J Patrick + Associates Blog

6 Best Practices For Resume Writing

Posted by Jarrett Zike on Sun, Nov 27, 2022 @ 12:53 PM

It’s a perennial question: “What should I put on my resume?” There are plenty of articles and how-to videos offering advice on what a resume should say and how it should look. But, when looking for employment, it's important to stay focused on your goals in sequence. Here is what I mean: You are not writing a resume to get a job; you are writing a resume to get an interview.  

Here are 6 best practices for writing a winning resume:

1. Create a Personal Brand When Writing Your Resume

When writing your resume, don’t list your strengths and expect a hiring manager to take notice. Rather, make every effort to tell a story that builds a personal brand. What, you might ask, constitutes a “personal brand?” For our purposes, your brand will be a synthesis of your professional capabilities and the positive aspects of your personality. 

Let's say you’re a talented public speaker. Instead of just listing the speaking engagements in which you have participated, give some indication of your enthusiasm for speaking and the impact your rhetorical talents had on your audience.

Did you “present information to colleagues in ____,” or did you “interpret and explain pivotal data and statistics for professionals in the ____ industry?” One phrasing sounds like a description of a slideshow, and the other leaves an impression of personal expertise and agency. 

The key here is to connect your experiences with real-life successes and tell potential employers why they should care. When possible, include observable and quantifiable outcomes in your descriptions. If an employer can look at your resume and see evidence of your strengths, it will put you at a marked advantage. 

Finally, do not lie. Not only is lying unethical, but it is far too easy to sniff out a tall tale these days. 

2. Use The Right Keywords

Working in a recruiting office, I bear daily witness to how sorely neglected keywords can be.

The bottom line is that recruiters in my office sort and search through untold heaps of resumes, and they do so by using applicant tracking systems, i.e., robots: unconscious, hyper-literal, ruthlessly precise robots. If your resume doesn’t contain the exact keywords that map onto the job you’re after, there’s basically no chance you’ll land an interview. 

How can you access the occult words and phrases that open a portal to the interview? Start with the job posting. In almost every case, the employer will include specific skills and qualifications you must possess in order to be considered.

Copy their language directly. Touch up your resume to incorporate their verbiage, then touch it up again for the next job. Does this seem tedious? Yes. Seemingly unnecessary? Probably. But these are the rules of the game. You can be confident that whoever lands the job will have adhered to them.  

3. Tailor Your Resume to Each Potential Employer

The easy path is tempting, but as efficient as it would be to crank out a generic resume and fire it off to everyone who might be interested, this tactic is not a winning one. You will almost certainly get overlooked for missing keywords (see above). You will also blend right in with the nameless mass of resume gamblers who their job searches into something similar to a spam campaign. 

The rationale here is pretty straightforward: Every job is different, so don’t make every resume the same. The screening technologies are too good to countenance blind optimism when it comes to hoping for an interview.

Take the time to tweak and tailor your resume into a customized document that aligns with each job description. Absent this consideration, you will be wasting the time you thought you were saving. 

4. Only Relevant Job Experiences, Please

Many people write their resumes under the misguided assumption that they should cram as many professional experiences as possible onto the two pages of real estate offered by their resume. This is somewhat understandable. They want to impress a potential employer and, thinking quantitatively, more must be better, right? 

This approach is actually the direct opposite of what should be done. When listing professional experience, you should prioritize quality and relevance over quantity. There are a few reasons for this, but the first is simple legibility. A concise and clean resume is a much more eye-catching and inviting document than one with a single-spaced block of micro-fonted text. 

That being said, you do need to list the most current and relevant jobs on your resume. A good rule of thumb is that any job worked before the last 10-15 years is unlikely to be of interest to anyone but yourself. 

5. Grammer  Matters 

This one doesn't require too much explanation. Grammarly and programs like it are so widely available that having an ungrammatical resume impresses as sheer laziness. While it is true that most people cannot recite exact grammatical or usage rules, most people notice when a sentence doesn't make sense. Since the rules of grammar are essentially the accepted logic of the English language,  failing to abide by them can result in nonsense. In a text, there are no nonverbal cues to bridge the gap between what you mean and what you say. So, whatever your creative writing teacher told you in high school, writing like you speak is not a good resume decision.     

