reason; they want to see how clearly you communicate your thoughts, how well you follow instructions, and if you’re a good fit for their organizational culture. Please put in the work to submit a good job application.
2. Dropping your documents physically increases hiring chances – Long gone are the days when walking into an organization to drop your documents granted you a chance to a job opening. Most, if not all organizations now use digital means to run their hiring processes. If you’d like an organization to have your profile, you can reach out to them through the right channels as outlined on their website, or social media platforms, or connect to relevant parties on LinkedIn, and request for this information.
3.Patience will get you the right job – Just applying for jobs and waiting for a response is no longer enough. Nowadays, job seekers need to take more initiative, especially considering the fact that jobs will not always be advertised on mainstream platforms. So use LinkedIn to reach out to recruiters and hiring managers, go to networking events, work with a career coach, send out that email asking for a connection, and so forth. You’ll be surprised how your luck can change if you take the initiative to ask for help. Check out our article on how to ask for help when job hunting and what to avoid.
4. Apply to multiple jobs by the same organization – Again, this is something we have encountered as recruiters; job seekers applying to multiple, different jobs in the same organization. While we empathize with the fact that the job market is narrow, it’s important to understand that organizations are looking to hire people who are capable of clearly aligning their skills to the needs of the organization. Therefore, applying to different jobs within the same organization might be misinterpreted as a lack of self-awareness and focus on the career path you want to pursue. Most importantly you don’t want to end up on the wrong side of the books of the organization. Check out this article that highlights what may land you on a recruiters/organizations blacklist
We hope you found these pointers insightful. As always, you can find more related content on our Career Happiness Center
Looking for more tailored support to advance your career in 2020? Sign up to our Career Transformation Program, and be a part of a community of like-minded individuals, sharing knowledge and information aiding their career progress. Link: http://bit.ly/careertransformation_signup
We want to play a game today; called truth or truth. Ever seen those adverts on local newspapers with a photo and caption ‘So and So no longer works here?’ We shall never know the real issues that earned them a moment of fame on a local daily, but we know that type of publicity is likely to negatively influence their future career aspirations. Whoever sees the advert (and many managers and recruiters do), makes a mental note somewhere ‘to not recommend this person’.
Similarly, as a job seeker, there are several actions and behaviors that are likely to push your profile into a ‘to not recommend list’ otherwise referred to as the “Blacklist”. The following are the ways in which you can fall into this trap, so read on to see why;
1. Making countless applications – We’ve touched on this before. While this may seem like a harmless habit because you’re trying to give everything a chance, it may not sit well with most recruiters/hiring managers. Throwing in your application, for all and any jobs an organization puts out, even when you do not meet core criteria is not advisable. What you’re essentially doing is communicating that you have no regard for the needs of the organizations at this point in time. We understand it’s difficult to get a job; believe it or not, it breaks our hearts to disqualify candidates all the time. So try as much as you can to apply for jobs that are closely related to your background, to avoid getting blacklisted.
2. Being self-entitled, and arrogant – We are well aware that most people dislike recruiters or people in HR. Ha! To some extent, it is true that we inform who should be considered or not, in a position. However, it is also true that part of the accountability falls on the job seekers themselves. Being arrogant to a recruiter; which we have often experienced, automatically puts you in the red zone. Feeling entitled because you’ve maybe had many years of experience, and ignoring other factors such as your culture fit within the organization, and how your exposure fits into the current stage of the organization does not serve you.
3. Being dishonest – This could vary; lying about your past work experiences by exaggerating your successes, the role you held, your age and past successes is a valid reason to have a recruiter blacklist you. This is why we insist that you clearly understand the role before, and practice integrity before you put yourself in a precarious position, where your lies are debunked, and you ruin your reputation. Background checks and referral calls will eventually unearth any lies.
4. Badgering the recruiter/hiring manager – It’s fairly okay for you to check in with a recruiter after, say two weeks of silence, if they had promised to get back and they haven’t, or if the hiring manager had scheduled a phone call and he didn’t call. However, consistently checking in with the recruiter or hiring team every other day is a bit too much and unprofessional. It’s even worse when you’re calling at ungodly hours. Please understand that recruiters/hiring managers are human too, and sometimes the lack of communication could be as a result of an impromptu change in the company, which they are also figuring how to communicate. To be on the safe side, always ask when you should hear from them, so there is no room for assumption.
5. Dropping out of the selection process unjustifiably – Picture this; you’ve gone through a rigorous selection process; done phone interviews, in-person conversations, take-home tests, and so forth. The hiring manager has expressed a strong interest to want to give you an offer, and then you just drop out of the selection process and don’t provide a valid reason. It’s unprofessional and leading. We understand switching jobs can be scary, but we advocate that you communicate any fears or doubts as early as you can, to avoid such outcomes and maintain a good working relationship, who knows what the future holds?
Read our blog post on the ways you are sabotaging your job search to learn more about the traps you should avoid.
Have you ever wondered if the reason you get regrets after interviews may be because you’re utilizing WRONG advice about how you should conduct yourself in interviews?
A lot of us have been exposed to different tips from different people about different areas in our lives, most, of course, have the best intentions. However, it’s critical that one has a sense of discernment when it comes to certain things; job interviews are one of them. Because let’s be honest; job interviews are a GREAT determining factor of whether or not you get employed at the organization you applied for.
So here are 3 misleading “tips” told about job interviews:
1. You should not reveal your weaknesses to the interviewer/turn your weaknesses into strengths – *insert beep sound*. No one is perfect. A recruiter/hiring manager NEEDS to be aware of what learning opportunities they should create for their potential future employee. Otherwise, you’re exposed to the risk of them finding out later when you do work that is subpar that may lead to your termination. HONESTY is always the best policy.
