Getting Noticed – LinkedIn Publisher and Shareability

Getting Noticed

getting noticedIt is all about getting noticed when creating and promoting your personal brand.

I know, I know. I will hear from a lot of you that getting noticed is not what we were raised to do.

LinkedIn Publisher, LinkedIn’s blogging platform, gives you exposure to your entire LinkedIn network…and more. If you do it right, you will have to opportunity to be found by millions.

Why Publish?

There are two common reasons to publish long-form posts on LinkedIn Publisher:

  • Getting noticed by hiring companies and having your profile viewed
  • Getting noticed by prospective clients and driving traffic to your website

You should write and format your post differently depending your goals.

Constructing Your Post for Shareability

When you create great content in the form of long-form posts on LinkedIn publisher, you want people to share it. The more people that share it, the more visibility you get.

I have had multiple LinkedIn Publisher long-form posts get incredible exposure:

These four posts have accumulated 1.6 Million Views. How did these four post gain such attention?

Shareability! These posts were shared and shared and shared. If you posts are shared you are getting noticed!

How is Your Post Found?

When you publish a long-form post on LinkedIn, your connections and followers will be informed in their LinkedIn streams about your post. The larger your network, the more people who initially see the post. Getting noticed by your network is the easy part.

If a LinkedIn editor likes your post, they can put it on a LinkedIn Pulse Channel. You know that your post has been selected when you see an image at the bottom of your post.pulse channel

This greatly expands the audience who will initially see your post. Carefully review the various Pulse channels and select a few where your content fits. Review the posts that are not written by LinkedIn influencers. These are the posts written by ordinary people like you and me that were selected by LinkedIn editors for the Pulse channel. Review these posts looking for common themes. This may give you a hint on why they were selected.

It is important how you position yourself in getting noticed by a LinkedIn editor.

Enticing the Reader to Click on Your Post

The two components of your post that will get someone to initially read and click on your post are:

  • Title
  • Header Image

The easiest way to find winning post titles is to examine the top posts on the Pulse channel you have selected. The two most common methods are:

The LinkedIn Publisher header image is key to getting noticed. The recommended image header size is 698 x 400.

I use Canva.com for most of my images. Canva allows you to add text and effects to the image. If you use their stock photos, they charge US$1 per image. You can also upload your own images and edit them for free. Another site I use is 123rf.com for stock images.

I have gotten feedback that the following image attracted many to click on my 4 Signs That You Are Working for a Failing Company post.

failing company

 Writing for Shareability

To get noticed, you need readers to share your post.

I attended a session at South by Southwest Interactive conference called The Art and Science of Shareability.  I walked away with a couple of simple concepts.

  • Write to a niche where the readers will share among themselves to garner a substantial portion of that niche. This is different from traditional journalism where you write to 80% of the market and hope to garner a small share.
  • Have an emotional hook. People will share content that they can relate to emotionally.

The common themes in the posts I listed above were:

  • I stated the obvious. In 4 Signs That You Are Working for a Failing Company, I did not tell you anything that you did not already know instinctively—but no one talks about the signs!
  • I did not give a complete solution…or any solution at all. This encourages dialog and participation. When people comment, the post and their comments are shared with their connections and followers.
  • Ask for their opinion. In The Purple Cow Job Description – Should I Apply, I quote a Harvard Business Review article which stated that women were less likely to apply for job unless they were 100% qualified. I asked, “Ladies, is this true based on your experience?” I received hundreds of comments saying yes.

Give this a try. In the session on Shareability, the presenter said you will have plenty of duds before you have a winner. With each post, you will learn what works and what does not.

Let me know what works for you in getting noticed!
Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

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Do Others Prejudge You Based on Your LinkedIn Profile?

prejudge

NickandZuzu.com

Do You Prejudge Someone After Looking at their LinkedIn Profile?

Thom Singer’s keynote speech at Product Camp Austin 14 was on how someone decided to prejudge him based on seeing him speak. This person thought that she would not like Thom. However, when she actually met him in person, she discovered he was a really nice guy.

She had prejudged him based on seeing him on stage.

Hmmm…do we do the same with LinkedIn and other social media platforms?

Do you prejudge someone when you view their LinkedIn profile?

Do others prejudge you?

