LinkedIn Notifications


When I open LinkedIn I can see right away that there’s some notifications waiting for me to open. The more connections you have, the more likely you are to have a number of these, and so with quite a few connections, these notifications come daily.

As I move to click on the small red dot on the notifications image (in this case what reminds me of a school bell), I wonder less and less what the notification will actually turn out to be. This is because more often than not, the notifications are to either wish one of my connections a happy birthday or to congratulate them on a work anniversary or perhaps starting a new job.

Now I’m not under any obligation to actually do anything with those notifications. I can ignore them and choose to move on with whatever else I want to do, or I can click and up comes a standard message I can send as is or edit. Typically the standard message is, “Happy Birthday”, “Congratulations on the new job” or “Congratulations on your anniversary”. With a second click I can send the message as is or as I say edit the message by sending an additional thought of my own.

Now me, I always choose to acknowledge the event connected with my connections. I know however that this is not a practice shared by others, and I’m actually not going to suggest or advise you as a reader of this article one way or the other. I’m going to share with you why I personally do think this is a practice I will continue to engage in however. I would think the only reason I’d stop to do this would be if a number of my connections contacted me and requested I stop. It would seem to me however that this practice must be working for the majority of LinkedIn users or LinkedIn itself would disable this functionality and stop promoting the practice of acknowledging events going on with ones’ connections.

One thing I have to say is that like so many other users of this social media platform, I have contacts I know intimately, others I know well, some I know moderately and some I’ve accepted as connections whom never really entered into dialogue with beyond initiating or accepting a connection. My response to these people will vary when I see a notification. To the extent I know the person and/or the actual time I have on my hands at a given moment dictates what I choose to do. Not much time and I send the standard LinkedIn proposed message; more time and I add a personal note of my own.

The real question of course is why. Why do this at all? Of what value is there in sending any acknowledgement? Well to me, I believe it’s one small way of maintaining a relationship with the person. Take the person I know well but not intimately. Maybe I’ve exchanged some messages back and forth over the years, provided some feedback on something they’ve said or they’ve commented on a blog of mine. Acknowledging their birthday costs me nothing but 4 seconds and aren’t they worth that? I think they are.

Should my contact change jobs I’d also want to know about this and I wouldn’t expect they’d individually notify all their connections about the change. This service provided by LinkedIn is a quick way to get the news out and new jobs are always cause for celebration. I think most people enjoy being congratulated and so I do so.

What of the person then that I don’t know all that well but who is nonetheless a connection of mine? I still take those few seconds to click on the, “Say happy birthday” message. Here I might opt to just send the standard greeting. Again, it requires so little effort I can’t help but think if I really value the connection why wouldn’t I give them 4 seconds of my time?

You might wonder why I’d even have a connection that I don’t really know that well or whom I don’t exchange much conversation with. Perhaps for you this is a bigger question. Well, yes there are people who just go about collecting connections at random and think it’s a race to have the highest number possible. I’m not one of those. I do think that in addition to building a network of people in my field, there is value in knowing people in other lines of work; connections where the benefits are not immediately obvious. I’m laying the groundwork for the future, and if they initiate a request with me, perhaps they are looking to benefit from me as a connection. So it’s not always what I can leverage from someone but more often than not what I might do for them.

Clicking on that ‘Congratulate so-and-so on their work anniversary’ is also important I think just because it’s nice to do. There’s no strings attached to sending the congratulatory message, I’m not asking for anything. It does from time-to-time result in a few messages back and forth; a check-in if you will and my relationship with that person gets some attention and nurturing.

So there’s some of my argument for the LinkedIn Notifications feature and it’s value. Sometimes it’s all the little things that cumulatively make a difference.

On A Career Journey? Learn From Tracey


On March 1 I received a message via LinkedIn from a woman who had read one of my blog posts and was touched by it enough that she reached out to me and asked if I’d be willing to meet with her face-to-face to hear first-hand about my career path. On her own career journey, she respectfully asked for 20 minutes of my time over a coffee, and even then said if not, she’d understand and wished me well in my passionate endeavors.

First thing I did was look up her profile on LinkedIn and read up on who this person was and what she’d done to date. We exchanged a couple of messages and the short of it is that we agreed to meet last evening in a public café. I mean here was someone doing exactly what I and many others so often suggest doing; reach out and network, ask for 20 minutes and see what you can learn. I was impressed.

