Is It Time To Add A Photo To A Resume?


With the widespread use of websites such as LinkedIn and Facebook where people are freely posting photographs of themselves, is it time to start including a headshot on resumes?

It’s common practice for many organizations to search job candidates names after having received their applications. While they may be intending to learn more about what people are saying about a candidate, and pick up more information than what is only included on a résumé, there’s no doubt that they are going to also see one or multiple photographs if they are part of the persons profiles.

This opens up the dialogue and discussion of preferences, biases, subjective opinions on what an organization might find, ‘the right fit’ with their corporate reputation etc. Once again, the ‘beautiful people’ of the world would probably have an advantage over those who are not; and in this case, we’re only talking outward physical attraction, as interviewer and applicant will not have met at this stage.

There are many organizations these days working to become more diverse and inclusive of many cultures and races too. In their efforts to add more minority groups, people who are physically challenged etc., a photo could strengthen an applicants chances of receiving an interview. This is a touchy subject; one that many would rather not be on the leading edge of discussing for fear of coming out wrong on the side of public opinion.

Some would argue that organizations are actually trying to move in the complete opposite direction than identifying an applicant by race, colour, gender, name, height, religion etc. In fact, there are some who upon receiving a résumé, will remove an applicants name and other identifying information before handing it on to those making decisions on whom to interview. By removing these features, the thought is that the most qualified on paper get through on merit alone, and personal biases are taken out of the equation.

Of course once the people come in for an interview, their age, skin colour, accent, mobility, height, gender all become immediately apparent. So any bias or preferences do come into play, the only difference is that the interviewers know they have before them a person whom impressed them solely on qualifications alone. In other words, all that’s really happened is the possibility of declining to interview someone based on subjective prejudices and / or preferences has just moved to another level; the physical introductions. It doesn’t entirely remove them completely from the hiring process.

Photographs one could argue, like any other piece of information provided, can be valuable. Looking at Facebook and LinkedIn, there’s a fundamental difference in the two platforms. On LinkedIn, members are more thoughtful about what they choose to include as their image. Great thought and care is taken to ensuring the headshot (for that is often what the best photographs are) is clear, the clothing worn is in sync with the image the person is striving to achieve. People will also put care into their grooming; hair brushed and neat, posture good and typically a nice smile looking into the camera and out to ones audience.

Facebook on the other hand might show multiple photographs; everything from headshots to bikinis, from birthday parties to backyard barbeques, wine tasting events to micro brewery tours. There could be pictures of someone with their babies, glimpses of their home and the condition of its cleanliness. While we’re at it there could be shots of tattoos, rants about an unfair speeding ticket or face painted in the colours of their favourite sports team. You might not have wanted or expected that a potential employer would look up such things, but if it’s there, it’s there for public viewing.

The point is the photographs and pictures of potential employees are there for the looking in many cases. Including one on a résumé could be helpful or hurt ones chances. It’s not a level playing field, and when it comes down to it, we know it never has been, nor is it likely to be. I applied for a job many years ago in the men’s clothing department in a shop in the town of Fenelon Falls Ontario. Having shopped there often, I observed all the employees were female. When the owner of the store called me to invite me in for an interview, she asked for Kelly. “Speaking” I said, and this caught her off guard. “Oh!”, she said, “I’m sorry, we only hire women and I thought Kelly was a female.” Leaving the discrimination aside for the time being, this wouldn’t have happened had they a picture to see that indeed, I am Kelly – a male!

On the other hand, when I applied to work in Toronto, the employer there was looking for a workforce that looked like the population of people it served. They were actually short on white men at the time, which goes against what you hear often in the media today. A photograph might have enhanced my chances of landing that interview, which I got by the way and was hired based on merit, not only skin colour and gender.

So what’s your opinion? Include or omit photographs? I imagine the less courageous among employers will take to commenting for fear of controversy. On the other hand, this is an excellent opportunity for organizations to state their stand on the subject. So stand up and be counted.

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LinkedIn: How To Get Started


I see a lot of people who started a LinkedIn profile and after spending what looks like 5 minutes on it, apparently gave up. Of those I’ve actually asked about their undeveloped or underdeveloped profiles, the most common response I get is that they joined because somebody said they should, but they didn’t really know why so they never went any further.

