Quick and Easy Tips for a Professional LinkedIn Profile

Is your LinkedIn profile complete?  LinkedIn is a great way to connect with potential employers. LinkedIn has over 760 million professional members and over 303 million are active users looking for connections. Of those LinkedIn users who are engaging with the platform monthly, 40% access it on a daily basis. LinkedIn isn’t like Facebook where you can spend hours of time.  It is used sparingly, so you only have to invest a few minutes to make an impact. Users only spend about 17 minutes per month on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Profile

You can use LinkedIn to build an online presence as well as a professional identity. Anyone who wants to extend their reach and connect with potential employers should be using LinkedIn to do it. Let’s get started with your LinkedIn Profile.

Whether you currently have a profile or are just setting one up, there are few things you need to know regarding accounts available and ways to improve your profile.

Types of Accounts

On LinkedIn, you are a person, first and foremost. When you signup, you create a free personal account and profile, which includes background and professional information relevant to your potential employers.

LinkedIn offers two types of accounts, free and paid. The main difference between the two is that the paid account does not limit the number or frequency of your actions, as the free account does. With a paid account, you can join more groups, send more messages (InMail) and introductions, view more profile information, see everyone who has viewed your profile, and check references, among other things. Most people begin with a free account and only upgrade if the need arises.  So don’t get out your credit card till you need a paid account.  Use the free one until you outgrow it.

Whether you have a free or paid account, your profile is the foundation you build on. Let’s go over the parts of a profile so that you can have your information and details ready to add to each section. It’s important to include as much information as possible.  Remember,  you want people to read your profile and want to connect with you.

Your LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn has set up each personal profile to include information that is similar to a resume. You can include links, images, videos, slide shows, and more. Most of these sections can be repositioned to your liking; however, the headshot is always the first section.

Check out these tips to have a stellar LinkedIn Profile:

  • Headshot

You’ll need a professional-looking profile photo. You should stick to the professional images in order to get the best results. But don’t worry; you don’t have to spend a lot of money on this. Just get someone to take a high-resolution, high-quality headshot or torso shot.

Tip: You should be looking at the camera and your head should fill at least 60 percent of the frame.

  • Profile Headline

Look at various profiles. A headline area appears under each member’s name. In this area, write a headline that identifies and describes you. This helps others to find you, even if they don’t know you on a personal level yet.

Tip:  Don’t get too long-winded here.  Say as much as you can but do it succinctly.

  • Summary

This area should include a well-written summary of your experience, education, and knowledge.

Tip: Consider using bullet points for easy readability. Use power words to grab attention and include keywords. Keep it professional. Your authority, credibility, and reputation are at stake.  Make yourself look good, but be honest.

  • Professional Experience

Here, enter in each job you’ve had.

Tip: List each job separately even if you worked for the same company, but did different things or had different supervisors.    This part is important because if you worked on a specific project and you want a reference, it’s a good idea to list them separately. This allows the people you worked with to link their references to that particular project or task.

  • Skills & Endorsements

In this area, check off everything you have experience with including software programs and more. Your connections can then endorse anything that you’ve said you can do in order to validate your experience.

Tip: Don’t be afraid to ask previous employers or coworkers for endorsements.  You will be surprised by the people who will be happy to help you by endorsing you and your work. Every endorsement gives you increased credibility.

  • Recommendations

This area is where people can recommend you. LinkedIn provides an easy way to request recommendations from people you’ve worked with and are connected to. A recommendation carries more weight than an endorsement.

Tip: Send personalized, individual requests for the best results. Mass messages tend to be frowned upon by those who receive them and are less likely to take the action you’d prefer.  Remind them of what project you worked on or any special accomplishments or details you want them to focus on in their recommendation.

  • Education

This is where you should include any education you’ve received. Even if you didn’t finish your course of study, include it so that you can connect with fellow alumni.

Tip: If you received some type of recognition or excelled at something, include the specifics.

  • Groups

Any groups you join will show up in this section. You don’t have to do anything but join.

Tip: Try to keep the first 8 to 10 groups related to your career goals.

