Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Top 10 Strangest Titles You Can Find on Linkedin and Will They Further Your Career


In the current economic climate and with competition in the jobs market becoming ever tougher, some people have resorted to using imaginative and creative job descriptions to help them take the next step on the career ladder.

This trend has been seen most clearly on LinkedIn, an online portal where people can ‘connect’ with colleagues and friends and then in turn with these people’s contacts and grow their business network. This will then enable them to use these new contacts to explore employment or business opportunities. Below we look at the 10 strangest job titles that can be found on LinkedIn and question whether using one of these is really the best way to further your career.

1. Digital Overlord. This person is someone who works in IT and sees themselves as something of a guru.

2. Wizard of Light Bulb Moments. A great ideas person.

3. Retail Jedi. Someone who considers themselves to be a great salesperson.

4. Creator of Happiness. Less of a job description and more a description of the type of person you would be employing.

5. Change Magician. Someone who could turn your business around, or who at least thinks they could.

Titles 6-10 and more advice 

The 10 Scariest Job Seeker Mistakes [Infographic]

by careerleaf

Halloween is right around the corner, but that doesn’t mean you should let your job search turn you into a clumsy zombie. Though these tips below may not help you survive a zombie invasion, they are good survival skills you can use to get through your job search without losing your brains.

Plenty of job seekers don’t realize that even seemingly small mistakes can have a huge impact on their success. In horror movies, the first person to realize there are killers on the loose is usually the one who lives, and staying ahead of other job seekers can help you, too. Lack of research, neglecting to follow-up, grammatical errors in emails, or having an unenthusiastic attitude – will all leave you struggling to keep up in the scary world of unemployment.

Your job search doesn’t have to be scary – proper preparation can help you to avoid making common mistakes. This infographic from Careerleaf, an all-in-one job search platform that cuts the time to apply in half, outlines the 10 scariest job seeker mistakes – and how to avoid them.

Mistakes 5-10 and Complete youtern article

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

5 Tips for Optimizing Your LinkedIn Company Page


Do you have a LinkedIn Company page?
Have you employed the newly designed look and features?
If you haven’t created a LinkedIn Company Page, now is the time to do so.
The new layout makes it easier for people to find, follow and engage with your Company Page.
Here are the new design updates and features that you can take advantage of on your Company Page.

#1: Banner Images

Bring your Page to life! Add a banner image to the top of your LinkedIn Company Page.
banner image
Social Media Examiner's LinkedIn Company Page banner.
The default landing tab for your Company Page is the Home tab. Your banner image will show up at the top of this tab.
This is very similar to the Facebook Cover Image that you are able to utilize on your Facebook Business Page, although the image size is different. The size of the LinkedIn Company Page banner image should be 646 x 220 pixels.
Use the banner space to illustrate and extend your unique branding and messaging.
Note that you will not be able to place a clickable URL behind your primary banner image.
sprout social
Sprout Social's LinkedIn Company Page banner.
Don’t be afraid to make your banner image eye-popping or attention-grabbing! This is an opportunity to earn new followers for your Page.
Without collecting followers, any updates you post to the Page most likely will not be seen.
LinkedIn has stated that you only need 100-200 followers for your Company Page to reach the tipping point to start making an impact and driving engagement. That’s great news!
The “About” section of your Company Page has been moved down to the bottom of the page. Still, it’s a good idea to review this area and make sure it’s up to date.
about houtsuite
The "About" section now sits at the bottom of your LinkedIn Company Page Home tab.
In the Specialties section of your company description, you will want to use relevant keywords for your company so you’ll be found in LinkedIn searches.
Take full advantage of the Home tab and maximize all of the features here!

#2: Career and Products Now Featured on Home Tab

Rather than burying information about your company’s products and services or careers, there are now sidebar spaces on the Home tab that feature these sections of your LinkedIn Company Page. This makes it easier for visitors to find what they are looking for on your Page.
dell sidebar features
Dell's LinkedIn Company Page sidebar.
If you are not utilizing the Careers tab section of your Company Page, you will see a default image of your logo icon and some default text that says “Learn more about our company and culture.”
For the Products and Services section in the sidebar, the first product that you’ve created in the Products and Services section of the Company Page will be featured here. Make sure your first product is the primary product you want featured.
Don’t be afraid to get creative with the products or services that you create. Think outside of the box. They don’t have to be products and services that you offer in the traditional sense.
Rather, you could showcase free downloads or special reports, a free assessment or even a conference or event on your Products and Services tab.
products and services
Showcase interesting offers from your company under the Products/Services tab.
The goal is to get your Company Page visitors interested in learning more about how you can help them accomplish their goals! Showcasing unique content in this tab will drive engagement and potentially encourage recommendations for your business.