Fair enough. To these people; (you perhaps?) I say that if and when you turn up in someone’s search, they will see this poor reflection of you and that then becomes their first impression. If they are an employer, recruiter or potential business partner, they may just believe that if this is you putting in your best effort, maybe you’re actually not worth theirs. After all, if you can’t be bothered to put in the bit of work to present yourself professionally on what is a professional networking platform, you’re hardly likely to put in the effort on the things that are of most importance to them; namely working with them in some capacity.

So here’s a few LinkedIn profile thoughts to get you going. First, add your picture and make it a clear head shot; preferably with a smile on your face and without any distracting background. How do you want to come across to a potential employer? You’re looking to create an image; an emotional connection with whomever looks at it.

Write a summary that tells people who you are, what motivates you, what you’re passionate about or believe. Unlike a résumé, yes go ahead and use the word, “I”, and use first-person language not 3rd person. After all, you want people to believe you wrote this, it wasn’t made by someone else.

When you move into the Employment History or Experience area, don’t just cut and paste your résumé. Whereas your résumé may have bullet points under each job, write in sentences. Consider sharing in each position what you learned, how you improved, what accomplishments you achieved and were proud of. If you’re one of those people who sees this as tooting your own horn, put down what others have said you do exceptionally well.

Start connecting! Begin with those you know such as past or present co-workers, supervisors, friends, customers, associates, peers etc. Now expand your network by searching for others who do similar work to what you do – even if you’ve never actually met. After all, you don’t want to limit yourself to only those you already know. You can learn a lot from reading and thinking about what others in your profession have to say.

As for people who work outside your profession, you may get invites to connect and I’d urge you to do so more often than not. If you limit yourself to only people you know and only people in your profession, you’ll develop a very narrow stream of contacts and by way of those contacts, a limited view of things. Who knows where your future opportunities exist?

Now when you add the endorsements to your profile, consider carefully what you’d like others to endorse you for. The things you choose should be consistent with the skills that are desired in your line of work. You may be good at using Microsoft Word, but is that something that will push your chances of working with others forward? Is that something unique that will impress others? In my case, I’m an Employment Counsellor, so I’ve elected to be endorsed primarily for traits associated with the profession. Helping others with “Job Search” skills is a key thing I do, so that’s what I’ve elected to have on my profile and it syncs with what I do.

Now, think about recommendations. Remember those letters of recommendation from years past that you might have received? They meant something once upon a time, and you’d show up at an interview with them as part of a portfolio; a testament to your abilities. The impact of these is still valuable, so you’d like to get some; I know I value them highly! So it stands to reason others value them too.

Okay, now add your education. Where did you go to school and what courses did you take? Add anything you may have authored or awards and certificates you hold. You’re building up your credentials.

Write a recommendation for a colleague who is on LinkedIn; someone you admire for their skills, support or positive impact on you. How did or do they help you? Taking the time to recommend someone is always appreciated, and they will likely thank you, perhaps even by writing you a recommendation in kind!

Now expand your connections by searching for people who may now work in the organizations you’d like to work at yourself one day. Communicate with them every so often and develop a professional relationship. Don’t connect and 2 minutes later ask for a job. Show some genuine interest in them, ask about what they do, how they got started, trends, insights etc.

This is just a thumbnail sketch of how to get going without delving into the many other features of LinkedIn. Still, if you have a weak profile, using the suggestions here will at the very least get you headed in the right direction. Another tip? Sure. Check out the profiles of others in your line of work and learn from the good ones. You’ll know the difference between the good and the poor ones – believe me.

LinkedIn Notifications


When I open LinkedIn I can see right away that there’s some notifications waiting for me to open. The more connections you have, the more likely you are to have a number of these, and so with quite a few connections, these notifications come daily.

As I move to click on the small red dot on the notifications image (in this case what reminds me of a school bell), I wonder less and less what the notification will actually turn out to be. This is because more often than not, the notifications are to either wish one of my connections a happy birthday or to congratulate them on a work anniversary or perhaps starting a new job.

Now I’m not under any obligation to actually do anything with those notifications. I can ignore them and choose to move on with whatever else I want to do, or I can click and up comes a standard message I can send as is or edit. Typically the standard message is, “Happy Birthday”, “Congratulations on the new job” or “Congratulations on your anniversary”. With a second click I can send the message as is or as I say edit the message by sending an additional thought of my own.

Now me, I always choose to acknowledge the event connected with my connections. I know however that this is not a practice shared by others, and I’m actually not going to suggest or advise you as a reader of this article one way or the other. I’m going to share with you why I personally do think this is a practice I will continue to engage in however. I would think the only reason I’d stop to do this would be if a number of my connections contacted me and requested I stop. It would seem to me however that this practice must be working for the majority of LinkedIn users or LinkedIn itself would disable this functionality and stop promoting the practice of acknowledging events going on with ones’ connections.

