LinkedIn study: your first name is related to your professional title


According to data released by LinkedIn, women CEOs prefer to use their full legal names, whereas sales professionals and male CEOs tend to use shortened versions of their names. These are among the findings:

“It’s no secret that people often associate their title, employer and even their education as part of what defines them and their professional brand,” said Monica Rogati, LinkedIn’s senior data scientist. “What’s interesting about this data is that we were able to discover a correlation between a professional’s name and the industry or functional area in which they work.” For instance, in the U.S., there’s an interesting relationship between the amount of letters and top names for professionals in certain functional areas. Sales professionals tend to have short names, around four letters (like Chip, Todd and Trey), while engineers tend to have longer names, around six letters (like Rajesh, Jeremy and Andrew). U.S. professionals in the food and restaurant industry tend to have longer French names (like Thierry, Philippe and Laurent). “Typically hypocorisms, the shorter form of a given name, are used in intimate situations as a nickname or a term of endearment,” said Dr. Frank Nuessel, the editor of NAMES: A Journal of Onomastics (a publication of the American Name Society) and a professor of classical and modern languages at the University of Louisville. “It’s possible that sales professionals in the U.S. and male CEOs around the world use these shortened versions of their name as a way to be more approachable and accessible to potential clients. Interestingly enough, female CEOs appear to prefer to use their full names and not nicknames, which could signify that they want to be taken more seriously and want co-workers to think of them in a more professional light.”

Whether you choose to use a short version of your name or a longer version, stick with your choice and use it consistently. It becomes a part of your professional identity and will help in establishing an online presence discoverable by search engines.

Is it a good idea to put your résumé on a Web site?


Recently I’ve had inquiries from professionals who have both a resume as well as their own Web site, Visual CV, or other online version of the resume. They want to know if it’s essential to have a Web site for conducting a job search in a competitive market.

The truth is that having a resume on a Web site isn’t for everyone, and if your job search budget is limited then your resources are probably better off invested in other areas. The biggest bangs for your buck, I think, are usually the traditional resume, LinkedIn Profile, job search coaching, and career counseling.

That said, if price isn’t an issue or if you plan to do the work of creating an online resume yourself, then having your own Web site is worth considering in some situations. But very often it will make no difference and it could possibly backfire.

In my opinion, the most important key to success in your job search is to have a high degree of self-awareness which is translated into a rock-solid career plan and employer value proposition that reflects your authentic self. The ability to communicate that sort of career self-awareness is the heart of your “personal brand.”

All your career marketing documents need to reflect your personal brand, and for most professionals that’s the resume and LinkedIn Profile. (LinkedIn with its 90 million users is the “must-do” online identity outpost), but you don’t need to go overboard. You may not need to put yourself out there in a million different places online.

Video CVs can be helpful for hipsters, musicians, and performers. Online portfolios are useful for graphic designers and certain other creative professionals. But for most professionals these tools are overkill.

It can also be excessive to have a resume-like Web site at It’s not a bad idea if you’re willing to spend a significant amount of energy to always keep the information up-to-date, and it can be positively stellar if you’re going to have your own blog to show off your expertise. But if the information is poorly put together, out of date, or out of sync with your other career documents it could be worse than nothing.

To get the most out of an online resume, make sure it’s every bit as good as your resume and LinkedIn profile and also offers additional information that an employer can’t get elsewhere.

If you’re not sure you need your own Web site, you probably don’t. Instead, reserve your own domain name based on your personal brand (usually that’s a variation on your full name), and redirect the URL to your LinkedIn profile or a CV in a PDF format.

Re-thinking your Facebook strategy for career branding


Ben Cathers, writing on the Personal Branding Blog, highlights some changes afoot at Facebook worthy of your attention. He notes that in a recent re-design the social networking site has renamed and repositioned the personal biographical information section. The new setup gives entrepreneurs and careerists new opportunities for using Facebook to connect:

For entrepreneurs who use Facebook for personal branding, you should mention your business, your primary content objectives (what you will be posting), and all of your websites (blog, company, Twitter profile). In addition, you should mention the type of people you are specifically looking to connect with (end users for your company’s products, potential business partners, etc., etc.).

While many professionals are already familiar with LinkedIn’s value for career marketing, Facebook’s enormous popularity is going to make its use for professional networking increasingly unavoidable. If you’ve previously kept Facebook as “strictly personal” in the past, it’s worthwhile to investigate the site’s new privacy features and consider whether it may be time to face forward.

Two choices for finding happiness while working


Jason Alba, writing in Job Search: Where Is The Green Grass, says there are basically two options for planning your career:

  1. Do what you want to do. Find your passion, be happy at work, and all that good stuff.  Regardless of how much money you make you’d be happy (perhaps you’ll make less working in your passion than if you did something you hated), passionate, and all that other good stuff.  OR…
  2. Do what you have to do to maintain a certain lifestyle. This is more of the “make enough money, even if I’m not happy” model.  Happiness can come from hobbies and stuff you do outside of work (like vacations).

Jason concludes that every one must make the choice right for him or her. His distinction is helpful, even if it is just a starting point for a more nuanced and wide-ranging inquiry into how we find happiness with and through our work.

Jason Alba: Write your job search success story


Picture yourself unemployed and feeling a bit discouraged. Now imagine that you’ve landed back on your feet and happily working in a new and stimulating environment. Now suppose that a journalist interviewed you and wrote your “success story” for the local newspaper.

Don’t wait for that scenario to play out, says the career book author Jason Alba. Write the success story yourself NOW, he says, while you’re unemployed. He pens:

I’ve often thought I should take a well-written article… one I really connect with, and rewrite it so that it tells my story. From the early days to the days of “success” (whatever that is)… I’ll document what will happen as if it already happened.

Similar to a vision statement but different – with narrative and information that a reporter might gather and write.

Why don’t you take an hour or two and write your own job search story… not what you’ve been through but what you will go through. Perhaps something like this:

See his post here for an example.

The technique he describes just might be uplifting and thought-provoking. But another benefit that I see is that it could help to break you out of a sense of self-absorption that sometimes accompanies a period of unemployment. By seeing yourself and your situation from a more objective perspective (i.e., the hypothetical reporter’s POV), you may be able to gently release your attachment to the intensity of feeling surrounding your current situation. As a result, you may taste greater equanimity that can be of emotional and spiritual benefit in a time of stressful transition.

While you’re at it, why not write in your success story about how your negative feelings were transmuted during your successful search, or how any self-defeating patterns or obstacles were overcome when you reached a better place?

Repackaging your career


Lisa Johnson Mandell, Career Image Specialist and author, recently said:

You just have to know how to spin the invaluable experience, skills and knowledge you accumulated during those 15 years, so that they work to your advantage in your new-found field of choice. Almost everything you’ve done in the past has lead you to where you are currently–you just need to figure out how to connect the dots and promote this in a positive way. A teacher, for example, has developed all sorts of varied skills that would help him or her in just about any field. Same thing with a stay at home parent, by the way. No matter what your field, there’s probably an article somewhere online that will help you word your resume so that you can optimize the skills and experience you’ve developed up to this point. Also, these days, many people are changing fields, some involuntarily. No once looks askance at you for this. Point out the fact that it proves you are flexible and eager to learn.

All this re-creation of your career marketing documents is easier said than done. Every line, every job, every nuance of your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile require a total overhaul once you’ve decided to shift your career into a new course.

Ask every knowledgeable resource you have for advice, and–even better–hire a reputable and certified resume writing professional to assist you. He or she can help you to not only makeover the documents, but also to sift the wheat from the chaff on all the contradictory and confusing advice you’re likely to get from your well-intentioned friends.