Stand Out in Your Interview

by Amy Gallo

You've just landed a job interview for a position you really want. Congratulations. Now, you know you only get one chance to impress, but how exactly do you do that? Given all of the conflicting advice out there and the changing rules of getting a job, it's no wonder that job seekers are confused about how to best prepare for and perform in an interview.

What the Experts Say
One common piece of advice is to "take charge" of the interview. John Lees, a career strategist and author of The Interview Expert: How to Get the Job You Want and Job Interviews: Top Answers to Tough Questions, says this advice is misleading: "The reality is that the interviewer is in control. Your job is to be as helpful as you can." Claudio Fernández-Aráoz, a senior adviser at Egon Zehnder International and the author of Great People Decisions, agrees: "You need to help interviewers do the right thing since most of them don't follow best practices." According to Fernández-Aráoz, who has interviewed more than 20,000 candidates in his 26 years as a search consultant, most interviewers fall prey to unconscious biases and focus too heavily on experience rather than competence. It's your responsibility to make sure this doesn't happen. Here's how.

Prepare, prepare, prepare
Most people know they need to show up to the interview having done their homework, but both Fernández-Aráoz and Lees agree that people rarely prepare enough. "You can never invest enough in terms of preparation. You should find out as much as possible about the company, how it's organized, its culture, the relevant industry trends, and some information about the interviewer," says Fernández-Aráoz. He also advises researching the specific job challenges. This will allow you to demonstrate you have what it takes to fill the role.

Formulate a strategy
Before you enter the room, decide what three or four messages you want to convey to the interviewer. These should "show the connection between what you have achieved and what is really needed to succeed in the specific job and context," says Fernández-Aráoz. Lees says the best way to do this is to draft narratives ahead of time. "People buy into stories far more than they do evidence or data," he says. Your stories should be concise and interesting. Make sure they have a good opening line, such as, "I'm going to tell you about a time that I rescued the organization." Then, learn them like the back of your hand. Know how they begin and end so you can relay them without stumbling or sounding like a robot. Whenever possible, use one of your stories to answer an interview question.

Emphasize your potential
"No candidate will ever be perfect, and you will be no exception," says Fernández-Aráoz. Instead of harping on where your resume might fall short — or letting the interviewer do the same — focus on your potential. This is often a far better indicator of future job performance. "If your past achievements are not directly related to the job, but you've demonstrated a great ability to learn and adapt to new situations, you should very clearly articulate that," says Fernández-Aráoz. For example, if you're interviewing for an international role but have no global experience, you might explain how your ability to influence others in a cross-functional role, such as between production and sales, proves your ability to collaborate with different types of people from different cultures.

Ace the first 30 seconds - More Tips and Complete Harvard Business Review Article

Monday, October 29, 2012

6 LinkedIn Groups to Help You Land Your Next Job


Chelsea P. Gladden is the Director of Marketing & PR for FlexJobs, an award-winning service that helps job-seekers find professional opportunities that also offer work flexibility, such as telecommuting, freelance, part-time or alternative schedules. To learn more about Chelsea, visit or tweet her @FlexJobsChelsea.

With the upcoming election, we are hearing more and more about the need to increase jobs. If you are among the 12.1 million Americans who are out of work, continuous networking is key. Because forking out dollar after dollar to attend conferences and events weekly isn’t feasible for someone who needs to be earning money, the obvious option is social networking. LinkedIn is a great option for connecting with friends, former colleagues and their connections who can possibly introduce you to your future boss. To further your reach, consider joining discussion groups and actively participating. Not only can you meet new connections, but the groups often include job listings or upcoming opportunities. The following are six groups to to consider joining right now.

1. Jobs 2.0: A discussion group that includes the latest tips for finding employment online, join this group to get advice from career experts and interact with recruiters.

2. Your College’s Official Alumni Group: Find your college’s alumni group and join now. As the University of California Santa Barbara’s alumni group writes, job seekers can “expand their influence, networking, business and career opportunities.” To join your college colleagues, do a search on LinkedIn for your university, and look for the keyword “official” to make sure you’re choosing the real group and not one of the many unofficial alumni groups.

