Long overdue ;-) With thanks to a prospective client yesterday (who inquired about my services/availability given my extreme tardiness on this blog), I am jumping on with an update! Over the past few years, I’ve engaged more actively on LinkedIn, both through published articles and posts as well as through individual exchanges with clients and thought leaders. I am busier than ever working collaboratively in a high-touch, one-on-one fashion with many talented professionals and executives across the country (as well as expats in Europe) — and I’d love to help you, too!
Given we are deep in the muggy dog days of August, I thought I’d share this post from my LinkedIn site with you:
Don’t Let the Dog Days of Summer Detract You
… from your job search
… from purposeful networking
… from building a new skill
… from taking time to smell the roses (or taking another walk on the beach)
Yes, you read that last one correctly. If you are immersed in a diligent job search, you’ll find yourself reinvigorated if you take a little time to chill this summer. You may know that the dog days of summer have nothing to do with hot summer dogs (or summer hotdogs?), per se. Rather, the phrase derives from astronomy and the Greek star Sirius. But popular culture for many, many years has adopted the expression to describe that oppressive heat of summer where the humidity penetrates everything.
I often think of the beautifully visual simile about teacakes Harper Lee penned in To Kill a Mockingbird when she wrote of the sultry heat of an Alabama summer day: “Somehow, it was hotter then: A black dog suffered on a summer’s day… Men’s stiff collars wilted by nine in the morning. Ladies bathed before noon, after their three o’clock naps, and by nightfall were like soft teacakes with frostings of sweat and sweet talcum.” Isn’t that a simply delightful turn of phrase?
So here we are in August. And if you’re like many of my clients, you may be thinking of tabling the whole notion of active networking and searching till after the Labor Day holiday. You may be correct that some recruiters are vacationing for a week or two. Likewise, there are certainly some hiring managers off to cooler climes or Disney mayhem with their families. And perhaps many of the folks you may be tapping for the inside scoop, introductions, and side-door passes are, in fact, away on holiday.
But here’s the secret: Because so many job seekers and bustling networkers think this to be so, many take their feet off the accelerator… creating tremendous opportunity for you to step up your search activities.
Here’s a summer smattering of must-dos to help you boost your success as you double-down on your search efforts:
• Be sure your LinkedIn profile (all of it) is optimized for best results. Pay special attention to:
- Your headline. Make it powerful and descriptive. Make it NOT be what your present title is.
- Your summary. Tell your story. With impact. Make it interesting. And especially make the first 235± characters and spaces pack a real punch and draw the reader in (that’s what’s visible when someone first visits your page).
- Your picture. It must be a professional-looking headshot. Of just you in the frame (not you-with-your-dog, unless you are a vet or groomer… not you-with-significant-other at a wedding or a barbecue or on a boat with a glass of wine… not you-looking-like-you-just-got-arrested—as in a mug shot against a grisly white background with horrible lighting and shadows… you get the idea).
- Your top couple of strategic highlights/contributions for each of your recent roles (in the experience section).
• Customize your LinkedIn URL and include it at the bottom of every email and at the top of every resume. It looks very professional and separates you from the amateurs. It’s easy—go to LinkedIn’s Help Center if you are unsure how to do this from your profile page. Takes literally seconds.
• Remember your manners. You knew it back in grammar school (when’s the last time you heard someone call it that… your Grampa, maybe?). Always thank those who help you—whether it’s a hot job lead, an introduction, a contact name or email, information about a company’s culture, you-name-it. A quick email will suffice—be timely, though, and be sincere.
• Equally important: When a lead or contact pays off (you get a phone call, a meeting, an offer!), be sure to apprise everyone who helped you. Circling back is important. You never know when you might need help again—or perhaps when you can extend help to someone in your network.
• And when it comes to interviews, the importance of an amplified thank-you can’t be stressed enough. Same day is ideal… email is preferred (for immediacy). While a lovely typed note on monarch stationery can be a nice touch, you don’t want to lose valuable days while a decision might be being made on who to bring back for another round of interviews or even extended an offer.
• I speak to job seekers and interviewing candidates a lot—and love the golfing analogy of a mulligan (you can read all the details in a separate article here on LinkedIn that I wrote back in 2015). Briefly, no matter what occurs in an interview (the nervous missteps, the forgot-to-tell-them a key story), your mulligan is your redo (as in a sloppy ball at the first tee that you can retake without penalty). Your thank-you letter after the interview can incorporate everything you mighta-shoulda-coulda said and still can!
So kick those dog days of summer to the curb and refocus your networking and job-seeking efforts. You’ve got about a month till the cooler breezes post-Labor Day settle in. Who knows? Your efforts may very well pay off so that you might be gearing up to start an exciting new gig for the fourth quarter of the year!
About Jan Melnik — The author of Telling Tales: On Merlin’s Island, Executive’s Pocket Guide to ROI Resumes and Job Search, and Adventures in The Wooded Glen (as well as 6 other career/business start-up books), I have been crafting branded resumes and LinkedIn profiles for executives, rising professionals, and new graduates for many years. In addition to my role as the CMO coach through C-Suite Career Catalysts, I am passionate about teaching as a business professor at Bay Path University. I’d love to connect! Visit JanMelnik.com to learn more. You can also read about my newly released novel, Telling Tales: On Merlin’s Island, and children’s book, Adventures in The Wooded Glen, at https://www.amazon.com/author/janmelnik.