LinkedIn

How to Make LinkedIn Connections Without Being Creepy

LinkedIn has made networking, connecting with your dream employer, and finding new clients easier than ever before. But you only get one shot at a first impression, and unfortunately, most people miss the mark.

And in the digital world where you may never meet a connection in person, that first impression may be the only chance to connect with someone.

It’s safe to say there’s a little bit of pressure here, but knowing LinkedIn etiquette makes it even easier to reach out to new contacts when you’re new to the game. With that in mind, here’s how to make connections on LinkedIn without being creepy.

Make sure your profile is up to date

Before you start reaching out, make sure your LinkedIn profile is optimized so that you’re making a great first impression. Update your professional headshot, work experience, summary, and headline before reaching out.

Research your target

Before you engage with strangers, know a little bit about precisely who you would like to connect with. What company do they work for? What position are they in? What can you find about them on Facebook? Look for any personal connections or common experiences you can note that may come in handy – just don’t take it too far.

Briefly introduce yourself to new contacts

Though some may recommend skipping this step entirely, a quick salute to your name and profession may bring light to the reason for your inquiry. You wouldn’t just get right to your pitch at a networking event without a formal introduction, would you? (If so, you should read this.)

Get to the point

Be sure to share your intent in the first message you send, because you may not have another. Beyond that, no one appreciates the suspense of the dreaded words “can we talk?” without knowing the purpose behind the conversation. Briefly and concisely state your purpose for connecting in two short sentences or less.

Ask a question for the next step

Instead of ending your message with a “thank you” or “I look forward to hearing from you,” end your message asking if you can email them or if they have time for a 15-minute call the following week.

Asking a question will more likely enable you to receive a reply.

Making connections on LinkedIn may just help lead you to a new position, new hire, or new client.

Don’t feel overwhelmed, and follow these simple steps to get started connecting with people online.

8 Steps to a Successful Resume

With the rise of platforms like LinkedIn, who you are on paper still matters in the modern workforce.

Though there’s a temptation to be ahead of the curve and innovate your resume into something new, it brings a risk. According to The Balance Careers, most employers still prefer a traditional resume. So unless you’re chasing after a niche market, it pays (literally) to play it safe.

That being said, here are 8 steps to build a successful resume.

Get it all out on paper

Templates, wording, and formatting will come – but lose all the extra jargon you think you should include, and start with the basics.  Begin listing all of your experience from beginning to end on paper and keep it in a running document. Whether your experience is from your first job to or even a  volunteer gig, take some time to get it all out there. Give yourself a few hours to be thorough and consider breaking up this step from the process to make sure you’ve got it all down.

Start refining

Based on the above exercise, begin to refine and narrow your job experience. What’s most relevant? What is most applicable to your career? Start tweaking the words that you use, and refining the type of content you’ll include on your resume. Pay closer attention to the specific words you use, and ensure that your current positions are listed in the present tense. Double check that your past experiences are listed in past tense with active words as well.

Start creating your resume with your end goal in mind

At this point, you’ve graduated to the point where you can start creating your resume. Again, instead of using a template, create another word document. This time, start adding your relevant experience but be prepared to keep it all at a page. Add your name and contact information as a header, but begin to focus on the body of what you’ll include. Allow your career objectives to be the guiding force while developing your resume.

Skip the fluff

Your resume is your highlight reel, so leave the filler for LinkedIn. Include the experiences that are most relevant to your career objectives, because, at this point, every word counts. Filler, additional verbs, and social media handles only detract from the point you are trying to make; that you’re qualified for the position you are applying for. 

Hold on to your personal information closely

Speaking of your social media handles, ensure that they, along with your photos and address, are NOT listed on your resume. Though this information may be required for your online application, you shouldn’t include it here.

Not only does this information occupy unnecessary space, but it may also allow for discrimination. Be tactful in what you do and don’t share.

Your references are your friend as well, so wait to give them out to your prospective employer. To suffice, have some colleagues recommend you on LinkedIn to help demonstrate your ability.

Stick to the basics

Keep your resume clear, transparent, and simple. Any “filler” can be added on LinkedIn, where your profile can tell a more visual story. Again, your page and word count matter.

Though the world is progressing, a simple, clean, one-page resume is still preferred. Keep it simple, and maximize your space. Don’t get too caught up in your template type or font of choice, just keep everything clean and simple.

Think outside the box

Just because a resume template says you should include a given section on your resume does not mean you are required to do so. Do you have more relevant work experience than you do skills for a given position? Leave your skills on LinkedIn, and invite your connections to endorse you there. Break the mold, and include the most accurate information you see as fit for your field.

Be authentic

Don’t change every single keyword on your resume to get a job. There is a time and place to tailor your resume and include certain experiences (and omit others) if you’re switching fields, but be mindful of how you present yourself. Be consistent everywhere you go.

Be yourself, and your resume will speak volumes.

