5 LinkedIn Profile Pictures To Avoid [Infographic]
LinkedIn serves a different purpose than other social networks like Facebook or Instagram. LinkedIn is a professional network. If you’re on LinkedIn, you want to connect with employers and promote your skillset. However, a bad Linkedin profile picture can override your relevant experience and accomplishments. Here’s an infographic of five LinkedIn profile pictures you should avoid.
So, do you need to update your LinkedIn profile picture? Once you have the appropriate profile picture, make sure the rest of your profile is up to par.
10 Powerful Networking Conversation Starters That Never Fail
You walk into a room full of people you don’t know. Everyone looks so comfortable with one another. Did these people bring their friends? You start to regret not dragging your friend along to this event. But you’re there, so you attempt to make the best of it. You make your way over to the food table that way you look like your doing something. You check your phone and then look around hoping someone who is also alone will make eye contact with you. Finally, you start to talk with someone. You spend the majority of the time talking about traffic. Once they leave, you feel distraught and like you’re not cut out for this networking thing. Have you ever been here?
The truth is, you don’t need to waste hours at networking events to become a “good networker.” If you want to make connections, you need a powerful conversation starter. Take a look at some of these starters at networking events to spark meaningful conversation with professionals alike.
1. What’s your favorite conversation starter at a networking event?
2. So, what do you do?
3. What brought you here today?
4. What are you passionate about?
5. How did you get the job you have?
6. If there is one question you do not want me to ask you because you are sick and tired of answering it, what question would that be?
7. These networking events can be hectic. Mind if I join you over here where it’s a little quieter?
8. What advice would you give me, or anyone, who wanted to be successful in your line of work?
9. What do you love/enjoy most about what you do?
10. What is going on with your competitors and in the industry in general?
Before you ask any of these questions, get the person’s name and be sure to use it throughout the conversation. Additionally, compliment people on the accomplishments they share with you. Finally, Thank them for their time when you’re done conversing and ask for a business card.
Be fearless and use these conversation starters at your next networking event to make a meaningful business connection!
How To Spot A Bad Employer Before You Take The Job
No company is perfect. In fact, any good company admits to their faults and strives to be better. Unfortunately, there are a handful of companies that will say pretty much anything to get someone onboard. Before you commit to a company, you need to understand how to spot a bad workplace. Here are 8 indicators that you’re about to enter a dysfunctional work environment:
The hiring process is a mess: If the manager is late to the interview, if multiple interviews are scheduled at once, or maybe they forgot about your interview, this could be a red flag. Everyone has bad days, but it’s important to consider if the company prepared for the interview just a s much as you did.
The interview is really short: A hiring manager should want to know everything that will make you a fit or unfit candidate. Additionally, they should be prepared to answer questions you have about them. It takes time to make sure a candidate is a good fit for the job.
The hiring manager says, “We’re like family here.”: Okay, while this may seem like a nice concept, it’s not an appropriate statement for an interview. It’s fine for a hiring manager to emphasize an open-communication structure in the workplace. However, employers who emphasize a family dynamic often violate boundaries and expect inappropriate amounts of commitment from employees.
The hiring manager seems self-important: Good managers are self-aware and will admit to their faults and what they want to improve. If the interviewer seems arrogant and brags about their management skills, this is a big red flag. You do not want to work for anyone who thinks they are flawless.
There is a high turnover rate: One of the most obvious and well-known indicators of a bad workplace is if people are constantly quitting. There’s a reason people are leaving. Save yourself the stress of getting stuck in a bad job that you’ll leave soon after.
The people there look miserable: It’s normal for people to be focused on their work, but don’t take it lightly if current employees look emotionally or physically exhausted.
Success can’t be measured: You should always have an idea of how success can be measured for the position you applied for. There is reason for concern if an interviewer does not have a concise answer of what constitutes as success for the company.
The conversation is not genuine: The whole point of an interview is to determine whether or not a candidate is a good fit for the position. This requires open and honest conversation about objectives, skills, and responsibilities. If your conversation is far from genuine, it’s time to move on.
