They’re Just Not That Into You

Breaking up is hard to do. The old song is as true for romantic relationships as it is for candidates interviewing for a plum role with a great company. Even if it is a brief courting period/interview process, you have invested time, energy and significant effort. You’ve started getting excited for the future. And then, suddenly, you find that the feelings are not reciprocated.  The hiring manager or recruiter delivers the bad news, with something like “we’re moving in a different direction“, or “we’ve filled the position internally”, otherwise known as “It’s not you, it’s me” message. In rare cases, you’ll actually find out it was you and get some meaningful feedback. Either way, it’s clear, what you thought was the beginning of a meaningful, long term relationship is over, done, caput, finished. Time to take a breath and exit nicely, else you scorch the earth by becoming the stage five clinger* candidate.

I am an Executive Recruiter who works on high level searches for my clients, and have to let candidates know of tough decisions in the recruiting process on a regular basis. Very recently, I have had two candidates in separate searches who handled the news of “the breakup” quite differently.

The first candidate, who we will call Jack**, interviewed with me for a role with Company A. I liked Jack’s skills and experience, and believed that he could be a fit for the role. I presented him to my client, who did a phone interview with him. The feedback was that he had highly relevant experience, but came across as arrogant, talked over the client throughout the interview, and spoke ill of former coworkers (all things he did not display in his interview with me). The client, understandably, felt that this was not the best fit for their culture. When I called Jack to explain, he went ballistic. He told me that the client and I did not know what we were doing, he would find someone more important than us at the organization who would understand how great he was, and that the client did not give him enough time to explain his experience. A few days later, he sent a scathing email to the client. Five paragraphs of how we had made an egregious mistake by not hiring him. Thankfully, my client and I have an open and honest relationship, and she forwarded it to me. How embarrassing for me and how uncomfortable for my client. We decided to go ahead and hire him. I kid! We clearly are moving on to candidates who are a better fit for the job and the organization.

I was then understandably gun shy when I had to share news with a candidate interviewing with another client, Company B. They had decided to move forward with other candidates. This candidate, who we will call Sonny***, interviewed for a role of a similar level as Jack had with my other client. When I called him, he listened, asked for feedback, and though I could hear the surprise in his voice at the news and he was quieter than usual, he thanked me for the consideration. Within an hour, he emailed me to say that he was sorry if he seemed short with me. He had been surprised by the news, but upon reflection understood the client’s decision and wished them well. He further thanked me for the feedback, and said that it was great working with me and he hoped that we would have a chance to work together again.

Regardless of the reasoning, shock and bruised feelings are inevitable when someone finds out that they are not “the one”, and there will be a period of mourning while the dreams and excitement of the future fade away. The difference between Jack and Sonny is obvious. One burned a bridge, and one was a true professional, which left a lasting positive impression. Guess who I will call to play matchmaker for the next time I have a great catch of a job?


*Thank you, Wedding Crashers, for this gem!

**Name has been changed to protect the guilty

***Name has been changed to protect the rock star candidate who handled the situation with elegance and grace.


Cindy Joyce is the CEO of Pillar Search & HR Consulting. With over 20 years of experience, Pillar provides national retained search services for exceptional non-profits and foundations and early-stage or rapid growth for-profit firms. All share the characteristic of desiring top talent who want an occupassion, not just an occupation.     In addition, Pillar offers human resources consulting services, which was born of clients requesting help on projects beyond executive search, and includes leadership coaching, human resources audits, handbooks, assessing organizational design, training, team building, and employee communications. A woman-owned business, Pillar is based in Boston, MA, and works on both a local and national level. For more information, please visit




Cindy Joyce to Present at Lean In Boston Chapter!

Lean In is a nonprofit organization and online community dedicated to helping all women achieve their ambitions.


