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Salary Talk: This is How You Rock a Salary Negotiation!

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There will come a point during your job search when you must have THE salary talk. It can be a daunting conversation—especially if you’ve never negotiated your salary before.

Surveys say that only 11% of people are satisfied with their first salary offer (Houston Chronicle), yet nearly half (49%) accept it (CareerBuilder). When you don’t negotiate, you risk getting less than you want, or worse, less than you deserve.

As one of the nation’s leading staffing companies, we secure thousands of jobs for our Ambassadors every week. This, of course, means that we negotiate thousands of salaries. Here is our guide for what to do—and what not to do—when talking about salary.

1. It’s better if they bring up salary first. It’s always better if the interviewer brings up salary first. Seeming too eager to talk about money can come across the wrong way. You want to seem excited about the job and the company rather than the pay.

However, if you believe you are close to an offer and salary still hasn’t come up, it’s okay to nudge the conversation in that direction. You don’t want to go through multiple interviews only to find out that salary expectations don’t match. That’s a waste of everyone’s time.

Try a few of these conversation starters:

  • In the interest of respecting both our times, I’d like to make sure we’re on the same page for salary.
  • Would you be the right person to talk with about salary?
  • I’m really interested in the company and would like to get as much information as possible. Would you be able to tell me more about the salary and benefits offered?

2. Don’t feel like you have to accept the first offer. We hear a lot about the 75 cents women earn for every dollar a man earns. Part of the reason for this persistent gap is lack of negotiation.

Women are less likely to negotiate their salary than men. However, a 2012 study found that when researchers explicitly told job seekers that pay was negotiable, the gender gap disappeared. Men and women negotiated their way to comparable salaries (National Bureau of Economic Research).

If you believe you are worth more than they are offering, give yourself permission to negotiate.

Deep breath. You’ve got this.

3. Use your research skills. Even if you think the offer is offensively low, keep your composure and act professionally. This is where your research and preparation come in handy.

If you’ve done your research, you have a solid idea of what a fair compensation package looks like. Don’t be afraid to ask for this. If you can negotiate some of the perks and benefits, feel free to bring those into the conversation. Additionally, if you are interviewing at other companies, be transparent about what it would take to make you commit.

  • Although you mentioned $50,000, I would be more comfortable if we could settle on $57,000. I think that number reflects my qualifications and the role’s responsibilities.
  • I understand that the best you can do is $53,000 and you can’t come up to $57,000. If you can offer one remote day a week, I’m willing to accept.
  • Thank you for the offer. As I mentioned before, I’m interviewing with another organization and they have made an offer. I really like what I’ve seen of your company so far and if you can meet me at $54,500, I’d be eager to accept.

4. Always keep your cool. Ultimatums rarely work in your favor. Even if the company caves, it might leave lingering resentment. Don’t start a new position on the wrong foot.

If a company truly can’t give you an offer you can accept, then walk away. You can respectfully bow out of the conversation.

  • I really appreciate the offer and your willingness to discuss my salary. However, I don’t think we can agree on a mutually satisfying arrangement. I have great respect for you and your company. If anything should change, I hope you will consider me in the future.

Above all, you want to remain firm, yet amiable. Remember that the person who talks to you often doesn’t have the authority to approve a salary. Give them time to check with respective parties and get approval for a higher offer.

Negotiating a salary can be a daunting task. Nevertheless, getting fair pay for your work is worth the tough conversation. You will come to regret it if you settle for less than you are worth. Stand firm by your requirements, know where you are willing to compromise, and never sell yourself short.

Before you walk into any salary negotiation, check out the 5 things you MUST to when prepping for salary negotiations.

Salary Talk: 5 Things You MUST Do When Prepping for a Salary Negotiation

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There will come a point during your job search when you must have THE salary talk. It can be a daunting conversation—especially if you’ve never negotiated your salary before.

However, with a little bit of preparation you can rock any salary negotiation.

As one of the nation’s leading staffing companies, we engage in salary discussions every day. Are you wondering how to best prepare for a salary talk? Check out our top 5 things you must do before any negotiation. Continue reading

5 Amazingly Useful Websites for Salary Research

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So, you’ve completed the application, nailed the interview, and provided all your references. You finally got the job offer! But is the salary fair? Only one way to find out. These salary research tools will help you determine how fair a salary is.

Every successful salary negotiation starts with one very important step: figuring out what a fair salary looks like.

Many factors influence salary including: location, company size, experience, education, and benefits. It can take some researching skills to find an accurate estimate, but with online tools, this is now easier than ever.

If you’re wondering how your job offer compares to others in the area, check out our five recommended tools for salary research.

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1. Glassdoor

Glassdoor gives you a glimpse into a company’s culture through employee reviews, insight into offered benefits, and CEO ratings, among other features. Most importantly, however, it provides salary data.

What to do: Search the job title that best fits the positions you are considering and select the city where you are job searching. Narrow down by industry, years of experience, and even company size. For more information, check out some related job titles.

Note: To access all the data, you will need to create a free Glassdoor account and leave your first company review.

linkedin

2. LinkedIn

If you are searching for a new job, chances are you already have a LinkedIn account. It’s one of the best professional networking tools currently available. But did you know you can also get salary insight through LinkedIn Salary?