If you find yourself in the middle of a bad interview, don’t panic and don’t accept the position if offered on the spot. Always upkeep your end by responding gracefully. Thank the interviewer for their time and consideration and be prepared to move on to a better opportunity.
Tips To Successfully Job Hunt During The Holidays
Business does not stop once the holidays start. In fact, most companies continue to hire during the holidays. If you are looking for a job, don’t cut your search short just because it is the festive season. Here are several tips to successfully job hunt during this time of year:
1. Turn NetWORK into NetPLAY – During this time of year, there are many opportunities to attend a number of holiday soirees. Make an effort to attend holiday gatherings because you could meet someone who can help you with your job search. However, attending holiday gatherings are far better than traditional networking events since they are less rigid. If your friends or family are not hosting a holiday event, take initiative to search for public and local holiday events. Invite a friend or go it alone but don’t be shy and enjoy yourself!
2. Update your LinkedIn head shot – Maybe you have a family or friend with a professional camera. Ask them if they will take your photo! If this is not an option, post a Facebook status or ask friends if they know anyone who would be willing to take your profile picture. Keep in mind, many photograph-savvy students are on break and home for the holidays and are probably willing to take your photo. Don’t be afraid to ask around for help!
3. Message your LinkedIn connections – Reach out to connections you haven’t spoken with for awhile or connections in your desired industry. Send a simple message of well wishes for the upcoming year. Most people appreciate a small gesture of friendliness and a simple message could lead to a very helpful conversation for your job search.
4. Volunteer – Organizations such as local food banks need a lot of volunteers during the holidays. Volunteering can go a long way for a couple of reasons. In general, volunteering usually projects a selfless sense of character. If you volunteer, be sure to add the experience to your LinkedIn. Additionally, hiring managers tend to participate in holiday charity events. You can make valuable connections through volunteer work.
5. Source informational interviews – Job search expert Barbara Safani says that the last two weeks of December are traditionally slow for most businesses. You may find that some of the decision-makers you need to get in front of are in the office during those weeks and it may be a lot easier to get in front of them during this time of year.
Before you dive into your holiday job search, create a list of goals you hope to accomplish during this time and a calendar of deadlines. If you use your time efficiently, the holiday season can be fun and rewarding!
Four Fears Holding You Back From Your Full Potential
In 2011, Denzel Washington presented a powerful speech to new graduates at the University of Pennsylvania. Influenced by the ideas of inspirational speaker Les Brown, Washington left graduates with this piercing statement regarding potential:
“Imagine you’re on your death bed & standing around your death bed are the ghosts representing your unfulfilled potential, the ghosts of the ideas & dreams you never acted on, the ghosts of the talents & gifts you didn’t use. They are standing around your bed angry, disappointed, and upset. They say, ‘We came to YOU because YOU could have brought us to life & now we have to go to the grave together.’ Today I ask you, how many ghosts are going to be around your bed when your time comes?”
Why is it that so many individuals settle for a lifestyle that isn’t reflective of their full capability? One reason, as Dr. Dave Martin points out, is fear. Many of the time, people are afraid they’ll make mistakes trying achieve their goals. When we let this irrational fear consume us, we surely will not reach our full potential. There are four common fears Dr. Dave Martin encourages you to recognize and release:
1) “I’ve never done this before.” – No one becomes an expert over night. You have to start somewhere. Don’t stop yourself before you even try.
2) “I could fail.” – The pain of failure is often paralyzing to people. Accept that failure happens to everyone. Allow failure to come in and out of your life while working towards your goals.
3) “People may criticize or reject me.” – Some horses wear eye blinders to keep them from seeing other horses. Keep your blinders on, stay focused, and ignore criticism. Additionally, the people you share mutual trust and care for will support you.
4) “I might get hurt.” – This could be emotionally or financially. The hard truth is, you might get hurt. It’s risky. But if you don’t try, you’ll never know if you could have succeeded.
