Career Reinvention &
Personal Brand Strategist

Career Reinvention and
Personal Brand Strategist

T: 1 (617) 489-7738

Blog Articles

Linkedin Keywords Are Essential To Being Found

May 26, 2014



Did you know that LinkedIn is very similar to Google in that if you have the right keywords in the right places on your profile, you are much more likely to be found in a LinkedIn search? And isn’t that the goal after all?

How do you know which keywords to use? Here are two quick ideas:

  • When I coach clients on their LinkedIn profiles, I usually suggest that they go out and look at some of their competitors on LinkedIn and see which keywords they are using. (Just remember to turn off your settings if you don’t want them to know you are on their profile). For example, if you are a CMO in a law firm, look at the profiles of other CMOs and see which keywords they are using.
  • Another place to research keywords is to read over job descriptions for roles which you are interested and qualified for and look over the keywords being used. Or if you have your own business, review your competitor’s brochures and marketing materials.

And where should you include the keywords on your profile? There are actually many places on Linked where you can strategically imbed keywords to improve your visibility. Here are a few with a very quick overview of the how and why:

  1. Professional Headline: This section is displayed under your name and defaults to your current job title. You have 120 characters here to drive traffic. Try adding in keywords, the markets you serve, the value you deliver and anything else that will help differentiate you from others.
  1. Title Fields and Descriptions in the Professional Section: This seems obvious but often forgotten. The Experience section should be filled with keywords that highlight your expertise and should focus on accomplishments.
  1. Specialties/Keyword section in your Summary: Be sure to add a keyword section at the end of your summary, separating the keywords with commas. Remember your total summary, with keywords, is limited to 2,000 characters.
  1. Interests: Most people think of just including hobbies in this section, and you can. But given that you have a 1,000 character limit for this section, try including some industry-related keywords that will optimize your profile.
  1. Recommendations: be sure to ask the people who recommend you to include some keywords and competencies in the recommendation they write up highlight your expertise. 
  1. Education: This is also another great place to include some keywords. I was recently helping a chemist in biotech retool his LinkedIn profile for a career change to Financial Analyst. Since he had just completed numerous Finance courses in grad school, we populated this section to highlight some new skills and expertise.
If you would like to learn more about how to maximize your brand on LinekdIn, join our workshop on June 19th.

Image courtesy of patpitchaya /

Career Coach Articles > LinkedIn and Social Media

Use the following address when linking to this page:


LinkedIn is now the preferred tool for recruiters!!! Make it SEO Friendly

January 16, 2013




Yesterday, I was editing some of the blog posts I had written recently. I sat down to have a cup of tea, to read The Boston Globe, and take a break.


I opened up the Careers section in yesterday’s Globe and one of the front cover articles was on LinkedIn. I have been advocating this tool for years with clients, and was pleased to see the front cover page coverage. I was intrigued. What were they going to tell me now?


Well, I already knew LinkedIn made a lot of money from corporate recruiters seats. Did you know that LinkedIn’s talent solutions business or recruitment accounted for roughly more than 50 percent of the firm’s $500 million in revenues last year (according to LinkedIn’s Mike Gamson, SVP of global solutions at LinkedIn). That is an impressive number!!!


So what does this mean for you, the job seeker, career changer, or solopreneur? It means opportunity, but it also means that your profiles need to be up to par. You have to consider LinkedIn as your personal branding tool. Getting LinkedIn right from a branding perspective takes time, so my suggestion is to make a few changes at a time.


Here are TWO LinkedIn MUST DOs from a branding perspective:


Make sure your LinkedIn headliner, which sits high on the LinkedIn profile, is more than just a job title, which is the default if you don’t change it. You want this headline of 120 characters to include as much about you, your interests, and your differentiators as possible, so that when a recruiter does a search, your name will pop up. Which headline do you think will get better results?


Collaboration Manager (what the heck does that mean?)




Digital Strategist & Advocate – Web & Internet | President MIT Club | Former Ranked Athlete


To do this, just click on Edit Profile and look for the link next under your name.



Make sure the right keywords are in your entire LinkedIn profile. Some individuals sprinkle a few keywords in the summary section of their LinkedIn profile, but ignore other sections in LinkedIn. Make sure your keywords are in your LinkedIn headline, the actual text of the summary section and in your Skills/Expertise section. One of my clients last year was recruited directly off of LinkedIn for a role and company he was not even considering because he had the keywords “Fluent Japanese” sprinkled throughout his profile.




