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3 LinkedIn Features To Take Advantage Of Before The End Of The Year

3 LinkedIn Features To Take Advantage Of Before The End Of The Year

LinkedIn has always been a cornerstone of the professional world. However, they are making updates daily to help you step your professional game up even further. Today we’re sharing three LinkedIn features you need to take advantage of before the end of the year, especially if you are in the market for a new job!

Stand Out To Employers

With everything that has happened this year, LinkedIn has really stepped up to help job seekers. Let employers know that you are open to a new job by adding a #OpenToWork photo frame to your profile picture. Additionally, head to your LinkedIn Settings to signal your interest to recruiters at companies you’ve created job alerts for. Last but not least, take the #OpenToWork feature to the next level by sharing your resume and including the hashtag.

Step Up Your Networking Game

Networking is now easier than ever on LinkedIn. You can create group chats to talk with groups of professionals and peers. Additionally, you can now streamline your conversations with emoji reactions. If you’re familiar with Facebook chat or iMessage, this is right in line with the type of communication you’re used to. Lastly, you will soon be able to launch face-to-face talks. Later this fall, look for the opportunity to switch the conversation to Microsoft Teams, BlueJeans, or Zoom.

Put Yourself Out There

Finally, LinkedIn is following in the footsteps of your favorite social media sites, Facebook and Instagram, by implementing “Stories.” Via the mobile app, you can now upload a short video for 24 hours – allowing you to share quick, professional updates. You can mention other users, add fun stickers or text, and even upload an image. This feature is perfect for sharing that you just completed a certification, an uplifting, professional story, or that you’re #OpenToWork.

If you’re interested in more tips for using LinkedIn features or updating your profile, explore our advice here.

sea of applicants

How to Stand Out in a Sea of Applicants

Millions of job seekers are filling out application after application in an attempt to find the next step in their career journey. It can be demoralizing to spend hours filling out the same information (work experience, education, references, skills, etc.) and striking out repeatedly. Most of us, including myself, have been there. It’s frustrating and makes you feel defeated. To mitigate the pitfalls that come with job applications, you need to think outside the box. Here are a few things you can do to stand out in a sea of applicants and land the job of you deserve.

Leverage your network

One of the best steps you can take to propel your job search is to leverage your professional network. For some reason, people are afraid to ask for help. It may be a pride thing, but you should never be ashamed to reach out to your network for a helping hand. If you are applying for a job and know someone that works at that company, do not be afraid to ask for them to make an introduction. Send them a quick email, shoot them a text, or pick up the phone and call them. Tell them which job you are applying for and see if they can connect you with the hiring manager. Who knows, they may even be able to give you a solid recommendation!

On the other hand, if you don’t even know where to start your job search, alert your network that you are on the hunt. Write a post on LinkedIn to let your network know you are looking for a new opportunity. You never know what’s out there if you do not make it know that you are looking!

Put in that extra work

If you want to stand out in a sea of applicants, you have to be willing to put in the extra work. Trust us; it will pay off! Tailor your resume for each position instead of submitting the same old resume over and over. Really read the job description and identify the key points the hiring manager desires. Taking a few extra minutes to tweak your resume to fit the position better can make all the difference (and help you get past an applicant tracking system!).

Are you crafting cover letters for your job applications? Sometimes cover letters are required while other times there are optional. And you might be giving yourself a high-five in your mind when you see the word “optional;” but if you really want to land the job, optional is not an option. Cover letters are your opportunity to show some of your personality. Sure, your resume can speak for your education, work experience, and skillsets. But your cover letter is your opportunity to really sell yourself to the hiring manager. It’s your chance to bridge the gap between your qualifications and why you are an excellent fit for the company. So, instead of passing on the cover letter, spend the time to craft one that will make your application rise above the competition!

LinkedIn Profile Stand Out

How to Make Your LinkedIn Profile Stand Out

If you’re reading this article, there is a good chance you found it on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a powerful networking tool and a fantastic source of information. However, one of the most substantial assets this social media platform offers is its job search and recruiting capabilities. And the best way to capitalize on this job search tool is to have an outstanding LinkedIn profile. The more robust your profile is, the more it will stand out to recruiters and hiring managers. Here are a few ways to make your LinkedIn profile stand out.

