Tag Archives: LinkedIn

Career Advantage Spotlight: LinkedIn

DSC_0010There are many ways to display your life to the world. You can showcase your talents on YouTube, every random thoughts on Twitter, and those entertaining social engagements and life progressions on Facebook. But there is one digital space where you can make professional connections that can positively impact your career, and that’s LinkedIn.

A few things make LinkedIn different than the others. The most obvious is, of course, the professional platform it offers. While on Facebook you can put people into categories and say that you know them from school or church or that park up the street, LinkedIn’s main priority is your professional relationship with your contacts.

Not interested in what you ate for dinner or who you partied with over the weekend, LinkedIn concentrates attention to your professional side by incorporating interactive tools which can be used for your advantage. Through the use of recommendations, your electronic tattoo is bolstered by those who have worked with you. Along those lines, you are able to endorse each other in professional accomplishments and skills.

This revolutionary site has been around for a while, and if you don’t have a profile on LinkedIn, you are missing out. Current hiring trends are clear: most potential employers research your digital presence before scheduling interviews. For those with a strong electronic presence, this is a perfect way to back up your resume and get ahead of the competition.

Don’t lose your edge – use it. Update your profile often, and build your network wisely. Make sure to endorse other people for their skills; they’ll be more likely to endorse you for yours. If you think you don’t know where to start, think again.

Here’s an easy tip to get started: Pick any job you’ve ever had. Think of someone you worked with that you respected, and search for them. Once found, send a formal request to connect. When selecting digital professional networks, don’t sell yourself short.

As for your online profile, broadcast anything that would be valuable for an employer. You never know what can happen. Remember to keep it professional… always. While on this note, never get involved with controversial topics, including religion, politics, etc.

Interested in developing proven career success techniques or in securing cutting-edge career focused material, including interview best practice techniques or how to write effective resume/cover letters? Visit www.edu-cs.com for a complete listing of available support. You may also contact us directly: dhuffman@edu-cs.com to see how we can help you.

Rikki Payne, Career Consultant, Editor, and Writer
Education Career Services, www.edu-cs.com
Follow us on Twitter #dannyatecs Blog: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com

LinkedIn: Are your students In or Out?

Office Back Area
Office Back Area

Registering and being an active part of the social digital media networking culture is to communicate with your connections. Otherwise, social media won’t have much of a point for you in the career networking world. Being active (or IN) is career critical when it comes to your LinkedIn profile. Being invisible (or OUT) automatically places you at a disadvantage as LinkedIn remains the #1 networking platform for professional networking.

If you are in the “out” group, take a few moments and reflect on the following tips to get you back on the track. For those within the “in” group, don’t skip a beat as new information could be as simple as tip #8.

1. Post regular updates
Be an active member of your networking community. To be part is to be part… in other words, don’t pretend to be active if you post once a month. When in doubt, a good rule of thumb to abide by is one post each day or two. Then again, don’t post just to post… make what you have to say industry specific and a benefit for your readers.

2. Visit your connections’ profiles.
Make an effort to visit your contacts’ profiles without relying on the “Anonymous LinkedIn User” feature so they can see your actual interest in them. Think about it, if someone was checking you out, wouldn’t you want to know who is interested? I thought so.

3. Utilize LinkedIn endorsements and recommendations.
Thoughtful recommendations will always trump a simple click of the mouse for an online endorsement.  Yet, Endorsements have a greater purpose than simply showing a contact you like their skills and expertise. At their basic root, they are another positive way to keep in contact with your connections, developing a sense of identity for all parties involved.

4. “Like” your contacts’ posts.
This is simple online etiquette, but don’t feel you have to go crazy about “liking” every single post you see from every single connection. Merely “liking” posts and status updates can get lazy too so don’t fall into a complacent consciousness.  Show your contacts you’re an expressive, thoughtful member of the LinkedIn community be leaving comments when you can to promote discussion.

5. Participate in regular discussions and comments.
Highlight in your unique (and relevant) “two cents” worth on any given contact’s discussion, or, better yet, initiate a conversation with a contact. This avenue can be a wonderful way to share ideas with established connections and potential connections.