6. Begin Narratives With Strong, Descriptive Action Verbs

One of the biggest risks you run when submitting a resume is sounding bland, being forgettable. In order to avoid this, you need attention grabbers. Describing your accomplishments with strong action verbs such as organized, managed, directed, and etc., conveys the active role you played in your stated accomplishments. 

The key here is emphasizing your agency. You did something; you made it happen. Avoid language suggesting that you were merely “responsible” for some outcome or “contributed” to it. These words are vague and reek of passivity. Choosing strong action verbs will also help build your personal brand. Think: You are the kind of person who…launched an initiative, spearheaded an campaign, organized an audit, etc.

Final Thoughts

When you sit down to write your resume, carefully consider what you have to offer an employer. Your resume is the base ingredient of your personal brand–a first impression that should not be improvised. It is a tool to place you in an employable position.

If you find yourself at a loss for ways to improve a resume, don’t be afraid to get professional help. There are people whose entire livelihood depends on creating top-notch resumes. Key details that most people would overlook will stand out to such a person.


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Tags: Recruiter Tips, Job Search, Job Interviews, Resume Optimization, Career Strategies

Traditional Recruiting Methods vs. A Recruiting Firm

Posted by Daniel Sullivan on Fri, Feb 21, 2020 @ 12:51 PM

Traditional Recruiting vs hiring a recruiting firm

Whenever a business has to hire that new employee, they have to decide whether they should search for candidates on their own, or elicit the help of an outside agency.  Traditional recruiting methods versus a recruiting firm is the typical conundrum, so why is using a firm the better option? 

Finding an employee has always consisted of the traditional methods.  Examples of these methods include online recruitment job boards, online ads, classifieds, and career resource sites.  Online recruitment has become a HUGE influencer in the job market, websites such as monster.com, jobs.com, careerbuilder.com, and other sites have dominated the online job scene.  Another traditional method is an employee referral program.  This entails finding job candidates from referrals that may come from other employees, family members, friends, or anyone that can get in touch with you and influence your decision.  So the question still remains, what benefit does a recruiter have over the traditional methods, and do I want to pay someone to find an employee for me?

When you decide to work with a recruiting firm to help fill your job posts you enter into a relationship with a recruiter who has a wealth of knowledge in a specific field that you are trying to hire for.  Placement after placement, these recruiters have learned the industry from front to back, side to side; they know their stuff to say the least.  When you choose a recruiting firm, cost effectiveness goes hand in hand.  When you mention cost effective around the “head honcho” of a business their eyes light up, and visions of improved margins can quickly become a reality.  Nothing triggers the “let’s do it” side of the brain like saving money.  Recruiters can save you money, in fact LOTS OF MONEY because they provide the right person to fit your employment needs.  In other words, you don’t go out and hire some person who you thought was great, who turns out to be unskilled or unstable, etc.  Imagine wasting an entire first years’ salary on the wrong person?…ouch.  Saving time is also a benefit of choosing a recruiting firm over the traditional methods.  Recruiters look through hundreds of resumes every month, this saves companies plenty of time in searching for that needle in a haystack.  Once these recruiters have searched through these resumes they present only the most qualified candidates to potential employers.

Going with the traditional methods could work, but if you want that perfect fit for your position and organization, it’s worth the time, effort and energy to work with a specialized recruiting firm Guaranteed it will save you time, money and unnecessary headaches.

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Tags: Recruiter Tips, Job Search, Job Interviews, Career Strategies

Numbers Talk: Why You Must Use Social Media in Your Job Search

Posted by Daniel Sullivan on Thu, Feb 06, 2020 @ 03:13 PM

Numbers Talk_

You have read so many articles like “14 Ways to Use Twitter to Land a Job” or “8 Ways to Get Recruiters to Find You on LinkedIn.” You may have read many of ours giving this type of premier advice…but here is the million-dollar question…

Are you doing it? Any of It? Even a little bit of it?

