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3 LinkedIn Updates to Encourage You to Update Your Profile

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While there has been a lot of fuss about Facebook lately, LinkedIn is quietly updating and upgrading its platform and is becoming incredibly valuable to its Members.

In this week’s video, I share with you three LinkedIn updates that should encourage you to check in with your profile and make some updates.

Click here to watch the video:

These updates are super helpful for those of us who want to keep an updated profile and make sure we are appealing to and connecting with the right people. The updates I discuss are:

1. Who’s Viewed Your Profile

This is the most viewed section of LinkedIn, and now they are giving us more information about who is finding you and more importantly – how people are finding you. Use this data to tweak your profile headline, summary and experience to make sure you are discovered by the people you want to connect with.

The snapshot looks something like this (will vary based on your own profile results):

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You can now learn more within categories:

Industries of your viewers

What your viewers do

Where your viewers came from (how they found you, i.e. in a Group or via Search)

Keywords that led to you

Where they work

Where they live

My results definitely encouraged me to adjust my summary section! Please remember that your headline, summary and experience section should be peppered with your keywords, as these sections play in the search function and help you get discovered.

2. LinkedIn Opens Publishing Platform

LinkedIn has now opened their publishing platform to its membership. This provides all of us greater opportunity for exposure and to offer greater value to our network. If our articles consistently receive many views, likes, comments and shares, they we have the chance to become a LinkedIn influencer.

This is being rolled out over the next few months, but if you’d like to send in an application for early release (I did) then you can fill out a short form, provide two examples of the type of content you’d be publishing, and cross your fingers.

Apply early: http://specialedition.linkedin.com/publishing/

3. Encouraging Professionalism in High School Students

In August, LinkedIn dropped it’s minimum age for Members to fourteen. This was done in an effort to encourage students to begin thinking about their future, the moment they enter high school. LinkedIn wants to provide an advantage to ambitious students, recommending they follow university pages to connect with admissions and alumni.

One high school student wrote for the LinkedIn blog,

“I’ve discovered that the sooner you put yourself in the professional community, the better your chances of finding the opportunity you want.” – Rutha Nuguse

Perhaps this attitude will spill over into behavior on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, too. That’s why I love this push from LinkedIn. It reinforces that you are never too young to build your professional profile, polish your personal brand and manage your reputation.

This news has really made me think twice as to how I use LinkedIn and inspires me to be more proactive with my account. I hope it encourages you to do the same!

 

Five Tips to Help You Fall in Love with YOU!

Happy Valentines Day

I’m delighted to share with you a special Valentine’s Day edition of Beaming Bohemian. While you may be enjoying a romantic getaway or a single’s party with your best friends, I hope you’ll stop to take a moment to realize how much you are loved. Your partner, friends and family, as well as all those cheerleaders and supports in your life love and appreciate you so much. I hope that no matter your plans for this romantic holiday, you recognize how much love you have in your life!

With all this love floating around us, I must ask the question, how much do you love YOU? I hope you enjoy a healthy level of self-respect. Self-love is the foundation of how we treat others, how we behave and how we communicate. (I promise I’m not too far off the topic of communication today. See #4.)

For those of you who need a boost of self-esteem, I share with you on this Valentine’s Day…

Five Tips to Help You Fall in Love with YOU

 

1. Begin your day with love, positivity and purpose

For those who follow my blog or tweet with me, you have seen my daily statement. Before I get out of bed in the morning, I ponder what the day holds for me and say out loud:

“Today will be a great* day. I will listen, speak and act from the goodness of my heart. I will accept others as they are and treat everyone with kindness and compassion.”

*Sometimes I change this to fun, productive, traffic-friendly, amazing, successful, happy or whatever word best fits the day I have in store for me.

When I say this, I make a commitment to myself about how I will conduct myself that day, as well as remind myself that I am a good person with honest intentions. It is a strong-willed statement filled with love and respect.

2. Accept yourself to own your potential

You are awesome! You are amazing! You are unique. Out of the more than 7 Billion people on this planet, there is NO ONE like YOU!  You have unique qualities and characteristics that no one else has. You have something to offer the world which the world craves. Take some time to write yourself a love letter and tell yourself what you love about you. Once you accept yourself for the way you are, the way you were uniquely created, you will have the ability to own your potential and make that significant contribution the world needs and desires.

3. Play your own game of life – no comparisons

How often do you find yourself comparing your life to others you feel have “more” than you? STOP! Your life is yours to live. And remember, you have unique qualities that those other people wish they had. I found this quote which sums up the negative impact comparisons have on our self-respect:

“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” – Steve Furtick 

How true is that? We look as the messy parts of our life and compare that to someone else’s best moments. How is that a fair comparison? It’s not. So stop. Everyone has their own pain and struggles. No one is as polished and perfect as their highlight reel.