Tickets are available at



Cindy Joyce, Founder, Pillar Search on Promoting Yourself on Social Media

Social Media can be daunting. Between websites, blogs, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and more, the opportunities to engage online are endless. How do you focus your efforts? In this discussion, Cindy outlines:

  • The Brand of YOU
  • Knowing your Audience
  • How to Build Credability with Content
  • Building Relationships

Cindy Joyce is the Founder of Pillar Search. With over 20 years of experience in recruiting and human resources, Cindy has a proved ability to build and maintain professional relationships. She has worked and volunteered at some truly great organizations including City Year, Lois L. Lindauer Searches, Junior League, Harvard Law School, FundQuest, Acadian Asset Management, and Dress for Success. Based in Boston, Cindy works on local and national executive searches.  Her human resources experience has afforded her an opportunity to work with clients in both non-profits and for-profits, with an emphasis on improving employee productivity and promoting a strong organizational culture. 

Elaine Varelas, Managing Partner, Keystone Partners on Career Boosters and Busters

We all share the desire to achieve career success, but as women the challenges that we face in the workforce are unique and the things that we need to do to drive career success are not always obvious. Additionally, many of us do things to derail our career and we don’t even know it. In this interactive session, Elaine Varelas will review the top career boosters and busters and show you how to avoid these insidious career derailers, while making changes (big and small) that will boost your career to the next level.

Elaine Varelas, Managing Partner of Keystone Partners, has over 20 years experience in career consulting and coaching development, and has worked with numerous executive management teams to improve organizational effectiveness. She has expertise in successfully resolving complex career management issues, including workforce planning, redeployment and multi-site restructurings. Elaine also serves as Treasurer of Career Partners International, LLC, a network of independently owned career management firms which Keystone co-founded in 1987.

For an additional $10, sign-up to have a professional headshot taken by April of Sweet Monday Photography. Did you know that your LinkedIn Profile is 11X more likely to be viewed if it has a picture? It’s worth the investment in a headshot that people will remember!

Want to get your hair done before the event? Call Blo Seaport at 617 426 0874 to book your reservation for March 30 and save $5 on the appointment when you mention Lean In.



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New Search Announcement! Associate Director of Business Development for Year Up, A Best Nonprofit to Work For!

Pillar Search is pleased to announce the search for Year Up’s Associate Director of Business Development in San Jose, CA



Year Up is an award-winning national 501(c)3 organization striving to close the Opportunity Divide by providing urban young adults ages 18-24 with the skills, experience, and support that will empower them to reach their potential through professional careers and higher education. Through a one-year intensive training program, these young adults complete a unique combination of rigorous, hands-on technical and professional skills training, college credit, and corporate internships. With an annual operating budget of $90 million, Year Up served over 2,700 students in 2015 nationwide.


Year Up takes three approaches to closing the Opportunity Divide. Their core sites are based on their founding program model – direct service programming where facilities, staff, infrastructure, academics, and all other aspects of the program are managed by Year Up staff. The Professional Training Corps (PTC) is a community college based model that provides an opportunity for students to engage in meaningful workforce training. In this model, students are dual-enrolled in the community college and Year Up; technical skills are taught by college faculty, while Year Up staff provide professional skills and other wrap-around services. Lastly, their Employer Based Solutions are created in collaboration with employer partners; custom solutions are developed to meet critical business needs and solve for skills gap challenges in the marketplace.


Consistently voted one of the Best Nonprofits to Work For by the Nonprofit Times, Year Up is a rewarding place to work. Their staff is passionate, supportive, mission-driven, and committed to positive change and continuous learning. They set high standards for both themselves and their students, and live by a set of core values that reflect an unshakable belief in the talent and full potential of young adults. The work they do is life-changing, and they know that their team is the greatest asset in achieving their mission.



Reporting to the Regional Director of Partner Relations – West, the Associate Director of Business Development – Bay Area, CA is a key member of Year Up Bay Area’s Corporate Engagement team – the epitome of hard business skills in a mission-driven setting. S/he will connect top corporations in need of entry level talent with professionally trained, high-potential urban young adults.  The Corporate Engagement team, responsible for generating approximately 60% of our annual budget and connecting alumni with post-program career and education pathways, is seeking an additional member to reach tangible targets in developing and following leads, closing sales, and connecting grads with professional jobs.

