Want to learn more about me? Of course you do :p
This is an hour interview I did with Winnie Anderson talking about my entrepreneurial journey. Click the image below to go to Winnie’s page and listen. Enjoy!
Want to learn more about me? Of course you do :p
This is an hour interview I did with Winnie Anderson talking about my entrepreneurial journey. Click the image below to go to Winnie’s page and listen. Enjoy!
Article made possible by JibberJobber supporters
Were you previously injured on the job? If so, it’s highly unlikely that you will ever physically be able to go back to work and hold the same exact position. So now that you are healed, you’re thinking about your options for a new job—a possible career change. Switching to something new and unknown can be scary and exciting at the same time. Here are just a few tips for finding the right job that meets your personal and financial needs.
Schedule A One-On-One With Your Attorney
Was part of your injury the result of an accident or injury on the job? If so, you likely had to file a worker’s compensation claim in order to receive further compensation. This process should be handled by a qualified local attorney. For instance, those hurt on the job in the New York area need an experienced workers compensation lawyer in NY rather than one located out of state. While your lawyer fought for your compensation and benefits, he can also help you with transitioning to a new job and making a successful career move. Keep in mind that you may forfeit some or all of your workmen’s compensation if you go back to work and become employed full time. There are certain laws and restrictions in New York and other states so you’ll need to be fully aware of these limitations before you embark on your new career. Keep your financial livelihood safe, while still thriving and moving forward with your successes.
Were you once in the construction industry? Or maybe you were an HVAC specialist? If you’re unable to do any intense physical labor like you were once used to, you’ll have to educate yourself on something new and innovative. This starts with a quality education that will allow you to grow and improve mentally. Because you are on workers compensation, or if your income has been reduced due to your injury, you may qualify for free or low-cost tuition. Start by contacting a local vocational center in your area and ask them about programs for displaced workers. They may have certain programs that they will train you for and help you with finding a new job in that field. You may also qualify for a grant or tuition assistance with going back to school or college. Applying for scholarships is also beneficial in having some assistance with paying for the cost of books, transportation, and tuition.
Do Some Research
While you know you can’t go back to intense physical labor like you did with your previous job, you’re still unsure what type of job you wish to apply for. If you find yourself with no or limited office skills or sales knowledge, it can be hard to appeal to fast-paced employers who are looking for fresh experience. It’s important to do some research on what jobs are in demand in your area. Looking up market trends is a simple task that you can do by obtaining your local city paper and going through the classified section. What types of jobs are in the most demand? If it’s in the medical field, maybe you’ll want to consider going to school for something that is medical-related. Researching first will give the best idea for what type of career path you’ll want to lean towards.
Market Your Skills
When was the last time you had to apply for a job? Or write a resume and cover letter for a new job position? If it’s been longer than you can remember, you may want to polish up your resume building skills—a lot. If you’re unfamiliar with what goes into writing and creating a resume that will attract your name and credentials to future employers, leave it to pros. Hire a professional writer to create a resume and cover letter package that is up-to-date and appealing to someone looking to hire an experienced, well put together person. Still don’t know what the next step is? If you’re having trouble finding a new job via online search or through the paper, visit an employment agency. This is a great place to start because the agency will gather all of your information, offer test placement and highlight your specific skill set. From there, the agency will market your resume and help match you up with eager employers looking for qualified candidates.
Transitioning back into the job force can be daunting. Simplify the process by educating and marketing yourself for the right position.
Have you heard that you are CEO of Me, Inc.?
I’ve seen career pros talk about you also being Chief Marketing Officer…. which means you (not someone else) needs to be in charge of your branding, messaging, etc.
Well, let’s take this fun concept out to other CxO positions, and talk about what that means in your job search!
CEO (Chief Executive Officer): You are IN CHARGE. The buck stops with you. You are responsible for your career vision, strategy, and the results. You are in charge of understanding the landscape, competition, opportunities, trends (future), etc. The bottom line, though, is that you are responsible for the bottom line. If your career fails, it all falls back on you and your ability/inability to compete.
CFO (Chief Financial Officer): You are in charge of the finances of your operation. How will you pay your bills? Will you borrow money, increase sales, find alternative/additional revenue streams? Should you negotiate and refinance with your vendors? Do you understand your income, expenses, cashflow, etc.? You must understand, and be able to do, each of these things.
