Job Search Blog

Jun 19 2014

Screen Shot 2014-06-18 at 9.59.12 AMMy recent Kindle book “How Not to Suck at LinkedIn: 30 Easy Cures to LinkedIn’s Most Common Mistakes” is free until June 22, 2014.

Download it now and if you like it, please leave me a short review on Amazon.

It’s packed with 30 practical tips and tricks for beginner, intermediate and advanced LinkedIn users. No matter where you are in your job search, or familiarity with LinkedIn, I’m sure you’ll pick up some useful information here.


Here’s what one reader already said, “In the past 3 hours, I have 11 new connections, 3 personal messages, and 2 requests from recruiters for phone informational interviews. In just 3 hours.” 


Jun 18 2014

NACE 2014 Wrap up

Last week I attended the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) annual conference in San Antonio Texas. Here are some highlights from my trip.

By way of introduction, this is the organization that supports college career centers and the employers that recruit from them. So there are two main interests. First are career professionals looking for advice to help coach their students and build better programs. Second are the college career staff who want to attract employers, and employers who want deeper connections with schools.

So there’s a lot going on!

I was there with my new business partner Terry, who runs College Transition Publishing. Terry distributes my workbook to colleges who want to buy larger quantities at a discount. He was kind enough to give me 1/2 of his table so I could chat with my readers and clients.

Joshua at NACE 2014

Joshua at NACE 2014

Jun 16 2014

Editor’s Note: Updated February, 21 2014

I previously wrote about the death of the verb and the rise of the Noun, so I won’t explain that here. But if you haven’t read that post, I suggest you do so.

I’m often asked, “Well, if I need nouns, how do I know what nouns to use?” Here is a simple list of some great places to begin growing your Keyword list.

Use Your Brain

I’m not being cheeky by saying that. I think we often overlook our own common sense because the online tools are so convenient.

Sit down with a blank paper and come up with as many industry specific nouns as you can. Don’t judge what happens, now is the time to get as big a list as possible. Later, we’ll hone it down.

Use Related Job Descriptions

I always tell people that Job Boards are good for at least one thing…finding job descriptions to mine for keywords. Companies will often (not always) include the keywords they look for when screen resumes in the descriptions.

Visit three of your favorite job boards, like SimplyHired, Indeed or Monster. The location doesn’t matter, so just enter the job title you are aiming for. Copy three different job descriptions from three different job boards and copy them all into a word cloud generator (see next section).

Originally posted 2009-09-28 07:49:35. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Jun 11 2014

scrabble wordsFound this post on Inc, written by Jeff Haden and thought it was important for those of you thinking about writing your LinkedIn profile summaries.

Consider the word “charismatic.” If someone called me charismatic, I will be incredibly flattered (and hugely surprised.) But if I call myself charismatic, you will think I’m a jerk–and rightly so.

Here are 10 more words that are awesome when used by others to describe you, but you should never use to describe yourself:

1. Generous. Take it from Adam Grant, an expert on the subject of giving and taking. Generosity is in the eye of the beholder.

“Generosity is earned, not claimed,” he writes. “Leave it to other people to describe you as a giver–that’s the highest form of praise.”

The most generous people I know give without fanfare and without seeking accolades. Their giving is so far under the radar it’s subterranean. And they don’t consider themselves to be generous since they’re always thinking they could do more.

All of us can be more generous than we are. While relative to what others give you might be more generous than most, if that’s the case let other people describe you that way.

After all, true generosity is often found in people who are also…

2. Humble. I like to think I’m humble. (Maybe I am, at least compared to this guy…)

But I’m really not.

Case in point. Last week, I showed two different people, totally unprompted, a photo of me with Mark Cuban at GrowCo. (I took a photo of Mark with someone else that was actually worthy of comment.) Sure, meeting Mark was cool, but showing off the photo was definitely a d– move. (Yep, I’ve still got a lot of growing up to do.)

Truly humble people don’t call themselves humble, if only because they’re too humble to ever say it.

Jun 07 2014

Pinterest+LinkedInIt’s no secret that LinkedIn is a hotbed of job search activity. But believe it or not, an active Pinterest profile may just be the next big thing in employee recruitment. Get in on the action early, and maximize your job search by effectively using social platforms to market yourself.

Here are six tips to use LinkedIn and Pinterest to help you land your next job:

1. Make Your Pages Searchable

According to Social Media Today, only about 50% of all LinkedIn users have a complete profile, and Digital Marketing Ramblings reports that only 20% of all Internet-using females and 5% of all Internet-using males have a Pinterest profile. If you haven’t filled out all your information, or you don’t have a current profile, the likelihood of being contacted by a recruiter is slim.

Go ahead and complete your profiles, but take it a step further: make sure you use searchable keywords that are related to your job search when describing yourself and your past work. Also, if you’re sending out resumes through email or job recruitment websites, understand that recruiters often search social platforms to learn more about their applicants. Be sure your profiles are work-appropriate and easy to find.

For instance, my name, Laura Williams, is about as generic as it comes. If you search for “Laura Williams,” you’d be hard pressed to find me. That’s why professionally I always include my maiden name and title. To my knowledge, there’s only one Laura Farman Williams, M.S.Ed. If you want to be found, make it easy for people to find you.

