6 Tips for Getting More from LinkedIn

22 09 2015


You already know that each social network has its own purpose. However, most of them revolve around sharing updates about your life or business while connecting with those that might be difficult to connect with in the real world.

LinkedIn is a little different. Designed almost as an online résumé, the network is intended to create and strengthen connections on a professional level. Great for networking, job searching and self-promotion, LinkedIn provides an excellent way to put yourself out there while accomplishing some personal branding.

But, how do you make it happen? How do you get the most from LinkedIn? Check out a few of the tips below to get started.

Craft Your Profile Carefully and Completely

Remember, unlike Facebook, where profiles are fixed and forgotten, LinkedIn profiles are designed to promote what you have to offer to potential professional connections and even employers. To build the perfect LinkedIn profile, fill in all fields. 100% completion is important, including:

  • A summary that sheds light on your abilities and personality
  • Education
  • Work experience with what you did and how you improved each previous position
  • An actionable headline
  • Recommendations — Ask those you’ve worked with before to support you: the more positive recommendations, the better.
  • Contact information
  • Links to any websites you manage or keep personal portfolios on

Be sure to update your profile on a regular basis and to keep the notifications turned on so your contacts are able to see your accomplishments and promotions.

Think About Your Purpose

Why are you on LinkedIn? What are you hoping to accomplish? Is networking your top priority? Would you like to recruit others for a position? Are you on the market for a new position within a specific company?

If so, you should tailor your profile and your connections to that end. It might be tempting to share poignant articles relating to subjects that matter to you, or to post a photo or two from an office event, but if it doesn’t serve your purpose it’s not worth it. Save it for another network.

Start Conversations

Being a wallflower doesn’t work in real life. It also doesn’t work on LinkedIn. Instead, reaching out and starting conversations puts you on others’ radars. Be intentional. Ways to start conversations include:

  • Simple private messages — Reach out, introduce yourself and ask questions. Better yet, ask if your new connection would like to connect in real life for a five-minute conversation just to get to know one another.
  • Joining communities — LinkedIn communities allow you to connect with like-minded professionals who share specific interests. Join the groups, respond to existing conversations and start new ones. Make yourself known.
  • Starting groups — Looking to connect with others on your own terms? Start a group that focuses on your professional interest. Be sure to check in frequently to moderate and start new conversations.

Focus on Results

Résumés are limited in their effectiveness due to space constraints. With only a page or two to work with, you can’t share all that you have to offer. Instead of the standard “these were my duties in my last position” format that does nothing but bore readers, focus on your accomplishments.

How did you improve the bottom line in a previous position? What were the results of specific projects? What numbers speak to what you’ve done? Rob Mericle, President of his own Real Estate company, does an excellent job of this as by focusing on numbers in his summary.

Monitor Your Effectiveness

Even if you’re posting content that is applicable to those in your network, well-written and engaging, it could be falling short. You’ll never know if you never track it. Use LinkedIn Analytics to track who’s viewed your profile, who’s viewed your content and how what you share ranks against what others share. Modify your posts to increase your rankings on a regular basis.

Don’t Just Say It, Show It

LinkedIn made it easier than ever for users to “show” rather than “tell” their stories, which allows for deeper connections. With the ability to upload multimedia formats, LinkedIn users can share photos, videos and presentations with others. There’s no better way to showcase work than to bring it to life visually.

By using the tips above, you can take your LinkedIn efforts from stagnant to dynamic in no time. Make the most of what you have to offer and showcase your talents in a way that makes others want to connect with you. What are you waiting for?

sarah landrum head shotAbout the author: Sarah Landrum recently graduated from Penn State with degrees in Marketing and PR. Now, she’s a freelance writer and career blogger sharing advice on navigating the work world and achieving happiness and success in your career. She’s also the newest addition to the Campus to Career family, serving as a featured contributor on a regular basis. You can find her tweeting during boring speeches @SarahLandrum

3 Tips for Mastering Your Emotions at Work

8 09 2015


When you master your emotions at work it does not mean you will become emotionless. As you build your emotional competencies, you will continue to experience the full spectrum of emotions and learn to express them more effectively.