What to do: Search by job title and location. The search will show you an annual base salary. To get a more accurate estimate, specify your industry and years of experience.

Note: You will need to share your own salary information before you can narrow results by industry and experience.

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3. Salary.com

Salary.com is a tool specifically designed for researching fair salaries. Like the websites above, it will provide you information for any position you are considering. However, it’s also built for easy comparison between job titles and roles. If you’re considering very different jobs, this is a good tool to have at your disposal.

What to do: Search by job title and location. You will be given different titles to choose from and compare. Click on whichever title(s) you are interested and you will get estimated salaries.

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4. Payscale

Like Salary.com, Payscale was specifically designed to provide salary data. It offers salary reports for over 100,000 job titles, as well as general salary trends.

What to do: Select the option to get your pay report and continue through the guided process. You’ll be prompted to enter job title, years of experience, and location.

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5. Indeed

Indeed might be better known for its job board, but it’s also an excellent tool for salary research. It allows you to research companies, providing you employee reviews, salary satisfaction ratings, and insight on offered benefits.

What to do: Begin by entering your desired job title or company. You will see the average hourly salary, as well as salaries for specific job posts. You can then narrow down results by location.

Now that you know what a fair salary looks like, what’s next? If you’re happy with your job offer, congratulations! It’s time to let them know you accept. If not, however, then it’s time for the dreaded salary negotiation.

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Check out our Salary Talk guide to learn all the ins and outs of negotiating a salary.

Ultimate Interview Guide (Part III): 3 Ways to Follow Up After an Interview

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Post-interview etiquette is just as important as your behavior during the interview. Not to mention, the hiring process isn’t over yet. Nearly half (48%) of recruiters said they usually conduct three interviews per candidate (MRI Network). No matter what stage you are at, finish the game strong by following these steps:

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1. Send a thank you card.

Most candidates will send a thank you, so being the only one who doesn’t makes you seem uncaring. Stay in the forefront of your interviewer’s mind with a quick thank you card or email.

Here is a template you can work with.

Hello [Interviewer],

Thank you for taking time to meet with me today. It was such a pleasure to learn more about the team and position. Our conversation confirmed my interest in becoming part of [Company Name].

I look forward to hearing from you about the next steps in the hiring process. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can provide additional information.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

Send this within twenty-four hours.

2. Prepare for the next round.

Remember that you can expect around three interviews. This can seem exhausting, but remember that it will all be worth it in the end (even if you don’t get the job, it’s still excellent practice that puts you one step closer to your dream job).

As you wait to hear back, start preparing for the next round. Your interviewer will likely give you a general timeline so that you know when you’ll hear back from them and what kind of interview is next. You might need to prepare to meet the team, a hiring manager, or the CEO.

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3. Think “pleasantly persistent.”

So, it’s been a couple of days, maybe even a week, and you still haven’t heard back. How do you contact the hiring manager without coming off as demanding or annoying?

Companies can usually take a while to come to a decision. They might have a series of interviews scheduled over several weeks, meaning they might not contact you until they’ve met all the candidates. Hiring decisions might also need to go through a series of approvals before moving forward.

However, if it has been several weeks, it’s okay to reach out via phone or email. Think “pleasantly persistent.” A simple paragraph asking for updates in a friendly tone should be enough.

Hello [Interviewer],

I hope you are doing well. I just wanted to check in about the [job] position. It was great to meet you last week and talk about all the opportunities [Company Name] has to offer. Please let me know if there are any updates regarding the position.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

Note: You’ll have a clearer idea of when it’s appropriate to send a follow-up email if you ask about the timeline before leaving the interview.

Next Steps

So, you’ve gone through the application, the first interview, and any subsequent interviews. And you’ve got that long-awaited job offer! What now?

You don’t need to accept a job just because they gave you an offer. There are several things to consider before accepting a new position, including salary, benefits, commute, opportunity for growth, and workplace culture. For more help, check out our top things to consider when considering a job offer.

Ultimate Interview Guide (Part II): 5 Tips to Remember on Interview Day

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Interviews are your best chance to make a good impression and connect with the hiring manager. No pressure, right?

One-third of bosses know within the first 90 seconds of an interview whether the candidate is a good match (UndercoverRecruiter), while half can tell in the first five minutes (CareerBuilder).

So, yes. First impressions do matter. Here is everything you need to make a good one.

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1. Arrive five minutes early. When it comes to interviews, arriving on time means you’re late. Most candidates make the effort to get there early, so you don’t want to be the only one making a last-minute entrance.

However, there is such a thing as too early. If your recruiter wasn’t expecting you yet, they might feel rushed. If the interview experience is stressful for them, they might walk away with an unfavorable opinion.

Aim to be in the waiting area 5-10 minutes before your scheduled interview time.

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2. Remember cell phone etiquette. Checking our phones has become instinctual. The first down moment we get, we automatically refresh our email or check social media. Do NOT do this at an interview. Leave your phone in your briefcase or purse.

Even in the waiting room, put the phone away. Checking your Facebook can make you seem bored and unprofessional. Instead, read through your notes or browse through any coffee table books they might provide.

Additionally, you’ll want to turn off your phone or switch it to airplane mode. Those “silent” vibrations are rarely ever silent.