LinkedIn Profile

My presentation at Product Camp, “Leveraging LinkedIn – Creating a Professional that People will Remember“, was about establishing your brand on LinkedIn.

People will prejudge you based on your LinkedIn profile.

Yeah, yeah, I know we are not suppose to do that, but we do. This goes hand in hand with all of the discussion about Unintentional Bias.

Let’s discuss what you can do about establishing your brand on LinkedIn. We can then manage how someone might prejudge you!

LinkedIn Picture

I previously wrote a post called 3 Key Elements of your LinkedIn Photograph.
The three key points were:

  • Framing and Clothing
  • Background
  • Chin Line

Recently, I read a LinkedIn Publisher post by Jason Seiden titled What Profile Photo Works Best on LinkedIn: A Real-Life Experiment where Jason tested a variety of photos.

What he determined was the most important factor in the picture was the …….

Background!

Yes, people will prejudge you based on the background of your LinkedIn photo!

Jason’s most successful photo was one where he was a keynote speaker. You could tell that from the background.

Think about it! What does the background of your LinkedIn photo say about you?

SxSWiIf you are attending SxSWi please come to my presentation on this topic!

Headline

The vocabulary you use in your LinkedIn Headline and Summary is critical.

The default LinkedIn headline is “Current Job Title at Company Name”.

The headline is 120 characters long. USE ALL OF IT.

Instead insert phrases like “Product Management” or  “Merges & Acquisitions” and separate each with a “|”.  Check out my LinkedIn profile to see an example.

Yes, people will prejudge you based on the headline.

(More: 1st Place to use Keywords is in your LinkedIn Headline)

Summary

The Summary section of your LinkedIn profile should contain your brand story.

Tell me who you are and not what you have done.

You can tell the reader what you have done in your experience section. I have written a four posts on the process of writing your brand story.

If you want the reader to prejudge you in an authentic way, then tell an authentic story!

We will be prejudged based on our LinkedIn profile. What we want to do is paint an authentic picture of ourselves so that we can develop a real life relationship.

Do you prejudge based on what you see and read online?

By the way, I’m honored to share that my presentation won best session at Product Camp Austin!

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

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Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers or join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

Twitter, Hashtags and Your Job Search

Twitter and Hashtags

hashtagsHow can using Twitter and understanding hashtags help you in your job search?

I want you to think of Twitter as a giant chat room. Messages fly back and forth around the world—and many of those messages  contain hashtags.

What the heck are hashtags?

Hashtags are just a string of letters and numbers proceeded with a “#.”

Who owns a hashtag? NO ONE!

Can you register a hashtag? NO!

How do I know what #hashtag to use? Go to hashtags.org and see how a hashtag is being used.

Some hashtags would seem to be pretty obvious but, for example, I focus on the baby boomer generation. You would think that I could use the #boomer hashtag and everyone would find my tweets.

Hmm…not so fast. If you search hashtags.org for #boomer, you would discover it is primarily used to tag tweets about the University of Oklahoma Boomer Sooner sports teams and events. I hadn’t considered that! Since I live in the heart of Texas Longhorn country, I rarely think of Boomer Sooner.

I use the hashtags #babyboomer and #babyboomers instead.

But, I still do not see how I would use them…

Twitter is a giant database of messages. You can search Twitter to find announcements and posts. In my last post, I wrote about Twitter Lists and your job search.

You do not even need a Twitter User ID to search Twitter. Just go to the Twitter Search Page.

Try this: Click here to search on #Austin #Jobs #ProjectManager

Swap out #Austin with #YourCityorLocation.

How do I know what hashtags to use when searching for a specific job? Go to hashtags.org and try different combinations.

If you search on #productmanager you will find it is almost never used. You might have to use a combination of hashtags like #product #manager.

What other hashtags can you suggest?

This can be done through trial and error. In my searches, I find Austin job tweeters use:

  • #jobs #austin
  • #job #austin
  • #atxjobs
  • #hiring #austin

Once you found a tweet announcing a position, you will want to follow the Twitter account. You may want to consider adding them to one of your Twitter Lists that you created from my last post.

What other questions do you have?

Tweet: “I have a question for @careerpivot about #hashtags and my job search.” I will do my best to respond!