CMO (Chief Marketing Officer): You are in charge of your branding, messaging, and marketing strategy. You need to be intimately familiar with marketing concepts and models, and understand how you should position yourself. Do you understand your product (aka, you)? Do you know how your product compares with others, and how fit it is to compete today, and in the future? Have you been able to look over the horizon and develop a strategy so you are relevant in the future?
CSO (Chief Sales Officer): You are in charge of results. Vision and strategy from the CMO are great, but then you have to execute and get your numbers. What are your financial goals? Or, how much do you need to earn each month/year? Once you have your number, work towards it. Get on the phone, talk with people (yes, really!), and work with an intense focus to get what you need. Heck, if you get excited, exceed your quota
CHRO (Chief Human Resources Officer): Yes, you are in charge, but you don’t have to go it alone! As CHRO you need to understand who should be on your team and what roles you should hire for. You might be able to do a lot of this, but let’s not kid ourselves: this is hard work. And, you need to focus on what you are good at, and consider outsourcing the rest. That might mean you hire a coach or resume writer, it might mean you work yourself into a job search team (a brilliant concept), or you enlist family and friends to help you get the word out and find people to have informational interviews. I know the job search feels very, very lonely, but make sure you don’t neglect your role of CHRO to get help.
CIO (Chief Information Officer): You are in charge of information… understanding and managing it. This is really where JibberJobber comes in, to partner with you. You will have a ton of information and data come your way… what are you going to do about it? How are you going to process it, make sense of it, understand it, leverage it, and capitalize on it? The information will be centered around reactions you get from people (is your marketing working?), the jobs you apply to, the target companies you are networking into, the networking you are doing, the conversations you have, and simply keeping track of which version of what resume you sent to who, and when do you need to follow-up with them. As CIO you need to crack that nut. It’s a lot easier to do with JibberJobber, trust me!
CTO (Chief Technology Officer):You are in charge of what technology you use. Smart phone, email system, tracking system (JibberJobber!), storage system, internet connection, auto-responders, computer/laptop, blog platform, password managers, etc. If you don’t know where to start on this, tap into your CHRO and find the right trusted people who can point you in the right direction. Nothing wrong with asking others, even other job seekers, what technology they are using. Some will be too much, some will be overwhelming, but your job as CTO is to figure out what you really need with the right tools.
COO (Chief Operating Officer): You are in charge of getting things done. You take the strategies and visions and ensure they gets implemented and executed. This might mean you ensure that you are networking with X # of people every day or week, or you do Y # of informational interviews each week. You understand and support the vision and create a plan that is workable, with bite-size metrics that are achievable. And you make sure that daily goals (which you have created) are met (or adjusted).
The above list, and responsibilities, looks an awful lot like what a solopreneur would do, also. Note that these roles should be filled for the rest of your career, not just during your job search. This is what we call career management!
Don’t be that person who is always looking through sticky notes or emails looking for the right information… don’t be the person the recruiter calls and you have a deer-in-the-headlights reaction.
Be organized, spend more time where you should, and hopefully shorten your job search… with JibberJobber!
In our continuing quest to improve JibberJobber we decided to tackle something that might not seem like a big deal, but it was having a negative impact on our first impression and our brand.
I think we lost potential users because of this.
Let you think this isn’t a big deal, and we shouldn’t spend time on it, think about the idea of losing an interview opportunity just because your resume has a typeo… how stupid is that?
Stupid, yes, but it’s real. Someone sees a mistake on your resume and they think: sloppy, no attention to detail, if they don’t care about their resume, what will they care about??
So, we cleaned up some things… on the homepage you have widgets so when you first login you can do or see what you want. We changed all the icons on the widgets from this:
The icons and colors are more in-line with the rest of the site… at least they aren’t distracting or confusing.
What’s more, we changed the “tooltips,” which is the little bit of text you can read when you mouse over the icons. For example, the “x” on the far right of every widget used to say “delete.” Well, that was kind of true, it would, um… well… no, that wasn’t true. You wouldn’t delete anything. So we changed the tooltip to “Hide this widget from the homepage”. That is way, way more text, which seems to be a no-no online. But, it is accurate and descriptive.
Every icon and tooltip got a makeover… all in the effort to help YOU understand what each one does.
Minor stuff, but just like one typo on a resume, this should help us keep users happy.
