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6 Steps to a More Marketable LinkedIn Profile

NOTE: This article by Jeff Haden originally appears here.

Somewhere along the line you started treating it more like a resume. It’s time to fix that.


Overall, LinkedIn is the best social media platform for entrepreneurs, business owners, and professionals. Unfortunately, your LinkedIn profile may not be helping you to create those connections.

So let’s tune yours up with six simple steps:

Make yourself more marketable on LinkedInStep 1. Revisit your goals. At its most basic level LinkedIn is about marketing: marketing your company or marketing yourself. But that focus probably got lost as you worked through the mechanics of completing your profile, and what started as a marketing effort turned into a resume completion task. Who you are isn’t as important as what you hope to accomplish, so think about your goals and convert your goals into keywords, because keywords are how people find you on LinkedIn.

But don’t just whip out the Google AdWords Keyword Tool and identify popular keywords. It’s useful but everyone uses it—and that means, for example, that every Web designer has shoehorned six- and seven-digit searches-per-month keywords like “build a website,” “website templates,” “designing a website,” and “webmaster” into their profile. It’s hard to stand out when you’re one of millions.

Go a step further and think about words that have meaning in your industry. Some are process-related; others are terms only used in your field; others might be names of equipment, products, software, or companies.

Use a keyword tool to find general terms that could attract a broader audience, and then dig deeper to target your niche by identifying keywords industry insiders might search for.

Then sense-check your keywords against your goals. If you’re a Web designer but you don’t provide training, the 7 million monthly Google searches for  “how to Web design” don’t matter.

Step 2. Layer in your keywords. The headline is a key factor in search results, so pick your most important keyword and make sure it appears in your headline. “Most important” doesn’t mean most searched, though; if you provide services to a highly targeted market the keyword in your headline should reflect that niche. Then work through the rest of your profile and replace some of the vague descriptions of skills, experience, and educational background with keywords. Your profile isn’t a term paper so don’t worry about a little repetition. A LinkedIn search scans for keywords, and once on the page, so do people.

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Mobile Recruiting Is on the Rise [STUDY]

Mobile Recruiting

This article originally appears here on Mashable.com

Over the past few years, social media recruiting has garnered a lot of discussion in the HR world — mobile recruiting, on the other hand, is a topic that has yet to make it into the mainstream conversation.

Employers lack knowledge of how job seekers are using mobile devices and how their businesses could take advantage of the mobile web to find top talent. As a result, only a limited number of employers have implemented mobile recruiting strategies via apps and mobile websites, according to a study by online recruiting research lab Potentialpark.

For the study, Potentialpark surveyed more than 30,000 job seekers worldwide and analyzed the mobile career presence of more than 350 top employers in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Since the data has not yet been published online, Mashable spoke with Potentialpark about its findings.

The study found that a healthy 19% of job seekers use their mobile devices for career-related purposes (and more than 50% of could imagine doing so), yet only 7% of employers have a mobile version of their career website and only 3% have a mobile job app.

One out of five job seekers may not sound like a huge deal, but it’s no number to scoff at. Since smartphone adoption rates are ever-increasing, this number will likely increase as more mobile users get the power of the Internet into their palms.

So, what exactly are job seekers looking to achieve on their mobile devices? Potential recruits want to use their mobile phones to look for jobs and receive job alerts — but they have many other activities in mind, as illustrated in the graph below.

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How This 23-Year-Old Used Tumblr To Land A Book Deal

This post originally appears on BusinessInsider.com here: http://www.businessinsider.com/gaby-dunn-100-interviews-internet-fame-2011-11

Gaby Dunn made all the right moves. She went to school for journalism and beefed up her resume and portfolio by writing for various news outlets, but when it came time for her graduation in 2009, the economy had tanked and so had the news industry — both of which now sit mostly in the same purgatory as they did then.

Dunn, like so many others in her cohort, took a job that wasn’t quite in line with her career goals. She missed telling stories, and decided that if the news world didn’t quite have room for her to share sources’ stories, she’d do it on her own. And so 100 Interviews came to be.

