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I have been hearing more and more from my career coaching clients that employers are looking for an “exact fit” when they’re interviewing potential employees. Unfortunately, this occurs when there is a surplus of strong candidates going after very few open positions.

So…how do you get noticed?

One way it to make sure your resume and LinkedIn profile are populated with the proper keywords. These would be words found on job descriptions of positions you’re applying for, and other buzzwords that are important in your position/industry. This may sound obvious, but once you really stop and think, you’ll probably find that you’re not using some of those essential words. Remember: many recruiters don’t read resumes anymore, they search for keywords!

Another way to stand out is to highlight your accomplishments both in your resume and when you’re speaking. You need to show the results of your actions, not just list off tasks that you’ve completed throughout your career. Let people know what is special about you, don’t assume that they’ll figure it out themselves!

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I recently presented with Dave Wilson of Hirsch Roberts Weintstein LLP on Social Networking in the Workplace for SBANE. Employers have a lot to consider, and we discussed some important aspects of social media for businesses.

Sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are experiencing significant growth, and employers need to think about how they want to embrace social networking in their organizations, if at all. Some companies take full advantage of the power of social networking, some restrict its use and others ban it completely. Common concerns are related to productivity and company exposure. Implementing a company policy on social media will help with any potential issues.

Social networking has a lot of advantages for an organization, as long as it is used properly (or within the guidelines of a policy). First, it is a great way to promote your brand and gain exposure. One way to do this is through a Fan page on Facebook, or by adding your company onto LinkedIn.

Another advantage is having the opportunity to engage with customers, once you’re on these sites. There are different ways to do this, but a couple of examples are quickly responding to their positive or negative feedback, and showing your appreciation for their business. Social networking offers a fast and efficient means of communication.

An organization can benefit from embracing social media, but there has to be a balance. The protection of clients, employees and the company’s reputation always have to be considered. Any policy that is put into place needs to be fair to employees and prevent unnecessary exposure to the company.

Can people find you on LinkedIn?  Similar to a website, it is important to keyword your LinkedIn profile to ensure that you appear in a search.

Under the “specialties” section, type in the words that relate to your job title and description, and any words that someone searching for your job description would type in.  For example, if you’re a coach, some words would include:  life coach, transition, coaching, training, career, facilitation, etc.

Another useful tip is to include any common misspellings of your name in this section. If someone misspells your name in the search box on LinkedIn, they most likely will not find your profile, unless these words are added.  Place misspellings in parentheses, under the keywords.

Help your profile emerge from its hiding place!

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