There’s more, big and small, to come!
Over the years I’ve chatted with a bunch of job seekers. I’ve talked to executives who have gotten laid off with a nice severance package that gives them income for three, six, sometimes twelve months.
How nice would that be?
Here’s the message I hear from them (and some others, who have a healthy savings account): I will start my job search right before my severance runs out.
They choose to delay their job search while they have income because, why not?
I know that you are burned out from working what seems like around-the-clock, seven days a week.
I know that you welcome a break from working in a fast-paced environment with lots of pressure.
I realize you are ready to reconnect with your family, who you haven’t had time to connect with for many years.
I know what it’s like to feel like you can finally relax, even go on a real vacation where you aren’t bothered with emails and calls.
I get it.
And sure, if you want to take months off, especially because you’ve earned it, or you deserve it, then do it.
But what does this really look like? Will you do anything for your career while you are taking time off and postponing your job search?
Fine, don’t apply to jobs online. But please, please do the things I list below. Not because Jason Alba told you so, but because I’ve seen too many people regret their choice to postpone their job search, and then go through difficult months of no income.
Sign up for job alerts. In my experience LinkedIn alerts are the best, and most applicable, to higher-level professionals. Even if you don’t apply to any of them, just watching what positions come through, and what companies are hiring, will be helpful as you get your mind ready for a job search.
Have lunches or breakfasts with people. This is networking… connecting with individuals one-on-one. Not as a job seeker, but as two professionals, two colleagues. This is your chance to learn more about their company, their industry, their career, etc. It’s a chance for them to learn more about you. These breakfasts should be low-stress but high return. What’s the return? Strengthening professional relationships. In a few months, when you are ready to really start your job search, you’ll likely get value out of having stronger professional relationships. I would try to do this at least once a week.
Sharpen your saw. Remember when you finished school and you could finally read the books you wanted to? This is a repeat of that. Pull out those books that you’ve heard about and have always wanted to catch up on, but never had the time. There are plenty to choose from, classics like 7 Habits and Good to Great and Win Friends and Influence People, newish books like 4-Hour Workweek and eMyth (I know, they aren’t so new), or any books you’ve heard people you’ve worked with talk about. Do light reading, heavy reading, industry reading… use this as a time to improve yourself.
Sharpen your saw, Part II. Why not spend a month watching my soft skill and professional development courses on Pluralsight? Becoming a Better Listener, how to mentor (both as a mentor and a mentee), management skills, leadership skills, communication skills, etc. Whether you learn from my courses or other courses, take time to improve YOU.
Work on your personal marketing. Learn about and work on your brand, your branding statement(s), your resume(s), your LinkedIn Profile, your website, your business cards, etc. You’ll probably want to work with a professional on these things… it’s really hard to do this about and by yourself, and at your level you have too much to lose if you delay landing a job past the point you had planned. Why don’t you take time now, when you aren’t in a rush, to have all of this prepared?
Perhaps there are other things you should do… my message is to do what you have planned: relax, reconnect, etc. But also don’t neglect YOU and your career during this period.
When you finally do jump into the job search you might just be shocked at how hard it is, and how long it takes.
My cousin found herself in a job search recently and I went on the hunt for this blog post, but I couldn’t find it. Maybe it’s hiding somewhere on my blog. Or, maybe I didn’t write it here. But I did write it on LinkedIn… whew!
I know this is long, but it’s one of the most important things I’ve learned in my job search (and since starting JibberJobber). So please read through this whole thing, internalize it, use it, and share it with others. This is so important that I’ve mentioned it in almost every presentation I’ve done, and I really think it can make a huge difference in YOUR job search.
The original post is on LinkedIn: The Best Answer for the Worst Question in Your Job Search
A week ago I wrote The Question That Makes Job Seekers Sound Stupid and the comments were polarizing. Either you thought the article was right on, or you thought I was a horrible person for using “stupid” and “job seeker” in the same title. Nonetheless, the article got more views than any other article I’ve written, and I’m convinced it was because I did that. Only one or two people asked me to go deeper, which is what I hoped would come out in the comments (instead of the disapproval of the word stupid).
