3 Ways To Make Your Online Networking Count

by Meg Guiseppi on December 5, 2016

 

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The best way to land your next great-fit gig is networking – fortified by targeting and personal branding built around your value to target employers.

Along with so many other aspects of executive job search in the digital age, networking has changed and expanded.

Sticking solely to older methods — phone calls, in-person networking events, snail mail, etc. — puts you at a great disadvantage.

Neglecting social networking has damaging effects:

  • You’ll seriously limit avenues to opportunities.
  • You’ll be perceived as out-of-date with social media and the new world of work, therefore a less desirable candidate.
  • You’ll have a harder time staying top-of-mind with your network and people who can help you reach your career goals.

LinkedIn is the most important place to establish a strong presence and actively network.

But don’t stop there.

3 Ways To Make Social Networking Count

 

In a Harvard Business Review article, Dorie Clark suggests these 3 powerful ways to connect online, beyond LinkedIn. I’ve adjusted these to focus specifically on job search networking:

1. Master a proactive outreach.

Don’t waste too much time on aimless social media blasts. Narrow your efforts to people who work at the companies or organizations you’re targeting.

“Pick 5-10 people. Follow them on social media, and take note of which channels they seem to use most regularly. Look for opportunities to engage with that person, retweeting their posts with your own audience, answering a question they may ask, or sharing a thoughtful response to one of their updates.”

This approach builds momentum over time. The idea is to slowly and gently become known to these people, and stay top-of-mind with them, by engaging in small ways every few weeks. Ultimately, you’ll hope to win an in-person meet with them.

2. Attract contacts to you.

Put yourself in a position of power by creating a social media presence that draws people you want to meet to you.

“Write thoughtful articles (or create podcasts or video) that share useful information and your point of view on a given topic.”

Write about topics of interest to these people, demonstrating your subject matter expertise and thought leadership. If possible, mention these people in the content. If they’ve set up a Google Alert for their name, they’re likely to come across it.

3. Develop a “bookend” strategy to complement in-person networking.

Strive to move the best leads beyond virtual networking to a phone call and/or in-person meeting.

Virtual networking works best when it’s not happening in isolation. Once you’ve created “warm leads” and have made preliminary contact with faraway contacts, you can solidify your connection by advancing to an in-person meeting.

“If you know you’ll have the opportunity to meet someone at a conference (the organizers often share the speaker or attendee list), you can message them in advance via LinkedIn, or Twitter if they seem to be active there, introducing yourself and suggesting a time to connect at the event. Few people are that organized and deliberate about their networking, so your message is likely to stand out.”

Use social media to keep that connection alive after meeting them. Regular posting/updates on LinkedIn, Twitter and other social networks will keep you top-of-mind with them when a good-fit opportunity for you comes their way.

Executive Job Search and Personal Branding Help

Land a GREAT-FIT New Executive GigNeed help with personal branding, your LinkedIn profile, resume and biography, and getting your executive job search on track . . . to land a great-fit new gig?

Take a look at the services I offer, how my process works and what differentiates my value-offer . . . then get in touch with me and we’ll get the ball rolling.

More About Successful Executive Job Search

Are You Executive Job Search-Ready?

Essential Checklist to Optimize LinkedIn For Executive Job Search

Is Your Executive Resume an Interesting Read?

10 of the Worst Executive Job Search Email Mistakes

7 Tips to Build Your Executive Job Search Target Companies List

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Game-changing Executive Resume FAQs

by Meg Guiseppi on November 28, 2016

 

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In this series of posts on executive job search Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), I’ve already covered the following:

LinkedIn FAQs
Personal Branding FAQs
Online Reputation Management FAQs

Still to come, my post on Executive Job Search FAQs, in general.

5 questions my clients ask me most often about resumes and other career documents

1. My resume stinks. How do I get it to represent who I really am and what I have to offer?

Start by making your executive resume an interesting read.

How do you do that? With targeting and personal branding.

Targeting will help you zero in on specific areas where you can add value for specific employers.

Personal branding will help you differentiate your unique combination of skill sets, qualifications and personal attributes that make you a good fit for them.

Don’t be afraid to tell people about your personality – how you work with and lead people, how you make things happen for a company, what you’re known for by peers and others at work, etc.

If your executive resume is still partying like it’s 1999, you need to think like a resume branding pro, with 10 Do’s and Don’ts.

