Thursday, December 18, 2014

10 Ways to Use LinkedIn to Boost Your Career

As far as I'm concerned, LinkedIn is the single greatest networking tool in the world - ever. The problem is, not everyone knows how to use it to their advantage. Of all the people I've talked to about LinkedIn, most acknowledge that they're a member but only a handful are actually getting value out of the networking website. Most signed up because a friend sent them an invite and haven't really given it a second thought since. The reality is, with more than 20 million business professionals on LinkedIn, you're missing out on countless business opportunities and the chance to build long-lasting relationships. Here are ten ways to get the ball rolling.

2. Increase Your Visibility Every minute LinkedIn is used a resource to find qualified people to hire or do business with. By adding the right keywords in your profile (such as the words someone would probably use to search for someone with your expertise) you're much more likely to appear at the top of search results. My LinkedIn profile is a good example of this (note all of the references to the areas of writing I specialize in): http://www.linkedin.com/in/logankugler 

3. Grow Your Network Fast Expanding the size of your network is a snap. Aside from being able to easily import your entire address book from most email clients and automatically view who is a LinkedIn member, you can search for other members by companies you used to work for, people you used to work with, and people who went to school with you. In order to use LinkedIn to its full potential, you should have at least 50 first degree connections. 

See all 10 ways and the complete TechCareers article

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

10 Tips For Giving Your LinkedIn Profile A Facelift

Maintaining your online presence is more important than ever. If you want to be taken seriously by employers, clients, and other professional contacts, you NEED to give your LinkedIn profile a facelift.

LinkedIn profile looking old and stale these days? Here are ten tips for giving your LinkedIn profile a much-needed facelift (no Botox required!):

4. Spice up your work experience by peppering in numbers.

Quantify, quantify, quantify! You want to quantify your experience whenever you can. People like to see numbers. They like to see results, not just tasks.
Here’s an example:
  • Managed team of 7 employees at CAREEREALISM Media
  • Managed monthly writing accounts for 20+ paid contributors
  • Selected, created, edited, optimized, scheduled, and published 30+ articles per week
  • Created, implemented, and managed 2+ major content initiatives annually, notable initiatives including the Happy Grad Project, which featured 35+ top career experts and acquired 4,500 new email subscribers within 30 days.
See how that conveys results? Try it with your own work experience!

9. Don’t forget about the Honors & Awards section!

Have you received any professional honors or awards? Showcase them! These are especially helpful if they relate to your major projects.
For example, if you received an award at your job for a great project, make sure you showcase both the project and the award on your LinkedIn profile. It helps back up your skills and expertise in that area.

See all 10 tips and the complete Careerealism article

Thursday, November 20, 2014

3 Things Your LinkedIn Summary MUST Say



Your LinkedIn summary is 2,000 characters of prime real estate to genuinely differentiate yourself among the three million member online community.

1) Make it personal.

Before you even get to the details of the work, show yourself to be a human being interested in a genuine human connection. The interviewer is not a criminal investigator, and you are not sitting under the hot police lights. It’s not an adversarial relationship, but a collaborative one. The interviewer is looking to support and advance his organization’s goals, and so are you – that’s what you have in common.

Find additional areas of mutual interest by researching the person interviewing you. Nearly everyone has an online presence in social media. Perhaps you’ll come across a personal blog and discover you share a hobby or pastime. Another possibility is uncovering the interviewer’s whitepapers and articles about the future direction of the company or the industry at large.

2) “Extra! Extra! Read all about it!”

The days of the printed newspaper are (almost) over. However, the concept still holds true: find out news about the company and weave that into your interview. This strategy is far superior to looking at the company’s website, which likely doesn’t keep up with the news. Furthermore, most of your competitors are merely relying on the “about us” and “company history” pages.

Search Google news to see what the business is working on, about to launch, or just delivered that won industry recognition. In the interview, use what you’ve discovered to speak to the company’s pain points and hot buttons. Align your particular brand of skills and expertise with the priorities in the organization right now.

3) Be the man (or woman) with a plan. - Read How to Be The Man / Woman and the complete Careerealism article

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

How to get the most out of your LinkedIn recommendations

The use of technology has changed not only the way we do business, but also the job-search process. Today, many job seekers are foregoing formal letters of recommendation and instead are asking for recommendations they can include on their LinkedIn profile.

Before you begin soliciting LinkedIn recommendations, take a deep breath and get strategic in your efforts. What’s important to recruiters and hiring managers isn’t the number of recommendations, it’s the quality that counts. For example, one of my clients was excited to show me that she had obtained a recommendation on her LinkedIn profile:

Recommendation (co-worker): “Brittany is fabulous and I really enjoyed working with her at ABC Company.”

The problem? The recommendation was too short and didn’t include specific information that would be helpful to a recruiter or hiring manager. The best way to get high-quality LinkedIn recommendations is to treat them similarly to obtaining formal recommendation letters:

Monday, November 10, 2014

10 Places To Promote Your LinkedIn Profile



Think of your LinkedIn profile as the hub of your online identity. All of your online content should lead to your profile, and your profile’s purpose is to guide readers to call you or request your resume.

When you think of your LinkedIn profile this way, you’ll see why it’s critical to secure a custom URL for yours if you don’t already have one. You can achieve this at no cost by logging in to LinkedIn and navigating to Settings > Edit Public Profile > Create Custom URL.