In this article I go deeper. I will share something I’ve shared across the United States as I’ve traveled from one job club to another. I am normally invited to speak because I wrote the book on LinkedIn way back in 2007 (before there were hundreds of books on LinkedIn), or because I pioneered the idea of using a CRM-like tool to organize a job search and, more importantly, manage your long-term career relationships. However, my favorite presentation doesn’t touch on either of those to topics in depth. Instead, I go into what I call Career Management 2.0: The new way of managing our career in a world without job security.
In my presentations I ask who has recently been asked “how’s your job search going?” Pretty much every hand goes up.
Then I ask “who actually likes that question?” Every hand goes down, the crowd murmurs and shakes their head, and we all console each other as we share our disgust for this classless, useless question. Of course, we’ve all asked this question to our own friends or family over the years, but this moment of group consolation is not the time to admit how utterly useless (and unkind) we had been to our friends during their own job search.
Personally, I hated this question. If you had to ask, it meant I was still in a job search. I was still a third class citizen. I was still that special project, walking down the hall at church. I was the loser who couldn’t get a job (I couldn’t hardly get an interview), and now at family-and-friend get-togethers I was “that guy.” I’m sure they were thinking something like “what is he going on now, six months? Six years? Poor guy. Probably picked the wrong major. Or, he must have issues working with people.”
“How’s your job search going?”
The question that is like pouring salt in the open wound… a wound so fresh for job seekers that they don’t need any salt to feel sometimes-immense pain.
In a job search, you hear this question week after week, and it never loses its sting. It is a constant reminder of your state of insufficiency and inability.
Unfortunately, most job seekers answer this question with the worst answer ever: It’s going okay” they say. Or maybe some version of that, including “It’s going fine,” or the more honest response: “IT SUCKS!”
We are making their worst question worse with our worst answer, and both parties walk away feeling a bit deflated.
In my presentations I share something that I think is absolute brilliance. I figure I get brilliant, exceptional inspiration about once every 18 months, and this was definitely my 18-month brilliant inspiration.
I ask my job seekers to please interpret the question “how is your job search going” into another simple question. It’s the question I think most people are really trying to ask, but they don’t know the right words. Instead of hearing “how is your job search going,” interpret their question to:
“HOW CAN I HELP YOU IN YOUR JOB SEARCH?”
Isn’t this a totally different question? You can’t misunderstand “how can I help you” to mean “you are such a loser,” the same way you might misunderstand “how’s your job search going?”
Now, before I go on, and because I got beat up over using the word “stupid” in the last article, let me just state that the feelings of being a loser, third class citizen, etc. are from my own personal experience, and are shared with from job seekers across the world. I’m not calling job seekers losers, but I’m not going to ignorantly deny that many (most?) job seekers feel like there is something wrong with them. The longer a job search goes on, they might internalize feelings of self-deprecation. Now that we have that clear (that I’m not a job search hater), let’s continue…
If you interpret the question “how’s your job search going” to “how can I help you in your job search,” would you still respond with:
“It’s going okay.”
No, absolutely not! That answer doesn’t make sense at all! If someone asks how they can help you, you don’t say “it’s going okay!” Your high school English teacher would have a fit over that!
So how do you answer this new, interpreted question? Here’s the answer I share with job seekers:
“It’s going okay…. (that is directly answering the question they asked, and now you answer the question they meant to ask) I’m looking for an introduction to someone who works at one of my target companies. Do you know anyone who works at Company A, Company B, or Company C?”
Now we have a response that (a) answers their question, (b) answers the question they are really asking, and (c) allows them to help you, because you are asking for something very specific.
We are only asking them a yes-or-no question. We are not asking for an introduction (although we’ll get to that), or for money, or for a job. We are not asking for something that is outside of their control. We are simply asking them to scan their brain to think of anyone they might know who works at Company A, B or C. Yes or no is the only response they can have to our question.
If they say yes, then you can ask for an introduction. Assuming you are not an emotional wreck, and unprepared to respond appropriately to the introduction, most people will be willing to make introductions. That is why they asked the question in the first place: to help you!
If you have an idea of what your target companies are, you can use this response all day long. You can even change target companies, but don’t ask your question with more than three. As you so this, you will help them help you. You will empower them in a way that a response like “It’s going fine” doesn’t. You will invite them to think the forward-moving path you are on to your next job. Most people want to help you. Some won’t, but just move on to the next person who is ready to help you.
Of course, you can change from Company A, B, C to job titles or industries (“Do you know anyone who is a project manager” or “Do you know anyone who works in the ABC Industry?”)