Finally, on Pinterest, make sure you create boards with the words “job search,” “dream job,” “visual work portfolio,” or another employment-specific phrase in the title. Fill the boards with interesting content that provides a visual representation of your goals and intentions. The titles will be searchable, so recruiters or companies looking for employees are more likely to find you.

2. Provide Current Contact Information

While this should sound like a no-brainer, check your profiles to make sure recruiters and employers have a way to easily contact you. LinkedIn makes this a little easier than Pinterest, as all LinkedIn users have a LinkedIn inbox, but you can still update your Pinterest page with appropriate contact information.

If you’re not comfortable sharing your personal email address or phone number on Pinterest, connect your Facebook or Twitter account, with a note on your profile page or job search board that says, “Please connect with me on Twitter” or “Please connect with me on Facebook,” so recruiters know where and how to find you.

3. Showcase Your Work

If you want to land a job, one of the best tactics is to show potential employers what you’re capable of. When you complete your profile on LinkedIn, there’s an option to upload files or link to websites that display your online portfolio. Take advantage of this and highlight your best work.

Jun 05 2014
It doesn’t seem like a big deal at the time; you upload a photo to Facebook from a party you went to that got a bit out of hand,  you compose a Tweet that you maybe should have put some more thought into before hitting send.  It’s only later, as you’re furiously sending out resumes and cover letters, eager to secure a job in the field you’re passionate about, that the problems start.
Could your social media profiles be killing your career?  It’s definitely possible.  After all, 69% of employers say that they’ve rejected candidates based on their social media activity.
To help with this problem, Distilled put together a piece for Michael Page where you can optimize four social media channels and make sure that you don’t lose out on that all-important job.
Jun 02 2014

linkedin+facebook+twitterSocial Media can be a real time sink. There is no doubt. And with out a strategy, the danger of spending hours online and getting nothing accomplished is very real.

So in response to this apparent need of saving people time online, Social Media Aggregation services were invented. These services allow you to simply post your update once, and 40 of your social media sites get the update simultaneously.

Seems like a good idea, right?

Well, I say Absolutely NOT. That’s like going to a baseball game and asking who is playing guard.

Each Social Media community carries it’s own level of intimacy. And if you have a strategy for using Social Media to get your next job, then you wouldn’t have the time sink issue to begin with.

Lets review some of the most popular social media sites and what is and is not acceptable. I call this the “Rules of Intimacy”.

LinkedIn Rules of Intimacy

  • Yes, LinkedIn allow you to post updates about what you are doing. But it NOT Twitter.
  • Don’t post more than 1 time per day
  • It’s not the place for personal details
  • Do post using your professional keywords

Twitter Rules of Intimacy

  • This is the place to be personal, and you should be at least 80% of the time
  • The more you tweet, the more followers you’ll get and the better your network
  • Don’t try to sell people anything, and likewise, only tweet about your job search 5-10% of the time
  • Interact, thank people for re-tweeting and reply to direct messages

Facebook Rules of Intimacy

Just a quick note, said that 34% of employers rejected someone based on what they found on Facebook. Be Careful!

  • If you don’t want to use Facebook for your job search, then lock it down. Make sure employers can’t get in there.
  • If you do want to use Facebook for your job search, decide if you’ll let strangers see your profile and keep it clean
  • Delete obscene photos, games or applications as well as messages from friends that won’t go over well
  • Option: if you want to keep Facebook for friends but still want to leverage it for your job search, just start your own Fan Page

Some friends of mine decided to call in sick to work and go surfing. They took some great photos of their time at the coast and one friend posted on the other friend’s wall, “We should call in sick more often”.

Their boss had access to their profiles and was checking up on them. Yikes. They didn’t get fired, but they aren’t on good standing either.

Take time to learn the social rules of each community and then follow them. Remember, quality of interaction is WAY more important than being able to post to 40 sites at once. I’d rather have one good cookie then a bag full of bad ones.

What are your reactions to this post? Do you have a funny story to tell? More advice for other readers? Please share them in the comments below.

Originally posted 2009-09-14 08:02:52. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Jun 01 2014

LinkedIn-Sucks-3d-Cover-300This post has been turned into an ebook called, How Not to Suck at LinkedIn, where I explain this issue in lots more detail.

You can get it on Amazon Kindle if you’d like 29 other killer LinkedIn tips.

For now, you should turn the “He”, “She” pronouns into “I”, and then re-read your summary. You’re looking for a friendly flow, not a formal voice.

Oh, here’s an article you can read on my blog:


May 31 2014

LinkedIn-Sucks-3d-Cover-300This post has become part of an ebook called, How Not to Suck at LinkedIn, where I explain this issue in lots more detail.

You can get it on Amazon Kindle if you’d like 29 other killer LinkedIn tips.

For now, know that I’m not talking about customizing your LinkedIn profile URL. I’m talking about the three links displayed in your contact info area.

Change those to something more interesting. See below.

update links

May 30 2014

LinkedIn-Sucks-3d-Cover-300This post has become part of an ebook called, How Not to Suck at LinkedIn, where I explain this issue in lots more detail.

You can get it on Amazon Kindle if you’d like 29 other killer LinkedIn tips.

For now, add any causes you care about and any volunteer work you did…even if you have to think back to that service project you did in high school!