His LinkedIn Headliner: Client Services Exec: Retool product and service lines to crack new markets and drive service subscription growth/market share | Fluent Japanese


Summary Section:

I also speak fluent Japanese and have lived and worked in Japan.


Tags (Now Skills/Expertise: Japan, Japanese,

Career Coach Articles > LinkedIn and Social Media

Use the following address when linking to this page:


What makes for a good LinkedIn recommendation?

May 24, 2012



In coaching clients on their LinkedIn profile, I often notice that clients have few or poorly written and vague recommendations. You should pay attention to LinkedIn recommendations. With over 135 million users and 2 people joining every second, LinkedIn is still the de facto professional networking and job search tool. Recruiters and hiring managers regularly scout for talent using this tool and are bypassing some of the more traditional ways of recruiting that have been used in the past.


Personally, I think it is important to have LinkedIn recommendations, but only if they help support your profile and candidature. Here are some tips to help you power-up your recommendations:


1. I suggest that you reach out personally to the individual you would like to write the recommendation.  A simple email or phone call suffices. You should only ask people who know of your work.


2. You should coach the recommender on what to include. Make sure the writer mentions how they know you, uses specific information about the work you did, and adds in something that sets you apart.  Example: “John helped grow our sales tremendously. Over the past 18 months, he did a fantastic job increasing inbound sales leads by 40%. He crafted catchy marketing pieces and rallied his team to go the extra mile. ” Try to avoid generic accolades such as “John is a very friendly guy and nice collaborator.”


3. Include a variety of recommendations from individuals a various levels within an organization-from bosses, subordinates and colleagues. If you run your own business, you should get recommendations from clients and other individuals you work with on projects.


4. Get a reasonable number of recommendations in relation to the number of connections you have. If you have 200 connections, 25 recommendations would be overkill and might actually hurt you. I suggest a minimum of 3-5.


5. Keep the recommendations to a readable length. Even though LinkedIn allows for 3,000 characters, just say what you need to get the point across.

Career Coach Articles > LinkedIn and Social Media

Use the following address when linking to this page:


BranchOut and Grow Your Facebook Connections

April 04, 2012



Since its launch, BranchOut, a professional networking platform on Facebook, has been growing steadily. Before BranchOut, many job seekers were reluctant to use Facebook as a job search tool because of all the personal information that could be displayed.  That has all changed now as BranchOut leverages the power of the Facebook network, but the BranchOut profile only shows work history, education, and positive endorsements to business contacts. On BranchOut, users can connect professionally without becoming Facebook friends, so they can keep their personal information private. It allows users to search by location, position and company.

For this post, I decided to interview my colleague and Facebook guru, Barb Safani of CareerSolvers ( If you missed my earlier interview with Barb on Facebook in December, feel free to read it here.

Randi: Who Uses BranchOut?

Barbara: BranchOut is the largest professional network on Facebook, with millions of users in more than 60 countries. They have users that are Fortune 500 CEOs, and entry-level employees. BranchOut empowers Facebook users to network with those whom they have the most authentic relationships – their friends – and search for hundreds of thousands of jobs through the world’s largest social network.

Randi: Can you explain how it works?

Barbara: You have two options to add BranchOut to your Facebook profile.  Either visit, or after logging into your Facebook account, search for the BranchOut app and select the app that appears. Once you have the app (Randi: Under apps on the left hand side), click “Grow Network” and you’ll find a number of options to select from, including email, wall posts, and a few additional communication channels on Facebook.

Your Facebook friends who are existing BranchOut users will automatically be added to your BranchOut network. If you’re Facebook friends, but they’re not already BranchOut users, you can invite them to BranchOut using wall posts and the request channel on Facebook.

When reviewing the more than three million job postings or 20,000 internships, you’ll see all of your inside connections – your Facebook friends, who you’re connected to through BranchOut, and their friends. This alerts you to your vast network of insider connections, who you just happen to have the most authentic relationships, so that you can network with them to ensure your resume is at the top of the pile or make an introduction to a hiring manager.

Randi: Can you upload a resume?