Your life is a solo performance. You are not in a band. Think of your life more like a game of golf versus a team sport like baseball. Your life is yours. Own it.

4. Do what honors and respects you – be true to yourself

When you maintain healthy levels of self-love and self-respect, everything you do should be a direct reflection of your true self. Your hobbies and activities, your work, the people you hang out with and what you communicate.

And on that note, be mindful of how you communicate. We see so much hateful, hurtful and mean speech, words filled with negativity. This is particularly true online. You have to ask, “Is this comment/post/tweet the real me? Am I being true to myself?” Make a point to communicate with honor and respect. The majority of people (and the good people you want to associate with) will appreciate you.

Whenever you get that “this is not me” twinge, stop what you are doing. Stop talking, stop doing, leave the party…whatever it takes. Say to yourself, “I love me more than this.”

5. It’s an adventure everyday.

This video and post will not instantaneously make you fall in love with yourself. And I admit that I have to work on this everyday. We all do. There is no quick fix for a healthy level of self-respect. Another quote for you:

“Happiness is not a station you arrive at, but a manner of traveling.” Margaret Runbeck

And that is the same for self-love. So with these tips in hand, let’s travel together, every day, in self-love and respect, in kindness and compassion, in positivity and purpose.

Happy Valentine’s Day. I wish you a day filled with lots of LOVE!

5 Tips to Help You Fall in Love with YOU

Leveraging LinkedIn – Graduates

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If you are a senior in college, and you have yet to set-up a LinkedIn profile, now is the time to do so! There are so many features LinkedIn has built in, specifically for recent grads (or about to be grads in your case). You can take advantage of sections like Test Scores, Honors & Awards, even a Courses section so that you can share your areas of expertise, without feeling the pressure to have a lengthy “Experience” section.

A few things you want to pay attention to in LinkedIn:

1. Your headline (what appears under your name), the summary section and your work experience are all key-word rich and searchable. Pay attention to key words used in your industry and pepper these sections with the right words so your profile is discoverable. Fill these sections out, add your Skills & Expertise and other sections (like Projects) to “beef up” your profile.

2. Start connecting with your professors or university staff you know well. Think about who you know who is working in the industry you want to go into, even if it is your parents’ friends or colleagues. Connect with any professionals you met during internships or summer jobs. Start building your contact base.

3. If you’ve completed internships or held relatable summer jobs, connect with and get recommendations from your supervisors, as well as others who worked directly with you. If you worked at the ice-cream stand for two summers, don’t bother getting recommended by the owner, unless you have a desire to work for Ben & Jerry’s. If your career path is in marketing, and you helped boost sales for the ice cream stand, then go ahead and ask for the recommendation. That’s what I mean by relatable.

4. Join groups focused on the field you are interested in and jump into the discussions. Comment professionally and on the topics where you actually have knowledge or experience. You don’t need to participate in ever discussion in your groups. Filter out the discussions that aren’t related to your career or won’t move you forward.

5. Keep an eye on the companies you are interested in working for, as often times they post jobs to LinkedIn before other sources. If you start applying for jobs prior to graduation, you are likely to graduate with a job, versus being at the start of your search.

6. Make sure you are behaving yourself on other social sites! If a recruiter or hiring manager finds you on LinkedIn, they will likely check out your other accounts. Every post, photo, tweet and video should work to make you look good! Don’t let one tweet ruin your chances of getting your dream job. You are what you tweet!

7. While you are on other channels, be sure to share the link to your LinkedIn account so that you increase your visibility. Good way to invite others to connect with you, too. Don’t be embarrassed to promote yourself. Do you want to get an interview with that company? Do you want the job? Humble self-promotion will also help you stand-out from your peers, as there are few who will take this advice to heart. I hope you are one of them.

While I originally posted this (below the next photo) in April 2013, I wanted to update this post now – it’s good timing for YOU! While there have been only a few changes to LinkedIn since then, I hope to see a major shift in the number of seniors who raise their hands in my seminars who say they HAVE a LinkedIn profile. Those will be the students and student-atheltes I know who are on the road to success.

If you are a college student and have a LinkedIn account, please share with us in the comments how this has helped you. Who have you connected with that helped pave your career path? How have you made LinkedIn work for you?

If you want more helpful tips like this in your inbox every Friday – just subscribe in the box on the right.