To be successful in this role, you will desire to leverage your demonstrated for-profit revenue generation and career placement experience in a mission-driven social enterprise.  As an ideal candidate, you are someone who understands sales and thrives in environments that require you to build and maintain relationships.  You have a knack for networking and can speak passionately about Year Up’s mission and the students we serve.

In keeping with Year Up’s values, the Associate Director of Business Development will also have the opportunity to interact with students as a mentor, group facilitator, and advocate, participating in building a positive educational environment.

Year Up Map


  • Revenue Generation and Outcomes Business Development:
  • Lead business development and acquisition by building new corporate partnerships for internship seats and alumni hiring to top companies in the Bay Area while maximizing all opportunities and making recommendations on the various solutions, partnerships, and volunteer opportunities Year Up offers
  • Develop and implement Business Development strategy that generates internship revenue through the acquisition of new corporate partnerships and leads to increased alumni hires through partnerships with staffing agencies and hiring managers
  • Engage with C-level executives and decision makers at all organizations, from Fortune 500s to start-ups and small local businesses in a variety of settings from one-one-one meetings to large events
  • Develop and leverage a database of qualified leads through referrals, telephone canvassing, face to face meetings, cold calling, direct mail, email, and networking responding to territory assignments
  • Create and conduct effective presentations and proposals that identify Year Up’s innovative model and past successes for solving entry level talent needs at partner corporations through internships and alumni hires
  • Ensure alignment between graduate skill-set and hiring partnership development, as well as between internship partnership, role development, and intern skill-set
  • Maintain accurate and comprehensive records (in of activities such as sales calls, presentations, closed sales, and follow-up
  • In conjunction with the Director, develop annual business plan detailing activities to follow during the year, which will focus the candidate on meeting or exceeding sales quota
  • Relationships Management (External):
  • Build and drive our strategy to engage multiple special interest groups within partner segment to deepen partnerships and grow pipeline
  • Plan and implement corporate partner events aimed at deepening engagement, including convening corporate champions across industry verticals
  • Embrace the mantra of “high expectations, high support” in interactions with corporate partners and interns
  • Staff and Students Relationships Management (Internal):
  • Facilitate collaboration across functional teams, specifically, development, academics, and career services
  • Work closely with program leadership to ensure students strategically align with corporate partners needs
  • Create greater understanding of the internship program to all Year Up staff members
  • Site Team/Learning Community Member
  • Serve as an advisor/mentor for a small number of current students
  • Join and sometimes facilitate weekly group sessions with students
  • Participate in staff meetings and trainings 



  • Minimum of 4-5 years of experience preferred
  • New business sales and account management experience strongly preferred
  • Bachelor’s degree typical/preferred
  • Successful achievement of a minimum of $1m in sales targets
  • Demonstrated successful track record in a direct sales capacity
  • Demonstrated ability to generate leads and close business
  • Documented strengths in meaningful relationship building, management and growth
  • Strong networking skills and the ability to move comfortably and credibly in the community
  • Strong communication and collaboration skills to ensure alignment across several teams
  • Strong organizational and time management skills with exceptional attention to detail
  • A professional and resourceful style with the ability to work independently and as a team player, to take initiative and manage multiple tasks and projects at a time
  • Ability to thrive in a fluid, dynamic organization with a minimal amount of direction
  • Ability to plan, introduce and lead a process that enables high quality growth
  • Ability to lead, willingness to be led, and comfort with situational leadership
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office required; experience preferred
  • A passion for working with urban young adults, an unshakable belief in their potential and a strong commitment to the mission of Year Up
  • Understanding of the Opportunity Divide and its drivers
  • Commitment to diversity and inclusion



  • Salary: Competitive and commensurate with education and experience
  • Benefits: Competitive package including 100% healthcare coverage, dental, and 401(k) match
  • Vacation: Three weeks paid vacation in first year of employment; four weeks after initial year
  • Professional development: Funds available to support staff in achieving career objectives



Please submit a thoughtful cover letter and resume to Cindy Joyce of Pillar Search at Note that applications without a cover letter and salary expectations will not be considered. We respectfully request no phone calls.

