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





College Students: How to Avoid the Sophomore Slump

25 01 2013

Young student reading and taking notesThe first year of college, students show up with enthusiasm in one hand and motivation in the other. But as sophomore year rolls around, the novelty of college begins to wear down. The challenges of difficult course loads arrive, money issues surface and doubts about major choice start to creep up. To top it off, graduation seems (and is) years away. Enter the sophomore slump: a constant reminder of what you got yourself into.

Here’s how to avoid it:

Don’t Do All of Your Reading Assignments

The stress of college life really sets in once you’ve passed introductory classes and are thrust into the middle of major-required courses. You’re busy balancing stuff that really matters, and probably a bunch of general education classes too. Here’s a secret: don’t do all of your reading assignments. It’s simply not the best use of your time. Granted its something you’ll need to gauge on a case-by-case basis, but after doing the reading for each class for the first few weeks you’ll be better about judging which reading assignments are necessary and which can be skipped.

Find a Quiet Place

Studying (or pretending to) in your dorm room might have worked freshmen year, but do yourself a favor and find a reliable, quiet place to get stuff done. Let this place trigger the motivational, focus-oriented bones in your body and hold it sacred. It can be the library, cafes and coffee shops near campus or a hideout on the backside of a building in the great outdoors. Wherever it is, only use it to be productive. You’ll find whether you are submitting scholarship applications (something you should continue to do throughout your four years), applying for jobs online, studying or checking your email (also important – universities and advisors often send vital information via email), the distractions will be minimal because of your mindset.

Get a Job That Matters

This one is tricky but doable. A job can pay the bills and teach you life and work skills — all important. But if you can, choose a job somewhat related to your future field. If you are going into architecture, apply for an on-campus yard and maintenance position. If you are interested in writing, work as an office assistant at the university’s newspaper or alumni magazine. At this point it doesn’t matter if you aren’t working directly in your future field, but you have a foot in the door and can learn from other people higher up in the chain.

It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know

Seek out and attend networking events. As an underclassmen you have the unique opportunity to attend career fairs, meet and greets and leadership conferences and learn for the sake of learning. You won’t have all the stress or anxiety of an upperclassmen trying to score an important internship, but you do have the same opportunity. When it comes to career success after college, it really is who you know, AND what you know. Make connections with leaders and peers in your industry. It’ll be worth it.

Quantity vs. Quality

Don’t try to be a jack of all trades. You need to test the waters and consider the options to find what you are really interested in, but once you do, focus on a few things rather than juggling a lot of things. This can be rough advice to take for the go-getters who can’t stand to pass up an opportunity. As a general rule, if you try to do everything you’ll be good at nothing. Follow the good, better, best guideline and realize for future employers it’s better to have a few amazing skills than many moderate ones.

About the author: Gina Waters is a volunteer firefighter, nanny and freelance writer, Gina has been a dedicated serious writer of articles and fiction since her first publication, when she was 18.





Top College Career Tips – Freshman to Senior Year

28 08 2012

How do I prepare myself for a career while I’m in college? How do I position myself to get ahead? You may be asking yourself these questions. Well, you came to the right place! Campus to Career has some great tips straight from some of the best recruiters and career services professionals in the industry. Here are some great pieces of advice for your first year on campus:

Freshman Year
As a college Freshman, you may find yourself feeling completely lost, overwhelmed by the excitement of the freedom college allows and the newly acquired sense of responsibility. There’s the impending doom of choosing your college major (which will no doubt be changed at least once or twice) and reality that hits home when you find yourself rolling quarters for laundry. Unless you’re lucky enough to have mom do the laundry when you come home for the weekend (all good things come to an end). There are hundreds of activities, clubs, organizations, fraternities and sororities to choose from. All of this hits you in the face as soon as mom and dad drop you off, say their goodbyes and drive off into the sunset.

