Calling all women: Earn your worth & help close the pay gap!

It’s well documented that there is a pay gap between men and women in the US.  One of the best ways for women to decrease that gap is to consistently negotiate a higher starting salary with each job offer, starting with the first.  This is important because a lower starting salary early in your career can have compounding effects over time, especially when employers base a job offer on your last salary, rather than the market rate for your qualifications.  According to Linda Babcock, author of Women Don’t Ask, by the age of 60 women could be short up to 2 million dollars for lack of negotiating over the course of their career. 

The truth is that most women don’t try to negotiate compensation.  According to a 2011 survey of 2000 people, 84% of employers expect candidates to negotiate a job offer.  However, most candidates don’t.  The findings revealed that while 46% of men always try to negotiate, only 30% of women do the same.  Furthermore, less than half of the men surveyed (39%) were apprehensive about negotiating, while more than half of the women (55%) were apprehensive about it. 

One of the best ways to lessen anxiety and improve performance is to be prepared. So, let’s discuss two important ways you can prepare for your next salary negotiation.

FIRST:  Identify your leverage

Leverage is a critical piece of any negotiation, especially when handling salary.  You must know what leverage you have and when to use it.  Many employers (and some candidates) want to talk about salary early on in the interviewing process but this is not in the candidate’s best interest.  You must hold off this discussion until you have the most leverage and that is when the employer has made you the job offer.  Before that point, you have very minimal leverage, so don’t be the first to bring it up.  If the employer brings it up too early, try to postpone the discussion until later.  This post give advice on delaying that initial conversation.

To assess your leverage, try to find out answers to these questions:

How long has the position been vacant? (the longer it’s been open, the more leverage you have)

How hard is it to fill this type of position? (the more difficult to fill, the more leverage you have)

Do you possess unique qualifications that make it hard to find candidates?  (the more unique your skills, the more leverage you have)

Is this position critical to operations? (the more critical the position, the more leverage you have)

How fast do they need to fill the job? (the faster they have to hire, the more leverage you have)

How well do they know you and your abilities? (the better they know you and your abilities, the more leverage you have)


SECOND: Determine the market rate

Another point of information that is extremely important for your salary negotiation is the market rate. You need to research the answer to this question:  What do others with similar experience and education get paid in your geographic location?  There are many sources of data points to discover. 

  • Industry leaders and professional associations conduct periodic and annual salary surveys. Some access may be limited by membership status and some may charge a fee.  For those that are expensive, see if your local library carries them.
  • For a nonprofit in the US, you can look up the 990 form or public tax return to see the salaries for the top five positions in the organization. This may not reveal the pay for your role but knowing the top five salaries should give some insight into their pay ranges.  
  • Don’t forget to ask colleagues you know and trust. You must do this tactfully and carefully, but it’s a great source of information.
  • Job postings are not so useful for actually landing a job, but they can be very useful for gathering salary information. Whenever you see this data for your profession, make a note of it.
  • Online you can find many salary websites, such as:  (a great website with tons of information and global salary data). (mainly US and Canada data offering free and paid reports) (this is a newer feature, so the data set is limited) (this Department of Labor website offers national salary data and by state)


More tips to help you prepare:

  • Know what you want. Determine your ideal salary along with what you can accept while still making your financial commitments.  This will give you a range to keep in mind as you negotiate.
  • Create scripts and practice them. Predict push back and objections and know your reply ahead of time.  Have a few answers ready if the employer asks you to state a number first.  Deflect as much as possible and if they press hard, give a broad range.
  • Find ways to respond to their questions without sharing your past salary information. You can say something like “That’s personal information that I don’t share” and then ask a question related to the job to change the subject.
  • There are many others items you could navigate if annual salary is not negotiable. Consider discussing benefits such as health insurance costs, vacation time or professional development opportunities.  In addition, consider asking for a sign on bonus, for a different title, a different start date or the option to work remotely.
  • Keep timing in mind. Don’t forget that you have the most leverage when they offer you the job. 