For many of us, managing our emotions is not easy, particularly when they are elevated. The good news is that emotional intelligence is an intelligence that can be improved so here are five tools you can use to self-regulate when tensions are high.

  1. Consider the Consequences of Your Actions

Consequential thinking is the process of considering possible outcomes when you are making a decision while experiencing pronounced emotion. In order to use consequential thinking, you need critical thinking, empathy, and visualization skills. When you learn to use consequential thinking in the heat of an emotional situation, you are able to consider multiple outcomes and determine which decision makes the most sense for your well-being and the well-being of your co-workers.

When considering circumstances consequentially, I have to acknowledge there are times when we react inappropriately after considering an appropriate response and its consequences. When this happens, our emotions are so elevated our state of mind caused us to misread important facts and make decisions that are not optimal. In a circumstance like this, it is best to take the time to cool off and the revisit the decision. Chances are, your perspective will change after a cooling-off period.

  1. Reframe Difficult Situations

Most of us don’t have the luxury of expressing our emotions whenever we want so we need tools that can be used in the moment. One of the more powerful tools for self-management is reframing.

A co-worker once shared a quote by Will Bowen, author of “Complaint free Relationships; How to Positively Transform your Personal, Work, and Love Relationships.” with me. It was simply this, “Hurt people hurt people3.” This is because if they are not equipped with emotional intelligence skills, they unconsciously project what they are feeling inwardly toward the people in their environments and leave a trail of emotional demolition. This statement is a powerful reframing tool you can use if you are experiencing difficult persons at work.  It just isn’t personal; they are acting out their own hurt.

You can reframe a situation by learning to identify the silver lining. If you are in an emotional state that does not allow you to perceive the opportunities in a situation, invite the input of a relative or friend who is not contaminated by your emotions. Your goal is to engage an external voice of reason until you can do this for yourself.

  1. Set Clear Boundaries

Setting boundaries is a three-step process. The first step is to identify the areas of your work and life that require boundaries. Your life is included because sometimes undefined boundaries at home impact your work. Secondly, once you identify these opportunities for boundaries, decide what the boundary will be and what you are prepared to do to maintain it.

Thirdly, always remember that setting boundaries is about continuously reinforcing those limits. When setting your boundaries, remember, setting boundaries does not necessarily exclude persons; it helps them to understand how you prefer them to interact with you.

These three tips are designed to heighten your self-awareness and develop self-management skills so you can engage difficult situations masterfully.  Mastering your emotions means you are not only aware of yourself, you are also aware of those you work with and you know what to do to shift your response to contribute to healthy work conditions.

Photo credit: Alejandro Escamilla

****Campus to Career thanks Yvette Bethel for this great post!!****

image002EQLib-BookCover-HiRezsmallAbout the author: Yvette is an HR and change consultant, emotional intelligence practitioner, trainer, and author of the book EQ. Librium: Unleash the Power of Your Emotional Intelligence; A Proven Path to Career Success. She is a Fulbright Scholar with over 25 years of experience. During her tenure in the banking industry, she served in senior capacities in corporate strategy, marketing, PR, training, and human resources. Yvette Bethel can be reached at http://www.orgsoul.com/. Her book E.Q. Librium: Unleash the Power of Your Emotional Intelligence; A Proven Path to Career Success is also available at Amazon and other retailers.

Campus to Career Voted 2015 Top Human Resource Blog Award

3 09 2015


First and foremost, we’d like to thank our AMAZING readers, guest bloggers and partners for helping make this possible! YOU ROCK!!


Springfield, MO – (Campus to Career) was recently named by Promotions Now as one of the Top Human Resources Blogs of 2015! Organizations were honored for their human resources insight, business innovation, and community growth.

Campus to Career was selected based on a three-part evaluation of such criteria as addressing the pain points of the talent acquisition community, key contributions human resources has on business success as well as staying on top of the latest HR related news and business strategies. Nominations were submitted by readers and staff and winners were chosen to help clients and partners utilize the best human resource blogs and business advice on the web. Campus to Career stood out in a unique way among the tough competition and is now featured as a recommended Human Resources blog resource.

A special thank you to Sarah Landrum, who regularly contributes fantastic articles as a featured writer and member of the Campus to Career family.