Only You know the answer to that…

I have to believe you do not need any more convincing as to why you must use social media in your job search…but in case you do here are some numbers to consider.

Social recruiting is on the rise.

The use of social media to find candidates in recent years has only increased as recruiters learn how to maneuver it. And guess what…it’s not going anywhere.

According to a recent Jobvite study, 73 percent of recruiters have already hired someone using social media. Furthermore, 93 percent of recruiters will look at a candidate’s social media profiles before making a decision.

In fact, recruiters are now taking social media profiles more seriously. According to the study, 55 percent of recruiters changed their minds about a candidate based on something they had on their social media profile. (This is why it’s imperative that you be careful about what you post on social media.)

If that’s not enough to convince you, consider this: 73% of recruiters plan to invest even more in social recruiting. It’s working for them, and as such, you should consider getting in on the game.

Social Networking Sites by the numbers.

LinkedIn is a recruiter’s top choice for finding candidates with 94% of them utilizing it. Facebook is in second place with 66 percent of them using it to find candidates.

Below you’ll find a breakdown of which social media platforms recruiters have already used to hire candidates:

  • 79% of recruiters have hired someone using LinkedIn
  • 26% of recruiters have hired someone using Facebook
  • 14% of recruiters hired someone using Twitter

This means that social media isn’t a fad. Social hiring is happening right now as we speak.

What recruiters do on Social Media Sites.

On Facebook, recruiters tend to focus on the employer brand (59%), post jobs (48%) and generate employee referrals (51%). While Twitter isn’t as widely used, recruiters are still using it for much of the same. In other words, if you’re not active on either of these networks you’re missing out on about half of the job opportunities available to you.

Of course, LinkedIn is the recruiter goldmine with 95 percent of them using it to search for and contact candidates. They also use it to keep tabs on potential candidates for future openings.

Social media as a means of getting referrals.

Another Jobvite study found that 55 percent of referrals get hired faster than candidates from company career sites. The rise of social media has made it easier than ever to create contacts and build relationships with referrals.

Numbers don’t lie. If you’re not on social media then you’re missing out on major job opportunities. You can download our free eBook to help set yourself up for social media success.


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Tags: Recruiter Tips, Social Media, Job Search, Career Strategies

6 Ways To Refocus your Team and Get back to Making Deals

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Thu, Jan 02, 2020 @ 10:34 AM

6 Ways

It happens to the best managers - your team was cruising along, making deals and running like the well-oiled machine you built it to be.

But then something happens. The latest flu makes the rounds in the office picking your employees off one by one, or people are having a hard time refocusing after vacation. Whatever the reasons, it's time for you to refocus your team and get things ramped back up.

5 Ideas to refocus your sales team

Wipe The Slate

A stockpile of work can be overwhelming, but there’s nothing worse than having fluff making the pile even higher. Take the time to go through projects and clear out irrelevant and outdated tasks. What seemed like an important project back in early July may no longer be applicable. Clear the decks so you can get the team working toward clear and achievable goals.

Make A Plan

Even if you had the whole year mapped out, now is the time to realign and reprioritize. The best way to get your team back into fighting shape is to present them with a game plan. Clear priorities and a newly energized effort help set the tone. We are back and ready to start cranking out the deals!

Resurrect Boundaries

Dress code and Friday closing times aren’t the only things to get loosened up in the summertime. Boundaries and conventions have a habit of slipping as well. Take these days in the early part of September to re-establish the conventions that help make you the most productive. Close the door to your office or put your phone on Do Not Disturb for a few hours in the morning in order to give yourself the time you need to refocus. Do what you need to do to send the signal to your team that its nose to the grindstone time.

Authorize and Engage

Sometimes the best way to get the blood going, and to show your team they're valued, is to change things up. You've hired a crackerjack team, now it's time to push them. Give an individual a new responsibility, enhance a particular group’s reach. This isn’t about playing favorites, but it is about creating new avenues for development, both individually and for the team as a whole.

