Friday, June 28, 2013

9 Steps To Getting Started With The New LinkedIn Contacts


For the last several months it seems like the world’s largest professional social network has had non-stop changes and upgrades. LinkedIn has been slowly rolling out some huge changes, not only to the look and layout, but also upgrading key features such as Advanced Search and the addition of LinkedIn Contacts.

I feel that this update could potentially be the most significant to B2B businesses in the short history of social media thus far. Contacts brings an intelligent experience with the needs of business in mind inside every feature and will feel like the missing link in your LinkedIn marketing strategy once you get your hands on it.

Here are nine things you should know about the new LinkedIn Contacts section and how it can benefit you.

1. LinkedIn Contacts – Getting Started

If you are unsure of which changes I am referring to, this is likely because the changes have yet to roll out to your region. As most new upgrades happen with the big social networks, these changes began as a very limited release in the US.

It will be sometime before it is fully released, but you can now speed up the process and add yourself to the wait list for the new LinkedIn Contacts. Once your name is on the list, you may have a wait of about week before you too can enjoy the new LinkedIn Contacts feature.
LinkedIn-contactsWhile logged into 
LinkedIn, go to and click the Get Started button to be added to the wait list if it hasn’t yet been rolled out to your profile.
Once the new Contacts section has been added to your LinkedIn account, you will find a message on the Contacts page telling you it has been added.
Click on the Get Started Button to get the New LinkedIn Contacts

Once you have clicked the button you will see a popup letting you know that your connections are being moved into the new Contacts section. Depending on the size of your LinkedIn network, this could take a while.

You may also notice that your Tags and Folders from Profile Organizer (if you are a LinkedIn Premium member) are missing at first. These will take longer to appear. You may need to wait a day or so, depending on the size of your LinkedIn network.

2. LinkedIn Contacts Page

One of the first changes you will notice is the banner at the top of the page. LinkedIn encourages its users to stay in contact with their connections by keeping important events such as birthdays and business anniversaries top of mind.
You can easily access this banner by clicking on Your Day, located below All Contacts on the LinkedIn Contacts page.
Say “Happy Birthday” or “Congratulations” to your contacts on their big day using the Your Day feature on the New Contacts.
Say “Happy Birthday” or “Congratulations” to your contacts on their big day using the Your Day feature on the New Contacts.

You can also filter your LinkedIn connections on this or any other page within Contacts using six different filters available, which include:
  • Recent Conversations
  • Newly Added
  • Alphabetical
  • Company
  • Location
  • Lost touch
linkedin contacts
Filter your contacts using six different filters.
There are a number of ways that you can interact with your LinkedIn connections on the page. You can modify your connection’s Tags, send them a message, add them to the hidden folder or remove them.
linkedin contacts
Tag, Hide, Remove or send a Message to your LinkedIn Connections on the Contacts page.

Benefits: Easily locate LinkedIn connections that you have communicated with recently using the Recent Conversations filter or find connections you have not connected with for a while using the Lost Touch filter.

Tip: Take advantage of the Your Day feature and use it to help you build your relationship with your existing connections by sending them a personal message acknowledging their special day or achievement.

3. LinkedIn Tags

LinkedIn remains one of the best places to make connections and develop relationships for B2B markets. The LinkedIn Tags feature helps you to take advantage of this by being able to save and categorize any existing or potential connections that would make either a great partnership or be an ideal client while searching your network.

The new Tags feature is a combination of the old Tags feature from Contacts and the Profile Organizer from LinkedIn Premium. Every member (free and paid) can now create up to 50 unique Tags to help them sort and keep track of their contacts. Great for not only organizing, Tags are an ideal tool to use for Outreach Campaigns. You can access the Tags from the Contact page as well as directly on any individual’s profile.
linkedin contacts
Use your Tags to sort and organize your connections.

Another way to access Tags is directly within a member’s profile page. On this page you can not only see and modify what Tags a connection is saved in but also your recent email communications, any notes you have added, how you met and daily, weekly, monthly or recurring reminders you have set.
linkedin contacts
See what tags you have saved a connection in, in the top right corner of the Relationship box.

Benefits: The new LinkedIn Tags include a feature that used to be available to paying members only in Profile Organizer. This feature is the ability to save and Tag people who are not already your 1st level connections. This allows you to create a list of people in your network that you want to send connection requests or InMail messages to.

Tips: Create an Outreach Campaign or LinkedIn marketing strategy to connect and build relationships with potential or existing connections. As you move through your strategy or follow up process with a connection, you can easily keep track of where you are in the process with them by moving them through a series of Tags created for that campaign. The Notes and Reminder features in their LinkedIn profile is also useful for this.

