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

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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





10 Ways to Use Social Media to Land Your Dream Job

4 07 2014

Social Media ComicSocial media is one of the most life-changing developments of the 21st century. It has impacted almost every aspect of our lives, including the way we connect, socialize, entertain, seek knowledge, promote personal and corporate brands, and seek jobs. Gone are the days when our job search was limited to scouring “help wanted” ads in newspapers and other print media, visiting placement agencies and applying through job sites.

Today, companies have developed an ecosystem around social media, which is central to their corporate branding and marketing activities. Manpower requirements are also met through social networking, which is comparatively hassle-free and less time-consuming. For example, if a company is looking for an efficient marketing manager or vice president for its organizational growth, then it is more likely to contact people working at similar companies in its social network.

Hiring managers often review individual profiles on professional networks such as LinkedIn before actually initiating the process of organized headhunting. The time wasted in screening heaps of resumes is minimized to a great extent, and what they get are genuine leads for the open position.

To stand out from the competition and increase your chances of getting your dream job through social media, you should follow these ten steps:

1. Keep your personal and professional accounts separate
Don’t make the common mistake of having one social networking account for both your job-hunting and socializing with family and friends. Keep a separate public account to network with potential employers and keep your personal account private, shared only with the close friends. Prospective employers are likely to snoop into your Facebook profile, and if it is not maintained professionally, it can work against you.

2. Shout out loud if you are looking for job
If you’re looking for a job, you should inform your friends and followers through your status updates on Facebook and Twitter. So, in case a friend of yours gets the inside scoop of a new opening in his company, he can in turn inform you before it goes public. Similarly, you can also change your LinkedIn profile headline to signal that you’re looking for a change. It will instantly inform your connections that you’re searching for a suitable opening.

3. Create an impressive LinkedIn profile
LinkedIn is the biggest global social network for professionals and it has the biggest database of companies, organizations and individuals. So, it’s important to create a professional LinkedIn profile to network with people in your target industry. Your LinkedIn profile is highly visible on search engines such as Google, which is a major advantage.

4. Use advanced features on LinkedIn
LinkedIn has many advanced features that can be used to make your profile highly visible globally. For example, you can add work samples, images of certifications, professional videos, recommendations and many other things. Apart from that, you can also benefit from LinkedIn job groups and the “Jobs” column. Get involved in different groups according to your interests and work profile, and share your knowledge with others for personal branding. Share your blogs in different LinkedIn groups, which will establish yourself as an authority in your field and could also attract hiring managers.

5. Make use of Twitter search
Twitter has many advanced features and powerful search capabilities. You can use hashtags to find people with similar interests. This way, you can multiply your social network beyond national boundaries.

6. Link to your social profiles on your resume
You can use the hyperlinks of your LinkedIn, Twitter and “https://about.me/” profile on your resume just below your name. It will not only make your resume look professional and social media-friendly, but will also help prospective hiring managers to know more about you, especially about your accomplishments and skills, which you can’t always mention in the limited space of your resume.

7. Stay informed
Keep yourself updated with the latest industry news and insights through social platforms and discussions; this will help significantly during interviews. For example, LinkedIn discussions are a great way to stay up-to-date on what’s happening around the globe in your industry.

8. Promote yourself through https://vizibility.com/
This site will help you promote yourself through your professional profiles, blogs, videos, links, bios and maps.

9. Download job search apps on your smart phone
Apps like CareerBuilder, Monster and Indeed will deliver job openings directly to your smart phone, so that you can be among the first to respond.

10. Seek jobs through networks such as TweetMyJobs
Take advantage of prominent mobile and social job distribution networks such as TweetMyJobs to speed up your job search.

****For this guest post, Campus to Career thanks Aditya Singhal!!****

About the author: Aditya Singhal is the co-founder of transtutors.com, which is a leading online tutoring resource for college students. Adi and his team are currently creating a courseware platform for MBA students. They are also launching later this year an eBay style marketplace for assignments. Adi gives back to society by contributing a portion of the company’s revenue toward the education of poor students in India.





How to Lose a Job Before the Interview: Facebook No-No’s

14 05 2013

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Guest post by Jeri Johansen

Facebook.  People either love it or hate it.  One thing’s for sure, its popularity can’t be beat – Facebook has now surpassed Google as the most visited site in the U.S. with over a billion users.  It didn’t take long for employers to understand that a lot of information can be learned about prospective employees from their Facebook page.   While those pictures of you doing a keg stand provide a great memory of a great party, job recruiters are not usually amused by this activity.

