Finding opportunity during COVID-19
Due to COVID-19 many people have lost their job. Together with experts from different fields we created the ultimate guide to maximize your chances of finding your next job as fast as possible 🙏🏻.
Why are these articles useful for you?
- It is hard to find a new job in a market where job opportunities are limited and unemployment rates are rising
- You will need the right tools and knowledge to truly stand out, so we have teamed up with industry experts in recruitment, sales and sourcing to help you
- You need to have a process in place that can help you find a job as quickly as possible
The only thing standing in the way of you being successful is your commitment to follow the steps in these articles and to simply not give up 💪.
These articles will show you how to:
- Create a stellar LinkedIn profile
- Create a resume that will land you an interview
- Find relevant jobs at scale
- Find the right stakeholders and their contact details
- Stand out with your application
- Prepare for your remote job interview
These articles have been created with the help of Marcel van der Meer, Mike “Batman” Cohen, Dean Da Costa, Anna Brandt, Jonathan Kidder, Jules Maregiano, Tom Gerencer, Tris Revill, Alexander Gerritse, Maarten van der Kwaak and Guillaume Moubeche. Each individual is an expert in his or her field and have shared their advice and experience with the sole purpose to help ❤️.
1. Create a stellar LinkedIn profile
This section will show you how to create a stellar LinkedIn profile that can easily be found by recruiters 🕵️♀️.
Having worked in the recruitment industry for many years it still takes me by surprise how little time people spend on crafting a professional and representable LinkedIn profile even when they are actively looking for a job. When you apply for a job recruiters and hiring managers will check out your LinkedIn profile so make sure it represents you in the best possible way.
Your profile photo
Make sure that you have an updated LinkedIn photo that looks professional. No pictures with sunglasses on, that one photo where you look great but it is clear that you have cut out your girlfriend or boyfriend (yes people do that on LinkedIn to…) or even worse… Have no picture at all 👻…
Look into the camera, look ‘friendly’, only put your head and shoulders in the frame and have a calm background.
Your background photo
Your background photo is the second visual element at the top of your profile page. Alexander Gerritse, Sr. Customer Success Manager at LinkedIn, advises to change your background as it grabs people’s attention, sets the context and shows a little more about what matters to you. More than anything, the right background photo helps your page stand out, engage attention and stay memorable.
Update your profile that you are “Open to new opportunities”. Everyone visiting your profile will immediately see that you are actively looking for a new opportunity and in what kind of roles you are interested in.
Go to your profile. Click on “Add profile section” and then click on “Intro” and select “Looking for job opportunities”.
Specify what job titles (max 5) you are looking for, what location, what kind of contract and make sure this is visible to everybody on LinkedIn (default is recruiters only) and save it.
Jonathan Kidder stresses the importance of adding the right location.
You can restrict yourself from appearing in searches by not correctly adding the right location diameters. The best solution to this is to simply include your Zip or Postal code in your profile. I also recommend including (Greater Minneapolis-St Paul Area) under your experiences. You can include a zip and (Greater) in both areas to cover all your bases.
The about section, or summary section, is your change to write a short summary on who you are, what you excel at and to tell something (personal) that is ‘not on your resume’. What do you like to do? What do you find important in life? What are you proud of? How would you describe yourself or how others would describe you? Check out the “About” sections of the people mentioned in this article for some inspiration.
Jonathan Kidder also recommends to add your contact details in this section so recruiters can easily reach out to you.
Keywords, skills and job title
Recruiters use job titles, keywords and skills to find potential candidates that might be a fit. You can make their life easy to be easily found on the right keywords, skills and job title.
Your job title should reflect what you do. Refrain from using buzzwords in your job title like “Recruiting Ninja” or “Wizard of Engineering” and try to stick to the industry standards of your job. Now is not the time to play around and be funny. You want to be found. 🔍
Next to job titles, keywords are used by recruiters to find specific qualities and skills a potential candidate might have. Add these keywords in your summary and/or job description. You can even use hashtags at the bottom of your “About” section and/or job description to make sure that you have the relevant keywords in your profile.
