Tag Archives: Facebook

How Headhunters Hunt… and How To Get Yourself Found

26 Dec

This week I interviewed Susie Hall, the President of VitaminT – a very large recruiting agency that deals primarily with “creative types”. We spoke about how recruiters go about finding great candidates, what they look for, how they network, and how job seekers can get on their radar. I’ve shared the highlights of that discussion, along with several tips about things that a job hunter can utilize to create an effective personal brand and get hired faster. Note: her advice is valid for people with all kinds of backgrounds, interests and aspirations. You can see what she says by following this link to my USNews & World Report article for this week: http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/2012/12/26/how-to-be-found-and-prized-by-headhunters#comments.

Happy reading… happy hunting, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!



Tweet Your Way into the Job Interview Process

4 May

My article and related video that I produced are now featured on http://www.careerealism.com.

Learn key searches, hashtags, and concepts to make Twitter an effective element of your job hunt.  Please check it out and “like”… and comment!  Here’s the link:


Happy hunting!


3 Critical Elements for LinkedIn Connection Invites

14 Oct


LinkedIn is a great medium for building and expanding relationships.  As you expand your connections, it is important to communicate in a personal


way with people when you invite to LinkUp.  The building of effective, worthwhile networks requires personalized, thoughtful communication.

While it may make perfect sense to you why you should link up with someone, you need to help that other person come to the same conclusion rather than assuming that they will do so on their own.  No matter what your relationship is with the person you are contacting, even if you have never spoken with him, it is critically important to personalize your invitation! When you only utilize the default message, “I’d like to add you to my LinkedIn network”, you don’t motivate your new connection to assist you. 

Keep in mind that often people are known by a much larger audience than they can possibly know themselves.  For example, as one who frequently speaks before groups of all sizes, I’m known to many people.  The reality of these asymmetric encounters is that I rarely remember the individuals in attendance as well as they remember me.  When your hoped for new connection doesn’t recognize you, he/she is more likely to ignore your invite.  Worse, they might hit the “spam” button.  That is really bad for you, because if three people respond to your invites this way, your LinkedIn account privileges will likely be suspended.  Once that happens, I can guarantee you it is a royal hassle to get them back!

You don’t need to write a long letter in an invite… just a couple sentences will do wonders! Be sure to personalize each invite by including:

  1. How you know/found the person the person you are inviting.  Convey something uniquely personal
  2. Why you want to linkup with him/her
  3. Your offer of reciprocity

Invitations with these simple points help to remind the person who you are.  They can serve as a great follow up to a first meeting, or a reminder/rekindling of a dormant relationship.  Instead of a person seeing your invite and saying to himself, “I wonder what he wants now?” he can think: “How great it is that [your name here] followed up with me!”  Or, perhaps: “It’s great to hear from [your name here] after such a long time!”

Here are four samples of LinkedIn invite templates that you can tailor to your situation:

•  XXX, great to see you at the XYZ event last night!  As a follow-up to our conversation about widgets, I would love to linkup with you in order to further explore [insert areas of common interest].  This is a way in which we can both expand our professional networks.  Of course, if there is anything that I can do for you by way of introducing you to any of my contacts, do feel free to reach out to me!  Thanks in advance for accepting this invite.


•  XXX, although we’ve not met, I read the article you wrote, [insert title and where it was published].  I appreciate the insights you shared because [fill in the blank].  You indicated that you would be happy to linkup with readers, and I would like to take you up on that.  Of course, if there is any way that I can help you in return, please do reach out to me.  Thanks again for sharing your expertise on [fill in the topic]!



•  XXX, as you may recall, we did some business together/worked together when I was in the ABC position at XYZ Company last year.  I know that is has been a while since we were in contact, but I am reaching out now in hopes that through LinkedIn we can maintain our relationship, and assist each other in building our professional networks.  I always look to recommend those with whom I share a connection, and would be happy to assist you wherever possible.  Don’t hesitate to be in contact anytime! Thanks in advance for accepting my invite.



