Think like a recruiter to tweak your LinkedIn profile

Over the last two years I have networked with many executives who were going through a career transition. I have also networked with  several top-notch executive level recruiters. I have identified some trends in the way recruiters are going about filling positions:

  1. Reliance on job boards is going away. By the time a position gets posted on job boards, it is more than likely suitable candidates have already been identified.
  2. LinkedIn has become the tool of choice for recruiters to search for suitable candidates.

How can you capitalize from those trends? Don’t rely too much on finding job postings and do everything you can to help recruiters find you! As I have stated before, it is not who you know, it is who can find you.

So this is the best advice I can give you:

  1. Write a job requisition for your ideal job. Pretend to be your mythical next employer and write a detailed job description. Imagine you are going to retain an a recruiter to find suitable candidates to fill this position.
  2. Now pretend you are that recruiter. Use LinkedIn and Google and conduct searches to find suitable candidates. Did your LinkedIn profile pop up on the first page? Did your name come up at all on the first couple of Google search results? If the answer is yes, congratulations! If not, you have work to do.

It is more than likely you are using fluff in describing yourself as a “charismatic leader able to achieve synergy by aligning resources to achieve corporate goals”. Do you really think a recruiter is out there using the words charismatic and synergy in their searches. A more likely search would include the keywords: Denver, VP, Director, Supply Chain Management.

Tweak your LinkedIn profile, wait a day or two for your changes to be indexed and search again.  Look at my earlier article on this blog about using search engine optimization (SEO) for ideas. Keep doing this until you consistently come up on the searches for someone trying to hire someone for your dream job.

Have fun with your job search!

No comments | Trackback

Hector to be guest presenter at a workshop on social media marketing strategies

I will be a guest presenter at a social media workshop on April 7 in Denver. If you are struggling to figure out how to integrate social media into your marketing tool-kit or could benefit on a technology primer on security and data ownership issues, this workshp might be of interest to you. This workshop will provide you with actionable strategies and tactics in support of attaining your marketing goals and will not waste your time with basic tutorials on social media basics such as setting up a Twitter account.

Details

  • Title: “Social Media Strategies for Your Business Brand – A Marketing and Technology Primer”
  • Date: April 7
  • Time: 8:00 am – 12:00 noon
  • Place: Denver Athletic Club
  • Cost: $295 (includes light breakfast, and 12 page comprehensive resource guide). Group rates available.
  • On-line registration: http://www.idiaz.org/Workshop/

Topics include:

  • How to decide which social media tools can grow your business
  • Blogging to meet your business goals
  • Optimizing social media for search engines so you are found by qualified customers
  • How social media can provide market research, generate leads, and create customer advocates of your brand
  • Time management and social media. How much, how long?
  • Where is my data? Who can see my data? – Privacy
  • Who owns my data? – Terms of use
  • Is my data safe? Who can read my e-mail? – Security/Privacy
  • Is e-commerce safe? – Security/Authentication
  • Banking and on-line purchases, accepting payments on-line

For more information on the event: www.idiaz.org/Workshop .

The workshop will be led by Lisa Diaz of iDiaz Marketing. Lisa is a Denver based social media marketing expert. Lisa has over 20 years of experience developing strategic marketing communications, direct marketing, and branding solutions for small, medium, and Fortune 500 size companies. She started iDiaz Marketing in 2009 as a marketing training company designed to help small businesses grow with the knowledge to develop cost-effective, marketing programs.

Please share this announcement with anyone you think might benefit from attending this workshop.

No comments | Trackback

Think SEO for your LinkedIn profile

LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking site. It is a great platform for re-connecting with past and present colleagues and classmates, giving and getting advice with fellow industry colleagues, and finding jobs or business opportunities. Think of your LinkedIn profile as your extended professional calling card.

