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Benefits of being an interim consultant

  1. Quick hiring process

If you are looking to start a new job immediately, it could be beneficial to consider applying for a temporary position. The hiring process for consultants is usually quick because companies are often looking for project-based consultants that are able to start working right away. Here at Xplora, we can find the perfect temporary role for you in a matter of days!

For more information:

Follow us on LinkedIn and check out our weekly posts to stay up to date on our top interim/temporary needs

Check out our current openings listed on our website

2. Gain experience

Thinking about making a career change? Becoming an interim consultant is a great way to gain experience in a new industry, grow your network and learn new skills that will enhance your resume for your future job search. Project-based work can be helpful if you want to make a career change, but don’t have enough (or any) relevant experience. A consulting position can help you become more qualified for a permanent position in your industry of interest. Working temporary jobs will help you diversify your resume and provide you more clarity when job searching down the line.

3. Short-term commitment

If you are not certain about a new career path, no need to worry! A temporary position will give you the opportunity to ease into a new line of work and learn the ins and outs of an industry without having to make a long-term commitment! Since there is a timeframe established right off the bat, it allows you to do a ‘test run’ of a job, company and/or industry. Whether you enjoy your experience or not, each temporary job you have will help you better identify what you are looking for in a job and in your career as a whole.

4. Fills resume gaps

If you are between jobs or struggling to find a permanent position, temporary work is a good option because it will prevent gaps in your resume. Having long-term gaps between jobs often raises questions to employers when viewing applications and can even be the determining factor of whether or not an applicant is called in for an interview. Even if you spent that entire period job searching, hiring managers would have no way of knowing that purely based on an application. Having a temporary position while job searching will give you something to show for that time period and communicate to potential employers that you take your career seriously. It will also prove that you remained committed to honing your skills and gaining knowledge and experience between jobs, which could help you stand out as an applicant.

5. Can lead to a permanent position

If you succeed in a temporary role and your employer decides that you are a good fit for the company, a temporary position could potentially be a steppingstone to a permanent offer! While this does happen, it is important to note that there is never a guarantee, as each situation is different. That being said, if you don’t receive a full-time offer from the company, don’t get discouraged or view your experience as time wasted. Project-based work is so much more than just the job you have while you are between jobs! Regardless of the outcome, a temporary position has the potential to open many doors in your career. For one, the experience you gain from consulting could provide you with a competitive advantage in your job search and help you stand out to hiring managers. With each temporary position, you get the chance to meet many experienced professionals in the industry with connections to various companies. It is a great way to develop your career and exponentially grow your network which can lead to endless new opportunities.

6. Consulting as a career

Have you ever considered making a career out of consulting? Many people begin as an interim consultant and enjoy project-based work so much that they build their career around it and begin to market themselves as a consultant/freelancer rather than look for permanent positions. Making a career out of consulting and project-based work is great for people who thrive on a change in environment, management style, company culture and workplace dynamic. If this sounds like you, then it might be a good idea to reconsider seeking a permanent position and look into becoming a full-time consultant!

Check out our blog on the benefits of hiring interim consultants!

The Right Team. Right Now.

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Benefits of hiring interim consultants

Here at Xplora, we have a variety of interim staff members ready to join your team in a matter of days! We recruit the talent you need for accounting, finance, internal audit, IT audit and tax positions. Keep reading for some of the benefits of hiring interim consultants!

  1. Quick Process

If you are in a pinch and need immediate help, hiring an interim worker is a great route to take. Unlike when hiring a permanent employee, the process for hiring an interim worker is quick. Xplora will quickly provide your company with the most skilled and qualified professional for the job. Temporary hires are typically able to begin working right away so you will see immediate returns!

2. Valuable for project-based work

Interim hires can help your team immensely with projects! If the workload at your company fluctuates and you are looking for extra help with a specific project, hiring a temporary employee during busy times to take on some of the workload could be helpful. This can help prevent stress and burnout in the workplace.

