LinkedIn Lacking Pizazz? 3 Ways to Spice Up Your Profile

21 03 2017

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It’s no secret that LinkedIn is the king when it comes to social and professional networking for businesses and professionals. Like all social media, it only serves its purpose when the information presented on it is complete and you remain active and update frequently. But a boring LinkedIn page can cause you to be overlooked just as much as an incomplete or messy one, so what can you do to add a little pizazz to your page? Here are three easy ways to professionally spice up your LinkedIn profile or business page.

Write Articles

Whether for your company or as a professional, writing articles to be posted on LinkedIn is a great way to spice up your profile because it demonstrates your professional knowledge of your field and shows that you are active and engaged with the community. Articles published on LinkedIn from your company might also be seen as more legitimate than if they had been posted on your blog. These articles can also showcase images that further add color to your page and catch the eyes of readers. Articles can be regarding just about anything to do with business or LinkedIn itself, but it’s almost always best to focus your subject matter on what you do professionally in a way that best represents the brand you are trying to cultivate.

Have a Business Page

If you run a business, having a profile page for it on LinkedIn like this one is about as important as having a page for it on Facebook. Like this ASEA LinkedIn page, you want to make it look professional and appealing, with your logo as the profile picture and eye-pleasing graphics for your background and header photos. Just like on a personal page, a business page needs to be kept active and updated with relative frequency. Give people a reason to follow you by posting humorous, interesting and engaging content, whether it’s pictures or articles. Graphics need to look professional, so hiring a professional designer to create them is likely what you need to do – DIY graphics rarely look nice enough and can tarnish your business’s image as slipshod.

TIP: If you prefer working with stock photos, here are 10 sites that don’t suck.

Craft a Compelling Headline and Summary

First impressions are everything. To get people hooked from the beginning on your page or profile, take the time to craft a compelling headline and summary that will tell others who you are, what your experience is and what you can do for them. The key is to keep it both short and sweet, while hitting on the main things you want your customers or clients to know about your business. When coming up with your headline, make sure that it says what you do, who you help and why you’re qualified. Summaries can include information such as how long you’ve been in business, what you do and for whom (be as specific and targeted as possible). Appeal to the people you want to attract by knowing what they’re looking for and explain what you can do for them. Just like with major search engines, include key words and phrases that companies or potential clients will search for.

There are any number of other things that can also serve to make your LinkedIn page stand out more, such as having a personalized public profile LinkedIn URL, recommendations from former clients and bosses, all of your professional information and a portfolio of your work. If you are not currently utilizing LinkedIn to its fullest, we’d recommend that you put some more time and effort into it to see just how useful an account can be for your career and your business.

Extra credit reading: 6 Tips for Getting More Out of LinkedIn

****For this post, Campus to Career thanks Emma Sturgis!!****

 

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About the author: Emma is a freelance writer currently living in Boston, MA. She writes most often on education and business. To see more from Emma, say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2





How Social Accounts Can Impact Your Candidacy

1 02 2017

 

Did you share that super-fun, albeit slightly embarrassing story about your wild Friday night on Facebook? How about express a moderately insensitive political viewpoint on a short but pointed tweet? If you’re thinking about a prospective job, you might want to reconsider damaging posts, tags, or rants.

That’s because prospective employers don’t just sit back and let your resume speak for itself. They’re looking at all sorts of information, from references you provide to information you don’t even know you’ve given them—your social media accounts. What’s the risk, and what should you do about it? The information in this graphic helps you make a good assessment.

Additional resources:

How Your Social Accounts Can Impact Your Candidacy

Via AkkenCloud





12 Top Career & Leadership Experts to Follow in 2016

7 01 2016

c2c 2016Happy New Year!  For me, 2015 got off to a rocky start, but all in all, it was a good year.  Want to make 2016 an awesome year?  Twitter and LinkedIn are amazing resources for personal and professional development.  As a job seeker or someone who simply wants to improve themselves, the right influencers provide excellent advice, insight, best practices, inspiration and motivation to help you achieve your goals. This started out as a top ten list, but I couldn’t leave it at just ten resources.