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3. Make eye contact and smile. According to Forbes, two of the most common reasons why otherwise qualified candidates don’t get hired are failure to make eye contact and failure to smile.

Humans are influenced by facial cues. People who smile appear to be more likable, courteous, and even competent (Penn State University). Your smile is your secret weapon! Make eye contact while you smile and it will automatically make your interviewer like you more.

Additionally, you’ll want to pay attention to your body language. Sit up straight and don’t cross your arms over your chest (it makes you seem closed off). If you often fidget, take notes during your interview. It can be an outlet for nervous energy and you’ll also end up with thorough notes to reference!

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4. Aim for big small talk. Your interview will likely start with a bit of small talk. Sure, you could talk about the weather… but why not start with bang?

You’ve done your research, so why not use it to start a more memorable conversation. Consider leading with one of these conversation-starters:

  • “I saw on LinkedIn that you recently won a Best Workplace award. Your engagement programs are really leading the industry.”
  • “I saw in the local business journal that you were ranked as a top-grossing company.”
  • “I read your blog post on X. It was very interesting. How do you see that affecting the industry?”

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5. “Do you have any questions for me?” Towards the end of your meeting, your interviewer will likely ask if you have any questions. You should say yes.

Asking question shows genuine interest in the position and the company. Here are a few questions you can ask:

  • Is there anything about my application/resume that concerns you?
  • What would help me be successful in this position/organization?
  • Can you tell me more about your journey within the organization?
  • What do you think makes this company the best place to work?
  • What do you expect the interview timeline to look like?

You can also ask any other questions relevant to the organization, benefits, or industry. Good questions show you’re invested in the industry and that you did your homework on the organization.

Need help preparing for your interview? Check out Part I of our Ultimate Interview Guide: 6 Things You MUST Do Before Your Interview.

And don’t forget post-interview etiquette. Prep for success with Part III: 3 Steps for Making a Good Impression After Your Interview.

Ultimate Interview Guide (Part I): 6 Critical Tips to Prep BEFORE Your Next Interview

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Interviews are your best chance to make a good impression and connect with the hiring manager. No pressure, right?

A Harris Interactive and Everest College survey found that 92% of Americans have at least some fear of interviews. The most common concern was being too nervous, with 17% saying this was their top concern. Other common reasons for dreading interviews include fear of being stumped by the interviewer’s questions, being late, or being seen as under- or over-qualified.

Whatever your reasons for hating interviews, know that you are not alone. Interviews are stressful events—you’re putting yourself out there with no guarantees of getting anything in return!

Nevertheless, interviews are worth it. A successful interview could give you an immense advantage over other candidates. It makes you seem personable and gives you a chance to sell your unique strengths better than a resume ever could.

The best way to combat nerves and increase your odds of landing the job is to prepare. As one of the nation’s leading staffing companies, we conduct thousands of interviews every week. Here are our best tips for guaranteed success before, during, and after an interview!

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1. Research EVERYTHING. Nowadays, researching a company is easier than ever. Their website is like a cheat sheet listing the mission, values, products, history, and more. Additionally, tools such as Glassdoor and LinkedIn provide you even further insight.

On Glassdoor, you can read reviews from previous employers, including details about the company’s interview process. You might find information on the kind of questions they ask, the length of the interview, and the competitiveness of the position. Glassdoor also provides information on salaries, benefits, and perks.

On LinkedIn, you can view more information on the company, including who works there and what their qualifications are. You might find that an old classmate or coworker works at the same company. Why not reach out and ask them for tips?

Additionally, you’ll probably be able to find more about your interviewer on LinkedIn. It’s okay to check out their profile and read the content they have shared. At the interview, you can then say something like, “I read the article you posted on so and so,” or “I saw on LinkedIn that we went to the same school.” Your research is a great way to demonstrate your interest in the company.

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2. Clean up your social media. Just like you are researching the company ahead of the interview, the hiring manager is researching you. According to a 2017 CareerBuilder survey, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates, and 54% have found something that made then reject a candidate. Yikes!

So yeah, those bad pictures from Spring Break in Cancun are more than just embarrassing—they might actually be hurting your prospects.

Before any interviews, go through your social media. Review your privacy settings, hiding or deleting anything that might cause concern.

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3. Practice your timing. Finding an office that you have never visited can be confusing. Finding it while stressed is ever harder! To avoid being late, look up your route ahead of time and calculate how long it will take you to get there during interview time. Don’t forget to account for traffic! You get extra preparedness points if you actually drive to the office a few days before and find the building.

It’s also a good idea to ask about the parking situation when you schedule your interview.

If you’re interviewing during work hours and your current boss doesn’t know about it, ask for time off ahead of time instead of calling in sick at the last minute. You don’t want to jeopardize your current job before you land a new one.

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4. Have all your documents. Print is not dead. While most people now view and send resumes online, it’s still expected that the interviewee (that’s you) will bring copies. Showing up without them can signal unpreparedness. Not to mention that scrolling through your phone to find a cover letter or writing sample is super unprofessional.

Bring about five copies of your resume. Some interviewers might ask for a specific number of copies ahead of time, but if they don’t specify then five copies is a good number. Additionally, bring any other relevant materials such as writing samples, portfolio pieces, case studies, former projects, or anything applicable to your position.

And don’t forget to print on resume paper.

