job search tips

Add a Badge: LinkedIn’s Newest Skill Assessment Feature

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Add badges of skill to your Linkedin profile that recruiters will notice.

HOW?

With LinkedIn's newest feature: Skills Assessment.

WHAT?

33 skill tests are currently available mostly for tech-related skills. If you pass the multiple-choice skill quiz you earn a badge for your profile verifying that skill. The tests are on the honor system and have to be renewed annually to retain the profile badge.

A sample assessment question, per LinkedIn Help, for JavaScript at the beginner level, for example, is: What is the HTTP verb to request the contents of an existing resource?

WHERE?

You can find the skill tests available as a button in your skills and endorsements section.

WHEN?

Now! The new feature rolled out globally this week. More tests coming soon!

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOUR JOB SEARCH?

A competitive edge. Recruiters will be using badges as a new way to filter the candidate pool for matches to job openings.

You'll be found. Companies will also be able to target paid job ads for candidates with a verifiable skillset.

Want to learn more? Read TechCrunch’s take here.

One Simple Answer to Cure Networking Fatigue

As a jobseeker, networking is the number one way to land a job and for those who are gainfully employed, it is a great way to cultivate your network. How do you do it without burning out?

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The answer?

BOUNDARIES

Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. James Townsend describe boundaries like property lines. Know where your backyard begins and ends. You are in control of what and who you let in your fenced backyard.

So when it comes to networking share your time and talent generously, but:

Know your limits. Whether we like it or not, we are finite beings with a finite amount of time each day. Know the limits of your calendar and energy.

Know your capacity. Everyone has a different capacity. Whether it is related to introversion or extraversion, your season of life or stress, know what lights you up and what drains you.

Know your priorities. Your schedule may allow a phone call or coffee date but ensure it matches up with your current personal and professional priorities. Just because your calendar allows doesn't mean a yes is necessary. If you can't touch-base or share insights over coffee, be clear in your no. If possible, refer the requestor to others who may be helpful or beneficial resources.

How do boundaries play a role in your networking?

Choose Your Own Adventure: 3 Career Clarifying Tips to Market Yourself in the Job Search

Choose your own adventure. It's not just a book genre. It's your life!

Job seekers, in particular, you get to DECIDE what to pursue. Make sure you are making the choice! Being generic and putting out broad materials about WHO you are and WHAT you've done is doing everyone a disservice. Especially you.

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Choose adventure-specific marketing in your career documents and networking.

How do you do it? Choose a job target and position yourself accordingly. Unsure which professional route you want to take? Try:

✅ Identifying your key skills. What are you known for? What problems are you an expert at solving? What makes you different from colleagues in your profession? Use your key skills as search terms on LinkedIn and see what positions pop up.

✅ Deductive reasoning. If you are at a total loss for next steps, flip the process on its head. Sometimes knowing what you want to do starts with recognizing what you DON'T have any desire to do! Reduce your options by using O*NET Online > www.onetonline [dot ] org/find/.

✅ Talking to people. Be a student of those that are in positions that pique your interest. Request new connections on LinkedIn. Ask for a brief chat to learn the nuts of bolts of what they do. Note industry transitions, specific skills and experiences that paved their way.

Need a few more tips to clarify your career focus? We’ve got you. Download free here.

More words = More Qualified? Wrong. Three Cover Letter Tips for the Modern Job Search.

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I used to jam pack all the words I could on a page to describe why I was the best candidate for the job in my cover letters. More words = more qualified, right?

Wrong.

The verbosity of complex experiences doesn’t mean more readership, it means less. Do you have that person in your life that is constantly talking versus the one who refrains, but when s/he does speak up - it is profoundly worthwhile to listen? Be the latter in your cover letter.

The purpose of a cover letter is to illustrate how you are the perfect (or near perfect!) candidate for the job. Land an interview to tell more! Here’s how:

+ The job posting is your compass. Demonstrate your skills and qualifications for the job by first knowing what experience the company/job are requiring. Customize your letter accordingly.

+ Use bullet points to draw attention to hard and soft skills, education and/or professional experiences relevant to the posting. Let your text breathe with white space. Pack a punch with succinct sentences and powerful accomplishments.

+ Highlight memorable stories. Those applying for the position have a similar skill set. Convey what makes you unique. Illustrate your skills instead of listing them. Share a distinct professional accomplishment or a personal story tying yourself to the company or brand values. Stand out!

Give yourself the advantage by sending a strong cover letter even if not required of the posting.

What are your best cover letter tricks?

Find Strength in your Job Search

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Take a note from The Terminator. If you are feeling discouraged or facing obstacles you are developing mental muscles.

Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.
— Arnold Schwarzenegger

How can you develop strength in your job search?

💪🏻 Lean on your people. You will face rejection and discouragement. Seek out personal cheerleaders that will speak the truth about who you are and give you a boost of encouragement.

💪🏻 Try something new. If you are facing walls in your job search - switch it up! Go for a quick win by talking to someone new, researching a new target company or complete a #linkedin learning course to enhance your #skills.

💪🏻 Flex your physical muscles. Take time to take care of yourself. Complete the workout or go for a walk. Do a physical activity that you enjoy!

Ask the Experts: How Do I Get Noticed by Employers?

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It is a privilege to be a National Resume Writer Association’s Ask The Experts Contributor answering how to get noticed by employers when you aren’t getting callbacks from your online applications. Check out my answer along with other experts on their blog.

Psst! I’ll let you in on the secret: connect with people more than job boards.

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Don't forget O*NET - A Trusted Career Resource

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Are you looking for reliable career information? Check out this oldie, but goodie online resource:

The Occupational Information Network (O*NET) sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration.

 Locate dependable occupational information and use advanced search functions to:

📌Find what’s hot. Identify growing industries.

📌Reverse look-up job titles. Use keywords to discover a new-to-you or unusual job.

📌Skill-based search. Find a new career based on your unique skill set.

Exchange fear with confidence in your job search. Unlock the door of opportunity and hire Meg for a one-hour job search strategy session.

Psst! One secret that will land you the Interview.

How important is LinkedIn really in the job search? New research findings by ResumeGo has our answer. The study found that job applicants who listed their LinkedIn URL (that led to a robust profile) on their resume were 71% more likely to land an interview than those that didn’t.

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So, there are two takeaways here:

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1.   Include your custom LinkedIn URL hyperlink on your resume AND

2.   Spend time crafting a comprehensive, on-brand profile.

Increase your chances of landing an interview by making a good digital first impression.

Need help unlocking the door to your next opportunity? Check out our writing and coaching services here.

Find your Person: 4 Cover Letter Writing Strategies

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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?