You owe it to yourself to live life to your fullest potential. If you lack confidence in your capabilities or believe you aren’t set out to accomplish much, these are the four fears that could be holding you back.
To book Dr. Dave Martin at your next leadership event and for more information written by Dave, visit www.davemartin.org.
Show Recruiters On LinkedIn That You’re Looking For A New Job
If you’re having trouble with your job-search, it may be time to seek professional help from a recruiter. Luckily, LinkedIn has established a feature that allows users looking for a job to attract recruiters. Here’s how to signal to recruiters that you’re interested in learning about available job opportunities:
1. Click on Jobs in the tool bar
2. On the Jobs page, click Update Preferences or Career Interests Settings
3. Toggle the option Let Recruiters Know You Are Open
From there, you can add the job titles you are considering, location(s) you prefer to work in and the type of job you are open to. You can even leave a personalized message to recruiters if they happen to contact you. This message can include a brief statement about your current position and contact preferences.
While the feature is incredibly useful and easy to manage, it’s important to promote a LinkedIn account that is well-rounded and accentuates all your best qualities and strengths. To ensure you have a strong profile be sure to include the following:
An appropriate head shot – There is no need to hire a professional photographer for your LinkedIn profile picture, but it should be professional and clean-cut. Make sure you are in a space with good lighting, dress professionally, and have a friend or family member take a photo of you with a fairly plain background. Don’t forget to smile!
A profile summary – A profile summary should not be identical to your cover letter. This summary should briefly highlight your experience and strengths and what kind of positions you’re interested in.
Profile experience – This information includes employment (current and past), education, and industry. Be sure to bullet point all of your important accomplishments and responsibilities for each job you list.
Profile recommendations – If you are in good standing with a current or previous employer, or supervisor of some sort, ask them to write recommendation!
Skills – Carefully consider all the skills you used for previous jobs and include them on your skills list.
Follow-Up Email Template
If you have applied to a job and have not heard back from the company, don’t lose hope. You may start to think that the position has been filled or your application somehow did not reach the person in charge of hiring. There are several reasons why you may not hear from a hiring manager right away but it is wise to send a follow-up email. A follow-up email emphasizes your interest in the position and is a second chance to show how you communicate. It’s important to write a follow-up email that is polite, short, and re-emphasizes your skills. Here is a template you can use or personalize if you need to send a follow up email:
Subject:Following Up on [Position Title] Application
Hi [Hiring Manager’s Name],
I hope all is well. I know how busy you probably are, but I recently applied to the [position title] position, and wanted to check in on your decision timeline. I am excited about the opportunity to join [company name] and help [bring in new clients/develop world-class content/anything else awesome you would be doing] with your team.
Please let me know if it would be helpful for me to provide any additional information as you move on to the next stage in the hiring process.I
What The Worst Resumes Have In Common, According to Recruiters
Not all resumes should be the same. Every resume should highlight a candidates individual strengths and diverse experience. However, recruiters agree that there are specific mistakes that make a resume right from wrong.
Mistake #1: Not Enough Numbers : Actions speak louder than words. To show for your accomplishments, include the numbers to prove it. For example, if you were able to drastically increase a sales quota then you should put the percentage on your resume.
Mistake #2: Bad Formatting Or Too Long : The layout of your resume is the first thing recruiters notice. The formatting gives an idea on how you organize information. Font should be consistent, material should be thorough yet condensed. All the resume basics should be included in your resume.
Mistake #3: Relevant Skills Are Too Hard To Find : The skills you emphasize should not only reflect yourself but the job itself. In this case, thoroughly reading the job descriptions is essential.
Mistake #4: There’s No Clear Narrative : Your resume is the time to emphasize yourself and showcase your work skills and background. Many people believe the cover letter is the only place to self-promote. Including a fluid narrative into your resume is equally important.
Mistake #5: It’s Suspiciously Vague Or Just Boring : In this case, there’s no real emphasis on what you accomplished as an individual from your previous experience. In addition, specific dates are not included such as start and end month.
