I’m an avid and frequent blogger, typically posting new content about job search on this blog twice a week.
Even though I’ve been blogging with at least once-a-week frequency since 2008, I still never run out of things to write about, and I never tire of doing it.
I can’t keep up with my ongoing list of posts to tackle within relevant topics impacting today’s search:
- personal branding
- resume, cover letter, biography and other job search materials
- LinkedIn and other social networking
- online reputation management
- social media
That list continues to grow, so I have every reason to believe I’ll continue publishing new posts for a long time.
Besides marketing my business, blogging forces me to stay current with emerging trends. Many posts require research, feeding my need to continuously learn new strategies and ideas.
And it doesn’t hurt that I love this kind of writing.
As I look back on posts throughout this year, clearly LinkedIn was once again a favorite topic.
That’s because LinkedIn is one of the best tools available to job seekers, to communicate their personal brand, position themselves as subject matter experts, stay top-of-mind with their networks, and network their way into new jobs.
Some of these I wrote several years ago and update regularly. Sometimes a new article zooms right to the top of the list, in terms of popularity and shares.
In no particular order, these are the most viewed and shared posts from this year.
My top 10 posts will help you navigate today’s job search, and beyond
Executive Interview Questions: What Should YOU Ask?
All your hard work is paying off.
You’ve defined your personal brand, created your resume and other personal marketing materials, and otherwise prepared for job search. You’ve made networking connections and landed interviews.
If you conducted industry and company research early on, you know what issues and challenges the industry and your target companies are facing right now.
You’re prepared to intelligently answer typical interview questions like “Tell me about yourself“, in a way that will position your good-fit qualities.
And you’re well-prepared to answer simple queries like “What do you know about our company?” and “Why do you want to work here?“.
But are you also prepared to ASK intelligent questions, to position yourself as someone extremely interested in the organization?
After all, the interview process is all about you and the company assessing each other for good fit.
This is part of your due diligence. Now is the time to find out if this job and company are really right for you.
15 Savvy Tips To Boost LinkedIn Profile Views
Whether you’re actively job hunting or just want people to take notice of you, bedazzle your LinkedIn profile. Build up your LinkedIn profile views and make it a traffic magnet.
- More LinkedIn profile views means more people are landing on your profile, and hopefully reading all about you and your good-fit qualities for the job(s) you want.
- More profile views means more people potentially sending job leads your way, or otherwise helping you with your job search and career.
Besides being a social network, LinkedIn is a search engine.
People use the site to search for particular kinds of people.
Most of LinkedIn’s revenue comes from recruiters, so they constitute the largest group of people using LinkedIn’s search engine.
Who are they searching for? Potential job candidates for the jobs they’re trying to fill.
They search using keywords such as job titles and skills.
To get more views on LinkedIn – and more potential job leads – your profile needs to be highly visible and findable to recruiters and others.
And you need to keep yourself and your personal brand top-of-mind with your expanding network.
How to Run a Confidential Job Search on LinkedIn
You need to keep your job search under wraps. But you know you need to use LinkedIn to help you land your next job.
So how do you run a confidential job search on LinkedIn?
Something like 95% of my executive job-seeking clients face the same dilemma. They’re still employed, but looking to move on for various reasons.
They can’t broadcast that they’re actively seeking opportunities . . . on LinkedIn . . . or anywhere online.
And they have to be selective and careful about which people they tell.
But, they’ll probably need to add to, or change, the content in their LinkedIn profile to position themselves as good-fit candidates for their target employers.
And they’ll need to ramp up their activity on LinkedIn.
Accomplishing this, while staying undercover, may seem impossible to do.
But with a stealthy strategy and an understanding of how LinkedIn works, you can do a pretty good job of it.
Should I Use #OpenToWork on LinkedIn?
Have you noticed the little green #OpenToWork frame around headshots on some LinkedIn profiles? Are you wondering whether to use it yourself?
A time-honored job search strategy is not to “out” the fact in your LinkedIn profile that you’re unemployed. Hiring professionals typically prefer people who are employed.
But the pandemic changed things. They tend to be more understanding about employment now.
If you opt to let all LinkedIn members know you’re job hunting, the green swath with #OpenToWork will go on your profile photo/headshot. People will likely assume that you’re unemployed.
If you opt to only let recruiters know you’re looking, the green swath isn’t displayed on your profile. But recruiters privately using LinkedIn Recruiter and other powerful people search tools will know your employment status.
LinkedIn says when you choose this option:
“We take steps not to show your current company that you’re open, but can’t guarantee complete privacy.”
Is using the #OpenToWork banner a good idea or too risky, in your situation?
20 Job Interview Red Flags You Shouldn’t Ignore
You may have landed a job interview with a company you’re really interested in. Or it may be a company you’re just curious about.
