Posted: November 15, 2014 Filed under: Job Search | Tags: Cover Letter, Facebook, First Impressions, LinkedIn, Photographs, Resume
In this digital world in which we live, this adage has never been more true. This phrase was first written in 1918 about a pictorial magazine about World War I. At that time, no one could have conceived the number of images we are bombarded with every day. Managing your image is important for the job seeker. The right image, or the wrong one, can tell a recruiter all that s/he wants to know.
There are places you where you absolutely must have a picture of you, and some places where you probably shouldn’t. Here are three suggestions:
Resume – NO – Do not put your photograph on your resume unless you are applying to be a model, a performer, or some other position where you will be hired based on your looks. I like to talk about enablers and limiters on your resume, and photos are almost always limiters. Rarely will all but the most stunning photo improve your chance of getting an interview, and often a poor quality photo can land your resume on the reject pile.
LinkedIn – YES – you should have a good quality professional looking photo on your LinkedIn profile. A lack of a photo suggests (at least to me) that you don’t follow through on things. It appears that you set up a LinkedIn profile because someone (like me) told me you needed one, but you didn’t finish the process. Keep in mind, LinkedIn is a professional networking site. It is not Facebook. Your LinkedIn photo should be a head and shoulders picture in professional attire with a pleasant smile. You want to covey professionalism. Put those other photos on Facebook.
Facebook – YES and NO – If you are going to have a Facebook account, you need to make a decision; is it public or private? If you leave your site unrestricted, you need to realize that many companies will look for you on Facebook to learn more about you. Pictures of you in “unprofessional” situations, drinking, smoking, or what-have-you, might be fine for your friends, but is this how you want your future boss to see you? Assume anything you post on an unrestricted Facebook page is the same as posting that same image on your resume. I suggest you lock down your account to just friends, or you make sure to keep your page Sunday-School appropriate.
Yes, one picture can be worth 1,000 words. As a job seeker, make sure those 1,000 words say “here’s why you should hire me.”
For more details about I’m Fired?!? A Business Fable about the Challenges of Losing One Job and Finding Another, click here.
Posted: August 9, 2014 Filed under: Networking | Tags: Job Search, LinkedIn, Networking, Resume
I can see you now, sitting at your kitchen table, blank laptop in front of you, drumming your fingers on the table thinking – “who do I know?” You know you are supposed to be networking but you’ve thought of everyone you can think of. “Where can I find more people to talk to?” Or maybe you’re thinking “I really want to learn more about ABC Company other than what’s on their website, where should I look?” Or “How can I let all of my business contacts know that I’m looking for a new job?”
The answer is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a vital tool for the job seeker. (BTW – this is not a paid endorsement.)
Go to www.linkedin.com and join – it is free. Start with creating a profile. Make it complete – add a professional photo (not a photo taken by a professional but one where you look professional – this isn’t Facebook) – build in your career history and education (include what is on your resume – these two things should match – see Resume Magic I and Resume Magic II).
A key section of your profile is your current job title and summary. If you are unemployed, I suggest a title like “Seeking new professional opportunities,” “Job Seeker,” or “Human Resource Professional” (obviously with your career of choice if you’re not an HR Person). You don’t want your “current” job to be the one where you don’t work anymore; you want it to be obvious that you are a job seeker. Your summary should be your “elevator speech” – three to five sentences that say who you are and what you want to do.
But LinkedIn is more than a place to post information about yourself. LinkedIn is a place to connect. Use the search engine to find people you know and connect with them. Send requests to everyone you think will recognize your name. Make your network as large as possible. The more people you are connected to, the more likely your profile will be viewed, which increases the chances that a recruiter will find you even before you find them.
LinkedIn can also get you introduced to people you don’t know. When you view the profile of someone you are not directly connected to, LinkedIn shows you if you have a path to them. Through LinkedIn, you can send a message to your contact asking them to introduce you to their contact. Then you can broaden your network even further.
LinkedIn is a great place to learn about the companies on your target list (see Who are You Targeting). There are corporate profiles on LinkedIn, but better than that, use your network to connect with someone at that company and ask them to tell you about it. Use that connection to identify the hiring manager for a posted position so you can contact them directly.
I’m afraid I’m rambling. LinkedIn is an invaluable resource for the job seeker. Join, build a profile and get searching. Check out my profile at and connect with me (mention this post).
BTW – check back to this site soon. I expect I’m Fired?!? to be available as an eBook in the next few weeks with a paper version to follow not too long after. Details soon!