One thing I have to say is that like so many other users of this social media platform, I have contacts I know intimately, others I know well, some I know moderately and some I’ve accepted as connections whom never really entered into dialogue with beyond initiating or accepting a connection. My response to these people will vary when I see a notification. To the extent I know the person and/or the actual time I have on my hands at a given moment dictates what I choose to do. Not much time and I send the standard LinkedIn proposed message; more time and I add a personal note of my own.

The real question of course is why. Why do this at all? Of what value is there in sending any acknowledgement? Well to me, I believe it’s one small way of maintaining a relationship with the person. Take the person I know well but not intimately. Maybe I’ve exchanged some messages back and forth over the years, provided some feedback on something they’ve said or they’ve commented on a blog of mine. Acknowledging their birthday costs me nothing but 4 seconds and aren’t they worth that? I think they are.

Should my contact change jobs I’d also want to know about this and I wouldn’t expect they’d individually notify all their connections about the change. This service provided by LinkedIn is a quick way to get the news out and new jobs are always cause for celebration. I think most people enjoy being congratulated and so I do so.

What of the person then that I don’t know all that well but who is nonetheless a connection of mine? I still take those few seconds to click on the, “Say happy birthday” message. Here I might opt to just send the standard greeting. Again, it requires so little effort I can’t help but think if I really value the connection why wouldn’t I give them 4 seconds of my time?

You might wonder why I’d even have a connection that I don’t really know that well or whom I don’t exchange much conversation with. Perhaps for you this is a bigger question. Well, yes there are people who just go about collecting connections at random and think it’s a race to have the highest number possible. I’m not one of those. I do think that in addition to building a network of people in my field, there is value in knowing people in other lines of work; connections where the benefits are not immediately obvious. I’m laying the groundwork for the future, and if they initiate a request with me, perhaps they are looking to benefit from me as a connection. So it’s not always what I can leverage from someone but more often than not what I might do for them.

Clicking on that ‘Congratulate so-and-so on their work anniversary’ is also important I think just because it’s nice to do. There’s no strings attached to sending the congratulatory message, I’m not asking for anything. It does from time-to-time result in a few messages back and forth; a check-in if you will and my relationship with that person gets some attention and nurturing.

So there’s some of my argument for the LinkedIn Notifications feature and it’s value. Sometimes it’s all the little things that cumulatively make a difference.

Networking: The Payoff Of Persistence


Whether you’re looking for employment or successfully employed, you’ve undoubtedly heard and know the value of networking. That being said, it is surprising that many people don’t do it well themselves; often not truly networking with others until necessity demands it. Like many things, necessity might  at that point force you to do it, but without the practice, you’re unlikely to be at your best.

So what exactly is networking and how do you both get started and do it well? Networking is having conversations with people where information is exchanged and relationships established and nurtured. It is often associated with advancing one’s own career but this latter part need not be part of some formal definition. Many people network for the purpose of solely learning more about the best practices in their field, or mentoring others without thinking to spin these into self promotions and advancement.

Today I’ve got a meeting set up for noon with one of my LinkedIn connections. This is a face-to-face meeting which could be a one-time only event. It has come about because she initiated contact, indicated she was relatively new to the area and has not had the success she’d hoped for in finding employment so far. Her request for either a meeting or a suggestion of someone else to contact in her field that might assist her is how she started. She’s taken initiative, reached out, and only time will tell if she’s satisfied or not with the outcome. It is however how networking begins.

Networking however has its payoffs. It can be so much more than a conversation. Last night I met with another person who reached out also via LinkedIn initially. This was our second face-to-face meeting. This time we talked about progress she was making, where she was in terms of her career thought process, looked at ways to strengthen her resume when applying and she shared a little of what transpired with others she was meeting with. During this second conversation, I also got some valuable feedback on some ideas I’m considering for the future and she took a real interest in my journey too. It was the best of networking; each person getting and giving for the benefit of both of us.

What is transpiring in the meeting above is a mutual investment in this relationship, rather than a one-way, “it’s all about me because I’m the one without a job” mentality. When both people feel they are benefitting from a conversation, each is invested to a higher degree.

