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 www.HFUW.org.


5 Job Searching Tips for New Grads

April 27, 2015

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Graduation is coming up fast. Along with graduation parties and relief that finals are done comes another milestone—it’s time to enter the real world and get that first job.

For new grads, this can be a scary prospect.

With some preparation, grads can confidently start their job search and land that coveted position. Here are 5 tips to help get started in a tough job market:

  1. Get Started! The job search process can be quite extensive and prolonged. From the time you submit a resume until you get hired can take up to three or four months. A fresh grad with little experience may find it takes even longer to find a position. Start looking for jobs in your industry before graduation if possible so you can get the process in motion.
  2. Tailor Your Cover Letters to Each Job: Don’t just use one generic cover letter for each application. Write a new cover letter for every position. Include specifics about how you are the best fit based on the job description and show your enthusiasm for the industry and company.
  3. Do Your Homework: Sorry guys! Homework isn’t done yet. Research companies you plan to apply to before submitting your application and interviewing. Make sure you understand what that company does, what their culture is like, and who their competitors are. Having a strong foundation about the company will set you apart.
  4. Have Strong References: Make sure you have solid references lined up. As a new grad, your references can be managers from internships, volunteer organizations, or professors. Let your intended references know when you start applying so they’re prepared for that phone call.
  5. Clean Up Your Social Media: Senior week and graduation pictures are fun, but may give the wrong idea to your future employer. Spend some time cleaning up your social media pages to ensure you are promoting yourself as professionally as possible. Delete pictures if needed, reset your privacy settings, and make sure you come off as a competent, reliable professional.

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 www.HFUW.org


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