3. Allows for an evaluation period

When hiring temporary workers, the risk factor and commitment are low! Since they are only with the company temporarily, it provides a built-in trial period to evaluate if they would be a good fit as a permanent employee. If you decide to move forward and hire them permanently, they will likely have a smooth transition into their new position because they already have experience at the company. This will save a lot of time because an extensive on-boarding and training process will not be necessary.

4. Cost-effective

Hiring an interim consultant can be a cost-effective way to replace permanent employees who may be out due to illness, maternity leave, family leave, sabbatical or any other long-term absence. If they are expected to return within 6 months, bringing on a contingent worker to temporarily fill in for the employee on leave is a smart alternative to hiring a new full-time employee to take on their workload.

5. Brings a fresh perspective

Interim consultants are able to bring a new perspective to your company. As a temporary worker they have likely had a lot of relevant experiences and insightful opinions to bring to the table. Bringing consultants in to help with project-based work will change the dynamic in the workplace which can boost morale and productivity.

The Right Team. Right Now.

Photo by LightField Studios/Shutterstock.com

Candidate,With,Resume,At,Job,Interview,With,Human,Resource,,Recruitment

How to build a relationship with a recruiter

  1. Be certain

Before taking the next step and engaging with a recruiting agency, it is important to assess your current career situation and determine if working with a recruiter would be in your best interest. First, be sure that you are serious about making a career change and that your current circumstances allow for it. This is not a decision that you should make on a whim. Ensure that you are in a good headspace and take time to think it through before proceeding.

2. Set goals

If you decide that working with a recruiting agency is the right avenue for you, be sure to set intentions and identify your goals. Take time to assess your career goals and job preferences. To start, determine the industry and type of position you are looking for. Next, identify your preferences and search parameters such as location, company size, company culture, etc. Having goals prepared prior to speaking with your recruiter will speed up the process and make things easier on both ends, once you get the conversation going.

3. Get to know each other

Once you begin speaking with a recruiter, you will likely be able to determine if it would be mutually beneficial for you to work together. You want to see if they are able to help you accomplish your goals, and they want to see that you are a good candidate for their agency. Getting to know each other will help build momentum and make the process enjoyable!

4. Communicate your goals

It is important that you communicate your goals and search parameters to your recruiter to give them a better idea of what you are looking for. Providing them with this information will help the process run smoothly and efficiently. The more information you provide, the better they can help find the perfect job for you.

5. Be honest

Honesty is essential in developing a productive and authentic relationship with your recruiter. Once you begin to form a relationship, be completely transparent and open about your prior job search. For example, it is a good idea to keep them in the loop on the places you have already applied and/or interviewed. You should also be candid about your thoughts and opinions throughout the process. Remember, this is your career, and the recruiter wants to help you achieve your goals! If you aren’t interested in a specific position, or if you feel a job wouldn’t be a good fit for you, respectfully let them know.

6. Trust your recruiter

Trust is extremely important when building a relationship with a recruiter. It may take time to develop trust, especially if it’s your first time working with a recruiting agency. While it can be difficult to place your job search and potentially the fate of your career in someone else’s hands, remember that good recruiters are extremely knowledgeable about the ins and outs of the market and they want to help you succeed. Their goal is to help you achieve your goals!

7. Stay involved and engaged

Your relationship with your recruiter shouldn’t be one-sided! Keep the conversation going and show that you are engaged and serious about the process. One way you can stay involved, is by occasionally researching companies and positions on your own and updating them on your interests to ensure you are on the same page. Also, if your recruiter approaches you with a job opportunity, don’t hesitate to ask questions! If you are interested in an opportunity, ask them to send you more information about the company and job requirements.

8. Be patient

Working with a recruiter is can be an extremely rewarding process, but it takes time! Don’t get discouraged or lose hope if you don’t hear back from your recruiter right away. Understand that this process takes time for a reason. A good recruiter will never rush through the process. They will take the time to explore all avenues to find the right position for you. Find a balance; periodically reach out to stay involved and engaged in the process, but don’t constantly ask for updates. Trust that your recruiter will come to you with important information on job opportunities!