Now the payoff of networking. This time I share with you the success story of a woman with whom I had the distinct pleasure of assisting in her search for meaningful employment. She initiated a dialogue back in January of this year with a gentleman she’s known for almost 15 years, but this time she reached out specifically with employment in mind. That initial networking conversation led to multiple conversations, even an invitation to attend a networking event together as his guest. Just yesterday she got in contact with me to say he himself has hired her on to work with him in his own business.

The experiences of these three women all demonstrate the value of taking the initiative to reach out and network. While much has changed in how we go about finding employment over the years, who you know is still a major key factor in being successful. How do you get to know people if you fail to reach out to anyone you don’t currently know?

Social media platforms such as LinkedIn are great for developing connections, but it still amazes me how many people decline invitations to connect with people they don’t know. Sure there are people who are just clicking away connecting with people for the sole purpose of increasing their numbers. That’s not networking however; that’s a popularity exercise. Connecting with famous people is also not truly networking. You’re unlikely to have an actual conversation with them, but you’ll get their thoughts in a one-way broadcast and you’ll get their name among your contacts if that holds meaning for you.

Here’s some ideas for you to consider acting upon; and let me make it clear that ‘acting upon’ should be your goal. For starters, initiate connection requests to the following people: those who work where you might like to also work or those who work in the same line of work you’re pursuing. You may come across people with profiles that peak your interest and spark some genuine curiosity or affinity with whom you’d like to know better. What might they share with you that would help you find passion yourself in what you do? What might they tell you that would help you get where they are or give you insights into the company or field you’re wanting to join?

Once connected with these people, do more than just count them as a connection. Reach out with an email or message and thank them for agreeing to be a connection. Tell them what attracted them to you and ask if there is the possibility of either meeting face-to-face, having a phone conversation or an online chat.

Be prepared for those that will say yes and those who will decline. Have some questions ready and be prepared to give as well as get. Make it worthwhile for both you and them.

Work your network.

Resume and LinkedIn 1st Vs. 3rd Person


You might be guilty of making a fundamental flaw on your resume or CV that’s turning off employer’s from inviting you in for an interview; thereby curtailing your chances of employment. Many of the people I help construct resumes with come to me after first having had others write their resume and they are entirely unaware of this error.

So what’s the problem? The issue has to do with the inclusion of the letter, ‘s’ at the end of words which changes the resume from first person to third person language. In other words, instead of talking about yourself on paper, it now appears that someone else is talking about you; in short, you didn’t write your own resume. So what’s the problem with this you ask? If you didn’t write your own resume, the employer still doesn’t have a sample of your written communication skills and it may appear to them to be disingenuous; a falsehood or an attempt to come across as dishonest at worse. Honesty and integrity being two key values employers see as positive traits they see you now as lacking.

Look at these two bullets to describe customer service we might see on the fictional person Brenda’s resume:

  • Ensures excellent customer service
  • Ensure excellent customer service

The first bullet is in 3rd person language because what’s presumed to be the first word before the sentence is the word, ‘Brenda’. So it reads, ‘Brenda ensures excellent customer service.” This is what someone other than Brenda herself would say about Brenda, hence the 3rd person language.

The second bullet is in 1st person language because what’s presumed to be the first word before the sentence is the word, “I”. So it reads, “I ensure excellent customer service.” This is what Brenda herself would say, hence it’s in 1st person language.

That single, ‘s’ is a blatant giveaway to a trained and skilled company representative who is going over received resumes and shortlisting those to interview and those to pass up on. Look, the resume is supposed to be your personal marketing document; an example of something you’ve produced which is an example of your best work. After all, presumably you want to get to the interview stage and get an interview, so anyone reading your resume will guess this is the best example of your writing skills because there’s a lot riding on this resume for you and you’ve taken some time to carefully craft it and go over it for mistakes.

Now I don’t always know who has put together this resume when a person brings it to me for editing or a complete overhaul. Therefore I don’t know about the education, attention to detail, grammatical skills or experience of the person who penned it. What I do know is that the person sitting before who got that person to write it for them almost always is completely oblivious to the 1st vs. 3rd person writing, and when it’s pointed out to them, it doesn’t take long for them to see my point. In fact, most people look ahead and find other examples of 3rd person language in their resume. This is good, because by explaining the two writing styles, they are empowered to note these occurrences on their own and they avoid this mistake when penning their own in the future.