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

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Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers or join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

Twitter Lists and the Targeted Job Search [Video]

Twitter Lists and the Targeted Job Search

Twitter ListsYou should use Twitter and Twitter Lists in your targeted job search—and you do not need to tweet.

If you are unfamiliar with the concept of the targeted job search, please read the start of the series: Target the Company and Quit Chasing the Job. Follow the links at the end of the post to read the rest of the series.

I want you to think of Twitter as a cross between Instant Messenger (IM), a chat room, and a blog.

  • Instant Messenger – You can direct message (DM) a user, and the message is private. You can Tweet and use the person’s Twitter handle in the body of the tweet. The recipient will see the tweet in their Twitter notifications. If they have the Twitter app installed on their smartphone, they will be immediately informed of the message. (Great way to get a recruiter’s attention!)
  • Chat Room – All public tweets are visible and searchable. I will cover searching Twitter in my next post! Due to the fact that everything is visible, there are things called Twitter Chats. I wrote about Twitter chats in my post Baby Boomers and Twitter? – How about a Twitter chat! It is safe!
  • Blog – Users can post a message and a link. This is how many recruiters inform the public of new job postings.

Twitter Lists

Twitter lists are a lists of twitter users. When you view the list, you will see only Tweets from the users in the list. This is a great way to filter and group Tweets.

I recommend you create Twitter lists for each company on your target list. This way, you can quickly scan the Tweets for any given company.

Twitter Lists can be public or private. You will want to make your target job search Twitter lists private. We do not want to disclose to your boss or anyone else that you are watching these companies.

Watch the video below to see how to create Twitter lists:

Once the list is created you can add Twitter users/handles to these Twitter lists. I recommend you add at least one from the following categories:

  • Corporate – Companies will often have one Twitter Id where they will Tweet out news. You may find they have one specifically for hiring, or for a specific region or division of the company.
  • Recruiters – Search LinkedIn for recruiters. Add any recruiters that tweet out jobs.
  • Hiring Managers – Search LinkedIn for managers of the business area where you want to get hired. Add any managers that use Twitter to the list.
  • Executives or Thought Leaders – Find key executives in the target companies and add them to the list.

Watch the following video on how to add Twitter handles to Twitter Lists from these different categories.

Check each list every few days. Depending on the frequency of tweeting, you may have to check more often.

You do not need to tweet, but retweeting or responding to these tweets is a great way to get the attention of the people on your list…which is the whole idea behind the targeted job search!

Try this: Click on following link to Tweet: I learned all about how to use Twitter Lists in the Targeted Job Search from @careerpivot

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

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You can also download my personal branding white paper – Personal Branding for Baby Boomers – What It Is, How to Manage It, and Why It’s No Longer Optional!

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers or join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

8 Best Baby Boomer Career Websites

Best Baby Boomer Career Websites

Career WebsitesGood career websites that focus on baby boomers are few and far between. Recently, Hannah Morgan, The Career Sherpa, published her list of the Best Job Search Websites 2015.

Of course, Career Pivot made the list in the over 50 category. There was only one other website in that category, Kerry Hannon’s website. Kerry regularly writes for Forbes, AARP, and PBS Next Avenue.

When Career Pivot made the Forbes 2013 Top Career Website list, I wrote a post where I dissected the list, and was very disappointed—there were only three career websites that focused on baby boomers.

career websites

Last week, Career Pivot also made the list of Top 100 Software Developer Blogs for 2015.

Let me give you my top 8 baby boomer career website list!

Top 8 Baby Boomer Career Websites

1 – Career Pivot

Okay, I am being self serving, but Career Pivot is the only website that has made just about every list.

2 – Next Avenue

NextAvenue.org is owned by PBS. This website was launched in 2012 to serve the baby boomer community exclusively. It focuses on many issues that baby boomers are facing, not just career-related.

3 – Life Reimagined

Life Reimagined was launched by AARP starting in 2012 and relaunched in 2014. AARP is very late to the career market, but is making a good effort to address the needs of the baby boomer community.

4 – Kerry Hannon

KerryHannon.com is a place where you will find all of Kerry’s materials. Kerry writes for Forbes, AARP, and PBS Next Avenue. You might say that Kerry is a pioneer in this field.