Steps 4-9 and the complete TopDogSocialMedia article

The 5 Things You MUST Say in a Job Interview

by ComeRecommended

You always hear about what you shouldn’t say in an interview, but what should you say?What are those tid-bits you should mention that will set you apart from the rest?

Here are a few that I found incredibly helpful:

That You Actually Want the Position

This little tidbit could be the one thing that sets you apart from the other candidates. Don’t play it cool and aloof in this situation. If you are eager to be hired for the position, LET THEM KNOW. But remember to always be prepared to tell them why.

Your Familiarity with the Company

Expressing your familiarity with the company you are interviewing with is a great way to SHOW the employer how interested you are and how invested you will be in your job, without actually having to say exactly that.

Good Buzzwords

Whenever you are asked a question about yourself, like what skills do you possess, or do you think you are a team player, make sure to use your buzzwords. Collaborative, innovative, pro-active, drive, cooperate, team ethic, contribute…these are all great words to use. Come up with a few of your own that you feel really describe you, and make sure to use them in an interview.

Things 4,5, and the complete article

Thursday, June 27, 2013

9 Employment Tips for Older Job Seekers


Even before the Great Recession, a rising percent of retirement-age folks were still working. The economy was strong, consumers were spending like crazy and lots of jobs were, in physical terms at least, not taxing for older employees. Today, the percent of people over age 65 who are working or seeking work has reached new highs. But the reasons for the continued trend have changed drastically.

The economy and consumer spending have recovered slowly, and job growth has been anemic. Retirement plans have been deferred, if not destroyed, for millions of Americans. So, it's either back to work, or if you're lucky, keeping a solid job as long as you can. Retirement is still in the cards, perhaps. But for many, it now includes at least part-time work until age 70.

Still, these largely negative factors are driving lots of positive changes that will help older Americans fashion solid work-retirement plans. For the past few years, a foundation-funded initiative called Tapping Mature Talent worked with the U.S. Department of Labor. The effort produced 10 demonstration sites across the country to help develop successful ways to find, train and employ older workers. Even though the project started at the same time as the economic downturn, the sites achieved a 50 percent job placement rate, on average.

During the initiative from 2009 to 2012, people at the locations tried different approaches, and some best practices emerged from these efforts, according to Amy Sherman, an associate vice president at the Council for Adult & Experiential Learning, a Chicago-based nonprofit that provided assistance to the sites. Here are some of the program's most helpful findings:

1. Get credit for what you know. Many older job seekers have rich personal experiences that would make them qualified to succeed at jobs, she says. But often, this knowledge does not translate into the more formal work experiences employers are seeking. Enrolling in a certification program or seeking college credit for such experience can develop the third-party credentials that would lead to a job. CAEL has built a college credit predictor tool that can help translate experience into college-credit equivalents.

2. You are a brand. Aggressive personal promotion has become a standard employment technique. Yet many older people are uncomfortable tooting their own horn, and may not know how to use the social media tools that can be megaphones for job seekers. "It's almost like learning how to be a salesperson for yourself and of branding yourself," Sherman says. "This is really challenging."

3. Career navigators. Today's workplace can be daunting, particularly for someone who's been out of the workforce for only a few years. Specific job skills, particularly involving computers, may need to be relearned. Job-search and interviewing techniques have also been transformed by the Internet, and the explosion of social media sites. Having a "go-to" point person to coordinate job placement services has proven helpful.

4. Offer your services. Unpaid internships can be a great way to get your foot in the door of an industry or employer you like. You get experience, an addition to your résumé and knowledge of how to improve your skills.

Tips 5-9 and the complete USNews article

10 essentials of LinkedIn etiquette

By Kevin Allen

This is the second installment of a series in which PR Daily looks at decorum for brands and individuals to employ on various social media channels and platforms. 

LinkedIn has become an extremely powerful social tool in our professional lives. It’s that word—professional—that is the essence of LinkedIn etiquette. Earlier, we pointed out 10 essentials of Twitter etiquette, we do so now for LinkedIn users. 

So whether you’re managing a brand or your own presence on LinkedIn, here are 10 etiquette rules: 

1. Is it LinkedIn or Linkedin? According to the AP Stylebook’s social media guidelines, it’s LinkedIn—with a capital I. It gets confusing because the company’s logo is a lowercase “in,” but until AP tells me to change it, I’m going with LinkedIn—and I encourage you to do the same. 

2. Don’t send a mass request for recommendations and endorsements. If you’re looking for people to recommend you in a public forum, make sure you’re tapping people who are familiar with your work. It helps if they like you, too. Reach out to those people individually and make the request. Rather than saying, “Can you endorse my social media skills?” leave it up to the other person. “Can you take a look at my skills when you have a chance and endorse any you think are appropriate?” is a stronger choice here. Do not give people a deadline for recommending you. I heard of this happening once, and I was appalled. 