So, I present to you:

Campus to Career’s 12 Top Career & Leadership Experts to Follow in 2016 (in alpha order):

Brittany Hodak (@BrittanyHodak) Brittany and I go way back…all the way to our humble beginnings in SmallTown, Oklahoma. Okay, that isn’t actually the name of the town (it’s Roland) but you get my point. Brittany is one of the most driven, passionate and gutsy people I know and her career success is a true reflection of her tenacity. She’s the Co-Founder of ZinePak,  blogs for Forbes, has been named to Ad Age’s 40 Under 40 list, and she even swims with sharks.

Doug Conant (@dougconant) You might recognize the name. Doug has been one of my unofficial mentors throughout my career. He’s is one of the most inspirational business professionals I’ve ever met. Oh, and he’s also the former CEO of Campbell Soup Company, leading with head, heart and hands. Read his book, TouchPoints.  I guarantee that you’ll find some excellent tips on how to be a better leader. Doug writes for LinkedIn as an Influencer regularly. Check out his posts here. He wrote a fantastic post recently on his site regarding 2016 Leadership Resolutions. Highly recommended.

Ed Han (@ed_han) Ed shares great content to help you succeed in your career. Personally, I enjoy his LinkedIn #tipoftheday. Ed contributes to Job-Hunt.org, considers himself a job seeker ally and provides good value to your Twitter stream.

Hannah Morgan (@careersherpa) She’s the guide for lifetime career navigation.  I love how Hannah shares so much of her own content, while complementing it with great articles and nuggets from other experts.  It’s the humble gesture that counts!

Jacob Share (@jacobshare) Jacob is a job search expert, professional blogger, creative thinker, and community builder with a sense of humor. He likes to help people. I like that. One of the ways he does that is by compiling incredible one-stop lists like the Top Job Search Articles of 2015 and 1500 Hot Twitter Job Search Feeds. Check ’em out.

Jeff Haden (@jeff_haden)  This guy is awesome.  As a LinkedIn Influencer, he’s providing some amazing advice in ways that we can relate to everyday life.  His posts are fun and very meaningful.  Check him out here.

Meghan Biro (@MeghanMBiro) She’s Founder & CEO of @TalentCulture, Host of #TChat (Wednesdays  7-8pm ET) and a regular contributor to Forbes.  Meghan is always sharing great information and like many on this list, she keeps social media social.  Follow her and tweet hello!

Rich Grant (@RichCareer) Rich is co-host of #CareerServChat, the popular Twitter forum for Career Services professionals.  He has some great articles on his blog and pays it forward, sharing useful content from other experts.

Sarah Landrum (@SarahLandrum) If the name sounds familiar, it may be because Sarah is a featured writer here at Campus to Career. Her articles are fantastic and bring a unique perspective to our readers. Adding her to our small team was one of the best things we did in 2015! Check out Sarah’s 6 Tips on Getting More From LinkedIn. She’s also the Founder of Punched Clocks. You can learn more about Sarah in this fun interview.

Steve Browne (@sbrownehr) Steve is a self-professed HR radical putting the human touch back into Human Resources. This guy GETS IT. Not only is he super-social (go ahead, tweet him), he’s one of the most inclusive, thoughtful people I’ve ever interacted with in my career. He also blogs at Everyday People, managing to find the extraordinary in everyone.

Steve Levy (@levyrecruits) He keeps it real, holding nothing back.  He’s a regular contributor to chats like #InternPro and #jobhuntchat.  Follow him for some of the best, frank career advice you’ve ever received.

YouTern (@YouTern)  Check out the blog, The Savvy Intern, for TONS of great articles to help you succeed.  YouTern and Campus to Career have partnered to bring you the best of both worlds. Look for more good stuff in 2016. BONUS: Follow Mark Babbitt and Dave Ellis.