3. Companies You’ve Worked For: Similar to your college alumni group, join any groups affiliated with your current or former employer. It’s a great way to stay connected for a future recommendation or see where past co-workers are working now, as you may want to join them.

Tips 4-6 and Complete Mashable Article

The Best Ways to Contact Recruiters on Social Media

After having written a recent post for The Undercover Recruiter (How NOT to Contact Recruiters on LinkedIn), I received a lot of requests for advice on how jobseekers SHOULD reach out to recruiters. It reminded me of a recent InMail message in my LinkedIn inbox and I thought I would share my response since it details some of the many ways that jobseekers can (and should!) approach recruiters on LinkedIn as well as other forms of social media.

In my opinion, the following advice is the MOST important step that a jobseeker can make because it turns a reactive process (applying online and waiting / hoping to hear back) into a proactive one (reaching out to recruiters / hiring managers online and starting a two-way dialogue that gets your resume reviewed / considered for the role). Anything a jobseeker can do to stand out from the pack (in a good way, of course) and beat others to the punch will help them land that coveted offer. Remember, there is no 2nd place when applying for that dream position. That 1st place candidate gets the job and the dozens (or hundreds!) of others do not. What are YOU doing to differentiate yourself in this tough job market?

Here’s the original email (identifying details changed for privacy):
I recently found your blog as I have been trying to find the best tactics to land my next position. I have my heart set on a marketing job at XYZ Company in Washington D.C. but I am from Massachusetts and have no connections there. Do you have any advice?

My response:
Hi Jane,

Thanks for reaching out. Great question! Here’s my advice…

1. First things first. Go to XYZ’s company website and apply online for any position(s) of interest that match well with your skill set and experience.

2. Next, it’s time to leverage LinkedIn and the power of networking. I just searched my network and I have 956 total connections currently working at XYZ Company in the DC area. 109 of them are 1st or 2nd level connections, so once we’re linked, they’ll be in your network too (as 2nd or 3rd level connections).

Once we’re connected, do a LinkedIn search and identify two or three of those contacts that you would like to contact. I’d recommend Recruiters, hiring managers – Manager/Director/VP of Marketing in your case, peers who hold the same title that you desire, etc. We can identify additional contacts later, if need be.

Tips 3, 4, and complete article

Friday, October 26, 2012

For Older Workers, Here Is Where the Jobs Will Be

Growing numbers of older adults are finding a nice surprise in the workplace: a "Welcome" sign.

The number of workers age 55 and up grew by 3.5 million from September 2009 to September 2012. That represents the lion's share of the gain of 4.2 million for all workers 16 and older, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Two factors help explain the trend.

First: demographics. In the three years ended in July, 86% of population growth among people ages 25 to 69 came in the 55 to 69 age range, says Richard Johnson, director of the program on retirement policy at the Urban Institute, a nonprofit research group. That increase comes mostly from the baby boomers, who began turning 55 in 2001.

"There are many more Americans turning 55 in recent years than turning 25," Mr. Johnson says.
Second: changing attitudes. More employers are recognizing that older adults bring skills and experiences to the table that can help the bottom line.

It's not all good news. While older workers' unemployment rate is lower, when they lose a job they're unemployed longer—a median of 35 weeks versus 26 weeks for younger folks.

"The problem of age bias hasn't been solved yet, but attitudes do seem to be improving," says Sara Rix, senior strategic policy adviser with the Public Policy Institute at AARP, the Washington advocacy group.

Here are several industries where experts say the outlook is bright for older workers:


School reform at the K-12 level, in particular, may provide opportunities for older workers, says Jackie Greaner, North America practice leader for talent management at consulting firm Towers Watson 

"Expectations of teachers are much higher," she says, "but in a way that provides opportunities for other talent to enter the school system—[individuals with] other types of skills and knowledge."

Financial Services
"Banks and insurance companies have been forward-thinking about…the aging workforce and what that means for their organizations," says Jacquelyn B. James, director of research at Boston College's Sloan Center on Aging and Work.
"They've been trying to offer more possibilities to older workers to work more flexibly, to reduce their hours when they decide that's what they want to do," she says.

One example: Principal Financial offers a "Happy Returns" program to enable retirees to return to work without interrupting their benefits.