And always be mindful that grammar and spelling errors really matter in your resume, biography, cover letters, LinkedIn profile, and any other personal marketing content.

2. How many pages should my resume be? Is 3 pages too many?

For the nearly 25 years I’ve been writing resumes, I rarely held fast to the rule that executive resumes should be no longer than 2 pages. I feel that 3 pages, when necessary, are perfectly fine . . . especially for c-suite and senior-level executives. It all depends upon what information truly needs to be included, to best position my client as a good-fit candidate for their target employers.

This pertains to the nicely formatted version of your resume, designed for human eyeballs as you network your way into jobs.

These days, in the age of Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), job seekers need another version of their resume to make it through recruiters’ and HR departments’ databases. An ATS-friendly resume is a barely formatted text version, that needs to contain enough of the right keywords searched to call up the resume for a particular job. For this version, length doesn’t apply. In fact, longer is better. More content means more relevant keywords and a better likelihood of succeeding through the ATS.

More about details in my post, What’s the Best Executive Resume Format and Length?

3. How do I deal with the employment gaps in my career history?

With a long career history, many c-suite and senior-level executive job seekers may have employment gaps for various reasons. It’s better if you don’t, but there are some ways to deal with these gaps in your resume and LinkedIn profile.

To downplay gaps, you can use years only for employment length, not months. This is standard practice and can cover up fairly long gaps.

Better still, plan ahead to avoid future employment gaps with preemptive tactics like these:

  • Go back to school, either online or in-person, and take courses or earn certifications to upgrade relevant skills.
  • Secure temp work.
  • Find consulting gigs or interim work, or set up a consulting firm and take on relevant assignments.
  • Volunteer at charities, schools, hospitals, civic groups, etc. Even though you probably won’t be paid, this kind of work definitely counts as professional experience.

4. Should I have a biography to supplement my resume? How do I use a biography?

A career brand biography is a storytelling tool that breathes life into an otherwise flat rehash of your resume. For job search and career management, a bio affords the opportunity to reinforce your brand through storytelling, in a way that’s more difficult to accomplish in a resume.

What a career brand biography does better than a resume:

  • Showcase your leadership and management acumen through softer skills and “good fit” attributes, and link them to your value proposition.
  • Personalize your Challenge – Actions – Results (C-A-Rs) stories and use them to reinforce your brand attributes and key strengths.
  • Generate chemistry around how you use your key personal attributes, passions, strengths, and motivated skills to benefit employers.
  • Help employers connect with you and envision you on the job, having a positive impact.

When I create LinkedIn profiles for my clients, I generate chemistry and showcase personality by using biography-type content with storytelling for the Summary section.

For 7 other ways to use a biography, see my post How to Write and Use An Executive Brand Biography.

5. Do I really need a cover letter with my resume?

In a word, “YES!

As you network your way into “hidden” jobs at your target companies, you’ll be emailing your resume to select people. You’ll need to introduce it with some kind of covering message or letter.

Although there are recruiters and hiring decision makers who will skip right over your cover letters, others will read them religiously and judge candidates by them as strongly as they do their resumes, LinkedIn profiles and online presence.

Doesn’t it make sense to include a cover letter – one that’s as hard-hitting and brand-reinforcing as your targeted resume and LinkedIn profile?

My research and experience over the years revealed that NOT having a cover letter may ruin your chances, but HAVING a cover letter will never hurt your chances.

At the very least, a covering letter or email message is an expected courtesy to the reader, and specifies why you’re writing to them.

When emailing your resume and covering message to people, be sure to avoid these 10 worst job search email mistakes.

Executive Job Search and Personal Branding Help

Land a GREAT-FIT New Executive GigNeed help with personal branding, your LinkedIn profile, resume and biography, and getting your executive job search on track . . . to land a great-fit new gig?

Take a look at the services I offer, how my process works and what differentiates my value-offer . . . then get in touch with me and we’ll get the ball rolling.

More About Executive Resumes, Biographies and Cover Letters

Is Your Executive Resume an Interesting Read?

Is Your Executive Resume Still Partying Like It’s 1999?

ATS and the Executive Resume Black Hole – What You May Not Know

How to Deal With Employment Gaps in Your Resume and LinkedIn Profile

Do I Really Need a Cover Letter for My Executive Resume?

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