Barbara: Through BranchOut, you can upload your resume, or create one from scratch, ask for or give endorsements, share updates with your BranchOut network and browse jobs.

Randi: How does BranchOut differ from LinkedIn?

Barbara: BranchOut allows you to tap into the enormous networking potential of 850M+ Facebook users. LinkedIn cannot integrate information from Facebook in this way and with significantly fewer users (135M), a job seeker may be missing out on an important networking opportunity by only using LinkedIn for their online networking needs.

Randi: How can I learn more?

Barbara: You can visit






















Career Coach Articles > LinkedIn and Social Media

Use the following address when linking to this page:


How to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile

February 08, 2012

If everyone seems to be talking about LinkedIn as the place to raise your visibility or make connections for a job search/career change, then what are you doing about it? Well, there are many things you can do immediately to improve your professional visibility through LinkedIn.


Here are five quick tips to improve your LinkedIn profile:

  1. Your Photo: This might appear to be a simple thing, but your photo image goes a long way to getting you noticed. Make sure your photo is professional looking. Your photo should feature a close-up of your face and neck, you should be wearing business attire, you should look neat and clean and you should have a genuine smile on your face.
  2. Your Tagline: Look for something professional that lists your job function and if possible expresses your personal brand and the value you offer an employer. It should be meaningful as this is the only text that shows under your name in a LinkedIn search. Here are a few examples from current clients I am working with:  “Fosters effectiveness through organizational learning, cultural development and a sustained focus on process and results”, or “Biopharmaceutical exec: Successfully plan, launch and develop acute care drugs to drive organizational growth”.
  3. Your Keywords: You can highlight your skills and competencies in the Specialties section (up to 500 characters). This is very important as recruiters and hiring managers use these keywords to search for suitable candidates.  
  4. Your Links: You may list three websites on your LinkedIn profile. If you have your own website, this is an ideal spot to attract others to that personal link. If you write or contribute to a blog, that would be another worthwhile link. Your company site could also show others your level of experience and the success of your company.
  5. Your Summary: This is an extremely important part of your LinkedIn profile and you are given ample room (up to 1,999 characters) to express your brand and value-add. The summary is not your entire career chronology, but rather an opportunity to engage your reader and motivate them to read on further in the Professional Experience section. Items that should be included include: Engaging entry, bird’s eye view of your career, how you do the work you do (your process or approach), industry leadership, proof of performance or accomplishments.
Career Coach Articles > LinkedIn and Social Media

Use the following address when linking to this page:


Help Recruiters Find You On LinkedIn

January 24, 2012



I have read a number of articles lately about LinkedIn, and one of the most recurring themes is how to get recruiters attention on LinkedIn. Company and independent recruiters don’t necessarily wait to view the job applications they receive on their website.  Many are now searching sites, such as LinkedIn, and looking for the right fit even before the position is posted, if it is at all.

To be viewed online by a recruiter early in the process, you must make your profile easy to find, and using keywords can be the key. Recruiters can search LinkedIn routinely on their own through the Advanced People Search, through recommended LinkedIn groups, and through the LinkedIn Recruiter service.

Search engines like these will look for keywords in various parts of your profile, especially in the Summary and Specialties sections. You can also sprinkle keywords in your professional headline and in the professional experience section where you highlight your accomplishments for each role you’ve had.

NOTE: If you are not sure which keywords to use, look at several job descriptions for roles you are interested in and qualified for; see which keywords potential employers are using. If you are making a career change, you can include keywords from both the career you are leaving and the newer field in which you are getting experience and perhaps getting trained.

Make sure that you don’t use abbreviations and words stuck together with slashes or hyphens. Abbreviations, such as exec, won’t work well. Use executive, instead. And, joining identifying words, such as Marketing/Creative/Manager/Sales likely won’t be picked up, too, in a recruiter’s search. So spell out those words, and separate them with spaces or commas.

Also, be sure to use up the available space that LinkedIn allots. You have up to 500 characters, with spaces, for keywords, which is more than enough room to include skills you possess, languages you speak, industry/market experience or international experience. You can even use this section to express a passion you have for a field in which you would like to move into.

Please remember to place your email address, phone number, and other contact information, such as a link to your personal website, in your summary section. Once your profile has been found, you will want the recruiter to be able to contact you easily. 

