5 Top LinkedIn Features for Personal Brands

5 Sep

Posted on August 29, 2014 by Susan Gilbert

LinkedIn has been building an effective career networking tool online for connecting with the right people. The first step towards building your personal brand is have a presence there. The second step is to tap into all that it has to offer. Having the knowledge about what is available will help you create a more effective experience.

linkedin

So what are you missing on LinkedIn? There are several key areas that should not be overlooked. It’s time to get your personal brand’s profile up to speed!

5 ways to get the most out of LinkedIn

Here are several ways you can take your personal brand to the next level and get noticed by taking into account these key features.

• Fix that headline – Many profiles on LinkedIn approach their headline as a job title or even leave it out altogether. Put your headline to work for you with a title that entices your visitors and makes them want to find out more about your personal brand.

• Create more connections with groups – LinkedIn provides a great way to connect with others, but the real value is found in joining active groups in your niche. Your personal brand can belong to as many as 50 different groups, any of which can have over a thousand members. Through active engagement you are exposing yourself to influencers and potential employers or leads.

• Include video and images – Like other social networks LinkedIn profiles are enhanced when they include multimedia, which is simple to add to your summary. What a great way to make your personal brand stand out and project a message visually. These will also attract more visitors and network requests.

• Make endorsements more meaningful – You may have noticed other professionals endorsing your personal brand’s skills. While this is an important element to building your network, create a lasting impression by leaving endorsements for others when they have demonstrated a skill or accomplishment. Weed out the endorsements on your profile that don’t pertain to your niche, and showcase the top skills that best reflect your brand.

• Get noticed with a great headshot – Before anyone reads through your LinkedIn profile they are looking for who is behind the title. Not only does this need to add a credible persona, but should also accurately reflect your personal brand.

These LinkedIn features are a powerful way to successfully strengthen your personal brand and create more opportunities for job offers and leads for business.

About Susan Gilbert

Susan Gilbert uses her laser focus knowledge to coach and provide online marketing and social sharing programs for authors, speaker, experts and small businesses. She is the author and publisher of several books including “The Land of I Can,” and “KLOUT SCORE: Social Media Influence, How to Gain Exposure and Increase Your Klout,” Susan combines online marketing with strategic thinking to create successful programs. Working most often with authors and entrepreneurs, she understands promotion at a personal level as a regularly quoted resource in USA Today, Entrepreneur, Inc. Magazine and many more. Follow her Digital Marketing Tips at her blog: http://www.SusanGilbert.com

The Interview is In- House: Should I Wear a Suit?

21 Jul

Originally posted on Build Brand You:

Skirt or Pant suits are acceptable for women

Macy.com

Absolutely!  Don’t assume because  the individuals with whom you have been working are familiar with your performance that you should treat the interview as anything but a formal meeting.  The goal of the interview is to position yourself in the best possible light and demonstrate to your colleagues that  you possess the greatest level of professional acumen and decorum. When you interview for a position internally you should treat is it as if you are interviewing for a brand new position.  You want to showcase that of all the internal candidates you are the “best suited” to take on this role (pun intended).

In addition the suit will command a distinct response from your coworkers who may be more accustomed to seeing you in more casual attire. It also demonstrates to them that you take the new role seriously.   You know the saying goes “Dress for the position that you want.”   The worst case…

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Handling difficult Interview Questions

16 Jul

Posted on July 1, 2014 by Heather R. Huhman

When preparing for job interviews, many job seekers focus on crafting answers to hard questions.

“What is your greatest weakness?”

“If you were an emoji, which one would you be?”

Although preparing for these tough questions is good practice, it can be easy to overlook some of the more tricky interview questions hiring managers ask.

The following three questions might seem very simple to answer; but they often catch job seekers off guard:

1. Tell me about yourself.

What they’re really asking: Who are you? Interviewers want to learn about your professional experience, as well as your personality. This question helps hiring managers gauge whether or not a candidate will be a good cultural fit.

Why it’s tricky: Although this seems like a simple question, it’s one that often stumps candidates. For most people, it’s difficult to talk about oneself and share information about interests, strengths, and weaknesses.

How to answer: You’ve already explained your experience and hard skills through your resume and cover letter. The job interview is your opportunity to share real-life stories from your experience that illustrate your best qualities.

When the interviewer asks you to introduce yourself, talk about some of your past experience, your unique interests relevant to your career, and even some of your interests outside of work.

