Follow-up on LinkedIn and Connecting with Others

Finally! I figured out how to edit this video. Here is a demo of (1) how you should update your Career Interests section within LinkedIn and (2) what recruiters see when using LinkedIn’s Talent Solutions software. Sarah demos how to align what you enter into your Career Interests with how recruiters are coached to use Talent Solutions.

5 strategies to optimize your LinkedIn profile for maximum exposure to recruiters:

  • Include your target location(s) and job title(s) in your Career Interest section. Within your public profile, include the main location that you are looking to move to. If you currently reside in Chicago, but want to move to Austin, TX, list Austin, TX as your location in your public profile.
  • Have a profile summary that speaks to the types of roles you are aiming for. Include keywords relevant to those roles within your profile summary.
  • Include selected keywords within your profile headline that are relevant to your target positions. Your headline is the primary description that recruiters see when they pull a list of candidates. A headline, like “Seeking Full-Time Opportunities”, tells the recruiter nothing about your skills and experience.
  • Ensure that your profile photo is close cropped to frame your head and shoulders only, eyes looking towards the camera.
  • Follow your target companies within LinkedIn and connect with people within your target industry or function.

Here is an infographic summarizing 10 steps you can take to improve your LinkedIn profile.

I received a few inquiries after our webcast on LinkedIn with Hannah Morgan about reaching out to alumni. Towards the end of this post, I’ve provided links to various Illinois alumni LinkedIn groups. If you are a member of these groups, you can message fellow members without using InMails. HOWEVER, before your reach out to an alum or any contact for that matter, consider your purpose. Why are you contacting these individuals?

Below are 3 videos that go over Steve Dalton’s 2-Hour Job Search strategy for finding jobs. Parts 2 and 3 go over ways to make and reach out connections. I recommend watching all 3 videos.

Part 1: Prioritizing Target Employers

Part 2: Making Connections by Picking Starter Contacts

Part 3: Reaching Out and Tracking

Once you establish contact with a professional, you will then need to conduct an informational interview. Here is a sample approach to informational interviews:

Remember that your first informational meeting is not your time to ask for a referral. If the connection progresses after your meeting and your contact becomes an advocate, you can ask for a referral. Until then, they are a resource to help you prepare for future roles.

Illinois alumni LinkedIn groups:

If you have questions, please feel free to reach out.

Jerome Ng
Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach
Gies College of Business


Recap (Jan. 17, 2019): Developing Your Career Development Strategy

Thank you for attending our first webcast on Developing Your Career Strategy. You will find the full recording here. To view the clip of my interview with Steve Dalton, please click here. (I apologize for the problems with the sound during the live session. We’ll get better with our subsequent webcasts.)

There are different career development frameworks that you will find when working with different coaches. Here is one framework that I’ve put together based on working with students and private clients:

Many job seekers begin their job search in the “Apply Your Brand” stage, where their focus is to submit as many applications as possible without a customized resume or cover letter. Others start in the “Express Your Brand” stage, revising and updating their resume. However, without having identified their brand or considered their long term career trajectory, many still miss out on distinguishing themselves from other candidates.

Gerald shared his approach to developing a career strategy. In addition to his suggestion, I recommend considering the following factors as part of your larger strategy; these questions can help you focus your job search:

  • What are your geographical preferences?
  • What are your functional preferences? What are your interests?
  • What are your industry preferences?
  • What type(s) of companies/organizations would you prefer to work for?
  • What is important to you? What are your motivators?

We also discussed different assessments, including:

  • Clifton Strengths  —  I have 13 access codes to give away for free. These codes will give you access to the assessment and reports for your Top 5 Talents. Please e-mail Jerome Ng if you are interested in one of these codes. One access code per person. Available while they last.
  • CraftMasterED  —  This is the assessment that Dr. Gerald Wilson is developing. It is still in the beta phase.
  • DiSC  —  Thank you Josh R.!
  • 16 Personalities  —  Thanks again Josh!
  • Kolbe  —  Thank you Karen L.!
  • MBTI
  • Six Lives Exercise  —  Thank you Lauren J.!

A couple of questions from the chat room that we missed:

  • How do you document your assessment results on your resume, if at all?

It is not necessary to explicitly document your assessment results on your resume. Instead, you can think about framing your experience around those results, which you should have weaved into the career brand that you would like to showcase. Using Clifton Strengths as an example, Consistency is my #5 talent. One of the things people who are dominant in Consistency enjoy is processes. I’ve determined that this should be part of my professional brand. Accordingly, I highlight my ability to develop and streamline processes to maintain quality assurance and data accuracy, while improving efficiency.

Linn mentioned that she uses the results of her assessments in interviews. That is a perfect venue in which to talk about them. The other channel is cover letters since that is an opportunity to highlight a couple of qualities that make you a unique candidate.

  • What are the next steps after Strength Assessment tests?

You can find a list of Gallup-Certified Strengths Coaches here. You can also use the self-guided learning modules within the Gallup Strengths Center (log in with the account you created for your assessment). “Next steps” depend on your long term plans. In terms of careers, I work with clients on applying their Strengths to crafting their professional brand, building interview stories, and being aware of the type of organizational culture that best fits their work style.

If I missed any questions, please let me know.

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See you at our next event on January 31.