Resume paper is thicker and research has shown that when we hold heavier items we perceive them as having more importance. Printing on resume paper will make your resume appear better quality than those printed on regular paper.

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5. Dress to impress. According to the Undercover Recruiter, 65% of managers say clothes could be a deciding factor between two similar candidates. Appropriate clothing varies from one industry to another. A suit is expected if you’re interviewing for a finance position at a big corporation, but it might come across as pretentious if you’re interviewing for a small tech start up.

This is where all that research comes in handy. You can probably find employee pictures on the company’s website or Facebook profile. Check out what you’re wearing and then dress one step above. If you’re unsure, err on the conservative side—it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed.

Business professional or business casual outfits are always the safest choices.

Try out your outfit ahead of time, making sure it is clean, ironed, and free of holes and stains.

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6. Practice for common interview questions. There’s no way for you to know exactly what the interviewer will ask you. However, certain questions have a habit of turning up in every interview. Here are some common questions you will likely see.

  • “So, tell me about yourself.” This may seem like small talk, but it’s really just another interview question. This is your time to sell yourself. For tips on crafting a memorable elevator pitch, check out our infographic.
  • “Why do you want to leave your current job?” The most important thing to remember is NOT to bash your current employer. Interviewers might think you’ll do the same to them if they were to hire you. Instead, say something such as “I’m looking for new growth opportunities,” or “As much as I’ve learned in my current role, I feel like I’m ready for something new.”
  • “What is your biggest weakness?” Do NOT say you are a perfectionist or a workaholic. These answers have been so overused that you’re guaranteed at least one other candidate said before you. Pick another trait that you’ve struggled with and offer an example on how you’re working to improve. This is also an opportunity to address any gaps in your resume or lack of industry experience. Explain why you’ve applied to the job despite these gaps and why you believe you are still a good candidate.

The best tip for crafting good answers to any interview question is to provide examples or stories from your personal experience. Examples will be better evidence of your skills and qualifications. And whatever you do, don’t lie.

Ready to rock this interview? Check out Part II of our Ultimate Interview Guide: 5 Tips to Remember on Interview Day.

Infographic: Everything you need to know about AI in the job market

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While technology is evolving faster than ever, it is highly unlikely that robots will ever replace humans. In the foreseeable future, people will remain at the core of the workforce. However, technological advances are transforming the workplace in other ways. We will be seeing a drop in low-skill jobs, since these can easily be automated, while the number of high-skill jobs climbs. Learn more about the effects of AI on the job market in this infographic. Continue reading

iRobot Takeover: How Artificial Intelligence Can Affect Future Jobs

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Robot invasions were once the stuff of sci-fi books and horror movies, but with recent technological advancements and the rise of artificial intelligence, those robot fantasies are beginning to seem uncannily real. Artificial intelligence, simply referred to as AI, has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Machine Learning means that programs can pick up on patterns and “learn” from them—essentially predicting our behavior.

Chatbots handle the front lines of customer questions, software can scan contracts for key information, and online retailers deliver personalized recommendations picked by an algorithm. Whether we like it or not, technology is here to stay, and it’s quickly infiltrating the workplace.

Now hiring robots!  

One topic of interest when it comes to AI is whether it will eliminate enough jobs to raise the unemployment rate. On one hand, being able to order from a machine at McDonald’s means there can be fewer cashiers—maybe even none at all. Technology has advanced to the point where it can replace many low-skill positions, which means many of these jobs will be phased out.

On the other hand, however, the rise in technology is also creating millions of jobs – 2.3 million jobs by 2020 to be precise (Gartner). Not only are companies in need of people to research, design, and develop technologies, they also need technicians to implement and maintain the products.

The question is then whether technology will eliminate more jobs than it creates. The answer, according to Gartner is no. Gartner predicts that AI will create half a million jobs more than it eliminates.

Wanted: Sales Associate to Work with Android Cashier

Technology’s greatest change won’t be in the number of jobs, but in the kind of jobs.

Experts predict that manufacturing will see the biggest loss of jobs in the coming years. Areas where the manufacturing industry is strong will see a significant drop in jobs. According to World Bank, automation currently threatens 69% of the job market in India and 77% in China (Entrepreneur). Other low-skill jobs are also in danger, with Goldman Sachs predicting that self-driving vehicles will cause 25,000 truckers to lose their jobs each month (CNBC).

Meanwhile, those 2.3 million jobs that will be added to the market will more likely be in middle- or high-skill positions. OECD identifies some key components that make jobs difficult to automate:

  • Social Intelligence – caring for others and recognizing cultural sensitivities
  • Cognitive Intelligence – creativity and complex reasoning
  • Perception and Manipulation – the ability to carry out physical tasks in an unstructured work environment

For example, Gartner predicts that check-out cashiers will get the robot treatment (in fact many stores already feature self-check-out), while sales associates positions will stick around. Sales associates interact more with customers, giving recommendations and suggesting new products. This makes them harder to replace with machines. When you come in with an unusual request, a human sales associate is more likely to understand what you need.

Low-skill jobs will be automated, being slowly replaced with more middle- and high-skill positions. In the future, we will be working side-by-side with machines, relying on AI to complete the more monotonous tasks (Forbes).

