Optimize your LinkedIn Profile: Add Skills

Meg Applegate, CPRW_Hinge Resume.jpg

LinkedIn is a place to connect but it's also a search engine. Ditch your invisibility cloak. Make yourself easy to find among the half a billion professionals on the platform.

According to LinkedIn, approximately 40% of recruiters are using skills to search for talent. Easily optimize your profile with your skills section. You can have up to 50 skills listed on your profile. Click “Add a Skill” and utilize the skill suggestions and the auto-population feature in the search bar for clues on how people may search for professionals with your skill set.

Skills screen shot.png

Listing your skills also comes in handy when applying for jobs on LinkedIn. When you view a posting you can see how your expertise matches with the top 10 skills of the listed position.

Here are a few handy links to help:

Add/remove skills

Re-order your top-three skills

Develop in a Group to land Higher Roles

Carrot Club. It got my youngest son to eat his vegetables. What partnership might you need for personal and professional growth?

Meg Applegate_Hinge Resume.jpg

My three-year-old was not into veggies. My husband started face timing him at lunch to eat together. In an effort to prove carrots are in fact digestible and tasty, my husband would munch on his with great delight. My son totally bought it. Now, each weekday they bond over their carrots and eat lunch together. Hence, the start of carrot club.

Do you need a 'carrot club'? For women, in particular, your inner circle matters. According to a January 2019 research conducted by the University of Notre Dame and Northwestern University, over 75% of women executives had an inner circle of 2-3 women. The research found that women in particular who communicated and relied on a small group of women placed at a higher job level.

So, who are your people? Who can you rely on to get you over the hurdles of personal and professional life?

If you haven't found your tribe - start one! Rally grad school friends or like-minded colleagues. Attend networking events to find your people. If you are local to Indianapolis, try Linking Indy Women

How have you seen the power of community work in your professional life?

Find your Person: 4 Cover Letter Writing Strategies

Meg Applegate_Hinge Resume_Resume Writing Service_Indianapolis.jpg

Dear Whom It May Concern:

Nope. Try Again.

Attention Hiring Manager:

There is a better way.

Write to a person and make it personal when writing your cover letter. While a bot will typically be sifting through your career documents first, a PERSON will be hiring you.

Take time to find out who will read your cover letter and address it to them. A few simple tricks to track down your reader:

- Company website. Search the staff page for the person behind the job title listed in the posting.

- LinkedIn. Leverage your connections and the search function to track down the 'who' for your letter.

- Call the company. Inquire over the phone. You mean use my phone to actually *call* someone?! Yes! Chat with the receptionist/ administrative assistant (whoever answers!) and ask who you can direct your cover letter to.

-Sleuth. Use Hunter [dot] io to track down any professional email address. You will need a first and last name and company name.

What other tricks do you have up your sleeve to find your cover letter reader?

Peek behind the Door: The art of Modern, Custom Resume Writing

Meg Applegate, CPRW.jpg

What does it take to write a modern, custom resume that is both ATS and human-friendly? Take a peek behind the door of the art of custom resume writing. Know what it takes to DIY or for your resume writer.

Gather materials + stories. The very beginning of the process is time-consuming work and not for the faint at heart. Collect performance reviews, recent assessment results (DISC, MBTI, etc.), client/colleague feedback, reflect on professional achievements and recall stories of how you faced a challenge, strategies you used to overcome them and quantifiable results.

Direction. Find job postings that represent your career goals going forward. Note the language and keywords in the postings.

Distill value. Marinate in the materials you've collected. Synthesize themes of your professional narrative to create a professional brand.

Write + design. Focus on the story of YOU. Showcase professional achievements over lists of job duties. Guide the reader's eye to what YOU want them to see through formatting and design elements.

Edit ruthlessly. Continually review how you can write more succinctly explaining what you do simply with industry keywords. Check spelling and grammar.

As both a stay-at-home parent and certified resume writer, I block my time in 30-minute chunks. I run from task to task in the early morning and evening hours and during nap-time (my three-year-old is currently partying in his room over resting these days;) to craft your professional narrative.

Your story shapes my story. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

More than Google: Online Tools for Target Company Research

Meg Applegate_Hinge Resume_Resume Writing Service.jpg

Target a company of interest they say. Understand company pain points, jobseekers. But what about when you are stuck with lackluster search results? There is more than Google in online company research.

Check out these online tools to find more organization information and about the people within them.

Company Information:

https://www.crunchbase.com

http://www.vault.com

https://pitchbook.com

Nonprofit:

https://www2.guidestar.org/Home.aspx

Real-time compilation of social media channels:

http://socialmention.com

Use what you learn to inform how you can add value to your target company. Integrate what you’ve learned into your career documents and let it inform how you present yourself and your professional brand in your interview.