 5 – My Lifestyle Career

MyLifeStyleCareer.com is a creation of Nancy Collamer. Nancy is the author of Second-Act Careers: 50+ Ways to Profit from Your Passions During Semi-Retirement. What I love about Nancy’s book is that it lays your possibilities out in bite size chunks that are easily digestible. Her blog is full of great ideas.

6 – Encore.org

Encore.org was created prior to the onset of the Great Recession. Their mission statement says it all:

Encore.org is building a movement to tap the skills and experience of those in midlife and beyond to improve communities and the world.

7 – 40PlusCareerGuru

40PlusCareerGuru.blogspot.com is the creation of my dear friend Neil Patrick. Neil is like most of you. He was part of a redundancy (he is from the UK, so I need to use the funny language they use), and now works for himself. Neil started his blog in order to brand himself, and he has done a fabulous job.

8 – John Tarnoff – Boomer Reinvention

 JohnTarnoff.com is the creation of John Tarnoff! Specifically, you will want to check out John’s blog.

A career development coach, speaker, university educator and former media/entertainment executive, John Tarnoff focuses on personal and professional transformation across generations – reintegrating the Boomer Generation workforce into the rapidly evolving 21st century workplace, and developing programs, opportunities and curriculum to support new generations of leaders and entrepreneurs.

Why not the top 10?

My intention was to give you a top 10 list, but I could not find 10 well established websites!

Let me point to two other websites that are either new or under new ownership

ItsAllAboutMe.Today – Midlife Enpowerment

ItsAllAboutMe.Today – This is a brand new website that was developed by another friend Hugh Taylor. Check it out.

Boomers Next Step

BoomersNextStep.com – Jenni Proctor bought this domain and has re-launched it. Check it out.

Am I missing something? If so, comment below and tell me about any other Baby Boomer Career Websites you think are valuable.

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

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Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

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You can also download my latest white paperThe Multi-Generational WorkplaceMaking Generational Diversity Work

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers or join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

Twitter – 4 Reasons Baby Boomers Should Care

Baby Boomers and Twitter

twitterI know you are thinking, “Why should I be on Twitter?” You see all those hashtags #whattheheckarethesethings when you watch just about any news program or sports event on television.

I am going to give you four reasons to get on Twitter to help manage your career!

Staying Current

In 2013, I turned on my television set moments after Asiana flight 214 crashed in San Francisco. I went to Twitter and searched for information on the crash at SFO airport. I immediately found pictures that were taken moments before from the crash site.

Most news channels get breaking news from Twitter.

If you want to be current on technology, the companies on your target list, or advances within your industry, you really need to be on Twitter.

Communicating

Have you tried to communicate via e-mail with a hiring manager or recruiter and not gotten a response? One of the best ways to get someone’s attention is to mention them in a tweet on Twitter.  Will Thomson, a recruiter I mentor, wrote the following in his post on How to Impress a Recruiter:

As a candidate, you have to recognize what recruiters are doing and saying. I had Matt Arch  send me a note on Twitter the other day that blew me away. Why did he intrigue me? He first went to LinkedIn and researched my profile. He found that I was in Austin and I recruited Sales and Marketing individuals. He then found my twitter handle on Linkedin. Once he found my twitter handle, he sent me a note saying he was looking to relocate to Austin and sent me a hyperlink to his resume.

If you want to get someone’s attention, send them a tweet with a link to your LinkedIn profile or resume.

If I want to get someone’s attention quickly, I will send them a tweet. If they have Twitter on their smart phone, it will immediately inform them of my tweet. There is no better way to get a rapid response!

If you tweet @careerpivot , it will come up on my iPhone and I will respond!

Have you heard of a Tweetchat or Twitter Chat? I wrote previously about these events in my post – Baby Boomers and Twitter? – How about a Twitter chat! It is safe!

Think of these as community events on Twitter—similar to a chat room. I attend two of these events (#blogchat and #linkedinchat) just about every week.

I can say that I have developed some very good professional relationships with members of these groups though I have never met any of them face to face.

There are a number of websites that list a schedule of Twitter chats. Check out TweetReports.com’s list.

Show That You Are Tech Savvy

I hear it all the time, baby boomers cannot keep up with all of the new technology. If you want to dispel this myth, then start using Twitter.

Are you going to embrace Twitter?

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

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Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

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You can also download my personal branding white paper – Personal Branding for Baby Boomers – What It Is, How to Manage It, and Why It’s No Longer Optional!

