This week, Billy talks to Talent Acquisition Mastermind and host of the Jess Get Hired podcast Jessica Fiesta George about how we can make our LinkedIn profiles work for us during the job search.
For more information about how to make your LinkedIn profile stand out, listen to the following Jess Get Hired episodes:
--Your LinkedIn Profile SUCKS!
--Your LinkedIn Profile STILL Sucks!
After you've listened to these episodes and made the recommended changes, contact Jess for a free LinkedIn consultation!
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Jess: What you’re talking about is called the headline on LinkedIn and that is the most prime real estate on the LinkedIn platform because when we’re doing a search, those keywords that you put there are searchable for recruiters and it’s one of the first things people see underneath your picture and your name. There’s like your headline right there so, quickly, we can see before we even click on to your profile who is Billy. That gives me a good preview of who you are. If I am looking for a project manager or someone who can help me with instructional design, I’m going to click your profile. That right there is important so I’m glad you changed that. But, since we’re going to talk about your profile —
Billy: Oh, alright, good. Here we go.
Jess: — since we’re on this topic, just going to jump right into it.
Billy: I like it.
Welcome to The Mindful Midlife Crisis, a podcast for people navigating the complexities and possibilities of life’s second half. Join your hosts, Billy and Brian, a couple of average dudes who will serve as your armchair life coaches as we share our life experiences, both the good and the bad, in an effort to help us all better understand how we can enjoy and make the most of the life we have left to live in a more meaningful way. Take a deep breath, embrace the present, and journey with us through The Mindful Midlife Crisis.
Billy: Welcome to The Mindful Midlife Crisis. I’m your host, Billy, and, as always, Brian is in Vegas because Brian is in Vegas all the time so he’s probably feeling rather nefarious. I’m still here in Seoul, South Korea, and living my best life but completely unemployed and time is ticking and I will be returning back to the States in July, which means I’m going to have to start making some grownup decisions about professional choices. So, last week’s episode, we talked about leaving the nine-to-five grind with the Simple Man, Brian Gallagher. This week, we are talking about how we can make the most of our LinkedIn profile because there are people out there that might be looking for jobs right now, like me. So, we have brought on job recruiter Jessica Fiesta George. Jessica is a talent acquisition mastermind and a host of the Jess Get Hired podcast and she is here today to talk to us about how job seekers like me can make the most of our LinkedIn profiles. In fact, she has an excellent episode on her podcast called Why Your LinkedIn Profile Sucks and I think that title right there is characteristic of what kind of personality Jess has and we appreciate that, we always like those feisty kind of personalities. I strongly recommend listening to that episode, just like I did, because in the third segment, Jess is going to help me take a look at my LinkedIn profile and talk about some of the changes I can make and then some of the changes you can make if you’re making the same mistakes that I am to make it more appealing to job recruiters like Jess. So, welcome to the show, Jessica Fiesta George.
Jess: Awesome. Thank you.
Billy: Absolutely, absolutely.
Jess: But I wish I was in Vegas right now with Brian because that’s my favorite place to be but if you’re out there, 07/11/21, put some money on black.
Billy: I’ll text him and let him know that —
Jess: And then send me my earnings.
Billy: That’s funny, because Vegas is Brian’s favorite place too and I don’t think I would be caught dead in Vegas ever again so just not a fan but Brian loves it. What is it that you like about Vegas?
Jess: I love the shopping and the food. Actually, I don’t really gamble as much when I go there, I’d rather just spend my money on shoes and purses and I love to eat and that’s just a foodie town. They have so many good restaurants, awesome chefs, so I love going over there. Plus I get free rooms because we go all the time so kind of a good vacation, I don’t have to pay for my rooms, just my flight and whatever I want to do when I’m there.
Billy: You’re living that high roller life. I like that. And you mentioned foodie and shopaholic, which is fitting because those are two of the 10 roles that you play in your life. So, what are the rest of your 10 roles here? Go ahead and break them all down for us.
Jess: Alright, so my 10 roles, I am a mom, I have a beautiful daughter who will — I’m not going to tell you how old she is because then I kind of tell how old I am but our birthdays are two days apart and we are going to be celebrating our birthdays in a couple of weeks so excited about that, but I’m a mom. I’m married so I’m a wife. A friend. A sister. I have a brother that’s actually expecting any time now so excited I’m going to be an aunt.
Jess: You can add that as one of my 10. A mentor. A jet setting foodie, so, there you go, I already hinted around that I’m a foodie so I love to fly, travel a lot, just like you, looks like. I’m a side hustle queen. Model/actress. People call me the creative think tank because I just come up with so many crazy and out-there ideas. And then, of course, a shopaholic. So, those are my 10.
Billy: I like that. I like that. That is a perfect example of showcasing the five tried and true roles that people play but then you got very creative with those last five right there. Really quickly, model/actress, talk a little bit about that.
Jess: Oh, boy. So, it’s been a while since I’ve been in front of the camera but I have been modeling and acting since I was 16. Do a lot of commercial acting, been in a lot of local commercials. Been in a few movies. I’ve done some print work. Fact, I did a print ad and a commercial last year but I still haven’t been able to see it so I’m not sure where it’s playing so if you see my face in a pharmaceutical ad, find me and then send it over to me because I have not been able to find it, I Google and everything. But, yes, I’ve been doing modeling and acting for quite some time and whenever I can get some jobs, I’m represented by an agency out in New Orleans so whenever I can squeeze it in with my busy schedule and my nine to five, I try to do that as well so that’s one of my side hustles that I have as well.
Billy: Oh, yeah, I just was going to bring that up. You said that you are looking forward to being a side hustle queen in the second half of life so talk about what are some of your other side hustles and why are you looking forward to that in the second half of life.
