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...]

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...]

Build Your Network and Increase Your Happiness: Three Tips for Increasing Happiness by Building your Personal Brand

Dr. Oz was on the “Today” show this week talking about what he calls “drive-by” relationships where people merely rely on social media to connect with others. I believe people should use social media as a means to an end, with the end goal being a face-to-face experience. True friendships are founded on personal interaction, not just clicking on Like, Friend, Follow or Connect on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. If you want people to invest in you, you have to invest in them. Dr. Oz also stated that women, especially, can feel lonely and depressed even if they have tons of friends on social media. I think that’s because people tend to paint a really happy and overly optimistic picture of their lives online whereas in real life, things aren’t always so hunky dory. When you connect face-to-face with another person, your brain receives a boost of serotonin and oxytocin, two chemicals that make you feel good and increase your feelings of optimism and happiness. Interacting through a … [Read more...]

Do Your LinkedIn Endorsements Reflect Your Personal Brand?

LinkedIn's Endorsements feature is like the extra parts left over after you assemble furniture. Sure, it's a part of your profile, but do you give it much thought? The “Skills & Endorsements” section is supposed to be a way to validate your personal brand. But its credibility is questionable since people can easily endorse connections for skills they have no way of validating. (Quite an oxymoron, if you ask me.) The best way to validate your brand is to add “Recommendations” from people who are willing to take the time to write about your skills and strengths—preferably, not your mother or spouse. Does this mean endorsements are a complete waste a time? Not exactly. We can go back and forth on whether or not it is, but even extra furniture parts come in handy sometimes. Strategic endorsements can emphasize your expertise and optimize your profile with targeted keywords. If you choose to list endorsements on your profile, you might as well use them to your advantage. … [Read more...]

12 Crucial Tips for Branding Yourself on Social Media

  With the advent of social media, it’s become much easier and less expensive to build your brand online. But are you doing it the right way? Every day, millions of people go online and write unscrupulous comments on controversial weblogs, post private photos on public social networking sites and share random photos and videos about random subjects which they assume would be interesting to others. How is this random behavior helping their brand? Actually, these haphazard messages send a blurry message about their professionalism to their target audience.   Here are 12 crucial tips to consider if you want to brand yourself on social media:   Know who you are and what you want to say to your audience. What do you want to be known for? If you’re not clear on your message and how it differentiates you from the others, the audience won’t be interested either. Kevan Lee says, “Before you can establish or develop your expertise, you have to decide … [Read more...]