6 Tips for Getting More from LinkedIn

22 09 2015

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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

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3 Tips for Mastering Your Emotions at Work

8 09 2015

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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

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

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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.

Onward!

 





Blow Your Interviewer Away: Smooth Responses To Simple Questions

1 09 2015

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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.