Jess: So I guess I’m a side hustle princess right now so I’d love to be a side hustle queen. Basically, not only do I do modeling and acting, of course, I’m doing my podcast and then I also invest in real estate. I have a lot of rental property. And my new venture, in just a few weeks, we are opening up our first Airbnb in Pensacola so shameless plug, if you’re going to visit the Gulf Coast, come and look up my Airbnb and come stay at my place. That’s a new venture for us so I can’t wait to see where that takes us and hopefully we earn some money to invest in even more real estate. Ultimately, my goal is to have an apartment complex. Every time I see one of those built, I get like real estate envy, I’m like, “Man, what a moneymaker that is.” Yeah, and then, through my podcast, haven’t really done too much with it. Everyone ask me what I want to do with it. Eventually, I love helping job seekers, we’re going to probably talk about that a little later but I’d love to turn that into a business and really just start helping and do more coaching and consulting and stuff like that. So, yeah, so let’s see where it takes us so that hopefully will allow me to continue to travel, like I like to meet new people, eat great food, and allow me to shop a little bit more.
Billy: Well, and I’ll give Pensacola a plug too because I was there for the DeLuna Festival and I was literally standing in the ocean when the band Pearl Jam opened with the song “Oceans” and Pensacola beaches are the most sugary sand that I’ve ever walked on in my entire life. Pensacola has the best beaches I’ve ever been to. So, now that you have this Airbnb, if I ever have that desire to go back to Pensacola, I know where the hookup is right there. That sounds awesome. Pensacola’s great.
Jess: It is. It’s a hidden gem and now that we just talked about it, we just opened up the floodgates for tourists. No, it really is — it was a hidden gem until a few minutes ago but it is definitely beautiful. Destin, the whole Gulf Coast, if you’ve never visited that area before, we definitely have some of the whitest sands. People can’t believe it when they first visit, just how soft and white and how blue our waters are. If you have never been to an island destination, the Gulf Coast is like your best place that you can probably go to if you don’t want to fly too far.
Billy: Yeah, it is absolutely beautiful. And, actually, when I get back to Minnesota, I’m contemplating doing some real estate investing as well so we might have to have you back on to talk about that and see where you are with things there and what advice you have for others. You have many talents, Jess. I’m glad to have you on and it sounds like one of your many talents is being a shopaholic. So, what is it that you are shopping for? Are you a clothes person? Are you a knickknacks person? What are you shopping for?
Jess: So, right now, I’m shopping for my Airbnb, which is I’m finding very expensive to just start over and furnish an entire home. So, yeah, oh, my credit card’s pretty happy with me right now. I’m going to get a lot of points though from American Express, but, no, I love — I’m a label whore so…
Billy: Alright, so what some of your favorite labels? What are your go-to labels?
Jess: I like the Valentinos, Louis Vuittons, the Gucci, the Chanel, that’s my expensive side of the house but I like to window shop. I’m very fortunate to have a few pieces but I crave a little bit more, so, yeah, I like the designer stuff but I also love all the little boutiques and that’s why I do love to travel because I try to find some of the cute boutiques in the area and just try to find pieces that people don’t have. So, clothes, shoes, handbags, that’s my weakness right there.
Billy: So here’s the chicken and the egg question for you. What came first, being a shopaholic or the side hustle?
Jess: Ooh, good question. I had to come up with ways to pay for my shopping habit so the side hustles came second. In order for me to feed my need to buy new things, I had to find other ways outside of my normal nine to five to continue that habit so I think the side hustles came second.
Billy: And you’re also a jet setting foodie and I know you travel extensively for work because I follow you on Instagram at @jessgethired. You can follow Jess on Instagram as well. You’re all over the place and I think you’re in Miami right now, correct?
Jess: I am.
Billy: And I want to thank you for being a trooper because we are 13 hours’ time difference right now and you are up very early, I know you have things going on so I do want to say thank you so much for accommodating that schedule. I really, really appreciate it. As a jet setting foodie, what are the best food cities that you’ve been to?
Jess: Oh, this is a good one. So I already said Vegas. Vegas is one of my favorites because all of the good restaurants are actually not on the Strip. You have all of the top chefs that always have their big restaurants and there are absolutely a lot of restaurants on the Strip, but I have found that some of the best restaurants are the ones that people aren’t really going to all the time so Vegas is good. One of my favorite cities to eat and where I’m going for my birthday is Charleston, South Carolina. You’d be amazed at how fresh the seafood is there and, coming from Pensacola, people think you live near the water, you probably have great seafood, not knocking on my Pensacola hometown but Charleston takes it to the top. So that is definitely a foodie town.
Billy: Excellent. I’ve never been so now I feel like I must add that to the list so thank you for that suggestion. Again, we don’t want people to flood to your favorite spots so we won’t tell them where the best and most fresh seafood is, we’ll keep that to you so that you can enjoy that. I don’t eat seafood so you don’t ever have to worry about me infiltrating your favorite seafood restaurants in Charleston. So, let’s do this, we’re going to take a quick break and then when we come back, Jess is going to talk a little bit about this idea of the great resignation and how it’s actually more of a reshuffling and she’s going to talk about what her role is as a recruiter.
Thank you for listening to The Mindful Midlife Crisis.