For instance, let’s say you’re applying for a teaching position. You can talk about your passion for teaching and mention that, in your free time, you enjoy blogging about the experiences you gain in the classroom. This gives you something unique to talk about during the interview, yet keeps the discussion relevant to the position you’re applying for.

2. What do you have to offer?

What they’re really asking: What makes you the ideal candidate for this position? Again, this is another question interviewers ask to discover whether or not your skills, experience, and personality make a good match for their organization.

Why it’s tricky: This is a tricky question because it challenges candidates to think about their best qualities and illustrate them as an accomplishment story for the interviewer.

How to answer: To successfully answer this question, you need to understand the position you’re applying for. Hopefully, before the interview, you spent time studying the job description.

Once you understand the qualifications and responsibilities for the position, explain how your experience and skills make you the best candidate for the position. Touch upon some of your soft skills, such as communication or leadership, to show the employer what you have to offer outside of your hard skills and experience.

3. Where do you see yourself in five years?

What they’re really asking: What are you looking to gain from this job? Employers want to know if you’re solely applying for the position for personal gain or if you’re truly passionate about the organization.

Why it’s tricky: A huge challenge employers face is finding talent who will stay with their organization. Employers often ask this question to learn what the candidate expects to gain from the job and whether or not they plan to create a career with their organization.

How to answer: A good way to answer this question is to express the types of skills and experience you hope the job will provide you with. You might also want to add some of your goals, if you were to be hired for the position, and how you’d help the employer be successful.

Keep in mind that the best way to answer these three questions is to be confident, honest, and concise. The key to a successful job interview is to be yourself and allow the interviewer to see your best attributes.

How would you answer these three interview questions?

About Heather R. Huhman
Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.

Social Media Vison Board

12 May

Have you ever thought about turning your Instagram account into a virtual vision board?

If not, I strongly suggest you consider doing so.

Your belief about what you think is possible for you stems from the information and experiences you’ve been exposed to, which is why it’s important to see what you want on a daily basis.

2-1-30

25 Nov

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Job search is a skill. Be encouraged is a habit. 2-1-30= 2 new skills 1 new habit every 30 days 

It’s easier to get a job when you already have one. Take that part time position, or the one that pays less then what you expected, consider a entry level position. Employers are more open to hiring you when they know someone else has taken a chance on you. It’s gives you verifiable work experience. 

There are jobs out there!

74% of available job openings are found in the hidden job market and filled through word of mouth referrals. Networking is key. Attend professional associations and service club meetings. Put yourself on the announcements at church to let people know that your interested in working. 

Volunteer with a community based organization (reciprocity is real) let people  know that your looking (map your relationships and contacts on paper)

There are jobs out there!
300,000 jobs were offered in the healthcare industry in the last 12months.

Make sure you have at least three CLEAR job objectives, know the job title that your seeking. Never say “i’m looking for any job” have a firm understanding of what your truly qualified to do.
Remember job search is a numbers game. 3-5 applications per day three days a week should be the goal.

Are you ready for the christmas
hiring season? Employers are! I might mess with Macy’s or something, I need some new shoes and a winter coat and the little one wants a car. 

Change your voice mail from “baby I’ll call you back” to a standard or more professional one.

Dump the babygotback@gmail.com 
addy for a standard yourname@gmail.com
Go to vistaprint and get some free business cards. Get your resume proofed and edited!!!!!!!!!!!
And stop sending your resume out like it’s a “chain letter.” Tailer each resume specifically for each employer.

The Value of “Thank You”

13 Nov

By: Trish Freshwater

Saying “thank you” is something most of us do without even thinking: after a waitress serves a meal, a sales clerk helps you find a particular item, someone holds a door open, or after you sneeze and someone nearby says,

“God bless you.”

These pleasantries are part of our daily routines – our American culture. Likewise, “thank you” seems to rise in value when it’s in the written form. Even more if it’s hand written.

In the job seeking world, a simple thank you note goes a long way in showing your respect for the interviewers, your values, and interest in the job. But these days, is it okay to send a text thank you? How about an e-mail? Does it have to be a hand-written note on a fancy card or stationery?

Choosing the Right Thank You

Can I text a thank you?

While text messaging is a popular way to communicate, it may not be the best choice for a thank you message after a job interview unless you have already established a pattern of texting with the individual. Therefore, I strongly recommend that you consider an e-mail instead.

Can I e-mail a thank you?

Sending an e-mail is perfectly okay. It’s a great way to send a timely message thanking the interviewer for his or her time and to follow up on your conversation, the same day. This can be helpful if the hiring manager is traveling and plans to make a hiring decision before returning to the office. However, to really make an impression, you still should send a hand-written note in addition to your e-mail.

