Looking for your next job? Then you may want to read this . . .
We get calls all the time from candidates & connections on what they can do to improve their odds to land their next role. Below I will list out what I have been preaching and practicing my entire career within the High Tech market.
We will cover your LI profile, your CV and your game plan:
With your LinkedIn Profile, “Perception becomes Reality”
Your LinkedIn page is your “Brand.” You must own it, put effort into what it says about you, and most importantly, polish what you project to the business world.
What you say about yourself here becomes reality; it’s actually a way of visualizing yourself in your next role. I have seen this successfully done many times, but you have to be in the right frame of mind.
Your photo should fit the role you’re performing and projecting–snapshots of you and your better half are for Facebook. Head and shoulders, be smiling, and look good.
Your summary statement should cover “what” you do and your core value. As an example, if you’re a Salesperson it should state what you sell and what you have sold (Software, Services, etc.)
Use keywords that describe the technology that you specialize in, such as: Cloud, Virtualization, IOT, Security, etc. these keywords are important for recruiters to find you, as they will run keyword searches daily. What’s listed in your profile will determine how you show up in their search “Think SEO.” You’re the webmaster of this page, so take control.
Underneath every role you have performed, list out your successes in bullet form (short and sweet). Your past 5 years are of most importance as employers are hiring for what you’re doing now, not 10 years ago, so emphasis goes to the recent past.
If you had any brief encounter jobs (less than 15 months), it helps to state why you left, as this could show as a red flag if you have a number of these in a row (company was acquired, family leave, division dissolved, etc.)
If you’re an engineer, list any certifications you have, even if they are not up to date.
If you’re on the development side, list out your core development strengths and if you’re “code fresh” with those specific languages.
Finally, you must identify your next job “role or title” that describes you so that it comes across in your LinkedIn profile. As an example if your next role is focused towards a Development Manager then that’s your core title under your name or as close to it as you describe yourself to the world. Make sure your settings allow you to be contacted by anyone while you’re in your job search, and mention you are open for “new opportunities,” as recruiters use this for finding people on the hunt.
Simple: it should match your LinkedIn profile from the broad perspective.
Customize your CV for each position you apply to, as each role may be slightly different.
It’s important that you look at the “Job Requirements” listed and make sure your skills match up at least 80%. If not, don’t apply, as your wasting your time and theirs as well.
The Game Plan
Ok so you’re looking for your next job. The main thing is keep cool, get your mind right, and be positive. Heck, get excited! You’re about to make a life changing event, you should be fired up!
Before you tell the world (or your 10 best friends on LI) that you’re looking, you must do the following:
Ask yourself, “What is the next role you want?”
Title(s) – What are they going to call you?
Job Description – What do you want to be doing? Be as specific as possible, for your sake
Location – What side of town? How long of a commute are you willing to have? Thinking of relocating? Where might be nice to move to?
Company – What industries might you like to work in? Do you prefer a startup? A small company? A large enterprise? Make a list of specific companies that you think you would like to work for.
Now, before you move on, ask yourself: Is this REALLY where you want to work? Would this job make you wake up in the morning and say: “I can’t wait to start my day at work!” If you can’t say that, then think harder here. Go back and do it again. Life is short, and it helps if you’re doing something that makes you happy.
Reach out to your inner circle of friends and associates in business. These are people that care about your well-being and want to see you get your next job.
When you ping them, be specific about the job, role, and type of company you want. Don’t say “I’m looking, and if you hear anything, let me know.” That would be the worst thing to do. Most humans (even your friends) can’t focus on that to help you. But if you are specific, then when they do hear something, they will recognize it, they will think of you, and they will let you know about it.
Be specific — once you know what you want:
This alone accounts for over 80% of people finding their next job. Do this correctly. Take the time to mentally get it straight. Only then, tell your friends. Chances are good, one of them will come through.
Post your CV
Go post your CV on Indeed (www.indeed.com). Just as LI is for your profile, Indeed is now the best site to post your CV.
Interviews: “You look marvelous!”
Look marvelous, both in person and via the phone.
Our executive search firm represents some of the top tech companies looking for hard to find senior level talent (CxO, Dir., SME, etc.), and one of the biggest complaints I get from clients is of candidates not dressing for the role, just being sloppy in their attire, or not being excited on the phone. I cannot emphasize enough here that regardless of your last role being in “sneakers and shorts work attire,” going into an interview looking & sounding good not only “projects the right you,” but makes you feel more confident and that will show.
Prepare for the interview; do your homework on the company even, down to any public docs on profitably, forward looking plans, big things they’re doing next quarter. Clients are impressed when a candidate can know their business vs. “just showing up”.
Phone interviews: Be happy and have your tail wagging. Smile! People can pick up on fear, happiness, etc. so get in a positive state of mind and be interested in the job it will come across in the call.
If you make it to interview number 3 (interview 1 & 2 are phone typically), never ever bring up money first. Let them bring up money first, this will put power on your side to negotiate.
With that, if you follow these simple steps, it will improve your job search results.
I truly wish you success and happiness in your next position.