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Billy: Welcome back to The Mindful Midlife Crisis. I am here with Jessica Fiesta George, she is in talent acquisition mastermind, a job recruiter. She is also the host of the Jess Get Hired podcast. You can find her at www.jessgethired.com. You can also message her on LinkedIn, that’s usually one of the best spots to message her, but you could also find her on Instagram at @jessgethired. Jess is here today to talk to us about how we can maximize LinkedIn so that people like me who are running around without jobs right now, when we get back to real life or when I get back to real life, I can market myself a little bit better on LinkedIn. But before we get to that, I kind of a basic question that you probably have answered a million times before but I honestly do not know what a job recruiter does. I mean, it sounds pretty basic, like you recruit people to find jobs, but what’s that process look like?
Jess: Well, there’s a lot of different recruiters out there and you actually gave me an idea for probably my next podcast episode —
Jess: — to talk about the differences because I get asked this question all the time because there is a difference between agency recruiters and corporate recruiters and then really like what I do, and there’s a lot of little layers in between some of that. So, the difference between agency recruiters is agencies are staffing for other companies. So, candidates like you could also go to a recruitment agency and, basically, they become like your agent so they’re submitting you and promoting you to different clients all the time. Then corporate recruiters, on the other hand, corporate recruiters actually work for a company and they’re internal so their sole purpose is to fill the jobs that they have for their organization. So, they’re not working on multiple requisitions for different companies so they represent the company that they work for. There is a difference too. A lot of people think, okay, recruiting and talent acquisition, so you introduced me as a talent acquisition mastermind. So, talent acquisition is actually just a little bit different. You’ll see people called recruiters, you’ll see the title Talent Acquisition. A lot of people have that misconception that the two are the same. So, recruiters are more focused on actually just filling jobs. They fill the jobs that they get and then it’s just a cycle. Talent acquisition, though, focuses on the holistic view of recruiting and that includes coming up with a strategy, how to hire, how to attract, how to select and how to retain talent. It does include a component of recruiting but then there’s other aspects of talent acquisition. So there’s a lot of different layers, like I said, I’ll probably get into it one day but you’ve got sourcers, schedulers, all kinds of things. Agency recruiters are different from corporate recruiters so that’s kind of the difference. Hopefully, that makes sense and I outlined it perfectly for you.
Billy: Yeah, yeah. That’s interesting that as talent acquisition, it sounds like you’re also doing some marketing pieces with your company and are you then, in a sense, trying to draw attention to your company so that it makes it easier for the job recruiter within your company to find people who are interested in your company? Does that question make sense?
Jess: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. So, part of talent acquisition is also employer branding, recruitment marketing, how do we separate what the company’s advertising is from what we want job seekers to see. Everyone has a consumer brand but what’s your employer brand? How do you attract people to come work for your company? So employer branding. And then from that, you have recruitment marketing. That could be anything from even rewriting job descriptions to how we come up on social media. Are we using the right vendors? Do we have the right collateral? The right technology? The right tools? Yeah, your question makes total sense. I mean, that is part of what a talent acquisition person does.
Billy: So you’re wearing many hats as a talent acquisition professional.
Jess: Absolutely, yeah. You’re kind of consulting throughout the process so you get a job but then you have to kind of think of, “Okay, where do I post the job? Where can I get the best candidates? How do we source for this?” You are meeting with the hiring managers. If we’re not getting the right candidates, you’re going back and forth and re-tweaking the job description. You’re working with the recruiting team to re-strategize when you need to if you’re not getting the right candidates. And then it’s also looking at retention. If we do hire the right person, how do we keep that person there so we’re not having to go through the same cycle again? So talent acquisition is just encompassing of everything. It’s more strategic.
Billy: Got it. So it almost sounds like talent acquisition on the front end but then talent retention on the back end too because if you find somebody who’s good, you want to keep them as long as you can.
Jess: Absolutely, because it cost companies money to continue to do that whole cycle all over again, from posting jobs and then just think about how much it costs people to onboard and train and then just have them quit and then we have to, if they’re using an agency, they paid all those fees and then you’ve got a recruiting team, large or small, that are continuing to have to find the same people and posting jobs cost money, finding people and if you have to fly them in or if you’re doing interviews, it just takes time and resources so, yeah, retention is huge.
Billy: So then you’ve kind of answered this mostly but how do companies utilize your services? Like you said that you don’t really tout yourself as a career coach but you still advocate for job seekers and help them with interview prep but you also advise private equity-backed companies as well. So can you talk about those two things too?
Jess: Yeah. So to utilize my services, so I actually worked for — my nine-to-five job, I am head of talent acquisition for a private equity consulting firm. So my consulting firm, we advise all of our portfolio companies that we have on all things talent acquisition, HR, and recruiting. So, for my services on that side, you’d have to be acquired by our private equity firm, but on the side, my other job that I do is I help mentor job seekers. I don’t mind looking at LinkedIn profiles, which we’ll hopefully have time to do today, but I love doing that and helping and just being a voice for you. If I have a connection that you see on my LinkedIn or you just know that I’m connected to or I interact with all the time, I’m happy to make introductions. Like I said, I don’t tout myself as a career coach at all. There’s many people that do that for a living. I never really charge for my services because, ultimately, at the end, this is just going to help build my brand later on and, one day, when I quit corporate America, then, hopefully, these people remember me and I can get some good reviews. So right now, I don’t spend a lot of time saying I’m a career coach because career coaching does take time and I have many colleagues and friends that I’ve met on LinkedIn that do that for a living, but I love to help candidates with personal branding, do interview prep. I don’t mind getting on the phone with you and doing like a mock interview. How can companies utilize my services, like if you’re looking for me as Jess Get Hired, you can listen to one of my podcast episodes because that is a free resource for you if you’re a job seeker or business professional. If you want additional support, you have my website, you can reach out to me there. Find me on LinkedIn. I always have a tab open for LinkedIn. If I’m on my laptop, it is there so I help right now nine different companies through our private equity firm so I’m always on there searching for candidates, marketing, doing different things. So LinkedIn tab is always up so that’s probably the best way to get to me. But, yeah, I mean, I enjoy helping people so however you can find me, there’s any way that I can help you and if I do have time, I don’t mind helping at all.
