The LinkedIn Summary Section: The Most Under-Used Professional Connecting Tool

When you created your LinkedIn profile, did you take the time to write a thoughtful summary section? If not, it’s time to go back to LinkedIn and work on your summary. I believe this is the most under-used and potentially the most powerful career-builder and professional networking tool available to all of us. LinkedInIn the summary section, you can describe yourself and your unique value proposition in 2,000 words of well-written prose that will draw the right people into your life, whether it’s an employer, a client, or a strategic partner. The key is that Google will use the search terms in your description to find you when people are looking for someone who offers what makes you unique and valuable. If you are a plumber, your summary might lead off with: As Portland, Maine’s most versatile plumber, I work on large and small jobs, whether in a new condominium or office complex, or a single-family residential office. I work throughout the Portland area in towns such as … [Read more...]

Prepare for an Exciting Career Journey in 2017

As you gear up for the holidays and some well-earned time off, you can also use this period to review your past year of work and see where you want to go in 2017.  Whether you’re looking to secure a new job offer, advance at your current company or start a new business, you can journey down the road toward your goals. Before you start the trip, however, you need to fill your car with fuel. Accomplishments fuel career aspirations.  An accomplishment is simply an example of your work that has made a difference to your organization or client. There are many ways to track accomplishments, and one way is a victory journal. To start your journal, make a note any time you receive a congratulatory job well-done from your boss or a colleague. You can include anything you did well, such as the quarterly report you slaved over. You can also incorporate any responsibilities you had that were new — such as a solo client presentation. Try to make entries in your journal each month. As you … [Read more...]

Do You Talk Politics on Social Media? Here’s How to Protect Your Brand

Ah, election season. The time of year when you don’t need novelas or water cooler chat for some drama. You can lounge on the couch watching TV and, boom, a perfectly placed commercial slips in ending with “I am so and so, and I approve this message.” (Uh huh, as if it was hard to guess.) Yup, it’s upon us full throttle—and you can’t avoid it. So what do you do when the subject of politics comes up? If you’re at work, you may try to keep your opinions pretty neutral, depending on who’s in the conversation, because you never really know what others think. Yet, even when you talk to friends in a “safe space,” you may realize you have very different views. Throw social media into the mix—where you have even a broader range of opinions—and you learn more about people’s political views than you ever cared to know. There’s nothing wrong with disagreeing on a topic. But let’s face it, differences can make you judge someone—even if you don’t realize it. It’s like when I tell … [Read more...]

Are References Still Relevant? Yes!

In 2016, you may not think managing references warrants much time. Between researching job opportunities online, interviewing, and networking, your plate is full. Yet a reference can still make or break a job offer, and you can’t automatically assume you’ll get a good one, even if your tenure at your company passed without a hiccup. “About half of all references that get checked receive an assessment of mediocre to poor,” says Heidi Allison of Allison & Taylor**, a professional reference checking firm.* Read on for five steps on how to ensure your references are as strong as possible. 1.Recognize their hidden benefits to you. By staying in touch with your references and letting them know what you’re up to, you’re networking. You’ll keep your professional relationships alive and well, and you never know…in a few years, this person could be at a new company as a future employer or a potential partner in a new venture. A reference is more than just a ticket to a new … [Read more...]

Quiz: 8 factors to predict if you’re going to succeed

Have you ever said to yourself, “If only there was a way for me to know if I’m going to succeed in achieving the goal I’ve set or the task I’ve set out to do BEFORE I actually invest a lot of time, money and energy”? Well, I can tell you there is! Based on my 16 years of experience as a coach and consultant, I can say there is a way for you to predict if you're going to persevere and follow through with your goal. Here are 8 factors to predict if you’re going to succeed in reaching the goal you’ve set. Read each sentence carefully. Then for each one of them, score yourself on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being not at all, and 10 being absolutely. Quiz I take 100% responsibility for where I am in life. The goal I’ve set is based on at least one of these: my passion, values, or life purpose. The goal I’ve set is in line with my strengths and talents. I’m focusing on just one goal at a time (and not pursuing multiple different goals). I have the ability and resilience to cope … [Read more...]