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Your Unique Problem-Solving Abilities: The Cornerstone of Your Value

Problem-solving is listed first here because it is the most important skill anyone has. In fact, when you are hired for any job, as a professor, a president, or a custodian, you are hired to solve problems. And if there is one thing scientists and engineers excel in, it is solving problems. This is not to be taken lightly. Most people don’t realize that their foremost skill of importance is problem-solving, and as a result they don’t articulate that to potential collaborators and employers. They don’t discuss their problem-solving agility in detail on their CVs, they don’t verbally communicate it when they are at a networking mixer and they certainly don’t clarify it during a job interview.

But if you can clearly enunciate your value, in part as a function of your unique problem-solving experience, expertise, and savvy, you will unlock hidden career opportunities and you will be more able to access advertised openings. This is the essence of effective networking.

This task of precisely expressing your value is not that difficult to do (especially once you realize the extent of that value). And when you start doing it strategically (or even passively), you will find that hidden opportunities will pop up in surprising places. Years ago I was flying from Dallas to DC and as I was boarding the airplane I noticed my seatmate’s shoes. They were just so beautiful and one-of-a-kind that they easily stood out. As I sat down, I couldn’t help but compliment this stranger on her colorful choice of footware. She smiled and I soon introduced myself, and before long we were just chatting away at 30 000 feet. We both became so immersed in conversation that by the time we landed, two hours later, we could hardly have guessed the time went by.

As it turns out this woman was the wife of a very well-known senator and as we conversed she asked me about my work. I told her that I was a professional speaker and comedian. She seemed engrossed by this and asked me a lot of questions about it. She soon revealed that she does charity work which requires an abundance of public speaking and is driven to enhance her speeches. But injecting them with humor was a challenge – “do you think you could help me with that?” she inquired. And of course I said yes, and gave her some tips right then and there. I got her business card and gave her mine, and later sent her a thank you note. I also emailed her to stay connected and offered to assist her further with her speechwriting needs.

This is a classic example of my point – if you can plainly articulate that you can solve the other person’s problems, this will entice them to want to learn more from you, which will most likely result in them offering you access to the Hidden Platter of Opportunities. Perhaps you will make the opportunity yourself or the other party will customize one just for you, as the senator’s wife did for me. Or maybe in the course of the conversation the person will realize that you can solve certain problems in x or y fields or departments within their organization, and they press you for more information that ultimately helps them make a decision about whether to engage you further. Just remember – everyone has problems that need solutions. By networking strategically, you can begin to communicate that you can provide those valuable solutions.

Now that you know why solving problems is important you should consider the problem you have with time and finding a job. The solution to this issue is to use Resume Cheetah. With Resume Cheetah you get the ability to save time by having an expert recruiter find a job for you. Take some time and see exactly how Resume Cheetah can help you find a job fast.

LinkedIn Tips To Finding A Job

Headline

Under your name is your Headline area. It is the first thing someone reads about you.

There is a difference of opinion regarding how the content of this section should be presented. Some advocate that it is an opportunity for you to write in the first person and show personality. Others contend that it should be written in the third-person narrative. The choice is yours; however, make your decision based on how it will be best perceived by a potential hiring executive for your level of position.

Your Summary section has a significant impact on optimizing your LinkedIn profile and will be discussed at length in the pages that follow.

What the Pros Say:

How do you approach or what strategy do you use when writing the Summary section to a LinkedIn profile? And, how does it differ from the Summary section of a resume?

I tell clients to think of their summary section as an open cover letter. You need to address what your target audience is looking for and have a call to action. You should never dump your resume summary into the summary section of LinkedIn. First off, your resume summary is likely pretty short. Second it’s not written in normal conversational language. Your summary on LinkedIn should be written in first person unless you are in a pretty traditional field like finance or are a high-level executive.