It is my hope that by reading this article, you will try to negotiate your next job offer.  Even if you haven’t been doing it so far in your career, it’s not too late to start now.  The more you try it, the more comfortable you will feel doing it (although it will almost always be something you’d rather not do) and that will make you more likely to try!




There is a lot of advice out there on managing your career.  I can boil it down to the seven most important tips.  No matter what your occupation, these actions (or lack thereof) can make or break your career.

1) Set goals for yourself.  Ask yourself where you want to be in 2, 5, 7 years from now.  Then make a plan to get there.  Write down your goals and post them someplace visible.

2) Always network.  This means always work to build relationships, not only when you are in job search.  Even when you are working, still make time for networking.

3) Do what you say.  Build a reputation of standing by your word and getting things done.  If you do this your reputation will build itself.

4) Understand yourself.  Take some assessments or just take some time to reflect but you must know your strengths and areas of improvement.  The better you know what your value is, the more likely you find a good fit in the workplace.

5) Be valuable to others.  Remember that you want to give more than you receive.  I believe it will come back to you in some way.  I’ve seen it time and time again.

6) Keep an open mind.  You can plan very well but then something unpredictable may happen to change the equation.  Don’t be so set in your plan that you miss surprising opportunities.

7) Seek out a mentor.  Find someone in your field (or the field you want to be in) who is well respected and ask them if they might take you under their wing to offer advice and guidance.


The Essential Guide to Career Certifications: 3rd Edition released

I’m happy to announce the release of the 3rd Edition of The Essential Guide to Career Certifications.  The original release was in 2013 and listed 35 credentials in the career field.  In 2015, it was updated with 40+.  Now the latest edition has 50+ certifications, including the five new certifications created by the National Career Development Association (NCDA) to replace their previous designations.  It continues to be a labor of love!

Are you a career practitioner providing services such as career counseling, career coaching, résumé writing or job search assistance?  Do you like to learn new techniques to help your clients even more?  If so, this electronic publication is for you.  It will save you hours and hours of time because I have spent A LOT of time researching the information. 

Finding certification programs can be overwhelming right from the start.  Besides the fact that so many certifications exist in the areas of career development and job search, there are also a variety of training providers of varied size and reputation.   The Guide provides the facts to help you sort out your options and make an informed decision. 

Research results include a wealth of credentials that can be earned to build expertise and increase credibility as a career professional.  For each entry, you’ll discover the name of the certification and the credentialing organization along with eligibility criteria and costs involved (application fees, required training and renewal fees).   The electronic format provides URL links with easy access to webpages for more information.

To learn more about what you might consider before starting any certification program, please visit this article on the site of the National Career Development Association (NCDA):  Grow Professionally by Earning Career Certifications by Paula Brand originally appeared in NCDA’s web magazine, Career Convergence at  Copyright ©March 2015.


To purchase, go to:

Spring sale offers 30% off so you pay only $17.47!

To learn more:

Press release:

5 Ways to Keep the Spark Alive and 5 Ways to Reignite a Burned-Out Flame

It’s important to keep up with your career management. As a woman, this is even more critical in order to fully realize your true potential and earn what you are worth. With glass ceilings, unequal pay, and minimal representation in leadership roles, who needs to add “unhappy worker” to the list of issues facing women in the workplace?

Managing your career well means loving what you do, or finding out what you would love to do and going for it. Maybe you are already in love with your career. Are you often excited to start your work day? Are you using your strongest skills on a daily basis? Do you work in an environment that complements your personality? Do you work for a company that reflects your values? If you answered yes to these questions, you are likely already in a job or career that you enjoy. Congratulations for finding your way!