Billy: I think this is a rhetorical question but I think it bears repeating anytime we can address this. How important is networking?
Jess: Oh, my gosh, networking is everything. I get a lot of job seekers who are like, “I’m having a hard time. I’m struggling trying to get a job,” so my follow-up question is, “What are you doing after you submit the resume?” And I always get that questionable look or that, “Huh? I don’t understand what you’re talking about,” and I’m like, “Did you follow it up? Did you connect with people from that company that you’re targeting on LinkedIn? Are you reaching out to other recruiters? Are you getting introductions?” I mean, networking is everything. That’s how I got my current job and how I’ve been able to — actually, my last three jobs was from networking all on LinkedIn and the job that I’m currently in was actually created for me, it wasn’t even a job that was advertised. So I always tell people the best positions are usually those that are not even advertised and you can get a lot out of networking. In fact, a lot of the people that I’ve placed recently, and they’ll probably tell you the same thing, was just from being in my network and just knowing me and my connections and whenever opportunities arise, I think of them first because I stay connected so I introduce them to the right people and then they do their thing. I make the introduction, it’s up to you to get the job. But just being able to reach out to the right people and keeping your face and your name and being active is huge.
Billy: One of my favorite podcasts is The Jordan Harbinger Show and he actually has a networking course that’s free that people can use and I would strongly encourage people to check that out because he kind of walks you through that awkward networking piece where you have to reach out and talk to somebody or connect with somebody that you haven’t talked to in years and he actually has a nice little script for that. Do you have other networking tips or other networking sites that you recommend that people can access for free like that?
Jess: Yeah. I mean, I’m usually on LinkedIn, I mean, that sounds like a great resource so I’ll have to look that one up, but LinkedIn and, what’s funny is there’s so many more people now on like TikTok and Instagram, I wouldn’t recommend it as like a networking tool but a good way to kind of see who is out there, some of the influencers and people who are trying to have a voice in the community or industry that you’re following and then just look them up and see where they’re hanging out and start hanging out with them online. You’ll be surprised. I mean, I don’t even remember how you and I even got connected. I think it was on social media.
Billy: It was through social media. It was either through Instagram or through LinkedIn because I saw your podcast and I was like, “Whoa, what’s all this about?” and it just connected with me, especially where I am in my life journey right now and I was, oh, and I listened to a couple episodes, I’m like, “Yeah, this is right up my alley. I need to connect with Jess,” and so we’ve connected and you really do a great job of responding and staying connected and helping people out so a testament to you, you really are fantastic at that and I’m grateful just because your podcast has helped me and this conversation alone already is going to help me and I’m looking forward to the second piece of it. But before we get into that, I’m kind of in this great resignation, right? That’s the buzzword around it. And I guess my question is, is the great resignation as great as everyone says? Because I’ve been seeing conflicting reports that people are quitting their jobs at about the same rate as they have in the past and rather than this being more about resignations, it’s about switching careers instead, which our past guest, Dr. Dawn Graham, discussed. She’s got a book called Switchers, that was episode, I think, 28, if people want to check that one out because if you like this episode, you’ll probably like that episode too. And it’s really not about job burnout as much as it is about workers seeing their worth and maximizing their free agency, like a professional athlete would. So, from your end, what are you seeing?
Jess: So, the great resignation, you hear it also coined like the great reshuffle, but I’m actually thinking of it more as like the great restructure. So what I mean by that is a lot of companies, because everyone has been quitting their jobs and just trying to find different things that they weren’t getting in their previous organization, a lot of companies are having to restructure how they attract, recruit, and select talent and how they retain them. So companies are finding that, “Wow, our best employees are going to the competition for $5 more,” or it’s, “Oh, because we want everyone to come back into the office but this company over here is 100 percent remote.” So companies are really looking at how they’re structuring their workforce and having to change. So, the great resignation has also like alerted companies that if they don’t change the way that they currently do business, people are going to leave. So candidates are just finding different perks that employers aren’t offering. Work-life balance is huge. I think the pandemic taught all of us we can be effective at home. We see a really huge increase of candidates who are just transitioning, even to new careers. Recruiting has been one of the hottest jobs lately. Everyone that I’ve been helping is asking me, “How do I pivot into a career into HR or recruiting?” which is funny because recruiters were one of the first people cut during the pandemic, because we weren’t hiring anybody. So I was one of the first that was furloughed from the organization I was with before and now we can’t find enough recruiters. So many people are trying to get into recruiting so I think it’s pretty interesting to see that.
Billy: Very interesting. Yeah, I was actually going to bring up that you got furloughed. So then, what was that experience like? Because you’re one of millions of people who got furloughed from their job, what was that job search like? Did you just kind of relax for a little bit during those first few months, like, “Oh, I can breathe a little bit because I’ve been working so hard,” or was it more of a, “I gotta get back out there as soon as possible,” but there just weren’t job openings for you? What was that process like for you?