This response is really quite brilliant. Make sure that when you get an introduction, you treat it with the utmost respect, you follow-through with the introduction, and you have to follow-up with the person who gave you the introduction.
But that, my friends, is for another article.
Jason Alba created the online job search organizer JibberJobber.com. He realized a spreadsheet was not a good tool to organize a job search and knew there must be a better alternative. Job seekers, consultants and even people who are in their dream jobs use JibberJobber to organize personal and professional relationships, much like a sales professional would use a CRM to manage their prospects and customers. Ready to own your career management? Get a JibberJobber account or join our weekly webinars to learn more.
Lokesh Sharma is a smart SQL expert and JibberJobber user who currently lives and works in India. He is looking at a change and reached out to me. With his permission I’m sharing his message, and my advice for making this a better message. First, his message to me:
Then, an example of what I could send to my contacts:
Before I go into my critique, I should mention that Lokesh and I have had communications before he reached out to me. This was not a cold contact, which is really quite important. Now, let’s go into this and talk about each part:
This didn’t bother me one bit… but if I were his coach I’d recommend he put a comma after my name, and use a different greeting. I get a lot of spam from people on LinkedIn and in email, and Good day! is not a common greeting for me (or, in the U.S.). This isn’t a hard-and-fast thing, just my opinion.
I have been using jibberjobber tool and it is turning out to be very useful. Thank you spending time and money and coming up a tool that makes job tracking much easier. I might look to subscriber for the premium version in coming future.
There are a few spelling or grammar errors here but I’m not worried. I know he is from out of the U.S., and his message to me is real and meaningful. I have, over the years, had people thank me for creating JibberJobber, but no one has thanked me for spending time and money to create it. He wins bonus points big time for just mentioning that! The point here is, GET PERSONAL!! Like I said, I get so much spam that I can smell it from a mile away. His introduction to me helps me know that he really knows something about me. (Note: 100% of the crap PR pitches I get say something like “I love JibberJobber, I’ve been following it and ….” and then they pitch. They have never loved, or spent more than 8 seconds reading, my blog (which is not JibberJobber).
Hey I just wanted to say that I am exploring the IT market overseas. Can you introduce me to some of your contacts who work in this field and especially those who have made it from different countries.
I would change the first part to simply read: I am exploring…” and take out the stuff before that.
I like how he gets right to the point in the next sentence, however I would insert this before that sentence: “I’m looking for introductions to people who work in ___________” where the blank is something very specific. You see, most everyone I know works in IT, but not everyone would be great contacts for him. He should say “who work with databases,” or servers, or whatever more specific fields within IT he can. General is okay, if you can’t go specific, but in his case I’d go more specific.
Then, the final sentence would be a call to action, like he has, but shorter: “Can you introduce me to anyone like that?” I like calls to action that are very short and without room to be misunderstood.
I’ve put an introduction below for you to doctor if its helpful.
Man, has this guy been reading my mind?!?! This is so helpful. You see, I can send an email or invite someone to talk to him, but he takes all of the thinking out of it and makes it easy for me. I don’t have to use his wording, but it sure is nice for him to help me help him. And, I can easily see what his main points are so I can make sure I do it right.
Let’s critique the second part of his message, which is the suggested message I could use as I reach out to people to facilitate an introduction:
My business contact, Lokesh, is looking to chat about working in UK in the field of IT (Business Intelligence and Analytics). He is currently working as Tech Lead for Harman Connected Services, Bangalore India.
This is a great introduction. I would change it to this, just to clean up the English, but generally this is the right message:
My is looking to chat with someone about working in [location – note, I’m not in the UK] in Business Intelligence and Analytics. He is currently working in Bangalore.
I took out “in the field of IT” because the titles are better, and I changed the last line because, unless it’s a super huge company that people I’m introducing him to would know (like Microsoft, Adobe, eBay, etc.), it doesn’t matter.
Lokesh is considering expanding his work portfolio, and I thought you’d be a terrific person to talk with knowing your global experience.
I think I’d strike this entire line. It’s obvious that Lokesh is “expanding his work portfolio” (which sounds more like a gig/contractor than someone looking for a job), and the last part might not be true… the person might have great US or UK or whatever experience, but maybe not global. What they have is local expertise that Lokesh wants to tap into. Bottom line, strike that entire line. I’m after concise.