Becoming the worker of the future

As lower-level jobs are phased out of the market, expectations for workers will also shift. More positions will be opening in the tech sector, including big data, Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, and cybersecurity (Entrepreneur). This means that job seekers will need to acquire a different skill set to thrive in these growing fields.

The workforce of the future will be more skilled than the workforce of the past. They will be better educated and more tech-savvy, with much more precise specializations. Millennials and Generation Z, with their intuitive understanding of technology, already make up a large part of the workforce. Millennials alone currently account for more than a third (Pew).

OECD highlights the uneven distribution of future jobs, with the scales severely tipped in the favor of high-skill jobs. They stress the importance of on-the-job training and adult learning, since these are key in preparing for the future. In fact, some companies are already gearing up for major retraining efforts.

AT&T made the news earlier this year for their grand-scale retraining initiative. About a decade ago, executives realized that only half of the company’s employees had the skills to work with emerging technologies. While hiring new employees seems like the obvious answer, the high cost of turnover makes it an expensive solution. Instead, AT&T decided to train current employees, arming them with necessary skills and tools (CNBC). This means that not only can they have a workforce with precisely the required skills, but that about 125,000 employees who were deemed under-skilled won’t lose their jobs.

The future does look like a sci-fi novel… but we don’t know which one.  

These workplace transformations aren’t new. Fifty years ago, your average office looked quite different. There was no IT department, and definitely no social media manager. Memos were posted on boards rather than emailed, and customer reviews traveled via word of mouth rather than Yelp, making it much easier to outrun a bad reputation.

Similarly, the rise of AI will transform the workplace—who knows what it will look like by 2068!

As a worker, the key is being willing to learn new skills. Not only does this make you a more attractive job candidate, but it also puts you on the front lines for positions that haven’t even been created yet.

TL;DR?

While technology is evolving faster than ever, it is highly unlikely that robots will ever replace humans. In the foreseeable future, people will remain at the core of the workforce. However, technological advances are transforming the workplace in other ways. We will be seeing a drop in low-skill jobs, since these can easily be automated, while the number of high-skill jobs climbs.

You might not need to start preparing for the robot apocalypse (not yet, at least), but being open to learning new skills and tools means that you’ll be better prepared for the jobs of the future.

Your Complete LinkedIn Guide to an Eye-Catching Profile

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LinkedIn – where social media meets professional networking! LinkedIn is like holding a resume megaphone at the world’s biggest networking event. Currently, 93% of companies use LinkedIn for recruiting (Jobcast) and among those who found their job through social media, 40% cite assistance from LinkedIn.

If you use Facebook in your job search, you must balance a professional and a casual social presence (check out our guide on Facebook for job seekers), but LinkedIn allows you to present yourself solely as a professional entity. Everyone on the site has the same intention: to expand their professional network. This makes it easier to differentiate between what is appropriate and what is not.

Currently, LinkedIn has 133 million users in the United States alone (Omnicore) and 94% of recruiters use LinkedIn to vet candidates (DMR). With so many eyes on you, you must be prepared to wow!

Remember that the job market is in the candidate’s favor. Even if you are a passive candidate (working, but open to new opportunities), a polished profile can help you further your career. You only get one chance at a first impression—don’t let yours be unprofessional! Think of LinkedIn as an online resume with a little extra personality. Your profile should be both eye-catching and effective.

*Disclaimer: These are only recommendations. There are no requirements on your social media behavior. The tips listed are only intended to be helpful insider information from our hundreds of recruiters.

Privacy: Go Public

There’s no good reason to keep your LinkedIn profile private. On sites like Facebook or Twitter, it makes sense to reserve most information for your friends. However, on LinkedIn you want recruiters to find you – which means you want to be visible to strangers. Keeping information private means you might get looked over.

To change your privacy settings, log in and click on your profile.

Then click on “Edit public profile & URL” on the right hand side.

Here, you can select what you want to make public. It’s best to select every box, but at the very least we recommend including your:

  • Picture
  • Headline
  • Current Experience
  • Past Experience
  • Education

While you’re in this section, edit your profile URL.

When you first signed up, LinkedIn assigned you a random URL. Edit this into something that’s easier on the eyes, also known as a vanity URL. Just as you would with a professional email, make sure it is appropriate and reflects your name. For example, if your name is Bob Smith, try something like linkedin.com/BobSmith1234 or linkedin.com/BobSmithLosAngeles. Do NOT choose linkedin.com/badboy97 or linkedin.com/pro4ubsmith.

Once you have a vanity URL, you can include it on your paper resume. Recruiters can check out your profile and learn about experiences that wouldn’t fit on your one-page resume.

Intro

The intro is what people will see most frequently. When you land on a recruiter’s search, this is the information they will see.

This includes your photo, name, headline, current position, location, and industry. You can customize nearly every aspect of this – just click on the little pencil in the corner.

Keeping this information current can help you land more offers. According to DMR, keeping your positions up to date makes you 18 times more likely to be found in searches by recruiters and other LinkedIn members.

Compose a headline that succinctly and accurately represents you. Never make up a title or refer to yourself as a “Guru” or “Ninja.” These made-up positions don’t mean anything to recruiters and they don’t provide any credibility to your profile. Instead, choose something that briefly lets viewers know who you are and what you do.