Update your skills in your LinkedIn with skills that are related to your field. This is an often overlooked section but it is widely used by recruiters to search for potential candidates that are not looking for keywords but skills specifically.
In your job description be as specific as you can on your responsibilities and achievements. Think about someone who visits your profile for the first time. Does he/she immediately understand what you do, in what area you excel and why you could potentially be a great fit for the role that you are interested in?
Two tips from Mike Cohen:
Be mindful of the verbs and the pronouns — avoid things like “maintain” or “support”, talk about what you actually did / built / created
Be aware of using words like “we” and “they” — you want to talk about things that you did — being a team player is great! But they want to hear what you did specifically.
Since you are actively looking for a job it is time to ask your network for help and ask for recommendations. There is absolutely no shame in doing this! Ask the people that have worked with you to write a recommendation.
Go to the bottom of your LinkedIn profile and click on “Ask for a recommendation” and select the person you want a recommendation from. Give them a heads up that you ask this so it doesn’t get lost in all the LinkedIn messaging.
Check your LinkedIn profile
If you want to double check if your LinkedIn profile is ‘stellar’ enough, Marcel van der Meer, suggests to run your LinkedIn profile and/or resume through Resume Worded. The software tool of Resume Worded, will scan your LinkedIn profile and resume for free and will suggest in what areas you can improve. If you want to unlock all suggestions you have to pay a small fee. Worth to give it a try!
2. Create a resume that lands you an interview
This section will show you how to create a resume that actually lands you an interview
Much has been said and written on how to create a professional resume that stands out. Since different industries require different resumes, Tom Gerencer of Zety.com will outline the basics that every resume needs to have and Dean Da Costa will show you a trick to make sure your resume can easily be found in resume databases and Google 🔎.
How to structure your resume
Where do you start when trying to write a great resume? If you’ve done the job-search thing online, you know the drill. You write a resume you’re not proud of, send it to a zillion jobs (click-click-click) until you feel like a rat in a psychology experiment, and then your inbox floods with recruiter spam. But no jobs.
Part of the reason is — you’re applying to the wrong jobs. That’s what the rest of this article will fix. But a big part is your resume. As in, it’s not enticing enough to recruiters and hiring managers. I’m about to show you how to fix that. Better still, I’ll show you how to do it even if you hate writing resumes.
The first step? Start with the end — your list of skills.
Skills list — start here and it all gets easier
Too many job seekers start their resume with the header or the resume objective. No wonder it takes hours! That’s like trying to shoot a bow and arrow without knowing where the target is. The first thing to do (if you want the job) is go look at the company.
Look in the job ad. Does it list skills? Responsibilities? Most do. Copy them down. All of them. But put the most important ones at the top of your list. The best 3-5. Does the job ad not list skills or duties? Well — if you really want the job, do some informational interviews. That’s where you connect with a few employees in the same company and job on LinkedIn.
Then, ask a few questions. What are the biggest challenges you face in this role? What’s your day-to-day work like? You can learn the MVP skills this way, or by coming out and asking.
Step #2? List out your own skills. All of them. You won’t use them all in your resume. But you’ll list them all on scratch paper. Then, play matchup with the two lists. Have you got the top 3-5 skills mentioned in the job ad? Yahtzee! You need those skills to get the job. List those, plus 3-5 more in your resume skills list. Mix hard skills and soft skills.
Work Experience Section
Now you’ve got a complete and relevant skills section. It’s the foundation of your resume. But it’s time to prove those skills. You’ll do it in a resume work experience section that glues employers to the page. So — in reverse-chronological order, list your last job first. Write your job title, employer, location, and working dates.
But here’s the trick that gets jobs. Don’t spend pages describing what you did. Only write a two-line job description. Then add about six bullet points. In them, don’t say what you were “responsible for.” Say what you absolutely shined at. And make those things fit the 3-5 top skills from the job ad 📝.