3. No personal updates, cat pictures, or “thoughts and prayers.” LinkedIn is a professional networking tool. You wouldn’t walk into an important meeting and announce the hilarious thing your kid said over the weekend. OK, maybe you might, but leave the personal stuff for Facebook. If you feel that it blurs the line between personal and professional, err on the side of caution and don’t post it. It sounds ridiculous, but people can really lose respect for you if you post things that are generally reserved for more informal social media outlets. Although we’re all saddened by the tragic events that took place in (insert location here), LinkedIn just isn’t the forum for sending your thoughts and prayers their way. Those expressions, however benevolent, should stay on Facebook or Twitter. 

4. Funny’s OK; tasteless isn’t. It wouldn’t be outlandish to share an industry-specific meme or a funny post that’s work-related. But if it’s tasteless, controversial, mean-spirited, or negative in tone, stifle it. It’s not worth the risk of offending someone. 

Essentials 5-10 and the complete article

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Eight Reasons High School Students Should Be On LinkedIn

Susan Adams

Now that LinkedIn is a decade old and has 225 million members, its fastest-growing demographic –30 million and counting—is students and those who are three years or less out of college. Though LinkedIn’s user agreement says that members agree they are at least 18 years old, I am going to make a recommendation and a prediction: High school students should start LinkedIn profiles now. I predict that LinkedIn will soon drop its age threshold or eliminate it altogether. Consider that Facebook's  threshold is 13, and the site has hundreds of thousands, if not millions of kids under 13 using it every day. Unlike Facebook, LinkedIn has no place to enter a birth date.
Here’s an example of how teens can use it: Earlier this month, as she was applying for jobs, hoping to start after she graduates from high school on May 29, Genella Minot, a 17-year-old in Port Saint Lucie, Fla., realized that instead of sending a revised résumé for each new job, she could build a profile on LinkedIn and possibly submit that instead. She also hopes a potential employer will see her LinkedIn page and make a job offer. “I have all my information on there,” she says. “I’m hoping an employer comes across it.” Minot’s qualifications include CPR and first aid certifications and a 40-hour child care  course given by the Florida Department of Children and Families. She has also worked as a youth mentor and a volunteer at a regional health center. Her goal: a summer child care or health care job that she can turn into a part-time position when she starts at Indian River State College in the fall.
If I were Minot’s career coach, I would give her some pointers on how she could strengthen her profile. Most important, she should be linking with adults, including teachers and supervisors at her volunteer jobs. At this point she has zero connections, which means she’s forgoing one of LinkedIn’s greatest strengths, the ability to branch out from your contacts to other people you don’t know first-hand. Even if she were just to connect with relatives, she would put herself in a stronger position to do future networking. It’s possible, for instance, that her aunt has a friend at the daycare center where she wants to work.
Here are eight reasons I think high school students should be on LinkedIn:
1. To get a customized LinkedIn URL. This will drive your LinkedIn page to the top of Google searches on your name. The earlier you get this, the better. Here’s how to do it: On your profile page next to the rectangular grey “Edit” button to the right of your name, click on the drop-down menu, and then click on “Manage public profile settings.” Halfway down the page on the right side you’ll see a grey bar that says “Your public profile URL.” Underneath the bar, click on the blue phrase that says “Customize your public profile URL.” Plug in your first and last name. If that’s already taken, try your last name first, followed by your first name. If that’s not available, try adding a middle initial or city abbreviation like NYC. Now that LinkedIn is so heavily used, this can be a challenge for those with common names. But SusanAdams75 is better than the random URL the site assigns you.
2. To make lasting connections. Maybe your sophomore English teacher loves you and before he became a teacher, he worked in publishing at Simon & Schuster, where you want to intern. Or the director of the camp where you worked last summer has a close friend at New York Hospital, where you’re trying to get a part-time research position. Networking contacts like these can be extremely valuable. Do connect with as many adults as possible who know you and your work. Peer connections are also important. Your friends and friends of friends may wind up working where you want to be.
3. To get recommendations and endorsements. If you do a volunteer internship at a bike shop, get your boss to write you a glowing recommendation that mentions specific things you did well, like handling customers and always arriving early and staying late. A student like Minot should list her specific skills from the long lists that LinkedIn offers, like Childcare, Child Development and Child Welfare. Adults she’s worked with on her volunteer jobs will endorse her. Since endorsements accumulate over time, it’s good to start early.
4. To highlight awards. If you’re in a serious academic club like the debate team and you win awards, or your essay wins a nationwide writing competition, potential employers want to know. Create an Honors & Awards section on your profile and keep it up to date.