Onboard or Onward: Ensuring the Success of Your New Executive Hire

“About 40% of executives who change jobs or get promoted fail in the first 18 months.”

Fortune Magazine

Where does it all go wrong? Too often, the onboarding process is where things fall apart. I am not talking about “orientation”, which often is done day one and generally involves the basics of assigning a building pass, conducting a benefits overviews, meeting the team and reading a few policies. Onboarding is a longer process, and if done well (typically in partnership with Human Resources and managed by the new executive’s manager, or the Board Chair if they report to the Board of Directors) can almost guarantee fit. It is holistic and gradual. It is also very deliberate, and will require constant check-ins and open communication.  Here are five key activities that will help to ensure that your new executive will be successful in their new role:

Start to Onboard Before They are Actually ON BOARD!

The time between an offer being accepted and the executive starting is sensitive. They may be dealing with a counteroffer, having to say goodbye to much-loved colleagues, and are nervous about this new venture. Keep in touch. Reiterate your excitement to have them joining the team, and have a few people in the organization reach out. If there are organizational overviews, annual reports, strategic plans or other things that that they can read up on ahead of time, get those to them during this time so that they start to feel like part of the team.

Send an announcement out to the staff and the board a few days before their start date explaining their background and the job they are filling. This will help make them seem more familiar to the team when they come through the door, and as an added benefit they will not have to review their resume and background with absolutely everyone in their first week or so.

Relationship Before Task 

Ideally, new executives will meet with their team and people across the organization. One-on-one meetings are great, but remind those who will be meeting with the executive to get to know them before delving into the inner workings of their role or the issues they face. Building rapport with new colleagues and direct reports is critical in the early days.

Learn By Doing 

Too often, in an effort to get all the information to a new hire as soon as possible, they are introduced to processes way too soon. Guess what? They will not remember how to do an expense report or change their password or complete a sales report 30 to 60 days in when they actually need to do it if they are taught how to do it their first week. Have the right people meet with them at the start to review the process at a high level, and then have them set up a time to do it later when they can sit down with real data and learn from it real-time.

The Buddy System 

What we learned in grade school still applies: the buddy system works when the new kid starts. This should not be the executive’s manager, but a peer or high-performing direct report who has longevity and the personality to be an effective buddy. The buddy can manage the nicety of taking them to lunch on day one and being available to explain the intricacies of culture, relationship dynamics, and certain pitfalls to avoid, which are things that the executive may not be comfortable asking of higher-ups.

Check In Early & Often

I too often hear that executives join, get a ton of attention the first day or two, and then are largely left on their own. It does not feel welcoming, and it runs the risk of them going in a direction that is difficult to course-correct later on. Meet with them daily, even for 10-15 minutes, in the first few weeks. Move on to twice weekly, weekly….you get the point. Let them know where they are doing a great job. Let them know where they need to take a different approach. But LET THEM KNOW. Being clear on what is a success will lead to more success.

While by no means a complete onboarding process, following the steps above will help to ensure that your new executive hire is one of the 60% who will be a success in the first 18 months.

Cindy Joyce is an Executive Recruiter and the Founder of Pillar Search, an Executive Search and HR Consulting firm located in Boston that works with clients nationwide. She can be reached here.

Lights…Cameras…Your LinkedIn Profile Picture!

In the acting world, headshots are a must for actors and actresses, whether they are just starting out or have reached “celebrity” status.  Headshots are their calling cards.