Effective January 1st, 2013, new state laws make it illegal for some employers to demand access to their worker’s Facebook accounts, although that does not mean they won’t try to view them.  It’s hard to believe that employers had been taking it upon themselves to demand employee’s social media passwords!  This tactic just screams Title VII violation.  Just think of the type of information an employer could possibly learn from your social media page: gender, race, religion, sexual orientation; the list goes on and on.

Whether or not hiring managers should use social media for employment screening, recent surveys show that about 37% do check Facebook before making a hiring decision.  Below is some information to help you clean up your Facebook page before embarking on your post-graduate career search.

Privacy settings

Take the time to set up your privacy settings so that only “friends” can view your timeline.  This may seem like a no brainer, but if you restrict a lurker’s access to your information, it makes it all the more difficult to not only find you, but to dig up dirt on you.

Pictures

Quite possibly the biggest indication of a person’s “social media maturity” is their pictures. Would you be interested in going into business with someone whose first impression of themselves is a picture of them chugging a 40-ounce beer and making an explicit hand gesture? Yeah, neither would your future employer.

Status Updates

What you choose to share about yourself on a wide-spread social platform says more about yourself than what you actually say. Constantly complaining about your life, putting other people down or stating controversial opinions with disregard to other’s feelings are all sure-fire ways to have strangers judge your personality before actually getting to know you. So you had a bad day at work? Posting about it on Facebook makes it seem like you hate your job and could concern employers that you would bad mouth them as well.

Proper grammar/spelling

Not being an English major is no excuse for improper grammar or spelling errors.  Profanity is another huge turnoff for employers, with 61% saying that they view the use of profanity on social media sites negatively.  Maybe you have great things to say but you can lose your credibility if your spelling or grammar is off.   Let’s review the following post:  “Im so exsited for there company to schedule my inter-view”.   Although you may mean well, this post could be viewed by the interviewer who may become “not so ecxsited” to schedule your interview.

Your Likes

Your “likes” on Facebook can be extremely telling.  While you may well be a fan of “Tattoos by Deviants”, it may come off as unappealing to some more conservative employers.

While changing or updating your Facebook profile is a good practice for job searching, it’s important to remember that nothing you post on the internet is ever completely hidden.  I can still find pictures of myself that I posted during my “only cool people post self-timer shots of them alone in the bathroom” phase in high school.  If in 10 years from now you think you could be embarrassed by the stuff on your social media page, don’t post it!  You wouldn’t want a profile picture or status update to be the determining factor between you and a competing candidate!

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About the author: This post was written by Jeri Johansen, PHR –HR Blogger and Manager of Human Resources at Crimcheck.com and Co-Chair of the 2013 Northern Ohio Human Resource Conference (www.nohrc.org).  Crimcheck.com specializes in employment screening and background checks. You can follow Crimcheck.com on Facebook and Twitter also.”





Top 10 Job Hunting Smartphone Apps

18 09 2012

By Pearlie Davis

Get the competitive edge you deserve!

When it comes to finding a new job, we need all the help we can get! Today’s job market is competitive, so any edge or advice you can get as far as setting yourself apart is beneficial. These days the job hunt almost entirely takes place online, unlike 10-years ago when we looked to cold calling and newspaper advertisements for job listings.

A modern-day search demands tech-savviness—like using keyword phrases in your resume to show recruiters and human resources departments that you fit the role and have the experience needed to fill the position you’re applying for. A job hunt also requires a familiarity with social networking on sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, and even Facebook, which can help you connect with the right people and broadcast your instant availability on the job market.

Thanks to the array of job hunting apps available for smart phones, you can look for a job from almost anywhere. Check out the following 10 job hunting apps that can help you write your resume and cover letter, learn valuable interview tips, network with folks in your industry, organize your portfolio, and get the professional attention you deserve.

1. SparkHire (Free – for iPhone)

Before I go for any interview at any dream job, I look to SparkHire , a video resume, interviewing and job board mobile app that I can use on my T Mobile Galaxy S3 when I’m having a coffee at the local café. My current employer even used this app to pre-screen candidates for the position I applied for by using the app to present multiple text-based questions to each applicant. I was able to give my answers in a short, video format so that the hiring manager could sort through and select candidates for in person interviews.

2. ResumeMaker On-the-Go (Free – for Android)

Resume a little outdated? Never written a cover letter in your life? Good news; the handy ResumeMaker On-the-Go app features tips and step-by-step instructions to help you craft an attention grabbing resume (in a good way) right on your smart phone.

3. LinkUp – Job Search Engine (Free – for Android)

The LinkUp Job Search Engine app lets users to search job listings by openings by category, company, keyword, or location and apply to the job of your choice discreetly and professionally.