What to include: Remember to start off with an opening, thank the person for his or her time and mention something brief about how you are a good fit for the position. Don’t forget to close the message with a “thank you” or other closing statement and include a signature that has your contact info and a link to your LinkedIn profile or other relevant website.

Do I have to send a paper note?

A hand-written thank you note goes a long way in showing your respect for an interviewer. They also help you stand out from the crowd as many people don’t send thank you notes in this format.

Hand-written thank you notes can be written on a half sheet of blank card stock or on a generic, blank thank you note. In fact, I keep a box of the blank thank you notes in my desk so that I always have them on hand.

What to include: This note will be much like your e-mail message – including an opening, two or three sentences about why you’re excited about the job and why you’re the best qualified, and a brief closing that thanks the interviewer for his or her time. Most importantly, you want to write this note the same day of your interview and get it in the mail right away. Check out these sample thank you letters for help in writing yours.

A Little Thank You Goes a Long Way
In today’s fast-paced world, I recommend sending an e-mail thank you on the same day that you interview for a position. Sometimes a hiring manager is anxious to make a decision quickly – so they won’t have time to wait for your thank you card to arrive in the mail. However, it’s also really important to send the hand-written note, too, as it will show your attention to detail and will speak volumes about your personal character.

On average, about half of candidates don’t send a thank you note. So, taking just a few minutes to send thank you notes can really make you stand out from other qualified candidates. The time you invest in writing these notes will be worth the effort.

The 10 Worst Traits of Even the Great Entrepreneurs

22 Jun

Does it really take a few flaws to make a great entrepreneur, or are the rest of us just confused about what a perfect business person is all about? In the past I’ve written about the positive attributes of great entrepreneurs, so this time I thought I would focus on the negatives that I see often, and I challenge you to find someone that has all the positives and none of the negatives.

We’ve all heard the old adage that “nice guys finish last,” so I would quickly concede that positive and negative are relative terms, depending on the context. For example, if a customer is being particularly obnoxious or demanding, would a great entrepreneur respectfully show him the door, or accommodate his demands, with the positive goal of satisfying every customer?

The entrepreneur with the positive traits to calmly and patiently handle tough customers, vendors, and personnel situations, balancing all the issues, I would evaluate as a great one. Yet here are a few other traits that I see in great entrepreneurs, which don’t seem so positive for the entrepreneur, his team, customers, or investors:

Multitasking to the extent of thrashing. Entrepreneurs often have a thousand things going in their mind, and switch so rapidly from one to the other that they leave many people confused, including themselves. The result is that important tasks get short shrift, and relationships suffer. Don’t let multitasking supersede focus and real listening.

Demands perfection from all. Entrepreneurs who are perfectionists are never satisfied with their own work, as well as the work of others. This can cause delays and costs in the business, as well as friction and frustration in relationships with team members, partners, and customers. Steve Jobs survived this imperfection, or it made Apple famous.

Strong convictions bordering on obstinate. The best leaders have strong convictions, but listen to others, and are willing to compromise when required, to move the ball forward. In business, if you refuse to compromise to meets the needs of customers, your competitors will replace you. Business is no place for stubbornness.

Not a team player. Most entrepreneurs start their business because they perceive a need in the market not seen by others, and often they just don’t enjoy working with others. In time, however, every business requires a team, and giving up control becomes a constant struggle. Some entrepreneurs simply jump ship and start again.

Over-confident to the point of being egotistical. Letting your ego drive decisions is not the same as confidence based on knowledge and trust. While entrepreneurs need a healthy ego for body armor, it can quickly become the negative trait of arrogance if not tempered. Many put Ted Turner and Larry Ellison in this category.

Procrastination on certain challenges. Sometimes I see very smart entrepreneurs who struggle with tough issues, like hiring and firing people. They may ignore these, or hand them off to a capable business partner. The positive traits of learning, management disciplines, and timely decisions have to step forward consistently to grow a business.

Paranoid reaching delusional proportions. The good trait of being alert and cautious when approaching new people and new partners can easily morph into paranoia, where the entrepreneur trusts no one, and thinks all deals are a potential plot. The best entrepreneurs believe they can find win-win relationships with partners and investors.

Work-life balance and workaholic tendencies. Most entrepreneurs will admit to being a workaholic at some stage of their startup. Ultimately this dedication will be seen as a negative trait by partners, family members, and team members, and can limit your business growth. Migrate to the positive traits of delegation and organization.