Blow Your Interviewer Away: Smooth Responses To Simple Questions

1 09 2015


An interview often happens to be the only thing standing in between you and your dream job; it’s the make-it-or-break-it phase of your job hunt. If you’ve just been selected for a job interview, you may be wondering how to get past that final barrier to the sumptuous package that lies ahead. Well, it’s not easy to face an interviewer’s barrage of questions, but with adequate preparation, you can definitely increase your chances of success.

It’s important to know as much as possible about the questions that you’re most likely to be asked in your interview. This way, you can strategize your approach from the very beginning. You need to frame razor-sharp responses that precisely address each of your interviewer’s queries.

Here’s how you these 4 common interview questions with a little spunk and pizzazz.

Question 1 – What’s Your Greatest Weakness?

Interviewers ask you this question to gauge the way you think of yourself and also to look out for any self-esteem issues. You need to be sure that your answer is in-line with what you truly believe of yourself and not oversell or underscore your weaknesses. One approach is to be witty about the question. For instance you can reply with, “I learned that it makes no sense for me to work on things that I’m not great at, and it makes no sense for me to think of myself as having weaknesses. These days I focus on getting better at things I’m already good at”.

This will help you come across as an inherently positive individual, which can never be a bad thing. Convince the hiring manager that you can provide value to the team by listing out your previous accomplishments; these can be skills that you developed while working or the crisis situations that you handled successfully in the past.

Question 2 – Do You Think That You’re The Best Person For This Position?

By posing this question, the interviewer aims to understand how you’re different from the other job applicants. In order to pass this test, you need to know what truly sets you apart from the crowd. One way to go about it is by proving that you are in fact different. Deliver a quirky response like, “That’s what we’re here to figure out, I guess! I can’t say that you should hire me or if I’m the best person for this position”. Make sure that your tone is polite and you don’t sound too haughty or arrogant. Being quirky can work wonders for you and ensure that you don’t get muddled with the other applicants.

Question 3 – Where do you see yourself in five years?

This tricky question can cement your interviewer’s approval if answered in the right manner. Almost a staple question at the end of the interview, the recruiter is trying to comprehend your ability to plan and also judge your ambition and willpower. Instead of playing by the books, you can come up with an unusual response for instance, “Exploring one of my passions, undoubtedly—maybe in Finance, or my interest in e-commerce or in an international role. I have a lot of passions!”

This not only presents you as someone willing to think out-of-the-box, but also as a potential employee who isn’t one-note and dull.

Question 4 – Why Should We Hire You?

Interviewers raise this question to find out what you think of yourselves. Instead of replying with a sleep inducing answer listing your capabilities and past experience, why not try something new and more aligned with your personality. You can say something along the lines of, “You have to hire someone, you may as well give me a try”. Again, be very careful with your tone and ensure that you come across as funny and light-hearted rather than rude and obnoxious.

Interviewers across an industry usually rely on a standard set of questions to test aspirants. Instead of being monotonous and clichéd, stay true to yourself and let your personality shine through with each answer.

Photo credit: Ben Rosett

****For this post, Campus to Career thanks Rakesh Singh!!****

rakesh singhAbout the author: As Head of Marketing at Aditi Staffing, Rakesh is responsible for organizational brand outlook. Rakesh, very strongly believes in the golden circle of why, how and what and supports Aditi Staffing’s success by connecting the brand with candidates, clients and the recruitment engineers in the same manner. With over 10 years of experience in various sales and marketing roles including an entrepreneurship attempt in the Digital Display Advertising world, he brings a comprehensive approach to Aditi Staffing’s brand management in the global recruitment market.


Innovate. Collaborate. Grow. (Together.)

27 08 2015


Sometimes, after careful contemplation, I find that it’s best to write about the things that bug me. You know, the things that keep me up at night. This is not a rant. It’s just an observation. I’d love to get your perspective on the matter…


Think outside the box. Don’t reinvent the wheel. We’ve heard both of these statements in our lives before, probably more than we’d like to admit. Yet, we continue to think inside the box and constantly try to reinvent something that’s worked for centuries. (PS. What if there was no box?)