Last October, Dunn set out to interview 100 different kinds of people — ranging from a one-hit wonder to a woman who pickets abortion clinics — in the span of a year. She set out to offer up their stories to the world on a blog hosted by Tumblr, and now, Dunn is fresh off the project and (at just 23 years old) is poised to sign a book deal.

Thanks to an interesting idea, a self-identified lack of inhibitions, and a whole lot of self-promotion, Dunn says she’s changed the trajectory of her life and career — and she likes it that way.

Here’s how she did it.

Continue Reading Here

Wall Street Journal: The Art of Online Portraiture

This article by CHERYL LU-LIEN TAN originally appears here on the Wall Street Journal Online


Social-media profiles are increasingly important in building your business identity. “It’s a hugely powerful branding tool—and you have to be very strategic about building it,” says Nicole Williams, connection director for LinkedIn.

A key component is the profile picture. The New York City-based Ms. Williams, who primarily splits her time among three social-media sites—Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn—says it is crucial to strike the right tone.

First, you should have a profile picture. LinkedIn research shows that a page with a profile picture is seven times as likely to be viewed as a page without one, she says.

Think of these pictures as the modern-day version of the oil paintings that estate owners once commissioned. The smallest details in them will convey volumes. It’s best, Ms. Williams says, to have your profile picture feature you alone, not your pet or significant other. “Being so strongly identified with your dog or your husband might not be appropriate unless you’re a vet or a marriage counselor and that’s part of your professional image.”

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Mashable Article: 4 Simple Tools for Creating and Infographic Resume

This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum, where Mashable regularly contributes articles about leveraging social media and technology in small business.

As a freelancer or job seeker, it is important to have a resume that stands out among the rest — one of the more visually pleasing options on the market today is the infographic resume.

An infographic resume enables a job seeker to better visualize his or her career history, education and skills.

Unfortunately, not everyone is a graphic designer, and whipping up a professional-looking infographic resume can be a difficult task for the technically unskilled job seeker. For those of us not talented in design, it can also be costly to hire an experienced designer to toil over a career-centric infographic.

Luckily, a number of companies are picking up on this growing trend and building apps to enable the average job seeker to create a beautiful resume.

To spruce up your resume, check out these four tools for creating an infographic CV. If you’ve seen other tools on the market, let us know about them in the comments below.


1. Vizualize.me


  

Vizualize.me is a new app that turns a user’s LinkedIn profile information into a beautiful, web-based infographic.

After creating an account and connecting via LinkedIn, a user can edit his or her profile summary, work experience, education, links, skills, interests, languages, stats, recommendations and awards. And voila, a stunning infographic is created.

The company’s vision is to “be the future of resumes.” Lofty goal, but completely viable, given that its iteration of the resume is much more compelling than the simple, black-and-white paper version that currently rules the world.


2. Re.vu


  

Re.vu, a newer name on the market, is another app that enables a user to pull in and edit his or her LinkedIn data to produce a stylish web-based infographic.

The infographic layout focuses on the user’s name, title, biography, social links and career timeline — it also enables a user to add more graphics, including stats, skill evolution, proficiencies, quotes and interests over time.

Besides the career timeline that is fully generated via the LinkedIn connection, the other graphics can be a bit tedious to create, as all of the details must be entered manually.

In the end, though, a very attractive infographic resume emerges. This is, by far, the most visually pleasing option of all of the apps we reviewed.


3. Kinzaa


  

Based on a user’s imported LinkedIn data, Kinzaa creates a data-driven infographic resume that focuses on a user’s skills and job responsibilities throughout his or her work history.

The tool is still in beta, so it can be a bit wonky at times — but if you’re looking for a tool that helps outline exactly how you’ve divided your time in previous positions, this may be your tool of choice.

Unlike other tools, it also features a section outlining the user’s personality and work environment preferences. Details such as preferences on company size, job security, challenge level, culture, decision-making speed and more are outlined in the personality section, while the work environment section focuses on the user’s work-day length, team size, noise level, dress code and travel preferences.