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers or join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

Anatomy of a Winning LinkedIn Publisher Post

Winning LinkedIn Publisher Post

LinkedIn PublisherLinkedIn launched LinkedIn Publisher earlier this year. Every LinkedIn user now has access to a publishing platform to establish their credibility.

I have used LinkedIn Publisher as a vehicle to republish successful blog posts to a much larger audience. Starting in the middle of June, the first post was published with mixed results. With the exception of one post, views did not exceed 1,700. The one exception was Target the Company and Quit Chasing the Job.

What was special about that post?

It was picked up by LinkedIn Pulse Channel Careers Next Level.

This post generated close to 14,000 views and drove a lot of traffic to the Career Pivot Website. It also generated hundreds of subscriptions to the blog…and much more.

Pretty Successful!

5 Things on Your Resume That Make You Sound Old

On Monday, October 13th at 8 AM CT, I copied the post What Does Your Resume Say About Your Age into LinkedIn Publisher and pushed the publish button. Within a 30 minutes, I received an e-mail from a LinkedIn Publisher editor asking me to change the title to 5 Things on Your Resume That Make You Sound Old. Once again, the post was picked up by LinkedIn Pulse Channel Careers Next Level.

Within an a couple of hours my website was being hammered with views. Around Noon CT the Career Pivot website went down.

As I write this post, the same LinkedIn Publisher post has been viewed over 500,000 times. That is over half a million views!

The after effects have been extraordinary:

  • 100+ Books Sold
  • 250+ Subscriptions to blog
  • 50+ Likes to FB Page
  • 100+ Twitter Follows
  • 2000+ Followers on LinkedIn
IIILogo

Career Pivot Sponsor for the Month of November 2014

What Happened and Why?

So, what was different?

This was a very successful post on the Career Pivot website in June. It had over 4,000 views in just over a few weeks. I knew it was good content. It is not what you think is good, but what your readers think is good!

  • It had a title that was controversial
  • The content was relevant but controversial

When I wrote the original post, I did not think either was controversial.

The five things I listed that make you sound old on your resume are:

  • aol.com
  • Home phone #
  • Home address
  • Defunct or obsolete skills
  • Two spaces after a period

It was the title and the two spaces after a period that got people riled up. I never knew people could get so excited about two spaces after a period!

What was key in being selected for the LinkedIn Pulse Channel?

What do you need to do to be eligible to be selected? I do not know.

This has been a topic on a number of LinkedIn groups and there is no consensus on how this works. Let’s talk about how you might figure this out.

Your Personal Brand and LinkedIn Publisher

Write on topics in which you want to viewed as a thought leader. Select a LinkedIn Pulse Channel that matches your interests. Look at posts in that channel that are not written by a LinkedIn Influencer! You want to find material that was written by an ordinary Joe or Jane like you and me. These posts were selected by the LinkedIn Pulse Editorial staff.

What is common among these posts? Is it the topic? Is it the title? Is it the writing style?

Once you have determined a winning style, how does that fit with your personal brand?

By doing this research, you increase the possibility that your posts will be picked up by the editorial staff of LinkedIn Pulse.

Start Writing

Craft titles the pique people’s interests. As much as I hate to admit it, titles starting with a number get views!

Make sure what you write has a bite to it. Edgy is good!

I encourage all of my clients to start publishing on LinkedIn Publisher. I encourage you to try this yourself.

Be prepared for some negative comments!

If I can produce a winning LinkedIn Publisher post, then you can to. If you were suddenly introduced to half a million people through your post, what would that do to your personal brand?

You might not become famous, but it would likely establish you as someone to follow.

Are you ready to write a winning LinkedIn Publisher Post!

This post is part of a weekly series on the Personal Branding Blog.

You can read the original post on the Personal Branding Blog.

Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons below?

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When you subscribe to this blog you get full access to Career Pivot’s Whitepaper Library

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Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

————————————————

You can also download my latest white paperStrategic Networking – A Career Pivot White Paper

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers or join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

LinkedIn Endorsements Updated – FINALLY!