So last evening we met at our agreed time and after introducing ourselves, Tracey made good on her offer of buying me a tea. In exchange for that small investment and the cost of the gas to get to and from the meeting, what she got was more than 20 minutes. We sat there and had a great conversation for…are you ready?…..3 hours. Yep, 3 hours.

When did you last meet someone for the first time and not only found yourself happily immersed in talking but found this interest reciprocated for so long? This was special. The conversation had a nice flow back and forth, both of us sharing experiences, and how those experiences have us where we are in the present. There was something in that post of mine that prompted Tracey to feel she could benefit from meeting; perhaps gaining some insight into what she herself might do with her own career moving forward.

So I shared my working philosophy, the significant characteristics I believe are essential in this line of work, the benefits I derive, what I actually do and what I learn in return. As I spoke I observed Tracey and noted many positive qualities which we’d all do well to replicate in similar situations should we initiate such meetings ourselves.

She listened attentively, made excellent eye contact, smiled, commented on what she heard,  added her own experiences to the conversation so it was a two-way exchange. She was well dressed, came prepared with some written questions and had a pen and paper at hand. Now ironically, the questions she’d prepared didn’t play much of a part in the meeting, as our conversation went back and forth at a comfortable pace and apparently satisfied her questions.

I was interested to hear that in addition to myself, she was meeting with others too; people she had been referred to by others. She said it this meeting was the first time she’d reached out on her own to someone she didn’t know, and we laughed a bit at that. It’s prudent to be cautious when doing so of course, but we were meeting in a public space and sometimes that courage provides new perspectives; hearing from others actually doing the kind of work you might be considering yourself.

I found it interesting that she’d spent 4 years teaching abroad, has recently invested in upgrading her education in Social Sciences and has experience working as a Researcher. More significant to me was hearing her speak about her own love for helping others, having a need for innovation and creativity and how much she enjoys interacting one-to-one. Like attracts like, and so being innovative myself, connecting with others one-on-one, loving helping others and being creative I envisioned her as a professional colleague in the same line of work. Having just met, I don’t know her inside and out, but still, I started to read her and see if she had what it would take to be in this field and succeed. No question about it.

What struck me was her dilemma. What to do? Look for work in the field she just upgraded her education in or possibly pursue a career in something else. Now as I said to her, if her heart was in the work she’d just went to school for, she likely wouldn’t be sitting in a café having a conversation like the one we were having; she’d be enthusiastically out there applying for jobs. Yet here she was. That is a most telling reality; seems to me she’s looking for some work to do with passion herself; helping others in some capacity and looking to feel fulfilled. That apparently hasn’t manifested itself where she is right now.

In the end, it will be Tracey who makes up her mind as to where she goes from here and what she does next in her career journey. She’s an intelligent woman gathering information and others perspectives, and I’m very interested myself to stay in touch and hear what transpires. I’ve made myself available in any way that she might find helpful too, be it further conversations in-person or otherwise.

Now as for you and me, this is yet another example where connecting via social media is a good start, but leveraging these connections into actual conversations and truly networking is what we could do more of. 3 hours you might not get I acknowledge, but asking for 20 minutes…priceless. Happy networking!

 

Disconnecting On The Commute In


Today as I drove in to work, (a mix of 80% rural and 20% urban) I started by doing what I usually do; turned the radio on to a talk and news station and then sat back and listened. I do this each day so I can arrive at work and know what’s going on in this big beautiful world we live in.

It’s important to me I suppose to know which country some gunman originated in and which faith he’s associated with; which religious group is claiming responsibility for the murders he committed. Then there’s the people who were flushed out into the streets in the wee hours of the morning I guess it’s important I hear about in another city. And of course, I wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t hear about the night club that had a shooting just outside its doors at 2:00 a.m.

Do I need to know all of these events? My usual answer must be yes because this is my daily routine; listen to the radio, stay up on local, national and world events on a daily basis so I can intelligently contribute to discussions at work. Without consciously intending to, I’ve developed a reputation at least with a few people, of being informed about such things. This is usually great advice by the way, so you can network, connect and talk with others in your circles without having to always say, “Gee I didn’t know that” when others are talking. The radio is a great source of information that can turn your experience into, “Yes I heard that. Here’s what I think…”.

If it’s not the radio, some other drivers turn their time into learning opportunities. They have CD’s, MP3’s, Bluetooth – a multitude of services that provide access to podcasts, language development and just about any topic they feel is of interest to them. It occupies their thoughts; the driver is in control of what they hear, experience and learn.