Treat your LinkedIn profile picture as if you were in Los Angeles or New York chasing a big acting job and as if that picture were your calling card. It is often the first impression that you will make on potential clients, employers, and vendors.  Make sure that the impression you leave is a positive one.  Plus, you may not be actively looking for a new job, but you never know when a hiring manager or executive recruiter will be looking around on LinkedIn and come across your profile.

I recently updated my own profile picture, and in the process did my research asked some friends who are photographers and in the image business to give their suggestions for a great headshot.  Here are some tips for a winning profile picture:

  • Hire a professional, or ask a friend who takes good pictures to help out
  • Thou shalt not take a selfie.  Deb Liljegren, NYC-based photographer, tells me that your outstretched arms may not be visible, but you are not fooling anyone.  Selfie sticks do not help, either. There is a clear difference between a DIY picture and one taken by someone else
  • Susan Tran, a photographer in Boston who did my recent photo, suggests that people smile big but not TOO big.  According to her, too big a smile can look forced.  Think of someone who makes you happy so that you capture your most natural smile
  • Boston photographer Stephanie Olsen says to BREATHE! Stephanie points out that everyone holds their breath when being photographed. This makes their shoulders rise up a bit and does not let their true smile come through. Stephanie guides people by telling them to exhale a smile. This also make them a laugh a bit and the smiles that follow are the most natural.
  • Wear professional attire suitable to your industry.  Dark colors work well so long as you do not have a dark background, in which case you would want lighter attire.  Contrast will make the picture “pop”.  Avoid prints, which can be too busy and could blend into the background
  • According to Brad Duncan, Boston’s top skincare guru, you should exfoliate your face a few days prior to the photo and drink tons of water in the days leading up to the photo being taken.  This will help skin look smoother and more even in the photo
  • If you wear makeup, go for a lighter hand for a soft effect.  Pretend you are going for that soft, fuzzy, super-forgiving Barbara Walters interview lighting
  • Speaking of lighting, Deb Liljegren also suggests shooting outside or near a window with filtered lighting


Remember, LinkedIn is a professional networking site and your photo should reflect that and portray your best you.


New Search Announcement! WildAid’s Managing Director of U.S. Operations

Pillar's New Search

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Pillar Search is pleased to have been selected to partner with WildAid on their search for the new role of Managing Director, U.S. Operations.



Founded in 1999, WildAid is an international organization based in San Francisco, CA. WildAid’s mission is to end the illegal wildlife trade in our lifetimes. WildAid envisions a world where people no longer buy wildlife products such as shark fin, elephant ivory and rhino horn.

While most wildlife conservation groups focus on protecting animals from poaching, WildAid works to reduce global consumption of wildlife products by persuading consumers and strengthening enforcement.

With an unrivaled portfolio of celebrity ambassadors and global network of media partners, WildAid leverages nearly $200 million in annual pro-bono media support. Their message reaches up to 1 billion people every week.

WildAid’s strategy for achieving this goal is to reduce demand for these products using their slogan When the Buying Stops, the Killing Can Too.


Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and the Managing Director – Programs (MDP) in his absence, the Managing Director – US Operations (MDUS) will primarily be a manager, overseeing all US staff. The MDUS will assess and ensure organizational performance in areas both internal and external: non-programmatic fundraising, finance/accounting, human resources, information technology and organizational communication, against the annual budget, work plan, and strategic plan.

The MDUS will be responsible for recruiting and hiring all US staff and managing their well being. S/he will bring her/his experience and talent to bear on improving the global organization infrastructure to accommodate continued growth and geographic expansion. S/he will plan and lead the organizations non-programmatic fundraising and non-programmatic organizational communications strategy and should have extensive experience in both areas. Currently funding is mainly foundation and high net worth individual driven. The organization raises approximately $10 million annually.