  • Branch Manager at Ultimate Staffing
  • HR Consultant helping companies hire the right people faster
  • Freelance grant writer working with non-profits in Los Angeles

Picture Perfect

While it can feel superfluous to feature a picture on a professional site, a photo enlivens and gives credibility to your profile. LinkedIn profiles with photos get 21 times more views and 36 times more messages (DMR).

Embrace the human element of LinkedIn and use a photo! However, don’t just copy and paste your Facebook profile picture. Having the right picture is crucial.

Photos taken by professionals are always best. Photos with professional headshots get 14 times more views (DMR), but if that’s not an option, here are a few tips for snapping the perfect, job-winning LinkedIn picture:

  • ALWAYS wear professional clothes in your photo. Appropriate clothing can vary from one industry to another. If you’re unsure what constitutes appropriate attire in your industry, check out what other LinkedIn users are wearing in their profile pictures. When in doubt, err on the side of formality.
  • You can take a photo of yourself, but be wary of the angles you employ. For a selfie, take it straight on, preferably from the chest up. It’s usually best to grab a friend and have them take the picture. That way, your arms aren’t awkwardly positioned in the frame. Additionally, a photo that is too close can make viewers uncomfortable.
  • Whatever you do… NO CAR SELFIES. NEVER. NO MATTER WHAT. ABSOLUTELY NOT. The lighting might be in your favor, but it’s incredibly unprofessional, looks lazy, and can even suggest narcissism. Don’t do it. You’re worth so much more.
  • Do NOT crop a group picture. Employers can totally see your friend’s shoulder and cropped pictures are rarely good quality.
  • Don’t use photos from your wedding. Just because you got professional photos taken, it doesn’t mean they are appropriate. Pictures from weddings, graduations, and other non-professional events are often too personal for LinkedIn. However, if you have a professional photo session coming up, bring a shirt and a blazer and get a couple of specialty business shots.
  • Most importantly…say cheese! What’s the first thing you do when you meet someone? You smile. It’s a natural human cue to indicate that you are safe, nice, and welcoming. No matter how artsy you are, no staring pensively into the distance, no duck face, and no maniacal laughter either. Humans rely heavily on eye contact for social relationships, so look into the camera and don’t wear sunglasses, ever. A nice warm, regular smile is all you need.

Experience

If you have a resume, then you know how fill in this section. Make it easy to read, quick to reference, and accurately reflective of your past positions.

To add experience, click the little plus sign and add all relevant work experience.

To optimize this section, consider these tips:

  • Link each position to its respective company page
  • Start descriptions with a brief and prompt overview of your position
  • Utilize bullet points to further describe the position and achievements
  • Employ action words (managed, created, grew, reduced, etc.)
  • Include supporting documents and links to other media
  • Use the appropriate tense (past-tense for past jobs, present-tense for current job)
  • Always double, triple, and quadruple check spelling and grammar

The key here is using brief, clear language to speak to your skills, responsibilities, and accomplishments. If you need help with your resume, reach out to your Roth Staffing representative for general resume tips and apply them to your LinkedIn profile.

We also have a handy-dandy resume guide online.

Education

How much detail you include in your education section depends on how long you’ve been out of school. Potential employers aren’t likely to be invested in activities from long ago.

If you’ve been out of school for a while, your main focus should be the Experience section. Under education, list only basic information (school and degree) and major accomplishments (graduating Magna Cum Laude). You can also list organizations to which you belonged if you think they might help you network (such as fraternities and sororities).

However, if you are a recent graduate, go more in depth in the education section.

List your college degrees, activities, societies, and major projects (if they have a professional application). Include awards won, research conducted, and honors received. If you have a college degree, you do not have to include high school, but you might still choose to if you would like to connect with fellow alumni.

Click on the plus sign to add information.

Volunteer Experience

This section gives your profile dimension and shines light on your passions. Include past and present volunteer experience. However, make sure this experience is significant.

If you list the one Saturday you spent serving at a soup kitchen, it may come off as an attempt to fill up space. List repeat volunteer experiences, or events where you took on leadership roles. If you coordinated a charity walk, definitely list it. Include all the responsibilities and tasks as these can speak to your skills.

Skills & Endorsements

Recruiters can search by skills, so make sure you flaunt yours! LinkedIn users with at least five skills listed on their profile receive up to 17 times more profile views (DMR).

Be honest. Don’t list skills you “kinda know.” If an interviewer asked you to demonstrate a skill on the spot, could you perform it with flying colors?

Your connections can endorse these skills. A good way to increase your endorsements is to endorse others.

Recommendations

Your connections can write you recommendations, which are extremely powerful when searching for a job.

Ask people with whom you’ve worked closely to recommend you. Whenever possible, reach out to people in person or by phone prior to requesting a recommendation. If they agree, submit a request by clicking on “Ask to be recommended.”

Follow each step accordingly and customize your message at the bottom. Check out our tips on asking for a reference.

Accomplishments

LinkedIn is the place to brag about yourself. In your Accomplishments section, list relevant recognitions and associations. Don’t shy away from “softer” accomplishments that could highlight your cultural fit with an organization.

In this section, you can add:

  • Certifications
  • Courses
  • Honors & Awards
  • Languages Spoken (only if you are fluent)
  • Patents
  • Projects
  • Publications
  • Test Scores
  • Organizations

Interests

This section highlights the influencers, companies, groups, and schools you follow. Definitely expand this area, but try to avoid potentially controversial figures or causes – anyone can see who you follow.