4. Brazen Careerist Facebook App


  

Brazen Careerist, the career management resource for young professionals, launched a new Facebook application in September that generates an infographic resume from a user’s Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn information.

After a user authorizes the app to access his or her Facebook and LinkedIn data, the app creates an infographic resume with a unique URL — for example, my infographic resume is located at brazen.me/u/ericaswallow.

The infographic features a user’s honors, years of experience, recommendations, network reach, degree information, specialty keywords, career timeline, social links and LinkedIn profile image.

The app also creates a “Career Portfolio” section which features badges awarded based on a user’s Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn achievements. Upon signing up for the app, I earned eight badges, including “social media ninja,” “team player” and “CEO in training.” While badges are a nice addition, they aren’t compelling enough to keep me coming back to the app.


Your Thoughts


Have you used a web app to create an infographic resume? If so, which tool did you use and how was your experience? Let us know in the comments below.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, SchulteProductions

5 Simple Steps for Improving Your LinkedIn Visibility

This article originally appears on here on The Social Media Examiner

By
Published September 21, 2011

Are you wondering how to get the most from LinkedIn? Over the last few months, the LinkedIn network has made upgrades and undergone changes.

If you already have a profile created on LinkedIn, it’s a great time to revisit and refresh your presence!

Or if you’re just wondering how to get started, these 5 simple steps will help you make the moSocialst of your time and effort!

Continue reading here: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/5-simple-steps-for-improving-your-linkedin-visibility/

My Neighbor, Steve Jobs

This article first appeared in Palo Alto Patch.

He's More Than Just An IconMy neighbor, Steve Jobs, has been in the news lately. The talk of the town is the recent announcement he will be stepping aside to let other seeds grow at Apple. The business press, the general press, the blogosphere, and just about everybody else has waxed poetic about the “greatest CEO of all time” saying that this “boy wonder” has shaped the very nature of our lives with his genius.

It’s all true, but here in Palo Alto, Steve Jobs isn’t just an icon, he’s also the guy who lives down the street.

I first met Steve (does anyone call him Mr. Jobs anymore?) years ago at a backyard pool party. I was so flummoxed by the off chance I was breathing in his DNA, I could barely say a word. I am sure I made a winning first impression as I stumbled over my own name when we were introduced.

I watched as he swam in the pool with his son. He seemed like a regular guy, a good dad having fun with his kids.

The next time I met him was when our children attended school together. He sat in on back-to-school night listening to the teacher drone on about the value of education (wait, isn’t he one of those high-tech gods who didn’t even graduate from college?) while the rest of us sat around pretending having Steve Jobs in the room was totally normal.

Not long after, I saw Steve as I was running in our neighborhood. He was deep in conversation with a younger version of himself — his very own mini-me in jeans, black tee-shirt, and wire-rimmed glasses. I must have looked like an idiot as I tripped over a crack in the pavement trying to give them wide berth.

It was at Halloween not long after when I realized he actually knew my name (yes, my name!). He and his wife put on a darn scary haunted house (to be specific, a haunted garden). He was sitting on the walkway, dressed like Frankenstein. As I walked by with my son, Steve smiled and said, “Hi Lisen.” My son thought I was the coolest mom in town when he realized The Steve Jobs knew me.

Thanks for the coolness points, Steve.

From then on, when I saw him holding his executive meetings in our neighborhood, I didn’t hesitate to smile and say hi. Steve always returned the favor, proving he may be a genius, but he is also a good neighbor.

In time, things changed. The walks were less frequent, the gait slower, the smile not so ready. Earlier this year when I saw Steve and his wife walking down our street holding hands, I knew something was different. Now, so does the rest of the world.

While Newsweek and the Wall Street Journal and CNET continue to drone on about the impact of the Steve Jobs era,  I won’t be pondering the MacBook Air I write on or the iPhone I talk on. I will think of the day I saw him at his son’s high school graduation. There Steve stood, tears streaming down his cheeks, his smile wide and proud, as his son received his diploma and walked on into his own bright future leaving behind a good man and a good father who can be sure of the rightness of this, perhaps his most important legacy of all.