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From LinkedIn Profile to Position: How to Secure Your Next Role
From getting noticed to getting hired: how to succeed in the recruitment process.
Landing the right job can be a difficult process. Even before the pandemic, it wasn’t unusual for people to spend six months to a year searching for the right role. From building your resumé to writing cover letters, networking to interviewing, sometimes it seems like finding a position is a full-time job itself, and the process gets even more difficult with social distancing and quarantine.
With strategic thinking and careful use of your resources, you can vastly improve your chances of getting the job of your dreams. We’ve gathered insights and suggestions from some leading industry experts on what works, from using your network to open doors, to tackling both virtual interviews and those all-important salary negotiations.
Raise Your Profile
Whether you’re actively job hunting or not, your LinkedIn profile is critical. It helps you get recognized and opens the door to new opportunities. It gives you credibility, showcases your personal brand, and tells your story.1 It is your online platform for career progression.
Your profile, however, is not your resumé. According to Danielle Bishop, Vice President, Executive Recruiting at JPMorgan Chase., it should be intriguing — enough to make a recruiter want to reach out and give you the opportunity to tell your story. Bishop advises giving a high-level view of your roles to show your progression, with one or two bullet points for each highlighting your major achievements. This can help you craft a narrative, showing how each step in your career helped to build your skills and abilities, and prepared you for the next step: The job you’re applying for now.
Sylvia Piceno, CA Division Recruiting Manager, JPMorgan Chase, offers a second approach, which is to focus on your most recent achievements as well as your skills and the impact they’ve had in your current role. This route showcases your latest capabilities and why you are well-suited for similar roles you are targeting.
Think about which approach better suits you. Are you focusing on growing and evolving over time, or on your ability to hit the ground running? Do you hope to show you have the direct skills that a prospective employer needs, or that you’re prepared to develop new skills and evolve with a job over the long haul? You need to strategically align your profile for the approach you are taking and the type of role you’re looking for next.
Stand Out From the Crowd
Executive recruiters like Piceno and Bishop often assess hundreds—even thousands—of applications for one role. So how do you stand out from the competition and get the opportunity for a live conversation with a recruiter?
The key is personalizing your profile. In addition to your accomplishments, Piceno says she wants to know “what makes you tick”—your hobbies and interests, your passions and your purpose. Tell recruiters about your life: Describe your involvement at your kids’ school, the charitable work you take on in your spare time or the ways you help in your community. These experiences can demonstrate leadership and influencing skills separately from your full-time job.
Use Your Network
Be bold: Network your way into the company by having at least one direct conversation with someone who can recommend and connect you.
Your LinkedIn profile is your window to the world, a calling card that showcases your skills and background to any potential employers and recruiters. But it’s hard to beat the personal touch—and that’s where your network comes in. Your contacts, LinkedIn connections and alumni groups can all help you get closer to the positions and companies that interest you.
Use these connections when you’re researching a role, but be “super-targeted,” Bishop says. Reach out to the most relevant contact for support. This doesn’t need to be an exec at the company you’re hoping to work for, but someone familiar with it, such as an employee or even a loyal customer you’re already connected to. If they’ve built up a strong relationship with the company, they may be able to give you some useful information or connect you to a potential contact.
Nail the Interview
So, you’ve built your profile, tapped into your network and applied for the job. The next challenge is the interview — a process that can be even more difficult in the age of virtual meetings and social distancing. How can you make sure you’re coming across as authentic, enthusiastic and of course professional?
First, make sure you’re familiar with the tool you’ll be using to conduct the interview. You may want to test out the platform if it’s new to you and log on early. You should also ensure that you and your space are free from distractions. This means closing all online tabs, switching off notifications and briefing everyone in your household so they understand that you can’t be disturbed.
While you should research company culture and dress code, it’s always best to be too formal rather than too casual when it comes to interviews — even virtual ones. Remember that, to give the impression of eye contact, you need to look into the camera, not at the face of the person on the screen. However, just as in a real conversation, you don’t want to maintain eye contact at all times. It’s natural for eye contact to break, particularly when you’re animated or considering a response.
No matter how much you prepare, chances are you’ll be thrown a curve ball question you weren’t expecting. One way to prepare for this possibility: Practice structuring your answers using the S.T.A.R. technique: Situation, Task, Action, Result. Using this method, you’ll explain the challenge you faced, what needed to be done, what specific action you took and the outcome that it drove.
This is particularly important for more senior positions, explains Carol Stewart, Executive and Career Coach, and the author of “Quietly Visible”. “Make sure your responses are pitched at the right level for the role you are being interviewed for so you demonstrate you can perform at that level,” she says.
Take the time to develop some thoughtful questions, too. This is your chance to assess whether the role — and your potential employer — is the right fit for you, and to show the hiring manager that you’ve done your homework. Do some research ahead of time on the company culture, leadership style and importantly, opportunities for progression, and tactfully ask the interviewer about these things. Consider asking questions like, “What are the common traits of someone who’s successful in this company?” and “How would someone with my skillset advance over time?”
Transfer Your Strengths
Lacking a specific skill or qualification listed in the job description? You may not tick every box but don’t let it hold you back if it’s the job you really want. But don’t ignore the apparent mismatch, either—instead, align your transferable skills with those the role requires and show how they bridge the gaps in your resumé. You can illustrate this with real-life examples: How your skill gap helped you overcome challenges, and how your actions drove results. Have these in your back pocket for the interview.
Piceno emphasizes that your ability to sell yourself as the best candidate for the role—however unorthodox your backstory—is more important than meeting all qualifications. Recruiters look for “athlete talent”—that combination of factors that contribute to successful all-around performance and show your holistic personal brand.
Even after you get through the interview and hiring process, your work may not be over. Once you receive an offer, does the package match your expectations? What if the new job requires a move? Are there other issues that make you hesitant to say yes? Only 7% of women negotiate their starting salary, compared to 57% of men — and those who negotiate typically get a better offer 15% of the time.2 So it’s important to prepare to negotiate before you accept the job. The question is: What should you do?
One way to start: Go in knowing your worth. Familiarize yourself with industry salary trends and use these to build a strong and factual argument of how your specific skills and experience will benefit the company. Never stretch the truth, leave emotion aside and be prepared for some flexibility. Remember to think in terms of the full package, not just salary. And with that in mind, consider negotiating around perks and benefits—but be sure to get these in writing before you close out the deal.
“We’re leaving so much money on the table!” says Kathy Caprino, Women’s Career and Executive Coach and author of “The Most Powerful You.” “Make your case, why you deserve it and how you’re going to change the organization for the better.”
Find out how JPMorgan Chase actively empowers women to excel in their careers through resources and global initiatives such as Women on the Move.