How to Find a Job in this Economy

With the November U.S. jobs report showing unemployment at a still elevated 7.7%, there are still hundreds of thousands of Americans wondering how to find a job in this low-growth economy.

No question, it's a tough job market. As The Wall Street Journal noted, there are 3.4 jobless workers for each available position, nearly double the level back in December 2007, when Americans were enjoying a robust economy.

Hiring has slowed to a snail's pace. Jobs are scarce and employers are extremely selective.

With that in mind, LinkedIn (NYSE: LNKD), the world's leading social networking site for professionals, just released for the third consecutive year its list of the most overused buzzwords on job seekers' profiles.

If you're one of the masses worried about how to find a job in this economy, make sure you aren't making the following mistakes.

How to Find a Job: What Not to Do

If you tout yourself as a creative, organized, effective and motivated individual with extensive experience and a proven track record, who is also innovative, responsible, analytical and excels at problem solving, consider yourself a dime a dozen.

Those unoriginal and clichéd adjectives make up LinkedIn's Top Ten List of Overused Profile Buzzwords - in that order.

For the second year in a row, creative topped the list. In 2010, the list's debut year, with LinkedIn's member tally at 85 million (less than half its current count), extensive experience was at the apex.

But for job hunters, using these clichés could be killing their already slim chances.

"If you want opportunity to come knocking, you've got to make your LinkedIn profile stand out from the pack," LinkedIn's career expert Nicole Williams said in a press release last Tuesday. "Millions of professionals say they're "creative,' so set yourself apart by describing and linking to projects you've worked on that truly were different, unique and compelling. Pointing to concrete examples of the creative work you've done is more convincing than simply stating you are a "creative' professional."

Expert Advice on How to Find a Job

In an exclusive interview with Money Morning, Williams explained that LinkedIn is definitely seeing an uptick in the number of companies actively recruiting on the site.

A growing trend LinkedIn is experiencing is the explosive number of prominent companies that have their own career opportunity and human resource sites but are flocking to LinkedIn.

"Some 85% of the top Fortune 500 companies are using LinkedIn to find new hires, and that number is growing," Nicole noted.

As for the most valuable tool on LinkedIn, Williams says without a doubt it's the profile page.

"Take time to fully fill-out your profile and be sure to add a picture," said Williams. "Adding a photo greatly increases the chances of your profile being viewed. A photo verifies that you are in fact a real person. It's like the real estate phenomenon. You don't really take a good close look at a listed house if there is no picture. You don't have to look like a super model, just look professional."

Photos are also great for networking, connecting or reaching to people for the first time at say a conference or meeting.

"Profiles with a photo kind-of give you an edge. You can pick out or greet a person by name if you are able to view their photo ahead of time," Williams detailed.

Another important piece of advice is to list more than one position.

"Hiring managers are seeking for talent and experience. Don't automatically dismiss listing any job you have held, no matter how small or menial. Profiles with more than one listing get the most views," the career guru said.

Her best advice: "Network, network, network. Venture beyond your usual contacts. Find fresh connections and get recommendations. Ninety-one percent of opportunities are found through people. Many employers are more apt to hire you if you have stellar recommendations, especially from seasoned professionals."

And as dire as the current job market appears, it's not all gloom and doom. "There are opportunities out there. And while they may be slim right now, you should be prepared for when the tide turns," according to Williams.

As for the global outlook, it appears the world is full of creative creatures.

Creative was also No.1 on the list in Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore and Sweden.

In Brazil, experimental was tops, while multinational led the list in Egypt.

It appears there are a bunch of responsible LinkedIn members in France and Italy; a lot of effective folks in India; plenty of analytical individuals in Switzerland; a lot of specialized persons in Spain; and hordes of motivated people in Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.

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