It takes time and effort to create a well-written and organized resume. Avoiding these five mistakes leads to a better chance of being recognized by a recruiter or hiring manager.
11 Things You Should Never Say In a Job Interview
When entering a job interview, your main goal is to show why you’re the best-qualified person for the job. To do this, avoid saying the following:
“That’s a great question!” – It may seem like this is an engaging statement but really it’s unnecessary. Show you are prepared for certain interview questions and are capable of answering similar questions.
“What is the title of the role again?” – You should always read about the position before the interview. Furthermore, you should study the company’s profile.
“I’ve actually never done this type of job before, but…” – Again, your main goal entering an interview is to show why you’re the best-qualified candidate. When you don’t have experience in an area, focus on your transferable skills.
“I really can’t imagine anyone more qualified than me.” – The truth is, you don’t know the skill-set and experience of other applicants. It’s best to enter an interview with the idea that all candidates are equal. Consider 10 ways you can stand out.
“My last boss was terrible.” – Do not complain about your previous or current job. Complaining shows your lack of ability to cope with a challenging situation and move past it. Furthermore, it could lead the interviewer to think that you will talk trash about their company or employees in the future.
“This will be a great step to my next career move.” – While this may be the exact reason you want this job, it’s not smart to share this information with the interviewer. Career expert Lynn Williams recommends asking about opportunities for advancement in the company. This shows, according to her, “that you mean to stay with the company and let them benefit from your developing skills, knowledge, and maturity. You’re not just showing commitment, but long-term commitment.”
“I don’t know.” – There is always a better response than “I don’t know”. Again, show you are prepared to answer a series of questions. Show thoughtfulness in each answer and take a moment if need be.
“I don’t have any questions for you.” – Just as an interviewer prepares questions for you, prepare questions about the company. While they want to see if you will be a good fit for them, make sure they are a good fit for you. Read about the best questions to ask during your interview.
“I like your watch!” – Flattery will not get you far in an interview and does not show why you are the best-qualified candidate. If you really must compliment the interviewer, make it related to something you know they’ve done in the business, or even talk about a move the company made that you admired.
“Um, So, Like, I Really, Um . . .” – Avoid filler words. Your speech should be formal, confident, and clear. Practice speaking out loud while being mindful of filler words.
Keep your eye on the prize. If a statement or question does not show why you’re the best-qualified candidate or does not reflect your curiosity in the company, it may be better left unsaid.
How To Respond To A Bad Company Review
Often times, potential employees reference Glassdoor reviews before committing to a company. If you’re company has received a negative review, pause before you take further action. While the experience can be distressing, replying a defensive response can be perceived as aggressive. Don’t drive away potential employees by responding the wrong way. Here’s how to respond the right way, step-by-step:
Before You Respond
The 24 hour rule – Before you respond, sleep on it or wait 24 hours. While reviews should addressed in a timely manner, this is essential time for yourself. Studies show that a period of unconscious thought leads to better decision making.
Carefully consider with the review – Consult with your current team. Is there some truth to the review? If so, taking steps to improve your company will demonstrate your sense of concern and leadership.
Create an employer Glassdoor account – By creating an account, you are able to respond to reviews. You will also be able to access analytics on your reviews.
Writing Your Response
Say “thank you” – Although it may not be the most favorable circumstance, it’s best to be pleasant and appreciative of any feedback.
Address each point of the issue – Explain what you are doing to resolve the issue. Avoid sounding argumentative or stating all the reasons the review is “wrong”.
Share something positive about your company – Give examples of good things about the company that counteract the negative: such as a company value or goal.
Get the CEO to reply – When a top authority of the company replies, it shows the reviews are taken seriously.
Do not use a stock response – Respond to each review thoughtfully and carefully rather than using a copy and paste method.
As a company, “turning the other cheek” is not an option when it comes to a bad review. In fact, acknowledging it is essential. Responding in the right way to negative feedback can help you present a strong picture of your company’s strengths and values.