Mining for Gold

In this economy it is very important that you take advantage of the power of networking in order to find your next assignment. LinkedIn is a primo place to start this Power Networking.

I recently started posting job orders onto Discussions in Groups to which I belong. I have been overwhelmed at the quantity and quality of responses I’ve gotten. This experience, from the perspective of a recruiter, has overwhelmed me and turned me into a LinkedIn Believer. I’m confident that a job seeker can mine this network in the same way, and reap golden benefits they could have never imagined.

  1. Make sure you have only one profile! Many of us (ComputerRecruiter included) inadvertently had multiple profiles on LinkedIn because we forget we signed up or we forget our password. Whatever the reason, this can lead to confusion and missed opportunities – you only want one active profile. So take the time to Search People (top right of Home screen) and remove all inactive profiles (Account & Settings: Personal Information: Close Your Account).
  2. Flesh out your chosen profile. Include 15+ years of your previous employment activity in the Experience section (including brief a synopsis of your responsibilities/roles). The more information you include, the more people can learn about you at a glance.
  3. Join Groups. Search for Groups which you may be able to join (Groups/ Groups Directory: Find a Group). Look for alumni groups for your current and previous employers, specialized groups associated with your line of business or technical acumen, groups associated with your universities or professional certifications, you get the picture. Make sure to sign up for the Digest Emails – I get mine weekly.
  4. Scan those groups for friends, co-workers, managers, or others who may know you. After you’re Approved for membership (based on a review of your profile – you will get an email), you have access to view the membership list of each group (Groups/ My Groups: Members). Click Invite to Connect and add this person to your list. Connect with as many people as you can – their networks become your networks.
  5. Once you get connected, ask for recommendations. Buzz is that the original power of this feature is becoming diluted – so take care not to abuse this option. Make sure you ask this service from former managers/team leads, people whose opinion will be credible.
  6. Tell everyone what you’re doing! At the top of your profile (below your name and above your Current assignment) is a box where you can tell everyone what you’re currently working on. If you’re seeking employment, definitely include this information here.
  7. Personalize your Public Profile. Just above your Profile/ Summary is a Public Profile link. Edit this system assigned URL to something meaningful, like your name, and include this link on your resume, your email signature line, etc.
  8. Send messages. Under Inbox: Compose Messages, you can create an email to be sent to selected contacts (using check boxes). These messages can be very powerful in that you can send a blast to many people saying ‘I’m looking for my next opportunity.’ Use this option judiciously.

And a ShoutOut to FranzK for turning me on to the power of this tool!


DUA – Don’t Use Acronyms!

With the increase in matrixed management and the blurring of lines between business and technical teams, project consultants cannot safely assume that today’s hiring managers have the same knowledge-base as previous managers. So take some time to scan through your resume, and replace acronyms with the full names of applications/vendors/documents/methodologies you’re including.

A well-credentialed PMP Project Manager who has never worked in the financial sector may mistake the ALS on a resume for Lou Gehrig's Disease, not understand that it means Advanced Lending Solutions, and reject a uniquely qualified Business Systems Analyst resume out of ignorance.

A PM with a history of Technical Delivery leadership and only peripheral knowledge of the Define stage, may mistake BRD for Federal Republic of Germany (hey! It’s a global economy, right?) or Blackrock Depths (geek!).

Spell out your acronyms – don’t assume that everyone knows of what you’re speaking. And for really obscure acronyms, include a short explanation.

TMI can really help to CYA!