As a professional seeking new business opportunities you may have heard the old adage: “It is not who you know, it’s who knows you”. In this day and age, I would expand that to include, “it’s who can find you.” That is where Search Engine Optimization comes in.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the art and science of increasing the volume or quality of visits to a web-site from search engines. For the purposes of this article, those search engines include not only the ones that  readily come to mind (Google, Yahoo!, and Bing) but the search capability within LinkedIn as well. Your LinkedIn profile IS your web-site. You are well advised to use SEO to help people find you. Here are some suggestions:

1. Update your LinkedIn summary to ensure you are found
The key to SEO is to think in terms of how someone trying to find you might conduct a search for someone with your skills or background. A cursory look at random LinkedIn profiles reveals that people tend to write about themselves in “fluffy” terms that would not be used in actual searches. Some examples:

  • seasoned (as in peppery?)
  • highly skilled
  • results oriented
  • stellar track record

If I were seeking candidates to fill a CFO position, would I search for “seasoned highly skilled financial executive with stellar track record” or would I search for “Denver CFO VP Finance renewable energy”?

Another example (from Cade Lee, owner of Iniquitous – a Denver based SEO firm) is for folks in the restaurant business. It is not unusual for a restaurateur to be proud of their food – perhaps based on their grandmother’s recipes. Although this reference might look cute in a menu, basing a web-page on this factoid make no sense from an SEO standpoint. What was the last time you typed in “grandmother’s recipes” when searching for a restaurant? More than likely you typed something like “best comfort food Denver”.

2. Use the “Specialties” section to your advantage
A bullet list of relevant search terms in the “Specialties” section in the summary of your profile will help those search engines find you. Keep it relevant and don’t stuff it with every three letter acronym in the book. If you are CEO material your specialties might include business development and strategic planning. Do yourself a favor and don’t include COBOL, Excel, Word, or PowerPoint as core competencies if you are indeed CEO material. I am amazed by how often I have seen this.

Look at some Google free tools to come up with search terms that people are actually using. Do a Google search on any topic and click on “Show options”. Familiarize yourself with the “Wonder wheel” and “Related searches” tools. They are a great source of ideas. The Google Adwords tool is a free tool that will provide a list of most frequently sought terms based on a few examples you type into the query.

3. Complete your profile

It is interesting to see how many people leave their work experience blank or only list employer names. If it’s not there, it will not show up on a search. You may also think about highlighting your accomplishments, not just stating what you worked on. Stating you “worked on IT governance” does not quite carry the same punch as “reduced IT spending by $1M by designing and implementing a client computing governance program”.

4. Expand your network

The number of people who can find you on LinkedIn is proportional to how many people you are connected to. Add pointers to your personal blog or web-site if appropriate. See my LinkedIn profile for example.

5. Get endorsements and recommend others

The possibility of your profile coming up on a search may depend on how many people have recommended you as well as how many people you have recommended. Think about getting endorsements from managers, peers, direct reports, vendors, etc… No better way to prompt them to do so than by recommending them first.

Now that some potential customer, business partner or recruiter has landed on your LinkedIn profile, how do you keep their attention?

Engaging you visitors

1. Evaluate your profile for readability

Make sure you make effective use of white space. Add bulleted lists and blank lines. A “wall of text” may turn some people off.

2. Keep your profile relevant to your profession

If you are a CIO, display your membership to IT professional groups. You may want to turn off displaying your membership to the World Class Procrastinators, or to the Executives in Minimum Security Prisons professional groups.

3. Make it easy for people to contact you

You can embed your e-mail and phone number at the top of your summary section.

4. Make it personal and easy for people to relate you

You should have a clear, professional picture of yourself on your profile. Pictures of pets, spouse, children, or cartoon characters belong on other social media sites (i.e. Facebook). Make sure those sites are ONLY searchable by your close friends and family and not searchable by the general public.

For additional thoughts on Social Media marketing techniques please look at iDiaz Marketing in particular the resources page.

Comments (6) | Trackback