A common misconception: Freshmen have no business attending career fairs. WRONG. Here are some things that you could be doing during your first year in college that will position you for success:

  • Research – Research different industries and the opportunities each provides for a college graduate. This is a great way to better understand industries like Retail, Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG), and Insurance for example.
  • Interview – Interview your peers and faculty advisors. Ask them how they got to where they are today and if they could share pointers with you. People love to talk about themselves – especially when they are helping someone.
  • Job Shadow – You’re still a little too young (academically) to be considered for most internships, but that shouldn’t stop you. Lots of companies will allow you to “job shadow” with someone, whether it’s for a day, a week, or sometimes longer. February 2 is National Job Shadowing Day (also Groundhog Day – coincidence?) Don’t wait until then to get something scheduled. Take advantage of it and get your appointment secured!
  • Resume – Just because you’re a Freshman doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a resume (or at least one started). Even if your jobs up to this point include waiting tables, tending bar, or asking “how may I help you,” it all adds to experience. Chances are, you’ve worked on a team, displayed communication skills, and even served as a leader on a project. Use it. Experience is experience. The resume should be updated at least on a yearly basis.

Not a freshman? Starting year two? Click below for specific career tips for each year in college!

Sophomore Year

Junior Year

Senior Year

Enjoy college, have fun, and make connections!

Next week on Campus to Career: I’ll be announcing something pretty exciting. Check back often to find out what!





The 12th Man

28 09 2010

After a long Spring and Summer wait, the college football season is here.  Last weekend, I had the opportunity to watch the Arkansas vs. Alabama (click About to see which team I rooted for) game in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  It was a special event, celebrating my best friend’s 30th birthday.  If you’re not keeping up with NCAA college football, I’d like to mention that Alabama is the defending national champion team (ranked #1) and that Arkansas was ranked #10 in the AP Poll.  To this point, it was the can’t-miss game of the season for thousands of fans. 

We were among a record number of fans (76, 808 was the official number in Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium) and contributed our best to a deafening roar of support for our team.  Regardless of the outcome of the game, it was evident that the crowd was definitely the 12th man on the team.  Screaming our heads off, we supported our favorite team 100%. 

In life and in your career, who is your “12th man”?  Who supports you no matter what?  What I’ve come to realize is that our success is tied largely to those that support us.  Surround yourself with positive influences who will champion your success as an individual.  It drives us to be better employees, friends, and spouses.  It keeps us grounded, but also inspired by the support of our network. 

The next time you see a sports game on television, hear it on the radio, or watch it in person, think to yourself.  Would it be the same without the crowd’s support?  I think you’d agree that it wouldn’t.  So, I’d like to ask again – who’s your 12th man?





Everything I Needed to Know I Learned in…College?

24 08 2010

Back to school….I can remember it now: the smell of fresh paint on the walls, my awesome Trapper Keeper tucked neatly away in my backpack, and all the #2 pencils I could ever dream of. Cue the Billy Madison song. Wait – that was my first day of kindergarten.

Is the first day of college (for new or returning students) that different?  As I got to thinking, I realized that no, they’re not.  That’s when I was inspired to write and crowdsource (asked a lot of friends for input) this post.  I asked each person for their best advice for college students.

Here’s what they said:

  • Don’t take a year off after high school or during your college career. Tough it out or lighten your load. It is 1000x harder to go back and get in the groove.
  • You can drop 8AM classes halfway. (nice to know!)
  • You have to earn a living eventually.
  • Choose student organizations, such as Enactus, that will help you develop your leadership skills.
  • You don’t have to know what you want to do for life at age 18! Use your college days to explore!
  • Always do the best work you can possibly do and take pride in it. Oh, and have some fun along the way!
  • Avoid posting pictures to Facebook that you wouldn’t want employers to see!
  • Enjoy every minute and have as much fun as possible.
  • Ask questions, network, stay on top of deadlines, contribute to discussions, and have fun!
  • Remember you are there to get an education first, but most importantly enjoy it. This will be one of the best times in your life.
  • Start using your career center now!
  • College is what YOUR experience. It is not your parent’s, friend’s, or anyone else’s. It is what you make it.

And one extra piece of advice: “Instead of worrying about what you want to BE, think about the things you like to DO.”

That’s it. These are just a few little nuggets of advice. Feel free to add more in the comments section.

Now, let’s ask YOU a question: What do you want to know about college and your career?

 Special thanks to Ashley Schmidtke, Marie Badger, Cindy Billington, Maura Quinn, Phillip Langham, Kim Costello, Catherine McNair, Christian Garcia & Toppel Career Center (University of Miami), Matthew Taylor, Mike Conley, and Tammy Burke.