  • Add Media

You’ll notice that under Summary and some other areas, you’ll be allowed to add a document, photo, link, video, or presentation.

Tip:  This is a great way to introduce yourself and help viewers get to know you.  Remember a photo speaks a thousand words.  Multiply that for video.  These are the extra things that many don’t bother doing.  Adding any or all of these items will make you stand out.

  • Publications

If you’ve written any books or published works, you can list and link to them in this area.

Tip: This is a wonderful way to show your professionalism.

LinkedIn constantly improves the profile area. Whenever there is a change, take note of it and make use of the improved or added functionality. The more areas you complete in your LinkedIn profile, the more likely you are to make meaningful connections.  The goal of your profile is to make people like, know, and trust you so they will want to connect.  This is very important when searching for a job or new career.

Time to Update Your LinkedIn Profile

So now it is your turn.  Time to go and start completing or updating your profile.  Short on time? Try one or two areas each day.  In a week or two,  you will have a completed professional LinkedIn profile.  Then you are ready to start connecting with those potential employers.

Do You Need Career Search Help?

If you need help updating your resume, practicing for an interview, or organizing your job search information during these challenging times, consider reaching out to Rachel Schneider at Career Find to assist you.

By |2021-06-14T17:36:03-05:00December 17th, 2020|Job Search|Comments Off on Quick and Easy Tips for a Professional LinkedIn Profile

Are You Neglecting Your Network of Professional Contacts?

During normal times it is easy to find yourself neglecting your network of professional contacts. During this trying year, it is even more likely that you might be neglecting to reach out if you are not on a zoom meeting with them.

Neglecting Your Network

Active job-hunters know social networking sites, especially LinkedIn, can be some of the best tools for finding employment opportunities because it is easy to network with other professionals, friends, family, co-workers, and new contacts. But suppose you are happy in your job. In that case, you forget to continue to update your LinkedIn profile with recent accomplishments and connect with new co-workers and industry contacts you’ve met at previous conferences.

While we don’t think you need to be always looking for the next best thing, we do believe that you need to be prepared when life throws you an unexpected curveball, especially during a year like this. In other words, you never know when you may need to utilize your resume and contacts again.

Tips to Connect With Your Network of Professional Contacts

Here are four tips to help you stay on track with your resume and professional contacts:

  • Stay in Touch

Carve out time each week to go through your business cards of new and old connections and get LinkedIn with them. It’s an easy way to say “it was nice to meet you” or “remember me, I met you at…” and that you would like to stay in touch.

  • Help Others

Help Others

If you know a professional contact, friend, or family member looking for a job and you can help, don’t hesitate. Getting recommended for an interview gives that job-seeker a leg up on the competition. You also never know where that person may be able to help you out in the future. During trying times, helping someone else can be a mental health boost for both you and the recipient.

Consider using any free time you might have to give others recommendations on LinkedIn. When employers see current recommendations, they usually feel the person is a relevant candidate, especially if they are getting genuine recommendations during this time.

  • Show Off

When you further your education by taking some classes, getting promoted, or landing a big client, don’t be afraid to add that to your LinkedIn profile and resume. As your job changes and grows, so should your resume. The easiest way to update your resume is through your LinkedIn profile, where co-workers, clients, and even your boss can comment on a job well done. Be sure to thank them for their comments and keep the connection going.

  • Promote Good Things That Happen To Someone In Your Network Of Professional Contacts

Another opportunity to connect is when you see something positive happening for someone else.  You comment and share their good fortune on social. According to a post on the Muse, “When they get a new job, give a great presentation, or publish an article on a major website, send them a quick note to congratulate them on their milestones and tell them that you admire the work they are doing.” The person who congratulates and promotes others always looks good and others see you actively helping others.

A job search strategy isn’t something you should only think about when you are actively looking for a new job. It’s what you do BEFORE you start looking for a new job that’s equally important. If you have been neglecting your network of professional contacts, now is the time to do something about it.

Do You Need Career Search Help?

If you need help updating your resume, practicing for an interview, or organizing your job search information during these challenging times, consider reaching out to Rachel Schneider at Career Find to assist you.