The Right Team. Right Now.

For more information on how Xplora can help you:

  • Contact us at (215) 568-2300
  • Visit our website
  • Visit our LinkedIn
  • Message one of our recruiters via LinkedIn
New,Graduate,Student,Holding,Resume,Application,With,Pen,Coffee,Cup

8 resume tips that will help you stand out to hiring managers

Perfecting your resume during your job search can be tricky since there is no cookie-cutter method. Every candidate is different which means that every resume will look different. It can be really difficult to stand out from other candidates through one sheet of paper, as every hiring manager values different things. However, there are quite a few simple changes that can help you stand out to any hiring manager. Keep reading for 8 small resume tips that make a big difference!

  1. Describe what makes you unique

One of the most important things to focus on is ensuring that your resume effectively communicates your unique skills and experiences. If you simply list the responsibilities you have had without offering context and examples of your own personal experiences, you probably won’t stand out to hiring managers. Be sure to focus on what you’ve accomplished and explain how you’ve added value in your previous positions. This will allow hiring managers to understand your experiences on a more personal level.

2. List quantifiable statistics, if applicable

Take it a step further by listing quantifiable statistics in the experience section. Including concrete measurements of success is a great way to prove your worth as a candidate and show why you would be a valuable asset to the company. It can be something as simple as describing the number of clients you worked with or the amount of people you supervised.

This article has some great examples of simple quantifiable statistics you can include in your resume.

3. Use active language

Using action verbs such as ‘created’, ‘managed’, ‘facilitated’, etc. when describing your experiences is an effective way to communicate your unique skills and accomplishments on your resume. Action verbs are very powerful verbs that, if used correctly, will professionalize and enhance your resume. Try to get creative and diversify your verb usage rather than using the same verbs over and over.

This article has a great list of action verbs to use on your resume.

4. Tailor your resume to the job description

Familiarizing yourself with the job requirements prior to sending in an application can be beneficial for many reasons. First, it helps you evaluate whether or not you would be a suitable candidate for the position. Then, once you decide to move forward with an application, you will know which skills are the most important to highlight on your resume based on the job description. No need to overwhelm your resume with skills that are completely unrelated to the industry or job description (especially if you have a lot of relevant experience already). Keep in mind that hiring managers often skim resumes, so including keywords and highlighting relevant skills and strengths can improve its readability. Remember to offer examples and quantifiable statistics to show how you have actively utilized your skills.

5. Be honest

While it can be helpful to highlight your most relevant skills, make sure you are doing so with integrity. Don’t use keywords to embellish your resume if there is no truth behind them! Make sure you are only listing skills that are actually relevant to you and your professional experiences. You never want to include something on your resume that is untrue or that you wouldn’t be able to fully elaborate on in an interview. It is always better to be underqualified and honest, than it is to be untrustworthy.

If you don’t possess all of the skills in the job description or are underqualified in a specific area, that’s okay! If you feel that you would still be a good fit for the position, don’t get discouraged. List your relevant skills on your resume, and then if you receive an interview, be prepared to speak to your strengths and show the hiring manager your ability to learn and willingness improve in the areas in which you are underqualified.

6. Stay organized

As mentioned in number 4, hiring managers often skim resumes, so make sure that the important information stands out right off the bat. They should be able to quickly identify relevant keywords when skimming. Once you catch their eye with keywords, then they are more likely to spend time evaluating your resume.

Always make sure that your layout is easy to follow and your keywords are visible at first glance. Don’t clutter your page with excess information; your resume should be as concise as possible. If there are too many words on your page, your keywords will get lost. For an optimal layout, be sure to include bullet points, section dividers and bold font to make it easy to identify important information.

7. Convert to PDF

Converting your resume to a PDF file as opposed to a Word document, ensures that the format of your resume remains consistent no matter what. If a hiring manager views your resume and the format is distorted or difficult to read, they may disregard your application no matter how qualified you may be for the job. It is also a good way to prevent unauthorized edits to your resume. Converting to a PDF is quick and easy, but it can make a world of difference.