•  XXX, I was in the audience last week when you gave a fascinating presentation to the XYZ group.  Your point about [fill in the blank] was intriguing because [insert something that shows you are paying attention].  I would very much appreciate becoming a part of your network of LinkedIn connections.  I am a professional with expertise in the area of [be specific] and am currently actively networking to expand my knowledge base and gain contacts in this field as I seek a new position. Of course, along the way, I hope you will contact me if there is anything I might do to be of help for you!  Thank you again for your presentation, and for accepting this invitation.”

I have nearly 1,200 first degree contacts on LinkedIn, and was among the first 100,000 users (there are now more than 120 million of us).  I’d be happy to share my network with you if you invite me.  But if you do, please don’t use the standard “I’d like to add you to my network” language!  See my profile at: www.linkedin.com/in/fertig.

Happy linking… and happy job hunting!


6 Tweeting Ways to Find Your Next Job

27 Jun

My clients tend to be mid-career professionals, well accustomed to email and searching on Google.  Their comfort level with LinkedIn varies.  But when it comes to Twitter the trepidation dramatically rises.  “How can Twitter fit into my job hunt?” they skeptically ask.

The smart job hunter will recognize that Twitter’s functionality has become a reality not only for media celebrities, but for both main stream and start-up businesses.  Twitter is being used for corporate branding, marketing, and scouting for plugged-in “high value” talent to fill jobs.  Corporations, HR practices, and recruiters all value access to Twitter’s 75 million users.  CEO’s, HR, hiring managers, career experts and recruiters are all actively using Tweeting as a part of their messaging and staffing strategies.  It only makes sense that job seekers hunt in the same forest as their prey!

So… what can Twitter do for you?

  1.  Uncover job leads posted by recruiters, and job search tips from career experts like myself and many others.  To do this you don’t even have to tweet – just learn about hash marks (#), searches, how to create your own lists and access the lists of others.  Seek the things that are relevant to your expertise and experience.
  2. Create a powerful profile branding statement.  A strong profile gives you the answer to the standard interview question, “Tell me about yourself” in 160 characters.  Use my Twitter profile as an example:  “JobHunt Strategy Maestro, LinkedIn Guru, Careerealism.com Expert, Acclaimed Speaker, resume writer, personal branding, social media, network and interview prep.”  It’s amazing how much information you can convey about yourself in 160 characters (the maximum length on Twitter)!

Be sure to make your branding statement consistent on Twitter, LinkedIn, your blog, your resume, and your business card.  It becomes the essence of your “elevator speech”.

  1. Position yourself as a valued candidate.  Take part in ongoing discussions.  Share your subject-matter expertise.  Intelligently answer questions that others raise.  Share resources that you have found, ask questions that demonstrate you know what you are talking about. Point people to your website, blog, LinkedIn profile and all the rest of your professional online content.
  2. Follow Power:  Remember that you can follow and stop following anyone you want, anytime.  Unlike LinkedIn where connections involve an invitation and acceptance, on Twitter you can have immediate access to all the tweets of anyone you choose.  By searching Twitter you can find thought leaders in your field.  You can learn about what is important to companies on your target list and to their employees, managers, and venders.

For example, search for “cisco engineer”, and look in the upper right of your screen to find a list of people who are cisco engineers.  Or search for “HR recruiter Boston” and recruiters in the Boston area who focus on HR professionals.  Start following the people on your search results and you will begin to get a much better feel for them and how you can position yourself to be the answer to their prayers.

  1. Search for anything and everything!  Try searching, “How to find a Job”, “job hunt strategy”, or something that describes the job you are seeking like: “java programmer jobs Boston”.  Whenever you find an interesting tweet, follow the author, and RT (retweet) it so other can see.
  2. Hash Mark # Power:  In order to assist people to carry on discussions about any given topic, you can create or follow “discussion headers” called hashtags or hash marks.  They are words preceded by the “#” sign.  Some of my favorites for jobhunters include:  #jobadvice, #jobsearch, #jobhunt,  #career, #resume, #networking, #interview, and  #salary.  Search for hashtags that relate to your industry, skills, education, job function, and geography.