5 Things You Must Do Before Applying For A Job


Never apply for a job without making sure your online presence is as ready to interview as you are. Employers will look at the online version of you before they invite the in-person version to an interview, so make sure what they see helps solidify their impression of you as a candidate. Here are five things you must do before applying for a job:

1. Update Your LinkedIn Profile

If you haven’t revised your LinkedIn profile since your last job, it’s time to make some updates. Rewrite your summary to include your current career objective, and ask colleagues to endorse you and provide recommendations that reflect your job search. Make sure your online resume includes all your newest accomplishments. If you don’t have a professional picture to add to your profile, it’s time to have one taken.

2. Update Your Social Media Profiles

It’s easy to forget to keep your social media profiles updated, especially when you have multiple accounts. Log on to each of your social media services and make sure your profile photo is current and flattering and your profile blurb is accurate. See if you can make your profiles subtly reflect your professional skills without reading like a job application; “I see your copy errors” is a good line for a Facebook profile, while “I have six years of copy editing experience and am looking for work” is too much.
While you’re at it, untag those unflattering or unwanted pics, and delete any posts or tweets that don’t reflect well on you or your candidacy.

3. Google Yourself

You know your potential employer is going to Google you, so go ahead and Google yourself first.
Ideally, your top results are reflections of your work and personality: they should include any articles or print media about your work at previous organizations as well as links to your LinkedIn, Facebook, and other accounts. If you have a professional blog, it should be within the first five links as well and clearly identifiable as your work.

If your Google search turns up negative results, consider a service like Reputation Changer. This service removes negative references and past mistakes on the Internet, leaving your online presence more reflective of your current skills and abilities.

Things 4,5, and the complete Article

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

5 helpful Twitter job search tips

By Amy Levin-Epstein

In a highly competitive job market like this one, those seeking work will spend time revising their resumes and cover letters and money on new suits and commuting to interviews. But Twitter costs you nothing, and it's only as time consuming as you make it. Here are five smart ways to tweet up a new job.

Become an online 'brand'
Now you don't have to bill yourself as the next Oprah of your industry to get a new job. If you don't have the experience to back it up, such bravado can be off-putting. But everything from the language to the content of your tweets should reflect your interests, knowledge and personality. "Before you are even interviewed, you can demonstrate how much you know," says Kenneth Wisnefski, a social media consultant and CEO Of WebiMax.

Add value
Retweet where appropriate. Join a chat. Respond to leading questions. Twitter is a conversation, and to be effective, you have to join in. "We have hired people who consistently retweeted our tweets and added additional value to topics or discussions we have been engaged in," notes Wisnefski. 

Ask questions
Sometimes, the best way to start a conversation with the company is to ask your own leading questions. If it's a smaller company, this may be especially effective. Your query may be a smart, open-ended question about your industry or a more direct request for an informational interview. You'll have to use your best judgment here, taking into consideration the industry and company. For some specific Twitter templates, read this. 

Tips 4,5, and the complete MoneyWatch article

Creative Ways to Use LinkedIn in Your Job Search

Part one:  Look into Career Paths, Research People and Follow Companies

Are you guilty of logging in to LinkedIn to just look at people's profile pictures, check out the latest updates and browse? Not to worry, you are not alone. In my experience in career consulting many people tell me they have LinkedIn accounts but have no idea what to do on the site.  People tend to grossly underestimate the value of actively engaging on LinkedIn. Most use LinkedIn to search for jobs and network with others. I advise all my clients, if they are in the job market, to log on to LinkedIn several times a week, if not daily. With millions of users LinkedIn is an awesome place to gain information about career paths, skill sets and industry news!

How to discover career paths:
To learn about career paths on LinkedIn
  • Search your connections for people who are doing what you aspire to do and review their profiles.
  • Read their profile in reverse to determine what they did prior to their current job. This will help you see how they attained their current position.
  • Make note of what qualifications they have, the keywords used in their profile and what types of activities they've been involved with.  
While everyone's career path will be different, use this approach to gather ideas for new ways to find the job you seek.

If you do not have any connections with people who hold positions which you aspire to, search for new connections in relevant industry specific groups. LinkedIn has a fantastic “groups feature” which provides a place for industry professionals or people with similar interests to discuss business, share content, ask/ answer each other's questions and sometimes post jobs. If you join the right groups, you could learn about industry trends, and have current information about the industry for which you are interviewing. This will aid you in arriving to your interview prepared to discuss the work and ask good questions.

Research People and Follow Companies:
Another best practice for using LinkedIn while job searching is to follow companies which you plan to (or desire to) interview with to research the company. This is a strategy I have personally employed, here’s why:
  • Companies will often share different information on their LinkedIn Company page than what is presented on their website.  
  • You can also see their current and former employees and read company status updates.
  • Prior to the interview, find out whom you're interviewing with
    • review their profile on LinkedIn
Most people go to interviews with no information about who they will be meeting; while the prospective employer has read your resume and likely Googled you. With the access that LinkedIn provides, this should no longer be the case. Go into the interview armed with a little knowledge about what led your interviewer to their current position.  You may even have a few shared connections!  Use the information you find about your interviewer to “break the ice”.  Should you make it to the second or third round of interviews this will prove to be helpful as you will be introduced to more people at-varied levels within the company. If possible, make a habit of finding out who you will be speaking with and get to know each person that will interview you.

