LinkedIn Updates - Keeping Up with Changes

Did you know that there is a LinkedIn hashtag for #Juneteenth which is the portmanteau of 19th and June? You can learn what others are saying by following this hashtag or by using it yourself on your posts about this momentous day in 1865 when slavery ended in Galveston, Texas. 

What else is new on LinkedIn? The menu bar is now black instead of dark gray. Speculation is that it changed for Black Lives Matter, but there does not seem to be an announcement about this, though LinkedIn did make a BLM statement. The change of the menu bar just magically appeared as black this past week.

Headlines used to be limited to 120 characters on the desktop, but you might have been in the recent rollout and now can expand it. LinkedIn has not yet updated their knowledge base article on this change to announce the official number of characters, but others have posted that you may have up to 220 characters.

Posts now have six options: 

1) celebrate a teammate (welcome a new teammate or give kudos to someone)

2) find an expert (in accounting, coaching & mentoring, design, marketing, and other)

3) share a profile with your network or search for a friend or former coworker, or connection)

4) add a job (create a new post or add a link)

5) create a poll (as long as it’s not political, or medical information or other sensitive data)

6) offer help (general, referrals, career coaching, resume reviews, introductions, volunteer work, or other)

Some other LinkedIn changes are below:

  • People Also Viewed has increased from 10 to 20
  • Hashtag displays are being reconfigured
  • COVID-19 themed banners are coming
  • Away messages for premium users are coming
  • Broadcast link field for online events is coming
  • A new search user interface is coming
  • Image cropping is coming

Need some visuals of the above? Here’s a great post from Andy Foote in Chicago. Andy also includes the reminder that LinkedIn will shorten the URLs in your posts if they are more than 26 characters. When you see the bitly links used by me on behalf of the nonprofit, those are shortened URLs also.

AUTHOR BIO

Lynne Williams is the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group, a 501(c)3 nonprofit with almost 6300 members and alumni providing career education and networking. Lynne also writes for vista.today, montco.today, and delco.today.

Rebranding to Pivot Your Career

Are you making a career pivot? Do you need to rebrand yourself? Do you know what to do to market yourself for your future forward position?

As noted in the previous article, you completed all these steps so far:

  • You decided to make a change.
  • You have done a SWOT analysis of yourself.
  • You know your passions and where you want to go… OR
  • You have hired a coach to help bring clarity, so you know your next move.
  • You have taken stock of your skillset and gaps of knowledge and have taken assessments.
  • You have made some goals for learning or moving your pivot forward. 
  • You are ready to update your career documents – resume, LinkedIn, elevator pitch, networking plan, cover letter, accomplishment stories, positioning statement, department statement, value proposition, etc. 

Now what? It’s time to research keywords that combine your unique individual skillset and the keywords of your next position, whether as a W-2 employee or as an entrepreneur. 

Where do these keywords come from?

First of all, they come from you, doing a brain dump of all the things you are good at. It’s mainly going to be a list of hard skills, but there may be some soft skills

If you are looking for a W-2 job, you can analyze the keywords in the job description. You would highlight text as you carefully read and use a free tool like WordArt or another text analyzer. 

You can also use tools like Google Trends

For keywords in LinkedIn, you need to use the job titles and keywords in LinkedIn’s database and see how words compare, by looking them up in the jobs tab. For example, compare “budget” to “budgets” to “budgeting” to find out the best version of this word to use in LinkedIn. The final choice may be different than the synonym you use when applying to a job description.

To learn more about keywords for matching job descriptions, attend the ATS workshops on June 1 or 11 by registering on links on the events listings page. 

To learn more about keywords for LinkedIn, join the virtual workshops on LinkedIn Parts 1, 2, and 3 on June 6, 13, and 20, respectively, by registering on ccls.org.

Developing a keyword analysis is both an art and a science. You are much better off making informed decisions from data drive sets of keywords than just guessing words off the cuff. Do your research, but make sure you are hyper-focused on your future forward position so you are clearly branding yourself! 

AUTHOR BIO

Lynne Williams is the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group, a 501(c)3 nonprofit with almost 6300 members and alumni providing career education and networking. Lynne also writes for vista.today, montco.today, and delco.today.