Often emotional and temperamental. Passion and sensitivity to people are key traits in every good entrepreneur, but in some cases, these can seem to escalate to mood changes and emotional outbursts for no reason. At this point the leader may make less rational decisions, and loses the loyalty and trust of associates and customers.

Looks at the world through colored lenses. Successful entrepreneurs can easily lose sight of the real business world, once the perks of power and influence set in. Many say this happened to Tony Hayward, BP CEO, after the Gulf oil spill, and AIG executives before the recent Depression. The time to worry is when you start seeing humility as a character flaw, rather than a positive trait.

Every successful entrepreneur can probably relate to these not-so-positive traits, and in many cases, will attest that without one or more of them, their startup would likely have failed. The question is whether that makes them good traits, which should be learned and nurtured by every young entrepreneur who is striving to be great. I think not. There has to be a better way.

MartinZwilling
CEO & Founder of Startup Professionals, Inc.; Advisory Board Member for multiple startups; ATIF Angels Selection Committee; Entrepreneur in Residence at ASU and Thunderbird School of Global Management. Published on Forbes, Gust, Young Entrepreneur, Harvard Business Review, and Huffington Post.

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Supply and Demand

22 Jun

You earn money as a result of doing things for other people. The more you supply people with what they need and desire, the more income you will earn…….

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5 Ways to Maximize the New LinkedIn Profile Layout

3 Jun

Originally posted on Brand You, Inc.:

If you haven’t heard, your LinkedIn profile is about to get a face-lift – if it hasn’t already. LinkedIn announced in mid-October that it would be rolling out a new look to profile pages aiming to make it easier to showcase your experience and connect with others. To see examples of the new page, click here for an interactive example or click here to see my full profile in the new format (click the link on the right to view the Full Profile).

With the new layout, it is becoming more important than ever for you to complete your LinkedIn profile so that recruiters can gain better insight into your skills, experience and talents. Here are five tips to prepare your LinkedIn profile for the updated look. 1) Add a Professional Photo of Yourself

The new profile page has a prominent placeholder for a photo of you. As you seek…

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Some tips for attempting to land that new job

3 Jun

1. Be known by the right people

According to some sources, over 80% of jobs are given to those with some kind of personal connection to the employer. That means those without connections already have the odds stacked against them 5 to 1. There’s no magic formulae that you will suddenly make you known by the right people but coming from a wealthy, well-connected family and/or a prestigious university can help. To quote a venture capitalist blog:

“The truth is, who you know matters more than what you know. This is not to say that being smart and knowledgable is useless. Knowing “what” is often an effective means of getting introduced to the right “whos”. But ultimately, the people you know and trust (and more importantly who trust you) matter more than the factual knowledge you may have at your immediate disposal.”

2. Include a photo with your resume

Conventional wisdom says you’re not supposed to supply a picture with your resume because some companies will pass over you because they don’t like people of your particular ethnic background. Include your photo anyway; you’ll save yourself the pain of visiting places where the idiots reject you because of the way you look.

Do you ever get the feeling that you would/wouldn’t like someone just by looking at their picture? Employers get that feeling too and the smart ones take it seriously. A large part of a job involves getting along with employers and cowerkers.

3. Look good and use body language that conveys you’re interested in the position

The interview consists of two separate sections. The view, and the interrogation. The first 15 seconds of the interview is called the view. Looking bad and/or displaying incorrect mannerisms during this time period are surefire ways to be dropped from consideration for a position before any questions are fired.

4. Play up your skills and experience

Employers like to scare potential employees away from lying by stating that any deviation from the truth will be grounds for dismissal later on. What they fail to mention is that everyone they interview is exaggerating their skills and experience. By shooting straight you are just about guaranteed to be passed over. I would advise against outright lying unless you are extremely smart and believe you can learn the skills you lied about on-the-fly. Generally this won’t work though because the same dishonesty that makes you lie about their skills will also cause you to overestimate your intellegence.

5. Realize that in a good amount of cases what lands you a job is how much the employer likes you as a person

Ask yourself this question, do I appear likable to strangers? Can I get along with many different types of people? Am I able to mute my negative attitude long enough to make it through a couple rounds of job interviews. A lot of business involves social or soft skills one can only learn by observing and mimicking those with more experience in the field. These are skills books and lectures could never teach even if they tried. You’ll see lots of job advice columns droning on about education but realize many of these columns are sponsored by online universities.

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