A Little Competition Goes A Long Way

There’s nothing like a little friendly competition to get people back into fighting form. Creating a sales competition is a great way to get the blood going again.

If a sales competition is not pertinent to your business, then try a fundraising challenge or even plan a sporting event. The idea is to get the team reinvigorated and re-engaged both together, and individually.

Take the time to reinvigorate and re-engage your employees, and the benefits will be seen long past the close of the quarter.

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Tags: Recruiter Tips, Career Strategies, Career Advice

Is A Cover Letter Important?

Posted by Daniel Sullivan on Fri, Dec 06, 2019 @ 03:00 PM

Is a Cover Letter Important

When talking about job applications, I always used to say that a cover letter was useless. 

It’s just more stuff to write.  I wasn’t a fan of the cover letter, to say the least.  While they were the norm until about ten years ago, thanks to online applications cover letters have become arguably outdated and certainly less-used.  

Today, the rule of thumb seems to be to not include a cover letter unless an employer specifically asks for one.  In fact, many employers disregard the cover letter when they see it. They just skim through the resume and throw the cover letter out like last week’s leftovers. 

Unfortunately, these employers miss the importance of the cover letter.  


The Importance of a Cover Letter

A cover letter actually gives the employer a great opportunity to really see who a candidate is prior to the interview.  

When well written, they can be a powerful communication tool.  Now, crafting this tool can take some serious word-smithing. So don’t just breeze through the writing process. Your cover letter should be a work of art and it can make you or break you in the eyes of a possible employer.  Consider this: your cover letter creates your first impression in the mind of the reader; definitely do not take it lightly.  

That said, a cover letter gives you a great opportunity to showcase your strengths in a longer format.  You can use a cover letter to really focus and elaborate on the specific qualities that make you the right fit for a position. They are the first step to getting that interview and eventually getting that job.


Cover Letters Can Help You Stand Out

These days, in the eyes of some, the cover letter is a dying document. Maybe it’s true that employers just don’t have the time to read through both the resume AND the cover letter.  And, yes, even recruiters don’t need a cover letter to place somebody, either. I can’t complain. Like I said before, I despise writing cover letters. But in reality, cover letters count. Without one, you miss the early chance to put yourself above the competition and really showcase what makes you unique.


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Tags: Recruiter Tips, Job Search, Job Interviews, Career Strategies

4 Ways to make the most of an Employment Gap

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Wed, Nov 13, 2019 @ 08:45 AM

How to Make the Most of an Employment Gap

As a job seeker, ready to return to work after a hiatus (either planned or involuntary) accounting for a gap on your resume can be daunting. But whether you’ve been out of the job market for a few months or more long-term, there are a number of things you can do to ensure that prospective employers view your hiatus as time well spent, rather than damaging blank space in your work history.

4 Ways to Make the Most Of an Employment Gap

1. Be Honest About Your Employment History

As much as you may want to try to make an employment gap disappear when getting back into the workforce, you must embrace it and fill the gaps. You are much better off explaining gaps in employment than trying to make believe it never happened. 

If for example, your hiatus was devoted to raising children, include it as such on your resume: 2014-2019 Time off to take care of a sick family member, etc. Be clear and honest, and know that having taken time off doesn’t make you a less valuable employment prospect.

2. Highlight Volunteer Work

It may be tempting to minimize the impact volunteer work may have on your career, but if you step back, you'll see that you gained valuable skills and experience by working with a non-for profit institution or school. 

By highlighting this experience you are showing hiring managers that you are willing to use your skills to be a positive force in your community, that you are passionate about certain causes, and you are engaged in building new skill sets.


Volunteering as a pathway to employment

Don’t forget to avail yourself of those connections you made when volunteering when you’re looking for your next position. Even if they are not able to help connect you with prospective employers, they can write recommendations for your LinkedIn profile and provide you with endorsements.

3. Keep Learning 

Employers will be less apt to balk at a gap if you’ve been busy working on your education. And understand this is not a bias that’s limited to University or degree work. Take the time during your hiatus to get current with certifications and training and learn new skills. Employers will see you’ve been dedicated to keeping your skills sharp, and are returning up to date with the latest trends in your sector.