Career Coach Articles > LinkedIn and Social Media

Use the following address when linking to this page:


Is The Resume Dead?

December 21, 2011



Early in November, I attended a virtual career conference, in which a variety of career and branding topics were discussed over three days. One of the sessions was a recruiter panel discussing the importance of the resume versus social media profiles. It is always interesting to hear what recruiters have to say about these two very different career marketing documents:


Here are some takeaways from the panel discussion:


  1. The resume is not going away yet. Hiring managers still want to see and hold this physical document, especially during an interview.
  2. What is changing is that recruiters and hiring managers are pulling up social media profiles first during the hiring process.
  3. Hiring managers use a resume AND LinkedIn profile together for a few reasons. Firstly, they use the LinkedIn profile to fill in gaps where they might have questions on the resume. Secondly, they also do a compare and contrast between the two documents.
  4. One of the reasons that resumes will not disappear that quickly is that you can customize a resume to each individual position you are seeking; a LinkedIn profile is more generic-a broader-based view of your background that appeals to a wider target.
  5. Keywords (whether in LinkedIn or in your resume) are still the primary and most efficient way for hiring managers and recruiters to comb through large databases of potential candidates.

Be sure you are reviewing job descriptions and have a clear sense of the keywords and skills someone would use to find you.

Career Coach Articles > LinkedIn and Social Media

Use the following address when linking to this page:


Facebook Interview With Barb Safani

December 08, 2011



With social networking on the rise, I have been receiving many questions from clients about the importance of Facebook for job search and other career related activities.  For this post, I decided to interview my colleague, Barb Safani in New York, who is admittedly one of the most active career coaches on Facebook and who also teaches many classes on social networking.


Randi: What is the difference between Facebook and LinkedIn?


Barb:  Facebook started out as a social networking site restricted to college students. LinkedIn began as a business networking site for professionals. Several years ago, Facebook became available to everyone and its popularity soared. In recent years, it has shifted from being "just for kids" to a rich resource for networking for business and personal reasons. In the past year alone, several third party applications have been added to the Facebook platform that are conducive to business networking and Facebook currently boasts more than 7 times the number of users as LinkedIn.


Randi: Do I need to be on Facebook when looking for a job?


Barb: I highly recommend incorporating Facebook into your job search strategy. It has robust search features for sourcing people from various companies and it has become quite commonplace for employers to have a Facebook page for building engagement with current and potential customers as well as employees.


Randi: If so, how do I do this?


Barb: Here are three easy tips:


  • Use the search box to find people who are employed by companies that you are targeting and see if people in your network are connected to these people.
  • Regularly engage in the conversations on company pages.
  • Become a fan, ask questions, comment on new products, etc.


Randi: What kind of photos are appropriate for Facebook?


Barb: Show photos that you would not be concerned with an employer seeing. These do not all have to be business photos but should be ones that represent you in the way you would like to be perceived by employers.


Randi: Can prospective employers see everything I post on Facebook?


Barb: Not necessarily. You can manipulate your privacy settings to control who sees what.


Randi: Is there a way to control what prospective employers will see?


Barb: Yes. You can change your privacy features so only friends see your posts, create friend lists and manage which friends see which posts, or you can make decisions on who sees what for each item you post.


Barb Safani of Career Solvers

Career Coach Articles > LinkedIn and Social Media

Use the following address when linking to this page:


Can you use Twitter to say "thank you"?

January 20, 2010



This week, I read a great article by Career Rocketeer about how to use Twitter more effectively to express your gratitude to those who re-tweet you Tweets. Here are three things I learned form the article:


1.     Do not just thank the person for re-tweeting your message.  Use this as an opportunity to either engage them in a dialogue about a topic, or use this as an opportunity to get to know them better so that you can engage with them in the future. Try to use their first name so you can create an emotional connection with them.

2.     Add them to one of your customer lists. This is another way to thank an individual for their efforts.

3.     Re-Tweet instead of jus saying thank you. A nice way to show appreciation to someone is to re-tweet something they have written on their blog, or something they have recently tweeted about.