We have the ability to do so much more with a LinkedIn profile summary than we ever can with a resume summary! Resume summaries need to be quick snapshots of your career history written specifically for a particular position, industry, and company. LinkedIn summaries can be in a narrative format where you make a connection with your audience, share your story, and target your specific audience.

James Moore

Experience

This is reasonably straightforward. Think resume. Use relevant keywords. Remember that your LinkedIn profile and your resume must match in general content. According to LinkedIn, “add[ing] your two most recent work positions . . . can increase your profile views by twelve times.” Strategic use of the Experience section will be discussed with optimization.

What the Pros Say:

What is your strategy and approach when drafting the Job Experience section?

I try to complement the resume when writing the experience section on LinkedIn. You usually have more room in LinkedIn so it’s easy to expand on your accomplishments to add more context. I also use first person in the description of the job to tell the story of the person’s career.

Specific advice for those in between jobs is to have what I call a “transition position.” This is a current position that lists the type of role you desire (see Robin Green sample resume in my resume portfolio section). The reason to do this is LinkedIn surfaces people that have a current job higher in the search results. It also gives you an additional opportunity to sell yourself and add information you didn’t put in your summary.

James Moore

In the experience section, I believe that the most overlooked component is the job title. There is no rule that says your job title must be written exactly as it is on your resume. For example, if you are a teacher, you can create this job title: Science Teacher – Mentor – Team Leader. By including relevant descriptive keywords and providing more detail, the job title field becomes a great marketing tool for the job seeker.

James Moore

Education

Your education should align directly with your resume. Start with your highest degree and work backward in reverse chronological order. If you are a tenured job seeker, determine whether you want to include dates. Review the Education section of the Impactful Resumes portion of this book. LinkedIn users “who have an education on their profile receive an average of ten times more profile views than those who don’t.”

Additional sections of your profile. LinkedIn has additional sections to further customize your profile. Depending on the HR recruiter or hiring executive, these areas may have an impact on their impression of you. To find these additional sections on your profile, look for a large blue box titled “Add a new profile section” that appears along the right side of your profile.

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Using LinkedIn to Find A Job Fast

Your LinkedIn Profile – Sections

Before we begin our discussion on building an impactful profile (“optimization”), let’s briefly introduce the major components of your profile.

1. Photo

Your photo is important. It shows that you are a real person. Since LinkedIn has a professional focus—and you are looking for a job—it is recommended to have a photo taken at a studio by a professional or, at a minimum, a close-up photograph of you professionally dressed. According to experts, “profiles with a photo are fourteen times more likely to be viewed.” Moreover, having a photo makes you thirty-six times more likely to receive a message on LinkedIn.

Here are some Dos and Don’ts when it comes to your LinkedIn photo. Many of these have been cited in a study by PhotoFeeler, while others should be common sense considering that LinkedIn is a professional networking site.

Do:

Be professionally dressed

The photo should be of your head and shoulders

Look directly into the camera; make eye contact

Smile

Don’t:

No sunglasses (clear eyeglasses are fine)

No fish

No pets

No golf course photos

No family portraits

No kids or grandchildren

No shopping mall Glamour Shots

It is highly recommended that your LinkedIn profile photo be professionally taken.

2. Name

Use the name you commonly go by. If your given name is Richard, but you go by Rich, use Rich. It is permissible to put both your given name and the name you use in quotation marks or parentheses. If you have a common name, you may want to add your middle initial.

What the Pros Say:

What is your opinion about the name a client should use on their LinkedIn profile? Should they use their birth name, the name they go by, or their birth name with the name they go by in quotation marks?

Most often, the name they go by. But distinction is important. For example, there are many Kim Bakers, so even though that’s the name I go by, I use my full name Kimberly Robb Baker so that there is only one of me on LinkedIn and other online platforms.

Kim I recommend that the name used on a LinkedIn profile should match how the individual is known in the workplace so the profile is easily found when doing a search. For consistency, that form of the name is also the one that should be used on the resume.