LinkedIn is an invaluable tool that could be used to give you leverage as you job search, network or consider learning a new skill or career.  When using the site, think of it as a free career counselor with endless information, right at your fingertips!

Part Two: Learn Skills and Read the News - Read Part Two and the complete Simply Hired article

Monday, June 24, 2013

10 Savvy LinkedIn Networking Tips for Entrepreneurs

2. Share unique content on LinkedIn.

“Many companies believe they should only post content that is company news or sales [related]. If you [own a] web design company, share relevant articles and tips about your industry. If you are a lawn care company, offer advice about different flower landscapes for each season. People will tune you out if your company’s LinkedIn page is playing the ‘Me Show’ all the time. You’re the expert; keep your customer base informed and give them something they can use.”
- Sabrina Ram, Founder and President of Blu Lotus Public Relations: @BluLotusPR

3. Don’t forget about LinkedIn keywords.

“This is especially true for the skills and description areas [of your profile]. Those skills are each a keyword that can help people find you. Also create keyword rich descriptions of what you do to build on that once visitors hit your profile page.”
- Stacey Harris, Head Rock Star of Hit the Mic Marketing: @TheStaceyHarris

6. Remove the generic LinkedIn “request” text.

“Don’t miss an opportunity to authentically communicate, even while sending a ‘request to connect.’ Delete the generic text and think of this request as your first impression, your entrance. Are you clever, bold, and memorable in your invitation, reminding the prospect how you met and [offering] a positive interaction you had or a mutual connection? Be unique at all touch points on LinkedIn.”
- Julie Dennehy, President of Dennehy Public Relations: @dennehypr

8. Utilize LinkedIn for post-event follow-up.

“As a small business owner that has had a lot of success with LinkedIn, I believe it’s about connecting. After every event that I attend (online or offline), I search for the people I met and connect with them via LinkedIn. I send them a personal message about our interaction. Then I take it a step further and see if there’s anyone that I can recommend to them, any way that I can help connect them further. Taking this extra step really makes me stand out and become memorable.”
- Kathrine Farris, Owner and Virtual Professional of Strategic Office Support LLC: @StrategicOffice

Read all 10 tips and the complete YFS Entrepreneur article 

Top 6 Tips To Kick Start Your Career


I recently had the chance to sit in on an Early Talent Career Development Panel during SAP’s People & Diversity Week, which is a week-long offering of events and workshops focused on career development, health and diversity celebration.

Not only was the session a huge success, with over 80 in-person and virtual employees attending, but more importantly the speakers were all very passionate about supporting employees with their career development and offered lots of valuable and insightful advice. I was so fortunate to be able to attend and listen in on their career stories and tips.

While the session was promoted as an early talent event, the career advice and best practices shared throughout were extremely useful for seasoned employees as well. Here are the top 6 tips I took away from the session!

Tip #1: Be Ready
Always be ready to take on that next opportunity. Have courage and don’t be afraid to fail because you never know where it will take you.

Tip #2: Build Your Brand
Create yourself as an expert in whatever you do. Make it visible to the right people through your work and networking. Know who you are and what you do, your dreams and aspirations, and connect with people who can help you or work with you to get to where you want to be.

Tip #4: Know Your Passions
Think back to your past projects, what did you love the most and what were the things you know you never want to work on again? Reflect on your work and look for trends about your skill sets, preferred work environment, etc., to guide your career direction and development.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Is Your LinkedIn Profile Awesome?


As the saying goes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Or, in more practical terms, your audience determines your message. To see if your LinkedIn profile has all the right stuff go through the list below.

Check List - 20 items

1.       Headline
Your profile headline is the first thing someone sees after your name. Make it memorable. It should help someone understand the role you want to do next and/or contain key words important to your profession.
2.       Photo
Choose a professional, high quality headshot for your photograph. Having a picture is recommended.
3.       Email
List all your email addresses so they are associated with your LinkedIn profile. You can set the default email which will be viewable by your connections and the account that receives InMail and updates from LinkedIn.
4.       Vanity URL
Your LinkedIn profile has a URL (an Internet address). You can and should edit this by adding your name ( This also looks more professional when you include it on your resume, business card, or email signature.
5.       Other Web References
If you have a personal website, professional Twitter account, or links elsewhere on the web, you can add them to your profile within the “contact info” section at the top. You should change the label from “other” to a short, descriptive title.
6.       Summary
Consider this section a mini bio. Highlight the best of your background, experience and skills. You could also provide insight into your leadership style, personality, values, longer term goals, or outside interests. Keep the reader’s attention by using short paragraphs. And make it more personal by writing in the first person by using “I”, “Me” or “My”. You may want to include your email address to make it easy for people who are not connected to contact you

Hiring manager offers tips to ace job interview

Dana Manciagli has seen it all. In her more than 30 years as a hiring manager for multinational companies, including Microsoft, IBM, Kodak and Avery Dennison, Manciagli has interviewed, hired and coached thousands of people globally.