Of course, these six tips only scratch the surface of Twitter’s value to the Jobhunter.  Experiment for yourself, see what others are doing, and follow my blog to learn more tips along the way.

I’m always interested to hear from readers.  Tell me what stymies you, what energizes you, what works, and what doesn’t.  I’d love to hear some success stories!

Happy hunting!


[R]energize Your Job Hunt in 8 Steps

6 May

“My job search is stuck in the mud.  I know I need to fix it, but I’m feeling overwhelmed and I’ve got no energy left.  I’ve tried everything, and nothing seems to work.”  Does this ring true for you?

The simple truth is: hunting for a job can be tiring, demoralizing, and frustrating.  I often encounter people who have internalized their inability to find work as a sign of personal failure.  Confidence and self-image suffer.  As that happens, it becomes increasingly difficult to present the optimistic, energetic “can do” persona that employers seek.  

We all hear that the longer you are out of work, the harder it is to get work.  One of the reasons for this is that employers are looking for you, Mr. / Ms. Jobhunter not to be jaded, tired, and “down.”  And, they fear that the longer you are out of work, the more likely it is you won’t have the vim and vigor they seek. 

There are things that you can do to [R]energize your job hunt.  This list is hardly exhaustive, but it is a good start:

  1. Remember that getting a job– is a job.  Treat it with the same sense of professionalism that you would bring to any employment.  Show up on time every day.  And, at the end of the day don’t feel guilty about packing the work up, and transitioning to “personal” or “family” mode.  As with any job, it is important to maintain a healthy work/life balance.
  2. Clarify your goals and envision success.  Imagine yourself in the surroundings of your next job, and then embrace the job hunt as the necessary process to get you there.  Make the effort to understand where you are most likely to add value to a potential employer.  What are your strongest achievements, areas of expertise, and personal qualities? Think about not just what you would like to do, but about the kinds of jobs and corporate/work culture that are most akin to your background.  These are all elements of defining your target.  Once your goals are clearly defined, you can begin to move ahead in a purposeful and meaningful fashion.
  3. Recognize and confront your self-imposed roadblocks. Are you frozen in place by a fear of possible future failure?  Many people have experienced so much rejection that they are afraid to have any more piled on.  Such feelings are real, and they need to be acknowledged.  Sometimes inaction can be a psychological defense mechanism.  It is important, however, to understand that inaction is a certain road to the status quo.  Try to move forward every day – even if you only do one or two small “baby step” things that can help to build up your self-confidence.
  4. Break out of your isolation, maintain “people contact”, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.  Figure out who are the members of your support system– your family, friends, other jobhunters you meet at networking groups, members of your church or synagogue and so on.  Talk to them on a regular basis.  Tell them what you’ve been up to, what seems to be working, and what seems to be frustrating you.  Make them part of your team.  Ask for their feedback and advice.  Help them to help you by creating a context of “us” instead of “me”.  And of course: seek a good job hunting coach who can understand and relate to you, and provide both guidance and the occasional “kick in the pants” when it is called for.
  5. Balance your job hunting activities.  You can’t be everywhere, all the time.  Strive to create a balance over the course of a week or two in a cycle.  If you think of your search for work as a job hunt, then imagine each tool or tactic as one arrow in your quiver.  You need a variety of arrows including:  informational interviewing; attending professional meetings and seminars; social networking utilizing LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter; writing your blog, etc., etc.  However important online activity has become, remember that social networks are but the means to the end of building personal relationships.  Nurture your relationships both in the real and virtual worlds.
  6. Stay focused and use your time wisely.  People who work out of their homes often say that one of the biggest challenges they face is managing their time.  It’s easy to be distracted by kids, pets, housework, TV, internet, computer games, and so much else! Organize your day and week in advance.  Create an hourly schedule and stick to it by setting alarms on your computer calendar or wherever they will best be seen and heard.
  7. Practice, practice, and practice some more!  Rehearse out loud your elevator speech and prepare answers to interview questions which you can anticipate.  For example, don’t allow yourself to be flummoxed by opening queries like, “Tell me about yourself.”  Did you know that Larry Bird, one of the greatest basketball players of all time, shot 1,000 baskets EVERY DAY!  He was great because he understood the need for constant repetition and skill building.
  8. Maintain your mental & physical health. Eat healthy.  Exercise at least 3 times each week.  If it’s been a while since you exercised with any regularity, start slow and gradually build yourself back up.  Get those endorphins flowing and you will look better, have more energy, and feel better about yourself.

