As a recruiter, I’m an expert in a profession that supports two of the most dreaded activities in employment: job hunting and recruiting.
Many, if not most, hiring managers have some level of dread surrounding the hiring process. Generally, it’s just simply the feeling of overwhelm.
And, candidates are well documented to really dread, resent and hate the job hunting process. There are a litany of valid reasons. Spending precious time on a really personal and important life goal and need (career fulfillment and making money to live) that sadly can feel dismissive, intrusive and offensive. Good times, right?
I get it – from both the hiring manager and candidate side. These emotions are actually some of my biggest drivers and then parts of my career that cause me sleeplessness. As an empathetic person, I’ve often been a part of systems and events that have unintentionally someone with a few of those feelings.
There are a ton of high-value ways that employers can take control in this scearnio – whether its a job seeker or employer’s hiring market.
All too often, though candidates don’t know there are a number of really super-simple things that you can do to take back some power, gain confidence and be in a better position to make better job search decisions. Really, simple things.
1) Create your ‘business’ card.
This can be a physical card; but at the very least you should have a digital ‘card’ that
- you have as a stand-alone contact on your phone that you can zap to people right away
- you add to the end of all your personal emails
- you add to your resume
- you add to your social profiles
To create your business card, first you’ll need to gather all the content to add to you. Physical address is optional, I would suggest maybe just your City and State as the only real necessities here. You’re not throwing a party; you’re just creating relevance – I live in the physcial market of the job in question. But, you do need to go around and gather all the URL’s of your social profiles that are relevant to your career.
The trickiest of these profiles is often your LinkedIn profile, which you can find here:
Once you have your business card information gathered, consider:
- a small (you can get going for less than $25) investment in physical cards, which can never harm the impression you make, and give them out when you meet new connections
- creating your About.Me landing page and using that as your digital landing page
- sharing your digital card from your phone, with a professional address entry that you can text on the fly whenever anyway asks for your contact info
2) Speaking of Social Profiles. Know Thyself…
There is no such thing as you can’t find this profile; I’ve got it locked down. Just trust me on this one, ok?
So, as you create social profiles, just be aware. Be aware that there is this thing called the Way Back Machine that finds really old content. Be aware that what you post, even if it is on ‘fun’ network like Snapchat, can and just might reflect on you. Be aware that what your friends post about you can, too.
So, understand how to lock down your profiles, restrict people tagging you in photos that you don’t want shown. And, also, make a decision about the what you’re ok with your employer learning about you. If you’re offended that an employer might make a decision on your desirability as a candidate after find something about you partying hard in a bar (even if it was a Bar Crawl for a completely respectable charitable cause), you need to understand that employers actually do that.
This begs a completely unresolved question of ethics and employment law – that you and I are not going to resolve personally.
However, here are the choices you own in this process: decide to broaden your hire-ability by cleaning up and locking down your social profiles OR decide that you don’t want to work in an environment that cares if you take part in a charitable pub crawl or something that you choose to participate in as an adult in your free time.
Case in point: I’ve made this decision for myself over time on another topic – children. Years ago I was given the advice to *never* discuss that I wanted or (eventually would) have children because it would limit my career. After I was given this advice, I heard a male leader once discussion how he didn’t want to work with someone who was always balancing being a Mommy with work. So, it happens – clearly bias (and a whole different topic for an entirely different post), but it was real. I opted to not go the exhausting route of hiding my motherhood.
So, make your choice.
3) Lockdown your LinkedIn Profile
For years, one of the red flags of an employer was the alert of an employer suddenly freshening their LinkedIn profile, adding connections (hmm, why so many recruiters?), and adding recommendations to their profiles.
Now, as a recruiting and career coach professional, I would chastise that these are things that should be done overtime anyway. Your LinkedIn profile shouldn’t necessarily be a grave yard until you need it. (For that case, nor should your resume).
But, chances are you’re reading this because you need to understand how to revamp your LinkedIn profile now. So, before you do any updates there are three things that you should do on the ‘back-end’ of your profile.
- Review your entire LinkedIn Profile Privacy Settings, but specifically:
- Turn off network notification as your update your profile
- Turn off notifications of new connections, by turning off access to your first degree network.
- Turn off updates of Group updates, especially if you’ll be joining any career search groups.
- Understand the privacy options in the Job Search App and Desktop, which inlcudes anonymity for job seekers.
4) Job Searches Aren’t Events
You’ve heard this a bizillion times before, but its true. Keep your network current. Have a professional group you can belong to? Join it and attend. Or, branch out and consider bigger networking opportunities, like Toastmasters, or a Meetup Group.
5) Coffee, E-Prime Your Resume & Keep It Current (Just Because)
Coffee? Not literally, but a metaphor. Imagine that you’re grabbing a cup of coffee with your mentor and want to talk about your career – where its been and how it’s prepared you to move on. It’s a conversation, right? No therefore, hereto’s or untold’s are involved. You’re using comfortable, digestable language. Well take your resume and read it, as if you were reading it over coffee with this trusted person. If it’s hard to read; edit it. If the grammar is stilted or too technical; edit it. If the grammar is wrong; edit it. Reading text out loud actually helps the brain edit easier; so, you’ll catch more by actually putting your text to spoken word.
Alright e-priming is maybe not ‘super simple’ (don’t sue me), but it is super achievable. And, a rarely applied approach that will create a subtle differentiation to your resume. So, if you’ve not heard of e-prime, it is an area of linguistics that suggests dropping ‘to be’ and derivatives from our lexicon. Essentially, you will remove anything like:
And finally, keep your resume current. Are you noticing a theme? Yes, if you want to be confident at any point in your career (and trust me if you’ve lived through a layoff, even as a ‘survivor’, you do); then working through all of this as a routine is essential to positioning yourself as the leader of your career.j
Interestingly, you internal social capital to your current company is likely to improve, too.
So, now that you have five really easy ways to start owning your job search; what’s the next step your looking to take in your career?
If you’re in the market for a new position, you can take a look at my current search projects, and bookmark to stay up-to-date.