Jess: I did enjoy it for a little bit but I got a little bored. So I already told you I’m like side hustle queen. I have to stay busy and I was used to traveling all the time so that kind of put a damper on my travel because I was traveling every week and so just to be home, it was great to get caught up but then I got bored. Then I was like, “Holy crap, what am I gonna do?” So that’s kind of how my podcast came to be because I was starting to create videos on YouTube for my friends and family who were coming to me because they were getting laid off. They were also getting furloughed and they were like, “I don’t understand the difference between layoffs and furloughs. I don’t understand what’s wrong with my resume or I don’t even know how to make a resume. Can you help me?” so I was doing YouTube videos and then, ultimately, when I got a job eight months later, it was like, “Okay, how can I still help people?” So that’s kind of how the podcast came to be. It’s interesting just to see how people have just evolved from all of this, I feel like even for myself. Being furloughed, it opened my eyes. I thought I was invincible as far as like, “Oh, recruiters are always gonna be needed. We’re always hiring. Everybody’s always hiring,” and then here comes the pandemic, put a wrench in my plan, so I went out to my LinkedIn community to see who was hiring and it was a struggle to find work but when I did find work, I still stay connected to people throughout my life, so when I landed that job, things weren’t really the way I expected it to be so I reached out to one of my mentors who hired me through my networking on LinkedIn and he was like, “You know what, instead of me putting you at different portfolio companies, let’s have you just consult for all of our portfolio companies. I’m gonna create this job for you,” so that’s kind of how I got where I am today, and it is through networking and just my connections.
Billy: That’s fantastic. I mean, I think that speaks to the quality of work that you do so I think anyone listening to this episode and anyone who chooses to listen to your podcast is going to be in good hands right there. One thing that you talked about, I liked that you use that great restructuring and that’s — I really wish Brian was here for this episode because as president of his company, he’s talked a little bit about how he had to restructure the way that he was having his workers come in and his technicians do their work, that sort of thing, because he would tell me that he was poaching people left and right that were either getting laid off and they were still open and — oh my gosh, he was poaching people left and right so his team is phenomenal right now at his company. And I saw you post something a while back about a recruiter friend of yours who is actively researching which companies are moving back to in-person environments so he could poach their best employees and entice them with remote positions. That is so cutthroat. I absolutely love that. That is so cutthroat. But I’m also hearing — I saw Adam Grant post something about this the other day that more and more reports show that the hybrid model seems to be the ideal work environment for most people. So, what are you seeing in all of that?
Jess: As much as you hear people want to work remote, the more you talk to people, I think what we lost during the pandemic was just that whole human connection and people missed seeing people in the office. I know I missed all the free lunches and all the birthday celebrations. But I think you’ll find that a lot of people actually don’t mind the hybrid but what they’re really looking for is flexibility. So it’s not like, I have to be in the office nine to five, eight to six, seven to four, whatever your schedule is, every day, Monday through Friday. I want the ability to if I have an appointment, I don’t have to take PTO to go run an errand and stuff like that. So having that flexibility, I think, is really what people are looking for. It doesn’t matter if they have to be in office but if your employer is flexible, that’s what is important. I think to people, the hybrid, I think, is more preferred because people enjoy that human interaction. I mean, I love my coworkers. I mean, I know I’m on the road all the time but I do have to fly to Dallas. In fact, I’m going there next week to see my team and I love when I’m there because we get so much done. I mean, of course, we get caught up in gossip and talking and catching up but I really enjoy that time and I feel like when we’re together, we can collaborate better, there’s a lot of good synergy between us. So I know a lot of people really look for that. You’ll find a lot of people are like, “I just wanna work from home. I wanna work from home.” Yeah, we all like to work from home but you still like to see your work friends too, right? So the hybrid model, I think, is kind of important for employers, but the bottom line is just flexibility.
Billy: And there might be people out there right now who are looking for that kind of flexibility in their career and one way that they can find those kind of jobs is through maximizing their LinkedIn so what we’re going to do is we’re going to take a quick break and then when we come back, Jess is going to talk about why your LinkedIn profile sucks and why my LinkedIn profile sucks and we’re going to talk about ways to make it suck just a little bit less and maybe be a little bit more eye catching to those recruiters out there.
Thank you for listening to The Mindful Midlife Crisis.
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Billy: Welcome back to The Mindful Midlife Crisis. We are here with talent acquisition mastermind and host of the Jess Get Hired podcast, Jessica Fiesta George. She has two episodes, two episodes on why your LinkedIn profile sucks. Go listen to those then sit down with your LinkedIn profile and make the corrections and then you can reach out to Jess and you can say, “Hey, could you look at my LinkedIn profile now that I have listened to your two episodes and I’ve actually done something about it?” because if you just asked Jess to look at your LinkedIn profile without actually doing any of the revisions, that makes you an asshole. So don’t be an asshole. Please be respectful of her time. Take the time to look at those revisions because she is going to take a look at mine here in a little bit and she just said, “Yours doesn’t look that bad,” and it’s because I took that time to listen to it. They’re both about 20-, 25-minute episodes. They’re really not that long, but they are jam packed with useful information in there. So, Jess, because I want people to go and listen to those episodes, what is kind of the elevator pitch here about why people’s LinkedIn profiles suck and what is it that they need to be more mindful of when they’re creating their LinkedIn profile?
Jess: Alright, well, Billy, you’re right. You did listen to my episodes because when I peaked, I was like, well, I don’t even know why you want me to critique your profile because it looks great.
Billy: Well, thank you. I can actually kind of tell you what I revised here in a little bit too because there were things that were definitely unclear and they wouldn’t stand out to a recruiter, they would just be like, “Well, that’s very vague. I don’t know what this guy wants,” so yours helped me be more specific.
