Tag Archives: career

Are You Ever Surprised at How Non-Tech Savvy Some People Seem?

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re someone who at a minimum is willing to embrace advances in technology and products that have been launched in recent years.  Or, at least you’re willing to embrace the knowledge that such things actually exist and have some value.

Recently, I met up with an old friend I hadn’t seen in a few years.  We met over dinner, where he brought his girlfriend of the last 6 months.  It was the first time I had met her, and she seemed nice.  I’ll preface the rest of this this by saying he is a great guy, and has been a really good friend for a quite a number of years.  We don’t live all that close to one another, so it’s not easy to coordinate schedules to meet up all that frequently, but we keep in touch every few weeks.  These days, that means texts at those intervals, with calls less frequently – like every few months.

Explaining LinkedIn

After a while, he and I ended up getting into a discussion about some people we knew from a circle of friends many years ago.  His girlfriend was nice about this little diversion he and I had down memory lane, as we joked good-naturedly about a few past friends.  Then, he mentioned that one of the guys he actually wanted to try to reach out to, just to catch up and reconnect.  So, the first thing I suggested was LinkedIn.

His face had a blank look.  He asked me what I said, and I repeated “LinkedIn.  Why don’t you try to connect with him  on LinkedIn?”

Again, a blank look. Then, his eyebrows furrowed, and he asked, “what’s that?”

Then it was my turn to have a blank look.  I thought that he couldn’t possibly be serious.  I asked him if was joking, and he said no.

“WOW!” I thought, without saying it.

His girlfriend then chimed in, trying to bail my friend out, saying that she didn’t know about it either.

I was floored.  How can you not be on LinkedIn? Okay, Januarybe I can see that, actually.  But to have not ever heard of it? Really?

Yes, really.  They hadn’t heard of it.

I happen to think it’s worth being on it and having a profile, and even wrote a post about tips on using LinkedIn for your career.  It’s at least worth having knowledge of!  But, as I thought about it, he doesn’t work in business.  In his line of work, very different from mine, it January not be altogether standard to deal with LinkedIn in any way.  Trying to give him the benefit of the doubt here, as he’s always been a person who’s very aware of things and keeps up with what’s going on in the world.

The next few minutes were spent talking about how the site worked, what value it has, etc.

Explaining the Value of a Smartphone

The conversation then proceeded to me showing them LinkedIn on my phone.  As you might recall, I recently wrote about smartphone addiction, so I’m aware of going overboard in using phones.  Don’t worry, this wasn’t one of those times :)

Anyway, as I showed it to them, I mentioned that there was even an app for it.  Then, my friend launched into this spiel about how he doesn’t want a smartphone as he really likes the flip phone he has.  In fact, it’s his second time with that model of phone – the exact same model, that is.  He liked it so much, he bought it again when the original phone died.

In a way, I felt like congratulating him.  He hasn’t succumbed to the crazy of smartphones, even though he could probably afford one.  But, when combined with the lack of awareness of LinkedIn and its existence, it just seemed so….1990′s.

I know, that might not sound fair.  Like I said, he’s been a really good friend to me, so I don’t think less of him for this.  It’s just startling to see someone I know just be unaffected by recent changes in networking and technology.

Readers, this gets me wondering if you’ve encountered people – including some you might know well – who simply have a gap in their knowledge of technology.  Or, perhaps they simply choose not to embrace new things.

 

 

 

12 Tips on Using Linkedin to Help You Grow Your Career

Building a Career!Most people want to make more money.  A big part of that is successfully managing one’s career.  It could mean getting started with your first job, switching industries or fields, or advancing to better job somewhere else.  Or, it could simply mean building a network for the future.

One strategy, as I posted about before, is to directly search for a job online.  In that prior post, one commenter asked for some tips regarding Linkedin - and I mentioned that it might be a topic for a future post.  So here it is!

Here are tips on using Linkedin to help your career grow:

1) Realize that this has become a big way job recruiters find people

When people are looking for somebody for a certain type of job, what’s a quick way to find candidates? You guessed it, Linkedin.  You can search across metropolitan areas, companies, titles….you name it.  I’ve been contacted by a number of recruiters over the years by having a profile on Linkedin, so I can attest to this being an important thing to keep in mind.

