5 Ways to Maximize the New LinkedIn Profile Layout

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 to build relationships on LinkedIn, people will want to see who you are – just like on Facebook or Google+. Remember to use a professional-looking head shot and not your favorite pic from last year’s summer vacation. 2) Make Your Headline Meaningful

Use the title or headline as an opportunity to grab your page visitor’s attention. Rather than simply list yourself as a “student,” use industry buzz words to show your ambition and career potential. Perhaps you are a “Rising Culinary Expert” or an “Aspiring Writer.” Or, you could use this space to cite your own personal branding statement – citing your career goals. And, in your contact info, don’t forget to list your personal website, Twitter and/or blog URLs. 3) Complete Your Information!

Ensuring that your profile is complete and up-to-date is a key step in your LinkedIn success. Your Summary should be a concise snapshot of your experience and skills, much like an elevator speech, and provide a statement about your career goals in one short paragraph or two.

The revised Skills & Expertise section is a great place to list all of your skills. Next, use the Experience section to add any current jobs or internships, as well as any other positions you’ve held that lend to building your credibility and showcasing your experience. Much like a resume, this is your opportunity to tell the world about all that you are capable of achieving. So, provide some concrete examples of how you’ve accomplished goals, led a team to reach an achievement or took initiative to create a success. And, don’t forget to list any Volunteer work!

The new Projects section is a great space to provide detailed information about any project you have worked on – perhaps in an internship or volunteer capacity. Did you organize a fraternity/sorority event? Did you work on a special class project that required you to complete real-world tasks? Did you take on a leadership role in a project for an agency where you volunteered over the summer? Use this space to talk about those projects while describing your specific role and how you met objectives, surpassed goals or otherwise created success. 4) Personalize Your LinkedIn Profile Link

By default, LinkedIn assigns your profile page a nondescript link that includes a long numeric identifier. However, you can personalize this link to become something like: http://www.linkedin.com/in/trishfreshwater. Having a personalized link makes it easy for you to remember when sharing your profile, and it helps build your personal brand by identifying yourself in the link. You can update your link simply by clicking the Edit Link hypertext next to your default profile page link on your profile. 5) Get Recommendations

Recommendations are a great way to have others endorse your skills and experiences. Ask professors, former employers, those who you have volunteered with or other leaders who you have worked with to write brief recommendations on your page. Third-party endorsements are one of the strongest ways to promote your experience and capabilities. Building your LinkedIn profile is an important step in maximizing your use of this social medium in your job search. But, don’t forget to join relevant groups in your career field and become an active contributor. Participating in conversations, sharing your knowledge and building relationships are all important for building your personal brand, advancing your job search and building your future career.

Make your LinkedIn profile stand out. Embrace the new profile and let your skills leap off the screen at those who may be interested in hiring you. Remember, you only get one chance to make a great first impression

ReTweet, +1 and Share Your Way to a Personal Brand

By: Mark Babbitt

This time of year, most students are excited about the fresh start to a new school year. However, many are also anxious about fitting in classes, homework, clubs, Greek life, internships, a job, a social life, networking and yes, building that all-important personal brand everyone is telling them is so important.

The latter issue is a real concern, as students seem to think that to set the foundation of their personal brand, they must start a time consuming blog, spend countless hours on social media, and develop an ultra-creative way to present their personality and passion. They seem to think personal branding is an intimidating, exhausting process that can take 10 or 20 hours per week, or more.

And, fortunately for them and their careers, they are wrong.

To start building a strong personal brand, a student just needs to share, retweet and hit the ‘+1’ button.

I’ve seen many young careerists begin building an amazing brand, in about five, maybe seven, hours per week, simply by sharing excellent content within their career choice – or by retweeting those influencers others respect in their industry. They do not spend hours writing and editing an original blog. They do not sit on Google+, Facebook, and Twitter for hours at a time. And they are not necessarily creative.

They are, however, consistent and constructive:

They consistently seek out the top three or four industry-related posts that interest them – write an eloquent, yet brief, comment in the blog’s Comments section, and then click one (or more) of the ‘Share’ buttons.
To demonstrate their passions and diversity, they find two to three videos, posts or pictures that inspire them, or help them achieve their current goals – and share them on Facebook or Google+.
They create a stream of their Top 10 Twitter followers – and retweet the posts from the last few hours that really interest them, making sure they are also relevant to their followers.
About twice a week, they attend a Twitter chat such as #jobhuntchat, #HFChat or #InternPro; they engage, ask good questions and share their opinions – and they build respect and integrity in the process.
They spend maybe an hour a week doing nothing but helping others – expecting nothing in return.
And all of this effort to build a personal brand takes just a few hours per week.

Everybody can find an extra hour per day… can’t we? And perhaps in the process, knock a couple of other to-do items off the list each week, such as networking and finding a job or internship.

Do yourself a favor: do not over-think this. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Don’t wait for the energy and motivation to start your own blog. Don’t sit around and wait for an “a-ha” moment that leads to that uber-creative way to prove you’re unique. Do not let the anticipated amount of effort intimidate you into inaction

This time, just this once, take the easy way out (while putting yourself well ahead of those who will compete with you in the workplace): retweet, +1 and share your way to an amazing personal brand.

