8 Nifty Ways to Get a Career Boost from the Summer

When summer hits, the packed weeks of spring slide into long, lazy days, and it’s tempting to grow a little lazy about work and your career, too. Yet the summer months allow you extra time, which can be an opportunity for a solid career bounce. What steps can you take to further your career during the summer? Network. Many professional associations or organizations plan fun seasonal get-togethers that — bonus! — are held outside. Take advantage of these events not only to enjoy yourself by the pool, but also to expand your contact pool. You never know who you’ll meet at the bar.  Join a Professional Association. If you are not already a member of an association, now’s the time to join. By doing so, you’ll already be familiar with the group’s routines come fall. If their Fall event’s schedule is posted, check it out and plan ahead for your Fall networking opportunities.   Volunteer for a New Project. Take advantage of others’ vacations to let your star shine. You may … [Read more...]

Does Your LinkedIn Profile Pass the Seven Second Rule?

You may already know it takes about seven seconds to make a good first impression, but are you considering this rule when it comes to your digital brand? LinkedIn is further putting this to the test with its new design. In case you haven’t noticed, LinkedIn has switched things up again. But this time it’s not just a matter of playing hide-and-go-seek with common features. You may also need to update your profile. A noticeable change impacts the way your Summary displays (or should I say, does not display). Now, anyone who visits your profile will only see a teaser of your Summary. To see your full Summary, your audience will have to click “See more." Otherwise, approximately 90 to 200 characters will show depending on whether your profile is viewed on a mobile application or desktop. Although this concept is new to LinkedIn, it’s used for other platforms. For example, on Forbes, an author's bio is a one-liner, and you have to click a link to read the full bio. (You can see … [Read more...]

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...]