Whatever the reason you’re going ahead with an interview, if you really want or need the job, you may have decided that, no matter what, you’ll take the job with them.
Remember that interviewing is a two-way street. You should be assessing them just as much as they assess you.
Along with the research work on the company you did in your interview prep beforehand, the interview itself will help you fill in gaps for your due diligence into whether this company is a good fit for you.
Doing your due diligence means asking the right questions and paying close attention to the words and actions of each person who interviews you for signals.
After all, you don’t want to end up in a job that doesn’t work for you. Both you and the employer pay the price for that.
They will have lost the costs associated with the hiring process.
You will have lost precious time stagnating in a job you don’t like, waiting until you think it’s okay to jump ship.
And you’ll have to face the job search process all over again . . . unless you decide to stay with a company or job that’s wrong for you.
But take heart. There are a number of signs to watch out for, before you accept the job offer.
YIKES! My LinkedIn Profile is Gone!
If you’re like millions of savvy executive job seekers, you count on LinkedIn to help you promote your personal brand and unique value, and build online visibility for your candidacy.
The last thing you can afford is having your LinkedIn profile disappear or your account shut down.
You’re probably quaking right now at the very thought that this could ever happen to you.
But it can happen . . . for any number of reasons.
You may do something – on purpose or not – that leads LinkedIn to boot you out. Or, circumstances beyond your control could be at play.
Unfortunately, you may never determine exactly why your LinkedIn profile is missing.
The post looks at how this could happen and what you can do to recover, in some cases.
How to Write An Irresistible Executive Resume in 10 Steps
When was the last time you used your executive resume?
When was the last time you even thought about it or looked at it?
If you’re like many executive job seekers, you’ve either never needed a resume to get noticed and land a job . . . or it’s been many years since you’ve needed one . . . or you’re not happy with your resume.
You may be unaware of how much executive resumes have changed in the past several years.
Your executive resume may be dangerously old-fashioned.
So before you:
- Dust off your old resume (if you have one),
- Merely update it with your latest career history,
- And then expect that, when you put it out there they will come . . .
You need to get a handle on today’s modern resume and what part it plays in today’s executive job search.
And guess what? A great resume alone probably won’t get you into your next great gig.
31 Common Executive Job Interview Questions and How to Best Answer Them
If you’re job-hunting and a job interview is looming, you’ve probably done some research on what kinds of questions you’ll be asked.
If you have no idea what you may be asked, and expect to nail interviews with zero preparation, you may be in for some very uncomfortable and awkward conversations, combined with that sinking feeling afterwards that you didn’t come across well at all.
Remember that at the executive level, interview questions will probe more specifically how you’ll perform in the job. Interviewers want to know about:
- Your problem solving skills
- How you’ll navigate unpredictable challenges
- The traits you bring to the table that predict you will be successful in the role
Executive interviews, in general, are about:
- Positioning yourself as a good hiring choice
- Helping employers envision you on the job, contributing to the company’s success
- Helping you with your due diligence for the job and the company
What and Who is an Executive?
Here’s something that happens to me fairly frequently:
People like Vice Presidents, General Managers or those at and above the Director level (clearly executives by most any definition) ask me:
“Will you consider working with me . . . even though I’m not at the executive level yet?”
I’m baffled every time.
Unless the definition of executive has shifted over the years, for all my years as a job search and careers professional, I’ve considered someone to be an executive when they manage others and have decision-making authority.
This doesn’t necessarily mean being “a suit”. Even some CEOs (who are unquestionably executives) don’t wear suits.
The late Peter F. Drucker‘s seminal book on management, The Effective Executive, said:
“I have called “executives” those knowledge works, managers, or individual professionals who are expected by virtue of their position or their knowledge to make decisions in the normal course of their work that have impact on the performance and results of the whole.
The most subordinate, we now know, may do the same kind of work as the president of the company or the administrator of the government agency, that is, plan, organize, integrate, motivate, and measure. His compass may be quite limited, but within his sphere, he is an executive.”
THE Personal Branding Worksheet
One of the first steps for a successful executive job search is defining your personal brand.
Your brand is your reputation – the perception of you held by the external world. It is the combination of personal attributes, values, drivers, strengths, and passions you draw from.
These are the things that differentiate your unique promise of value from your competitors.
Your brand helps those assessing you determine whether they should hire you.
My personal branding worksheet will help you pinpoint the things about you that make you a good fit for the employers you want to work for.
The other initial steps are:
- Targeting – determining which employers are a mutual good fit, and
- Research – finding out what challenges your target employers are facing that you are uniquely qualified to help them with.
Along with branding, these things form the foundation that informs every aspect of your job search.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Identify those standout qualities and characteristics within you.
- Communicate a crystal clear, consistent message across multiple channels – online and offline.
- Design your message to resonate with your target audience.
- Tell your career brand story to generate chemistry for your value-offer.