Once you have a custom LinkedIn URL, what do you do with it? How can you share it with others to help drive traffic to your profile and interest to your resume?


1. Your Email Signature File

Arguably the most important place to include your LinkedIn URL is in the signature file of your email host. This feature can be accessed from your email system’s settings page. Note that I’m speaking of your dedicated job search and career management email address here, not your employer, business, or personal email account.
  • The simplest email signature is your name, of course, but if you’re using this email for job search and career management purposes it really should contain more information such as:
    • A title or positioning statement
    • A tagline or power statement
    • Your personal contact information
    • Your LinkedIn URL along with links to other key social networking sites.
    • A link to your blog or Twitter stream, if pertinent and appropriate.
    • You may wish to consider including a photo.
  • A great app to use to create a good-looking email signature is Wisestamp.

2. Your Bio Or Marketing Brief

Because resumes are highly specific and focused tools these days and are generally highlighting your qualifications for a specific role rather than a range of possible positions, they aren’t effective networking documents anymore. Bios or marketing briefs are better suited for networking purposes (a bio presents a third-person narrative description of your brand and career story, while a marketing brief provides a richer array of information about your candidacy, impacts, and goals). Most job seekers will need one or the other, not necessarily both.
  • Since the task of either of these documents is to lead the reader to learn more about you, it’s appropriate to include your LinkedIn profile URL. It can be embedded as a link or listed in full address form.
  • You can also insert a QR code leading to your profile.

3. Your Business Card

Depending on your job search geographic targets, you may or may not need to do local or regional face-to-face networking as part of your search. If you are, consider making or securing a business card not affiliated with your current or most recent employer.
  • Use a positioning title that echoes the one used in your LinkedIn profile headline.
  • Include all of your contact information along with URLs to social networking profiles, including LinkedIn.
  • You can use a QR code which leads readers to your LinkedIn profile if you like, though I would also recommend listing your URL in non-QR code form as well, since many folks do not have a QR reader or functionality.
  • Don’t forget to highlight your core competencies and career brand on your business card as well.
Places 4-10 and the complete Careerealism article

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Creative Ways to Use LinkedIn in Your Job Search

Part one:  Look into Career Paths, Research People and Follow Companies

Are you guilty of logging in to LinkedIn to just look at people’s profile pictures, check out the latest updates and browse? Not to worry, you are not alone. In my experience in career consulting many people tell me they have LinkedIn accounts but have no idea what to do on the site.  People tend to grossly underestimate the value of actively engaging on LinkedIn. Most use LinkedIn to search for jobs and network with others. I advise all my clients, if they are in the job market, to log on to LinkedIn several times a week, if not daily. With millions of users LinkedIn is an awesome place to gain information about career paths, skill sets and industry news!

How to discover career paths:
To learn about career paths on LinkedIn
  • Search your connections for people who are doing what you aspire to do and review their profiles.
  • Read their profile in reverse to determine what they did prior to their current job. This will help you see how they attained their current position.
  • Make note of what qualifications they have, the keywords used in their profile and what types of activities they’ve been involved with.
While everyone’s career path will be different, use this approach to gather ideas for new ways to find the job you seek.

If you do not have any connections with people who hold positions which you aspire to, search for new connections in relevant industry specific groups. LinkedIn has a fantastic “groups feature” which provides a place for industry professionals or people with similar interests to discuss business, share content, ask/ answer each other’s questions and sometimes post jobs. If you join the right groups, you could learn about industry trends, and have current information about the industry for which you are interviewing. This will aid you in arriving to your interview prepared to discuss the work and ask good questions.

Research People and Follow Companies:
Another best practice for using LinkedIn while job searching is to follow companies which you plan to (or desire to) interview with to research the company. This is a strategy I have personally employed, here’s why:
  • Companies will often share different information on their LinkedIn Company page than what is presented on their website.
  • You can also see their current and former employees and read company status updates.
  • Prior to the interview, find out whom you’re interviewing with
    • review their profile on LinkedIn
Most people go to interviews with no information about who they will be meeting; while the prospective employer has read your resume and likely Googled you. With the access that LinkedIn provides, this should no longer be the case. Go into the interview armed with a little knowledge about what led your interviewer to their current position.  You may even have a few shared connections!  Use the information you find about your interviewer to “break the ice”.  Should you make it to the second or third round of interviews this will prove to be helpful as you will be introduced to more people at-varied levels within the company. If possible, make a habit of finding out who you will be speaking with and get to know each person that will interview you.

LinkedIn is an invaluable tool that could be used to give you leverage as you job search, network or consider learning a new skill or career.  When using the site, think of it as a free career counselor with endless information, right at your fingertips!


Part Two: Learn Skills and Read the News  - Read about Part Two and the complete Simply Hired article

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The World's Best Tips for Rocking Your LinkedIn Job Search

By Scott Dockweiler

We've said it before and we'll say it again—a LinkedIn profile is up there with a resume and cover letter in job search must-haves for our day and age.

But while making a profile is a great first step, it won't do you much good in your job search unless you know how to leverage it. So this week, we've scoured the web for some of the best advice on maximizing LinkedIn's potential to land you a job.



  • To start, read up on these 12 helpful ideas for getting more out of LinkedIn(12 Most)


  • Understand the tactics recruiters use on LinkedIn in order to plan out your strategy. (U.S. News)


  • Learn which type of profile photo works best to attract recruiters(LinkedIn Talent Blog)

  • 5 more tips / resources and the complete TheMuse article