Dear Sam: I applied for a role recently and got a quick response saying ‘thanks but no thanks,’ and I think my current title may have been an issue. I am currently an executive vice president but work for a smaller company, so this isn’t necessarily the title I am applying for. The roles I am seeking or more at the Director or Associate Director level. I would love to hear your thoughts on how to navigate this. – K
Dear K: While I understand your concern, it would be hard to say if your current title played the decisive role in screening you out for an opportunity. Your qualifications summary should position you at the level you seek, making it very clear that you are a Director or associate Director candidate. I am unsure of your field, but you could lead the qualifications summary with something like “Operations Director / Associate Director,” so there is no lack of clarity about your current career target, placing your current title on the back burner.
In your current employment section, you can also make it very clear that you work for a smaller organization. You can do this by integrating that message within the overview of your role or by including a descriptive summary of your employer. In addition, through your cover letter messaging, you can provide a more narrative explanation of your professional journey, the size of your current employer, and the reason for your current career target. If you deliver the appropriate message, your current title will have little relevance in the screening process.
Dear Sam: How do you turn off the “seeking employment” section on LinkedIn that is visible to recruiters? I have made a commitment to my future employer, so I want to “shut down” this part of my profile. – Matt
Dear Matt: Great news! I am so happy you have found something! You can absolutely turn off your recruiter profile, but it likely will not stop messages, just so you know. But LinkedIn is a networking site, so at the very least, it will facilitate connections you may need now or in the future.
To turn off your recruiter profile, go into your profile and select your profile picture and choose View Profile. Tap the Edit icon from the Open to Work box (at the top of your profile). Edit the information you previously entered (or delete), and hit Save. That’s it! I wish you all the best in your new position.