Professional-looking headshot

First impressions truly matter. Your profile picture on LinkedIn must be a professional-looking headshot. According to LinkedIn, having a great headshot makes your profile 14 times more likely to be viewed by others. Therefore, this is the easiest way to make your LinkedIn profile stand out.

Note: I said professional-looking, not “professional headshot.” You do not need to hire a professional photographer to take excellent headshots of you. All you need to do is have a friend or family member take a nice picture of you in some professional attire. Choose a nice neutral background with good lighting. You don’t need a fancy camera, either. Just take a few pictures with your smartphone, and you will be good to go! You will have a great headshot for your profile that will impress hiring managers from your profile’s first view.

Thoroughly complete your profile

You cannot just create your profile and expect dozens of hiring managers and HR professionals to reach out to you. You must put in a little work by thoroughly completing your profile. Add all your education, work experience, skills, certifications, and more. LinkedIn does a great job showing you suggestions on how to improve your profile.

If you have an online portfolio or writing samples, you can link those to your page, too. And don’t forget the “About” section underneath your profile picture. This section is where you can give a quick snapshot of who you are and what you do. This is essentially your elevator pitch to other LinkedIn users and gives you a space to share what kind of role you are looking for or what industry you desire to work in.

Ask for recommendations

At the bottom of your LinkedIn profile, there is a section for recommendations. This is a place that displays all the recommendations you have given as well as the ones you have received. There is also an option for you to ask for recommendations. If you click on that, you can ask any of your LinkedIn connections for a recommendation. This feature is essentially a digital form of professional references. Getting a few recommendations will boost your profile and demonstrate your skills, accomplishments, and work ethic. They can really make your LinkedIn profile stand out and give you an edge over any competition if you are on the job hunt.

Pro tip: the best way to receive recommendations is to write some yourself!

quarantine skills

How to Show Off Your Quarantine Skills

Millions of workers across the globe are taking their extra downtime to acquire new skill sets. If you have been unfortunately laid off or furloughed because of the pandemic, now is an excellent time to hone some new skills. Taking advantage of this time to improve your job search toolkit will make yourself more marketable and hopefully help get you more interview requests. But how do you display these newfound skills you just acquired? Here is how you can successfully show off your new quarantine skills.

Add them to your resume

If you spend hours working on securing a new skill or two during quarantine, you definitely want to add them to your resume. To do this, add a skills section to your resume. We recommend creating a section in your resume to display your skills. You don’t have to go into detail here; just make a nice list of all the relevant skills for the position you wish to apply for. Also, if you receive a certificate for a new skill or course you complete, be sure to add that certification, too! Letting hiring managers know you have achieved these skills is a great way to get a leg up on the competition.

Add them to your LinkedIn profile

After those new skills and courses have found a new home on your resume, it’s time to add them to your LinkedIn profile. Adding all your crucial skill sets, certifications, and accomplishments to your profile is absolutely critical, especially if you’re actively searching for a new job. LinkedIn has specific areas on your profile to add your skills, licenses, certifications, and accomplishments. It’s essential to put these new quarantine skills and achievements in the right area so recruiters can easily find you when running searches on LinkedIn Recruiter. If you display these accomplishments correctly, you are on your way to partnering with a recruiter that can help you find a new opportunity, even during these challenging times.

Here is a brief video tutorial on how to appropriately display LinkedIn skills on your profile.

Let your network know

Now that your resume and LinkedIn are freshly updated with those quarantine skills, share the news with your network! Make a nice little post and share the news with your LinkedIn connections. You will likely get a lot of engagement, words of encouragement, and support, which is nice to hear during these difficult times. Also, you never know who ends up seeing a post sharing your new skills. It may just lead you to a new connection that helps you land an exciting opportunity!

digital toolkit

Upgrade Your Digital Toolkit

With COVID-19 forcing the majority of professionals to work remotely, the workplace has become much more digitally focused. The digital trends that are directly stemming from the Coronavirus outbreak include a 40 percent spike in e-commercenearly a third of Americans currently working from home, and a mindblowing 70 percent increase in internet usage! As a result, hiring is more digitalized than ever before. This trend is introducing remote hiring, video interviews, and more! Our society is embracing these technologies as millions are working remotely, and this trend will likely not cease. Now, more than ever, it’s time to spruce up your digital arsenal. Here are four ways to upgrade your digital toolkit to launch your job search.