Join groups that pertain to your interests and follow any organization you’d like to work for in the future. When their posts pop up in your feed, like and comment, making sure the organization sees you – follow the same rules for posting, sharing, and commenting outlined below.

Follow publications so that informative articles appear on your feed – it’s a great way to catch up on industry news, and you’ll have more interesting conversation topics to bring into interviews. Employers want to hire people who have a pulse on the industry.

Adding Connections

Now that your profile is ready to mingle, it’s time to keep it active. When recruiters click on your profile, they can see your recent activity. No recent activity – or the wrong type of activity – can leave the wrong impression.

When adding connections, being with people you know, but don’t be afraid to branch out to others in the industry or even recruiters. When reaching out to distant connections, always go beyond the template and include a custom message.

Professionally and succinctly, tell them why you are interested in connecting. Quickly get to the point, include aspects of their profile that caught your eye, and don’t be afraid to compliment them. A good message can mean the difference between a connection and a bad first impression.

Here are a few examples of typical messages you might send:

A Casual Acquaintance

Hi ______,

I’m glad we had the chance to meet through [connection]. I’d love to learn more about your work in [industry], particularly [topic]. Is LinkedIn your preferred method of contact?

Thank you,

Someone you met at a Networking Event

 

Hello _______,

It was great speaking to you at the [event] last month. I enjoyed hearing your ideas about [topic/industry], and I am very intrigued to see what will happen next. I’d definitely like to stay in touch and keep up on the latest in your career.

Thank you,

A Recruiter

 

Hello ___________,

I have been following [organization] and I came across your profile and couldn’t resist reaching out. I have been working in [industry] for ___ years, and currently seeking new opportunities. I’d love to talk about whether my background might be a fit for the organization – and also keep up on the latest within [organization] from your perspective.

Thank you,

Recruiters get a lot of messages, so don’t feel discouraged if you don’t get a response. Once you’ve connected, comment and like their posts and continue to message without being overwhelming.

Messaging

You can freely message any of your connections. However, if you want to message someone you’re not connected to, you will have to purchase InMail capabilities. If you’re wary of dropping the cash, check out these tips from our social media manager, Valerie Killeen.

 

Tips from Within: InMail

Valerie oversees and sets the guidelines for all of our social media channels. Check out what she has to say about InMail:

No InMail, no problem! For professionals without a premium subscription, communicating on LinkedIn can be a bit frustrating. If you’d like to send a message to someone you’re not connected to, you can join a common LinkedIn group (you can send 15 free messages per month to fellow group members).

  • LinkedIn group memberships are identified at the footer of each profile.
  • Once you’ve been approved to join a group, you can search for fellow members within the group and select the envelope icon near their name to compose an InMail message.
  • The best part? If your InMail receives a response, you can communicate back and forth as many times as you’d like without deducting from your 14 remaining InMail messages.

Posting & Sharing

Posting on LinkedIn increases your visibility, but only if you do it right. Anything you ever like, comment, or post can be seen by every single one of your connections. And if someone in your network likes or comments on your post, then it is visible by every single person in their network. It would not take long for a single inappropriate comment to find its way around the world.

Generally speaking, these are the best reasons to post on LinkedIn:

  • Professional accomplishments
  • New ideas or inspiration that relate to work life
  • New development in your career or in the market
  • Industry announcements or trends
  • Job postings
  • Professional events that you are attending or promoting

If it doesn’t fall into any of these categories, it may be better suited for a different platform. Experts recommend posting a few times a week, but no more than once per day.

Post articles. It’s a quick and simple way to engage with your connections, as long as you remember your R’s: Recent, Relevant, and Reliable.

You can also create your own articles. Share your expertise with the world. Just remember to keep it recent, relevant, and reliable. Don’t underestimate the power of your perspective.

Make sure anything you post comes from a reputable, professional source. For maximum engagement, include a quick sentence on why you find the article interesting.

Pro-tip: People love to interact and share ideas. Ask a question that can lead to more than a yes or no answer. For example, you can say, “I find it interesting that this expert discusses x and y as the driving factors, what have you found in your experience?” Now the conversation is flowing and you’re learning from your connections.

When posting, make sure you monitor your post appropriately. Don’t check it every five minutes, but be sure to correspond with those who comment in a timely manner. If someone is acknowledging your post, acknowledge them – engagement goes both ways.

A quick like, a “Thank you,” or a “Totally agree!” can go a long way. Reciprocity is key.

Beware the 7 B’s:

  1. Better Half: Unless you’re introducing your significant other to an online connection, or highlighting a professional accomplishment – there’s no need to post about them or your relationship. No anniversaries, no wedding photos.
  2. Booze: It’s no secret that your crazy weekend stories have no place in the office, and there’s no place for them on LinkedIn either.
  3. Bipartisan: Politics are a sensitive subject for many, and they can lead to heated arguments quickly. Quite simply, it’s just tasteless to discuss politics in a professional space.
  4. Bucks: Discussing salary on LinkedIn is a big no-no. This may scare away potential employers.
  5. Beliefs: For many, religion, or lack thereof, is a very personal topic, and it should remain personal. Avoid religious posts, even if they are positive.
  6. Battleground: Do not start arguments on LinkedIn, as that would be incredibly unprofessional. Also, avoid complaining about any current or past jobs.
  7. Blades + Blasters: Weapons have no place in the workplace. Weapons-related posts can make people feel uncomfortable, so it’s best to avoid these.