Here are five ways to keep the flame alive:

  • Be accountable to yourself.Give yourself an annual career audit. Are you exactly where you want to be right now? If not, what’s not happening? Where do you want to be in a few years? Do you need to implement changes to your role, your title, or your career path to get where you are going?
  • Don’t forget to think ahead.Even when things are going well, you should think about where you want to be in three to five years, and what it will take to get you there. There are always actions you can take now that can lay a foundation for your next steps.
  • Keep things fresh.It’s important to stay up-to-date in your field. Some of the best ways to do this are attending conferences, joining a professional association, reading up on trends, and finding places to engage with like-minded professionals (for example, an industry group on LinkedIn or Facebook).
  • Network, network, network. No one gets far in their career by going it alone.Implementing a consistent practice of networking allows you to build a group of supporters, reach out to industry experts, and enhance your credibility. People often think about networking only when they need a new job, but it’s best to make networking a regular activity to increase the chances that you will have a support system in place when you need it.
  • Build your online presence and authority.In today’s world of work, an online presence is a necessity. At the most basic level, make sure your online profiles are complete and up-to-date, and that they convey the right message. If you want to take it a step further, actively create and share content about your area of expertise for online consumption.

It’s great if you are happy in your job, but not everyone loves their career. Sometimes it takes a little time and a few experiences to find the best match for your interests, personality, values, and strengths. If you don’t love what you are doing right now, here are some steps to get you moving in the right direction.

  • Ask yourself why you feel the way you do.Take some time for reflection to understand what’s working and what’s not working. Is it your job, your boss, the workplace, or the field? You may need to address one or more of these issues. Have you become bored, or is your stress level rising to an unmanageable level? Find the real root of the problem before taking corrective action.
  • Look for a better place.If your boss, the workplace, or the employer is the issue, your best option may be to get out of that situation. However, it’s always wise to have your next position in place before leaving your current one. Brush up your résumé, begin catching up with your contacts, and start planning your exit strategy and researching new opportunities.
  • Take initiative to discover your true self. If the issue isn’t just your boss or workplace, you likely need to take a step back and evaluate your strengths, values, personality, interests, and skills to move your career in a new and positive direction. Hiring a career coach and taking some  assessments, like StrengthsFinder 2.0, may help, or you can read some books to determine a good career fit. Two excellent books for this are What Color Is Your Parachute? by Richard Bolles, and Do What You Are by Paul Tieger, Barbara Barron, and Kelly Tieger.
  • Find ways to have fun outside of work.It is important not to let a bad job taint your attitude about the rest of your life. After all, it is just a job. There is so much more to life than work.  Purposefully plan time for fun activities with people who are positive and supportive.
  • Record your past successes.Write down stories of proud accomplishments from your life. They can be from experiences other than work, such as volunteer roles or passion projects. Look for themes within the stories to discover what you do well consistently over time. These records will help in any future career change or job search, and they will also give you an emotional boost because they remind you of what you are capable of accomplishing.

Advancing in a career you love or finding a new one might take effort, but it’s worth it. Life is too short, and too many hours are spent at work to be miserable. Following these tips will help you ignite, and maintain, your passion for your career.

This article was originally published on at

4 Considerations for Your Holiday Job Search

Since it’s the holiday season and everyone is short on time, I will keep this post brief.   Many people looking for work decide to take a rest during the holidays. There is a myth that no one hires during this time frame.  While I agree it’s harder to schedule interviews around the holidays, it DOES happen and people do get jobs this time of year!  I’ve seen it many times. 

Here are some tips to make the most of your job search during this holiday season:

1) Play the odds – Since many people do believe this myth, you will have less competition right now. Why not use that to your benefit? If you knew your target company received a substantially lower amount of resumes in a certain month, wouldn’t it be a good idea to make contact in that month?

2) Tis the season to connect – There are a multitude of social events that only happen this time of year. You should take advantage of these opportunities to reconnect with people you don’t normally see and meet new folks outside of your regular social circles. Most contacts leading to a job are not from your most inner circle, but from the wider spectrum of connections you develop by following leads.  Holiday events can be a great way to make those connections in person.

