Tag: LinkedIn


How to Gain a Little Protection From Ageism (Part 2)

In last week’s Part 1 post, I talked about the unfortunate reality of ageism that still occurs in the hiring process. I also talked about several things you can avoid on your resume to reduce your risk of age discrimination and increase your chances of landing an interview.

This week I want to share several ways to reduce your risk via your LinkedIn profile.  

What to Include on Your LinkedIn Profile

Your LinkedIn profile doesn’t have to, and nor should it, be just a repeat of your resume. There are several things you can include on a LinkedIn profile you can’t include on a resume. Do the following suggestions and you’ll convey the spark and energy you still have to offer an employer.

1. Talk about your future goals and show some personality!

Your resume only allows you to discuss your past work experience. But your LinkedIn profile also allows you to share your future professional goals. Your headline and summary section are the perfect places to do this.

Sharing your goals shows you still have a lot left to accomplish in your career and a lot to offer a company.

Your LinkedIn profile also allows you to show a little personality since you can use wording that paints a picture. Be yourself by including your passions, personal mission statement, and hobbies. Just make sure you remain professional in your descriptions.

While you should never write in first person on your resume, it’s better to write in first person on LinkedIn (at least in the summary) to be a little more personable. And so it doesn’t sound like you had someone else write it for you.

The LinkedIn profile is where readers of your resume go to learn more about you. Give them something more than just what’s on your resume!

2. Include the current buzz-words of your industry.

Sprinkle your industry’s current buzzwords throughout your descriptions in your summary and experience sections.

Not only will this make you appear up-to-date on the latest industry trends, it will also make you more searchable when recruiters do a keyword search on those terms. Your profile will likely pop up in their search results.

3. Share trending articles about trending ideas in your industry.

In addition to including your industry’s buzzwords in your profile, you can also show you’re up on the latest trends by posting articles about the current and future issues facing your industry.

You’ll not only want to post these articles in the general news feed, but also in the relevant groups where your industry’s recruiters are likely to be a member.

4. Join the right groups.

Speaking of LinkedIn groups, you want to make sure you join the right groups!

Recruiters can go to your profile and see which groups you’re in, so you’ll want to stay away from any groups with the words “mid-career” or “mid-life” in their name.

You’ll want to join more industry-related groups than you would job search groups. Being a member of a bunch of job search groups will scream desperation.

Instead, join the groups of the industry you’re in (or trying to transition to) since these groups often announce job openings within the industry. (To see jobs in groups, go to a group’s page and click on the “Jobs” tab to the right of the “Conversations” tab.)

This saves you time from having to sift through any job announcements you may not be interested in.

5. Include your updated skills.

Include your new skills, programs, platforms, and technologies you’ve been learning on your own time. (See #5 in Part 1.)

6. Include online courses.

LinkedIn offers a lot of online courses. So do MOOC (massive open online courses) sites like Coursera. These are great places to learn new methodologies and technologies in an affordable way. And many courses give you a badge to add to your LinkedIn profile once you’ve successfully completed them.

Listing these courses on your profile shows you’re constantly learning new things, you know how to use current technology, and you’re staying abreast of the latest knowledge.

7. Decide if you should include your photo or not.

If you look young for your age, or you have a photo from a few years ago that’s not obviously out-of-date (i.e. you’re not wearing out-of-style glasses frames), then definitely include it on your LinkedIn profile.

If you feel like you may be at risk of age discrimination based on your photo, you may decide not to include one. But you should know recruiters are also wary of profiles without a photo. In this case, you’ll need to decide for yourself which risk you’re willing to take.

Conclusion

You’ll never be able to completely eliminate your risk of ageism. But, by following the above suggestions, you’ll at least reduce your risk and increase your chances of getting an interview.

When you do land the interview, you’ll want to walk in with confidence and wow them with your competitive advantages by addressing their pain points and showing how you can be a problem solver for them.

To learn how, purchase my on-demand course Steps to Acing the Interview and Reducing Your Interview Anxiety.

LinkedIn

5 Common Fears (and Myths) of Quitting a Job You Hate

You hate your job, but because of it you don’t have the time or energy to start the overwhelming process of finding something new. And you think you can’t quit it until you find another job. But is that really a true statement, or just common myth? Let’s look at some of the common fears most people have about quitting a job with nothing else lined up. Let’s challenge the assumptions that breed those fears.

Common Fear/Myth #1

I won’t be able to afford my bills. Is this a true statement? Do you have a little extra money stashed away you can get by on for a little while?

Are there some unnecessary expenses you can cut to help you pay your necessary bills? For example, could you sell your car and take the bus for a while? Or just park your car and cancel your insurance for a few months while taking the bus instead? Do you really need cable or a Netfilx subscription right now? Do you need numerous music subscriptions? Or can you just listen to good old fashioned radio?