Need an example? Say you’re going for an IT manager job. The job ad calls for skills in Cisco products, vendor management, and budgeting. Here’s what your job experience section can look like:
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Syntech IT Global,
New York, NY,
January 2015 to March 2020
Led a team of 20 IT associates in a fast-paced IT firm with over $20M in annual revenue. Built teams, worked with customers, ordered products, and managed workflows.
- Managed budgets for a list of 120+ corporate clients, providing solutions with Cisco routers, wireless systems, switches, security systems, and cloud computing services.
- Managed vendors to 20% cost savings over historical average by using highly-developed skills in communication, negotiation, and relationship building.
- Cut costs by $1M annually by creating forward-thinking budgets. Leveraged employee ideas to raise quality measures by 18% during the same time frame.
The employer’s draw will drop. You’re the “perfect” employee. Notice you added numbers that show the massive size of your achievements. You have those numbers in your past. So many resume clients I work with just fail to notice them until they put their thinking caps on.
You’re actually almost done. The rest is like housekeeping. Lather, rinse, repeat the above with older jobs. Then move on to education, “other” sections, and your resume summary and header.
If all you’ve got is high school, add it. If you’ve got college, skip the high school. Whatever school you’ve got, list your degree, the school name, location, dates, and here’s the kicker — add a couple whammies. One or two big wins you got in school. Here’s mine:
BA in Liberal Arts
Colby College, Maine
- Senior Scholar and Dana Scholar for Excellence in Writing
- Thomas J. Watson Fellow, Writing
I added “Excellence in Writing” and the other “writing” mention on my own. Why? Because I’m usually going after writing jobs. And most potential clients won’t know what those scholarships and fellowships mean unless I tie them to a relevant skill.
You can end at education if you like. But it’s best to add some color 🌈. Do that with some added sections. However — only add them if you can use them to prove more of those crucial skills you targeted in step #1. Have you done volunteering? Freelancing? Personal projects? Sports? Do you have certifications?
Any of those can show key skills. Leading a road-cycling club can prove leadership. Volunteering to make a website for the local animal shelter can prove web development skills. Add ’em if you’ve got ’em. Format them just like your other sections.
You’ll write this last, but it’s one of the most important parts of your resume. Why? Because most hiring managers are so busy, they don’t have time to read your resume. Your resume summary has to prove they don’t have time not to read it. Here’s how:
Scan that beautiful ¾ resume you’ve just written. What are the most eye-catching parts of it? You know — the parts that this employer will go nuts for? (Based on your reconnaissance from reading the job ad or doing LinkedIn research, of course.)
Put those high points in a short paragraph, like this:
Hard-working waitress with 3+ years of experience in a high-volume steak house on the waterfront in Portland. Seeking to provide friendly, fast service to dining guests at The Flight of Dragons restaurant. At The Foam & Loam, maintained a 97% favorable customer service score. Commended 5x by kitchen leadership for speed and communication skills.
That’s it! You’re done. Except of course your resume header. Now is the time to write that up top, with your name, job title, and relevant contact information. (A professional email like gmail is best. Make a dedicated job-search email to dodge recruiter spam in your main inbox.) Also add your phone number and the town you live in. You can skip the street address.
Optimize your resume for resume databases and Google
If you want to upload your resume to popular job boards like indeed.com and monster.com you need to make sure you can be found on the keywords that are relevant for the job that you are looking for. However, if you add too many keywords your resume will become unreadable.
By following this tip from Dean da Costa you can still add all the keywords you want and increase your chances of receiving an invite.
Simply type the keywords that are relevant at the top or at the bottom of your resume. Change the font to 1, and change the color to white. This will make all those word invisible to the human eye, but the search engines of sites like Google, Indeed.com, Monster etc. will still be able to read them and your resume will be shown in the results. Only do this for the keywords that are relevant to avoid showing up in every single result 😇.
That’s All…For Now!
Something of this magnitude can’t be contained by one article alone! Join us in 2 days for the next article where we will cover
- Find relevant jobs at scale (using sourcing tools that are familiar)
- Find the right stakeholders and their contact details
- Stand out with your application
- Prepare for your remote job interview