More job areas and complete WSJ article

Thursday, October 25, 2012

5 Things Job Seekers Need to Know About LinkedIn


I just saw a great blog post on how LinkedIn can cause problems at work on Resume Bear, and it got me thinking that there are some things job seekers should be aware of in addition to the excellent points mentioned in that article:
1. Sudden flurry of updates tell your network something’s afoot.
Every time you update one area of your profile, everyone in your network is updated. So imagine if you really start tinkering with your profile in earnest… that means there’s activity going on… and that you are cleaning up your act, possibly preparing for some action.
Instead: take the profile off public visibility, update it with everything you intend to change, then make it visible again to avoid multiple updates. Better yet: regularly update your profile with one thing at a time, perhaps once per week. If updates are constant and regular, there are no red flags.
2. Reasons to be contacted.
If you include “Looking for job opportunities” or anything that implies an active job search, you could be informing your employer indirectly that you are anticipating a change. If you are employed, keep your reasons to be contacted business-related only.
3. Using your work email address to register.
So you have a robust network, lots of recommendations, and everything is humming along. Except you just lost your job as well as your company email address. Guess what? You could get locked out of your account if your employer decides to exploit this and changes the password on your LinkedIn account too.
It would be a whole world of pain trying to get logged back in – so the point here is: Take your account registrations OFFLINE to a personal e-mail account. You won’t regret it as you will always have control of who logs in YOU!

Cover Letters in the Age of Email

The job search has changed so much in the last decade.  In the past, a job advertised in a local newspaper or trade publication prompted you to write and send off by mail a cover letter accompanying your resume.  The fax machine brought about a change in that resumes could now be sent to employers and received within a few moments.  But certainly the growing reach of email and expansion of job related web resources has dramatically influenced how job seekers connect with employers. Email messages, resumes attachments in various formats; on-line applications have all changed the format and speed of those interactions. Is the formal cover letter still necessary or are candidates better off writing an email? The answer is simple – do whatever positions you most effectively with the employer.

No matter what the format, you must practice articulate brevity – write enough to make your case and convince whoever is reviewing your materials that you are worthy of serious consideration for the job  - and no more. Looking for a job involves many steps, but when you apply for a position or communicate with a potential employer it is important to remember that it is a professional interaction and what you write and how you communicate will be viewed through this lens.

Here are some useful tips for a great cover letter in today’s fast paced and connected world:
  1. Write to a specific person.  If you are building and leveraging your professional network in applying for positions this is easy. In those instances be sure to indicate in your message who helped you to make the connection.  If you are writing “cold”, do your research first so you obtain a name rather then writing to an anonymous individual, title or department. There are many on-line resources to help you find out the names of managers and you can always make a phone call to the organization as well, where a polite inquiry will usually produce helpful results.
  2. Tell the employer in the first sentence why you are writing.  This should include the position title or job function area you are interested in.
  3. Let the employer know how you found out about the opening citing in particular a personal, mutual contact if appropriate or at the very least showing you’ve done some research about the company and its talent needs.
  4. If you are writing on an exploratory basis and there is no specific posted position you’re aware of, discuss how you have been following the company and feel that you would be an excellent addition to a specific area in the organization.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Top 10 Tips from “LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day”

by VivekaVonRosen

I was recently asked to write an article on my book, “LinkedIn Marketing:  An Hour a Day” so I decided to sharesome of my top tips from it, chapter by chapter.

My Top Ten LinkedIn Tips

Chapter 1: “Get LinkedIn”

What is LinkedIn and should you be on it?

If you don’t have one yet, get a profile on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is not just for jobseekers. It is for business people, sales people, marketing people, professionals service people, B2B companies, B2C companies, non profits,  students, entrepreneurs, stay-at-home moms, and busy executives. If you do any business at all, you want to create an account on LinkedIn.

Chapter 2: “Get Started on LinkedIn”

What are your goals and what are your strategies?

Take a few minutes right now to write down the reasons you’re using LinkedIn. Are you using LinkedIn to:
  • attract new clients and customers
  • create new referral partner relationships
  • attract affiliates
  • position yourself as a thought leader  or subject matter expert
  • share information about your product or service
  • enhance your customer service relationships
  • attract donor and sponsors for your charity
  • position your Internet marketing business
  • sell your book
  • share information about an event or
  • something else
What are your goals for being on LinkedIn that or not in the list above? Write them down. Now prioritize your goals. Although your priorities for using LinkedIn might shift, it’s always good to be clear on what they are right now.