4. Practice Your Story for Job Interviews

When it comes to the job interview, you need to be able to explain your hiatus in a way that allows you to be seen as an exciting prospect. Don't fall to the temptation to apologize for your hiatus. All that's called for is a concise explanation to help remove any doubts about your readiness and appeal to a potential employer. Know what you have to offer and be ready to voice it in just a few sentences. Understanding how to tell your story may take some time and practice, but it will deliver dividends when you are pitching yourself for a job.

Practice telling your story with both friends and people who don't know you so well - it will help strengthen your pitch and work out any hesitation or weakness.

While there may be a pervasive bias against people who have left the workforce for a hiatus, how you handle it can make all the difference in your job search


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If you’re ready for to end your hiatus, or are looking for a new job, contact one of our recruiters here at J.Patrick & Associates. We are an Executive Recruiting firm that focuses on Executive Management, Sales, Marketing and Technical roles within Information Technology markets. We have over 20 years of experience recruiting in every aspect of AV/VTC/UC, Application, Storage, Information/Network Security, Mobile Technologies and Telecommunications.

Tags: Recruiter Tips, Job Search, Networking, Job Interviews

7 interview tips to blow it out of the water

Posted by Glenda Gregorio on Mon, Nov 11, 2019 @ 09:00 AM

Are you prepared for your job interview?

Preparing for the interview takes more than a simple Google search of common interview questions. To make a great first impression you should use every tool in your toolbox to make you a remarkable applicant. Preparing for the interview will help to ease your nerves and ensure that you are ready to speak about your skills and accomplishments like the expert that you are! 

Here are 7 tips for interview success.

1. Start with your Resume

You will have to speak about everything in your resume in great detail. Make sure to have key points to talk about your resume. Review your resume to make sure that you have not stretched the truth in certain areas. Also, be sure to bring extra copies of your resume to pass out.

 2. Question Preparation

Spend some time preparing for the actual interview questions, think about ones that may come up and develop answers that will address what the employer is looking for. Also, formulate questions that you'd like to ask the interviewer, such as "what was the most challenging project you have worked on while your time in the company?" or "what is the next step in moving forward?" Rehearse your potential answers, but on the day of the interview make it sound natural and not rehearsed. The job description is also a good place to look for ideas for questions

 3. Company Research

Do in-depth research on the company. Learn about the company's mission, history, news events, conferences, and future development. Don't forget to check out the company's social media accounts to discover what the company is doing on a day-to-day basis and its interaction within their industry. You'd be surprised by how much information you can find on companies' social media accounts! Nicole, a Hiring Expert at ManpowerGroup says, "By thoroughly researching the employer you increase your chances of making a positive and memorable first impression. I would recommend digging deeper than just general knowledge about an employer.

  • What are the services/products that the company offers?
  • How large is the company? Other locations? How many employees?
  • What is their philosophy or mission statement?
  • What is the company culture like?
  • Do they have other locations?
  • Have they won any awards or received recognition?
  • Do they give back to the community?
  • Who are their competitors?
  • Research the executives and the person you are interviewing with.

The more information you have about a company, the more confident you will feel during the interview, and the better impression you will make.

 4. Leverage Your Network

Make sure to use all of your resources to learn about the internal aspects of the company, especially your LinkedIn connections. Do you know someone who works in the company? Have you attended events of conferences that the company has also attended? Mentioning current employees and events or conferences attended by the company can show how much you know about the company and how quickly you can assimilate to their company. This is also a great way to show off your communication skills!

 5. Talk to Your Recruiter

Make sure to talk to your recruiter! Your recruiter is one of your most valuable resources and should be used to prep and coach you for the interview. Your recruiter will have valuable information on the company that can boost your interview such as specific questions to prepare for, the personality of the hiring manager or the qualities searched for in candidates. Your recruiter can be your potential lifeline and make a difference in the outcome of the interview.

 6. Arrive on Time

Make sure to arrive at least 15 minutes before the interview, to allow for time to fill out additional paperwork. It will also make a great first impression on the interviewer.