This article is chock full of great ideas. To read more, go to:


Twitter, follow: @CareerRocketeer





Career Coach Articles > LinkedIn and Social Media

Use the following address when linking to this page:


How to manage your time with respect to social media sites

November 06, 2009


Time Management Tips for Dealing with Social Media


I read a very interesting article in Social Media Today on how to deal with the feeling of overwhelm associated with managing one’s social media interests as well as everything else a job seeker has to deal with. Here are some quick tips as outlined in the article:


§  Have a focused social media strategy. That means, don’t try to be everywhere or you will be in information overload. Pick two or three sites that map to your target audience and where you want to express your personal brand. LinkedIn should be one of them.

§  Leverage Tools. There are very good tools available to help with social media content such as TweetDeck, Hellotxt and Hootsuite. Select one or two tools you are most comfortable with and learn how to use them to streamline your time.

§  Establish Routines. Set aside a few times during the day when you’ll check out your social media sites. The rest of the time, it is okay to unplug.

§  Manage Expectations. Just because someone emails you or sends you a direct message does not mean you have to answer asap. It is okay to say, “I got your note, but need a little time to respond.”

§  Manage Disruptions. It is very easy to get sucked into spending all day on social media sites. At the beginning of the day, set your top three priorities for the day and make sure you stick to them. Plug your social media activities around the top three goals for the day.


For additional ideas and information on social media, read





Career Coach Articles > LinkedIn and Social Media

Use the following address when linking to this page:


Tweetiquette for Beginners

August 09, 2009

Tweetiquette for Beginners

Lay-offs and increasing unemployment; Oprah and Larry King; these are all factors that have contributed to Twitter's rise from an obscure social community to an online behemoth. People now see Twitter's usefulness and its possible solution to everything, from an oppressive regime in Iran and to the portal to a new job after a pink slip.

Regardless of what it was, Twitter has gained acceptance by the mainstream, and should now be an integral part of any person's branding arsenal.


It is not the mechanics of Twitter that are complicated, but the etiquette. Therefore, this article expands upon the 'how-to,' and discusses proper tweetiquette to help avoid a tweet pas (if you have read previous articles of mine about Twitter, I employ wordplay ad nauseam).


Everyone on Twitter has a Twitter-name. Whenever you refer to, retweet, or respond to a person in a "tweet' (the characteristic 140 character message) their name must always be preceded by the @ symbol. This action is commonly referred to as a ‘mention.'

For example, my Twitter name is jdvarlaro, but if you were to write to me, you would type @jdvarlaro.


1) The @ symbol tells Twitter to send your response to the person's mention box. This person now knows you replied to something they wrote, retweeted it, or just said something really nice about them. Without the @, the message is not sent to their mention box, and there is no way for the person to know of your mention, unless they are following your tweets constantly (and trust me, NO ONE follows anyone's tweets constantly).

2) Your messages are broadcast to everyone following you. EVERYONE who follows you can now click on that person's name, and be directed to their Twitter account. This is extremely important tweetiquette, as mentioning someone without the @ means your followers cannot click and find them. Although, if you begin a tweet with @name, only followers who are following both you AND the person you write to will see your message.

Wait...What's A Retweet?

If you like something someone wrote... retweet it. For example, if you like something I tweet, type RT @jdvarlaro and a copy of my tweet. The @ ensures that I see you retweeted me, while your followers read that I wrote it and can now follow me, or retweet the entire message. And, people love to be retweeted.

Now, it is not uncommon to see messages retweeted 3 or 4 times. Just follow the same procedure, typing RT@name of the person who retweeted the message you like. Essentially, your message would read like this:

RT@Joe RT@Bob: I love to retweet!

Decoding the message is such that, Bob was the originator of the message "I love to retweet." At which point Joe retweeted Bob's message. Then, liking the entire message, you retweeted Joe.

You only have 140 characters, so in a multi-retweet shorten words and cut vowels - just be mindful to not cut a person who retweeted.


A direct message is Twitter email - it is only visible to the recipient. Precede the message with D @person's name or just use the Direct Message option on your Twitter home page.

A word of caution: A direct message is NOT the primary means of conversing on Twitter, and excessive direct messages can be a Tweet Pas.

Conversing on Twitter is open for all to see - and this is the part that many people new to Twitter do not understand. You speak; sometimes directly to someone, sometimes to no one; and people read it and can comment, add, or do nothing about it. That is just the way this social community functions.


Occasionally, a message will be followed by a # and then a word or acronym. Known as a hash tag, it allows all of the tweets containing the "#..." to be followed as one, continuous conversation.