CONTEST: Finding Happiness in Your Career

1 06 2010

Announcing Campus to Career’s very first contest!  Have you found career happiness?  Do you love what you do – every day?  Does your team make everyday FUN?  Let me know! 

Contest details:

1. User must submit a short paragraph on the subject.  NOTE: the post must be related to career happiness by Friday, June 6th 11:59 PM CST.

2. User must subscribe to Campus to Career blog (maybe bonus points for liking us on Facebook). 🙂

That’s it!  It’s a two-step process.  From there, all submittals will be reviewed and entered into a drawing for Starbucks giftcards and a few other goodies. 

Grand prize:  An advance copy of Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose by Tony Hsieh (CEO, Zappos.com) and featured in my June 7th blogpost, reviewing the book! 

Good luck!

Photo credit: Scott Ginsburg

Disclaimer: My June 7th blogpost will be reviewing the book, Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose by Tony Hsieh.  In return for recieiving the book in advance, I have been asked to give an honest review. The book will be available for purchase June 7th at http://amazon.com/deliveringhappiness.





Land Your Dream Job: Part 1 – The Career Fair

16 03 2010

We just set our clocks forward one hour, thanks to Benjamin Franklin’s genius idea of Daylight Saving Time and we’re all a little groggy from the sleep that has been taken from us. Well, wake up, sleepy-head! Now is not the time to fall asleep on your career search. For many universities, the Spring career fair (or Job Fair if not associated with a college) is just around the corner. In today’s job market, what will set you apart from over 2.7 million unemployed jobseekers?

Grab an extra large mug of your favorite caffeinated beverage and let’s get started! I have outlined a few recommended steps for achieving career fair success below.

Know Before You Go: Research the companies that are exhibiting at the career fair, their common entry-level positions, their brands, and what exactly it is that they do. Step out of your comfort zone and research some of the companies that you think you don’t want to work for. You may surprise yourself! Another tip: never approach a recruiter at the booth and ask “what does your company do?” In the day of Google, it’s too easy to do your homework on a company, yet many jobseekers still don’t.

Bring Your Résumé: I can’t say this enough. Yes, some companies today require candidates to apply online so that their applicant tracking system (ATS) has all your information in compliance with government regulations such as Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). However, even after you apply online, it’s still a good idea to take your résumé. Use it as a follow up tool. Tell the recruiter where you think you fit with their company (have to do the research first), and hand them your résumé while you’re telling them this. Don’t forget to tell them that you’ve already applied online!

Dress for Success: You’re most likely a college student, right? Khakis and a polo shirt sound fine for a career fair, huh? Don’t do it! Set yourself apart from your friends and peers. Treat the career fair like an interview and wear appropriate clothing. Wear clean, professional clothing (club-wear isn’t appropriate) and use an iron. You may be the only college student in a suit at the career fair, but believe me, you’ll stand out. Recruiters will know that you’re serious and could see you working for their company.

The Handshake: Do you have a friend or family member that has a crushing handshake? How about that friend that just dangles their hand out there so you can shake it? A firm, commanding (yet kind) handshake is very important. Look them in their eyes, smile and introduce yourself as “hi, I’m (insert name)” and shake their hand with a firm grip that doesn’t crush, nor feel like a limp noodle. Two seconds is more than enough time to hold on.

Follow Up: Follow up is perhaps the most important part of the entire process. After you’ve done the research, dressed for success, introduced yourself and learned about your fit within their company, don’t forget to ask for their business card, asking “when should I follow up with you?”. Since you’ll have their card, send a short, handwritten follow up thank you note for their time, reminding them how you met and the opportunity you’re interested in. You could also mention that you’ve applied online since and list the job requisition number or position name.

This wraps up Landing Your Dream Job Part 1 – The Career Fair. Tune in next week for part two of this four-part series, Landing Your Dream Job: The Phone Interview

Please feel free to share them with your friends, colleagues, classmates, and any other jobseekers out there that need help with a competitive advantage. 

Subscribe to my blog to be the first to know when a new post is available. As always, thanks for reading.