8. Save with your first and last name

This one may seem obvious, but it is easy to overlook. While your resume may be named something like ‘Resume’ on your computer, it is important that you identify your resume with your first and last name to ensure that it is easily identifiable. It should be named something like this. ‘[First name] [Last name] Resume.pdf’. Hiring managers open and view countless applications and resumes so attaching your name to yours will prevent it from getting lost.

We hope some of these tips help you perfect your resume. Happy job hunting!

Check out our blog on how to answer tricky interview questions:

https://www.xplorasearch.com/2021/01/27/tips-for-answering-these-5-tricky-interview-questions/

The Right Team. Right Now.

Photo by Jirapong Manustrong/Shutterstock.com

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Tips for answering these 5 tricky interview questions

1. “Tell me about yourself

This is usually the first question, so it sets the tone for the rest of the interview. It is important that you have a cohesive, well-formulated response in order to start the interview on a positive note.

You should…

  • Elaborate on your education and job experiences
  • Describe an accomplishment in your career and relate it to how you would excel in this position
  • Explain what led you to interviewing for this position today – describe your career goals and what excites you about the position and industry

You should NOT…

  • Get too personal – always keep it professional
  • Ramble or include irrelevant details – stick to the point
  • Slander previous employers – this is unprofessional and a major red flag to hiring mangers

2. What is your greatest weakness?

This question tests your level of self-awareness and motivation for improvement. It is tricky because you don’t want to appear dishonest or calculated, but you also don’t want the weakness you say to cause the hiring manager to question your capabilities.

You should…

  • Share a weakness that wouldn’t negatively impact your job performance
  • Think of a time in your professional life where you have turned one of your weaknesses into a strength
  • Explain how you are actively working to improve this weakness and provide an example

You should NOT…

  • Mention a weakness without an explanation
  • Disguise a strength as a weakness (e.g., “I work too much”, or “I am a perfectionist”) – you will be seen as dishonest and/or manipulative
  • Be self-deprecating in your answer – you never want to seem unconfident or defeated

3. “Why should we hire you?”

This question is meant to highlight what makes you unique from other candidates. You always want to make sure your answer is valuable and stands out!

You should…

  • Explain what unique value you would bring to the company
  • Relate your skills to the requirements in the job description and provide examples
  • Describe your previous unique job experiences and explain how these experiences would positively impact your job performance

You should NOT…

  • Explain your skills without examples – you want the hiring manager to truly believe in your skills
  • Answer vaguely – always give concrete examples
  • Sound desperate, arrogant and/or conceited in your answer – be confident, yet humble

4. “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”

This is a really important question because the interviewer wants to know that you are not only in it for the short term and that you are passionate about this position and company. Additionally, they ask this question to gauge your planning and goal-setting abilities.

You should…

  • Explain how you would like to grow in your career – what skills do you want to improve?
  • List the responsibilities you hope to have or projects you hope to be working on and why
  • Discuss your interests and how you would like to grow your knowledge of the industry

You should NOT…

  • Say that you want to be making more money or working for a different company
  • Seem unsure or say that you don’t know – it will make you seem shortsighted and unprepared
  • Make it sound like this position is simply a steppingstone to a promotion

5. “Do you have any questions?”

This question is usually last, but definitely not least. Always ask questions! Remember, the interview goes both ways; you want to determine if the company would be a good fit for you as well.

You should…

  • Always plan to ask questions at the end of the interview to further demonstrate your interest in the company
  • Ask questions that you genuinely want to know the answer to
  • Take notes on their answers for future reference

You should NOT…

  • Ask inappropriate or unrelated questions
  • Bring up questions regarding salary, vacation time, or benefits
  • Ask questions that show you haven’t done any research on the company – always do research beforehand!

