Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What to Say on LinkedIn When You’ve Been Laid Off

There are unfortunately lots of people faced with layoffs, and when it comes to creating their LinkedIn profile, where do they start? I can’t imagine how many people steer away from LinkedIn because they don’t know where to begin, and how to “broadcast their new job status”. Forbes' article What to Say on LinkedIn When You've Been Laid Off (click article title to read full story) has some great ideas/pointers on how to spice up your LinkedIn profile from experience, to education, to descriptions, etc. (helpful even to those who haven’t been laid off). Just as the article says, it is a tough market out there, and it might “exude confidence by not being ashamed that you’re between jobs”.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Social Network Data Used in Underwriting

I came across a very interesting and thought-provoking article. With all the recent hype surrounding social media, I was intrigued to find an article titled “In few years, Social Network Data May Be Used in Underwriting” (click article title to read full story). This article discusses how social media can help “crack the data” in investigation of claims, and how it could potentially be factored in to the underwriting process. It fosters the idea about whether or not mining social networking sites is ethical, or legal for that matter, for insurance purposes, and to what extent they should be used. Has this gone too far? Or should everyone just be that much more aware of what they publish on the internet?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Self-Doubt Kills Ability

“Self-doubt kills ability.” My daughter works twice a week one-on-one with a basketball trainer on skills development to help her continue to improve and further develop her game. One of her biggest adversaries is her own self-doubt. LC, her trainer, told her the other day, “remember these words, self-doubt kills ability”. These simple words made me reflect on how this is so true in so many parts of our lives. And today, more so than ever given the job market, these words apply so well to the job seeker. As I’m counseling candidates, one of the things I am certain to discuss with them is to not start doubting yourself. Once you doubt yourself and start wondering “what’s wrong with me” other people will notice your lack of confidence. This will come out in an interview situation. You must remember that there are many outstanding professionals seeking jobs. So the problem is not you, but the very challenging job market we are faced with. So don’t allow self-doubt to affect who you are. Go into each interview with confidence and prepared to demonstrate the value you can bring to that organization. And remember, “Self-doubt kills ability.”

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

How to Select a Recruiter

As a job seeker your strategy is more important than ever in this market. Part of your process should include the use of a recruiter(s). So how do you select a recruiter to partner with? There lies the keyword, partner. A recruiter should be a partner in your search. And you in turn need to partner with the recruiter as well. Here are tips in making it the most beneficial partnership.

1. Research to locate a recruiter that specializes within your industry. A recruiter that is a generalist will likely not be able to effectively represent you to the market in the same way that an industry specific recruiter can. Not only will they be limited in understanding who to speak to and how to best represent you, but they will likely lack the industry networks to get you seen by the right people.

2. Once you identify a recruiter, ask around. Check with people you know in your industry to see if they have any background or knowledge of this recruiter. Of course never place your decision on one person’s opinion. Just like anything, you are always better to gain multiple experiences. If the message is consistently bad perhaps it makes sense to start your search over. If it is generally good, then it’s time to reach out to the recruiter.

3. Contact the recruiter. If you leave a message or send an email and don’t hear back, don’t be quick to drop them as a possibility. Give them another try. If they are not responsive on the second try then this is likely not someone you will want to work with. If it takes them a couple days to respond that’s okay. These days recruiters are inundated with job seeker calls & emails.

4. Once you have an exchange with a recruiter this is an opportunity to gain a comfort level. There should be a feeling of good chemistry. You should feel as though the recruiter is knowledgeable and that they understand what value you can bring to a client company.

5. Be skeptical of a recruiter that requires an exclusive arrangement with you. Now if you are looking at a small market that is the exception as you don’t want recruiters tripping over themselves in a small market. However if you are looking at a large market such as Chicago, or are open to relocation to various locations, be leery of the recruiter requiring an exclusive arrangement with you. It’s okay to use more than one recruiter. The fact is, no one recruiter has relationships with each & every company. However I believe that using too many recruiters is not a good idea either. You stand the chance of losing the commitment from a good recruiter if they feel as though you are using too many.

6. If you do use more than one recruiter, require them to contact you before ever sending your information anywhere. And make certain they will disclose the client company name as well.

7. Stay in touch with the recruiter you partner with. Unfortunately the days of recruiters being able to routinely touch base with candidates is a thing of the past. A recruiter's time is best spent marketing your background. So touch base every couple weeks to check in.

These are the main points to remember when you enter into a partnership with a recruiter.