Are there some things you no longer need you could sell? What about that treadmill the only gets used as a place to throw your clothes when you don’t feel like hanging them up (you know who you are!). What about the stack of books you’ve already read (or know you’re never going to read)? If you live alone, do you really need a TV in more than one room?

Are there some other ways you can earn cash like picking up some temporary side jobs or a part-time job? In addition, can you get a roommate and charge rent to help with some of your housing costs? Do you own something else others might want to rent on a short-term basis? Do you have a skill people will pay you to perform because of their lack of that skill?

Common Fear/Myth #2

I’ll lose my health insurance and retirement accounts. Not necessarily. If you leave your job you can always transfer your retirement over to an IRA where it can still earn some money and you can still contribute to it yourself a little at a time until you get your next full-time opportunity. The only thing you’ll be missing out on in the short-term is your company’s matching contribution.

When it comes to health insurance, you can visit ehealthinsurance.com to find temporary health insurance, alternatives to Obamacare, and more. If you happen to do a little freelancing on the side after leaving your job, you may qualify for very affordable insurance through the Freelancers Union at freelancersunion.org (also, it’s free to join the union!). I get my dental and disability insurance through them at very little cost per month.

Common Fear/Myth #3

It’ll look bad on my resume. Sure, if all you do is become a couch potato after quitting, it will look bad! However, if you use your time to improve your skillset, take some affordable online classes, do some side or freelance projects, volunteer with a local non-profit, raise money to travel on a mission trip, pursue a passion project, or work a fun part-time job, it’s not going to look bad at all.

Whatever you do, do something you find interesting. I’m sure if it’s something interesting to you, it could be interesting to the people who’ll eventually be interviewing you. Show on your resume what you’ve done and the skills and lessons learned from those interesting experiences. This will make your resume stand out.

Tim Ferris, author of the bestseller The 4-Hour Workweek suggests answering the interview question, “Why did you leave your previous job?” with, “I had an once-in-a-lifetime chance to do [interesting experience] and couldn’t turn it down.” He says because most interviewers are bored in their own jobs, they’ll spend much of the interview asking how you made it happen. You can then respond with how your skills and resourcefulness you used to make it happen will make you the person they should hire.

When I started phasing out my image consulting business due to burnout to decide if I wanted to return to career coaching or not, I worked a few weekends teaching beginner stand up paddling at my local SUP shop. If I’d had to go through a job interview following that experience, I can guarantee you I would pique the interviewer’s interest if I said, “I taught people the closest thing to walking on water.” Then, I would tell them about how I used my teaching and training skills to do so.

Common Fear/Myth #4

I need to have a “real job” instead of trying to freelance. Freelancing IS a real job! And it’s one of the fastest growing jobs in the country. Don’t believe me? Just check out this infographic courtesy of the Upwork.com and Freelancersunion.org:

quitting a job

Even if you have no plans to become a freelancer, you still need the skills of an entrepreneur to be successful in your next job. (Click here for a list of those skills.)

Common Fear/Myth #5

If I don’t quit now, I’ll never find a way out and will be stuck in my job forever! Not true! You may feel like you have to quit your job right away despite the fears listed above, but you don’t have to quit YET!

You can start creating an exit strategy now and implement it later when the timing makes more sense or if you’re not financially able to quit without having something else lined up. Yes, eventually you’ll have to rip off the band-aid and quit, but there are ways to be smart about it. I outline four ways to wisely plan your escape route in my previous post, “Don’t Quit Your Daydream (or Your Day Job)”.

How to Challenge Your Assumptions About Quitting a Job

Whatever your fears are about quitting a job you hate, I encourage you to challenge those fears and assumptions. Here are a few ways to do so:

  • Learn how to deal with limiting beliefs (the annoying inner critic that tells you, “You can’t do it!”). The process for dealing with limiting beliefs is available for free in the 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan you’ll receive when you subscribe to the paNASH newsletter.
  • Talk to others who currently work in a job or career field you think you might enjoy. Find out from them the career path they followed to get there. You’ll likely find most people didn’t had a single direct career path that led them there. This will encourage and inspire you. Also, they may provide you some tips for making the transfer to that industry.
  • Take a weekday off from your job and spend the day doing job search activities just to get a feel for what that might be like. Update your resume. Spend some time familiarizing yourself with LinkedIn. Can’t take a day off work to do this? Use one of your non-workdays.
  • Put your resume out there and see what happens. Post your resume with no expectations. You’ll be able to see what kind of opportunities your current resume is attracting so you can figure out how to tweak it with the right keywords to attract better opportunities.
  • Write your resignation letter, but don’t send it. Just write it to help you get used to the idea of what may need to happen in the near future.
  • Dip your toe in the freelance water by offering your unique skills or expertise to a few friends or on sites like Fiverr.com or Upwork.com. Determine from these small assignments if you like working for yourself or not.

Make Time to Experiment

Feel free to find other ways to experiment with the idea of making a job or career change. Short-term experiments don’t have to financially break you and don’t require a huge commitment. In fact, these little experiments might be just the thing to provide a little breath of fresh air to your current dreadful situation. They can either help you hang on a little longer until you’re able to quit your job, or give you the courage now to go ahead and rip off the band-aid.