The MDUS serves as counsel on short- and long-term fundraising, financial, staffing, and administrative decisions. S/he will set goals, monitor work, and evaluate results to meet departmental and cross organizational objectives. The role also includes oversight of WildAid’s headquarter operations and international administration and fundraising, as well as maintaining close professional relationships with staff in all locations to facilitate innovative and effective policies and procedures. They will negotiate and manage external vendor relationships such as legal counsel, insurance, technology providers, and facilities.

The MDUS will have the depth of financial experience to ensure compliance with audits, as well as regulatory and government requirements. This individual will collaborate with the Controller to oversee investment and asset management, the annual budgeting process, and ensure that multi-year financial modeling is consistent with strategic plans.

Finally, the MDUS will oversee HR strategies for recruiting, retaining, and training WildAid’s global workforce. The strategies will ensure the alignment of HR systems, compensation and benefits, and implementing a performance management system with the goals of the organization. S/he will also play a key role as champion of WildAid’s values-based positive culture.



The MDUS will examine the current operational systems in place, apply global best practices and strategize with the CEO to improve efficiency and implement solutions to support the organization as it continues to scale. They will build a cohesive team that includes necessary expertise in donor relations and fundraising, finance and accounting, technology, human resource and administrative support services that work collaboratively to advance WildAid’s mission. Specific duties within key areas include:

Fundraising/Donor Relations

  • Development: Work closely with the CEO and the MDP to meet aggressive fundraising goals; drive the execution of annual development plans for foundations, high net worth individuals, special events & other alternative sources of income.
  • Coordination: working internally and externally to ensure that all program, development, and communication initiatives are aligned and well-coordinated.

Human Resources

Manage and oversee the human resource function for WildAid, including:

  • Recruitment, hiring, compensation, benefits administration and performance management.
  • Design an execution of systems to develop, motivate, and retain top talent.
  • Create a more unified team across departments and offices.


  • Work plans and operations: Together with the CEO and MDP, develop and implement coordinated country and program strategies and work plans for non-programmatic staff, and monitor progress against metrics and milestones.
  • Board of Directors: working with the CEO, provide staff support and guidance to WildAid’s Board and act as staff liaison to relevant board committees.
  • Office leadership: Effectively execute standardized policies and procedures across regional offices in the San Francisco headquarters and country offices.
  • Risk management and legal activities: implement letters of agreement, contracts, leases, and other legal documents.
  • Information technology: ensure the ongoing 
maintenance and updating of information systems and infrastructure, including hardware, software, and necessary applications.
  • S/he will manage the non-programmatic budget and the following direct reports: Major Gifts and Events Planner, Development Assistant, Controller, Communications Manager, Administrator Associate, and Social Media Manager.  SF-based Video Editor, Video Producer, Climate Campaigner, US Campaigner (open), US Media Manager (open) will also be managed as well from a human resources aspect, but these positions will fall under the Managing Director – Programs in terms of direction.

Financial Management and Oversight

Working with the Controller, manage and oversee all financial and business planning activities, including:

  • Lead and support organizational budgeting process, including development of an annual operating plan with programmatic milestones and targets/deliverables linked to budgets.
  • Direct and administer all financial planning and provide overall financial oversight and monitoring.
  • Support and advise the CEO in decision-making and review and analyze financial reports and ensure that relevant financial data is presented to the CEO and Board of Directors.



WildAid seeks a passionate, experienced team player, who is deeply committed to WildAid’s mission to end the illegal wildlife trade. This individual will have senior management experience in fundraising, human resources, operations, and finance/accounting and have an understanding of nonprofit budget models. The successful candidate will have worked with senior-level stakeholders, such as a Board of Directors, leadership teams, and country directors, to secure commitments and manage execution against shared objectives

Since WildAid is a global organization undergoing rapid growth, the ideal candidate will share best practices for creating the proper infrastructure, systems, and processes to allow for sustainable expansion. Ideally, candidates will have spent part of their career working in the area of international conservation.