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5 Strategies to Increase Your Engagement on Facebook

By Michelle Pescosolido

If you want to run a successful Facebook Marketing campaign you will want to start with a Facebook Fan Page that should be built around your brand.  Your brand should be your avatar and what you represent. You want to represent something you are passionate about and that will attract your prospects to your page because of the value you offer on a daily basis.

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Should your Social Media Profiles be Connected?

I love Twitter! It’s probably my favorite social network. I have Twitter searches set up for each of the schools that I recruit at for Corporate Management Trainees and Interns. This is one of the ways I stay connected to what is going on at each university.

The Scenario
It’s through one of these searches that I found something that concerned me: a student tweeting negative and profane comments about his university and a specific professor.

I’m sure this isn’t the first time a student has vented their frustrations via a social network. What really concerned me was that this student listed the web address of his LinkedIn profile in his Twitter bio. With a simple click I was able to access his LinkedIn profile, view his major and employment history and discover that because he is a hospitality major, it is very likely that he will one day interview with me.

Now no matter how well he interviews, in the back of my mind, I will be thinking of his profanity filled 140 characters and how they represented his personal brand.

Brand and Image Alignment
Although the student in my example listed his LinkedIn profile on his Twitter page, I also see students who list their Tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter pages on their LinkedIn profiles. I have often wondered if students realize that by providing this information, you are connecting your social and professional images.

Depending upon the content, granting your professional connections access to this information may do more harm than good. It’s truly about representing your personal brand and before you connect your profiles, I encourage you to consider how well those profiles align and support your image.

Consider your Decision
Think about the saying, “a place for everything and everything in its place.” Do you really want the social mingling with the professional? Keep in mind that ultimately this is all information that you supply when you create your profiles, therefore you have the control in determining the information that is given in each of your profiles.

I’d love to hear your opinion about aligning your online profiles. Do you have all of your social media accounts listed on your LinkedIn profile? Do you filter your tweets and posts? What do you think about listing your LinkedIn profile on your Twitter or Tumblr pages?

Author
Ronisha is one of Hyatt’s College Recruiting Managers. Hyatt’s College Recruiters visit more than 30 college campuses each year recruiting top talent at hospitality programs across the country. A graduate of The Ohio State University, Ronisha begin her Hyatt career as a Human Resources Corporate Management Trainee. During her ten years with Hyatt, she has worked at Hyatt Hotels in Orlando, Maryland, Virginia and New Jersey. To learn more about opportunities with Hyatt please visit hyatt.jobs, follow Hyatt on twitter @hyattcareers, become a Hyatt Facebook fan at Hyatt Hotels and Resorts Careers and follow the Campus Recruiter blog at blog.hyatt.jobs.

2 Questions to Ask Before Hiring Your Social Media Consultant

By Jesse Bouman

The social media industry has been maturing over the past few years. Brands are really starting to accept it as a marketing medium and social media marketers are becoming more savvy and creative when it comes to connecting with audiences. There are much fewer charlatans running around, calling themselves “Gurus” and dispensing pedantic advice for $100 an hour. But, still, to many, social media seems really easy. All you have to do is post to Facebook right? This is what makes it difficult for business owners to determine a social media consultant or agency’s real value. Here are two questions you can ask anyone that can give you a much greater understanding of their knowledge.

Failure
Yes, it’s very uncommon for anyone to ask, but failure is very telling. No one really likes to talk about their failures with past clients, because they think it gives the impression that they’ve let their previous clients down. Well, this might be the case, but wouldn’t you prefer that they know where they’ve previously made their mistakes? Isn’t it better for you to know it was on someone else’s dime? You don’t want to be the one footing the bill for someone’s early learning experiences. If the consultant is smart, they’ll be able to tell you what they learned and how it affected future strategies and tactics. I wouldn’t trust anyone who says they haven’t had any failures. They are either lying or have very little experience.

Metrics
Measuring social media metrics is still not a uniform science like determining the click through rate on a PPC ad. Social media metrics have improved greatly over the years, and many new tools have made reporting easier. But determining which metrics to measure is still dependent on the client’s goals. So ask your consultant how they measure success. Don’t let them off the hook when they tell you it’s difficult to answer because they don’t know your business and/or goals. Have them give you examples of previous clients and what metrics they measured for these clients. These metrics will help you understand how they brought value to their previous clients and it will help you determine whether or not this consultant is right for you.

Social media is just one piece of the marketing pie. But it’s an increasingly important piece as more time is spent online. Make sure your company doesn’t hand off your company’s social media duties to a $10 an hour intern. Otherwise you might run into a catastrophic problem like Kenneth Cole experienced. Asking these two questions will greatly help your vetting process. Also, please feel free to contact me if you have any specific questions about social media for your business.

Jesse Bouman is the founder of Demeter Interactive. He is a stubborn entrepreneur, budding philanthropist, social media nerd, and technology geek. When not at his desk blogging or tweeting, he can be found at the beach, in a coffee shop, exploring LA’s hidden treasures, or playing a game of kickball. You can email him at Jesse (at) DemeterInteractive (dot) com.