What online tools have you used to bolster your research in the job search?

Little things matter BIG!

Meg Applegate, CPRW_Hinge Resume.jpg

My library book haul this weekend is all about the little things. Daily decisions, little moments and even small, mundane choices. I'm learning the small stuff matters. They make an impact in life and in resume writing.

Magical little life things:

+ Playing board games with my son on sick days.

+ Exchanging secrets with my daughter at bedtime.

+ A lit candle and music playing during dinner prep.

Small resume touches:

+ Periods at the end of bullet points to tie a bow on a high-impact statement.

+ A clean, custom LinkedIn URL (instead of the gobbly-gook link provided).

+ Bolding a professional accomplishment to make it pop.

+ Sharp, distinct action verbs.

What small things are making a difference in your life or your job search right now?

Be YOU in your resume - Choose your words Wisely!

Meg Applegate, Certified Professional Resume Writer.jpg

Mind the language you use to describe yourself in your resume. It matters. Language is powerful. Wisely use a mix of words that describe only YOU. No one should be able to lift content from your resume as their own because it should describe only YOUR story, not solely the responsibilities of your job title.

A branding statement is key in articulating who you are on your resume. I use a three-step process when writing branding statements for my clients focusing on:

1. The distinguishing factors of WHO you are.

2. The WHAT of unique professional achievements

and

3. the WHERE of career direction.

What method(s) do you use to make your resume stand out and really describe YOU?


Need resume branding help? Grab a DIY mini-workbook here.


Do you have a Free Range Career? 3 tips to coalesce your Professional Experiences

When we talk about a 'career path' it gives the sense of a linear direction, but when I look at back at my professional history - my path is not well-worn or straight, but squiggly and intersecting. 

Have you roamed in wide open professional spaces creating trails instead of a well-worn path? Perhaps wandering from job to job has been your MO and now you are getting tired of lacking direction. Maybe your career path is similar to the chickens that lay the free-range eggs that you eat for breakfast. You like me, have a free range career. 

Meg Applegate, CPRW.jpg

If you are ready to gain a sense of direction or connect the dots of your wanderings to find a meaningful true north, start by nailing down a career target. To start:

+ Reflect on your professional paths. Take note of the wanderings that brought you to life and which drained you. 

+ Identify your key skills. What are you known for? What problems are you an expert at solving? 

+ Uncover your career values. Discover what motivates you and is most important to you. Is it prosperity? Creativity? Achievement? Discern the career values that are unique to you.

Need more tips to clarify your career focus? Download them here.



3 Steps to put feet to your Career Dreams

Meg Applegate, CPRW_Hinge Resume.jpg

Put feet to your dream career. Envision it so clearly you can taste, see, hear, smell and feel what it would be like to be in that job, a particular company, or leading the charge on that new business.

You can create dimensions to your dream by creating a vision board, writing it down or (gasp!) telling someone.

The feet of your dreams hit the pavement when you place parameters around it: the what and when. So:

☁️ Clarify your vision and/or job target. Know your specific dream job down to the detail. Create your own job description as a guide or find a posting that represents your ideal gig.

☁️ Set a due date. Set a goal of 'when' you want to be realizing your dream.

☁️ Decide on your daily effort. Decide what you will do each day to achieve your goal. Will you be reaching out to a certain number of people each day? Tweaking your career documents? Researching a company?

Then don't talk yourself out of it! Look at your vision board and/or written goals each day to remind yourself that your dreams are real...that you can say yes to them each day!

How do you practically pursue your career dreams each day? Unsure how to nail down your perfect job target? Download our free tips here.

How do you use your 100 characters? A LinkedIn Job Title Trick

Meg Applegate, CPRW_Hinge Resume.jpg

Likely, you wear many hats at your job. You perform different key functions throughout your day. Don't be limited to the job title you were given by your company to describe what you do on LinkedIn! You have 100 characters for each job title under your experience section. Use them!

Here are a few examples:

Assistant Branch Manager ≫ Customer Service Leader ≫ Talent Development ≫ Retail Banking

VP / Vice President of National Sales | Senior Sales Executive | Revenue Growth | Sales Strategy

 Assistant Director of Student Life | Leadership Development | Training | Higher Education

Job titles are prominently placed (and in bold!) on your profile. Consider adding an accomplishment instead of keywords or functions next to your job title. 

For example:

Corporate Service Coordinator | Hotel Event Planner | Corporate Sales ► Launched first ABC Hotel

How do you use your 100 characters