Tips to Use LinkedIn Effectively

September 29, 2015

How-to-Use-LinkedIn-EffectivelyLinkedIn can be an effective tool for job hunting, networking with like-minded professionals and opening doors that may have not opened otherwise. Of all the social media platforms, it ranks third in users, just behind Facebook and Twitter. With nearly 400 million users, it is important to utilize your profile to stand out and showcase your unique abilities and talents to potential employers. With some homework and preparation, you can build a strong LinkedIn presence:

  • Have a professional profile photo. Just by having a photo on your profile, you’re 11 times more likely to be viewed. But save the selfies for Instagram and opt to have a friend snap this photo. Dress professionally and look your best since this will be the first impression recruiters have of you, even before reading your dazzling profile info.
  • Do your research. Before you start filling out all those text boxes on your profile, take some time to research what other users have done in the same career field. Find out which titles and descriptions are used the most and utilize them. Recruiters use key words to wade through piles of profiles, so optimize your profile with those words to grab their attention.
  • Fill out your profile. All of it. While some consider LinkedIn just to be their online resume, it’s better to consider it a chance to take your resume to the next level. With LinkedIn, you aren’t limited to a single page of career history. Expand upon previous job duties, list your skills and strengths, boast your achievements, awards and volunteer work. Entice recruiters with a charming summary that paints a full picture of who you are as a person and a professional.
  • Post examples. Recently, LinkedIn has begun to offer users the opportunity to post pictures, videos and links to samples of their work. If you are a chef, post pictures that’ll make a foodie drool. If you’re a blogger, attach a link to your blog (and you might get even more readers). Post the PowerPoint presentation you spent weeks creating or the rousing speech that took a month to write. Potential employers will gravitate to those who have concrete examples of their craftsmanship.
  • Ask for recommendation from your connections. A recommendation can go a long way to potential employers. Ask previous co-workers and supervisors to write a short blurb praising your work ethic and achievements. If you don’t seem to have luck in asking someone to write a recommendation, try writing a few for others instead; oftentimes they will return the favor.
  • Join a group. Groups are a great opportunity to network outside of your personal social circle and connect with like-minded professionals across the world. If you are looking to break into a new field, this is a chance to ask experts what credentials and skills to pursue. When job hunting, group members may offer new connections or suggestions you wouldn’t have found on your own.

Heart of Florida United Way is dedicated to changing lives for the better by helping families and individuals gain access to resources they need to stay afloat and succeed financially. For more information about Heart of Florida United Way’s efforts to improve employment and financial stability in Central Florida, visit


Desk Emergency Kits (For Women)

July 21, 2015


We all know those flawless women who can spend the day in a slim white sheath and look impeccable no matter how stressful  the day is. For the rest of us, sodas explode. Coffees get spilled. And clothes insist on wrinkling.

With some preparation, you too can trick people into thinking you’re that constantly flawless person.  A small and functional desk emergency kit can help you stay polished and be known as the office savior.

While the collection sounds extensive, most of the items can be purchased at the local dollar store or drugstore. With a cheap utensil organizer, everything will neatly fit into a drawer.

  • Lint brush-For when your dog’s hair magically appears
  • Downy Wrinkle -For when the meticulous button down you put on this morning turns out to look like you crumpled it by noon
  • Bandaids-For paper cuts or when your shoes cause blisters
  • Tide To Go Instant Stain Remover- For when mustard gets on your shirt the day of the big meeting
  • Safety pins—For when your hem tears
  • Clear nail-polish-For when you get a run in your tights
  • Goody hair elastics-For when it rains on your freshly-straightened hair
  • Bobby pins-See above
  • Deodorant-For when you’re pulling a late night
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss-For the days when onion bagels are necessary
  • Medicine-Aspirin, Dayquil, Allergy pills, Neosporin, Alka Seltzer, eye drops, etc.: For the days when work just has to get done
  • Cough drops-same as above
  • Small makeup bag-For when you need a quick touch up if you do wear makeup
  • Hairspray-For when your hair turns into a humidity wreck
  • Snacks-granola bars, tea, MIO drink mix, and chocolate for the days you can’t escape your desk

If you have the space, some other things to consider keeping on hand:

  • Black blazer-For when you have an unexpected meeting
  • A black cardigan-For when the office AC goes crazy
  • Black pumps-For when you have that important meeting and want to step it up
  • Black flats-For when your feet ache from those black pumps and need a break
  • Small studs-For when you’ve raced out the door and need some accessorizing to look pulled together

This stockpile will help keep you looking polished, even if tomato soup went everywhere. What else are we missing? Share in the comments what must-haves you have at your desk.

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