I’m always interested to hear from readers.  Tell me what stymies you, what energizes you, what works, and what doesn’t.  I’d love to hear some success stories!

Happy hunting!


10 Things Employers & Recruiters Want From Candidates

21 Apr

Every job hunter has the same question:  What do employers look for, and how can I best show that I’ve got “it”?

A few days ago, I attended a panel discussion for career coaches led by three of the leading recruiters in Greater Boston.  Each recruiter had the assignment of explaining their view of today’s hiring environment, what employers are looking for, and then to give a few tips for candidates.  The recruiters deal with different specialties, including:  Human Resources, Medical Devices, Information Technologies (IT), and Marketing.  Nonetheless they agreed on one thing:   Five years ago, if an employer listed a job with 8-10 bullet points of “requirements”, a candidate might have been hired if he/she only had 3-4 of them.  But today, virtually every client of theirs wants “12 out of 10 requirements to be evidenced— just to get the initial phone interview.”

It comes as no surprise that they all report that both recruiters and companies are being inundated by resumes, as more people are chasing fewer and fewer jobs.  In this environment, they report that employers have come to view job boards like Monster as counter-effective.  When they advertise a position, they get SO MANY responses it becomes an overwhelming task just to sort through all the extraneous resumes to find the quality people who would be of interest.  Result?  They are utilizing alternative methods of identifying and recruiting top talent.  It is more time efficient and effective for both corporate (in-house) and contingency (3rd party) recruiters to scour LinkedIn and other social media sites to find candidates worth pursuing.  More and more, self-submitted resumes are not responded to because they aren’t even read!

Employers are looking for the following:

  1.  Candidates are expected to clearly articulate their accomplishments as part of their personal brand.  LinkedIn profiles must highlight an individual successes and results! Skills are important – but only insofar as candidates use them to attain results.  Never lead with:  “XX years of experience doing….”!  Each resume bullet point should tell a story: “Accomplished X by doing Y, resulting in Z”.
  2. Clear branding:  know who you are, what you offer, and what you are after.  Be comfortable with your own story, and have that story down pat.  Convey it consistently in your resume, LinkedIn profile, on Facebook, and increasingly on Twitter.  Tip: get all those references to partying, and anything that wouldn’t well represent an employer’s brand off your own Facebook page – NOW!  LinkedIn is seen as a way screen people in, and Facebook is viewed as a means to screen people out – even before an individual knows that he or she might be considered.
  3. Fit, Fit, & Fit! It’s the buzzword of the decade, but it means different things to different companies.  Fit goes beyond the job requirements and speaks to an individual’s experience working in a similar type organization in size, product/service, marketplace or geography.  Questions of “fit” go to the concerns: would a given candidate be happy working as part of this company/team… and would the people here be happy to work side by side with this individual?  If hired, would the person last? Commonly, employers are utilizing behavioral interviewing to determine if a candidate is a “fit”.
  4. One recruiter put it this way:   The length of time [companies are taking] to fill openings is increasing.  Companies are increasingly picky about who they hire.  But they are hiring people who have “bull’s eye” skill sets, have industry experience, and are a fit for their particular corporate culture.  More and more, you have to have all three to be hired, and candidates should adjust their job search accordingly.