Today however, about a third of the way along my commute, I did something that I should do more often. I disconnected entirely. I turned off the radio and with a couple of windows down, I didn’t control what I heard, I let the great outdoors bring me its sounds. Now in the country drive along a secondary highway, I heard the silence, birds, passing traffic and silence. The silence was outstanding. I became aware that my thoughts were shifting from one thing to the next, it was as if there were conversations going on and all I had to do was let go and allow my brain and its thoughts to wander aimlessly; shifting, moving, in and out, coming and going.

The stimulation was all around me. The sun was dawning over me all along the drive and as I passed through small communities, even pausing at intersections waiting for the green lights wasn’t unpleasant but relaxing. As I moved into the urban city nearing the end of my commute, I heard the beep, beep, beep of construction vehicles backing up, the voices of workers communicating. I heard the sounds of large vehicles as they struggled to move from fully stopped and proceed through intersections; their engines resisting the process of gearing up.

It was a relaxing, enjoyable experience and when I arrived a work and parked the car, I was very much aware of a sense of calm I was in. It had been a great drive in and had taken exactly the same amount of time – no slower or faster. This disconnecting thing was pretty cool.

So what’s this got to do with jobs, with work, with employment advice? Well, perhaps it’s a good thing every now and then to consider disconnecting yourself. Do you really have to be listening to music, the news, a podcast or whatever you do listen to during your commute. What if you disconnected and just listened; let your thoughts tumble around without consciously trying to focus on solving a problem, resolving an issue or mentally going over your daily agenda? You can look at the daily agenda when you arrive at work.

I’m not saying disconnecting is something to do everyday. There’s a lot of time on your commute to be productive, to be inspired and to be entertained. That’s good for you if that’s your aim. Can you disconnect however and be comfortable with the silence and the lack of activity? Have you got so programmed yourself that you can’t go more than two minutes without checking your phone for messages? If nobody texts you even though you’re online can you survive? Hmmm…look around you and there’s a lot of people who appear to need to be connected. Notice their eyes are on a screen in a subway or on a bus when they could be looking out the windows and taken in different kinds of stimulation.

Disconnecting and just looking around on a commute in or back home can change your frame of mind, alter your mood and maybe put you in a better place as you walk in the door at home or work. This is where the connection lies between disconnecting and your workday.

Have you had a similar experience on your way in to work? My experience isn’t life altering, it’s not nirvana realized or paradise gained; it’s just a small change that created a different experience; one for the better.

Try it.

Think Of The Implications Before You Click, ‘Like’


It happens innocently enough; you’re scrolling through your social Facebook feeds, looking at the various pictures and posts shared by your friends and then you see it. There on your screen is a post you find offensive but one of your friends has clicked on the ‘like’ button. You think, “How could they like something like that?!”

I’ve come across two such posts within a few days of each other, liked by two different people I count among my friends, and I’m perplexed in both cases. Both posts were similar in that they both were derogatory and directed at welfare recipients. The first one I saw read in large print, “Welfare isn’t meant to be a career choice.” The second said, “Welfare applicants should have to take a drug test. ‘Like’ if you agree.”

Both posts got shared with me because my friends had ‘liked’ them and they passed to me. In both cases, I see some bitter irony. One man has a family member whose full-time job is assisting welfare recipients by providing them with financial support. In the second post, the friend who shared it with me has a family member who is in a senior municipal management position and the municipality distributes social assistance. Are both these men’s opinions theirs alone or are they also opinions held by their family members? Oh and one of the two has himself been a recipient in the past of financial support!

Obviously the people or person who first created these posts feel that those on welfare should be restricted from receiving aid if they have drug issues, and everyone should have restrictions on the length of time they can receive benefits at all. I understand the idea of free speech; the principle of being able to share what’s on your mind and have your views heard. Here’s some more irony however; I replied to the first post about people making welfare a career choice, and the original poster must have decided my dissenting voice should be silenced, as my post was deleted from the thread.  Free speech goes both ways or it’s not free speech. Is the person deleting my view so insecure that they can’t tolerate a debate or differing view?

But it’s easy isn’t it; this clicking of a ‘like’ button?  Sometimes we move so fast on the scrolling that we read something and click, ‘like’ without stopping to really think about the implications. That’s a possibility for sure, and maybe my two friends did just that. On the other hand, they’ve made their views known, and this is one piece of information I learn and add to others that forms my overall opinion of them. When we see under posts, “John Doe” likes this we might even feel compelled to ‘like’ it too because John Doe is our friend. This is a lemming-like mentality however; we may want to be liked so much ourselves that we’ll do something as innocent as clicking, ‘like’ to be seen to be similar to our friends; peer influence and pressure.