Jess: Awesome. I’m glad it helped you and, hopefully, it can help other people. So LinkedIn profiles suck to me because, like I said earlier, I am on LinkedIn all the time and so when candidates are applying for jobs or they hit me up in my inbox and they’re like, “I’m interested in this role,” I go click their profile and it tells me nothing. I’m like, okay, this sucks, onto the next person. It’s not telling me a story. So if you really don’t think that employers and recruiters are checking out your social media profile, you’re wrong because we are. That’s what we do for a living. So especially if you’re applying on LinkedIn, it’s easy for us to just click over to your profile, read all about you, and does the resume match up to the profile. And really what we’re looking for is are you telling a story? Are you a brand ambassador? How good are you at marketing yourself? Are you showing up the same way that your resume shows up? I can always tell who paid for a resume writer and who didn’t because there’s certain formats that I see all the time. A well-structured resume, obviously, it’s going to catch my attention, but I also go to the LinkedIn profile to see, “Okay, well, it’s well written, what’s their LinkedIn profile look like?” so if they don’t match, then I know, “Okay, maybe not the same story,” so I might not approach you before I approach someone else. So that’s just me, I’m sure other recruiters are going to fight me on that, but your LinkedIn profile is kind of like your brand so I want to know what I’m buying before I talk to you.
Billy: Right, and I actually didn’t have my resume on my LinkedIn profile until I listened to your episode because I was like why would I need to have this on there, but that’s the simplest thing that you can do really is to have that and, right now, because I’m transitioning from education into a different career choice that I want to move into, I actually am working with, her name is Millennial in Debt, which is her Instagram right there and she’s got a course so I’m taking this course because she used to be a teacher and then she transitioned into fintech and so now she coaches people to make those career switches like that and we’re going to be sitting down and taking a look at my resume because she showed me what her resume looked like and it looked very similar to mine because it was very teacher speak and if I’m transitioning into a corporate field of some sort, then I need to start thinking and writing corporately so I’m looking forward to doing that. And I wonder sometimes just how often my teacher speak resume stops recruiters short because they see that and they’re like, “Well, this person really just knows how to teach, yet they don’t know how to make that transition into project management,” which is something that I would be interested in and that was something that I didn’t have listed. I wasn’t very specific in my headline. I think I used to have there “Seeking opportunities to help people become the best that they can be,” like something like that. After listening to —
Jess: Yeah, and that’s not bad.
Billy: Well, after listening to your episode, though, I changed it to “I’m a former educator seeking remote project management, instructional and curriculum design, public speaking and presentation, wellness coaching, and technical writing opportunities” so that way, I feel like that jumps out, and I got that suggestion straight from you that this is what I am looking for.
Jess: What you’re talking about is called the headline on LinkedIn and that is like the most prime real estate on the LinkedIn platform because when we’re doing a search, those keywords that you put there are searchable for recruiters and it’s one of the first things people see underneath your picture and your name. There’s like your headline right there so, quickly, we can see before we even click on to your profile what you’re looking for, not only what you’re looking for but who is Billy. That gives me a good preview of who you are and if I am looking for a project manager or someone who can help me with instructional design, I’m going to click your profile. So that right there is important so I’m glad you changed that. But since we’re going to talk about your profile —
Billy: All right, good, here we go.
Jess: — since we’re on this topic, just going to jump right into it.
Billy: I like it.
Jess: So I love that you changed it. Kudos to you. You have all of the right keywords, but it is a little bit jumbled and wordy. Make sure you have spaces in between the slashes so I think right now how it reads if you pull up your profile, hopefully it’s changed by the time people listen to this, but you have former educator seeking remote project management, comma, instructional slash curriculum design, public speaking slash presentation. Try to separate those because those show up as one word so if you’re looking for instructional design or curriculum design, those are not going to pop up. So try to separate them if you can.
Billy: So say instructional design, comma, curriculum design, comma, public speaking, comma? Oh, that’s good advice. See? I am just kind of learning about SEO, search engine optimization, and I cringe at SEO because it feels like canned questions and canned responses but that’s how people search things so I have to start thinking in those terms because even when they talk about SEO for the podcast and stuff like that, I don’t ever take the time to do stuff like that because it’s so much work and I just take the questions and just I’m like, “Here’s what it is,” but I never write questions in SEO format because I’m trying to be very thought provoking in my question asking.
Billy: But when you do it in your notes, you have to have that search engine optimization so that’s definitely something that I’m learning and I definitely learned that from you so I appreciate that. What else are you seeing in mine or what else do you see in other people’s that make you cringe or make you turn away from them?
Jess: Well, going back real quick to the SEO, if you think about how you Google things, when you’re looking for something, you put specific keywords in there so writing your headline, especially if you’re looking for work, what are some key words that stand out when you’re thinking about the job that you’re going after? So think about that when you’re putting words in there, but some of the cringe worthy things, this would probably take a little longer than we have so I’ll just kind of run down my favorites. So my favorites are the photos, like people who don’t have the right photo. So you have a beautiful photo, you’re smiling, you look friendly, you don’t give me like those creeper vibes so I’m like, okay —
Billy: Thank you. Thank you very much.
Jess: So, you get some people who have shades on, you have the girls with a really low-cut blouses, like this is not Tinder, it’s not Instagram. I think one of the things I have in my podcast, I say your boobies don’t belong on LinkedIn. It’s the low cut, the angles, the selfies, it’s like this is a professional networking site, get that shit off.
Billy: So you said selfies —
Jess: I don’t want to see it.
Billy: You said those selfies, I was fortunate enough because when I worked in a school district, they would take my picture professionally. How do you suggest people who don’t have a professional photo or an opportunity like that to get a professional looking photo up on their LinkedIn so that it’s not some random selfie that they took on vacation or it doesn’t look cheesy? So what are your suggestions for that?
