Our Achieving Success with LinkedIn workshop is tomorrow at 7PM at one of our favorite places, McAnns, at 3 West 46th Street at 7PM. We’ll have the upstairs lounge to ourselves. Appetizers and networking included.
Hundreds of people received new professional opportunities today via LinkedIn. If you were not one of them, you should be attending this workshop.
Please RSVP in advance on Eventbrite. Friends of The Opportunities Project can use discount code oppsfriend to get 25% off the ticket price and attend for $15.
Here are also three recent articles and blog posts on using LinkedIn that I liked.
I also critiqued a job seeker’s LinkedIn profile on the Recruiting Animal’s Blog Talk Radio Show. The job seeker didn’t like my advice- or the feedback from the other recruiters who were agreeing with me. That is the topic for another blog post.
Tonight is my second workshop on LinkedIn since I started The Opportunities Project this summer. Is LinkedIn really that important that it deserves two workshops so close together? Yes, it absolutely does. LinkedIn is the future of how people build careers, especially for those of us who are not born into huge networks or attend schools that naturally facilitate those. In 2011, LinkedIn is updating their platform so that more people can directly connect with their network around work and jobs. Now is the time to build your network so it’s strong for when that happens.
So I have both a rant and rave about LinkedIn coverage online.
Power of Your Network
Let’s start with a rave. Here is a real-life example of how the power of LinkedIn can get you results. When I was starting out this spring, I met a great partner in Brooke Allen. Brooke runs an organization called No Shortage of Work– a group I recommend on my Resources page. As an experiment, he asked people he knew from No Shortage of Work and his other networks to connect via LinkedIn to three people he selected who had various career goals. Within 24 hours, each had over 500 new professional contacts and within ten days one was working in a new job. He has now been sending summaries of what other people have to offer and what people need and letting them connect on their own. This success wouldn’t have manifested without a platform like LinkedIn.
Power of a Complete Profile
So my rant. I am getting exhausted by LinkedIn articles that keep getting promoted on sites like SmartBrief that give incomplete advice. I am cranky because I have become obsessed with finding these articles and commenting on them – here and here – to add needed information and it takes time I could spend on other things. Not everyone knows a Brooke Allen meaning you really need to make sure your profile is maximized to get the connections you need. Despite all the bells and whistles, LinkedIn is essentially a database and you need to create a profile that is easily found. If you read an article that doesn’t say the number one thing you should do is to make sure that your profile is complete- yes, that means posting a photo- it is not worth your time and you should move along. LinkedIn officially states that complete profiles are found 40% more often in search results than incomplete profiles, but that doesn’t even take into consideration where you rank. For example, I am listed as one of the first ten career coaches in NYC when you search for that phrase because I’ve optimized my profile. Not bad for a brand new coach. Where do you come up?
Discussing whether you should make your job duties bullet vs. paragraphs is great, but if you can’t be found, who cares?
If you’re in NYC, come to our event tonight at 7PM at SLC Conference Centers (352 7th Avenue, 16th floor- cross street is 30th Street) to learn how you can take the next step with LinkedIn. Friends of The Opportunities Project can pay $10 at the door.
Please welcome a guest post from my colleague Keith Petri. We’re doing an event next Tuesday, November 9th at 7PM on The Art of Pull: Achieving Career Success with Blogging. Register now!
Keith Petri, the founder of eBranding Me, is a recent graduate of Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY. His studies in business, economics and studio art along with strong passions for marketing, technology and entrepreneurship led him to his current interest in social media and understanding of the new rules of networking. Through his prior entrepreneurial pursuits, recent blogging and extensive networking, Keith has seen the need for educating his peers on creating a positive online presence. eBranding Me is the culmination of his efforts.
Over the past year I have mentored numerous students on the importance of building an online presence. I stress the value of creating and maintaining a personal blog to display their individual expertise in a particular field of study as a method to attract potential employers involved in the industry. Still, time and time again, I hear my students say:
“What can I blog about? No one cares about what I have to say!”
Typical social media experts are known to encourage Generation Y students to post articles and insights about their past work experiences, current events and even book reviews. However, I find myself to be one of only a few counselors to encourage students to add personal experiences to their insights and publish the content on a personal, albeit professional, blog.
With the recent growth in social media, privacy has become a growing concern. And thus, the separation of a young professional’s social life and professional career has become increasingly difficult to manage – sometimes even resulting in termination due to social conduct publicized through an online social network. The horror stories many of us have heard from peers, career advisors and parents have made many Generation Y students weary of building a personal brand.I couldn’t disagree more!
“Transparency has become the new measurement for trust.”
As covered in eBranding Me’s eBook on the fundamentals of blogging, available for FREE download here, personal experiences can allow a reader to truly connect with the author and his or her experiences. The following list outlines some topics high school students, current college students and recent gradates can discuss to intrigue their blog’s visitors.