 Recruiters are looking for the following:

  1.  People who can show that they volunteer to do more than is required of them in the workplace
  2. People who “know what they don’t know”, make no bones about it, and constantly strive to learn to fill in the gaps of their knowledge and experience.
  3. People who can explain what they did in a past job that makes them valuable to a future employer.
  4. People who can understand that recruiters are professional service providers who deserve respect. (If you are dealing with a recruiter who doesn’t deserve your respect, move on to another one!).  Understand that recruiters work with candidates, but ultimately for companies.
  5. People who make an effort to establish a mutually beneficial relationship, by addressing them personally, offering to help find other candidates for positions if they aren’t the right fit themselves.
  6. People who recognize that it is counterproductive for both themselves and the recruiter to do the “end run” around the recruiter and deal directly with the company that they represent.

All of this goes to show the importance of seeing the search for a new position as a “hunt” which requires a coherent strategy and a consistent message.  Getting a job is a job!  For more information about what recruiters are advising job hunters, don’t hesitate to be in touch with me directly.  I offer an initial free consultation to any job hunter.  Happy hunting!

CAREEREALISM.COM Names Arnie Fertig as “Approved Career Expert”

30 Mar

I’m thrilled to announce that CAREEREALISM.COM named me as one of their select group of Approved Career Experts today!  I have passed their vetting process, and will now be publishing jobhuntercoach related articles on their site weekly.  CAREEREALISM.COM has received widespread praise from national media, including NY Times, Wall St. Journal, CBS, NBC, USA Today, AOL, and more.  If you search Google for “career expert”, they rank a prestigious #6.

I’m honored to have this recognition of the value of the coaching services which I give to my clients, and look forward to the opportunities this will present to spread the jobhuntercoach message to a wider audience.

To recognize this new relationship, I’m happy to offer the first three new clients who tell me that they found me through CAREEREALISM.COM a $100.00 discount on a four-hour package of any coaching services I provide!

How Recruiters Are Taught To Utilize Social Media

24 Feb

In the recruiting world there are two kinds of candidates:

  • ACTIVE – anyone actively seeking a job by posting a resume online, applying to specific ads, etc.
  • PASSIVE – individuals who would be “star” candidates and would be open to hearing about new possibilities, but who have not yet posted their resume or applied to any position.

Although one can have a legitimate argument about which is the “better” candidate, virtually 100% of the time hiring managers and recruiters prefer dealing with PASSIVE rather than active candidates.

Social Media is now rapidly becoming the means by which recruiters find and reach out to those passive candidates. If you wish to be found by a recruiter, it only makes sense to learn how they are being taught to play the game.

Today, I received the ad below from a company marketing its training programs for recruiters.  Check it out and see what they are being taught.  Then position yourself to be found.  Much more on how a jobhunter can use social media like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook in future posts.  If you haven’t already, sign in to this website (it is free and takes just a minute), and you will receive future posts as they are made.

The AD In My Inbox:

(Note: I’ve replaced the company’s name with XXXXX throughout)

“… learn how XXXX‘s social media recruiting platform saves you time, money and frustration, while filling your positions and reinforcing your brand.

  • In this webinar you will learn how XXXXX can help you to:
  • Tap into 600M+ engaged users on Facebook, the largest social network in the world.
  • Embed career videos and other interactive brand features in your job postings.
  • Reach candidates on 300+ social networks with social media optimized job postings.
  • Automatically publish jobs to Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
  • Accelerate the growth of your qualified top talent pool.
  • Proactively leverage your social networks in referral hiring.

XXXXX is the leading platform for social media recruiting, social media optimization, automatic job publishing to social media, referral hiring, talent network management and semantic profile-based matching. XXXXX is used by companies of all sizes from Fortune 500 to startups, across all industries from retail to healthcare and by direct employers as well as staffing and recruiting firms.”

The moral of the story: It is critically important to position yourself in a professional, compelling way online.  Use the social media to your advantage to build your personal brand.  And, if you don’t know how to do it yourself, seek guidance!

Happy hunting!