Wednesday, March 28, 2012

How Can I Use LinkedIn to Job Search?

By Larry French

By now you have yourself a LinkedIn account and you’ve established your Profile. Don’t forget, work on your Profile will take time and you’ll want to make changes in it from time to time. Remember, its okay because your Profile is a living refection of you so as you learn the features of LinkedIn you should make gradual changes to your Profile. You’ll also want to make sure that you include Keywords.

Use Keywords

Image provided by LI Learning Center

Before you begin using the Jobs feature in LinkedIn you need to include Keywords in your Profile. By now most of us are aware of the method used by recruiters and employers to scan resumes for specific job skills and abilities in prospects. Similar searches are done on the www. If you want yourself to get noticed in these searches you need to incorporate Keywords in your Profile.

For an idea of how Keywords work, try using with descriptions of jobs you’re looking for and see the prominent words that show up. Do the same thing using the wording of your own Elevator Speech or the descriptions you have of yourself in your Resumes and LinkedIn Profile. Using Skills and Keywords from the job you’re looking for in your Profile make you more visible. Now you’re ready to explore the Jobs feature.

Jobs Search Feature

Image provided by LI Learning Center

On the main page of your Profile you’ll find a series of tab selections at the top tool bar. By placing your cursor over the Jobs tab a scroll down menu will appear. For a job seeker, the first item, Find Jobs on the menu is the one you want. Job Seeker Premium is fee-based assistance for your job search. The Job Seeker tab will provide you a short video of Job Seeker Premium, . If you choose not to use Job Seeker Premium, Find Jobs will pull up a Search for Jobs screen.

This is where you type in a Job Title, Keyword, or Company Name. You can also use the Advanced option under the Search button to add filters to your search. In the Advanced Search, included with your Keywords you also have defining factors, such as Location, Country, Postal Code, a mileage range, job Functions, Experience levels, Industries, Date Posted, and a Sort by Relevance, Relationship, Date Posted (most recent), and Date Posted (earliest) all to help you narrow your job search.

Plan Your Work

Image provided by LI Learning Center

Again, LinkedIn’s Learning Center under the More tab at the top of the page offers you helps with this and other LinkedIn features. Under Resources, click New on LinkedIn!, . This Blog of LinkedIn has articles written to give you more steps and information in what you’re seeking to do on LinkedIn. For example, type ‘Job Search’ or another facet of LinkedIn you want more knowledge on into the Archives field at the top of this page and you may find the same article I did entitled, LinkedIn Tips for Over-50 Job Seekers from a Lindsey Pollack, March 16, 2012.

LinkedIn has a lot of tools available for the job seeker. Using LinkedIn you have options and possibilities you may not imaged. Use these tools and work them into your job search strategy. The features of LinkedIn can help you leverage your profile to make you stand out. Don’t forget to also check out the other articles of the CBE One-Stop Job Seeker Blog. All of these articles and the resources available at the One-Stop Employment Division website, can also be helpful tools to you in your job search strategy.

Larry French is a novelist, speaker, editorial writer, and content provider of Science, Social Studies, Language Arts, and Mathematics curriculum. He is now seeking a publisher for his first novel, Time Will Tell, The Awakening which blends his love of history and science and is set during the American Civil War.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Spring Cleaning Your Social Media Accounts

Posted by: Darlene Duncan CWDP, JSS, CCC, JCTC, JCDC
Training Coordinator

What does your Facebook page look like? How old, or better still, how professional is the photo you have on your Facebook page? How about your LinkedIn account? Exactly how much information on your various social media sites is available to the general public? Is it information you want a perspective employer to see or would you prefer they not see your vacation pictures of you in a bikini?

Click here to read an article on this topic.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Are you hurting your career?

By: Lori McMullin, APR, Director of Business Operations & Communications

Center for Business Excellence

It’s that time of year when high schools and colleges matriculate our newest members of the workforce – an exciting and scary time for most.

For those of us who can now look into the “rear-view mirror” a bit, we often come to the realization of some bad moves we’ve made in the past.

For example, early in my career, I was working as a special events coordinator for a mid-size nonprofit organization and had an opportunity to interview for a communications manager position with a much larger agency.

The interview seemed to be going well – until I was asked when I would be available to start. Thinking I was showing enthusiasm, I replied, “Technically, I’m supposed to give my employer a month’s notice, but I can start earlier if you need me.”

The executive director quickly and curtly informed me that loyalty and honoring commitments was important to him and it should be for me as well. Needless to say, I did not get the job and lesson learned!