Tips for Avoiding the Pitfalls of the Applicant Tracking System

Nearly 75% of resumes are never seen by human eyes when submitted through applicant tracking systems for online job applications. Why? Formatting and more. 

The Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is an automated resume screener and there are over 200 ATS systems available today. Resumes go through a parser and are read by a bot before a human. The bot assigns a mathematical score to your resume against the job description as it reads entire phrases and not just keywords. The terminology for the technology that reads phrases in your resume with the words before and after the keywords is called contextualization.

Your score is then validated and is moved on to be viewed by human eyes — or it goes into the black hole because it did not match at a high enough percentage. This is extremely frustrating for those who are qualified for positions but can’t get past the bots. 

You must have a base resume and then customize the keywords to match each and every job application. If you don’t know how to do this, there are workshops available this week that will teach you how. 

Here are some other tips for the ATS “deconstructed resume”, which is different than your “pretty” resume that you snail mail, email, or hand to someone.

Tip #1: Customize your “future-forward” resume with key titles and keywords for the position you are applying to

Tip #2: Remove all images, graphics, logos, or pictures, as they may not be readable by the ATS

Tip #3: Use a font no less than 11 point and Arial is recommended for the ATS resume

Tip #4: Don’t hide keywords in white text and try to cheat the system, as they come out black on the other end

Tip #5: Remove irrelevant positions from your resume

Tip #6: Beware of special characters – no arrows or checkmarks; solid black bullets seem to work for most ATS systems

Tip #7: Avoid any kind of shading, tables, lines that cross the entire page, fancy borders, and section breaks on the ATS resume

Tip #8: Check for spelling errors—the ATS may miss keywords if they are misspelled

Tip #9: Place your contact information at the top and not in the header and make sure you have included your customized LinkedIn URL.

Tip #10: Add the dates of your employment after your employer, city, state at the far right of the page

Tip #11: Send your resume from a Word document, unless requested otherwise. PDFs can be readable or non-readable images. Uploading a resume is preferred to copying and pasting your resume into text boxes.

Tip #12: Do not upload your resume multiple times. This may hurt, rather than help and raise red flags. 

Tip #13: Mirror the language in the job description on your ATS resume to showcase your expertise; use the niche terminology

Tip #14: Only type typical resume sections and use the sections of LinkedIn as your guideline

Tip #15: Quantify your accomplishments and achievements in bullet points in your work experience rather than stating your responsibilities

Tip # 16: Use jargon and buzzwords from your industry so the applicant tracking system tools that index and crawl submissions pick up these key phrases and terms 

Tip #17: Use keyword and text analyzers with your job description so you have a helping hand with technology for data-driven decision making 

Tip #18: Develop two resumes: pretty formatted and deconstructed for ATS  

Tip #19: Include your social media handles on your resume to show you are current and relevant with your technology skills

AUTHOR BIO

Lynne Williams is the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group, a 501(c)3 nonprofit with almost 6300 members and alumni providing career education and networking. Lynne also writes for vista.today, montco.today, and delco.today. Connect with Lynne on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/lynnewilliams

Try a Value Proposition Letter as a Job Search Strategy

Value proposition letters are only 100-150 words that succinctly explains what your unique qualities, skills, and accomplishments are.

It states how you will add value. Using persuasion, value proposition letters explain how you can solve a problem or fix a pain point better than anyone else thanks to your expertise and unique offerings.

If you are a job seeker, you can use it to focus on the actions you will take if hired. It can be used for most positions where you can offer some technical expertise or specialty knowledge. 

This letter sets you apart from the competition and can also highlight your transferable skills. The Value Proposition Letter is certainly not meant for an entry-level position because you need to be able to highlight your quantifiable achievements. However, it might be a key tool for a high-level executive.

Entrepreneurs can also use the same concept and send out letters to prospective clients. 

There is a particular format to follow, and you can find the instructions by clicking on http://bit.ly/ValuePropLetter.

AUTHOR BIO

Lynne Williams is the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group, a 501(c)3 nonprofit with almost 6300 members and alumni providing career education and networking. Lynne also writes for vista.today, montco.today, and delco.today. Connect with Lynne on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/lynnewilliams