 7. Interview Outfit (Attire)

Make sure to look as professional as possible! While some companies have a more business casual atmosphere, others prefer the traditional button-down and pressed suit image. Make sure that your attire matches the company dress code. For either type of company, make sure your clothes are clean, ironed, and your shoes shined. As the old saying goes "the first impression is the most lasting."

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Tags: Recruiter Tips, Job Interviews, Career Advice

How to Work Effectively With An Executive Recruiter

Posted by Daniel Sullivan on Tue, Jan 19, 2016 @ 10:03 AM

How to Work Effectively With an Executive Recruiter

Effective relationships with executive recruiters can play an instrumental part in career advances for the rising professional and the established executive. Whether you’ve worked with executive recruiters before or this is your first time, there is a lot to know about how to build effective working relationships with recruiters.

To have an effective relationship with a recruiter, it is important to understand the industry’s business model and the role you play as a potential candidate. Job seekers that fail to recognize how the recruiting process works often find themselves frustrated and unrepresented. 

Keep in mind these eight points when working with an executive recruiter:

1. The Executive Recruiter works for the Client Company NOT the candidate:

Look at the payment trail: an executive recruiter is paid by the company to find the precisely right talent—and they are willing to pay a premium for it. Candidates that take the stance that the recruiter is working to find them a job have already shown their lack of business savvy and self-centeredness. Don’t let this be you. Savvy candidates recognize the economic aspects of the relationship and work to be a resource for the recruiter. 

2. Take the recruiter’s unsolicited phone calls:

You never know when your new best friend is calling with the next best opportunity for you or someone in your network. These relationships are built over time, so do not ignore the calls. Consider it another form of professional networking.

3. Develop an online relationship with recruiters

You can likely find them using social channels such as LinkedIn. Building these relationships can help get a foot in the door, but be careful—tweeting a recruiter every day about your resume and job hunt can be just as irritating for them as flooding their inbox. Just as you would in person, cultivate a relationship over time and give before you receive.

4. If the job lead is not right for you, help the recruiter with applicable leads and information whenever feasible

A recruiter’s lifeline is found in the information he/she receives. By providing leads, you are not only helping your network (kudos!) but helping a recruiter can pay dividends in opportunity and in karma. Good recruiters will go the extra mile for people who provide them with quality information. So if you help them, savvy recruiters will help you.

5. Don't waste your recruiter's time

Do not test the waters with a recruiter—do that on your own time. If you waste a recruiter’s time once, rest assured you will not get the opportunity to do that again.

6. Make yourself worthy of the recruiter receiving a 25% fee from a company that hires you

Companies are paying recruiters to find the cream of the crop. The hard-to-find, desirable candidate that the company cannot find on their own. So if that is not you, apply to the company directly on your own. This is a simple lesson in economics. To be placed by a recruiter, you need to have a background or skill set that warrants a fee to be paid that hovers around 25% of your salary. So help the recruiter market you by being fabulous and in-demand in the first place.

If a recruiter cannot place you, it does not mean you won’t get hired at all, it just means you may have to go a different, more direct route (not a bad thing, by the way—a majority of candidates are hired directly).

7. Give the recruiter what they need

Some recruiters may ask for references or writing samples—whatever it may be, give the recruiter what they ask for during the appropriate phase in the process. Just like winning over an employer, you have to win over a recruiter.

Remember that recruiters don’t work for the candidates, so if you send recruiters your information without giving them exactly what they want, they may not work with you.

8. Have your resume in a reverse chronological format

When formatting your resume reverse chronological resumes are best when working with a recruiter. Be sure your contact information is current and at the top of your resume. Followed by

I also suggest not to go back more than 15 to 20 years for most professionals. While there are exceptions to every rule, erring on the side of less is typically better for most executives. Frankly, you will not get hired in today’s market, nor can a recruiter get a fee, for something you did 20+ years ago. Keep it recent and relevant. 