By |2021-06-14T17:33:42-05:00November 18th, 2020|Job Search, Professional Contacts, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Are You Neglecting Your Network of Professional Contacts?

Are You Being Kind To Yourself?

Kindness, you go out of your way to show it to others, but do you show it to yourself?  So often we are much kinder to others than to ourselves. This has been especially true during the past months when we are dealing with new stressors related to the pandemic.  Being kind to yourself is important too.

Kind to Yourself

Unusual Circumstances in Uncertain Times

These are unprecedented times in our modern history due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  Here is a few of the things you and others might be experiencing:

  • Self-isolation since March because of high-risk reasons.
  • Extroverts and “social butterfly” people may feel hungry for connection.
  • Introverts may feel relief from “having” to interact and be around other people.
  • Those who live alone may be feeling low and depressed from being in “forced isolation” from people and the lack of in-person interactions with others (think grocery stores, restaurant wait-staff, dry cleaners, etc.)
  • Parents and guardians may be close to their breaking point having to be the parent and teacher for their children 24-hours a day for months on end without a break. We know they love their children, and also know it can be very intense and stressful.
  • Those who are employed AND have children have needed to learn to work from home AND teach at the same time.

Whatever You Are Feeling is OK

Feeling overwhelmed, lost in a sea of repetition, exhausted and unable to recharge is not uncommon. Having difficulty sleeping, changes in eating patterns, feeling irritated, low, fearful or anxious are all too common.  But all of these feelings are OK.

Whatever feelings you have, whatever you are experiencing – It is ok.  Be kind to yourself and ALLOW yourself to BE in whatever way you need to be at this point in time.

It’s ok to feel all of these things, some of these things, or none of them.  Give yourself permission to feel whatever it is that you feel.  And give yourself some grace for doing the best you can in unusual circumstances.

Allow yourself to accept this temporary reality and the feelings that come with it, and stop resisting. Stop beating yourself up over not doing everything perfect or feeling great about this new situation.

Remember It Is a Temporary Reality

Being in flow, by accepting this temporary reality and your feeling/experience, will lift some of the weight that you may be feeling.  We can fight what we cannot control, OR, we can find a way to function WITHIN the circumstances that we can’t control.

Finding a way to function within an uncontrolled situation, gives you some semblance of definition and ability to carve out something that you CAN control.

Things You Can Control

Here are some ideas for things you can control:

  • Decide to create a garden and plant for the coming season.
  • Mediate, stretch daily for 10 minutes at a time.
  • Decide to learn about something new and dive in.
  • Take care of your body by exercising regularly and getting plenty of sleep.
  • Read a new book series.
  • Take an online Master class.
  • Join an online group of people with similar interests.
  • Pick up the phone and CALL (not text or email) someone you are out of touch with.
  • Find a need in your community that you can fill.
    • Read stories and record it on zoom so parents can play them for their kids – gives them a break.
    • Clean your linen closet and give old towels and blankets to the humane society.
    • Knit or quilt lap blankets for people in nursing homes.
    • Write letters to soldiers.
    • Bake cookies for your local police or fire department.

Do You Need More Ideas?

If you need more ideas check out the post 17 Ways to Be Kind to Yourself over at daringtolivefully.com.

Now is not the time to make life-changing decisions.  You can plan…Just don’t do.  After this passes and things return to a “New Normal,” you can take action steps.

Do You Have Career Concerns?

If you are concerned about your career, if you are fearful of being laid off or let go, call me and we can discuss your situation and make a plan that will alleviate your stress level.  Having a light at the end of the tunnel will help during these challenging times.

Other Important Numbers to Know

Below are some helpful numbers to call if the pandemic situation is more than you can handle on your own:

Disaster Distress Helpline   –   1-800-985-5990

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline  –  1-800-273-TALK

National Domestic Violence Hotline  –  1-800-799-7233

Veteran’s Crisis Line  –  1-800-273-8255

By |2021-06-14T17:36:14-05:00November 5th, 2020|Work/Life Balance|Comments Off on Are You Being Kind To Yourself?

10 Things to Do for Your Career Success

Career success is important. Whether you are searching for a job, desiring a promotion, or working in a job you have had for years, you want to be successful. No one wants to be miserable in their career, be underemployed, or forever searching for a new job.