This may seem a bit contradictory, but I don’t think we need to sit around, thinking about how we can reinvent the wheel. The wheel exists and guess what – it works!! Now, that doesn’t mean we can’t continue to innovate. Think about how we can make it work better, last longer or how it can be more sustainable. Add chrome rims. Hint, hint…

Challenge: Let’s leverage the abundance of the institutional knowledge we all have, work together to innovate and move forward. Together. That’s the key word. Collaboration isn’t collaboration if you’re not actually working together.

“None of us are as smart as all of us.” – Japanese proverb

The wheel is simply a metaphor. I’m sure the square ones didn’t work out too well in the beginning, but thanks to trial and error, determination and collaboration, we now have the simple machine that has made a BIG impact on every aspect of our world today.

Let’s make the world a little better today than it was yesterday.  

What are you waiting for?

This post was written for LinkedIn, but I thought “hey, YOU might find it to be useful.” Are we connected yet? (Please personalize your request. Thanks!)

How to Answer 15 of the Most Popular Interview Questions

19 08 2015

15-bEven if the prospect of a job interview makes you nervous, with a little preparation you’ll be ready to face even the most meticulous recruiters out there. Instead of guessing what kind of questions you might be asked, here’s a list of 15 most common job interview questions along with some easy tips on how to respond to each one of them.

Tell me about yourself.

This is a tricky classic. Remember that the recruiter already read your resume – say something different. Offer a short pitch of yourself and express what you’re really after when it comes to your career.

Discuss your educational background.

Again, you’ve got this covered in your CV, so say something different – mention specifics: what you’ve learned, what projects you worked on and how is it all relevant to the position.

How did you hear about the position?

This is your time to shine – if someone already working in the industry referred it to you, make sure to mention that. If you simply saw it posted on a job board, say what caught your eye about the offer.

Why do you want this job?

That’s where you need to show your passion for the position – express your interest in the company’s doings and identify key factors that make you a perfect fit for the role.

Why should we hire you?

Now it’s time to sell yourself to the recruiter – emphasize your qualifications, skills and passion for the job.

How do you handle stress?

This is important and you’ll do best if you refer to your actual experience. Do you sweat it out in the gym or have killer prioritizing skills? Talk briefly about your techniques for handling stress.

What are your salary requirements?

Simple – check what the position pays on Glassdoor and just answer. No need to be modest or overly confident here.

What do you know about the company?

This is where you show what you know about the company – and believe me, you should know much more than just the About page info. Know the company’s mission, values and priorities and you’ll nail this question.

What are your greatest strengths?

Be accurate, relevant and specific – always follow up with examples that clearly show those traits.

What is your greatest professional accomplishment?

Share you track record of previous achievements – if you haven’t experienced a professional success yet, mention those you did in college that are relevant to the competences required for the position.

What do you consider to be your weaknesses?

Talk about something you’re really struggling with and show how you’re on your way to improving it. Don’t act too perfect – that kind of attitude won’t impress anyone.

What type of work environment do you prefer?

Say the truth, but first try to learn whether the company provides the work environment you like. This way you’ll make everyone’s life easier.

What are you looking for in a new position?

Be specific and, ideally, state all the things the position actually offers.

What are your goals for the future?

This is the moment when the recruiter wants to see whether this position is in line with your career goals. If you’re sitting there being grilled, it probably is – just be honest.

Do you have any questions for us?

See if the job is the right fit for you – ask questions about specifics, such as your responsibilities, the number of people in your team or details about the management style.

****For this great post, Campus to Career thanks Isabel Wiliams!!!****

isabel-wiliams-bigAbout the author:  Isabel Wiliams is a Human Resources Specialist at  BizDB. She’s a passionate educator, lecturing about leveraging the potential of the Internet for business development.

5 Things Recruiters Want to See on Your Resume

11 08 2015


Today’s tight job market presents job-seekers with a barrage of fluffy blog posts promising “secret” information recruiters “don’t want you to know.” With titles like “This one weird trick will get you hired IMMEDIATELY,” the implication is that the only thing separating your resume from those of the job-seeking illuminati is one crucial piece of information.