3) Slower or faster? Or both? – In terms of timing, the pace of the hiring process may be slower than normal because of the challenge of trying to coordinate interviews around staff vacations. However, in some cases it may be faster than normal, so be prepared for that possibility too. Often companies are eager to fill a position ASAP to maintain productivity. Some positions must be filled by the end of the year or the department will have to forgo the funding for it. And of course for certain industries, like retail or shipping, this time of year often creates a need for jobs that only exist right now (proving yourself in these seasonal jobs can sometimes lead to something else).  In all of these cases, the holiday season will not hinder the company’s need to fill the position. Present yourself as the solution to that need.

4) Giving hearts or stressed out minds? – Most articles say that people are more friendly and willing to help at this time of year. I would agree that is true in many cases. However, some people are very overwhelmed and busy during the holidays and therefore returning a call from you may (understandably) not be their number one priority. Even with good intentions, they may lose your information or just honestly forget to return your call. If this happens, try at least once more after January 1st. Leave a second message wishing them a happy new year and of course provide your contact information one more time. This might be just the reminder they need.

So what’s stopping you?  Go ahead. Make that call you have been putting off. Contact that supervisor you haven’t talked to in years. Wish that long lost friend a happy holiday season. For the next few weeks, you have a great excuse to make these connections, so make the most of it. Good luck connecting and happy holidays!

LinkedIn: How to improve your profile in 5 minutes


It is a fast and easy way to customize your social media presence with LinkedIn.  Personalizing your LinkedIn URL is similar to the idea of getting a vanity license plate; it makes your name and brand much more memorable.  Aren’t you more likely to notice and remember driving by a car with the plate “DAY-DRMR” or “IMGR8” versus a randomly assigned plate like J3R9S6?  


Two big reasons: clarity and branding.  First, LinkedIn assigns everyone a messy URL initially, which is why you should change it.  Additionally, a Vanity URL helps in your branding and marketing efforts, shows you are somewhat savvy in using LinkedIn and improves your SEO rankings on Google and LinkedIn.  Once it’s in place, share your customized URL so people can easily find you.  Place it on your résumé, business cards and electronic signatures.  This is important for people concerned with managing their careers effectively no matter what their current status is:  employed, unemployed or underemployed. 


Once logged into your LinkedIn account, click on the Profile tab located at the top left of the page.  Then slide your curser to the drop down choice of Edit Profile.  Next, click on the gear icon, just to the right of your currently assigned URL (see picture below).  After clicking on that icon, you should see somewhere in the upper right-hand side of your screen the words Enhance your personal brand by creating a custom URL for your LinkedIn public profile.  In that area, click on the blue pencil icon next to your current URL.  Then, pop up box will appear with the URL started as, plus a blank box at the end that will allow you to type in the customized URL you would like.  Please note that LinkedIn often changes things up and various people can see different views, so I can’t promise that these will be/look exactly the same when you try this. 

Screen_shot_LI_URL _01


Start by typing in your full name and see if it’s available (no spaces are allowed and it will all show in lowercase no matter how you type it).  The system will let you know if it’s not available, otherwise you can assume it is and click on Save.  Keep trying until you get one you like that is available. If your name is taken, look to add other letters that have meaning for you or your profession. So, if the extension of joesmith is taken and he is in the field of sales, he could try joesmithsalesexpert.  You could also include a middle name, middle initial or a maiden name.

screen shot LI URL (2)


Like everyone else, when I first got on LinkedIn, I was assigned an unmemorable URL.  Now you’ll see that my Public Profile (URL) on LinkedIn ends in paulabrandcareers.  When I initially attempted to obtain a vanity URL, I typed in my name and “paulabrand” was taken, so I added the four letters of one of my certifications related to résumés.  Later on I changed it to a keyword related to my brand and what I do for a living (because I am not a traditional résumé writer).  You can change your URL as many times as you want, but try to find the right one sooner than later and stick with it to help in your branding efforts.  If you customize it multiple times, the old one(s) won’t work (and will go up for grabs for someone else to take) but your originally assigned URL should always work.