Chapter 3.  “Ready, Set, Profile!”

Do you know your keywords?

You can use the “Skills and Expertise” link on LinkedIn to find keywords that are specifically relevant to LinkedIn. Simply click on the “Skills ” link under the “More” tab and type in any skill that is relevant to your position, your education, your skill set, or your industry. As you begin to type, a drop-down menu should appear.  Choose the skill closest to your keyword or search term.  If the drop down doesn’t come up with the option you are looking for, choose a synonym for your skill set.
Once you select a skill from the drop-down list, LinkedIn will take you to a new page. By clicking the blue “Add Skill” button, you will add that skill to your profile. (So it can be endorsed later by your connections!)
The section of this page relevant to finding keywords is on the left side under “Related skills”. Are there any of those related skills you might want to add to your profile as keywords?
When the list of related skills is in alignment with your skill set (meaning you could indeed offer many or all the skills or services in your business) you might want to copy and paste the entire list into Word document. Delete the irrelevant skills and voila – you have a great keyword list to add to:
  • your professional headline
  • title fields
  • interests
  • summary section
and any other sections that are relevant in your LinkedIn profile.

Chapter 4: Using Your Company profile for Branding and Positioning

Do you have a Company Profile?

With the newest Company Profile release – you no longer have a reason not to have a Company profile!  And if you have one, are you using it?
Did you know you could add video to your company profile? Once you add a product or service, you have the opportunity to add a YouTube link. This will show up as a video that plays when someone clicks on that skill or product. Consider the product demonstration, or a testimonial from a happy client or customer.

Chapter 5:  “Creating and Managing a Network that Works.”

Grow your network to be more visible.

If you’re not having much luck on LinkedIn, it might be because your network is too small. In order to easily grow your network, without directly connecting too many people you don’t know, you might consider going to The folks who pay to be a part of are willing to share their networks with you, because they want you to share your network with them.
By clicking on the “Top Supporters” link on the left-hand side of the page, you will see a list of 50 to 60 individuals who should accept your invitation to connect. All of these individuals have very large networks. By connecting to just 10 to 15 of these individuals, you should be able to grow your network out past the 10 million mark. Which means you’ll be more visible on LinkedIn. It also means that you will be able to find and connect with more strategic members on LinkedIn. Which should increase your business.

8 Commandments for Every Job Hunter


Successful job hunters have, over the years, shared with me their "secrets for success." Here are eight of my favorite rules to organize your search while maintaining your sanity:

1. Remember: Your job hunt is a job. Treat it with the same professionalism that you would a job that gives you a paycheck. It's easy to continually procrastinate and say, "I've got all this personal stuff to do, I'll get around to job hunting next week." At the other extreme you can become compulsive and spend every waking hour obsessing about the job hunt. Instead, set up work hours, an agenda, and goals for yourself every day. When your workday is over, leave the job hunt behind. Spend your off hours with those you love, pursuing your hobbies and interests, exercising, and living a balanced life.

2. Keep your knowledge and skills up to date. Maintain all your professional credentials, licenses, and certificates. Enroll in continuing education classes. Keep up to date with the "latest" in your field of expertise, and thereby you will demonstrate your commitment to excellence. Even if you are used to having your employer pay for these things and now have to pay for them yourself, it will be money well spent.

3. Stand out from your competition. Title your resume "{FIRSTNAME LASTNAME} Resume." Then, whenever you send it out to a company, do a "save as" and rename it: "{FIRSTNAME LASTNAME} Resume for XXX Company." It will show the employer that you aren't just blasting it everywhere. Also, it will become easier to retrieve if you keep all your resume files in a single folder in your computer, and that way you will be certain to be able to find whichever version is relevant to the company with which you are speaking.

4. Find a way to make yourself findable. Make certain that you have a complete and compelling LinkedIn profile, and include in it a PDF version of your resume (without your phone or physical address). Contribute in a meaningful way to relevant LinkedIn Group Discussions. Attend local Meetups and professional association gatherings. Present yourself as a peer who just happens not to have a paying job at the moment, rather than as a desperate person seeking to become a peer.

Tips 5-8 and Complete USNews Article

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

13 Quick Tips To Optimise your LinkedIn Profile

2. Create a unique extract. Can you summarise everything into a single sentence that makes you unique and special, something that sets you apart from everyone else? I bet you can!