Example questions:

  • “What does success look like in this position?” / “How do you measure success?”
  • “Can you tell me about most successful employee you have ever hired?”
  • “What are the opportunities/trajectory for growth beyond this position?”
  • “Can you tell me about the company culture?” / “How would you describe the culture of company?”
  • “How are the company culture and values integrated into this position?” / “How does this position contribute to these shared values?”

We hope that these tips help you ace your next interview!

The Right Team. Right Now.

Photo by fizkes/Shutterstock.com

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5 New Year’s resolutions for career advancement

As we ring in the New Year, now is the perfect time to reflect on your progress in 2020 and create resolutions for 2021! If you are hoping to advance your career in 2021, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading for some New Year’s resolutions you can set to succeed in your job search!

Resolution 1: Set goals and frequently evaluate progress

Start by taking some time to write down your goals and objectives for the year. Set large-scale, overall goals for yourself, followed by any number of sub-goals. For example, one of your overall goals for 2021 might be to find a job. The sub-goals associated with that could be your goals for industry, location, pay, benefits, etc. Creating sub-goals will give you a chance to specify all parameters and validate the importance of your overall goal. It will also set the framework for achievement and boost your motivation!

*Be sure to consistently reflect on your progress over the course of your job search. Take some time every couple of weeks to regroup and reevaluate your goals to ensure you are staying on track!

It can be easy to lose sight of your end-game due to stress and frustration. To prevent this from happening, find a way to ensure that your goals are always visible when at your workspace. For example, hang them up on the wall in front of you or write them on a post-it and place it on your desk. Whenever you get stressed or overwhelmed during your job search, you can simply refer back to your goals which can help ease your mind and put things into perspective.

Resolution 2: Update credentials

When beginning a job search, it is extremely important to update your resume, cover letter, LinkedIn page and anything else that may be viewed by a recruiter. Make sure everything is up to date and that each cover letter appeals to the respective company and job description! Consistently updating and reviewing your credentials will ensure that you are presenting accurate information to potential employers.

Check out our blog post on improving your LinkedIn profile:

Resolution 3: Stay organized and track progress

If you are job searching, organization is key! To start, organize your workspace and ensure there are no potential distractions. A clear workspace is a great stress reliever and will allow you to stay focused and on task! Once your workspace is clear, make sure you have all the materials you will need during your job search (list of goals, resume, cover letter, etc.) readily available.

Take it a step further by tracking your progress along the way. For example, create a comprehensive spreadsheet or document dedicated to keeping track of all the jobs in which you have applied/plan to apply in the future. You can also use this to organize the status of each application, interview dates and even notes/questions you may have. This will allow you to stay organized and give you a sense of accomplishment during your job search.

Resolution 4: Hold yourself accountable

Consistency and perseverance are key to achieving your career goals! Hold yourself accountable by dedicating a specific time every day or even a few times a week to conduct your job search. Here are some things you can do to ensure that you remain consistent and eventually fall into a routine:

  • Set an alarm or reminder on your phone to notify you when it is time to begin
  • Keep this time of day blocked out in your calendar
  • Notify friends, family members, and/or roommates so they know exactly when you will be unavailable

Resolution 5: Build your professional network

LinkedIn is one of the best ways to build your professional network. Growing your connections can be a great steppingstone for accomplishing your career goals! Building your network is something you should always prioritize throughout your career, as it has the potential to present you with many opportunities! In 2021, try your best to make a new connection once a week or even once a month. Here are some ways you can accomplish this:

  • Click the ‘My Network’ tab on your LinkedIn home page and scroll down to the ‘More suggestions for you’ section. LinkedIn will generate a list of people that you may know or be interested in connecting with due to mutual connections.
  • There are many ways to optimize your search in the ‘My Network’ tab. In the search bar, type in a company, industry or location in which you are interested and click on the ‘People’ tab on their LinkedIn page. This will show you people who are associated with this company, industry or location, respectively.

In addition to these resolutions, we have some additional resources that may be helpful in your job search. Visit our website and follow us on LinkedIn to stay in the loop on all of our current job opportunities!

  • On our website, go to ‘Current Openings’ or click here to check it out!
  • On our LinkedIn, go to the ‘Jobs’ tab or click here to check it out!