There will always be people who post these things believing that they are only saying what ‘all of us’ feel. They get a lot of ‘likes’ too. I wonder though if the people who clicked ‘like’ were actually asked in person to comment on such statements if they would answer the same or differently?  What if Facebook evolved to the point where you could click on a feature that showed you all the things you and your friends liked? Imagine your profile included not only your name and picture but a summary section titled, “Here’s all the things John Doe ‘likes’”…

Somehow I think to see a summary of all the things we ‘like’ might be very revealing; revealing to us, our friends, perhaps employers too. Suppose that as a general hiring process employers visited social media, keyed in your name with the intent of seeing what you believe, what you stand for and your perspectives. After all, social media isn’t some private thing we all engage in; social media is public. So if it’s public, you knowingly consent to having your views, beliefs and ‘likes’ seen by anybody – and you’re comfortable with that. It hardly seems intelligent to say that it is somehow unfair for employers to screen your Facebook page, but anybody else is free to check out the things you make public.

So, following this logic… If the people who ‘like’ the idea of welfare applicants having to take a drug test before they qualify, I’m guessing they also, ‘like’ the idea of employers trolling their personal but public Facebook pages to see what they really believe before they qualify for the jobs they apply to. Seems perfectly logical. Do you agree or have I missed something?

What we post online that could come back to bite us is generally referred to as Digital Dirt. If you have pictures, comments and content that you think might be looked upon badly and you wouldn’t want an employer to see your views, clean up your own digital dirt. Just making something private on your own page doesn’t make it private if shared by your friends on their pages. Oh and if you think employers don’t have the right to check out your public social media pages you’d be wrong. They do have the right, and they do.

‘Like’ this post?

Why Do You Want To Connect?


LinkedIn; a professional networking, social media tool. Everybody you speak with these days seems to tout networking as essential to job searching, moving up, staying relevant etc. It’s a logical question therefore to ask why you are wanting to connect with someone if you extend the invitation. I know I like to know.

Think pre-LinkedIn for a moment. Imagine you’re checking your voicemail and there is a message from someone you don’t personally know, asking to get together. You’d no doubt pause for a moment and ponder the reason why.

“Had a message today from someone named Tom Bradley. Wants to get together.”

“What for?”

“That’s what I’d like to know, He didn’t say.”

“Well you’ll just have to ask him when you speak with him.”

That kind of exchange might be somewhat the norm. If he left a number you’d likely ring him back and find out how he knows you and the reason for meeting. If you have a mutual friend, he likely tell you that the friend suggested he speak with you if that was the case and about what. Imagine however that you agreed to meet at a nearby pub without really knowing the reason for meeting – just go with me for a moment on this. Wouldn’t your brain be trying to find out the reason for the meeting the longer it went on? Wouldn’t you just come out and ask? It would be bizarre in that scenario if you eventually asked and he replied, “Nothing really, just thought it good to meet you.”

Such an exchange would make you cautious about future phone messages from people you don’t know wanting to get together for a chat. Who has time for this?

So it’s curious that in 2015 and with the social media experience we have, that you may have received invites from people who use the standard, “Hi __________. I’d like to connect with you on LinkedIn”, and nothing more. If like me you have clicked the accept button, you may find out in a subsequent email why they wanted to connect or you may have had no other correspondence. So why did they want to connect?

Now let’s not be too harsh and judgemental. Some people have been told to network and think that means having 500+ connections. They don’t necessarily know what to do with those numbers, but it looks impressive to others if they have such a number. I for one am glad the public view stops at 500. It would appear otherwise to be a race to see who has the most connections, instead of what are you doing with all those connections.

Now you might of course want to connect with a person because you read something interesting in one of the group discussions that they posted which sparked your imagination. You may also have scoured LinkedIn searching for others who have similar job titles to your own in an effort to build up a relevant network of people you share employment with.

Perhaps too you are interested in working for a specific company and one of the strategies you are deploying is to connect with employees of that company so you can get some inside information, tips, advice or suggestions on how best to maximize your employment chances. Good for you if you do.

There are some people too who are impressed with the words on someone’s profile as they describe themselves; what they believe, their philosophy and motivation, how they go about their work, their past experiences etc. Like a magnet, some use their summary sections and job titles to draw in their audience and make connections that way. Again I say good for you if you do.

