En Route: A Career Blog

Using LinkedIn During Your Job Search

AUTHOR: Darlene Zambruski
CATEGORY: , ,
POSTED: August 18, 2009 at 8:17 am

The use of social networking via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram has changed the landscape of personal interactions. The same is true for the employment field. Today, job hunters can use networking sites to reach a wider group of individuals in their field. Your best source for this is LinkedIn.

Daily, I answer questions from candidates on this site. My answers, along with those of other experts, help individuals to navigate the currently unfriendly waters of job search. By joining LinkedIn and posing questions or readings the answers to others’ inquiries, you may be able to gain an advantage over your competitors.

Some of my previous answers on the site, include:

“Business cards” for students and non-professionals?

“You should absolutely consider using business cards. It will help you stay in the potential recruiter and/or hiring manager’s mind. I have seen business cards with a professional photo of the individual or their work product (if they’re in an artistic field) on the front of the card. Very impressive. On the back, you should list your qualities, skills, and accomplishments, personal websites (if any) as they pertain to your job search – somewhat like the opening summary of a resume.

Does it help in an interview or career fair if the job seeker has a business card to include with his resume?
“Anything that can help you stay in the potential recruiter or hiring manager’s mind should be utilized. I have seen business cards with the individual’s professional photo or work product (if they’re in an artistic field) on the front of the card. . .very impressive. On the back of the card, could be a summary of your qualifications and skills, much like the opening summary of a resume. Be certain to include accomplishments. There are numerous internet and local printing companies that offer excellent work product at a reasonable price. I’d suggest using these sources for your business cards, unless you have a top-quality printer at home and you choose a high-grade paper.”

Hey which fonts are readable by machines & search engines when I post my resume online?

“We use Courier New, Times, Arial. To be safe, you might want to turn your Word or Works resume into ascii/txt. You should have no problems with that.”

What is the “value” of working with a career marketing company?

“It would depend upon the company, including their credentials, years in the business, partnerships, and success rate. Individuals looking for assistance in writing their resume and honing their job interview skills would do well to determine if the company they want to hire is a member of an industry organization, such as the PARW (Professional Association of Resume Writers), and if the company writers are certified as CPRWs and CEIPs. Next, they should determine if the company is a resume writing or job interview partner with any major company, for example the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times. Are they a member of the BBB? Do they guarantee results (be wary of those sites, it’s impossible to guarantee results when the actual job hunt is in the individual’s hands). If an individual has trouble organizing their professional data and ‘blowing their own horn’, they would do well to hire outside experts. It takes the strain off them, provides a fresh perspective, and results in a document and marketing plan that’s professional and proven.”

What should a 21st century resume look like?

“First and foremost, a resume should convey your value proposition to an employer. To do that it should contain: 1. An opening summary with one (preferably two) quantified and relevant accomplishments for your new career goal, an overview of your skill set, willingness to relocate, language skills (bilingual, multilingual), and any pertinent certifications. 2. Accomplishment section: Here, you should list by company name, your quantified accomplishments (do not repeat those from the opening summary). Make certain your accomplishments dovetail toward the new position. 3. Professional Experience. Don’t go all the way back to the first day you started working. Generally speaking, you shouldn’t go back more than 10 to 15 years. Include only those job duties that are relevant to the new position you seek. Begin each bullet with an action verb. Be specific in your verbiage, not general. 4. Education. Include college and post college work. The above organization allows a hiring manager to quickly scan your resume and determine if you should be invited to interview. No hiring manager will scan a three to four page resume looking for data. It’s important to remember that a modern resume is as long as it needs to be, provided it contains only relevant information for the new job search. Cut out the extraneous material.”

As you can see by the above – the questions are diverse, the answers comprehensive. LinkedIn is a perfect (and free) resource to ask an expert your pressing question so that you can get on with your job search.

Darlene Z.

Darlene Zambruski is a resume writing expert and CPRW (Certified Professional Resume Writer) with more than 13 years of industry experience. She has authored 10,000+ resumes in every industry and at every career level.

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