Career Success

 

What is Career Success?

We all know the person who seems to have it all, a great job, good pay, lovely things, and yet they are unhappy and always complaining. They have not found career success. They are accomplished in what they do but not happy with their choices. So what is career success? According to an article on Forbes, career success is a combination of achieving a reasonable level of financial stability while doing work you enjoy and then finding that you are also happy and fulfilled with your life and career choices as well.

Keys to Career Success

Below are ten things we feel are vital to making your professional future and life a lot easier and more successful:

1. Know how to explain ‘what you do’.

Refining your elevator pitch does take practice. It may have changed throughout your career. Spend time thinking about this. It isn’t a cookie-cutter type thing. Everyone’s elevator pitch should be personal. Be so good at explaining what you do that those who hear it will never forget it.

2. Know your career non-negotiables.

Be honest with yourself about what you need out of a career, make a list, and don’t waste your time on jobs that don’t line up. If certain things really matter, don’t take a job that doesn’t serve you. Often, we are in a hurry to find a job or move up the ladder; we take a job that will limit our happiness because it goes against what we deem important. For example, you want to be home in the evenings to spend time with your children, but you take a job requiring several evening meetings per week. It won’t be long till you are feeling frustrated with this job.

Another example is that you desire to have a job requiring some travel, but you take a position that requires you to be in the same office every day with no chance of travel. Or you want to work for a company that supports something you believe in, yet you take a job whose policies do not line up with your beliefs. All these will hurt your success.

Know your non-negotiables and stick with them. You will be much happier in the end.

3. Jump off a cliff every once in a while.

Push your boundaries, get out of your comfort zone, and do something that terrifies you at least once in the early stages of your career and every so often as the years go by. It is so easy to get comfy and go through the motions and never challenge yourself. Sometimes we need to shake things up and try new things. You don’t have to be in a new job to shake things up. Look for opportunities in your current position to challenge yourself, take on something new, etc.

4. Learn how to take criticism.

It is important to take criticism seriously and not personally. Knowing where you are not meeting expectations will allow you room to grow professionally. This is a big one. Learn from your mistakes. No one is perfect; if you use constructive criticism to improve and grow, it will contribute to your success. Ask for feedback, use it constructively, and it will carry you to new heights in your career.

Lear to say NO for Career Success5. Learn to say No. 

Sometimes this can be the hardest word to say to your boss. Knowing when and how to use this word when it is necessary may save your sanity. This is especially important if you have a boss who piles things on and doesn’t realize the time component involved. A great example of this would be when a boss tells someone who works with technology they want this and this and this done. The boss only sees the end product and has no clue how long each project takes to complete or the steps involved. As an employee, you might have to say, I’m working on this and this and this, and I can’t take on another new thing till at least one of these is completed. There just aren’t enough hours in the day. Or ask the boss to prioritize all the projects he has assigned to you. That way, he can determine which you should spend your time. Sometimes when they see the list in black and white, they are surprised with how much they have assigned and are willing to take an item or two off your plate and give to someone else, or at minimum tell you which are low on their priority list so you can work on the items that will make you look like a hero.

I also need to point out that learning to say NO will come in handy not only with career success but with life in general. Learning to say NO reduces stress.

6. Know how to negotiate.

In most cases, this is the only way you will get what you deserve and want. Negotiation skills are valuable for your long term career and future happiness. Just a word of caution…don’t expect to get everything you want. Negotiation is give and take. I refer back to know your non-negotiables and make sure you remember and fight those things when you negotiate.

7. Find a to-do list system that works for you.

Whether you need 30 post-it notes or a list synced on all your devices, learn to manage your workflow. Trello, Asana, and Slack are all programs that can help with your to-do list. Not only are they helpful for you, but if you have a team, it helps to keep everyone on the same page and organized. Whether you use a paper tablet with a list or an online program, just be sure you prioritize items on the list, so you get the most important things done first.

