LinkedIn features that make your profile more reliable

When talking about LinkedIn we focus a lot on the content of your profile, key words and how it should look like. But we forget about 2 LinkedIn features that make a difference: endorsements and recommendations. Both are equally important and the reasons are explained in this great article from LinkedIn Talent Blog:

https://blog.linkedin.com/2014/09/12/why-linkedin-recommendations-and-endorsements-should-matter-to-you

As recently I wrote about LinkedIn but I might not have underlined the importance of both, I would like to underline it in this post. Endorsements matter, as they show your crucial skills – that is why choose them wisely. It is more important that you are endorsed by your colleague for your project management skills then by your friend from studies for your organizational skills. Do not get me wrong, organizational skills matter, but the context is different. If you organized some events during studies, it had less impact then coordinating real projects and being appreciated by your colleagues. Endorsements are also key words for the recruiters when looking for e.g. a good project manager.

Recommendations make our profile look more reliable. You should also choose appropriate people to give you recommendations. They should give concrete examples of your work, not only nicely talk about e.g. your project management skills but also say in which projects you participated and why you were good at it. I always recommend 2-3 recommendations per job. It is important to remind your colleagues (of course not in a pushy way) if you sent a recommendation request to them – some of them do not notice it. Do not be shy about asking for a recommendation when you and the person recommending you knows you well and likes working with you. Do not be afraid of asking your colleague to change the recommendation little bit if it doesn’t emphasize your skills and especially when you see… misspellings in it.

Both endorsements and recommendations will create a decent, authentic and employer-friendly profile which will help you to get noticed, create more network and in the future find a new  challenge.

recommendations

 

 

 

Marketing when networking

Every time I talk about the power of networking, it surprises me how many people still think I exaggerate.  I remember my last post on the great blog of Joanna – Szwajcarskie Blabliblu, where I gave an example of networking during lunch breaks. I remember reaction of a few people who said it was not possible to network whilst eating or that I was a hypocrite – pretending to dine with somebody when the real reason was to network or get a job.

The fact is, humans are social animals. We spend the whole life in social communities. And it does not matter if you belong to a  group of nature lovers or video gamers, we all bond with people similar to us. That is why it is not bad, hypocritical or fake to talk about your interests, hobbies or job search to somebody when eating lunch.

The question is… how to do it. To help you with this, I would like to give you link to the quotation about networking and marketing:

If you go for a lunch with your ex-colleague and your objective is to mention you need a new challenge in your career. But if you say it the way the person thinks you are a random worker who cannot offer his/her company anything on top of what they already have, unfortunately your lunch did not end with much success.

I am not a typical sales person, I don’t naturally brag about my achievements or my company. Moreover, often I am too modest about what I do. It was my weak point and I decided to fight against it. Let’s compare two sentences:

“I am a French teacher. I finished my studies in 2008 and had a 4 year experience in training and teaching afterwards. I created an e-learning platform to learn languages. Ever since, I have been engaged in recruitment but I also organize French and recruitment training sessions and I would like to be more engaged in teaching at your school.”

“I have been involved in teaching French since the beginning of my studies. My lessons have always been made-to-measure. I personalize my training sessions – when getting to know my students, I choose the best method for them e.g. more visuals, using e-learning or focusing on communication. After 4 years of creating e-learning platform to teach languages, the platform that has still been used after 10 years in my language school, I decided to coach people and help them in finding their jobs. I created some training materials about how to create CVs, prepare for interviews and I organize networking events. In the meantime, I have been teaching  via Skype and attending cultural events near Zurich during which I teach French. Teaching is my passion and having strong pedagogical background makes me a great added value to your school.”

It is not even about the length of both statements. It is all HOW you say things. In the first statement you get many facts but you don’t know if the person likes teaching, how he/she teaches and why they want to be more engaged in teaching. From the second statement you get an image of a passionate teacher having many personalized teaching methods, who uses his/her training sills even in recruitment, being involved in some extra teaching work after work. Which one you would hire for a teaching job? I would choose the second one who seems much more motivated, engaging and qualified.

Of course both people are the same person. But in the first example I didn’t use my marketing skills. Even 1 year ago, when having some tough moments changing my job, I had a tendency to put myself down when talking about my job. But after a few weeks I understood I can take much more from the job I have but also that people will have an image of me based on how I painted it. We always say “Don’t judge a book by its cover” and as much I would like people to follow this phrase and not to be judgmental, we all are. So next time you write me a message saying “Hey Kasia, can you help me finding a new job? I have not much experience and I don’t think I have lots of chance to get anything…”, please think before pushing “Enter” button. As hard as it sounds, I might unconsciously prejudge you and not be too eager to help you with networking – who would like to hire an ordinary Joe who doesn’t know much about what he/she does?

So sharpen your marketing skills and… start networking 🙂

funny job

 

 

 

How to plan and organize your job search?

Back from holidays, 9 days of doing absolutely nothing, just relaxing on the beach, playing Mario Maker 2 and reading a good book, it was not easy to get back on track at work.

What we have to remember at work but also when looking for a job, is to be organized. You could think that simple, repetitive sending of applications is not complicated and doesn’t require any support or organisational tools.  But you would be completely wrong.

Imagine you subscribed to 5 job portals, are in contact with 2 agencies and sent a couple of spontaneous applications. Suddenly you start getting some feedbacks, even from your applications that you sent in March or April. What can happen if you don’t track your job search? You can start talking on the phone with a recruiter and forget for which job you applied. This kind of situation creates a feeling that you are not professional or that you are applying to all available jobs. Moreover, the HR can think you are not organized and in many jobs being organized is a crucial skill.

How can you track your job search and how should you get organized when seeking for a new job or changing your career?

  1. Plan your job search before you start searching for a job. Seems logical but many people start their job search without realizing what they are looking for. Ask yourself some basic questions e.g. why are you looking for a new job/career change, which companies you would like to approach, would you like to have a permanent role or e.g. become a freelancer, what would you expect from a new company etc.
  2. Use a Job Search Tracker. You can create one on you own e.g. with an Excel Spreadsheet or using any online tracking tool. If you need anything more fancy, use some interactive Sheets available online e.g. the one propose by the portal TheMuse: https://www.themuse.com/advice/job-search-spreadsheet-track-application
  3. When approaching e.g. agencies or recruiters, do not exaggerate. Don’t contact 10 agencies and HR people. Quality is better than quantity – choose 1 or 2 agencies you feel comfortable with.
  4. Make a list of companies that can benefit from your knowledge or in case of freelancing – list of clients.
  5. Do not forget about making a list of networking events, conferences or event emails/phone numbers of contacts that can help you in progressing with your job search.

Job seeking is not easy, especially after holidays when our head is full of summer memories and we are not focused on searching for new options in our career. Give yourself a little bit of time, print a favorite photo from your holiday and… start preparing your new well organized job search. Good luck to all of us coming back from holiday 🙂

organized