Her new book, "Cut the Crap, Get a Job! A New Job Search Guide for a New Era," is packed with new ideas and tactics all given from the perspective of a seasoned insider who knows exactly what it takes to get hired.

Here are Manciagli's tips job seekers need to know.

Mistake: Arriving late to the interview. The hiring manager thinks you have time-management issues.
Solution: Always arrive and be in the lobby 30 minutes early.

Mistake: Dressing too informally or inappropriately. The hiring manager thinks this interview is not that important to you.
Solution: Have one interview outfit and use it.

Mistake: Babbling on and on. The hiring manager thinks you're unprepared and not self-aware.
Solution: Slow down and breathe. When asked a question, pause, take a deep breath and respond thoughtfully.

Mistake: Answering the wrong question. The hiring manager thinks you're not listening.
Solution: Really listen and be present in an interview. Don't just blurt out all the things you want to talk about.

More Tips and the complete SF Examiner article

Thursday, June 20, 2013

6 Things Hiring Managers Think But Don't Say


A job interview can be nerve-racking. Hiring managers, after all, are known for their poker faces; you can never really know what one is thinking about you, sweaty palms and all. Or can you? Here are six things that an human resources manager might be thinking, and how you can present your best self in an interview.

1. Will she always be late like this? Even if you're normally punctual, showing up late to an interview can cause the hiring manager to wonder if this is a regular occurrence. She may reason that if you were serious about this job you would have taken measures to circumvent the traffic/getting lost/not knowing what to wear excuse you used upon coming in the door.

What to do: Give yourself twice as long as you think you need to get ready and drive to your interview. It's better to be early than late and have her questioning your level of commitment. If you arrive early, stay in the car and practice your interview answers.

2. Is this how he'll dress at work? Come to an interview in less than professional dress, and you might get a raised eyebrow from the person interviewing you. They say "dress for the job you want," so if you come in wearing flip-flops or a mini-skirt, the hiring manager might assume you're not professional enough for the job.

What to do: Even if you wear more casual clothing for the position you're interviewing for, it's better to dress up than to dress down.

3. Did he lie on his résumé? If you stumble when asked questions you should be able to answer, the employer may think you fibbed on your résumé. You might chalk it up to nervousness, but she may not see it that way. That's why practicing how you'll respond to certain questions, like those about your past work duties and accomplishments, can help you speak confidently in an interview.

What to do: Always, always be completely honest on your résumé, and prepare to back up and elaborate on anything an employer might have questions about.

Thing 4-6 and the complete USNews article

7 LinkedIn Photos That Can Keep You From Landing a Job


As a job search coach and executive resume writer, I’m consistently astounded at the ways job seekers can stand in their own way of landing the perfect position.
Nothing exemplifies this better than the LinkedIn photo.
You might find putting your headshot on a public forum to be daunting. However, if you’ve resorted to using any available photo, disastrous results can follow.
Don’t blame it on the economy, your age, or experience! Failing to display a professional image online WILL affect your job search.
If your LinkedIn photo shows ANY of the following, employers may refrain from reaching out to you – especially if your target job requires a professional demeanor:
1 – Your pet.
However much you love your dog, cat, or tarantula, employers don’t need to see their shining faces next to yours.
Keep Fido, Fluffy, and Fearless out of your professional life, the same way you’d refrain from taking them to an interview.
2 – The inside of your car.
Want to convey that you’re serious about your career? Then look the part – deliberately – instead of using a random photo that includes a headrest.
Even a great shot of you behind the wheel isn’t enough to make employers think you can drive a new project or team. (pun intended)
3 – Excessive (or white) beards.
While neatly trimmed facial hair is common, some employers react to beards on candidates. Facial hair, especially when it’s white, can age you. My clients consistently report better results when they join the ranks of their clean-shaven counterparts.
Still not convinced? Read this article from CBS News, or do your own online research. The evidence overwhelmingly points to a successful job search for candidates who take the hint and eliminate the white beard.
Unless you’re applying for the position of Kenny Rogers (or Santa Claus), white hair in your LinkedIn photo will not be an advantage in your job search.
4 – Your spouse or children.
Family photos aren’t LinkedIn fodder, because your Profile is all about YOU. Unlike Facebook, where family matters are frequently shared, your LinkedIn Profile is the place to separate work and home.
Show employers you understand this divide by keeping your LinkedIn persona strictly about your professional image.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

5 Mistakes Job Interviewers Secretly Hate

Picture this: You’re a job candidate up for a role in a coveted organization. You’ve got the experience and referrals, and you’ve even managed to land an interview. So, come interview time, you’re pretty confident about your chances. Weeks later, you still haven't heard from the interviewer or the company. What gives?