4. LinkedIn (Free – for iPhone)

This app offers a mobile option to the online social networking platform for making business connections. LinkedIn is an excellent source for job hunters for making connections with recruiters and hiring managers, getting recommendations from old bosses and colleagues, and putting your experience front and center for head hunters who are interested in your specific set of skills.

5. Best Resume Tips (Free – for Android)

Best Resume Tips is a mobile app that offers both new and veteran resume writers tips, advice, and step-by-step instructions for putting together an impressive resume, cover letter, and professional portfolio.

6. Evernote (Free – for iPhone)

If you need to put together a portfolio and don’t know where to start, Evernote can help you collect and organize everything from notes to personal recommendations, online clippings to photos, and interview notes to reference contacts into a single view system where you can edit and access it as you need it.

7. LunchMeet (Free – for iPhone)

You can get a lot done over lunch hour. That’s why LunchMeet is a great app for job hunters if they’re looking to connect with people in their industry. This app uses your LinkedIn account to geo-target relevant industry contacts who are open to setting up a lunch meet up to discuss career opportunities.

8. JobJuice ($14.99 – for iPhone)

JobJuice will clear up any hesitations and fears you have concerning marketing yourself via social media. You can use this app to connect with industry professionals, market your own personal brand, research and target key companies, and connect with hiring managers and industry head hunters.

9. Pocket Resume ($2.99 – for iPhone & Android)

It’s like having a resume writer in your pocket. The Pocket Resume app does the heavy lifting for you by scanning your LinkedIn profile and exporting the essentials to create a PDF resume. This way you can tailor resumes to specific positions.

10. RealTweets Job Networking (Free – for Android)

Imagine learning about your dream job in 140 characters or less! With RealTweets you can get your daily dose of relevant job search news via relevant tweets as they appear in real-time.

About the author: Pearlie Davis is a staff writer for GoingCellular, a popular site that provides cell phone news, commentary, and reviews.





Supercharge Your Networking and Job Searching with Evernote

26 07 2012

By Ashlee McCullen

Having been through several grueling job searches, I’ve found one of the most tedious and time consuming aspects is simply keeping everything straight.

Rather than fumble with a nightmare of folders, Word files, and contacts entries to organize myself, I’ve turned to notes service Evernote. With Evernote, I can track my progress applying to jobs and make notes on jobs in one place.

Plus, the service syncs between devices and is available in many platforms. I’ve used it on Windows, PC, and several Android phones from T-Mobile.

Here are some techniques I use. Feel free to alter them or let me know if you have any “pro tips.”

The meat of it: Job Search Notes

For each job posting (including “hidden” jobs) that catches my eye, I’ll create a note for it. This note then serves as a one-stop-shop for this particular position.

  • Note Tile: I use the same syntax for each job. Date created in 00/00/0000 format, job title, and company name. This way, I can quickly view jobs according to how long ago I found them, and act accordingly.
  • To Do List/Progress: For all progress made, I will include the date of the action. This is vital for gauging when to do any follow up actions or giving up. Plus, when you’re applying to dozens of jobs, it can be harder than you’d imagine to remember which online applications you’ve already filled out.
  • Contact Info: Include the usual stuff like addresses and phone numbers, plus any names of employees you know or will be contacting.
  • Job Information: I paste the URL of the job posting ,and possibly some or all of its text (Tip: Use text-only paste to avoid formatting headaches). I emphasize being able to see the original posting so you can use its keywords in your application.
  • Personal Notes/Observations: What I write here is fodder for answering “why do you want to work here,” for explaining what I can bring to the job and for developing intelligent questions.
  • Phone Interview Notes/Questions to Ask: This one is closely related to the above.
  • Files: Personally, I keep my files in a Dropbox folder, but you may find it more convenient to keep relevant files attached to the job search note.

Keeping track of it all

I recommend using at least two folders to organize your job application notes. I’ve used a “Job Postings” folder for grabbing info the moment I find a job, and an “Applications in Process” folder for jobs I’m committed to applying for.

When you give up on a particular job (ie you haven’t heard back in a few weeks), you can trash the note or place it in an “Archives” folder. Either way, it’s out of the way.

Final Thoughts

I highly recommend installing the Windows or Mac client and learning how to use it efficiently. Creating check lists and formatting text into more readable bullet lists is far less tedious when you know Evernote’s keyboard shortcuts.

About the author: Ashlee McCullen is a staff writer for Apron Addicts, a website about kitchen fashion and home style. She also writes about mobile technology and self-improvement.





