I have talked to many job seekers about how to address this question. It’s tough enough to be out of work for any length of time but then you have to justify what you have been doing. As if looking for employment isn’t enough! When in fact, it’s far harder to find a job then work at a job!
So what can you list as your current position if it has been some time since you were employed. If you have a skill related to your job experience, try doing some part-time work or consulting. If that doesn’t apply, volunteer! With one in 5 hiring managers saying they hire based partly on volunteer experience, why not give it a try!
There are so many charities that would love some of your valuable time. It will get your mind off the fact that you are out of work but more importantly it will get you out the door! You can feel better about yourself by helping others; it’s a proven fact!
Just for a while, you can take your mind off the endless searching, the resume editing, and the countless cover letters. In addition to the computer you are chained to for hours on end.
LinkedIn is forgiving in what you can add to your profile and whether you are getting pay for that position or not. You can also make your volunteer work a project. Yes, you may have to explain your situation to recruiters or during the interview phrase. But you have to admit, it sounds better to say- “I have been volunteering at ….. Instead of, “I have spent countless looking for this position; which you indeed have!
Just food for thought 😉
Happiness and Success Always
Then comes the anger. I have devoted a large part of my life to this company. They could have at least given me more notice, a larger severance package, and the four weeks of paid vacation I never used!
I believe in allowing yourself a small and intimate pity party or a day in bed with the covers pulled over your head. But unfortunately, that wouldn’t pay the rent. So you push forward, a day at a time, sometimes an hour at a time. You give yourself breaks. Yes, you may have to cancel that gym membership; but you can take a walk.
Yes, there will be days that you will want to throw in the towel and feel completely defeated. That’s when you call a friend who you know will give you that much needed “kick in the butt” to propel you forward.
Once reality sets in, you realize that your resume is outdated. You have fallen behind on keeping in touch with your social media friends, followers and connections.
Remember that saying when things get tough, the tough go shopping! Not a terribly good idea unless it’s the Dollar Store.
But you need to get tough in order to move forward. Stay busy. Ask for help with your resume. Get your profile on social media sites ramped up, LinkedIn is where it’s happening! Let people know you are looking. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, it is not a sign of weakness and research has shown that other people really do want to help others, it’s rewarding to them. Wouldn’t you help them if the situation was reversed?
So, try your best to stay positive and put a smile on your face 🙂
I would love to hear your thoughts/experiences and how you stay motivated?
1. You are currently a college student: If you start working on your LinkedIn presence prior to graduation; you stand a better chance of finding a job when you DO graduate. It takes time to make the proper connections, so the sooner you can build your brand- the better. LinkedIn is more highly regarded than Facebook because it is strictly a business social networking site. It’s where your future employers are seeking candidates. If an employer Googles you, you will stand out in the crowd if your profile is well constructed.
2. You are a job seeker: Recruiters and hiring managers are constantly searching for new employees on LinkedIn. You want to be found and noticed by them! An All-Star profile is full of your accomplishments and should let a company know why they should hire you? And what you can do for their company?
3. You have a job but you might want a better one: You are already successful and very attractive to other employers. If you have a rocking profile, you will definitely be found via a search and just might be contacted by hiring personnel. You may love your job but the next one might be your dream job!
4. You are a small business owners who would like more clients: Know your find-ability factor, what service do you offer that no one else does? I believe that LinkedIn is fast becoming the new search engine. People are searching on LinkedIn to do business with you. Create your headline to attract new customers. Have recommendations on your profile; there is no better way to advertise than the words of your current or past clients.
5. You are a recruiter or in HR: Your employees are on LinkedIn! Knowing how to search for the right candidates is crucial. Have a clear focus about who your target candidates are, so they can find you as well. Sometimes your candidates will come from your other connections. Keep in touch with your clients who you have worked with in the past.
The bottom line: It’s all about the relationships that you build on LinkedIn. Be assertive, be honest and always be professional.
Happiness and Success Always~ Sherry
- Don’t use the default connection statement, “I’d like to add you to my professional network.” or my personal favorite, “Since you are a person I trust, I wanted to invite you to join my network on LinkedIn.” You don’t know me well enough to trust me. Personalizing your statement to connect is vital to building a relationship. Tell me why you want to connect and/or how we know each other.
- Don’t ask me to send out a message from you to my network. Especially, if I don’t know you or you connected with me a day ago. It’s NOT happening! I would never send a mass email (at least not for any reason I can think of) to my connections from me, let alone from you. I love to be complimented like everyone else, but flattery doesn’t work in this regard.
- Don’t try to sell me! Or ask me to visit your website or like your Facebook or Twitter pages! It screams buy my stuff and no one likes to be sold to. Offer your help or support. Be sincere when trying to help someone, say what you mean and do what you say. Don’t make false promises, it may hurt your online reputation.
- Don’t send out a mass email, it rarely works! “It says, I don’t have the time to connect with you personally, so I will just see if some of you bite!” Maybe if LinkedIn decides to have a BCC option in the future, it might feasible but no rumors about that coming anytime soon. In the meantime, use Constant Contact, Mail Chimp, Etc. to email your contactsJ
- Don’t steal someone else’s thunder. I just saw this a few days ago for the first time and couldn’t believe my eyes. You know the headline in the new contact app that shows you when someone has a new job or birthday or moved. Well, this gentleman had a new job and some congrats posted and one of the posts was actually a sales pitch from someone saying, “Congrats and BTW stop by my business XYZ for 10% off”! I wanted to respond, “Hello, this is not about you!!”
1. Don’t send a message without a personalized greeting! It can hurt you more than you know. Take the time to view someone’s profile to learn more about them. Sometimes I have noticed that LinkedIn prevents you from sending a personalized greeting; maybe when inviting some people in a group. If the default greeting is sent, you can always follow it up with a simple statement about why you want to connect with them.
LinkedIn now gives you the ability to see what you have in common with that person. On the right side panel about half way down, when you hover over the circles- you see what you have in common. It could be skills and expertise, it could be groups, and it could be your education or the connections you share. This gives you a great starting point for the conversation.
Lastly, LinkedIn has now put more emphasis on your relationships. Keywords are still important but relationships are starting to mean more in terms of targeted searches. Therefore, strategically connect with folks, it’s no longer just a numbers game.
2. Don’t use capital letters in your messages! It comes across to the other person that you are yelling. Yes, there is no way to bold phrases or use italics but there are other ways to explain yourself with words. Online communication can be difficult but unfortunately, I doubt that it will change in the near future. I am sure I have been guilty of this myself in the past. However, you can try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. At times, I may add a comment saying, “I hope I was not too blunt or too honest?”
3. Last but not least, tell don’t sell! No one likes to be sold to! At least once or twice a day, I have someone who either writes “Buy My Stuff” (indirectly of course) in their invitation or directly after connecting with me they send me a message about their business or their paid event.
Building relationships first is paramount to your success! It’s a proven fact, people do business with people they know, like and trust. Remember, it’s not about you; it’s about them. Helping others with no agenda, will develop those lasting relationships. Which in turn, become referrals sources and they may even recommend you!
Happy and Success Always~Sherry