High School Students
After School Activities
Respond to a Guest Speaker’s Lecture
Summarize a Recent Classroom Discussion
Re-post an Assignment for Class (received feedback)
Attending Networking Events
Adjusting to Life in the “Real-World”
While not every blog post needs to contain a personal experience or insight, allowing your readers to get to know the “real” you will allow them to connect with your writing and respect your work that much more. I believe that Alex Blackwell said it best in a blog post, “the goal becomes how to be transparent while not being excessively personal.”
To see how Keith Petri includes personal experiences on his blog, visit and read some of his latest articles. Furthermore, he features a weekly series, published every Friday morning, highlighting the concluding week’s activities and events through text, images and video called the Weekly Wrap Up
A few weeks ago, we had an amazing workshop on LinkedIn at the Center for Arts Education. Hurricane Nicole was whipping the city with crazy weather, but some dedicated jobseekers showed up to learn how they can use this powerful tool to get to the next step. Participants who paid for the workshop received some special handouts and step-by-step instructions on how to make their profile stand out and expand their network. For those who couldn’t come, here is a link to the public Prezi.
We’re less than 24 hours to our first workshop on LinkedIn and the second on the Cupcakes and Careers Tour. I am pleased to announce that our cupcakes for the second stop on our tour are from cake studio NineCakes. Their desserts have been featured in Martha Stewart Weddings and on the Today Show. The NineCakes shop is a few blocks from our home office base in the Columbia Waterfront District of Brooklyn and I am always excited when I get to support a local vendor!
Just a reminder, tomorrow’s event is at the Center for Arts and Education at 225 West 34th Street on the 11th Floor. In addition to indulging in some amazing cupcakes, we’re going to discuss how you can use LinkedIn to promote yourself, research, and engage with others. I heard on Twitter that LinkedIn is doing a promotion next week on 60 college campuses to get their students to complete profiles so we’re very timely. See you there!
As you all know, we are getting ready for our big LinkedIn workshop this week. As part of our online presence theme, I am very pleased to feature a guest post today by Sara Lancaster of No. 2 Pen. I met Sara at a networking (it works, people!) event for the Women’s Education Project in March and she has been helping me with my website content. You should see her influence in about a week as I change the layout and language on some of my pages.
So pay attention to Sara’s advice on online profiles!
Have You ‘Googled’ Yourself Lately?
If you are embarking on a job search, you should search for your name now and continue to do so regularly. This is not about vanity; it’s about managing your online reputation.
How to Google yourself properly
Google has something called “personalized search,” which means it keeps track of your search history and serves you search results based on your preferences. In order to get less biased search engine results for your name, log out of all your accounts and clear your computer’s cache.
Then try the following search strategies:
Sara Lancaster (name)
Sara Lancaster writer (name, occupation)
Sara Lancaster Denver (name, city)
Sara Lancaster CU Boulder (name, alma mater)
You might also try these combinations of searches using quotation marks around your name or by using your last name only.
How to remedy an injured online reputation
Mashable.com recently published an article that stated 75% of HR departments screen candidates online, and that 70% of US-based HR professionals did not hire someone because of what they found online. What will an employer find out about you?
Facebook photos of you drinking at a party? An outdated MySpace page that you haven’t even looked at since high school? Your name on a forum talking about how you spend 18 hours a day playing World of Warcraft?
Now is the time to close old accounts, update privacy settings on the accounts you want to keep, and rewrite the “About Me” sections of your profiles. Consider having a professional photo taken or at least post a respectable photo to all public social media accounts.
Since Facebook is often the biggest trouble spot for potential employees, please be extra vigilant about untagging yourself from photos and making your profile private. Do not request to be friends or accept friend requests from employers, previous employers, and future employers unless you are confident you and your friends will keep it clean.
How to stack the search engine pages deck
Now that you fixed or tried to fix what’s already online, you should add content to the web ensuring potential employers have plenty of impressive content to review. Here are few ideas to get you started, but be creative! This is your chance to shine in the web space.
Create a YouTube video (using your flip cam) introducing yourself to potential employers
Complete your Google profile and add a link to your LinkedIn profile (If you aren’t already on LinkedIn, this is a must!)
Set up a profile on Naymz.com that includes a bio and your resume
Start Tweeting about the industry you want to work in
Blog about a hobby or topic you are passionate about
Managing your online reputation is an ongoing process. Be cognizant of what you put online and ask your friends to do the same.
Sara Lancaster is a website content writer and online marketing consultant for individuals and businesses. Read more about Sara, her agency, No. 2 Pen, and about how a website could help you in your job search by visiting the No. 2 Pen blog.