The rule should be: if I wouldn’t share it in an interview, I probably shouldn’t post it publicly.

NO SELFIES. EVER. NEVER EVER EVER – unless they depict something business related going on in the background, such as a prestigious award ceremony. You wouldn’t stop a coworker as they walk down the hall to show them a selfie you took in your car, so don’t post it on LinkedIn.

Posts that include a photo will get more attention, but the photo must be appropriate. If you won an award or attended an exciting professional event, by all means post. However, you must make sure you still uphold professionalism, outfits included. That means no photos of you in a bathing suit poolside at a conference, or in any other outfit you wouldn’t wear to the office.

You may be saying, “but the posts that violate these rules are the ones that get the most likes and comments,” and that’s true. It’s not necessarily a good thing that the post received so much attention. Don’t try to go viral for the sake of going viral. You shouldn’t be posting for likes; you should post to educate and share ideas with your connections.

Liking & Commenting

A friendly reminder: all of your connections can see everything you like and comment. Liking inappropriate posts or making off-putting comments can ruin your professional image.

Tips from Within: Don’t be that guy

Our social media specialist, Victoria Hayes, spends most of her day on LinkedIn. Check out her list of the 10 most annoying people on LinkedIn. Her advice? “Don’t be that guy.”

  1. The Facebook Police – These are the people who berate others for inappropriate posts, or simply comment “Facebook,” insinuating the post should only be on Facebook and not LinkedIn. No one likes a party-pooper – if a post is truly inappropriate, report it.
  2. The Complete Stranger – These users try to add connections seemingly at random.
  3. The Selfie Queen – Let’s face it; you’re not fooling anyone by captioning your (often provocative) selfie with an inspiring quote or recap of a recent career success. You wouldn’t pull that out in an interview.
  4. The Social Spammer – We don’t need to see your Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook posts ALSO on LinkedIn. Post appropriately on each channel.
  5. The Creep – They comment inappropriately on photos or posts. Again, if you wouldn’t say it in the workplace, don’t say it on LinkedIn. http://www.ledgent.com/about-us/news/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/edit-profile-19.png/li>
  6. The Narcissist – The person who likes their own post. Of course, you like it – you wrote it!
  7. The Troll – We’ve seen this guy on just about every social media platform. They disagree with every post and aren’t shy about saying so – and usually not in a respectful manner. It’s okay to introduce differing ideas, but it’s not okay to start an argument. If an exchange of ideas gets heated, know when to tap out.
  8. The “Guru” – “HR Guru” and “Recruitment Ninja” are not real titles. Just be yourself!
  9. The Philosopher – These users are always liking and sharing quotes. There’s nothing wrong with a few quotes every once in a while, but you should be focused on sharing your ideas.
  10. The Over-Sharer – They share their professional stories, but weave in way too many intimate details.

Job Searching

Once you have filled in your profile, you are ready to hunt for a job. Head to the top menu bar and click on Jobs.

Here, you can search for jobs of any kind, anywhere.

Each job posting will have its own requirements and its own application process.

In this section, you can let recruiters know that you are open to new opportunities – without anyone at your current organization seeing. LinkedIn’s new Open Candidates feature privately signals to other employers that you are interested.

On the Jobs tab, click on Career Interests.

Then you can fill out their guided form. Your “Note to recruiters” should read like a cover letter, speaking to your skills and showing genuine interest. Add any and all job titles you are interested in and qualified for. You should also list locations you are willing to work in, including specific cities or entire areas (such as “Greater Los Angeles Area”). You can even specify whether you’re looking for full-time, part-time, internships, remote, freelance, or contract positions.

Recruiters will then have the opportunity to reach out to you. However, this does not mean that you should sit back and relax. Continue to search and apply for jobs.

Should I go Premium?

If you’re looking for work, a premium membership might be beneficial. Premium memberships allow you to:

  • Reach out to recruiters or job posters with InMail credits
  • See who’s viewed your profile in the last 90 days and how they found you
  • Move to the top of recruiters’ applicant lists
  • See how you compare to other candidates
  • Gain access to online video courses
  • See salary details when browsing jobs without sharing your personal data

There is a one-month free trial you can take advantage of, but monthly payments start at $25.

Continued Engagement

It’s important that you stay active on LinkedIn even when you are not looking for a job. While 70% of Facebook users engage daily, only 13% of LinkedIn users do the same (Pew Research). Make sure you’re not only active when you need something. Recommend other and endorse their skills, assure you have a symbiotic relationship with your connections.

Comment, like, and post even when you are happily employed. Engage with your employer and boast your current work and other workplace events. Share company content and don’t be shy about your accomplishments. LinkedIn is not just for job searching. It’s primarily an online network for professionals to share expertise, get inspired, and build your professional credibility.

Roth is passionate about helping you in your job search. You have the smarts, experience, and passion to catch the eye of a top employer – use Roth Staffing and LinkedIn to make sure you get there.