Working effectively with a good recruiter is like a lot of other relationships you have developed in life. Like all worthy relationships, these require time and research. If you find you are not getting calls back from your recruiter, shift gears and put in as much effort as you do with other professional relationships. You will soon find that you will be well on your way to having successful dealings with the right executive recruiters.

Written by Lisa Rangel, Executive Resume Writer

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Tags: Recruiter Tips, Job Search

9 LinkedIn hacks that will help you get noticed by recruiters

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Mon, Dec 21, 2015 @ 10:30 AM


For years now, LinkedIn has been the undisputed leader in social networking for business. There are a number of reasons for this, but a powerful explanation of its success has been the fact that everyone on LinkedIn is there for the sole purpose of growing their careers. Recruiters know this, and so do hiring managers.  

A thought experiment: You are a recruiter who has to select candidates based on their online presence alone. You are only allowed to look at one website. Which do you choose? You choose the site that gives you the most information about a candidate’s professional qualifications and has the lowest barrier to entry; you choose LinkedIn.  

The above experiment is only slightly hypothetical. Remember, everyone is in a hurry. Recruiters are just as interested in disqualifying candidates as they are in qualifying them, and qualification is always a comparative endeavor. If your presence on the only explicitly professional social media platform is relatively lackluster, you step up to the plate with a strike already to your name. The good news is that you don’t have to worry about that. You have strategies for maximizing the effectiveness of your LinkedIn profile--11 of them, actually...


1. Your Name

It sounds silly, but recruiters and potential employers frequently google a prospect’s name before scheduling an interview. This invariably brings them to your Linkedin profile. Stand out and let your LinkedIn profile be the first thing he or she sees after googling you. Have certifications or licenses? Go ahead and add them to your name.


2. Create a Custom URL

When updating your LinkedIn profile, add a custom URL. This will allow you to use LinkedIn as a customized branding/lead-generating tool. Having a custom URL also helps you be found by search engines such as Google and Bing.


3. Your profile picture

Select a friendly, clear, and appropriate picture to introduce yourself.  What makes a picture appropriate? A little common sense goes a long way, and erring on the side of formality is seldom a bad move. That being said, many industries have relaxed their attire policies in recent years, so be sure to check out the profiles of other professionals in your industry. See what they are wearing and follow suit.


Make sure you are the only person in your picture so the recruiter or potential employer is left guessing who you are! Your profile picture should fall within the range of 400 x 400 pixels.  


Recognize this dude?  Dan Sullivan- CEO and Founder of  JPatrick and Associates.


4. Write a Killer headline

Let me guess, you allowed LinkedIn to automatically default to your current company and position? I know I did, at first. You have 120 characters to play with, so take the opportunity to be creative.  

Use this space to show your value. Did you exceed goals by having $100,000+ in sales last year?  Tell me this here.

Keywords are not to be forgotten. Look at job descriptions and find what words are commonly used. Using keywords will help in your search results


5. Your LinkedIn Summary...not your life story.

Chances are recruiters will not care about your dog's name, or the hour of the day your firstborn came into the world.  But they will wanna know about the following:

  • Tell us why you love what you do, what drives you to get out of bed in the morning and go to work….aside from your paycheck.

  • Tell us about your current position, what you do, and the problems you solve.

  • Your biggest work achievements, what you did, who did it help, and how well you did it.

  • Tell us about any unique certifications or training you have.

  • Metrics? Recruiters want to hear about them.  Did you exceed the company's sales goals by 25 percent last year?  If so. Tell me.


Making a good first impression is great...but you know what's better?  A lasting impression.  Capitalize on being creative.  Enjoy skydiving on the weekends to blow off some steam...this can be the spot to tell me.


6. Volunteer experience

Did you lead a team to success, volunteer at a local event or for a good cause?  Tell me about it.   You can find this on the left side of your profile under the additional profile features section.  This tells recruiters about you and your personality. …helping you stand out in a crowd.


7. List a Job...even when unemployed

You may be thinking why would I want to show a job...when I don't have one.

The answer is easy. Recruiters often use the current title box when searching for candidates.  Create a “dummy job”  that includes the job title. 


