Keep your job search going
The job search continues for many people and is just beginning for others. How do you navigate a remote search and set yourself up for success? Here are my top tips for what you can do to stay focused and help kickstart your search right now.
Ensure all your documents are in order
Make sure you are putting your best foot forward at all times. This means ensuring all your profiles, resumes, and portfolios are all up to date, all aligned with the same information, and working hard for you.
LinkedIn Basic updates:
Photo: Use a professional photo and make it visible to everyone. This is a little thing that lets people know that you are a real person.
Headline: Have the most relevant keywords that someone would use in a search to find you. Stop and think about this for a moment, and do a few searches for people to see how it works.
Summary: This should be brief, interesting, and tell a good story about who you are and what you hope to achieve. Use the first person and be sincere!
LinkedIn Pro tips:
1. Edit your personal URL:
Personalize your LinkedIn URL with your name, or at least something close to it. Here’s the path to follow from the main LinkedIn page:
Me > Settings and Privacy > Edit your public profile > (at top right of this page) Edit your custom URL
Make sure it isn’t still a random set of letters and numbers and change it to your name. If you have a common name, or it’s already in use, pick something and add a descriptor of some kind (use only universal characters to make yourself found easier through search). Eg. If Mary Smith is taken, you could use /mary-smith-toronto-canada
2. Recommendations: ask for some (I know, it’s hard to do) and also give a few of your own. A good tip is to agree with a colleague that you will write one for each other.
3. Write articles: Yes, just like this one you are reading. Tell us about your professional views and thought leadership.
Bonus: Check out what I wrote about getting found on LinkedIn.
Resume updates required immediately
I have written a lot on updating your resume. I will attempt to narrow it down to my top two things you can do immediately to make sure your resume looks modern and polished:
1. Use the top half of your first page to your advantage and make sure that everything I need to know about you can be found there. Make the reader want to read more.
Have a headline: MARKETING LEADERSHIP IN COMPLEX, COMPETITIVE SECTORS
Use relevant keywords as a sub-heading: Brand Strategy | Partnerships & Sponsorships | Project Management
Have an informative and professional profile statement: Analytical and detail-oriented marketer with progressive digital, broadcast, and radio experience. Organized project manager who is able to build complex sponsorship and marketing programs and take them from inception to successful execution. Provides excellent customer service and builds relationships at all levels that inspires trust and confidence.
2. Do not list bullet points for each job like a task or to do list for that particular role. Make each bullet point do as much work as it can. Tell the reader what you accomplished!
Bullet Point Don’t: - Responsible for all brand social media accounts
Bullet Point Do: - Managed social media accounts with budget of $2M including optimization, agency relationships, campaign development and approvals; @Instagram account grew to one of the largest followed of any Canadian brand with 890K followers; #HASHTAG maintained at 8,500 uses/month
Portfolio Even if you don’t think you need a portfolio, you should start (or continue) to collect case studies, campaign samples and any creative work to highlight your skills. This can be put in a simple website and included on your LinkedIn profile.
Many people never do this, so if you take the time and do a simple but thorough job, it will make you stand out. You will be able to tell your story and will control your own narrative.
Who is hiring right now?
You still need to do your research and find the best role for you. You still need to tailor your resume to each online application. Part of your job is also to find out who is hiring. These lists will help:
LinkedIn continually updates their list of who is hiring in Canada: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/news/whos-hiring-in-canada-4531435/
LeadSift has compiled this list of open roles in Canada (last updated April 5): https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1d2pyNKVOeKbzRzqEMLpxNkT7ABWbPoGLgsPt1CuHsW0/edit#gid=810327038
List of remote jobs in North America is up to date for March 2020 with helpful user comments letting you know if each job is filled or expired: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1R9IR8Z3-gU8uf76HOvVvh44R-UeQAxzmDe03E_vwRfs/edit#gid=388136490
Connecting & networking
While meeting in person for lunch or a coffee is not happening right now, this should not deter you from connecting with former colleagues, people who work at companies you are interested in, or from joining meetups that are likely all online.
Reach out to people you know, ask for introductions from others and tell them what you are looking for. Don’t just connect to connect, have an ask or a give and explain what you do and where you can provide value. Getting on a phone call or video call will always work.
Connect and network with hiring managers and recruiters on LinkedIn. But do it right and provide useful information for the person to help you network.
Connecting Don’t: Thanks for connecting!
Connecting Do: Thanks for connecting! As our friend Susan mentioned, I am looking for my next contract or permanent opportunity – I am open to both. I most recently managed a team of 15 Project Managers and Implementation Managers who were working on digital transformation projects for top retailers in North America. I am comfortable in any role from PM to Solution Delivery/Implementation.
Virtual coworking and meetups are happening so often, I can’t keep track of them all. Almost all of the groups and companies who had scheduled events before are continuing them online now. Find your favourite and join.
Be kind, be generous, have patience, follow up, send thank you notes, and keep going. Job searching is hard work at the best of times!
This article first appeared on LinkedIn in April 2020 and is written by Joanne Acri