For more information and any additional questions:                                                                 

  • Give us a call: (215) 568-2300
  • Follow our hashtag on LinkedIn: #xplorasearch
  • Message one of our team members via LinkedIn and let us help you!

The Right Team. Right Now.

Photo by Monster Ztudio/Shutterstock.com

Sources used: TopResume and Monster

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Candidate FAQs

Are you job seeking and considering engaging a recruiting agency? This blog post addresses some frequently asked questions from candidates and our answers to them!

Q: What’s better for me in my career (CPA or MBA)?

A: While any continuing education is beneficial for career advancement, in the Accounting profession, the CPA certification will ultimately hold more value long term throughout your career. Pursuing an MBA is a great avenue to round out your education and make yourself most marketable, especially in a Corporate Finance related role. 

Q: Is there an optimal time to leave public accounting for industry if I don’t have aspirations to be a partner?

A: The optimal time to leave is a personal preference, but historically the figures have shown the best time to make a transition from public is before making Manager. Reason being that more staff & senior level positions in industry exists than do Manager (and up) titles. In addition, majority of Manager (and up) level position tend to be filled by way of internal promotion. 

Q: What should I be looking for when choosing a recruiter to handle my search?

A: Like choosing a doctor, dentist, contractor, etc. A number of things are important when choosing a recruiter, but reputation is key. Ask your colleagues, friends in your industry, etc. who they used, who they recommend, who they had a good experience with. Your career is your livelihood, and you want to choose a recruiter who is loyal, trustworthy, and sends you positions that are tailored to/make the most sense for you and your career.

As 2020 comes to an end, we want to provide you with the resources you need to succeed in your job search! Visit our website and follow us on LinkedIn to stay in the loop on all of our current job opportunities!

  • On our website, go to ‘Current Openings’ or click here to check it out!
  • On our LinkedIn, go to the ‘Jobs’ tab or click here to check it out!

For more information and any additional questions:

  • Give us a call: (215) 568-2300
  • Follow our hashtag on LinkedIn: #xplorasearch
  • Message one of our team members via LinkedIn and let us help you!

The Right Team. Right Now.

Check out our blog post on client FAQs:

Check out some of our other blogs to help with your job search:

Photo by Din Mohn Yaman/Shutterstock.com

https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/question-mark-on-alphabet-block-over-1176638581

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Skills for thriving in a post-pandemic work environment

Not only has this pandemic changed our work environments, it has also highlighted the skills required for a productive virtual workplace. As more and more employees have transitioned to virtual work, companies have gained the opportunity to evaluate their employees in a new way. They have been given the chance to discern their stronger employees and therefore the skills required to persevere through these new circumstances. Whatever the skills and talents that make up a successful remote worker, one thing is certain; even with an eventual move back into the office, companies will be looking for those same qualities in both current employees and future hires.

You may be wondering, what are some of these attributes? Keep reading for five important skills you must have in order to succeed in a post-pandemic work environment. If you are already employed, be sure to bring these skills back to the in-person workplace. If you are seeking new opportunities, keep these skills in mind during your job search process.

  1. Empathy

This pandemic has shed light on the importance of empathy. Because we are all experiencing the effects of this pandemic to an extent, empathy has become much more of a consistent and natural sentiment. While it is crucial during times like this, it should not be limited to this pandemic…especially not in the workplace! Empathy in a post-pandemic work environment will have many benefits. To start, it will help everyone feel more comfortable and confident at work. It will also allow employees to feel a sense of community which has the potential to boost morale and productivity!

2. Positivity

Positivity has always been important in the professional world, but it is essential now more than ever. While they may have gone unnoticed before, the people who have maintained a positive attitude during virtual work have definitely stood out. During times of uncertainty, employees with calm energy and positive dispositions are essential in a productive workplace. If it wasn’t already, this will absolutely become an important skill for both future hires and current employees moving forward.