Most famous is the #followfriday usage: every Friday, you endorse the people you like by tweeting @their name and #followfriday. This tells other people 'hey, follow this person!' If you were to search #followfriday, you could follow all of the tweets containing that tag.

By the way, #FollowFriday is an institution on Twitter, and is standard tweetiquette.

Other Uses of the "#"

The # is also employed in the event of breaking news. The protesters at the G20 summit in London tweeted and tagged all tweets #G20. Anyone on Twitter was able to read and participate by searching #G20 and tagging tweets with #G20. More recently, the Iranian Elections and the controversy which ensued created a massive amount of Twitter activity, causing people to go as far as making their Twitter pictures green in support of the protestors.

This method of tagging is also used to conduct political and news forums. You can read my article "Twitter and Politics; Twolitics" about how I participated, through Twitter, in a town hall meeting in Massachusetts (and how my question was answered by the Governor of Massachusetts).

Don't Stop With Twitter; Experiment With Other Social Media

It is important to mention that right now, social communities are in flux; 2 years ago it was MySpace, last year it was Facebook and Linkedin, this year it is Twitter, next year, who knows. The best thing you can do for your brand and your online presence is to gain a familiarity with a good sampling of social communities, and network through those effectively and efficiently, while keeping your ear to the floor regarding any new up and coming communities. If you hear of one, try it. This method is good practice and will continue to maintain your online brand.


Regardless of the community, all online social communities follow the golden rule: by supporting others and interacting, you will gain support. I refer to this as ‘social narcissism.'

This is the basis of tweetiquette. Retweeting, @ symbols and the ilk do just that - show support and interaction with fellow tweople (tweeps and tweople are permissible, never use twits!)

Unfortunately, newbies, as well as some corporations and celebrities do not understand, or just ignore the golden rule. But while celebrities and some corporations can ignore it, if YOU want to be loved (and followed), well, you'll have to give love out.

So do not be selfish, and 'tweet the one you're with.'




John D Varlaro CPT, MBA
John, The Humanistic Strategist, is a business consultant and leadership coach based in Providence, Rhode Island whose expertise in marketing and organizational development accentuates the people in business. You may read more articles by him on his website,


Career Coach Articles > LinkedIn and Social Media

Use the following address when linking to this page:


Four Tips for Using Social Media to Find a Job

July 10, 2009


Four Tips for Using Social Media to Find a Job

In this economy, finding a job is extremely tough because of hiring freezes, lay-offs, outsourcing, and major competition. Graduates are entering the job market just as seasoned professionals are being let go, and there are a limited amount of positions available. So how do you find an edge and apply for a job before thousands of others have gotten in line before you? One trick that will help you stay connected without stalking Craigslist all through the night is to take full advantage of all the opportunities that social media and social networking can offer. Here are 6 tips for using social media to find a job and stick out amongst the competition.

1.      Pick the right social media site. There are countless social sites to log on to, but if you want to really connect with the people who can help you the most, you’ll have to weed through all the noise and create a strategic game plan. Sign up with a general social site that’s popular first, like Facebook or LinkedIn. Then, depending on your industry, you should research the niche social sites that attract people in your specific field. For example, if you’re an artist, you may want to try out ArtBreak . Decorati is a network of interior designers who connect and post information about sale items.

2.      Be professional and sensible when setting up your profile. Don’t use any silly nicknames or inappropriate pictures of yourself. Stick with your real name, real contact information, and a professional, flattering photo.

3.      Know the difference between posting a resume and explaining your interests. Different social sites have different forms to fill out, but generally speaking, no one wants to look at your profile and see the resume you copied/pasted onto the site. Allude to your skills and past work and list interests and hobbies that are relevant to the type of work you do, but add a separate link or page for your portfolio.

4.      Don’t be afraid to reach out. Social media is all about making connections that you wouldn’t ever be able to make in the real world. So don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and reach out to people around the country and around the world. Ask them about their job, explaining that you’d like to enter the industry or learn how to get experience. You’ll be surprised at how friendly and open people can be when you ask the right way.