LinkedIn Endorsements

Linkedin EndorsementsMany of you have grown tired of LinkedIn Endorsements and being prompted to endorse your connections. Many of you have also grown tired of getting LinkedIn endorsements from people you have never worked with or getting LinkedIn endorsements for skills that you do not have like underwater basket weaving. (I do know of someone who received this endorsement). That is changing!

LinkedIn Endorsements Changes

If you edit your profile and scroll down to the “Skills & Endorsements” section and select edit You will be given four options.

I want to be endorsed

For most of us we want to be endorsed. Hey why wouldn’t I want to be endorsed?

If you are a financial adviser or any other position that is heavily regulated, they cannot be endorsed. This has been a real problem for financial advisers. Do not endorse your stock broker, insurance agent, fee based financial adviser…you create problems for them!

Do you want your connections to be prompted to endorse you? WOW that is a tough one. I have so many endorsements that the answer is probably no but…I am not sure on this one. I will leave the box checked for the time being.

This is one box that I will uncheck. I no longer want to be harassed to endorse my connections.

If I want to endorse someone I will explicitly go into their profile and endorse them. I have to do the same to make a recommendation.

If someone endorses me I still want know. Specifically, if they endorse me for a skill I do not possess I really want to know about it.

 Reorder Your Skills

It is a subtle change but you can now re-order your skills. Bring the skills that you want to LinkedIn endorsements to the top. This has two effects:

  1. Your connections will be prompted for the skills at the top of your list
  2. You will come up hirer is search rankings for the skills that you want to be found

Other LinkedIn Changes

There are a lot of other changes other than LinkedIn Endorsements that are coming.

 New LinkedIn Inbox

The inbox has been enhanced to be easier to use. For more information check out LinkedInExpert’s post.

New LinkedIn Groups Page

If you used the LinkedIn groups page in the past it has been fairly clumsy going in between groups. Now it has been greatly streamlined.

New LinkedIn Group Digest E-Mail Formats

If you belong to LinkedIn groups you may have noticed the changes to the digest e-mail formats. LinkedIn is currently beta-testing several formats and we will see which one wins.

LinkedIn Publisher

LinkedIn is opening up their publishing platform to everyone. Today, it is only for key influencers. They are slowly opening this up to everyone. Currently, you have to apply for early access. I applied several weeks ago and am still waiting for access.

LinkedInChat Tweetchat

If you want to stay up to date on changes to LinkedIn, participate in the weekly Tweetchat called LinkedInChat. This tweetchat is run by my friend Viveka von Rosen, aka @LinkedInExpert.  Her trusty sidekick, Steve Cassady, @SteveCassady is always there to assist.

I know the changes are happening fast and furious on LinkedIn right now. Hopefully, this update helps you keep up with how to create, manage and promote your personal brand.

This post is part of a weekly series on the Personal Branding Blog.

You can read the original post on the Personal Branding Blog.

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Registration is now open for the Cure for Career Insanity Webinar series

Check it out!

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Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

You can also download my latest whitepaper Personal Branding for Baby Boomers – What It Is, How to Manage It, and Why It’s No Longer Optional!

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers.

Join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

‘Court’ a Hiring Manager Without Seeming Like a Creep

Use LinkedIn to get on the radar of your target companies.

LinkedInIn the professional world, much of what is experienced is passive recruiting – where recruiters are out looking for talent among those who are already employed (and not job-seeking). This practice is similar to being courted, which produces good feelings. Though one may still turn down the offer, the fact remains – it is still nice to be pursued.

(This article originally appeared on US News Money and Careers Section February 27, 2014)

Many professionals are starting to take overt actions in preparation for this “courtship.” They begin by asking which companies they would like to be a part of and which cultural dynamics line up with their own.

Build a target list of companies. The first preparatory step is to create a list of companies that hire candidates with your skill-set. Which companies might hire you?

Utilizing LinkedIn’s advanced search helps many people research applicable job titles, highlighted skills and referenced certifications. An example of this is a project manager who has PMP certification. He or she can generate a LinkedIn advanced search where the last name contains PMP while at the same time specifying the desired location using zip code.

Look at local business journals and newspapers for their annual best places to work reports. Investigate these lists carefully, as a company that is great to work for today may not be one tomorrow. Company culture is an ever-shifting dynamic, and many who have worked at these places would not agree that they are ideal. There is a reason why “past performance does not necessarily predict future results” is a popular sentiment.