Advance Your Career with Community

By: Michele Posehn on April 24th, 2012

You tweet. You’re on LinkedIn. You’ve got the online networking thing down. But what about offline? Are there some local networking opportunities to consider?

Consider your everyday life. You shop, you vacation, and you dine out; in all of those situations, you are encountering people. Life is the original social platform–minus the 140 characters. I have found myself in many situations that have led to great contacts–dinner parties, sporting events, even striking up a conversation with a stranger while waiting in the grocery checkout line. In your everyday world, the casual encounters of your daily routine can open up a network of connections with limitless possibilities. Consider some of these common–and not so common–places where people are networking offline:

Community Events
Do you participate in local charity events or other community events that businesses might sponsor or participate in? Not only can you meet potential employers or talk to employees of companies you are interested in, you will likely meet many people with years of experience in your industry who can turn into good mentors or someone who can help you get a foot in the door. Tradeshows also offer a wealth of business contacts, especially since companies pay handsomely in sponsorships and usually have a strong onsite presence. Also, check out career fairs at local colleges–your campus Career Services office should have a listing of upcoming events.

Chamber Memberships
In your local community, you may want to consider joining the Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber exists solely to promote local business interests, so meetings are usually well attended by business leaders. Chambers meet regularly–often including monthly breakfasts with speakers and business after-hours networking–and are a great way to make an impression on those in your area.

Golf, Sports and More
It’s no secret that many business leaders enjoy a little networking on the golf course. So, if you golf, there is a great chance you could bump into a new contact on the course. But what about local sporting events where companies buy box seats or sponsor a night for their employees to attend? Sometimes being in the right place at the right time can make a casual conversation into something more about a specific company.

Now, consider this. There is a gym in New York City that recently began offering an exercise class for “sweat workers.” The idea is that some business leaders would like to opt out of lunch meetings at restaurants that pack a punch in calories, and get down to business while working out. While this option may not be for everyone, it’s an interesting trend to watch.

While being on social media is important, don’t discount everyday opportunities that present themselves. It’s a great feeling when you look at a crowd of people and realize that any one of them could add value to your job search and build your network.

Author
Michele is a Senior Recruiter for Sodexo, a world leader in quality of daily life solutions that contribute to the progress of individuals and the performance of organizations. As a former assistant director at the University of Maryland University College’s Career and Cooperative Education Center, she’s no stranger to students trying to plan their careers. During that time, she worked with non-traditional college students to gain school credit for on the job work experience. Michele also taught seminars on job searching, resume writing and interview techniques, and partnered with local employers to help students gain employment. At Sodexo, she has continued her interest in shaping student careers by serving as a mentor to an intern in the company’s Future Leaders Program. Michele began her recruitment career in 1999, joining Sodexo in 2008 where she recruits for a range of food, facilities and environmental services positions. Michele holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland College Park (go Terps), is a charter member of a Baltimore area Toastmasters chapter, and a Certified Internet Recruiter (CIR) and Certified Diversity Recruiter (CDR). When not giggling with her two girls, Michele enjoys writing … and watching the Yankees win, much to the dismay of her husband. Join her on LinkedIn or just Network with Us at Sodexo.

Building a Brand, not a Business

By:  on October 31st, 2011

 

When taking on a new project, every student should ask themselves why they are dedicating their time to said project, and what do they hope to benefit from the experience.  As a student, if your answer to the benefits is made up of dollars and cents, you are probably not off to a good start.

Being a student or young professional is a time for adventure and growth; it should never be defined by money. Even Mark Zuckerberg didn’t create Facebook for the money. It was his passion project and he took it to a place where he could reap the rewards. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or not, you have to understand that you are building a brand, not a business.

For the past couple of years, I’ve started and taken on many projects that required a great amount of time, but nearly all of them saw zero return, monetarily speaking. Even my social media consultancy didn’t see much return as I offered many of my services pro-bono (that said, I do wish I collected some of the money I was owed).

Now though, my experience has paid off where I now have a full-time job and (un-related) am able to share my thoughts with this great community. I think this all stemmed from the realization that the greatest thing I can do while I am still young is build a brand, not a business.

Businesses come and go, but your brand stays with you throughout career. Fortunately, students are more empowered with knowledge and communication tools that allow them to build their brands earlier and faster than ever. So don’t worry if your early endeavors don’t result in riches. . . building a brand is more important. After all, it’s the biggest brands that have the biggest followings.

Author

Harrison is the Community Manager at MBA@UNC, the new Online MBA program at the University of North Carolina and sticks to his entrepreneurial roots as the founder of the global social good campaign, Tweet Drive. As evidenced through his previous projects, Harrison has a passion for all things social media, philanthropy, and finding new ways for students to understand the power of a brand. Before moving to New York and while still a student at Temple University, Harrison founded the PR/Social Media consulting firm, Kratz PR as well as Engage TV and the #PRStudCast podcast.  Feel free to connect with him to discuss community, social good, branding, or the Philadelphia Phillies on Twitter, @KratzPR or Linkedin.