How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile

Whether you’re on the hunt for a new position or looking to diversify your skill set, your LinkedIn profile is the key to staying relevant and connected.

Instead of letting yours become outdated, be proactive to make sure your profile is always up to par to make sure you don’t miss out on potential opportunities.

Ready to start? Be sure to update these key factors to make sure your profile remains relevant.

Your profile photo

First impressions matter, so think of your photo as the first way you’re perceived virtually. Invest in yourself and get some professional headshots taken. (No selfies, no pictures with other people, and please, no wedding photos.) Allow your attire to reflect your field, and dress accordingly.

Headline

Your headline is a chance to reflect your skill set as a person, so take advantage of it. Think beyond your current position, and use your headline as an opportunity to communicate three vital attributes: your job, what you do, and your specialty. It’s your time to shine.

Summary

Think of your summary as your sales pitch, and more importantly, your hook. Your summary is your opportunity to introduce yourself to your reader and really make an impression. Make sure you’re sharing what sets you apart, your skillset, what motivates you. Make a compelling statement and entice your audience to want to keep reading more about you. 

Keywords

Search engines aren’t the only place where your keywords come into play, so make sure your LinkedIn profile has keywords reflecting the market you want to be in. Using keywords in your headline and summary will enable recruiters to find you when the time comes for you to look for your next gig. Use them wisely, and sparingly.

Congruence

It’s important to put your best foot forward and ensure you’re consistent in your paperwork. Make sure the way you present yourself online is accurate, and that your bio is an accurate demonstration of your work history. Be consistent, and as a result, you’ll find yourself with a lot less headaches trying to keep up with all of your different personas if you’re leveraging your experience. Your LinkedIn profile is your chance to list all of your experience, so spend less time embellishing, and more time listing your accomplishments.

Facts and figures

Just like you would on your resume, have the stats to back up your performance. Use metrics to stand out and prove your work, and demonstrate your proven record. You’ll be asked about your experience in the interview arena, so take this extra step to display all of your hard work. 

Call to action

Consider adding a call to action to your summary to optimize your LinkedIn. Are you ready to be hired? Invite recruiters to connect with you. Looking to network? State your career objectives. Give your audience a way to connect and move beyond what’s presented on your profile. You never know when it may benefit you.

Engage

The latest social media algorithms have proven engagement is essential for success online, and LinkedIn is no exception. Connect, connect, connect. Think of LinkedIn as an online networking event where you save the small talk for your computer screen, and take every opportunity to build your network. Your contacts are your most valuable asset, and with LinkedIn, the possibilities to meet others are endless.

Get Hired With These 5 Marketing Certifications

Simply put, digital marketing has changed the face of modern business across the globe. Most degrees are no longer the only deciding factors when hiring. In fact, sometimes they aren’t even prerequisites.

Today, employers are less focused on where you went to school and more interested in your experience and demonstrated ability.

So if you never graduated B-school, don’t be too worried. Marketing positions are constantly opening and the freelance opportunities are endless.

Certifications are an effective way to stay up to speed with your digital skills, make a great addition to your Linkedin profile, and each serves as experience and talking points for your resume. 

Whether you’re looking for a new gig, developing your own business, or on the search for a digital side hustle, here are five certifications to help you get hired and to sharpen your skills.

Google Ads

According to SEO Tribunal, Google is responsible for 96 percent of all smartphone search traffic and 94 percent of total organic traffic. 

Google Academy for Ads offers a free certification course, and will guide you step by step on how to implement successful campaigns for your business or for your clients. This platform is king considering most online purchases are still made in search before they’re made in social.

Hootsuite Social Marketing

Though Hootsuite has had some competition over the last few years as more social scheduling platforms have come on the market, they are still the first platform with the most credibility when it comes to scheduling social media.

Hootsuite’s certification exams do start at $200, but their social media certification is arguably the most well-rounded. Their course focuses on core strategies to develop your social media presence as a brand and will give you the foundational principles you need. 

Hubspot Inbound

Inbound marketing is an excellent strategy in the digital marketing world, and is essential to understand and implement – especially as a small business. Hubspot’s inbound certificate is free and focuses on fundamental marketing concepts that many of us tend to skip right through. This course builds an excellent foundation on how to engage your audience, target prospects, maintain a pipeline of leads, understand the buyer journey, and really know your audience.

Google Digital Marketing

Google’s Fundamentals of Digital Marketing Certificate is yet another free certification that lays a strong framework for almost every area within digital marketing. If you don’t have a marketing degree, this course covers just about everything you need to know in terms of building a digital marketing foundation. This course covers multiple platforms and strategies from email marketing to social media.

Facebook Blueprint

Social media has shifted more into a “pay-to-play” model, so unless you’ve got a strong personal brand and/or became an “influencer” before the market became saturated, you’ll want to consider Facebook advertising. Facebook’s certification is $150 and will get you up to speed to ensure you get the most value for your dollar. 

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