The point is know WHY you want to connect with someone, and find out WHY someone wants to connect with you. Now I don’t always follow my own advice. Just this weekend I had two requests and clicked on the accept button without then sending an email to ask why. I was hurried, should have waited to do it properly but didn’t.

If you ask someone why they wanted to connect with you, that information could be very useful. Maybe it is your tagline, your title, where you work etc. It’s like the initial scenario all over again but updated to 2015 – why do you want to connect? If you get enough people telling you it’s because you sound interesting or you could be influential etc., whatever the reason is you’ll know what in your profile is attracting people to you. Conversely, if few people are connecting with you and you’d like more, evaluate the effectiveness of your profile by looking at the profile of others like you.

I suppose too there are some users who want to be ‘connected’ with the big thinkers, the famous, the elite. While they might be interesting to read I agree, you won’t find Sir Richard Branson or others like him among my connections. Well if he asks me to connect I’ll let you know but I would scratch my head and wonder WHY he wanted to connect with me!

One reason I connect with others in my field is to share ideas, learn how others work, best practices, new ways of doing things and it’s give and take. I might one day help a peer with an open ear and the next reach out myself.

Why do you connect?

“I Started My LinkedIn Profile But That’s All…”


If you have at some point started to make a social media profile for yourself on LinkedIn because someone else told you it would be a good idea, good for you! You’ve made a good decision. If on the other hand, all you did was start it and then ignored it, I want you to know that it’s now doing you a lot more harm than you’re aware of.

You can be excused and forgiven if you are unaware of the damage you are self-inflicting with a spotty social media profile, but after reading on, you’ll no longer be able to blame ignorance. So reading on is a good thing!

Let’s agree I hope on one basic reality; in 2015 technology is everywhere around us, and employers like any other group of people, want every advantage they can find and use, in this case to select the best possible candidates to work for them. Prior to the rise of personal computers and the internet in general, the primary method of attracting candidates was to put an ad in a newspaper (traditional media) and receive resumes. At that point they then had to sift through them, pick out possible candidates, interview them and after verifying things with their references, they offered someone a job.

So much for the past. Whether you like it or not, are technology friendly or not, things have changed drastically. For starters, most jobs aren’t in traditional media sources like newspapers at all. Running down to some employment centre to look at all the jobs on some wall is pretty dated too. Ever stop and wonder where the employment centre’s get those jobs from anyhow? The people who are posting those jobs on the walls are doing so only for the benefit of those without computer skills themselves, because anyone with a general familiarity with a keyboard and the internet can in 10 minutes learn how to find jobs online for themselves.

Many employers are posting job opportunities on social media platforms such as LinkedIn; and while I’m not financially rewarded for touting LinkedIn, I recommend it to you. But it’s not really about where to find jobs that I’m writing about so let’s not get sidetracked. What I want to advise you on is what many of us already know; many employers are using social media to find talent, review profiles to get to know job applicants, and most important to see what other people are saying about the person who is looking for work with them.

So you’ve applied for a job with some company let’s say, and you feel you meet all of their stated qualifications. You’ve submitted a resume and cover letter that have you feeling pretty confident….and now you wait. Surely they’ll call. But no call comes. What went wrong? You are now confused, disappointed, a little resentful, maybe a little bitter.

Now I don’t know for certain, but one huge possibility is this: the employer upon receiving your resume and cover letter was moderately impressed. Instead of calling you in immediately as was the past practice, the employer turned to the internet to see if you have an online presence, and wants to compare yours with that of the others who are competing with you for that coveted interview.

So they check out your competition. They see photos of well-groomed people, they read interesting summaries the people have composed about themselves, they read their work history and what the person learned in each job; much more fleshed out and impressive than the two bullets under each job on a resume. Now they see that others have endorsed their skills and some even have recommendations written by their connections verifying how good they are at their jobs, how professional they are and what great work ethics they have.

They then turn to you. They find your profile has no photo, so they have no immediate emotional connection. What are you hiding they wonder? The jobs you’ve done are there but it looks like you just cut and pasted your resume so there’s nothing new to learn. You only have connections with 3 other people and your 5 endorsements come from these three, one of which might be your mom because the last name is the same for her and you. No one has penned a recommendation of your work either, so how good can you be?