8. Don't be shy….get involved and make connections

Yeah, you, over there with 1,000 Facebook friends….keep your connections on LinkedIn growing.  Aim to add a handful of relevant industry connections a month. Sounds like a daunting task….have no fear its not.   


Aim for 50- 100 connections to start. Having less than 50 shows recruiters three bad...very bad things. 1) technology and social media scare you 2) you are afraid to connect with people you don't know on Social Media and 3) You know...no one. All of these things are red flags to recruiters. 


9. Go ahead...ask for Recommendations

Did you help a client in great ways or exceed goals?  Go ahead ask for a referral. Share this on your profile.  

If you have several skill sets, ask different people for different referrals.  Are you a great team player?  Ask a teammate from a project that had great success to write a review about what a great team player you are, then get one from a client where you exceeded their goal by 25 percent. 


You have Updated your Profile...now what

You have joined groups, made connections, engaged with pots and content….now make sure you are visible, it would suck to do all that work and not ever be seen.  Just as you may update your Facebook profile every couple of days, do the same with your LinkedIn profile. 

The more engaged you are = The More likely you are to be seen

Leave your email in the contact section so people can reach you. If you Have a blog, website, or a Twitter handle….leave that as well.

while your job searching don't forget about all of the great career advice LinkedIn offers. Keep learning, keep learning and keep connecting!

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Tags: Recruiter Tips

Why Recruiters Ask For Desired Salary Early On (And What to Do About It)

Posted by Daniel Sullivan on Tue, Dec 08, 2015 @ 11:00 AM

Why Recruiters Ask For Desired Salary

You may have noticed on your job hunt that recruiters get down to business fast. In fact, you may be surprised that they are asking a candidate about their desired salary right off the bat. It may have even rubbed you the wrong way.

The truth is that this practice isn’t going anywhere. Below you’ll find out why and how to handle the question when it comes up.

Why Recruiters Ask Your Desired Salary

Why recruiters need to ask…

Not all candidates have realistic expectations. In fact, experience tells recruiters that some candidates don’t even live on the same planet when it comes to how much they want to be compensated.

If this is the case then why bother with a candidate who clearly has totally unrealistic expectations? A recruiter’s client may be willing to negotiate, but only within reason.

You also have to consider it from the recruiter’s perspective. If they don’t ask a candidate about their salary, pass them along to their client and then it turns out their expectations are unrealistic then they have just wasted the employer’s time. That employer will make sure heads roll if the recruiter didn’t ask you upfront what the candidate’s expectations were. Since recruiters get paid by the companies they recruit for they can’t run that risk.

Now, if you are an experienced candidate you should be paid at least market rate. If for whatever reason the proposed salary is below market rate then this is something you should explore during the interview. 

 Why you shouldn’t be offended…

Whenever you’ve needed a service from someone most people often ask about rates early on in the process. In fact, money is usually the top concern. At the end of the day, there’s no need to fall in love with a service provider who is way above your budget. Why should a salary be any different?

Furthermore, how you react and respond to the question is part of the interview. In other words, if you act offended then that tells the recruiter about how you deal with things that don’t go as planned.

How to answer the salary question…

If you are asked what you were making there’s nothing else to do but to tell them the truth. Hold your head up high and drop the number without any excuses or apologies. It is what it is.

If you are asked what salary you are looking for, answer with the range of salary or total compensation that you have been interviewing for…Do not start with, “I want…” or “I am looking for…” Answer with, “I am interviewing for positions in the ____ to ____ range.” Answering in this manner does two things. First, it lets them know that you’ve got other companies calling you for positions at that pay rate (which always works in your favor when it comes to negotiating). Second, this is a subtle way of letting them know that the market thinks you are worth it with an external source (others calling you to interview for positions paying that level you cite).

If you haven’t been called in for any interviews yet or you just started the job search, do some research and see what the going rate is for this position. Then answer with the range the same way confidently, based on your research and skill set. Sometimes you have to fake it until you make it.

Written by Lisa Rangel, Executive Resume Writer 


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Tags: Recruiter Tips, Job Search