4. Achievements and tasks. One of the best profiles I’ve read lately has been the one set up by Víctor Ronco. His way of listing his achievements and the tasks he was in charge of is sensational. Of course, you do need to be a doer and a tryer for that!
6. Skills and expertise. Don’t mention your management, business and consulting skills only. Include also something more personal: your human skills, abilities and characteristics… as it happens, this side of things is mainly what’s missing in our environment right now and rarities have an added value. Think about what you’re like as a human being, that’s the key!
7. Interests are key words through which you may be found. Catch the drift?
8. A blog makes your profile much more attractive and powerful.
13. Header. The header is the best opportunity available to position yourself. There are already too many experts in social media, senior community managers and marketing directors. If you’re doing what everyone else does, in what way are you standing out for me?

The Nuances of Job-Seeking While You're Employed


You may not be surprised to learn the best time tofind a job is when you already have a job. Recent research shows that some employers consider passive candidates—people not actively looking for work because they're employed—one of the best sources of hires.
When you consider that no job is forever, and the fact that the average employee will have between 10 and 15 jobs in a career, it's wise to take action to positively influence your chances to land a new job, even if you don't think you need one right now.

Jonathan Kreindler, founder of, a free, web-based career management system that provides guidance from a community of career experts, suggests these tips to help you stay competitive when your next transition may be just around the corner:
1. Broaden your scope. Kreindler notes: "While you likely have a full-plate at work already, consider ways to take on different challenges within your role. When you do, you'll not only become more valuable to your current employer, but you'll learn new skills, enhance your experience, and expand the number of opportunities you'll be suitable for next time you're actively looking."
2. Seize opportunities to try new things. While it is important to have niche expertise, don't let yourself be pigeonholed in one very specific area for years on end. Keep a close eye on where your field is headed and don't keep your head buried in the sand. When you're aware of trends and potential hot areas, you'll be in a better position to advance your career.
3. Don't be passive, but passively search. "Conducting a passive search doesn't necessarily mean you're applying for jobs with the intention of leaving your current role behind. Rather, it's all about exploring your options, understanding your value, and determining what gaps exist between the role you have today and the role you aspire to in the future," explains Kreindler.
Research your competitors by tracking their social media company pages (especially on LinkedIn, where you'll be able to tell when companies hire new people). Follow industry leaders on social media and keep track of the news about your field. One easy way to do this is to find and follow industry thought leaders on Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Read their updates and you'll keep up-to-date about what is going on in your field with very little effort on your part.

Monday, October 22, 2012

4 Burning Issues Regarding LinkedIn Etiquette


The newest Endorsement feature on LinkedIn is resulting in a surge of notifications, but do you wonder how to respond? Does it warrant a thank you or response on your behalf? What about reciprocating with a LinkedIn recommendation? Or perhaps you are curious about how to respond to a request to connect from someone you don't know. These are just a few of the many conundrums people face on LinkedIn currently.
1. Do I need to thank someone for an endorsement? LinkedIn's new Endorsements feature is promoted as a way to give kudos with one click. Yet, if it is so simple to give, what does it really indicate? Is it valid to measure someone's skills if there is no context assigned? And why can any connection be qualified to make these endorsements? The feature raises many issues, but the better question is, do these endorsements justify your response? Old-fashioned etiquette would say, yes, you can and probably should thank someone in a message through LinkedIn. However, that takes time and effort; more time and effort than it took the person to endorse you. If you chose to return the favor and endorse them, that is another option and decision you can make. If you do decide to send a thank you, know that it will probably be one of very few the recipient receives. What memorable impression will that have?
2. Someone wrote a recommendation for me. Do I need to return the favor? Often people use the "give to get" principle to entice someone to write a return recommendation. Does this mean you must accept and post their endorsement as well as write one for them too? If you did not ask for their recommendation, it is up to you to decide how and if you want to make it visible on your profile. Also note that if there are typos or if the message isn't quite to your liking, you can ask for the author to modify what they've written. If you feel comfortable and confident enough to write a recommendation of their work, then you could return the favor. However, you are not obligated to do so. In either case, you should thank the individual for their recommendation.