A Quality LinkedIn

With the increase in online hiring and job searching, it is essential that your LinkedIn is accurate, clean, and professional. This is often your first impression for potential employers, so make sure that your profile picture is professional, your experience is accurate, and your skills are neatly displayed on your profile.

A Personal Website/Portfolio

Having a personal website or online portfolio will set you above your competition. It’s like a digital resume that shows off more of your personality and skills, while also showing off examples of your work. This is an excellent way to illustrate your skills and convince a hiring manager to hire YOU! Utilize any of the free website creation platforms like Wix, GoDaddy, or Squarespace to quickly and easily build an online portfolio or personal website.

Digital Skills

Along with this digital shift emerge a few essential skills you must hone. Some skills you can gain through online resources, like your local library or online tutorials. Other skills, you can only build through actual field experience. Overall, in this digital world, digital skills are no longer a plus; they are an expectation. Take some time during quarantine to increase your digital literacy and readiness. Take a free course in web development or learn the basics of Photoshop to add some useful skill sets to your digital toolkit.

Video chat capabilities

Video chat has become the new norm for how we meet and interact; it makes us feel like we are actually getting that human connection we are accustomed to. With that being said, your laptop, phone, or tablet must have a video chat function. You can utilize apps like Facetime, Zoom, Skype, or any other face-to-face technology. Video interviewing is becoming normalized, so you’ll need these capabilities to foster those meaningful conversations! And if you don’t have any of these technologies, be sure you have a friend or family member that is nice enough to allow you to borrow for any upcoming video interviews!

If you’re looking for more resources to bolster your digital toolkit as you commence your job search, check out our Career Kickoff Series. We have tons of helpful tips and advice to help you with this next phase of your career!

college grad toolkit

The College Grad Toolkit

Graduating college is a monumental step that’s full of exciting and daunting unknowns. If you’ve chosen to enter the professional workforce after school, there are some things that you absolutely need to have in your toolkit if you want to secure a job after college, or simply, give off a more professional vibe. Here are six things you must have in your college grad toolkit to successfully kickoff your career.

Easy Means of Contact

Have your phone and email visible and available! Make sure you have an easy way for recruiters, hiring managers, and potential references to communicate with you. Your contact information must be front and center on your resume as well as in the signature of every email. Also, make sure you have a professional email. Now that you’re graduating college, it’s time to stop using that cute email address you made in middle school.

A Fantastic Resume

Crafting a perfect resume has such an important role in landing the job you want. Your resume should include all the resume essentials, like your contact information, hard and soft skills, work experience, education, and certifications! Once you’ve edited and reviewed your post-college resume, show it to someone you trust to gather even more feedback! Getting extra eyes on a resume will always get you a step closer to an outstanding perfect resume.

An Excellent LinkedIn

Update your LinkedIn to show that you are now a college grad! Then start making connections with students you went to school with, professors you learned a lot from, and others that have connections with your university. But don’t stop there! Start connecting and making conversations with professionals in your field or someone that has your dream job.

However, before you start making those connections, check off some other post-grad LinkedIn essentials like:

  • Uploading a great profile picture
  • Receive endorsements from your peers
  • Adding valid and applicable skills
  • A great summary of who you are

At-The-Ready References

Contrary to popular belief, references do matter. In research done by TLNT, they found that 21% of hiring managers remove candidates from the running after they speak with their professional references. This means that your references must be legit and always on deck. So, speak to your professors, bosses, or coaches about leaving you a good reference, if needed.

Cleaned-Up Social Media

Start cleaning up your social media accounts! More than half of hiring managers check out your social media as an act of screening you for a job. Additionally, if they find a red flag, you could be immediately dismissed for a job. Double-check that there’s nothing from college on your social media that may hinder your chances of landing a job. This might include a provocative photo, profanity, or speaking poorly of others online. If this content exists on any of your social media accounts either delete it or adjust your privacy settings.

Professional Outfit

You need at least one professional outfit that you can wear to interviews. Dress to impress your potential employers, no matter what industry you’re entering. For more tips on what to wear to an interview, check out our  ‘How to Dress for Your Next Interview’ blog.

Graduating from college is an exciting time and may look different than expected due to the coronavirus. However, this college grad toolkit will hopefully help guide you through these next stages of your career. And if you’re looking for more assistance, JSG has compiled a group of resources to help you successfully kickoff your career. Check it out!

