By Kevin Donlin,
I got an email recently from a man that read: “I followed all your advice but I have not gotten any job interviews. Do you have any other suggestions?”
I took a look at his LinkedIn profile and found that he hasn’t followed all of the advice I gave him.
In fact, as near as I can tell, he’s not doing anything I suggested.
And, yet, he wants more ideas from me.
So, here’s my advice to him and anyone else struggling to find a job: To get hired in this economy, you must execute the basics in your job search.
What follows are four basic job-search tactics. How many are you doing and how well?
1) Upload a picture to your LinkedIn profile
These days, having a profile on LinkedIn.com is as essential as an email address on your resume was 5 years ago. It proves that you’re up-to-date on technology. It’s free. And there’s no excuse for not getting it done.
But you have to do it right. For your profile to be considered complete, you must upload a picture of yourself.
Employers and recruiters expect to see a professional photo on your LinkedIn profile. Fail to include one and you have failed to execute the basics, which makes you less employable.
2) Get LinkedIn recommendations
A recommendation is simply a testimonial on your LinkedIn profile, written by someone who knows your work. And it’s another basic that too many people neglect.
I recently counseled a technical manager who couldn’t get one person to recommend him on LinkedIn after six months of trying. Either he wasn’t really trying or had never done anything worth recommending. Either way, it’s no surprise that he’s still unemployed.
Tip: The best way to get recommendations is to give them, because LinkedIn prompts anyone you recommend to give one to you in return. Plan on giving at least three recommendations for every one you seek.
3) Pick your job and your top 20 employers
The vast majority of job seekers I talk to have no clear idea what they want to do, which is a colossal mistake.
Think of it like this: Would you walk into a restaurant and ask for food?
Would you walk into a bus station and buy a ticket for anywhere?
Yet, far too many job seekers enter the job market in search of…a job.
I think most people resist saying “yes” to one target job because it forces them to say “no” to hundreds of other possibilities. But this is a trap.
The job market is like a supermarket. You can go into it hungry, without a list, but you’ll likely waste time and money, only to emerge with something you don’t really want.
Prepare ahead of time. Know the job you want and the 10-20 employers you want to work for.
4) Create a support system
Job hunting is hard enough in a strong economy. Why go it alone now?
Try to find one person you can talk to at least once a week, to brainstorm ideas with.
Even better, find two or more people and form a job-search support group. Meet weekly for coffee in a pleasant location to share what’s working and what’s not. This has all sorts of benefits:
• By creating a “board of directors,” you can tap the power of other people’s brains and networks to solve your problems.
• By helping other people, you’ll forget your own troubles, exercise your intellect, and feel better.
• By leaving the house to meet others, you’ll change your environment and avoid falling into a rut, like not shaving for three days straight.
• By having to explain your progress each week, you’ll hold yourself accountable and be motivated to get things done.
There’s a reason why every single Fortune 500 company has a board of directors: They produce results. So, put this idea to work in your job search.
If you’ve heard any of these four ideas before, don’t think, “I know that.” Ask yourself: “How well am I doing that?”
Then get going. And get hired.
About the Author –
Kevin is contributing co-author of “Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters 3.0: How to Stand Out from the Crowd and Tap Into the Hidden Job Market using Social Media and 999 other Tactics Today” and “Guerrilla Resumes” (Which I review here). Since 1996, he has provided job search assistance to more than 20,000 people. Author of “51 Ways to Find a Job Fast — Guaranteed,” Kevin has been interviewed by USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, CBS Radio and others.Since 1996, he has provided job-search help to more than 20,000 people. To learn about Guerrilla Resumes and how it could help you, visit his site at www.GuerrillaResumes.com