This post was contributed by Megan Jones, who writes about the job search websites. She welcomes your feedback at Meg.Jones0310 at



Career Coach Articles > LinkedIn and Social Media

Use the following address when linking to this page:


How to Make the Most Out of Your LinkedIn Groups

January 15, 2009

How to Make the Most Out of Your LinkedIn Groups

When LinkedIn launched its new Groups Directory last year, the business-oriented social networking Web site opened up a wealth of possibilities for new professional connections for you. Would you believe more than 90,000 possibilities? Well, that’s how many groups LinkedIn has available.

Through an easy search function (by keyword or category), you can quickly access information about many groups that might interest you. And, many that you might want to join. This can enhance your networking capabilities and improve your professional contacts for your job search or career reinvention.

If you’re interested in professional advancement, promotion, investigating a new field, or just keeping up on your career, networking is always considered one of the most important factors—if not the most important factor—to use to achieve your goals. And, one of the best ways to do this is through a variety of professional associations and alumni organizations, or attending conferences related to your career.

LinkedIn can improve your professional contacts through the directory function. However, with 90,000 possibilities, how do you make the most of this feature? First, you must get organized to take the best advantage of these opportunities. You don’t want to request to join a bunch of groups without investigating whether they can truly help your professional development.

Here are a couple of steps to take initially:

1.      Consider what groups (size, type) would benefit you the most

2.      Decide on which type to join—professional, networking, corporate, alumni, etc.

3.      Search the Groups Directory by keyword or category

4.      Review the overview of groups you might be interested in

5.      Be selective, don’t join any group without thinking it through

And, that is the key. You’ll be wasting your time if you join 25 groups, but don’t have time to work with any of them. You would be much better off joining three to five groups to start—perhaps one of each of the following: professional, conferencing, networking, corporate, and alumni—and become involved with them.

You can make new professionals contacts, join different discussion groups, exchange messages and queries, and sign up for a professional conference or seminar. These activities will help you grow your personal professional brand, extend your professional network, and not spread yourself out too thin.

Joining some LinkedIn groups will help you establish your professional network, stay in touch with your group associates more easily, and help you discover additional business contacts inside and outside your groups. If you start joining groups in a deliberate, organized fashion, you will eventually be able to expand the number of groups you’re involved with, and, thus, continue to expand your professional network.

Career Coach Articles > LinkedIn and Social Media

Use the following address when linking to this page:


Power up your online networking by joining LinkedIn Groups

January 13, 2009

 Power up your online networking by joining LinkedIn Groups


You’ve joined LinkedIn and already have a number of professional and personal contacts to whom you have linked up with, but all of these people are your friends and current or former co-workers. How do you go about expanding your professional network?


One way is to join a LinkedIn group or several groups. It’s a great way to meet new people, join in topical discussions that may be of interest to you, and expand your network for future professional advancement.


There are two ways to join a LinkedIn group—you can find a group you’re interested in and request to join that group, or you can be invited to join a group. Either way you must be approved by the group’s manager before you can become a member.


To get started, you can look at other members’ profiles and see which groups they belong to by simply clicking on a group logo in their profile. Otherwise, you can just search for a group in the Groups Directory. To use this method, just:

·        Click on User Groups or Groups on the home page’s left navigation bar

·        Click on the Groups Directory tab

·        Find Search Groups box

·        Select a category from drop down window

·        Click on Search


Once you have a found a group that interests you, you may request to join the group. After this process is completed, you will be able to click on the group’s link and explore its overview page, which will describe current discussions. Through the members tab, you also will be able to see who the members of the group are, read their profile information, and send messages to them.


The other way to join a LinkedIn group is via invitation. If you are invited to join a group, your membership already might be preapproved. To find out if you’re preapproved, make sure the e-mail address where you received the invitation is one of your confirmed e-mail addresses on your LinkedIn account. You can check by going to the home page, and under Account & Settings click on E-mail Addresses.


Whether you have sought out a group or have been invited to join one, the new discussions you will be involved in and the new group members you will be affiliated with will help you expand your network and may well prove to be important factors in fulfilling your job search or career reinvention goals.



Career Coach Articles > LinkedIn and Social Media

Use the following address when linking to this page:


Tweet and you may find a job: Don't Ignore Twitter in your job search

January 05, 2009


I read a very interesting article this morning about a young 22-year old who used Twitter to get a job. Within one week of posting her “Tweet”, she had an interview. Within two weeks, she had a job.