I found a link providing some sage advice to avoid damaging your career. This advice is good for anyone in the workforce. Read on:

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

How Can a LinkedIn Profile Help My Job Search Strategy?
By Larry French

It’s all about networking. Last week you were introduced to LinkedIn the professional www application being used by millions of people and businesses to network. To use LinkedIn as a tool in your job search strategy you need to get started by building yourself a Profile.

Image provided by LinkedIn Learning Center Resources, Site Features, Profiles
Your Profile on LinkedIn is the platform from which the world will become aware of who you are and what you do. The Profile you create will be your advertisement and self-marketing tool. This is where you will want to have everything that you normally can not fit onto a one page resume about how great you are. In my own personal experience, I found the LinkedIn Profile to be very useful because I have a widely varied work background. Using the parts of my Profile, I’m able to make known all of those ‘other’ things that I wanted potential employers to know about my capabilities and talents. A LinkedIn Profile will add a reach to your job search strategy that you never had before. With so many more people and businesses today using online media venues to interact with other professionals and search for employees, your Profile will get you back into the game. How you get noticed depends upon what you put into your Profile and then use it.

You Have Options
If you’re rusty or hesitant about presenting yourself to the whole wide world you’re going to find that LinkedIn is a gentle guide. Once you establish your log-in to LinkedIn and begin the process to build your Profile, user-friendly tutorials are available to prompt you along. What’s nice about these prompts is they allow you options to ‘skip’ something if you’re not comfortable or ready to do a particular part of your Profile. This feature allows you control and the time to explore and make yourself more knowledgeable of the features LinkedIn provides. Take time to do that because it will help you become more at ease. It took me a couple of weeks before I really got into building my own Profile and I’m still working on it.

That’s another nice thing about a LinkedIn Profile; you can edit and revise it when ever you want. This is also necessary as you learn more about how to use the tools of LinkedIn while building your Profile. Like life, your Profile is something that should reflect you’re alive and active. You can learn about this once you’re registered with LinkedIn and go to the LinkedIn Learning Center, . Once there, study the listings under Resources. Of particular interest to you are the Training Resources under the Overview section and Profiles under the Site Features section. These are two of several tutorials LinkedIn provides.

Use the Tutorials
Use the tutorials to make yourself more aware. LinkedIn offers users an array of informative self-study tutorials in the Resources part of its Learning Center to help you as you build your Profile. If you’re using LinkedIn or building yourself a Profile, you should check the Training Resources portion of the Learning Center, There you can find a free webinar that will talk more about setting up your Profile, LinkedIn 101: The basics of LinkedIn. This should also help you get started.

Image provided by LinkedIn Learning Center Resources, Site Features, Homepage
Once LinkedIn, you’ll have your own homepage which will be your professional dashboard. You can then go to the Groups tab on the tool bar and use the search mode to look up the ProNet Groups. The ProNet Central Florida and its subgroup, ProNet Central Florida Job Vacancies are two discussion groups you’ll want to join. Follow the LinkedIn prompts to request acceptance into these Groups. Once included you’ll have access to more shared LinkedIn information and postings about area jobs.

Larry French is a novelist, speaker, editorial writer, and content provider of Science, Social Studies, Language Arts, and Mathematics curriculum. He is now seeking a publisher for his first novel, Time Will Tell, The Awakening which blends his love of history and science and is set during the American Civil War.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Add This Secret Weapon to Your Résumé

Posted by: Darlene Duncan CWDP, JSS, CCC, JCTC, JCDC
Training Coordinator

I always love it when I’m talking to a customer and I learn that some information or advice we gave them in a workshop has proved beneficial to them in their job search.

In conversation with a customer at the end of a workshop today a woman told me she did something to her résumé that we told her to do. Afterward her résumé got her interviews and from those interviews she got three job offers. She told me that during her interviews with each of the three employers who offered her a position, they asked her about this information on her résumé.

So what was the secret weapon that got her three job offers?

She listed her volunteer work on her résumé. I know some of you are out there groaning and saying, “But I don’t have any volunteer work to add to my résumé.”

There is a way to fix that problem. Volunteer. There have been previous posts on this blog in reference to volunteering; however, I’m going to briefly list the benefits to you the job seeker.

One, it gets you out of the house where you can meet people. You never know who you’ll meet in a volunteer situation. Approximately 80% of the available jobs are found by word of mouth (otherwise known as networking).

Two, it helps you get practical experience and / or keep your skills sharp. Maybe you just recently got your degree in your field but you don’t have any work experience to go with it. Volunteering could help you get that real world experience.

Three, it shows potential employers that you’re not just sitting home watching television. You’re out trying to make something happen.