Jess: So if you can, ask a friend to take a picture of you. That way, it’s not cropped crazy and you can always tell when it’s a selfie because the way your arms are and your shoulder, your angle, and if you don’t have a friend that can take one for you, go get one of those ring lights. A lot of people use them for TikTok videos and Instagram Reels so get one of those, put it on a tripod. We have awesome technology with our phones. I think my phone takes better pictures than my camera. Use your phone. There’s a lot of apps too that you can edit for free. Make your skin look good, hair look good. So I would suggest if you can’t go to a professional photographer, at least put it up on a tripod, get a friend to help you and play around and show your personality.
Billy: Use portrait mode if you have an iPhone because then that actually blurs out your background a little bit so that that doesn’t become a distraction as well because then it gives you a nice cropped picture right there where you’re the focus. And I even think it does a little bit of lighting on you and a little lighting can do a lot for somebody’s profile.
Jess: Absolutely. But, yeah, I mean, the photo is one thing, I mean, and then just running through. If it’s not complete, there’s not anything in your About Me section, your work experience is not complete, you don’t put details as far as what you did. The headline, like I said, is really important. Then I also like to see how active you are on the platform. Are you sharing content? Are you interacting with others? That goes back to your networking question a while back. Are you using the platform the way it was intended to and are you connecting with other people? I kind of look at that, I mean, it might not be important really for most recruiters but I like to see how involved you are really in your job search. Are you commenting when you see posts, that sort of thing.
Billy: So is it more important to comment on other people’s posts or is it more important to be posting? Because one of my pet peeves is when people use LinkedIn as their Facebook, right? I mean, LinkedIn should be professional. So, should they be commenting on other people’s stuff? Because, for me, I don’t know — maybe this is just where I am right now where I don’t think I have a lot to share but maybe I do have a lot to share, like I know I should be posting our episodes on LinkedIn and I used to do that and I don’t do that anymore. So, what does being active on LinkedIn look like?
Jess: Good question. Well, first of all, shame on you for not sharing your episodes because they’re awesome and people need to know about —
Billy: I’ll share this one, for sure. I will absolutely share this one.
Jess: Perfect. Yeah, no, so commenting, though, on other people’s posts is obviously important. It gets people’s attention. So if you do see a job for project management or you see public speaking opportunities that interests you, comment. The more you comment on that person’s posts, they’re going to kind of be like, “Who is this person? I’m curious, let me click on their profile,” and then if you have a kick-ass profile, who knows what kind of conversations lead after that. But like engagement, I would say, if you don’t feel like you have anything to contribute, I always tell people that I’m coaching on LinkedIn strategy, do, at least for a week or two, try to comment on five different people’s posts, whether it’s just like a “Congratulations for getting a job,” or, “Hey, I’m interested, here’s a little bit about me.” I can help you with that, but making small comments on people’s posts, like five people’s posts, comment, and then try to post at least five times. And if you don’t think you have anything to post, one, of course, for you, I would say podcast episodes but if you’re interested in project management, what are some industry articles that you’ve read that you can share? It might not have to be something that you come up with, you can share other people’s content that you’ve seen, and the more that you show up on the platform, the algorithm, as they always say, “It’s the algorithm.” Yes, you have to play it, it’s still social media, so the more that you’re using it, of course, the more that they’re kind of promoting and people start seeing your comments and your posts and everything like that. But share articles, share news stories, share other people’s content, do a little like, “Hi, this is who I am, this is what I’m looking for.” Tell people about you, what your journey is like. Share some of your past experience and how you feel, especially if you’re pivoting into a new career, what are some of the skills that you have from your previous life that can transition into your new role and give examples. Those are just some things that I think the more you engage with people on here, you start getting noticed. And I’ve been able to actually place a few people and hire a few because they were always commenting on my stuff and I’m like, “Who is this person? Are they like stalking me or what?” but the more that they interacted and made comments, I’m like, “Okay, this person is really paying attention so let me take a peek,” and then so it was like, “Hey, thanks for commenting.” I’ll send a message like, “Thanks so much for following my content. Looks like you’re looking for work. I don’t have anything for you but here’s some ideas.” I don’t mind doing that. I mean, the more that you just interact with people, I think people start paying attention.
Billy: You also talked about the banner and I wasn’t sure what you meant by that at first and so I actually Googled “What is a LinkedIn banner?” but it’s the thing right behind your picture basically. Because I host this podcast, I’m like, “Okay, I’m going to put The Mindful Midlife Crisis, a podcast for people navigating yadda, yadda,” I put that little thing right there so that drew a little bit more attention to recruiters so maybe they could hear my voice and get an idea as to what my brand is and what my style is and if that fits their job market, perfect, that would be fantastic. I’d love for them to connect with me, that sort of thing. Talk about the banner. What should we be posting in the banners to maximize our LinkedIn profiles?
Jess: Yeah, so that banner is like your billboard so when people click on your profile, if it’s blank, it’s like, “Okay, well, it doesn’t really tell me a story,” so for you and I, we have our podcasts that we promote so if you click in my banner, mine’s promoting my podcast. If you don’t have a podcast like we do, if you’re a marketing person, put some of your like cool marketing things that you’ve created. If there’s a favorite quote that you have, do that as well. So I do this a lot also for people, but you can do this yourself, go to canva.com, it’s a free resource for you to — if you just type in “LinkedIn banner,” there’s some templates out there that you can use. You can put your name, kind of like what you’re targeting, what kind of experience you have, put your name, how to contact you. I mean, there’s so many things that you can do there but don’t leave it blank because, again, you want your LinkedIn profile to say things about you. So what are you trying to target? What are you trying to promote? For you and I, it’s like our podcast. So if you’re a job seeker, how do people get in touch with you? You can put your name, you can put the roles that you’re targeting, the ideal company you want to work for so there’s so many different things you can do. If you Google “LinkedIn banner” and select images, you’ll see some examples and just try to copy some of those. I think that’s important. Another thing I wanted to point out on your LinkedIn profile, since I was looking at it again, if you have, let’s say, if you have a portfolio, if you are in one of those careers that you have to have a portfolio or links to your work, links to your podcast or your website, if you have one, there is an opportunity underneath your headline to put your links. So I don’t see any links on yours, Billy —
Billy: I think I used to have that in there and then I took it off, which is a long story that I can’t get into just yet. But, yeah, so I — okay, so I will add that URL in there. I know you talked about the About Me section too and I actually, I really — I think I spent an hour revising my About Me because I’m very much a tell, don’t show person, I’m just direct, so I felt like I needed to sit down and be a little bit more showy with my About Me section. So what is it that you’re looking for in an About Me section?