Now you know how to do it, so make use of this feature!  It really is easy and takes only a few minutes.  Of course, you need to invest more time than this one effort, but this is a good start.  Please share this tip with people you know.


Amazing LinkedIn Profile Infographic

Check out this cool infographic created by Mark Wallace of AkkenCloud in partnership with Ghergich & Co. It shares very useful information to help your LinkedIn profile shine.  I agree with all of his advice.  Thanks to Mark and his team for letting me share this. 



Click To Enlarge

Breaking Down the Anatomy of a Successful LinkedIn Profile

Via AkkenCloud

Career certifications: Why they are important to career professionals


Continuous learning is important in any field, but especially so in the career industry.  We are the folks who need to “walk the talk” about growing professionally by developing ourselves too. 

Gaining certifications adds to your knowledge base and your credibility as an expert.  It also keeps you current and cutting edge.  With today’s technology explosion, it is more important than ever to know how social media sites can affect your clients but even the foundational certification areas can be useful (such as coaching, résumé writing, etc.).   

Finding certification programs can be overwhelming right from the start.  Besides the fact that so many certifications exist in the broad area of career management (such as career coaching, employee development, and branding) and job search assistance (such as interviewing, résumé writing and using social media), there are also a variety of training providers of varied size and reputation.   

I’m happy to start the conversation but this topic is bigger than one can fit in a blog post, so here are some ways to learn more about career certifications:

  • Attend the 45th Annual Middle Atlantic Career Counseling Association conference on December 2-4, 2015 (learn more here) and visit my breakout session, Making Change Happen by Growing Yourself Professionally on Thursday, December 3rd from 3:15-4:15pm   
  • To learn more about the ins and outs of earning certifications in our industry, please visit this article on the site of the National Career Development Association (NCDA): Grow Professionally by Earning Career Certifications by Paula Brand originally appeared in NCDA’s web magazine, Career Convergence at  Copyright ©March 2015.  


The Truth about LinkedIn’s Recruiter Corporate:  Tips and Tricks for being found on LinkedIn using the FAVAR Method

In my last blog post, I introduced you to the FAVAR™ Method of LinkedIn Profile Creation, outlined the main thrust of it and shared a few tips for using it effectively.   As a refresher, the FAVAR Method is used to create LinkedIn profiles that will be easily found using Recruiter Corporate (a paid version of LinkedIn that recruiters often use to evaluate candidates).  In this post, I will share more insights and tips about FAVAR and Recruiter Corporate.  Apply this knowledge to be sought out by recruiters. The most surprising things I learned about Recruiter Corporate:

  • Recruiters can’t see everyone’s profile! I figured that paying about $8,000 a year for this product would provide access to anyone’s profile.  Not so.  If you are not connected to the recruiter in some way, they may not be able to see your full profile.  Recruiters are provided “unlocks” which allow them to see a full “out of network” profile.  However, they only get a small number of these each month and use them sparingly.  This is why it’s best to have as large a network as possible.  With a larger network, you are more likely to be connected in some way to the recruiter.
  • Recruiters can’t see all content within profiles (even when they are connected to the person). Many sections are not displayed in Recruiter Corporate (such as images, videos, projects, GPA, endorsements, honors and awards).  Because of this limitation, recruiters often log into the basic version of LinkedIn to see full details about a potential candidate.  It is important to note that even though the recruiter may not be able to see every section, the data in those fields still affects search results.  For both of these reasons, it is still best to complete your profile as much as possible!
  • In Recruiter Corporate, your network relationship to the recruiter appears to have no relevance on advanced search results. The outcomes are based on how close the profile matches the search criteria, not how closely you are connected to the person running the search. 
  • In the snapshot profile, your degree information does not appear in Recruiter Corporate, only the school name is displayed. Therefore, consider adding college information, even if you didn’t finish your degree.   