How To Get a Job At The World's Most Desirable Companies

Haydn Shaughnessy

LinkedIn’s list of the 100 most in demand employers is a fascinating group of well known brands. But did LinkedIn manage to create a good list and is it relevant to you?
The list is topped by Google and has folks like Apple running close behind, so no surprise there.
However there are some tips on job seeking, arising from the list, that do have a surprising emphasis  – the power of networking with existing employees of a target firm. I think this is part of the LinkedIn effect on employment. More below.
The list was compiled, obviously, from the activities of people on LinkedIn, so first things first. This is a list that reflects people “connecting with employees, viewing employee profiles, visiting Company and Career Pages, and following companies.”
There’s no question this is a big data triumph, which has tapped into some 15 billion transactions on the site. I see a couple of anomalies.
In Australia, the list is topped by Rio Tinto, the mining company whose employment practices provoked protests ahead of this year’s Olympic games. In Canada the list has RIM at number 3. I can’t help thinking that RIM is a tough place to be right now.
In the USA Google, Apple, Facebook are all in the top 5, which makes you think, in the USA at least, the list is biased towards tech companies. Microsoft, which appears at number 3 in the global list, does not appear in the top 5 of US companies – or I am reading these lists wrongly.
The rankings are somewhat biased towards North America with 70 of the top 100 being North American companies. 26 are from the EMEA with only 1 from Latin America. I guess that’s also an insight into who uses LinkedIn.
31 of the US companies are from the West coast, with 19 from San Francisco. Almost 20% of the worlds most popular employers are therefore from this one city.
So, LinkedIn wants you to use the list to discover your company’s talent brand power. But is there a way we job seekers can use it?
Clearly, the top companies are where all our competition is going to be. And the easy answer, go west young folks, is something we already know. LinkedIn, however, has followed up with a series of posts on how to get jobs at these stellar companies.
The first in the series is Expedia, a company doing great things to externalizing its activities.

Friday, October 19, 2012

7 Tips for Marketers To Create Meaningful Connections on LinkedIn

By Ashley Zeckman

Have you found yourself spending more time than usual on LinkedIn within the last couple of months?  I know I have.  Much of that has to do with the recent changes that the company has rolled out which has improved usability and is encouraging users to spend more time actively participating within the platform.
LinkedIn should be viewed as a tool for marketers to connect with other professionals or companies in a meaningful way, not a platform for shouting your marketing message at unsuspecting victims.
For example, you wouldn’t approach a table full of professionals at a networking event that you don’t know and open up with “Buy my B2B marketing automation software! It will save you time and money.” Talk about open mouth and insert foot. I’m sure we can all agree that a first interaction like the one mentioned above would likely squash any chance of having a meaningful interaction with your new connections.
It’s easy for us to forget best practices for interacting on social platforms.  This article serves as a refresher course for marketers looking to improve engagement on LinkedIn.
1 – Form Real Relationships
Have you ever gotten a phone call, answered it, and realized it was a pre-recorded message? Believe me, I know from experience that no matter how many times you yell back at the recording, it wont respond (or stop talking).
On the other end of that pined for LinkedIn connection is a human, and there are certain things that make them tick. It’s your job to find out just what that is.
Apply your general marketing best practices and remember that you’re in the business of getting to know people, and determining how THEY prefer to interact.  These relationships take time and effort to establish. You want to create a dialogue that is tailored to a specific individual, not broadcast a one-size-fits-all canned marketing message.
2 – Reach Out To Customers
Connecting with customers individual profiles and following their company updates on LinkedIn (as well as other social networks) is a fantastic opportunity to stay up to date on any changes within the organization, and learn more about the individuals that you work with on a daily basis.
Say for example that you’re browsing your LinkedIn feed while drinking your morning cup of coffee and read that Teresa from ABC marketing (your favorite client) wrote “The heat went out in our building this week, it’s going to be a cold one!”
Chances are the next time you talk to Teresa, you’ll share that you heard her building was without heat and express concern for how she’s doing. Or better yet, send her an inexpensive but thoughtful care package from your team with a blanket and slippers to keep her warm. Sometimes it’s the small stuff that makes a big difference.
3 – Thank Your Team For Being Awesome
Even though we’ve discussed the dangers of blatant brand boasting, there is an opportunity to utilize LinkedIn to share information on company accomplishments. Say your team broke a record or goal you set for yourself, hired a new rock star employee, or participated in a community event that you would like to share.
Let’s face it, most people like to be recognized for their accomplishments. Sam and Rob from your Account Management team will most likely appreciate being included in an update from their boss.  This could be as simple as posting “Thank you to Sam and Rob for going the extra mile to keep their clients happy. Join our team congratulating them for a job well done!” can put a smile on the face of your employees, attract job seekers, and show prospective clients that you aren’t afraid to thank your team for having an impact.