SHIFT_ Your Mindset

7 02 2012

“SHIFT_. A single word that captures the passion and commitment that has revived and drives our future. Everything we touch, we shift. And everything we shift, we try to make better and uniquely Nissan.

SHIFT_ thinking changes the way we look at things, the way we do things and the way we react to life around us.  It’s no longer about just doing, but doing for a purpose, doing effectively. It is change, but change driven for better, faster, higher performance. We are not afraid to take the lead at times or to stretch the boundaries in wider, better directions. When you change the way you look at reality, you will find that amazing things can happen.”

Why am I talking about an automotive company?  Look a little closer.  You see, shift happens.  Things change.  Life moves on.  What Nissan has discovered is that you’ve got to keep moving toward your goals, whatever they may be.  Curveballs will be thrown at you!  To help you catch some of those wild pitches (or better, yet – help you knock them out of the park,) here are a few examples of how my mindset has shifted regarding some of the social tools I use (yes, this still relates to your career):

Twitter:

  • Original mindset: This weird, new tool has no value. Why would anyone care what I think? And who really wants to know what I had for lunch?
  • Current mindset: This awesome tool keeps me connected to the world in real-time.  News, humor, relevant articles – you name it, Twitter has it!  It’s all about how you use the tools, not the tool itself.  Ever used a sugar packet to level a wobbly table?  It’s up to YOU to find the value!

LinkedIn:

  • Original mindset: It’s the professional space online. I should be using it for business, connecting only to people I know.  Oh, and I might as well copy what’s on my résumé into my profile.  It’s the same thing, right?
  • Current mindset: LinkedIn is valuable, but again, it’s all about how you use it.  I use the platform to connect with people (and continue to connect with them after the initial invitation) in my network, along with people I’ve never met.  WHAT?  Connect with someone you DON’T know on LinkedIn?  There’s value in doing this.  Expand your network.  We’re all connected by fewer links than you think!  LinkedIn is also great for group participation and to establish credibility.  Know the answer to someone’s question?  Build your reputation!  By the way, I still don’t link all my tweets to LinkedIn.  For me, it’s distracting.  Sure, I cross-post sometimes, but EVERYTHING isn’t worthy of LinkedIn.  Know your platform and purpose.

Facebook:

  • Original mindset:  Facebook isn’t for me.  Why?  Actually, Facebook wasn’t available to me when it first launched (I’m not THAT old) and I didn’t have an .edu email address, which was required for users at that time.  When the platform opened up its membership, I joined just see what everyone was talking about, connecting with long-lost friends and family members.  I posted pictures…some weren’t too flattering.  After all, who would use Facebook as a job seeking tool?
  • Current mindset:  Facebook is the future.  Most of us already know this.  Why do I say that it’s the future?  Apps like BranchOut and BeKnown are bringing a new side to Facebook that allows job seekers to build their professional profile, without it being linked to their general profile (you can still have a locked-down Facebook page, but the apps open the professional information up for outside viewers, like recruiters.)  Think of this:  Facebook has nearly 800 million active users.  It’s where people are spending their time – day and night.  I check my social profiles and email every morning before getting out of bed.  That’s a powerful sense of connectedness!  We all like to share things on Facebook.  What this does is give others a sense of our personality and culture fit.  It’s who we are at our core.  Think about that before you question recruiters using it as a research tool.  You have the power to work this in YOUR favor!  YOU control what YOU post (and who sees it, who tags you in photos, etc.)

Pinterest:

  • Original mindset: What is this and why are people posting pictures of food or their newest craft project on Facebook?  That feature can be turned off, by the way.  Hint, hint.  Why would I want to even entertain another social sharing tool?
  • Current mindset:  I joined.  To my surprise, it’s quite useful!  I use Pinterest for moments when I need some inspiration or motivation.  I use Pinterest to help spark creativity as well.  The next time you hit a wall trying to squeeze creativity out of your fried little brain, check out the site.  You’ll be surprised at how refreshed and inspired you are when you get back to work on the task at hand, including your job search. NOTE: Pinterest, like many other social sites, CAN BE A TIME SUCK!!  Again, you make the rules.  It’s up to you regarding how you use the tool.  PS. If you have any delicious recipes, I’m happy to serve as your taste-tester.  🙂

One platform I’m missing is Google+.  I’m still in the infant stages of discovery with this tool.  The original mindset is this: What makes it so special, so different than anything else out there?  That’s the million dollar question that a lot of people are asking.

You tell me – what do you think about Google+ or any of the other sites covered in this post?  How are YOU using them for your job search?  How has your mindset shifted?  Please leave a comment below.  I want to hear from you.

As always, thanks for reading!