The truth, of course, is that there is no special trick. There’s no certain font or magic one-liner that will get you hired. What matters most is whether or not an employer can look at your resume, quickly extract the information they need and follow up accordingly.

When you know what recruiters really want to see, and why, then you’re on the path to getting hired. So, close out all your other tabs and listen up – these are the five things recruiters want to see on your resume:

  1. Continuity

Nobody likes a flake. While opinions may differ on what qualifies a flake – some say frequent job-hopping is bad, while others say it speaks to strong work ethic – all will agree that a flake is a person to be avoided. Employers want someone who is capable of handling the work: someone who will show up, do what’s necessary and not bail or change tracks until it’s done.

Recruiters scanning resumes, then, look for a sense of continuity. It doesn’t matter necessarily which positions you’ve held, how long you held them or why you left. What matters is that all of the things on your resume work together and convey a sense of steadfastness and dependability. Your resume needs to answer the invisible questions hovering above the recruiter’s head:

  • Are you a hard-worker?
  • Can you get things done?
  • Are you the right choice for this job?

The best way to maintain a sense of continuity is to establish a strong, clear …

  1. Career Narrative

Where did you start? Where are you now? What happened in between? Every story has a beginning, a middle and an end, and recruiters scanning your resume are looking for the same.

  • I started at X.
  • I learned Y.
  • By the time I left, I’d done Z.

Your resume shouldn’t merely be a list of skills and gigs; it should present the reader with a picture of the exciting road that is your career, portraying each entry as a stop along that road, and you as the wandering hero.

Recruiters want to know what challenges you’ve faced, what dragons you’ve slain, how you’ve grown and what you’ve learned. Most importantly, they want to know why this job is the ultimate destination of all your relentless questing, and why they should throw the doors open to welcome you.

  1. An Ongoing Commitment to Personal Growth

Nobody’s perfect, and being introspective enough to recognize your own weaknesses is, paradoxically, a strength. That’s not to say you should fill your resume with things you can’t do or things you aren’t good at – but you should strive to include credible evidence that shows you make a conscious effort to get better, all the time.

It’s up to you to determine what will prove a commitment to growth in the context of your specific field. For some, it may be attending local workshops on your own time. For others, it may be taking on extracurricular projects at work. If you’re in a highly research-driven field like medicine or law, you could probably benefit from a resume which highlights participation in a formal continuing education program.

  1. References, Awards and Recognition

Fundamentally, we are all hard-wired to resist taking risks. It’s an evolutionary trait stemming from billions of years of battling natural selection, which tends to take a firm hand with dumb animals who make a habit of eating weird fruit.

As a result, before you go to see a movie, you look up the Rotten Tomatoes score first. Before you buy a dishwasher, you read Amazon reviews. Before you meet up with an OkCupid date, you camp out in their backyard and watch them from the bushes Google them.

Likewise, recruiters look to external recognition when vetting candidates, because like you, they’re lazy and risk-averse. They don’t want to take a chance on you. They don’t want to give you a shot or take your word for it. To a recruiter, you’re just another weird fruit: You might sustain them, or you might kill them. When scanning your resume, a recruiter wants to feel safe and certain. They want to see that someone else – a former boss, a contest judge, the dean of your college – has already taken the plunge, eaten the weird fruit and can independently verify its awesomeness.

  1. What They Get from Hiring You, Specifically

Tired phrases like “hard worker” and “fast learner” are “a dime a dozen.” They’re squishy and impossible to quantify. They’re just words; even worse, they’re clichés. They hold no meaning, and they don’t set you apart.

So what does set you apart? What makes you not merely qualified for this job, but more qualified than everyone else who’s applying? What puts you in the top 1 percent? Why are you unique? Why are you special? Why are you awesome?

Figure that out, then put it on your resume – because in the end, it’s the only thing that really matters.

sarah landrum head shotAbout the author: Sarah Landrum recently graduated from Penn State with degrees in Marketing and PR. Now, she’s a freelance writer and career blogger sharing advice on navigating the work world and achieving happiness and success in your career. She’s also the newest addition to the Campus to Career family, serving as a featured contributor on a regular basis. You can find her tweeting during boring speeches @SarahLandrum


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