Here is his LinkedIn profile.
I’m on the fence on this one. Part of me says to not include it, the other part says it’s good. The reason I wouldn’t include it is that it just adds to being too much information… I don’t need my contact that hopefully knows and trusts me to click more… I hope that based on our relationship she’ll take the call. The other part of me says sending a LinkedIn Profile is a good thing, and they could get info to prepare. Honestly, I think I’d NOT include it in this email, but if they say yes, then I’d send it in my follow-up email. (Note: if you do include it, change period to a colon)
So what’s missing? A CALL TO ACTION. There is no call to action here. The message needs something like:
Can I send you an introduction email so he can start a conversation with you?
Would you mind getting on the phone with him in the next week or two?
The MAIN, NUMBER 1 point of this entire message to my contact is to get them on a call with Lokesh. Don’t send too much information that the call to action gets buried, and make sure that you have a simple, single action call to action.
Just a few subtle changes, but I bet these will help Lokesh get better results.
The next big thing is how well will he do on the phone? I can only hope that if he gets on the phone with someone I recommend that he does a great job, asks the right questions, etc. To do that well you need to study “informational interviewing.” I have a course on that, of course
We go from knowing everything (in our past jobs) to being totally in the dark.
We go from the popular kid to the teenager wishing someone would ask him/her out.
We go from being a contributing team player to the kid pleading “PUT ME IN, COACH!”
All the while, we don’t know why we aren’t asked on the date, or put into the game. We do what we think we should do, but we are left with rejection and no insight into why we are getting rejected.
This is especially confusing when we are ideal for the jobs we apply to, and then we hear “we went with someone else.”
Almost as frustrating is applying somewhere and hearing crickets for days and weeks. Are they even considering me? I haven’t gotten called in yet for an interview… does that mean they are slowly evaluating and still collecting resumes, or does it mean they are in round one of interviews and I didn’t make that list (but maybe none of them will work out, so I still have a chance…!).
AH, the frustration!!!
Enter a company that hears this, and has made steps towards fixing it. Reading this article is like a shot in the arm: Johnson & Johnson’s new hiring platform promises not to leave job applicants in the dark
I don’t know how well this will work, but just that they acknowledged the problem, and our pain, is awesome. THANK YOU J&J!
Some parts I love:
“Since the tracking system updates in real time, applicants can see where their application is at any given moment, plus get a feel for how long it takes to move between points.”
“Job seekers can also follow Johnson & Johnson’s new Twitter handle for the platform, @JNJShine, for information and to direct message recruiters with questions related to their job applications.”
“We never rush into hiring decisions, but what we’re able to do is be much more transparent with job seekers in terms of what they can expect,” Gehring told Ladders.”
“Shine provides job recommendations for other positions at the company to those who don’t make the cut, according to Gehring.”
“Gehring said that when they approached job seekers about how Johnson & Johnson could improve, transparency was their top concern.”
At the end of that article says Sjoerd Gehring (pictured to the right, Global VP of Talent Acquisition & Employee Experience), the person interviewed from J&J, said they modelled this not after hiring industry best practices, rather after consumer best practices that we are seeing from Amazon (tracking packages in real time) and Netflix (recommending relevant content). SUPER IDEA! Cross polination at it’s finest.
I really, really, hope this works, and catches on to other companies. At the very least the conversation is moving forward in a good way!
This question is from the client of one of our coaches… Perry Newman asked me to share it amongst the group to see what everyone thought. Perry’s client, Grant, asks:
My question for you was about LinkedIn and the “letting recruiters knows your open” feature. Does this put anything on your profile for your connections to see? I saw it said we try to keep it private, but cannot guarantee. I have seen profiles in the past where it says “open to new opportunities”… for obvious reasons at this point I don’t want that on there for my colleagues to see and because I deal with some of our biggest customers day in day out whom I have connections with this could cause concern on their side too (if they even see it).
This is a really good, and very important, question. Since I wrote a book on LinkedIn, and have done a gabillion trainings on LinkedIn (the most current is in the JibberJobber Video Library), I’m going to chime in.
Here’s the bottom line: Assume that anything you ever do, or put, on any website, including social media, and LinkedIn, is visible to anyone. Period.