Despite your interview skills or level of experience, many candidates find themselves in a job search black hole. Although it’s easy to blame interviewers — after all, they may receive more than 100 applications per opening — you may be inadvertently raising some red flags.

When this happens, it’s time to take action. To help, we've compiled a list of everything interviewers want to say to unprepared interviewees — and how to prevent them from thinking that about you.

1. “Why didn’t you come prepared?”

From failing to research the company to not being able to tell your interview story, inadequately preparing for a job interview is one of of the biggest mistakes possible. For instance, not being able to relay industry information or not referring to a recent organizational change may show the interviewer you’re not serious about the job — or that you weren't interested enough to do your homework.

Before the interview, research like crazy. Find out what’s new with the company, the interviewer and your industry. In addition, tailor your answers to your findings. For instance, if the company recently added a new department, say something like, “I saw that you added a new department, which shows your commitment to growth and sustainability — both of which I admire in a company.”

2. "I’ve heard this response a million times."

Some responses are generic for a reason; they've been used over and over to the point where an interviewer may be numb to them. For example, stating you’re a great candidate because of your stellar work ethic isn't new or unique. Your interviewer wants to be wowed — so responding with a run-of-the-mill quality like good work ethic may not bode well for you.

Show how your work led to accomplishments. If you created an advertisement that increased page views by 15%, make sure to say so. Results signify you achieve success, which is what most employers seek.

3. “These responses don’t reflect who you are online.”

Employers are looking for you online. In fact, 65% of employers check out your online presence to see if you present yourself professionally. Although posting those party photos or bashing your old employer may have seemed like a fun idea at the time, your interviewer may think otherwise. Who you are online may eventually represent your future employer — and if the lines don’t align, the interviewer may question your authenticity.

Clean up your online presence early. This means taking down any inappropriate content and enabling privacy settings. Next, start posting professional updates, such as industry news or your opinion on the company’s latest thread. This shows that your online and offline stories match.

Mistakes 4,5 and the complete Mashable article

Are You Well Connected On LinkedIn?


Many LinkedIn members wonder how to increase their number of connections in a short period of time. Others wonder if it’s a question of quantity versus quality.

The truth is quantity and quality both matter when it comes to leveraging the power of social media for your job search.

Let’s start with quantity. Quality doesn’t matter much if you only have two or three connections. You’re not likely to get very far with your networking efforts if your number of connections is miniscule. By the same token, having 10,000 people in your network doesn’t mean much if you don’t have relationships with any of these people, and none of them would be willing to help you if you ask.

One way to grow your number of total connections and increase your reach across LinkedIn is to actively seek out very well connected members to invite into your network. Someone who is a LinkedIn Open Networker (LION) with thousands of connections can boost your total number of connections exponentially because the people who are in that person’s first level of connections automatically become your second level connections.

If, for example, Michael M. is a LION and has 7,000 first level connections, those 7,000 connections become your 7,000 second level connections once Michael M. becomes a part of your network. If you connect with just five to 10 LIONs, your total number of connections will explode very quickly.

With a large number of total connections, you now have the power to connect with an even larger number of people and reach out to them for assistance with your job search. So, if you want to reach Manager X at Company Y, it is very likely that someone in your network will be connected to Manager X.

You can find out how well (or not so well) connected you are on LinkedIn by hovering over the Contacts tab and clicking on Network Statistics. LinkedIn will tell you how many people are in your first, second, and third level connections.

Read the rest of the Careerealism article

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Sanctity of LinkedIn Contacts