8. Know when you are the most productive.

Use your energy levels to your advantage. Don’t spend your peak mental hours on wasteful things. This is so important. If you are the most productive first thing in the morning, then do your hard work, which takes concentration at that time. Save checking email or returning calls for a later time. To do this, you may have to tell yourself NO for a while till you get into a new routine, but once you see how much more productive you can be, you will realize it is worth making the change.

9. Know how to manage stress.

Stress can ruin your life if you don’t cope with it. Learn what helps you de-stress and make it part of your routine. Everyone handles stress differently. Some exercise, some spend time in nature, some meditate, take relaxing baths, read books, etc. Find what works to reduce your stress, and then make an appointment with yourself to follow through on these items on a routine basis. Reducing stress helps make you more successful, more fun to be around, and helps you to live longer.

10. Make a career emergency plan.

What would you do if you got laid off tomorrow? Instead of panicking, get started on an action plan. During the past seven months, many of us have dealt with layoffs we never expected. Many people have started new businesses, freelance work, or hunting jobs in different fields. Having an emergency career plan with several options is always smart. When something happens, you know what steps you need to take to implement your plan. Without a career emergency plan, it may take months till you figure out what to do next. Create a career emergency plan and revisit it every year, so it is up to date and ready in case you need it.

Do You Need Career Search Help?

If you need help updating your resume, practicing for an interview, or organizing your job search information during these challenging times, consider reaching out to Rachel Schneider at Career Find to assist you.

By |2021-06-14T20:21:26-05:00October 27th, 2020|Career Success|Comments Off on 10 Things to Do for Your Career Success

Unemployment and Covid-19

Unemployment and Covid-19 are prominent issues in today’s world.   Almost everyone has been affected in one way or another.

Have you been unemployed for months due to Covid-19?  Are you worried about your career path and the gap of employment on your resume?   Perhaps you are feeling nervous about being furloughed and not being able to find a new job quickly.

Unemployment and Covid 19

If you are feeling a bit anxious about things, you are not alone. According to Pew Research Center, “The COVID-19 outbreak and the economic downturn it engendered swelled the ranks of unemployed Americans by more than 14 million, from 6.2 million in February to 20.5 million in May 2020.”  There are a lot of people searching for jobs.

The Facts about Unemployment and Covid-19

Let me share a few things about Unemployment and Covid-19 that might calm your nerves.

Prior to Covid-19, a gap of employment on your resume would need an explanation.  In our current climate, everyone in the world has been affected by Covid-19, and how we work has significantly changed.

Many people have to work from home and no longer go into an office.  Others are not able to do their job remotely and are now unemployed.

Workers with children have had to figure out how to continue working from home AND juggle caring for their children, and even teach at the same time.

Some people in contract employment roles have had their work dry up as a result of office closures, etc.

The Good News

If you are worried about how hiring managers and employers will perceive the gap in your employment history, don’t be.

Due to the fact that everyone has been affected by Covid-19 in one way or the other, potential employers, hiring managers, recruiters, and the like all understand.  No one is going to hold a gap in your employment history during Covid-19 against you.

The Covid-19 situation has affected everyone differently and to various degrees, which is common knowledge.  This works to your benefit as a “Job Seeker.”  When asked why you were unemployed, simply say it was due to Covid-19.  No further explanation needed, and no red flags will be raised.

While Unemployed During Covid-19

In the meantime, you can show employers you still have initiative.  While unemployed, you can use the time to update and expand your skills and knowledge. There are free online courses available.  Or volunteer in your community (in-person or on-line) and be sure to let potential employers know how you spent your time.

If you remain active and involved in your career even during a pandemic, it shows employers your commitment to growing personally and professionally.

Do You Need Help With Your Job Search?

If you need help updating your resume, practicing for an interview, or organizing your job search information during these hard times, consider reaching out to Rachel Schneider at Career Find to assist you.

By |2021-06-14T20:23:18-05:00October 1st, 2020|career search|Comments Off on Unemployment and Covid-19

Thank You Note Secrets

When you are in the process of interviewing for a job, don’t forget a very important step… the post-interview Thank You note.