This article is living proof that building connections and following up with them using online social media is the way to go. To read the complete article, click here.


We’ll be covering Twitter in greater detail in our newsletter this month and also in the blog.


Career Coach Articles > LinkedIn and Social Media

Use the following address when linking to this page:


I Recommend LinkedIn Recommendations

December 08, 2008

 Clients frequently ask me if it is important to have LinkedIn recommendations. Well, the answer is YES!!!. Recommendations on your profile are a great way to demonstrate your skills, strengths and accomplishments articulated throughout your profile.


Here are some helpful tips on beefing up your profile with “Recommendations”

  1. You can use the standard feature button on LinkedIn “request recommendation”. However, I think this is too impersonal. I would recommend contacting the person via email and asking them that way.
  2. Let them know you are working on improving your LinkedIn Profile, and you’d really appreciate a recommendation from them.  You can even say “it’s similar to letter of recommendation, but should only be about a paragraph.”
  3. Coach the person on what it is you would like them to focus on. Be clear about your personal brand and the things you would like them to emphasize.  “It would be great if you could focus on X, Y and Z.  When worked together on a project a Company Z, I think you saw my ability to collaborate with individuals from various departments and I would appreciate it if you could write something about this.” 
  4. Try to have at least 2-4 recommendations on your LinkedIn profile from a variety of constituents-former bosses, colleagues, business partners etc.


Career Coach Articles > LinkedIn and Social Media

Use the following address when linking to this page:


Yes, Recruiters Use LinkedIn

November 13, 2008



Yes, recruiters Use LinkedIn


I must get the question several times a day-Do recruiters use LinkedIn?

A colleague wrote a great blog post on how recruiters use LinkedIn to source candidates. Recently I was coaching two of my own clients on how to improve their LinkedIn profile to maximize their visibility and to more clearly articulate their brand. No sooner than two days after posting a revised profile, they both mentioned to me they had been contacted by recruiters for positions. Try it for yourself and see!!!!


In the meantime, if you would like to read Meg’s blog, here is the link.


Career Coach Articles > LinkedIn and Social Media

Use the following address when linking to this page:


New LinkedIn Tool Improves Networking

November 12, 2008

New LinkedIn Tool Improves Networking

LinkedIn is offering a great new tool for you if you’re looking to network as a way to expand your career options or to change careers. LinkedIn already provides LinkedIn Groups and LinkedIn Answers to help you further your career, but LinkedIn Events will assist you in finding events and conferences pertinent to your career or to a new career that interests you.


This service is provided to LinkedIn users, but it’s easy to become a member. Just go to and sign up. LinkedIn will use the information you have provided in your profile and the professional network that you build up to recommend events that you can use to expand your professional association or to explore a new career.

On your professional page, LinkedIn will set up a list of conferences and professional events geared toward your career or business interests. These are plucked from LinkedIn’s database of more than 8,000 events, and specifically sent to you based on your job history, title, and career background and aspirations. This information will list the event name, date, location, and how many other LinkedIn users will be attending.

You also may check out a longer description of the event that includes information about the schedule, goals, and speakers, and participants for that event. This information panel also will tell you the cost, if any, the event’s Web site to link to for further information, who else might be interested in attending, and contact information about the organizer.

LinkedIn also allows its subscribers to search through its entire database. You may search through events based on your location, by date, by industry, and by topic. You even may search through the names of speakers or organizations holding such events.

Once you’ve decided to attend an event or conference, you can alert your LinkedIn network as to your status for the event. And, you can keep updating your digital resume on your LinkedIn profile with each event or conference that you attend.

Because LinkedIn is all about setting up your own personal and professional network, this tool will allow you to see what other professionals in your network are doing, where they’re going, and what interests they’re pursuing. This will set up opportunities for you to network and make new connections, whether your goal is to advance in your career or to explore the possibilities of a new career.

And, if your goal is to change your career, you will be able to create an entire new network in a potential new field, attend events and conferences that will help you decide if this career is for you, and network with new connections that might help open the door for you for a new career.


Career Coach Articles > LinkedIn and Social Media

Use the following address when linking to this page:


Privacy Policy | Press Releases | Testimonials
Copyright © Aspire! 2015. All rights reserved. Compelling Visual Content by AH Digital FX Studios