Video: Here’s your college grad toolkit

secure a job

Graduating During the Pandemic? Here’s How to Secure A Job

Two months ago, everything was looking pretty rosy for all the soon-to-be grads. However, there is a lot of uncertainty about the labor market for all college seniors looking for jobs. In fact, 6.6 million people filed for unemployment benefits last week. There is a lot of negative news out there, and that can be discouraging for all your college students looking to transition into their first real job out of school.

Don’t let all the negativity get to you. Yes, employers are still hiring, and there are opportunities out there. It’s crucial now more than ever to ensure you’re ready to take the next steps in your career. Here’s how to secure a job during (and after) the COVID-19 outbreak.

Spruce up your LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a powerful job search and networking tool. You probably have an account, but are you maximizing this social platform’s full potential? First off, add a professional headshot to your profile. Having a professional photo makes your profile 14 times more likely to be viewed by others. If you don’t have a good headshot, grab a collared shirt, pick a nice background, and have a friend take a picture of you from the chest up. Sounds pretty easy, right?

Be sure to build up your network by reaching out to your classmates, professors, and alumnus from your school. This is a great way to enhance your network and see what opportunities are out there. Make sure you’re also following companies and industry professionals you admire to stay in touch with what’s happening in your industry. Oh! And most importantly, there are millions of great job opportunities posted right onto LinkedIn’s platform. If you really want to secure a job right outside of school, utilize LinkedIn.

Acquire some new skills

The majority of seniors are finishing up their final semester of school online. As a result, you may find a little extra time on your hands. This is a perfect opportunity to acquire some new skills that will make you more marketable. There are dozens of online resources (both free and paid) that you can complete to learn something new and make yourself stand out from your competition. For example, LinkedIn Premium gives you access to thousands of online courses to hone new skills. You can learn anything from Adobe Premiere Pro to HTML with easy-to-watch videos and course documents to follow along. And the best part? There is a free trial! What do you have to lose? In 30 days, you can quickly learn several skills to add to your resume and make your job applications shine!

Spice up your resume

If you really want to land a post-college job, you need to craft an excellent resume. Your resume is often your first impression with a hiring manager or HR professional. Therefore, you must have a resume that looks and sounds great if you want to impress a prospective employer. Here is a solid overview of how to build a great resume from JSG.

Keep calm and keep applying

Graduating from college is a massive step in your life and the first step of your professional career.  Trying to secure a job can be overwhelming, especially during a viral outbreak that has thrown your world upside down. All I can suggest is to keep calm and keep applying. These are uncertain times for everyone, but everything will be okay in the long-run. Good luck, and remember never to give up! There are opportunities out there; you just need to find them!

Video: How new grads can secure a job during the pandemic

Guide To LinkedIn

The New Grad’s Guide To LinkedIn

When you start to look for a job to kick off your career, one of the first steps is to set up your LinkedIn. Once you have your profile created and polished, you’re probably wondering what to do next. There are a few key actions you can take on the professional social media network that will really help in setting you up for long-term success. Here is our new grad’s guide to LinkedIn.

Connect With Fellow Alumnus on LinkedIn

LinkedIn makes it very easy to find and connect with people who went to your school. When they notice you have something in common, they are significantly more likely to connect! Before you send a connection request, however, be sure to write a personalized message to include as well. Here’s an example:

“Hi {NAME},

I am reaching out to connect with fellow graduates of [UNIVERSITY] in hopes of learning more about your career path and how you like working in the [INDUSTRY}. 

I look forward to connecting with you!”

Reach Out To Professionals In Your Industry

It can be extremely beneficial to establish relationships and even mentorships with people across your industry. Don’t be afraid to send LinkedIn connection requests, or to simply follow industry leaders to discover insights from their LinkedIn feed posts.

Browse Jobs on LinkedIn

You can subscribe to job alert emails that will trigger based on your LinkedIn profile. Make sure you have completed your profile to the max in order to collect the most job listings. Browse the daily emails in addition to doing active searches. You never know what you might find!

Follow Your Favorite Companies

Here’s an insider tip for you: Companies share exclusive job postings on their profiles. Job spots on LinkedIn are expensive, so not all available jobs are posted to the site. Most companies will, however, share links to their website with endless job listings no matter what!

Additionally, you can glean a lot from what companies share on LinkedIn. You can get an inside glimpse into their company culture, learn more about their mission and values, and even discover tidbits about the history of how they got where they are today. These things will come in handy when you land an interview!