Me (@kbaumann) (I know…seems selfish…we’ll call it “enlightened self-interest). I’d be honored if you followed me and liked Campus to Career on Facebook.  Research has proven that it’s silly to expect results if you don’t make the request.  So, I’m asking!  Let’s make 2016 awesome together.

There it is, folks.  Campus to Career’s 12 Top Career & Leadership Experts to Follow in 2016.  Well, technically…13. 🙂 When you follow them, take a look at who they follow and interact with.  This list wasn’t a top 100 for a reason.  You know who you want to follow and each person has unique needs and preferences.  Each person on this list is full of knowledge, shares that knowledge with the world and has a mission of helping others succeed.  That’s what we’re all about here at Campus to Career.

That being said….if you could add TWO people to the list, who would it be??  Please leave your recommendations (along with their Twitter username) in the comments below!  As always, thanks for reading.  Best wishes in 2016!

Like posts like this?  Click the “subscribe” button at the top right of your screen to get at least 51 more posts like this throughout the year.  They’re delivered directly to your inbox!





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





5 Things Recruiters Want to See on Your Resume

11 08 2015

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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





Keep Your Job Search Game Strong With These Tips [INFOGRAPHIC]

9 09 2014

We’ve welcomed a few new players to the job search field. Today’s job seekers have more resources to help draw out the Xs and Os than ever before. The wealth of online resources and social platforms can help you break free from getting caught up in zone defense and look out on all sides. Social networking, employee referrals, and even mobile devices are now helping job seekers bolt past the competition and score their dream jobs.

The infographic below — compiled by CareerShift, a comprehensive job hunting and career management solution — shares six new trends impacting job seekers. It’s time to ante up and use these game-changing trends to help you score big on the job field.

Some stats to note:

  • 94% of recruiters use or plan to use social media in recruiting efforts
  • 78% of recruiters hire through social media
  • 72% of active job seekers use mobile devices in their job search
  • Employee referrals account for 40% of all hires

Check out the full infographic below and develop your playbook with these game-changing trends in mind.

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What do you think? What are some other game-changing trends in today’s job market?





LinkedIn: Let’s Get Personal

11 08 2014

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Every week, I receive (and send) connection requests through LinkedIn. What continues to surprise me is the fact that the large majority of those who wish to connect fail to personalize the message. Now, let me explain first that I’m not too caught up with this since there are so many new smartphone and tablet apps that simply don’t let the user provide any personalization, thus the “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” standard messaging.

If you could hit the “easy” button and fire away simple connection requests without personalization, would you do it? Some say yes, but what are your results? Why are you really connecting?

Here’s the better question: What if you took 20 seconds to craft a quick note to provide the person you’re reaching out to with a frame of reference?

Put yourself in the shoes of the person receiving the connection request. For all intents and purposes, let’s just say they’re a recruiter for the most awesome company in the world and you want to work for them. You meet the recruiter at an event, perhaps a career fair. You exchange information and later go to LinkedIn to do a little research.

That little blue “connect” button is calling your name. Heck, LinkedIn even does most of the work for you. Instead of sending the boilerplate “I’d like to connect” blah-blah, you choose to stand out. Your connection request goes something like this:

Hi Kirk,

It was nice to meet you at the career fair today in San Francisco. Cool that you’re also a Cal grad! I’ve already applied online as directed to your awesome company. In the meantime, I’d like to connect with you here on LinkedIn. Let’s keep in touch!

Joe Smith

Now, if you were a recruiter and received tons of the basic boilerplate connection requests, wouldn’t this stand out to you?? It’s that simple.

What inspired me to write this post? These three great connection requests I received this week:

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Did I connect? You bet. Thanks for the added thought in your request!

Here are some other really great posts on LinkedIn:

Is Your LinkedIn Profile Awesome? by Career Sherpa

If You’re Not Linked In, You May Be Left Out

College Students: Are You Linked In? by Emily Bennington

Want to connect? You know what you have to do… 🙂 http://www.linkedin.com/in/kbaumann