I have had conversations with some local and international interviewers on this topic, and I can assure you I’m not splitting hairs over some trivial matter. In the last week, 6 of these individuals have told me outright that if they read 3rd person language on the person’s resume, they immediately wonder about the validity of the information they are reading. They figure that if someone else did the actual typing, maybe that person actually came up with all the information too, so how close is what’s on paper with the person whose name is at the top of the resume?

The impact of 3rd person language could go as far as turning off the interviewer to the point they scrap the whole resume and move to another applicant.

Now, getting a professional to sit down with you and craft a resume is still an outstanding strategy to use when you want to apply for a job; a job you really want and therefore want to make a really well-tailored resume for. It’s up to you however to refuse to accept that document that ends up being produced without actually reading it and taking ownership for what’s on it. It never ceases to amaze me when I point out errors on a resume and the person comes back with a statement like, “I didn’t do it. I had it professionally done by someone else.”

Not only does the above statement tell me that the person shouldn’t have blindly trusted the ghost resume writer, it also tells me that they don’t understand that because it is their name at the top of the resume, they are responsible for everything on the page – including the content and the grammar of the writer.

Use first person language on your LinkedIn profile too, unless of course you want to come across as not having wrote your own content or having weak grammar skills. Sometimes it’s the simple things we overlook or don’t even know about that are hurting our chances.

So if you didn’t know before, now you do.

LinkedIn, Are You There?


The folks at LinkedIn are making one of the most common errors businesses make, and I for one find it surprising. They are making numerous changes to how users experience using it without checking with their end-users first to determine if they’ll like those implemented changes.

Now I for one have come to embrace change in the most general sense. I’m not typically one who resists enhancements or laments, ‘the way things used to be’. No, change is generally good. When LinkedIn made the possibility of adding video, presentations, pictures etc. to each volunteer or employment positon on one’s profile, I imagined the possibilities. I think that option for those who want it is a good one. It will give others the opportunity to click on such media and delve a little deeper into someone’s experience and expertise in how they market themselves.

However, I noticed a big change in the groups I’m part of and how one goes about sharing a post. Suddenly what was pretty straight forward is confusing and poorly laid out. Well, that’s my opinion; but no one has asked what my thoughts are. Did they consult with you? I mean maybe they did in fact do a test run with selected LinkedIn users, but as far as I know they didn’t.

The end result; (perhaps ‘end’ is an inappropriate choice of words as things are constantly morphing these days it seems) something easy to use and easy to understand became awkward to use and hard to understand. Okay so maybe the justification they would throw out at us is that there are way too many LinkedIn users; that consulting with all of us would  only give them a broad range of responses so they went ahead with their, “we know what’s best for you and you’ll like it” mentality. If so, this recipe has been the very thing that killed all kinds of organizations and businesses in the past.

Do you have to constantly change to be relevant in this day in age? Are they fearful that by keeping some things static they will fall out of favour and see their users click away from them in droves?

Take a company that launches a new phone. Every broadcaster doing a story will lead with some version of, “So what’s new this time around and why should you trade in your old model?” That I get. There has to be enough new features in something new to stimulate end-users enough to ditch what they have for what they could have. But in this case, we already have LinkedIn.

I certainly don’t know everything, and it could well be that users were complaining to LinkedIn; making threats of going to other platforms, making suggestions of how to improve the group experience. Perhaps… This I can’t honestly comment on but I for one didn’t come across people griping about the service. If this is the case, I’m in the dark and yes this would explain a lot.

Up until recently when I made a post, I could then click on the various groups I’m part of and one by one copy and paste the links to a blog I penned and share it with those groups I’m part of. That’s getting harder to do, for yesterday when I went to share it, I clicked on the ‘share’ features but don’t know exactly with whom it got shared. Gone was the process of choosing which groups to send it to. In other words, I’m not sure if my targeted audiences received the post or not, and I’m not sure where it went at all. It’s like standing on a soapbox in the village square but having a blindfold on and not knowing who your audience is in front of you; or if you even have one!

So in your organization, when you are considering a change, isn’t the change you want to bring about generally in response to improving the experience of your customers or clients? Often we hear about situations where unwanted change occurs, and customers blame the folks in their ivory towers who think they know what’s best for the masses but are out of the loop. I certainly hope LinkedIn gurus don’t fall victim to this pitfall.

Technology is famous for its upgrades though isn’t it? When a publisher wanted to update a schoolbook with the latest information, they did so once a year and labeled it the new edition. Technology however changes throughout the day and night – 24/7, so the changes can and do happen with greater frequency. When things improve our experience, we applaud the quick response, the improved experience, the cutting edge technological response to our demands. Every so often though, the changes miss the mark and we end-users scratch our collective heads and stop cheering on the changes.