3. Technological abilities

For most companies, technological skills were a requirement prior to this pandemic. However, the implementation of virtual work has validated the importance of these skills even more. This pandemic has allowed us to see how quickly the traditional workplace can change in the case of a crisis. If something ever happens again where things must be switched over to virtual work or there are other unexpected changes, companies want to ensure that no one would have any major technological struggles and would be able to adjust with little to no problems.

4. Adaptability

Virtual work has allowed many companies to see how employees adjust to changes. They have been able to see which employees struggled with these changes and which employees embraced them. With so much still unknown, companies want to be confident that all of their employees will be able to handle anything that comes their way, so adaptability is a skill they are going to be seeking.

5. Motivation & self-direction

Before, employees might have been able to get immediate answers and assistance if they were struggling with a task. However, with virtual work, they now have to wait for an answer and in the meantime come up with solutions on their own. Even though it might be frustrating at times, it has been a learning experience on determination and resilience. This may cause companies to alter their management styles after they have seen what their employees are capable of.

Check out some of our other job search-related blog posts below and stay tuned for new posts every other week!

The Right Team. Right Now.

Photo by G-Stock Studio/Shutterstock.com

https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/working-together-group-young-modern-people-1067101610

Post inspired by Fast Company’s article “6 skills employees will need in the post-pandemic workplace” by Gwen Moran

Sources used: Fast Company and McKinsey Accelerate

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How to improve your LinkedIn profile

LinkedIn has become an incredible means of networking, career development and business-related communication, giving users the opportunity to connect with recruiters, employees, clients, co-workers and everything in between. It is important to continuously enhance your profile, especially if you are job searching. LinkedIn has a multitude of profile features and settings that allow you to market yourself and maximize your impact. Keep reading for some tips on how to professionalize your LinkedIn profile!

  1. Use a professional headshot

Your photo is the first thing that anyone sees when looking at your profile. Uploading a recent, professional headshot to your profile is the best route to take. It will give your profile a professional look at first glance. If you do not have a professional headshot, don’t worry…you can improvise! Times are tough right now and getting a professional headshot is probably not at the top of your to-do list.

If you do not have a professional headshot…

You should:

  • Find a recent photo of yourself in which you are dressed professionally with a neutral background
  • Take a new photo; put on business clothes and pose against a blank wall in your home with optimal lighting

You should not:

  • Use a dimly lit photo
  • Use a photo with other people in it
  • Use a photo in which you are wearing non-professional attire

2. Make your headline effective

Your headline is the second thing that anyone sees when they click on your profile. Think of it like the hook of a novel; it determines whether or not a recruiter will keep reading and exploring your profile. If you are looking for a job, your headline should include key words related to the types of roles and industries in which you are targeting. A common mistake that users make is simply listing in their headline that they are ‘looking for roles’ or ‘seeking new opportunities’. There are many users looking for roles on LinkedIn, so this is not the best strategy to stand out to a recruiter. Instead, you want to show recruiters what value you would add to the company, if hired. If you are already employed, list your current role and company in your headline in order to facilitate future networking.

3. Update all your information

It is essential that your profile accurately represents who you are and what you’ve accomplished in your career. Anyone visiting your profile, especially recruiters, will be looking for basic information such as your education, work experience, skills, interests, certifications and contact information. These are usually the first few things that LinkedIn has you fill out when creating a profile. However, it is important that you consistently update your information, especially your work experience and skills. Be as descriptive and thorough in the information sections as you would for your resume. You want to be sure that if a recruiter doesn’t have your resume in front of them that this information can give them an accurate summary. Keep in mind that you can upload your actual resume as well under ‘job tab’ > ‘application settings’, but that should only be done as a bonus to facilitate job applications, not instead of updating the information sections.