Seriously, there are no guarantees of privacy. Want multiple extreme examples? There are too many private pictures that people have shared on Snapchat (that website who’s promise was to not allow anyone to share or keep pictures) online. How is it that Snapchat has implied a promise that they would keep these private things private, but they are out in the public?
There is no guarantee, ever, of privacy or security online. Ever.
Even the biggest companies with the best security teams have had problems with privacy and security. Think Equifax (oops!), and many others (click the orange slideshow button to be depressed about this whole topic).
Here’s my bottom line: do not trust that any company will or can protect your private stuff, including your private status of looking for a job. No matter what LinkedIn says (you already said they cannot guarantee it, so there’s your answer from them), you should keep your private stuff offline if you are worried that it might get out.
Let’s assume, though, that they guaranteed it. Imagine the following scenario: Your best friend sees your status as being open to a new gig, and he immediately screenshots it and emails it to his local recruiter contacts to “help” you. So much for privacy.
No site can plug the loophole that security professionals call “social engineering.”
Craig B Toedtman, Job Search Consultant, Career Adviser, Coach, Executive Search Consultant
As the LinkedIn fine print indicates, privacy can’t be guaranteed. My advice would be to refrain from turning the signal on. More importantly, make certain your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date and separates you from your competition through your work experience, recommendations, and all avenues available through LinkedIn. A good recruiter will search for all qualified candidates without regard to whether the “open for opportunities” switch is on. If you are the right person for the specific job, you will be found, and the recruiter will reach out to you. At that point, you should stress the importance of maintaining confidentiality as long as possible.
John Sattler, Certified Personnel Consultant and Certified Professional Resume Writer
SHARING YOUR CAREER INTERESTS WITH RECRUITERS:
The feature merely prompts the software to allow your profile to show up in relevant searches run only by those with LinkedIn’s Premium Talent Solution Subscription. This is an expensive subscription, running between $1200 – $12,000 annually, per person, which pretty much means only serious recruiters are involved.
NO, enabling LinkedIn’s recruiter alert does not flag your profile in any visible way.
This link gives step-by-step instructions on how to find, enable, and use the “share career interests with recruiters” prompt:
This link shows exactly what will be shared with recruiters:
MORE ON THE GUARANTEE (or not) of PRIVACY:
On the privacy issue, what LinkedIn seems to be saying is, ‘although the software is designed NOT to allow your profile to appear in searches run by a representative of your company, we can’t guarantee it.’
This link explains how LinkedIn protects your privacy with the recruiter alert enabled:
I believe this is a reasonable caveat on Linkedin’s part. The software has millions of lines of code handling millions of searches a day. I doubt anyone would guarantee there never will be a snafu.
Should this stop you from using the feature? It’s your call but my opinion is absolutely not. I know the feature can work well.
When you see “open to new opportunities,” or something similar on a profile, the profile owner did this themselves. LinkedIn used to offer a ”Job Seeker Badge,” though it has been discontinued.
MORE ON LINKEDIN JOB SEEKER HELP:
This video shows how LinkedIn “Premium Job Seeker” works: https://premium.linkedin.com/jobsearch
This link shows how to find LinkedIn Groups that will help with your job search: https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/answer/186
Sonia Cerezo, Certified Professional Career Coach
I would suggest you make sure your LinkedIn profile is spot on. Be sure you use all the space available in the summary section, and use industry keywords several times through your profile. It is also important to have recommendations and endorsements. When updating your profile be sure to turn off your notification button, once you are done then turn it back on.
The next step is to contribute, share or like something daily. This increases your opportunities to be found quicker.
The most important thing to remember, whether actively or passively looking for a job, you are in the driver’s seat don’t assume others will find you. LinkedIn as a research tool, so make the most of it. Once you have identified recruiters connect with them outside of LinkedIn either by calling or emailing them and tell them you are conducting a confidential job search.
If they only way to connect is via LinkedIn, send them an invitation to connect but don’t connect with them yet. Inform them about your discreet job search and include your email so you can connect offline, then send your resume and take it from there.
Remember recruiters are working on many positions they need to fill, so don’t feel bad about following up with them. Also, be sure to keep a list of the recruiters, with follow-up dates. Once again, this is your job search, so don’t be shy about touching base.
Wishing you the very best!
Thanks to the coaches who chimed in! To see past Ask the Coach questions and responses, click here!