James Moore

Professional designations appearing in the name field. There is a difference of opinion among commentators on this topic. However, it can be to your advantage to put one (maybe two) notable professional designations behind your name. Designations should be significant to your industry, add to your credibility, or create a competitive advantage in the job market. Using one notable designation could increase the odds of having your profile viewed.

What the Pros Say:

What is your opinion about including one or two professional designations in the last name box of a LinkedIn profile?

For job seekers who have industry-specific designations that align with their job search goals, it is imperative to include them in the name and/or headline sections of their profile, since these two locations are prime real estate on LinkedIn.

James Moore

I recommend listing a law degree (JD), relevant master’s, MBA, or doctorate after the last name. You want those professional designations to stand out. They can also be used strategically to position yourself in certain industries. For example, someone may have a JD but may not actively practice law. However, a JD is a very valuable educational tool that can position someone in business consulting or management work. So, definitely stand proud of your educational achievements and don’t be afraid to boast about them in your LinkedIn profile.

James Moore

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Using LinkedIn To Find A Job

LinkedIn is the most used and effective professional networking website on the planet, with more than 467 million members in two hundred countries and growing. In the United States alone there are more than 128 million members. At present, LinkedIn adds “more than two new members every second.” “Over 25 million profiles are viewed on LinkedIn daily.”

In today’s job market, it is imperative to your job search to have a complete LinkedIn profile. In a recent survey of HR professionals and recruiters, 65 percent cite a lack of skilled candidates in the market as the largest obstacle to hiring. Human talent is the lifeblood for every company, but there is a war for talent in the market due to the lack of well-qualified candidates.

Being in a candidate-driven job market is a good environment when you are looking for a job (should you be fortunate enough to be in that environment when searching for a job). But how can you maximize being discovered for open opportunities? Answer: your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is the overwhelming resource (87 percent) most frequently used by HR recruiters to identify and evaluate candidates. By having a complete and robust LinkedIn profile, you significantly increase your chances of being contacted by a HR recruiter. In fact, “Users with complete profiles are forty times more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn.”

Having a complete LinkedIn profile is imperative to your job search.

What makes your profile complete? Generally speaking, your profile is complete when it has the following:

• Your location and industry

• A current position (with a description)

• Two past positions

• Your education

• Your skills (minimum of three)

• A profile photo

• At least fifty connections

If your profile is incomplete, it won’t register as high in searches as those that are more robust. It cannot be overemphasized. LinkedIn should be your primary online professional networking and job-search tool.

In many cases, your LinkedIn profile could be the first impression a hiring executive has of you. A strong profile is a must. It gives you credibility.

Before we begin discussions on specific LinkedIn topics, and if you already have a profile, it is recommended that you turn off the network notification function of your profile until you have completed making all changes to your profile. Here’s how: Go to your Profile page. Click on the “Me” icon at the top and from the drop down, select “Settings and Privacy.”

It is estimated that there are more than a billion searches annually on LinkedIn. Companies and recruiters search keywords to find candidates (in addition to people who search for a particular company or person).

Let’s take a quick review of keywords. As you know, keywords are specific words or phrases that reflect your experiences and abilities, and are frequently buzzwords, or terms-of-art that are applicable to you professionally. Like your resume, your profile must contain certain keywords to get attention and communicate that you are qualified for a particular position.

Keywords can include the following:

• Position title

• Industries

• Professional designation

• Skills, knowledge, core competencies

• Industry terms-of-art (and abbreviations)

• Employer names (past or present)

• Licenses, certifications

• Location (state, city)

• Software and technologies you’re familiar with

• Education (school names and degrees)

Using LinkedIn can be a great way to get a job fast. With Resume Cheetah you can get a pro to go out and apply for jobs on your behalf saving you time and energy. Also, they help grow your LinkedIn profile as well. With this service you get a ton of help finding a job with this service. See for yourself how Resume Cheetah can get you a job fast.