Four, if that organization you’re volunteering for has an opening for a paid position, you’ll be one of the first to know about it.

So yes, volunteer as part of your job search and when you do list it as experience on your résumé.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Free Microsoft Office online tutorials

By: Lori McMullin, APR, Director of Business Operations & Communications

Center for Business Excellence

Many of us are proficient in a couple of Microsoft applications, and not so much in others. Whether you are looking for a job or running your own business (and everything in between), you have access to free Microsoft Office online tutorials via Employ Florida Marketplace (EFM).

What is EFM, you ask? Found at, this online resource offers job seekers access to thousands of employment listings and businesses access to thousands of job seekers looking for entry-level to executive positions.

EFM is the state’s most comprehensive database of job openings, pulling job listings from, and, the website for Florida government job openings as well as from jobs posted directly by registered employers, and jobs listed on the Web sites of Florida businesses, among other sources.

This Web site also offers many other services including labor market information and the aforementioned online training.

To access the online training follow the link below and click on Resources, then Education and Training Services, then Online Learning Resources and, finally, Microsoft Office Online.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

LinkedIn: How Can It Help My Job Search Strategy?

Image provided by LI
It has been said that we learn best from those things which we experience. That should definitely ring true for those of us who are searching in today’s job market. A lot has changed. For example, when was the last time you can remember seeing a large ‘Employment’ section in your newspaper? A great deal of job postings today are not being advertised in print. They are appearing electronically via the www and social media. This major change necessitates we all adapt our job search strategies to include the use of electronic venues.

Become LinkedIn
If you are going to utilize online media in your job search strategy, I would highly recommend considering the use of LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a professional network that provides you opportunities to make connections with other people. You can exchange knowledge and ideas while establishing a network to assist you in your job search. As of February 9, 2012, LinkedIn has become the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 150 million members in over 200 countries and territories.

Like some of you, I was leery of using the ‘new’ social media. I’d heard disconcerting things about how employers were using Facebook to vet applicants. But I found out that LinkedIn is different, because it operates on a more professional level. LinkedIn is not a social meeting place, but instead is a business oriented hub for business networking. Businesses, employers and recruiters are more likely to be interacting with other professionals on LinkedIn making it a more credible tool for a job seeker trying to market him/herself.

LinkedIn is a Tool
I became introduced to LinkedIn almost a year ago at a point when I was becoming frustrated in my own job search. LinkedIn offered me new hope. Because of its viral nature, LinkedIn can be used as a tool to make you stand out in the crowd of other job seekers. This can be very important especially when the majority of activity related to jobs is happening online.

It’s also vital to understand that LinkedIn is not a magic ‘Silver Bullet’ but a resource that can help in your job search strategy. At some point in your search, you will need to bridge from online applications and make personal contact. Using the many features found available on LinkedIn, you can be found, noticed, and possibly accelerate your own hiring. It has been helping me and I’ve been sharing what I’ve learned. I’ve presented an introductory talk on how to use LinkedIn at PRO-NET meetings and now this blog is providing the opportunity to share more. So in the coming weeks, I will sharing how you can set-up a Profile on LinkedIn, and then utilize LinkedIn features to help you Search for Jobs, make networking Contacts, and use Groups to aid you in your job search strategy.

I don’t want you to simply take my word for it because I’m not an expert. Rather, check out LinkedIn yourself. Watch this short video for an overview of what LinkedIn is and how it can help you,  
If you find this series helpful or want to engage in discussion, log into the CBE Blog, or if you’re already on LinkedIn join the ProNet Central Florida Group.

Larry French is a novelist, speaker, editorial writer, and content provider of Science, Social Studies, Language Arts, and Mathematics curriculum. He is now seeking a publisher for his first novel, Time Will Tell, The Awakening which blends his love of history and science and is set during the American Civil War.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Posted by: Darlene Duncan CWDP, JSS, CCC, JCTC, JCDC
Training Coordinator

A definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

Now apply that definition to your job search. Have you been using standard job seeker methods and having no success? If so, maybe it’s time to try something different.

I recently read an article on guerilla job hunting tactics. Not all of the ideas presented will work with every employer. Do your research on the company to which you’re going to apply. Determine if they’re the type of organization that will appreciate a less than traditional approach.

To read the article click here.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Tricky interview questions

By: Lori McMullin, APR, Director of Business Operations & Communications

Center for Business Excellence

A few weeks ago, my husband and I stumbled on an independent film entitled, “Courageous.” The plot of the movie centered around four men who formally and publicly resolve to become the best fathers they can be.

One of the characters, Javier, is an immigrant struggling to support his family. He gets a lucky break and lands a job at a plant on the front line.