Jess: So, the About Me section, you’ll get conflicting opinions on this too. A lot of people like the story. They like to come and read and, for me, because I am looking at like hundreds of profiles a week, I don’t have time to really dive into someone’s About Me section so, to me, if it’s clean, concise, to the point, maybe some bullets in there, what you’re looking for, just a little blurb about you, your mini elevator pitch, it’s easier for me to read. For you, looking at your profile, I’m glad you spent a lot of time on it and you can tell that you put a lot of thought into it. Nothing wrong with what you have on here but, for me, as a recruiter, I don’t have time to read all through that. So the first couple of sentences are really important to me then I kind of scroll to the end just to see what is it you’re looking for. So if you’re in job search mode, I would really encourage a little blurb, maybe some bullet points to make it easy to read of the positions that you’re targeting. Now, on LinkedIn, when you’re trying to edit, there’s no ability to put bullet points so you have to kind of do this outside like on Word or something like that. Even on your phone, you can use emojis in there just to grab attention but just you want to make that a little bit interesting. That’s kind of like your ad, your 30-second ad. If I’m scrolling through, what can I know about you within like just a few seconds?
Billy: Got it. So I don’t need to dress up my experiences, I just need to be concise with them and say, “Former educator, certified personal trainer, mental health advocate, host of a podcast,” just be pretty concise with those things.
Jess: Yeah, like your — what about like your 10 —
Billy: My 10 roles?
Jess: Yeah, your 10 roles. I mean, that’s a perfect thing to put right there.
Billy: So here’s a question. Am I putting my 10 professional roles? Am I putting my 10 personal slash professional roles? Because, as a recruiter, do you give a shit that I’m a brother, that I’m an uncle, that kind of thing?
Jess: No, I would put your professional.
Billy: Got it, okay.
Jess: Yeah, your professional roles, I think, would be more important.
Billy: And I’m guessing that, I mean, your 10 roles here, they’re creative but I’m guessing that you’d want side hustle queen in there, you’d want creative think tank in there because those maybe demonstrate just a little bit of creativity, they demonstrate a little bit of flair, which you have, so I’m guessing that you would use something like that, like that would be perfectly fine in an About Me.
Jess: I definitely think so.
Billy: How important are the skills at the bottom and how important are getting recommendations from people? Because I’m always curious about that. LinkedIn always says take a skills test and I’m like, “I don’t have time for a skills test.” I mean, I have plenty of time for a skills test, I just don’t want to do a skills test but should I do a skills test? Should I be getting recommendations from friends?
Jess: Well, the reason why you don’t have time is because you’re jet setting all over the world. So I totally understand but, no, the skills actually make you also searchable on LinkedIn. So on LinkedIn Recruiter, when we’re searching for candidates, there is the ability to search for the skills on your profile. So do you take courses on there? Not necessarily, but you can ask people to endorse you, people who you’ve worked with in the past, people who know you, tell them, “Hey, can you endorse me?” and there’s a little button there that you can ask them to and, in fact, I’m going to go ahead and endorse you right now.
Billy: You’re the best.
Jess: Right there, endorse, I just hit the button. But, yeah, it’s as easy as hitting the button, like I’m clicking through your profile so I’ve just endorsed you on a few things. But, those, yes, make you searchable so I would say absolutely make sure you have all the skills in there that you want to show up under and then recommendations are huge, I feel. I don’t mind giving them and I like seeing that on there. Is it as important? Not necessarily. I mean, it’s not one thing we look at but if I’m still trying to understand the story, want to understand maybe if you’re a job hopper too why you’ve moved around different jobs, is your former boss putting good notes in there, your colleagues talking good about you, do you not have any recommendations at all, so I look at those. I mean, it’s not as important. Skills, I would say, would probably be a little bit more important just because if you are in job search mode, that’s how I’m able to search for you. But definitely giving and receiving recommendations are huge because that’s how you’re going to continue to build your network.
Billy: Well, Jess, thank you so much for going through my LinkedIn profile. If you are out there listening to this episode, go and listen to the Jess Get Hired podcast, look for the two episodes on why your LinkedIn profile sucks, do the things that Jess told you to do in this episode and those two episodes, that’s three resources for you, then you can message Jess and she will look at your LinkedIn profile, message her, she’s an amazing resource. Jess, thank you so much again for waking up early. I know you got meetings after this because you are a busy lady but I really, really appreciate that you took the time to, (a), look at my LinkedIn profile ahead of time. I appreciate you got up to have this conversation. Thank you so much. You’re the best.
Jess: Absolutely. Thanks for having me.
Billy: You bet. So, for Brian in Vegas, for Jess, this is Billy, thank you for listening to The Mindful Midlife Crisis. May you feel happy, healthy, and loved. Take care, friends.
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