2. Your responses should be “short” – Yes, interviewers don’t want you to go on and on about your life history. What they are looking for is concision; they want to hear ALL relevant details about how your past experiences relate to the job you applied for, why you’re motivated to join the organization, and what makes you a good culture fit, among other things. Giving very brief responses may seem like a good thing but it hurts your chances because it leaves the interviewer/hiring manager with little information to make an informed decision about your profile. We like to recommend using the STAR method as it ensures an interviewee answers questions systematically.
3. Don’t ask questions as that shows you were not prepared – We can’t count the number of times we have asked candidates during interviews if they have questions and received a “not at the moment” response. We’ll be blunt; not asking ANY question at all is not a good thing, and NO, interviewers don’t think you’re not “prepared” if you ask questions. Here’s an article that bluntly explains why it’s important to ask questions and the do’s and don’ts!
If you would like to learn more about how to prepare for an interview, please read this article we wrote last year about how to get ready to succeed in an interview.
Our Career Happiness Center contains all the tools and information you need to address some of the career challenges you may be facing; job hunting, packaging yourself, transitioning careers, and succeeding where you are!
Being unemployed is not a great feeling, and asking for help can feel daunting especially because you want to avoid coming across as a burden to others at all costs.
One big potential deal-breaker is how you communicate what you need. No matter what channel you use to ask for help; be it an email, a phone call, messaging someone on LinkedIn, or even just sending a Whatsapp message, you always have to display conciseness and professionalism to clearly showcase your request. As a recruiter, I often receive multiple emails of people who are job searching in my inbox every day. More often than not, the email contains just an attached CV, or several scanned documents of their academic qualifications, with a barely-there request for help, such as; “Find attached”, “Looking for a job”, “Connect me to a job” or just a plain “Hi”. All these are vague statements leave me unaware of how to help you. Which is why you’re reading this article right now.
We’d like to share briefly some of the ways we have witnessed job seekers seek help in a way that’s not useful when job searching:
1. Sending blank emails either with no subject line, or message on the email body and just attaching their CVs. Refer to the first bullet point above.
2. Sending very long emails and attaching a bazillion documents. Attaching your resume, with a short and clear message should do, for as long as it has a call for action.
3. Pestering one to give you an advertised job, even though you’re absolutely not qualified. This is borderline unprofessional and could land you on a recruiter’s or hiring manager’s blacklist.
4. Sharing a CV that is unprofessional, including but not limited to; bad formatting, grammatical errors, too much, or too little information. (watch our YouTube video, to see the top 5 things that will make your CV stand out)
Displaying a strong sense of entitlement; refrain from feeling like you deserve special treatment because you were personally introduced to a recruiter or hiring manager for a certain job opportunity. Always remember that there are others like you who are looking to land that role.
Here are a few tips that will come in handy when requesting for help;
i) Be specific – Anytime, you sent an email, a LinkedIn message, a Whatsapp message, and so forth, don’t shift the onus to the recipient to figure out what you want. Do you want them to introduce you to someone? Looking for an informational interview? Want them to store your CV in their database for future job opportunities? Recommend relevant job groups you can join? Read this article to get a feel of how you can request for help using written communication, which we’re sure you can also apply in in-person conversations (more on Google, of course)
ii) Display enthusiasm – While job searching is a draining process, asking for help shouldn’t be. Let your passion exude in your communication. Showcase your excitement for the next opportunity you want to take up, and the value you will add. This enthusiasm will likely be cascaded down by the recipients to their own networks and good may come out of this. Otherwise, there is no need to have a monotonous conversation that could be misinterpreted to show that you lacked enthusiasm and passion about your own career.
iii) Prioritize your networks – Of importance here, is to have a strong sense of awareness of the career goals you have for yourself so that you know who the right people or networks are, that you should reach out to first. For instance, mapping out the organizations you’re interested to work with and using your LinkedIn profile to see who you’re already connected to there is the first step, followed by messaging them with a clear request for assistance. Here’s an article we wrote about how you can use LinkedIn to land your next job. We also like to insist on the importance of utilizing your weak ties when job hunting. Read the linked article to learn more.
iv) Check-in regularly – Now, we’re not asking you to bombard people with emails or phone calls every other day. However, people are busy, and it’s easy for them to forget to do something you had requested of them. So it’s important that you remind them non-aggressively so that they carry out the request you had for them.
v) Have an accountability partner – It’s very easy to get frustrated, and give up when you’ve tried everything, and nothing works when looking for a job. This is why having an accountability partner could help you not give up easily. Share your goals with them; e.g.: attend X networking events in a certain period of time, reach out to X amount of people on LinkedIn, follow up on X conversations by a certain period, and so on and so on. This sets a precedent that will prevent you from falling into the trap of doing the bare minimum when job hunting.
vi) Consider signing up for career coaching – In extreme scenarios, where you’re not sure where you should start, we highly recommend that you work with a career coach, to help you align your values and interests to a career path that will suit you. It is also an effective way to unpack some of the myths surrounding job searching, shift your mindset and gain clarity on what you want to pursue.
If this has been you/ is you, now you know and we hope you find our tips above useful and reroute your job hunting journey.
Last, but not least, read our blog to see some of the other ways you may be sabotaging your job search
Are you trying to figure out what next steps you should take in your career, and don’t know where to start? Reach out to us today at email@example.com! We’ll act as your thought partner, and help you navigate some of your most pressing career challenges!