An opportunity pops up for a supervisory position. Javier is interviewed and is asked how he would feel about writing down less inventory than received. He is given until the next morning to respond.

Javier struggles with this quandary. It goes against his character, but how can he pass up the opportunity to provide a better life for his family?

It turns out that, although questionable, the manager only asked Javier how he felt as a test. Javier told him he wouldn’t do it and his response landed him the supervisor job.

Here’s a link to an article about other interview questions designed to trick the prospective employee:

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Finding Employment: The Re-Inventing of You

Everything has a beginning and this blog post is no different. For starters, you should know that I’m a job seeker too. I was once quite comfortable in a profession I had worked in for over 20-years. I thought I would retire from that job; after all I had survived four corporate purchases of the company and three rounds of lay-offs. However, in December of 2008, I and over 800 of my coworkers were laid-off in a restructuring.

I Hadn’t a Clue
Image by
I wasn’t concerned at first. My employer provided an outsourcing program that gave me a few months of classes to aid me in my new job search. My new plan was to smoothly transition into another job which was referred to in the class as a landing. Well, I’m here to tell you the flight’s still up in the air. My employment search has been akin to one of those early silent films where a rickety looking bi-plane is kind of swooping and weaving in the air. You’re not sure if the plane is going to crash or land and you’re also glad there’s no audio because if there was, some of the screams being uttered along the way wouldn’t have been pretty. I was frustrated and I really didn’t know what I needed to do.

My expected smooth transition stretched into over eight months of unemployment. I found during that time a lot had changed in the job market. You’ve no doubt discovered that fact too. I had a lot to re-learn. But first, it took me realizing that I needed to change. My resume required a major facelift. I had to re-invent myself. I couldn’t simply send off resumes like I used to. For one thing there weren’t many jobs being advertised to apply for. The entire job search process had changed and it was up to me to get out of the ‘box’ I was mentally in, go beyond what I knew and do things differently.

Photo by Mr. T in DC.
Get Out of Your Box
I was introduced to PRO-NET and the CBE over a year ago. That’s when I finally determined I was going to climb out of my box. The realization came to me one morning as I watched a crazy bird pecking repeatedly at its’ own reflection on an aluminum potting bench in my backyard. The more I watched that bird the more I began to equate his behavior with the methods I’d been using in my job search. That bird kept doing the same thing over and over again. If it had only jumped around to the other side of the metal there would have been no reflection. Yet, it kept on doing the same thing over and over again. Watching that bird made me think about what I’d been doing. It wasn’t working. I had to change my entire job search strategy.

I’m not saying you need to start bird watching, but if we want to find success in today’s job market, each of us have to update our methods.  We must become informed about today’s job market and employ new tools to work ourselves back into employment. For some of us, I included, it may not be easy. We have to work at it. Your search may take you on a journey of rediscovering yourself. Maybe you’ll finally find that dream job you always wanted; but you’ll never find it if you don’t first get out of the box and re-invent yourself.

Photo by Tswgb
Take Some First Steps
Since I started utilizing the resources the CBE and PRO-NET, my search methods have had better success. My job search is ongoing, but I have a plan now and I’m working that plan. From time to time, I’ve landed some temporary contract work and my airplane’s no longer flying wildly out of control. My search for a permanent job search is still evolving and yours may do the same. Hopefully, in the process we all will share with one another what’s we have learned and what works and doesn’t work. In the meantime, go to the CBE One-Stop Employment Division website at and check out the resources, such as the Job Seekers and Customized Services tabs. Schedule an appointment to meet with one of the staff to discuss your job search strategy and begin re-inventing yourself.

Larry French is a novelist, speaker, editorial writer, and content provider of Science, Social Studies, Language Arts, and Mathematics curriculum. He is now seeking a publisher for his first novel, Time Will Tell, The Awakening which blends his love of history and science and is set during the American Civil War.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Posted by: Darlene Duncan CWDP, JSS, CCC, JCTC, JCDC
Training Coordinator

As we move deeper and deeper into the age of the Internet many of the companies whose business is closely tied to the Internet, technology, and social media are no longer accepting résumés.

I can just imagine the smiles on your faces now at the thought of not having to create a résumé. However, depending on how tech savvy you are, that smile may disappear. You have to know that they’re going to use something to replace résumés.

So what could they want in place of a résumé? They want applicants to show them a ‘web presence’ to apply for positions. That web presence could include a profile including things like a personal blog, LinkedIn profile, Twitter feed, and links to other various social media sites.

For more details on this topic, click here to read the Wall Street Journal article.