In this competitive job market, people write Thank You notes more than you may think. An emailed Thank You note is better than sending nothing, however in order to stand out from the crowd, you have to write, not type, a killer Thank You note.  Consider doing both – writing and sending an email Thank You note right after the interview ends, and then sending a handwritten note to follow up!

Thank you note secrets

Why Do Both?

Isn’t it redundant, you may be thinking? Well, we are in a very technologically connected society. It would be odd to not email a Thank You note right away, in which you thank them for taking the time to meet with you, express your interest in moving forward in the hiring process, and indicate that you want the job.

Then, you write a handwritten Thank You note and send it the same day.

The emailed Thank You note shows them that you are tenacious, very interested in the role and are excited about the opportunity.  The longer you wait to email a Thank You note, the less interested you look, and they may move forward with someone else who shows more enthusiasm.

Not many people write Thank You notes by hand anymore because email is so easy.  Taking the time to write a handwritten Thank You note, finding a stamp, putting it on the letter and dropping it in the mailbox shows potential employers that you are very interested in the role and are willing to take extra time to show them how much you want the job.  By the time your handwritten Thank You note reaches their desk, the potential employer will have moved on to other tasks and will be pleasantly surprised and impressed by you, days after your interview. It makes a fantastic impression.

Tips for Writing A Thank You Note

While a bad Thank You note will most likely not reverse the opinion of the interviewer, a good one may make a difference.  So how do you write that winning Thank You note?

Whether writing an email Thank You or a handwritten Thank You note, the following tips will help you to compose a memorable note.

Thank you note emailThank Them

Remember to thank them for their time and the interview.

Reference The Interviewer’s Comment

Don’t be afraid to reference a comment made by the interviewer.  Reflect back on the conversation and mention at least one point of interest.  For example, “You mentioned your group has been extra busy since the merger and I appreciate you spending an hour of your time with me.” or showcase your qualifications, “You mentioned the need for graphic design skills, I’ve created graphic designs for several years for xxx company.”

Provide Qualification and Experience Proof

Offer proof of your qualifications and experiences. Reference specific details from the interview that remind the interviewer how your skills could help the company.

Keep Your Promises

If you told them you would provide something or send links, be sure to include them.  Even if you didn’t promise them you can always send a link to an online portfolio or another item of interest that lends credibility to your application.

Keep It Short

The interviewer’s time is limited.  Keep your note short and sweet and to the point.

Use Your Full Name

Sign with both your first and last name and if sending an email, include your contact info. (There could be a dozen people with the same first name applying.)

Proofread - Thank you note secretsProofread

Besides obviously spelling the interviewer’s name wrong; are there typos or grammar mistakes in your note? If so, you run the risk of looking sloppy and/or unprofessional.  Always proofread and it helps to read it out loud to make sure the flow sounds nice.

Be Specific

Don’t be too generic. Could someone who didn’t even participate in the interview have written this? If your answer is yes, start all over.  Be specific!

Be Timely

Send the Thank You notes as soon as possible.  Keep your name at the forefront of the interviewer’s mind.  The emailed Thank You note should be emailed RIGHT AWAY after the interview.  Use nice stationery and nice penmanship when writing your handwritten note, and put in the mailbox the same day.

If you want the job, it’s worth the time to handwrite a Thank You note.  A well written Thank You note will help improve your chances of moving forward in the interviewing process. It’s one of those things that helps to differentiate you from the pack and shows that you are not afraid to put in the work and go above and beyond, which are all good things that employers want their employees to possess.

Thank you not secretsInfographic for Email Thank You Notes

Check out this link to an infographic created by a Recruiter I love to refer clients to (Diane Delgado LeMaire) that shows the steps in sending an email Thank You note.

Other Posts of Interest

You might also find these posts helpful.

How to Master a Phone Interview in 5 Easy Steps

9 Interview Mistakes To Avoid

Need Help With Interview Skills?

Call your Career Coach, Rachel Schneider at Career Find, to schedule a meeting to practice your interviewing skills and learn new ones that will differentiate you from your competition which will help you feel confident as you start the interview process.

By |2021-06-14T17:38:28-05:00September 10th, 2020|Interview Prep, Job Search|Comments Off on Thank You Note Secrets
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