The only things worse than the above would be a photo on your profile of a kitten instead of your face, or no profile whatsoever. Having no profile tells an employer that in this age of technology savvy people, you’re obsolete. You don’t get it. You’re not connected. You either don’t get technology, don’t understand it’s importance, or you do get it and don’t care to utilize its benefits. How will that help them? And the kitten? Just silly.

Get a social media profile and put enough effort into it that it markets your value to others as you would like. LinkedIn actually guides you through the process with suggestions. Reach out to someone online with a good profile and connect. Model yours after theirs if that helps.

Even if the thought of job searching isn’t in your plans, develop your profile. Others will be attracted to it, want to network with you and that creates opportunities. If you find someone helps you out, write a recommendation for them; they’ll appreciate it and may reciprocate.

Unemployed With A Confusing Social Media Profile


yourst yesterday I was sitting down having a chat with an unemployed young woman. We were talking about several things she could do to enhance her online presence, and together were discussing some of the things she could do offline as well. It was altogether a good discussion.

What I noticed however was a huge problem in her self-branding and the message that she was communicating to anyone who came across her LinkedIn profile. If by chance this same situation applies in your own case, I’d suggest you get on it and fix things right away lest you miss some opportunities too.

So here’s the situation. At the present time, to supplement her income, she has taken on a job over the last couple of years as an independent Sales Consultant for a company that sells fragrant candles. She has therefore listed this activity as her most recent and current job on her LinkedIn profile. In making her profile, she claims the program defaulted this job as her Job Title on her profile. The problem is that she is seeking employment in the field of Legal Administration.

So imagine you were selling beauty products, greeting cards, perfumes and fragrances or any other products to supplement your own income. It is income at the moment but is really meant to be a secondary income to your eventual job in the field of your education and training.

The catch-22 is, do you put this on your profile to explain what would otherwise be a gap, or do you omit it so the reader doesn’t get confused with what your employment priorities are? Furthermore, if you do put this on and it’s showing up as a first read on your profile, shouldn’t you nonetheless have a different Job Title at the very top of the profile to attract the right kind of attention. The answer to that last one is yes!

Surely you’ve come across suggestions of people you might want to connect with. You’ve seen photos of the people with their job title (self-branding) attached for you to connect with or pass over. How would someone know she’s in Legal Administration if under her photo it says, ‘Sales Consultant for (and the name of the candle company)? Good free promotion for the candle company, but hurting her chances of attracting the right attention.

You should have a job title that’s going to get you noticed, and noticed for the right job you are after, or the business you are in. I’ve browsed photos of people on LinkedIn that pop up after connecting with someone. Some have what they think are cute pictures of their animals to represent them. I’m reminded of that now all too famous internet phrase, “You’re doing it wrong!”

If your picture is a blank silhouette, I have no emotional connection to you and can’t surmise any information that would motivate me to connect. If your photo is your dog or cat, a tree, your pool or your car, I’m not interested either because apparently you don’t take connecting as seriously as the rest of us do, and I’m suspicious of letting you know who I am if you intentionally don’t want to reveal yourself to me. Most people like to know who they are dealing with.

This was a second problem my unemployed client was facing. While she has a nice smile and can be photogenic, her picture looks far too serious; almost to the point of looking like a police mug shot where you want to smile but are told you can’t. The background is a solid white wall, and the overall impression is that she looks strained, under pressure and her skin tone washed out against the background. Changing her photo now while she is just getting going is highly recommended before her profile gets too much exposure.

Back to her content. One thing I noted was the lack of a summary section. A summary section is a good place to put your desired message out there. What do you want people who visit your profile to know about you RELATED TO YOUR PROFESSIONAL CAREER OR CAPABILITIES? What’s your philosophy of service if you are in the customer service profession? Beliefs? Work ethics? How do you get your buzz? (satisfaction from a job well done, not drug-induced!)

The key to a good profile is to ensure that whomever reads it is left with the impression of you that you intended your readers to have. So if you are seeking a job in the field of Legal Administration, the information on your profile should send that consistent message. If your photo is a good headshot, possibly even you seated at a desk in an office setting, visitors can picture you in THEIR work environment, and just that photo alone can help them imagine you fitting in chemistry-wise – or not – in their workplace.

The title you use need not be what appears on your business cards. This is your profile, not yours via your employer. Walk that line between self-promoting yourself as you would like to be viewed, while at the same time not offending or misrepresenting your current job (if you have one).

In my own case by way of example, my business cards say I’m an Employment Counsellor. My LinkedIn profile however, says, I’m an Enthusiastic and Empowering Employment Counsellor.

Hope that helps people.