Hopefully, this new grad guide to LinkedIn helps kickstart your professional networking. We wish you all the luck, and if you’re looking to begin your job search, check out our job board!

when you don't get the job

What You Should Do When You Don’t Get the Job

Even in today’s candidate-driven market, it’s possible to be turned down for a job. Getting passed up for a job opportunity is part of life, and it can be a great learning experience along the way to help you hone your interviewing skills in the future. Almost every job seeker will be denied for a job at some point in their career, and it can really be destructive to your job search if taken the wrong way. If you get that dreadful rejection message in your inbox, here is what you should do when you don’t get the job.

Ask for feedback

The first thing you should do, whether it’s over the phone or through an email response, is to ask for feedback. Sometimes, hiring managers or HR will voluntarily provide feedback on why you didn’t get the job. But more often than not, you will just receive a vague email that goes on the lines of:

“Thank you for your interest in <insert company name> for the <insert job title> position. I am writing you to inform you that we have ultimately selected another candidate that best matches the job requirements for the position. We appreciate your time, and we wish you luck on your future career endeavors.”

Pretty unhelpful, right? This is your opportunity to respond thanking them for the opportunity and asking for feedback. This feedback will be crucial because it can help you change how you prepare for interviews in the future. It can also help you identify what hard skills you should add to your repertoire this year.

Ask to connect with the hiring manager on LinkedIn

While you are requesting interview feedback from the hiring manager, ask if you can connect with them on LinkedIn. Express your interest with the company and let them know that you will be open to other opportunities in the future. Connecting with them on LinkedIn allows you to stay engaged with them and the company, so you stay at the forefront of the hiring manager’s mind when they need to add a new team member.

Keep your chin up – it may not be your fault

When you ask the hiring manager for feedback, you may realize that it may not have been your fault. There are dozens of reasons why you may have been passed up for the job, reasons completely out of your control. They may have promoted an internal employee, or your salary requirements were not within their pay range. Ultimately, it may not be your fault and can sometimes be entirely out of your control. However, you won’t know until you ask!

Work with a recruiter

So, now you know a few things you should do when you don’t get the job. If you really want to take your job search to the next level, partner with an experienced recruiter. Our team of dedicated recruiters at Johnson Service Group will champion you throughout the entire hiring process. We will work with you to find a job that suits your needs and skillsets. Reach out to us today, and let’s find you a new career in 2020.

LinkedIn InMails

Why You Should Respond to a Recruiter’s LinkedIn InMail

Feeling spammed by all of the LinkedIn InMails you receive? We understand that recruiters can have a bad reputation. They send you too many “generic” InMails that have nothing to do with your job search, you aren’t actively searching for a new position, or you simply aren’t interested in the job. So, you think, what’s the point?

If you do not want to receive InMails via LinkedIn, there is a simple solution: you can turn them off. You won’t receive unwanted approaches. You won’t receive any. But then you’ll never hear about that cushy $200,000-a-year role for one of your target companies. However, that’s the price you pay if you don’t put yourself out there.

You can always change your settings

If you decide to keep your settings “open to new opportunities” because you have a fear of missing out on your dream job, please don’t act surprised by my efforts to connect with you! If you truly aren’t interested in new opportunities, make that change in your LinkedIn settings. You wouldn’t believe how drastically it will reduce the number of InMails you receive!

You may think that a seemingly generic message was sent to thousands of people, but then again, maybe it wasn’t. There’s a good chance that great recruiters use their time to read through your profile before deciding to reach out to you. The least you can do for them is send a quick reply! Not everyone gets hundreds of InMail messages every day. If that was the case, I can understand why you wouldn’t want to answer.

As a recruiter, I’m searching for the best candidates for my clients. If I send you a message, I have read your profile and used one of my best resources to engage with you.

Even if you’re not interested in this opportunity now, it doesn’t cost you anything more than a moment of your time to give a quick response. If you reply – even if to say, “thanks but no thanks” – I value that interaction! It allows me to either continue the conversation or move on to a candidate that is interested in making a move.

Why you should respond to your InMails

And you never know when one of those connections could come in handy. From our brief interaction, you can:

  • Expand your network
  • Learn more about your prospective career path
  • Open yourself to future opportunities

When I reach out, it’s with your benefit in mind! So please respond with a quick yes or no! Ready for a new job opportunity? Connect with me on LinkedIn, and let’s have a conversation!