The successful candidate will be a pragmatic, action-oriented leader who will enjoys working in an entrepreneurial environment. The MDUS will think strategically and creatively; this leader will need experience identifying problems and implementing solutions and best practices. S/he will be a big picture thinker, but will also possess a strong work ethic and ability to act as a hands-on manager when necessary. This individual will show sensitivity and the ability to establish respect, credibility and trust with regional office staff and in multicultural settings. The successful candidate will be comfortable with ambiguity and excited by the opportunity to work in a dynamic, nimble, start-up-like environment. The MDUS will need to remain organized and calm when under pressure.



The candidate should have a minimum of 15 years related work experience in relevant positions of increasing scope and responsibility and possess excellent management and people skills, and personal qualities of integrity, credibility, and a commitment to WildAid’s mission. An ability to fundraise on a large scale is required. Proven experience working for an international and/or nonprofit organization in a similar capacity is highly desired. A Bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, business administration, or a related field is required. An advanced degree in business, finance, or a related field is preferred.



WildAid is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified candidates are encouraged to apply. For immediate consideration, please address a cover letter and resume to Cindy Joyce, Pillar Search, at

Keep It Clean: Tips for Sprucing Up Your Personal Social Media in the Job Search

When you embark on a job search, you likely will immediately update your resume and spruce up your cover letter template. These are all incredibly important to do, but you may want to go further into your social media. Potential employers may Google you, so go ahead, do a search on yourself and see what comes up. They may do this search prior to interview selection, so you will want to ensure that you are making a good online impression and setting a positive tone.

Privacy, please: Set your Facebook and Instagram to private. Click here for instructions on changing your Facebook settings, and here for instructions on your Instagram settings.

Keep it clean: Make sure that any photos that you have posted or that are posted of you are not in questionable taste. You know which ones I mean. If you would not want your grandmother seeing it, you should not want it out there for potential employers to see. Going forward, when posting photos on Facebook, select the option of photos only being viewable by “Friends”.

Remove any rants: Twitter, by nature, is where you can spout off in 160 characters or less. If you tend to tweet, scroll through and remove anything that could be construed as a negative sound-off, especially if it has to do with your frustrations related to your job, organization, boss or colleagues.

Learn to leverage LinkedIn: LinkedIn is probably the first place that a potential employer will look. Make sure that your LinkedIn profile is impeccable. Here’s how:

  • Start with a polished photo. Ideally, use a professional headshot. If this is not feasible, we all have that friend who takes amazing photos. Ask them to take one.
  • Look professional.  Avoid photos that obviously have cropped someone else out, or where you are wearing your favorite sports team gear. Ladies, I love a strapless dress or spaghetti strap as much as anyone, but in a headshot it will make you look underdressed or, even worse, not dressed at all, and that is not the impression you want to make as a professional.
  • You know where you have worked. Others may not. Take the time to write up a blurb about what each company you have worked at does. It helps the profile to flow better, and tells a more complete story.
  • Similarly, do not just list your job titles. Explain, even briefly, what you did in each job. This is your chance to shine and give a narrative of your work history.
  • List accomplishments, awards, volunteer efforts and anything that will demonstrate how talented and passionate you are. Do not be shy. This is the time to showcase what sets you apart.
  • Ask people for recommendations. It helps build confidence in both your work abilities and your relationship building skills.
  • Network, network, network. Some people are better at networking than others. If you are not one of them, take a deep breath, click on the “People You May Know”, and proactively reach out. Not only do higher numbers look better (as stated earlier, it shows that you are adept at building relationships) but some hiring managers that I have worked with will not even look at candidates with less than 500 contacts.
  • Ask people whose professional opinion you trust to give you feedback on your LinkedIn profile. This could include trusted colleagues, former managers, mentors, or a recruiter that you may be working with. They may see things that need improvement or accomplishments that you would be well-served by highlighting.

Your resume is just one piece of the puzzle. Make sure that your social media fits the brand that you are building or have built professionally to ensure that prospective employers view you in the best light.