New tricks I learned from the FAVAR Method:

  • The zip code trick: If you do not live within your target area, add a zip code to your profile that is in between your town and the target location.  For example, if I live in Annapolis but I am open to opportunities in Washington DC, I should enter a zip code of a town in between the two locations.  This would help my profile to be included in a recruiter’s search of both areas.
  • With some major metropolitan areas, you are able to select the geographic area that is displayed on your profile. If given an option, always display the major market (Washington, DC vs. Annapolis) to come up in more searches.  
  • Do you have a first name that can be spelled in different ways (Jon vs. John) or a last name that is often misspelled? Help recruiters find you by adding alternations of your name in the summary.   Branding expert William Arruda’s LinkedIn profile ( provides an example of this.  Near the bottom of his summary it says “AKA/Common misspellings:  Bill Arruda, William Aruda.”  This allows him to be found in keyword searches by name, even when someone might not have the correct spelling.   You can also add the alternate spelling in the first name field, to cover your bases. 
  • The first 50-100 characters in your summary section are essential because they are displayed to the recruiter as a snippet under your profile snapshot. Give serious thought to those first few words.  It’s a good idea to use job functions/titles that are likely to be used in a keyword search (such as Career Counselor or Career Coach) by a recruiter.   Also, consider adding your name and contact information here because the recruiter does not see your name in the snapshot if they are not connected to you and only first degree connections can easily see your contact information.

Final words about the summary section:

The summary section is critical to your profile and it’s the only section that can affect all five steps of the FAVAR Method (Findability, Attractability, Viewability, Applicability and Reachability).   Don’t skip this section!  It can be useful in many ways and it’s one of the few that gives you flexibility to write anything you want (within the space limit of 2000 characters).   

I hope you put this information to good use to make your profile more easily found for the right opportunities!  For more information about the FAVAR Method and other useful LinkedIn resources, go to

Note:  This is a modified version of a similar article I wrote.  It originally appeared in Volume 37 Number 3, May-June (2015) edition of the Career Planning & Adult Development Newsletter.

Introducing The FAVAR Method and how it can help your clients

    Have you heard of The FAVAR Method™?  It is a systematic way to build your profile on LinkedIn for maximum effectiveness.   According to its creator, “The FAVAR Method of LinkedIn Profile Creation is a strategic and tactical approach to writing LinkedIn Profiles so that the Profile is found for appropriate opportunities; then able to be viewed and evaluated, resulting in the individual being easily contacted.”

I recently learned about Dan Stiffler of MaxOutLI and his FAVAR Method through the Career Thought Leaders, Wendy Enelow and Louise Kursmark.  I spend a lot of time learning about LinkedIn but his webinar series caught my eye because it is from a recruiter’s perspective and it gives a unique view from someone who uses LinkedIn every day to find candidates.  As a recruiter, he seriously uses a paid version of LinkedIn through their “app” called Recruiter Corporate and much of his information comes from knowing the ins and outs of this app.  However, like most recruiters, he is also forced to use the basic version due to limitations of the paid version, so the concepts he shares are useful for multiple LinkedIn platforms. 

The mission of MaxoutLI is to help people be successful in advancing their careers by using LinkedIn wisely.  Dan was motivated to create this method because he saw a lot of information being shared about LinkedIn but none of it seemed to address the key issue of getting a profile through the many steps of the selection process.  He decided to provide a central resource to share his heavily researched method.  The main website ( offers many resources (free and paid) to assist in this effort.

As Dan points out, the job seeker doesn’t have to come up as the number one result in a search, they just have to stay in the game at each step of elimination.  In Recruiter Corporate, search results display the top 1000 people and it doesn’t really matter if you show up as 2nd or 10th. Your client’s real goal is to end up in the final group to be contacted.  Using the FAVAR Method ensures that they will “survive and advance” to the next round in each phase of the selection process.