In the Job Search & Over 50: Closing the Deal (Part III of III)

by Amanda Augustine

Age discrimination doesn’t disappear once you’ve made it to the interviewing phase with a job opportunity. Read on for tips to help you maneuver around interview questions designed to reveal your age.

Before you head into an interview, do your research.  Visit Vault, Glassdoor and the company’s employment page on the web to get a better sense of the company culture. If you have any connections to the company, reach out to them for an informational interview to help you prepare. Depending on the company, you may need to adjust your interview wardrobe. For instance, if you walked into an interview at Google wearing a full suit and tie, you would look out of place.  Set a Google News Alert for the company in the days leading up to the interview so you stay up-to-date with relevant news.

Know your rights. There are certain questions that are off-limits – including those about your age. Oftentimes the interviewer isn’t aware of these laws, and is naively trying to break the ice by asking about your family, which may lead to inappropriate questions. In these cases, the best thing to do is redirect the question back to the interviewer. For instance, if they ask about your marital status, you can reply by saying, “It sounds like family is important to you. Are you married?” You’ve kept up the friendly chitchat without having to divulge any information about your personal life.

You are not required to submit a photo ID (which has your date of birth on it) during the interview process. If asked, you can simply not include it when filling out the initial forms, or tell the interviewer that you have concerns about identity theft and would prefer not to hand it over until it’s determined whether or not you will be joining their team. Keep the conversation light and friendly – you don’t need to come off as angry or defensive.  Be conscious of how you answer even the simplest of questions, such as “Are you at least 18 years of age?”  If you make a joke about your age, you are drawing negative attention to it.

Prepare to overcome any objections you expect to hear in the interview, such as your salary requirements. Don’t be afraid to be proactive during the interview to ensure no assumptions are made about your candidacy. Interviewers will often assume your near-term plan involves retirement, which may not be the case at all. If they don’t ask about your long-term plans, bring it up. Make sure the employer knows you’re in it for the long haul, recommends Elizabeth Mixson, career coach for TheLadders, and explain how this role fits into your long-term plans.

Also, stress your flexibility regarding work hours and availability for travel. Candidates with young families may not have as much flexibility to offer, Mixson points out, so emphasize your ability to work outside of the conventional nine-to-five box.

Read the rest of the Ladders article Plus pts I and II

Thursday, October 18, 2012

5 Easy Ways to Pay It Forward on LinkedIn

By ,

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, why not set aside a half hour each week between now and Turkey Day to show some gratitude to your network by paying it forward on LinkedIn? Here are 5 ways you can:

1. Write an unexpected Recommendation for a connection.
If you worked with or hired someone that turned out to be a rock star go ahead and write a recommendation for them. It’s also a great way to reconnect with a connection that’s drifted off your regular touch base list. Just keep it brief and specific and avoid writing a generic reco because they’re almost always useless to your contact.

Most folks don’t even display recos that sound similar to this, “Bob is a stand-up guy and someone I’d be happy to work with again in the future. Most people think they know sales, but Bob really does!” This might have some posting value if it instead said, “Bob is a reliable, proactive and positive team player, and if I were asked to name a few sales leaders to be on a speaker panel, Bob’s name would be at the top of my list. He exceeded our team goals quarter after quarter and made it to our President’s list 5 years in a row.”

2. Endorse a connection’s skills when you’re reminded of them (maybe via a tweet, status update, blog post or prompt from LinkedIn).

Since LinkedIn added this new “To Do” to our lists, I’ve heard both groaning about as well as praise for it, but why not try to endorse at least 1 connection’s skills during your regular visits to LinkedIn?

3. Invite new or old contacts to connect on LinkedIn.
Just be sure to send a PERSONAL message expressing what you noted, respect or appreciate about them, and if you only “met” them via Twitter or somewhere random like that, just be honest about why you want to be connected on LinkedIn (“let’s not lose touch”). Whatever you do, don’t use the default Invitation to Connect unless you’re using your smart phone right in front of them at an event or on the subway (or whatever) and have opened the LinkedIn mobile app.