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In the last few weeks, I spoke with a handful of undergraduate student groups. I nearly fell flat on the floor when I learned that most of the students do not have a LinkedIn account. (Many of them have neglected Twitter, too.) One class I spoke with were all seniors and business majors, to boot. They are graduating, and they are job hunting! Thank goodness I could give them a bit of a nudge with advice to nurture their personal brand and tips to take advantage of social media, where a good 92% of companies are looking to find talent.

 

LinkedIn’s newest features, like the Skills & Expertise, Honors & Awards, Organizations, Test Scores and Projects sections were created specifically for college graduates. While the soon-to-be grad’s Experience section may be a bit slim, these other areas can paint the student in a positive light and help tell the story of the past four years.

 

For those of us who do have a healthy amount of work experience under our belt, these sections can also be used to highlight career achievements and extracurricular activities that show we have a healthy work-life balance. The information provided in these sections can also perk the interest of hiring managers if they see that you share the same core values are a good fit with the brand culture.

 

If you are the parent of a college student, or know a friend or family member who is graduating, please – Please! – encourage and help them get set-up on LinkedIn. This is a must in the digital age. You are helping your student get found and giving the gift of employment, come graduation. If you need help, of course, I am available to consult with you privately. Contact me at 619.244.2400 or shannabright@f5c.d03.myftpupload.com

Be You

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When I speak with students and professionals about personal branding, the point of authenticity usually comes up. For instance, one graduate student asked me this month, “But if all we post are positive messages and strategic images, isn’t that being fake?” It was a good question and and understandable concern. First and foremost, personal branding is all about being YOU. There is no one else like you on this entire planet. Leveraging your unique value propositions, just as a global brand would, is the best way to promote your personal brand. Just as global brands and some of the most famous personal brands work to define their image and present themselves in a positive light, so should any individual.

In this digital age, everything you post online – from pictures, to messages, to comments on a blog – leaves a digital footprint. Nothing – NOTHING – is private online. Out of context, that one drunken photo or that nasty gossip session in the Facebook group, can easily become a determining factor in your next career move. Most companies are looking at your skills and ability, but also to see if there is anything that makes you a liability to their organization. If they hire you, you are a representative of their brand. If you cannot make the effort to manage your own brand, why should they believe you will exemplify theirs? Personal branding is not about creating a squeaky clean and false representation of you. Personal branding is the art of highlighting all the qualities and characteristics which make you awesome, unique and special – YOU.  Social media provides tremendous opportunities to let the world know who you are, to connect directly with your audience and to build your brand.

Eye Contact

In the past month or so, I’ve delivered several seminars on the topic of social media and personal branding to a variety of groups. During the sessions we usually have a healthy discussion about respect, and how we need to pay attention to how we treat each other, both on and offline. I am always impressed when students comment on how we have lost our social skills because of social media. That’s the moment I know there is hope for future generations!

I have heard some say that without face-to-face communication, it’s more difficult to respect someone as there is still a feeling we can “hide” behind our computers. I even ran across this article the other day, “Growing social media influence damaging our generation,” written by a University of Wisconsin, Madison student. This also gives me hope that young adults, as much as they love their phones and tablets, still crave eye contact and recognize the importance of in-person conversations.

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Here’s another article from Inc. Magazine talking about The Lost Art of Eye Contact. As much as I am fascinated by all of the possibilities to connect with people online, and from all over the world, I remain convinced that we need to work just as much on our relationships offline and eyeball to eyeball as we do cultivating connections through technology. What are your thoughts?

What’s your e-mail address?

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One often over-looked item in our personal brand is our e-mail address. While promoting my Social Media in College Athletic Recruitment event, I ran across several unprofessional e-mail addresses. If you are making an effort to polish your professional image and personal brand, please don’t forget to establish a professional e-mail address. If you’re not convinced at the impact “4crybbz@” or “puppygirlz@” can have on your career, take a moment to read this article from NBC News. An excerpt:

Name ties
Tamanini collected 200 e-mail monikers from various sources, including university professors. He showed 20 of the e-mail names to each of 200 college students and asked them to rate the names on five criteria — success, ethical caring, popular fun, degree of masculinity and degree of professionalism.
E-mail names deemed unprofessional included: alliecat@, bacardigirl@, bighotdaddy@, drunkensquirl@, foxylady@, gigglez217@.

Those e-mails considered professional received higher ratings of success than unprofessional names, which correlated better with ethical caring, popular fun and masculinity.

I’m sure you’ll find that you can easily establish an e-mail address that won’t steal the spotlight away from your true talents and skill set! Just don’t forget how your e-mail address is a direct reflection of you.

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