The premise of everything in the FAVAR Method lies in its name.  FAVAR (pronounced like favor) is an acronym for the five steps in the search process that are native to all LinkedIn account types.   Below gives a description of each letter and a few tips to maximize your use of LinkedIn.  As with many aspects of career advising, this advice may need to be tailored to the person’s situation.  Not every piece of advice will be appropriate for every circumstance. 

FINDABILITY – Relates to being found by recruiters on LinkedIn.  The five most important aspects are:  location, title, company and industry, along with keywords to add relevance.

  • Research the appropriate keywords for your industry and profession and naturally weave them into your profile. Repeating keywords in various sections is good but don’t just pack them in without any context. 
  • The more places you use the right key words, the more likely you will be found for them.
  • Complete your profile! Searches rely on the data you provide.  There are no penalties by LinkedIn for including too much information.  That said; make sure the material shared is relevant and not too overwhelming. 

ATTRACTABILITY – Does the Snapshot (top of your profile) generate interest for the right opportunities?  Does it encourage the recruiter to read your full profile?  The snapshot is going to create the first impression of you and the recruiter will make a quick decision whether or not to keep reading. 

  • Give serious thought to the words in your headline (think keywords). In most cases, using your current title and employer name is not going to provide the best branding for your client.
  • Use an attractive headshot that is appropriate for your industry. Dan recommends hiring a professional.  I don’t think you have to pay someone but it must be a good photo (not a selfie, not from your beach vacation, etc.).
  • Dan says that not having a profile picture won’t eliminate you from an opportunity if there is enough other information but we both agree that a profile with a picture is more compelling than one without.
  • Geographically speaking, always display the major market (i.e. Washington DC or Baltimore, vs. Annapolis) to attract more opportunities.

VIEWABILITY –   How many people can see your full profile easily?  What can you do to make your profile viewable by the most people? 

  • The larger your network, the more easily you can be found and your profile viewed!
  • Even with the paid subscription to Recruiter Corporate, a recruiter cannot see every profile in LinkedIn. If you are out of network with the recruiter, it will be harder for them to view your profile and contact you.
  • Make a real effort to increase the number of first degree connections to maximize the full potential of LinkedIn. Set a goal of gaining a certain number of contacts each week/month. 

APPLICABILITY – Is the information in your profile compelling enough to be contacted for the types of employment you seek?  Focusing on this area will help you attract “appropriate” opportunities.

  • Utilize the right keywords to be found. If you use the wrong words, you will attract the wrong opportunities.
  • Use the summary to showcase your personality as well as your skills. The recruiter will read this to see if you are a good fit for the work culture. 
  • Use first person in your summary to make it warm and friendly.
  • Graphic images such as videos and presentations are not visible on Recruiter Corporate but they are still valuable for visual appeal on your profile when viewed in the basic version.

REACHABILITY – Is your contact information easy to find?  How difficult would it be to contact you outside of LinkedIn?

  • Provide more than one way to make contact. Add your phone number along with your e-mail. 
  • Do not put your contact information in the field for your name or headline. This is against LinkedIn policy.
  • Remember that in the basic version, your contact e-mail will only be displayed to your first degree connections.
  • To make it easier for everyone to contact you, include your contact information in multiple places in your profile. Besides the required field for e-mail, also include it in the beginning of your summary and in the section titled “Advice for contacting you.”

It’s helpful to think of the FAVAR method as a funnel, starting at the top with Findability and ending with Reachability.  At each level, you have the power to keep the attention of the recruiter with the goal of having them reach out to you as the final step.   Use this method to help your client make the cut.  If you are interested in learning more about the FAVAR Method, go to

Note:  This is a modified version of a similar article I wrote.  It originally appeared in Volume 37 Number 2, March-April (2015) edition of the Career Planning & Adult Development Newsletter.