6. Make time to read and comment on any connections’ blogs.
This is an effective way of creating synergy in the blogging community. Put in another way, if you were to post on a blog and get absolutely no readers, no comments, and no reactions, how would that affect your psychological state? Or, in the other situation, you notice a solid readership and dynamic discussions/comments, motivation becomes mountainous.

7. Further communicate through email use.
It doesn’t take a lot of time to send a contact a more personable private email but it could mean a great deal to the recipient. No longer is either party invisible… oh what a great feeling with potentially powerful results.

8. Congratulate your contacts on special occasions.
Go the extra mile and reach out to your connections when you see they hit a work-related anniversary, start a new job, or even just for celebrating a birthday. A little extra care goes a long way to keeping your contacts close and interested in your interests.

9. When convenient, meet in person.
The final step and goal of all this communication is to meet phone-to-phone or face-to-face. If your connection lives in a distant location, you may suggest getting together when you’ll be in their city or town. Plan to meet in a relaxed, social atmosphere such as a coffee shop, nice restaurant, or a personal networking event if your connection lives close by. Remember LinkedIn is not a hook-up site so keep all correspondence professional, courteous, and respectful.

LinkedIn: Are you in or out? Enough of the distractions, get out there and start communicating. Happy connections lead to happy careers!

Interested in securing cutting-edge career focused books, including how to write effective resume/cover letters, maximizing digital networking, and interview best practice approaches, visit www.edu-cs.com for a complete listing of available products and support.

If you have specific questions or career-related issues you would like responded to by our certified professional career coaches and writers, contact our staff directly: dhuffman@educationcareerservices.com.

Article penned by Bret Hoveskeland
Writer/Editor with Education Career Services
Follow us on Twitter #dannyatecs
Blog: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com

Nope to Networking: Think Again

Let’s face it.  We’ve all been there.  We’ve all felt the same way.  At some point in our lives, be it recent or from a time that seems like another life we once called our own, we have all had to face the prospect of career networking.

DSC_0028Career networking defined: For those unfamiliar with the concept of career networking, that’s the magical life event that throws us all together into one huge mad stew of etiquette and self-promotion skills.  That intoxicating concoction created from the dual ingredients of a job or better career path and the basic human desire to want to help other people.

We’ve all had to face it.  But, what’s more, we’ve had to face the deeper unnerving truth underneath it.

Networking reality: Most of us don’t like to network.

Sure, some of us might have changed perspective about that by now, but the fact of the matter is:  networking and thoughts of it make most people uncomfortable, for many reasons.

If your motto is “Nope to Networking,” think again as you consider a few reasons why many fall prey to fear as well as a counter as to why fear should NOT conquer:

  1. I don’t want to be a bother.”
    This is perhaps the silliest reason of them all.  Especially when you stop to consider who you are bothering.  Everybody already has a network, whether they think they do or not.  Everyone you know is in your network, and everyone who knows who you know.  And… er, well, you get the point.  Since this is true, this also means your current friends are already part of your network.  And your friends, if they are your friends, would want to help you in a time of need.  They’d think the same is true if you’re a real friend to them.  You would want a mutual win-win.What you also have to consider is the simple fact that people generally like to talk about themselves and be praised.  Asking them for networking help and advice is an opportunity for them to do both at the same time.
  2. People in my network have no useful information about my desired field.”
    A relevant personal note on this that also ties into my first point above:  I wouldn’t have the job with Education Career Services I have right this minute if it wasn’t for that “friend network” mentioned above.  And there are job perks I’m enjoying at the moment that perhaps wouldn’t have crossed my path if not for the friends I’ve made in my network.  This particular friend, in the teaching field and also networking for a career job herself, happened to be perusing Craigslist one day.Though the “Writing/Editing” tab within Craigslist’s job board was not in her particular field, my friend clicked on it, searched within the confines of Orlando’s writing/editing jobs, and scrolled along searching.  After she clicked on one job in particular looking for a writer, she later told me she immediately thought of me after reading the description and requirements.  See that?

    It really is that easy.  Any close friend could be looking for his or her own self and in their search, due to our wonderfully altruistic human nature, could end up getting you a great job first.