As a business professional, what is your most valuable asset: Your MBA, your years of experience or the awards on your shelf? Or maybe it's the profit your business made last quarter or the last successful projected you delivered? Each of these is important and each is valuable, yet none are your most valuable asset. A business professional's most valuable asset is his or her contact list and the relationships fostered with each person on that list.
You may be the top operational, marketing or sales exec at your firm today, earning the big bucks and lunching with the CEO. One buyout, restructuring or economic downturn and you're out pounding the pavement. Your key to the executive washroom no longer works.
It's at times like this that you realize the value of your network. Can you turn to your LinkedIn contacts to ask for referrals in your efforts to gain another job?
You Are Who You Connect With.
Growing up, my father often shared this nugget of wisdom: "Tell me who your friends are and I'll tell you who you are." We tend to associate with those who have similar personalities, culture, and/or points of view. In fact, we're highly influenced by those we're maintaining a relationship with so it's no surprise that our personal and professional contacts often reveal quite a bit about us.
Professional contacts are similar. On LinkedIn, your network is there for the world to see and says as much about you as the details in your profile. What does yours say? What is the quality of your contacts? How aligned are they with your personal brand and professional experience?
The LinkedIn Rules of Engagement
Do you have a strategy for connecting with others on LinkedIn? Given the importance of networking to business professionals, having a clear strategy here is more important than on other social media channels, such as Twitter for example. Twitter is truly a mass communication tool where we can follow and engage with a wide audience, eavesdrop on others' conversations, and engage with people we've never met or hope to meet.
Do you connect with anyone who sends you a request? Many do, justifying the connection to a person they don't really know or have worked with as "community building." However, LinkedIn is not Twitter. The purpose of LinkedIn is professional networking. There's an unwritten rule that your professional contacts are those you know or have worked with. People that you can either recommend or not -- and provide a reason for in either case.
Arguably, what wasn't planned by the founders of this growing social network is what your connections -- and your engagement with them -- say about you. A large LinkedIn network of people whom you don't really know is counterproductive and a poor reflection on the quality of your network and networking skills.

6 Ways Job Seekers Walk an Interview Tight Rope


One of the most challenging and frustrating aspects of a job search is that there is no one "right way" to handle any aspect of the process. The interview is no exception; every employer has an idea about what constitutes a good answer to a key question. Candidates can follow otherwise good advice that backfires because their desired employers have different expectations from the norm.

What's a job seeker to do? Prepare to balance important, desirable traits with the types of replies employers are likely to want to hear. Tim Elmore, founder and president of a nonprofit firm focused on youth leadership development called Growing Leaders (, offers this advice. It's particularly geared to young job seekers to help them succeed at an interview:

1. Balance confidence with teachability. Elmore notes: "Research from a variety of employment sources reveal that the majority of young employees believe their boss can learn a lot from them."
Elmore also acknowledges that while it may be true that more experienced interviewers do have a lot to learn from young employees, an interviewee who appears arrogant may repel a baby boomer. He suggests communicating your strong value, but without leaving the employer with the feeling you believe you know everything.

2. Balance warmth with formality. It's easy to get very comfortable, especially when interviewing in informal workplaces, where most of the interviewers are casually dressed and invite you to open up and share your true personality. "Often, recent college grads become far too informal, joking about personal elements in their lives or about the interviewer themselves. This is risky," Elmore notes.

Many human resources professionals suggest young candidates don't take interviews seriously enough, and that this is the No. 1 problem with hiring young employees. Some candidates even text or take a phone call during the interview. Elmore suggests candidates make an effort to be warm and friendly, but maintain a professional distance that is appropriate for a first meeting.

3. Balance creativity with cooperation. Elmore explains: "Today, 83 percent of new graduates are looking for a place where their creativity is valued. Two out of three want to invent their own position at work." Keep in mind, this is a terrific aspiration, but your new employer may expect you to first function within the company's existing structure. Elmore says, "Let the interviewer know you have creative ideas, but leave the impression that you're prepared to get on board with the organization's plans."

Tips 4-6 and the complete USNews article

Monday, June 17, 2013

4 Ways You’re Talking Yourself Out of a Job During Your Interview

by The Social HR Connection

There are plenty of articles, books, infographics, and videos which discuss the best interview tips for job seekers.

But what about teaching candidates how NOT to talk themselves out of an opportunity during an interview?

Although I’m in a recruiting role now, I have also dealt with the ups and downs of being a job seeker. As I perfect my recruiting skills and collaborate with other recruiters, I’ve learned some of the mistakes I’ve made when I was searching for a job. I realized that sometimes saying too much could actually work against a candidate and extra information could cause a recruiter to think the following:

You’re All Over the Place

I completely understand when a candidate wants to talk about all of their experiences in detail because it shows some additional skills and initiative that they believe will add value. Sometimes this is true, but if you present it wrong or over-elaborate these experiences, you may obscure the core point that you were trying to make.

The purpose of the interview is to show the recruiter that you are perfect for that specific position. If you clutter it up with other details, it might cause some confusion.

You’re Not as Skilled As They Initially Thought

Your resume might say you have five years of experience in a specific position, but if you go off on a tangent about all the other duties you preformed while in that role, the recruiter might believe that your job didn’t focus solely on the function they’re looking for.

You may have gained those skills through additional side projects. If this is the case, make sure you present it in a way so recruiters know that it was something extra that you did and that your previous job fully-involved all of the duties that the recruiter is targeting.

Tips 3,4, and the complete article