4. Add a summary section

Under the ‘About’ tab on your profile settings, users have the opportunity to add a brief excerpt. This section is where you can elaborate on what is listed in your headline. Use this as an opportunity to let anyone viewing your profile know a brief update of your current professional life. Don’t use the summary to reiterate everything you have already listed in your information section. Here are some ideas for what to include in your summary:

  • Your current role: don’t just restate your title or whatever is listed in your headline. Explain what you do and why!
  • Your passions: elaborate on why you chose this industry and what about it excites you.
  • Industry keywords: demonstrate your skills and value to the industry.
  • Career aspirations: what are your goals for the future? If you are currently employed, this could be goals that you want to accomplish in your current role. If you are not employed, explain the types of roles you would like to pursue.
  • Call to action: what do you want your audience to take away from your summary? For example, you can end the summary by inviting them to connect with you or message you for more information.

5. Upload featured work

LinkedIn gives you the option to showcase your best work so that anyone visiting your profile can immediately view it. Doing this will add a personal touch to your profile and endorse any skills you have listed. You can feature a post, article, link or any form of media that you think would be beneficial to your job search. Treat this the same way you would a portfolio for a job application. Depending on your industry, this could be a great way to capture the attention of recruiters and stand out from other candidates.

6. Build relevant connections

The quality of your connections is more important than the quantity. Having a ton of connections does not mean much if most are not relevant to your industry. Always remember to be mindful and intentional when making connections. Having relevant connections will help with networking as well as optimizing your home page. Instead of needing to filter through your homepage to find posts that relate to your industry, you will likely find that the majority of the content you are seeing interests you. This strategy will improve your job search and stay up to date on industry news.

7. Share content related to your industry

Now that you’ve ensured your connections and homepage are relevant to your industry, it is important to share the content that interests you. Doing this will give anyone visiting your profile an insight to your thought process and point of view on industry related content. Engage with your connections. Get a conversation going by commenting on or sharing their posts. Consistently posting also helps your profile gain exposure through the algorithm which could possibly lead you to new connections and even job opportunities!

8. Adjust your settings accordingly

LinkedIn has many setting options that can assist you in your job search. If you want to signal to recruiters that you are looking for an opportunity, follow these steps:

  • Go to ‘Settings & Privacy
  • Click ‘Data Privacy
  • Click ‘job seeking preferences
  • Click ‘signal your interest to recruiters at companies you have created job alerts for’ and change it to ‘yes

Instead of listing it in your headline, this is a more effective and appropriate way to let recruiters from certain companies know that you are open to new opportunities. There are also many other settings under ‘job seeking preferences’ and ‘job tab’ > ‘application settings’ that could be relevant to your job search, so it is a good idea to take a look at those and turn on relevant settings to optimize your experience.

We hope some of these tips help improve your LinkedIn profile!

The Right Team. Right Now.

Photo by inlytics | LinkedIn Analytics Tool on Unsplash

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Other Sources: LinkedIn Talent Blog, Flywheel, Self Made Millennial – YouTube, thingscareerrelated

Blog #5 Pic

Client FAQs

Are you considering engaging a recruiting agency but unsure how to go about the process during this pandemic? You’re not alone! This blog post will answer some of the most commonly asked questions and ease your mind. Kevin Vesci, one of our Managing Principals, addresses some frequently asked questions from our clients here:

Q: Are candidates open to interviewing and potentially starting remotely? 

A: Absolutely, we have found that the market has never been hotter. The pandemic has allowed candidates to really evaluate their current situations and realize that it is a great time to seek a better opportunity. The fact that candidates are working from home and interviews can be done virtually has really streamlined the interview process.

Q: How has the market changed for candidates? 

A: The common denominator is culture – the companies that recognize that the work environment has shifted and that have embraced the work from home model are the ones that attract the top talent. If you are unwilling to change how you are doing things you are going to miss out on top talent.

Q: I need to hire, but how can I do that during this time? 

A: We get this a lot! We consult our clients on making sure they have an infrastructure setup for on-boarding. This includes ensuring all technology is in place, a solid remote new hire orientation, weekly Zoom meetings, pairing them with current employees to learn the culture, and being a mentor, to name a few.

Stay tuned for future blog posts containing more FAQs from clients and candidates.

For more information and any additional questions:

The Right Team. Right Now.

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