  3. My personality isn’t right for networking.”
    You may be right.  Especially if, like myself, you consider yourself an introvert.  Research suggests that extroverted people are much likelier to utilize networking in general, and be more open to its possibilities.  On the flip side of that, however, is that sometimes extroverts also have a tendency to give the impression of not entirely caring what people have to say, but are more interested in hearing themselves talk.  Again… I say some extroverts.  That’s why a noble goal here is to shoot to be an ambivert.  Check out: Introvert or extravert? Maybe you’re an ambivert.While some researchers debunk this whole “ambivert” concept, I think it’s an idea worth giving some thought.  Be yourself but try to pay close attention to your specific networking situations.  A pinch of diplomacy and the ability to realize when it’s the right time to speak up, shut up, and not give up — while making use of the strengths tied to both introversion and extroversion, can only help your cause.

Besides, the magic happens outside of that comfort zone we like to live in, as we know all too well but sometimes tend to forget.

We’ll continue offering professional insight and review career marketing strategies so continue checking for the next submission. With this in mind, if you have career questions and would like a team of professionally certified writers and coaches input, don’t hesitate to ask.

For those interested in securing cutting-edge career focused books, including how to write effective resume/cover letters. Visit “Danny at ECS” on Amazon or go to www.edu-cs.com for a complete listing of available products and support. You may also contact our staff directly: dhuffman@educationcareerservices.com to see how we can help you.

Penned by Bret Hoveskeland
Education Career Services
Blogsite: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com

This article references information found in http://thingscareerrelated.com/2013/03/31/why-we-hate-networking-for-jobs-confessions-of-a-networking-convert/ by Rebecca Fraser-Thill.

Going Global? Clicking can be dangerous

Today’s job seekers are advised that social media sites and on-line networking are valuable tools for professional advancement. But much like a poorly written cover letter or résumé can do more harm than good, a badly managed on-line presence can hurt you professionally. The question remains: How do you optimize your chances of success in the virtual business world?

First of all, blend the social you and the professional you with great caution. LinkedIn now features sections where you can link your Facebook and Twitter account to your profile. While many seem to think this is a great way to show your personality to a potential employer, it is NOT recommended to connect your LinkedIn profile to a site you use to express yourself freely.

Even if you don’t have drunken debauchery filled weekends where pictures of you could arise, there are plenty of thoughts, comments, and interests your boss does not need to know about you. If you want to keep these spaces free for your personal expression, eliminate the possibility of errors by not connecting them to a professional site, just saying.

Be aware that even if you do not connect your Facebook, Twitter, or MySpace account to your LinkedIn profile, your employer still can search for you. Therefore, check your privacy settings. To spell it out: While your LinkedIn settings should be set for the most open access, your personal websites should not. Make sure whatever an employer can access when they search for your name will depict you in a professional, positive light.

One suggestion to mitigate these concerns might be to create a second Facebook account for professional, semi-casual contacts. If that is the case, manage your friends list well and make sure no one on it would tag you in a Spring Break video from 2011 that you swore no one saved.

When it comes to connecting a Twitter account to your LinkedIn profile, make sure your tweets are professional and non-confrontational. If it isn’t proper to discuss a topic at your office, it isn’t a good idea to tweet about it.

You probably already realize it’s a bad idea to tweet about the hot waitress serving you lunch or the stud-muffin you hooked up with at two in the morning. But also know you might want to avoid tweeting about strong dislike of people who belong to certain religious or political affiliations or your opinion about controversial subjects. Yes, this is the land of free speech but that doesn’t mean speech is consequence free.

While the digital age is fantastic, one thing old fashion forms of communication afforded you was the chance to think twice. You might write the letter – but you had the chance to throw it away before you mailed it! Remember that what you put on-line in an instant can be accessed by the wrong person before you have the opportunity to remove it.

By constantly considering what you put on the Internet from the point of view of a hiring authority, you can make your on-line presence a boost to your career rather than a stumbling block.

If you would like additional information about developing an introductory letter or assistance in any other career-related manner, don’t hesitate to reach out and send your request through the comment section. If preferred, email us directly at dhuffman@edu-cs.com or visit us at Amazon.com (search Huffman at ecs).

Danny Huffman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
Got Twitter? Follow me @DannyatECS