I’m not about to revoke my LinkedIn support; and believe me I think it’s fabulous in its potential. It’s that very potential however that maybe they are responding to in trying to remain relevant. Are they worried that we end users grow so complacent unless we see major develops on a daily basis we look for the next greatest thing so easily?

I shouldn’t worry I suppose come to think of it; likely they’ll morph the group experience again in the near future and maybe it will be a better experience. If they consult with you, let me know!

Message Received: Bring Enthusiasm!


After having spent two weeks supporting a group of 10 job seekers, one of them presented me with a token of her appreciation. Her gift was a folding panel of 9 framed windows, in each of which she had hand-written a quote or made a comment about enthusiasm. It now sits on my window sill in my office.

Now the significant thing here is that for those two weeks, I kept driving home the point to everyone there that employers want to see enthusiasm from their employees and applicants. I myself was driving home that message by being enthusiastic myself. So when I found this on my desk in the room we were using on the final morning, I was sincerely touched by her generosity.

Now earlier in the week – in fact even the day before, I’d mentioned to all the people in the group that I in fact was not allowed to accept gifts from them. No, the only thing permissible would be perhaps a card of thanks. It’s an odd thing to tell a group of people that you can’t accept gifts, because it suggests to some that they should be getting you something when possibly they weren’t thinking of it at all. The reason is that those in the group are unemployed whereas I am not. So when the gift was given nonetheless, I had to get it cleared by a Supervisor in order to keep it.

I am thrilled to tell you her story because not only did she land a job, but something unexpected in addition to the job happened. Read on then, see what she did to put herself in a position to be successful, be happy for her but most of all, take the lessons yourself.

I’m going to gloss over some details just enough to give some context. The woman came to the class with emotional baggage, lots of outside stress and while she had education within the last year, practical experience in her field was a key barrier to employment. In her 40’s, she dressed like she’d been in the profession for years, looking the part she wanted so desperately to play.

Job searching daily from 9 to 2:30p.m. is mentally fatiguing, but that’s the nature of the program I was running. On two consecutive days, I was pleasantly surprised then to see her remain behind and put in an additional 30 minutes with me getting 1:1 help. She was tired to be sure, but she persevered and then the next days would show me what she worked on at home in the evenings. Now that’s a focused commitment to success.

In addition to revamping her resume and cover letter, we worked on her research, LinkedIn profile and interview skills. By working on these, there was a noticeable improvement in her self-confidence, self-esteem and self-image. As much as we were job searching together, we were also working on the reflection of the woman in the mirror.

Now she put out solid applications, each targeted to specific jobs with similar yet different requirements. No mass-produced one-size fits all resumes without cover letters here! She saw others in the group get interviews and jobs. She herself eventually got an interview, then a second and then a job offer. Oh she accepted it all right. She even negotiate a slightly higher salary than that originally presented by the employer.

When she and I last met in person, there was a change in her. She had a new stress she didn’t have before in starting a new job and wanting to succeed yes. But gone was the frustration of a fruitless job search. The, “somebody out there wants me!” feeling of being hired has taken hold. With that objective 3rd party validation, she is able to now shift from looking for a job to keeping a job; anxiety and hopelessness are replaced with positivity and growing confidence.

Now just yesterday she sent me two emails. One was a note of appreciation and to related how nice people are in the workplace and how she’s happy. The second email was a further request for guidance.

You see the LinkedIn profile we had improved both with a change in content and photo, had attracted a Talent Acquisition Specialist for a large well-respected organization. Here she had gone from someone who was unemployed and begging for a chance to show what she could do, to a woman with a job who was now attracting a second employer.

In short, going about her job search with enthusiasm herself, acting on the suggestions made to her and putting in a sincere full-time effort was yielding real measurable results. My enthusiasm had rubbed off on her for sure, but she herself had made the conscious choice to embrace going about her job search with renewed enthusiasm when she could have gone about her job search and my suggestions with skepticism.

If you are unemployed, control the things you can. Choose enthusiasm, add details to your LinkedIn profile, research employers and employees where you want to work. Get out of your sweatpants and hoodies and take pride in your appearance. Look at that photo you’re presenting to the world – would you be motivated to interview the person you see?

When you are enthusiastic you can still be a realist; just go about your day throwing yourself into what you do with your best effort. Make sure you don’t become the biggest barrier to your own job search.