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The 12 Days of Purpose

Can you believe Christmas is only 12 days away? The holidays can keep you busy with gift buying, decorating, baking, and traveling (whew, I’m tired already!). They can also be a good time to discover what your purpose is in this current season of your life. Especially if you are contemplating a big change for 2017, including a job or career change or promotion, a start-up business, a retirement, etc. If so, here are some things you can do over the next several days (or any time of the year) to help you clarify, articulate, and present your purpose.

Clarify Your Purpose

Day 1:  Spend some time reflecting on what kind of person you want to be and to be known for (think in terms of traits instead of accomplishments). What do you want people to say about you at your funeral? And most importantly, why do you do the things you do? (Recommended reading: Start With Why by Simon Sinek.)

Day 2:  Take an inventory of your strengths, limitations, accomplishments, and how your skills benefit others. List the things you’re good at, the things you’re not good at, your biggest failures and the lessons you learned from them, and your reasons for why you like to do the things you do best.

Day 3:  Be open to constructive criticism. Ask your friends, family, co-workers, clients, etc. what they perceive to be your strengths and weaknesses. Note the things that show up as patterns and the things that surprise you.

Day 4:  Based on your own personal inventory and the feedback from friends, write down what you think makes you unique from other people who do what you do. See if you can think of additional things that make you unique.

Day 5:  Determine what makes your audience unique. Who are they (recruiters, potential clients, fans)? What do they care about? What’s their biggest challenge or need? How do your skills meet their need? How can you serve them with your abilities?

Articulate Your Purpose

Day 6:  Once you’ve determined why you do what you do (Day 1), write out your “WHY” in the form of a vision statement. A vision statement is your goal of what you want to accomplish with your skills and abilities. For example, the paNASH vision statement is, “I believe everyone should find the courage to discover and pursue their passions despite the obstacles they may face. I want to see people actively pursue their passions with flair (‘paNASH’) and confidence, along with responsibility to their purpose in life.”

Day 7:  Write your mission statement. Your mission statement is HOW you plan to carry out your vision/your WHY. For instance, the paNASH mission statement is:  “To serve, educate, and encourage others by assisting them with the discovery and pursuit of their passions in a way that honors their purpose and their own vision for success, while amplifying who they are personally and advancing them professionally.”

Day 8:  Craft your Unique Selling Point (USP). In 140 characters or less, create a statement that summarizes the unique impact you have on your audience. The paNASH USP is: “Putting your passion into action!”

Package & Present Your Purpose

Day 9:  Make sure you’re able to back up your message with a summary of your credentials and accomplishments. This can be in the form of a resume, a LinkedIn profile, client testimonials, reviews, letters of recommendation, etc.

Day 10:  Post your message on your social media platforms, your web site, your business card, and other professional collateral.

Day 11:  Foster and maintain relationships with strategic partners and your audience. Share your purpose and expertise in a variety of outlets, including blogs (your own and others’ where you can guest blog), article posts on LinkedIn and Medium, media interviews (print, online, radio, and TV), comments on others’ posts, etc.

Day 12:  Most of all, learn how to present your message and purpose with confidence and professionalism.

Do you need help with any of these steps? paNASH can help you clarify, articulate, and present your purpose and personal brand with professional etiquette and confidence. Click here for my latest book on personal branding.

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How To Use LinkedIn

Most people I talk to admit they don’t know how to use LinkedIn to its full potential. I receive comments like, “I have a profile but I’ve done nothing with it.” Or, “I’m on LinkedIn but I don’t really know what to do with it.” Does this sound familiar?

Use LinkedIn to Gain the Competitive Edge

Beginning next week, I’m teaching a two-session course on how job seekers, currently employed professionals, and freelancers/business owners can use LinkedIn to its full potential to find employment opportunities, connections, and sales leads. Once you know how to use LinkedIn, you can easily position yourself head and shoulders above your competition.

Specifically, I’ll be discussing:

  • How to brand your profile and make it competitive and easily searchable
  • How to connect with key people such as recruiters and potential clients
  • How to search for job opportunities related to your interests and qualifications
  • How to become recognized as an expert in your field

The class is only $35 and will be held September 22nd and 29th from 6:30pm to 7:30pm at the Nashville Community Education Commission. To register for the class, click here.

Bonus Class

In addition to the “How Do I Use LinkedIn?” class in September, I’ll be teaching a resume class in October. This class is designed to help you update your resume so that it is in line with the current trends in what recruiters want to see on a resume, therefore opening the door to securing more job interviews.

The “Resumes That Get You The Interview” class is also $35, but if you register for both classes, you’ll receive $10 off.

To learn more about the classes and about myself and why I’m so excited to teach through the Nashville CEC, click here. I hope to see you in class!

Lori Bumgarner, owner of paNASH

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