Vet the target list. A list is not worth much unless it’s acted upon, so the next step is just that. Connect with a target company’s current employees by requesting lunch or coffee meetings. Try to gain a clear understanding of their satisfaction. They may even be willing to introduce you to their colleagues.

Conversely, it is worthwhile to also speak to people who have left the company. Finding these people on LinkedIn by using advanced search and selecting “past but not current” in the company field makes this process easy. These folks are often the most honest about company culture, and are therefore worth the time and effort to pursue.

Remember that building a company list takes time and periodic re-evaluation. Contact lists should be grown with care and precision, adding to them maybe once every week or two.

Take this concept even further by asking for an introduction to the company recruiter. The above steps should be taken when one is not looking for a job, thus creating a more open conversation flow. The whole point is to broaden your network now so that you know where opportunities may exist in the future.

Promote a personal brand. The next step in this process is to promote a personal brand. Who needs to know that you know your stuff? When answering this question, also consider where people spend time on social media. It might be Facebook or Twitter, and don’t forget the professional value of LinkedIn. Most professionals and companies have profiles on this website, and this fact, combined with the extensive advanced search capabilities, makes LinkedIn an incredibly helpful tool in sharing personal brand. It’s wise to join the same groups that people on your list have joined, so that you may contribute actively and establish yourself as having the character and vision your personal brand exemplifies.

Twitter’s list feature is also good for tracking the activity of those with whom you care to associate. Systematically retweet and favorite some of their compelling content. In this manner, you will be noticed without being considered a stalker.

This concept of being where your target list of people are is no different than how teens hang out where their friends or crushes are. It improves the chances of being noticed in a less aggressive manner. You don’t want to appear to be a jerk.

Hiring managers at your target companies will learn that you know your stuff. This is a slow, methodical process. There is a tremendous parallel between finding a date and finding a new job. We all want to be asked out.

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

(This article originally appeared on US News Money and Careers Section February 27, 2014)

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Social Networking for Business Success – Book Review

Social Networking for Business Success

businessAre you starting a business? Are you running an existing business?

If you answered yes to either of those questions, you are probably thinking about how you could use social networking to promote, sell, or get visibility for your company and products.

This is the book for you!

I am a big fan of Miriam Salpeter, Keppie Careers, and Hannah Morgan, Career Sherpa. When they released their book, Social Network for Business Success, last September, I immediately bought a copy. What I like about the book is that Miriam and Hannah wrote a book they wished they’d had when they started their own businesses.

The introduction states:

“We wrote it to be useful whether you are just thinking of starting a business “on the side,” or if you have a company that’s doing well but are ready to launch it to the next level.”

What I found useful in the book is, besides giving you guidance in using Social Media and doing business in general via the Internet, they direct you to resources that they have found useful. I highlighted sections in just about every chapter that I plan to go back and review.

Useful Online Resources

For example, in chapter 3, What Social Media Does For Your Business, I found the section called Review Third-Party Twitter List a valuable resource. They listed a variety of online tools/websites that made it easy to identify key players in your field.

In the same chapter, they have a section titled Find And Own Your Name Online. They listed two websites (KnowEm.com and Namechk.com) that you can use to research the availability of names on hundreds of social networks. I found a lot of social “real estate” where I needed to claim my name!

Offline Resources

In chapter 7, called Research the Competition, there is a section called Professional Organizations Who Help Small Businesses. What impressed me here is that they have a section on Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs). These SBDCs are typically housed in Universities but are funded by the U.S. Small Business Advisory (SBA). We have one of these organizations at Texas State University, and I have sent numerous clients to them for help with their business plans and mentorship.

Other Chapters

There are chapters on:

  • Creating Your Website
  • How to Choose the Best Social Networks for your Business
  • Creating a Buzz for your Business
  • Social Sharing – Tools and Applications
  • Monitoring Your Activity – Tools and Tips
  • and lots more!

What I like about Social Network for Business Success is it does not tell how to do it but directs you to the resources that will tell you how to do it!

This post is part of a weekly series on the Personal Branding Blog.

You can read the original post on the Personal Branding Blog.

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Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

You can also download my latest whitepaper Personal Branding for Baby Boomers – What It Is, How to Manage It, and Why It’s No Longer Optional!

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers.

Join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist