Author Archives: Alex Freund

About Alex Freund

Alex has extensive experience with interviewing people. He has also practical training in career coaching. Consequently, he formed LandingExpert – Career Coaching services. He is prominent in a number of networking groups and has helped many job seekers with their career searches, providing them with tools, information, marketing material, and one-on-one preparation for the interview. Via his website www.landingexpert.com he offers people in transition and otherwise a comprehensive and updated list of job-search networking groups. This list is being viewed consistently by over 3000 people per month.

3 Reasons Why LinkedIn is Important for Job Seekers

Alex Freund, The Landing Expert

LinkedIn helps job seekers

By definition, every job seeker is a seller of self. The recruiter and the hiring manager, on the other hand, are the buyers. Buyers are obligated to perform due diligence before making commitment to sellers. Now, I’m sure that you the reader do not stretch the truth, exaggerate the facts, or even occasionally lie on your résumé about certain facts, skills, or accomplishments, but I know that some others do. According to surveys such as Jobvite, 93% of recruiters use social media to check out candidates. A recruiter’s professional obligation is to make sure that résumés submitted to companies factually represent the job candidates. Otherwise, the recruiter’s credibility is on the line. Recruiters compare the content of candidates’ résumés with other facts they are able to find online. To make those comparisons, 94% use LinkedIn, 66% use Facebook, and 52% use Twitter. But what are they looking for?

  1. Validation of expertise and experience

Recruiters and hiring managers compare, for example, your skills, experience, and accomplishments—as stated in your résumé—with any evidence found regarding your participation in communications with others who belong to the same groups you do. If, for instance, you say you’re very qualified at the expert level, well, your claim should be evident elsewhere too. If you say you’re a leader who communicates well, then that should be apparent via your blog that is linked to your LinkedIn profile. Furthermore, recommendations validate your expertise, and endorsements speak specifically to your professional skills.

  1. Evidence of consistency between the resume and social media

The basic things a recruiter validates are the matching of dates of employment and names of employers. They also search for any gaps in titles, college graduation date, academic degrees, and so forth between your LinkedIn profile and your résumé. Even though it is advised that a résumé be tailored to the job being applied for and that your LinkedIn profile be more generic in nature, the basic information has to otherwise match, or the discrepancies will raise questions. Significant varying information between the two could cost you the opportunity to continue in the selection process for further review of your candidacy.

  1. Assertion of technological savvy

Those who have complete and attractive LinkedIn profiles affirm their understanding of the online business. Such profiles also serve as differentiators against more-mature people who, typically, are less savvy about new technology.

In summary

Online presence not only is helpful to the job seeker but also makes the recruiter’s job easier when it comes to the processing of your job application. In addition, candidates who are not perfectly honest about their professional backgrounds will come to regret the deceit because sooner or later, the truth will surface. A problem that some job seekers face is their posting of some information online years ago, at a time when such information was not important to them but it helped them impress their friends and peers at the time. That information may backfire now if found—even years and years later.

Networking with a purpose

Networking with a purpose

Networking is all about relationships

People in transition know that 60 to 80 percent of job seekers get their next positions through networking. Consequently and whenever possible, they focus their daily activities on such networking. But despite their—sometimes admittedly awkward—efforts, nothing comes of it. The reason is that they don’t have an understanding of the actual purpose of networking and how to turn it into interviews.

The purpose of networking is to cultivate relationships for advice, information, leads, and, hopefully, referrals. While it’s important to know others for this purpose, it’s equally important that those others know you. Most people are willing to network, but they have the right to expect you to (1) focus on specific companies and (2) demonstrate to them that networking is a give-and-take transaction, whereby they, too, may get from you in turn some industry intelligence.

For those who don’t know how to go about approaching a person for the purpose of networking, here’s a simple script that can be used either over the phone or via e-mail.

My name is Jane Jones. Our mutual acquaintance Stan Smith
suggested I give you a call [or send you an e-mail] because he feels
you’re an expert in [whichever] industry. Stan suggested
you might be of assistance to me. I’m currently in between jobs and looking for a role as a [insert title/position]. I don’t expect you to know
of an opening in this area, but perhaps you can share with me
your thoughts about ways I can find out who’s hiring.

The mechanics of a networking dialogue should have the following components. An initial rapport building to establish the relationship. An agenda for the purpose—and that consider how you, too, can add value. Try finding out whom the other person knows or what good contacts the person has. Another element is likability. You must develop your relationship on trust, integrity, and show of enthusiasm, motivation, and drive. Nobody enjoys a conversation with someone who’s depressed—with the possible exception of a psychologist!   And last, get engaged in the exchange, and try to feel comfortable asking for referrals. When you get them, make sure you keep your host in the loop.

If you follow these guidelines, it’s very likely that you’ll generate more interviews. In that event, make sure you’re well prepared. You don’t want to drop the ball once you’re so close to scoring.

3 Tips for Improving Your In-transition Brand

3 Tips for Improving Your In-transition Brand

Everybody has a brand. Is yours a good one?

More than ever, when you are in transition you should have a brand. Why? you ask. Because that is how you differentiate yourself and stand out from the proverbial crowd.

Branding is not about what you like but about what employers like. Your branding statement—whether in writing, on the Internet, or spoken via your elevator pitch should have the triple purposes of gaining credibility, arousing curiosity, and increasing your likability factor. And your work toward those goals will not be in vain, because 90 + percent of employers check out candidates prior to making initial searches via, say, LinkedIn, Spokeo, or ZoomInfo.

Nowadays, employers use Google when searching for prospects. Research shows that 29% of people use two words when searching, 28% use three words, 17% use four words, and only 11% use one word. This means that your résumé or any other information about you should be rich with nouns and phrases. This advice is different from what we were told in the past: that résumés should have lots of action verbs. In fact, a combination of both is best. Yes, certainly computers are looking for keywords, but when people actually read about you, they want to see both action and accomplishments.

A recent study found that 90% of people search on the first three pages of search engine results and that 62% search only on the first page. Good branding work rewards candidates by resulting in a high ranking on Google and LinkedIn searches. To find out what’s out there in cyberspace, here are the most common social media search engines:

Setting it up is a bit time-consuming, but you might be surprised at the information available about you and that you didn’t have a clue about. One of the best ways to find out what people are saying about you is to monitor your reputation via www.google.com/alerts.

It’s very important to communicate properly, for this is how people judge you. And there are certain words and phrases you should avoid because they’re overused and most often meaningless. Here are a few examples:

  • Extensive experience
  • Motivated
  • Dynamic
  • Team player
  • Problem solver
  • Innovative
  • Results oriented
  • Proven track record
  • Fast paced
  • Entrepreneurial

These days 90%+ of recruiters check LinkedIn. Therefore it makes good sense for you to improve as best as possible the information on your LinkedIn page. Here are a few simple ideas:

  • Increase the number of recommendations.
  • Ask questions and provide answers.
  • Update your status periodically.
  • Inform your connections about projects you’re working on.
  • Connect with your Twitter account.
  • Share links to articles of interest.
  • Import e-mail addresses from Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, Hotmail, and Outlook.
  • Connect with ex-colleagues: people on LinkedIn from companies you worked with before.
  • Connect with people you met in person via networking events and whose business cards you collected.

As you can see, branding yourself is of utmost importance. Otherwise, you stay hidden from those you really want to see you.