2) Think of your profile as your resume for the world to see

We all realize that it’s important to put together an excellent resume, right?  This has historically been really important when applying for jobs and interviewing.  In the case of Linkedin, I think that this opens the door for companies to use this as a way to screen people without ever having gotten any formal applications or resumes emailed to them.

3) Make your profile more concise than a traditional resume

Your profile doesn’t need to be as in-depth as a traditional resume, in my opinion.  Sticking to a an accurate job title, along concise description of what you did at each position, should be what you’re aiming for.

4) Speak in terms of accomplishments

When discussing what you did at each role should be oriented toward accomplishments.  Saying “responsible for sales team” isn’t as impressive as “Led sales team to (fill in the blank)”.  Keep in this in mind for your writing of the “Summary” section.

5) Use searchable keywords

If people tend to use search engines by finding by keyword, it might be a good idea to keep this mind when constructing your profile.  After all, if someone is looking for a specific type of experience, having the right keywords strategically included in your profile just might help.  You never know.

6) Connect with People You Know

So, you have a profile.  If you’re not reaching out and connecting with people, you’re missing out on a number of things:

  • Keeping in touch.  This is good personally and professionally, but for the latter, it can help with mutually helping one another.
  • Obtaining access to your contacts’ contacts.  That might sound a bit convoluted, but the idea is that once you connect with someone, you’re one step closer to their contacts.
  • Having a robust number of connections.  Personally, I find this to be ridiculous in reality, but perceptions matter.  If one person has 300 connections, but the other has 35, who could be more likely to be viewed as more of the “connected” go-getter?

7) Network Beyond Your 1st Degree Connections

Admittedly, I have had some mixed success this way.  But I’ve heard of people getting their own contacts to introduce them to others, in order to network.  I mentioned this above, but the key is taking action judiciously with genuinely good intentions.

8) View Profiles of People You’re Interviewing With

If you’re intereviewing with someone, it might be a good to get an idea of who you’ll be talking to.  It’s kind of like having some background, including an online resume, of that person.  Wouldn’t there be a potential benefit to knowing that person’s work experience and education, before you talk to them.  If nothing else, it can help you be a bit more prepared.

9) See Who is Viewing Your Profile

You can actually see who is viewing your profile, which can be interesting to check out.  Just remember that they too might be able to see your profile! Check out your setting to make sure you’re comfortable with how this works.

10) Join Groups

There are plenty of groups in Linkedin that can be good ways to network with people who have a specific interest of yours.  This can even extend to blogging! It just might be a way that you can connect with people, but also stay up to date on different issues, advances, and developments in your areas of interest.  There are even blogging-related groups!

11) Start a Group

This is something I haven’t actually done.  However, I’ve noticed one group started by someone I once knew, and can find it plausible how he could be seen as a thought leader based on this role.  This is one opportunity to take a shot at being seen as a leader in an area of interest, which might eventually raise your visibility.

12) Search for Jobs Directly

I’ve done this as well, and have scored intereviews in the process.  Sure, it’s one of a number of sources, but I tend to think it has value.  As you apply to a job, you can quickly search on the company’s employees.  By this, I mean get a sense of who works there, what the qualifications of people are who hold the type of job you’re applying for, and so on.

Bottom Line: I hope this helps with getting some insight into how some people use Linkedin to help with their career.  It sure January not be the only thing we do, obviously. But as a component of today’s career management, I think it has it’s place, and has value.

My Questions for You

Do you use Linkedin? Why or why not?

If yes, what has been the main value that you have obtained from it? This could be information that can help other readers!

What would you want to get out of Linkedin?

Searching for a Job Online

job searching onlineWhen it comes to job searching, many people often say it’s who you know that matters.  Quite often, I would agree with that.  Networking is really a fantastic use of time, sometimes a more direct path to a credible introduction to someone who is in a position to hire.

Having said that, it’s not the only avenue to finding the right job.  We can also peruse job boards and apply online to positions that interest us.  Frankly, I know a number of people who have landed jobs this very way.  While the competition January be high in terms of applicants for desirable jobs, searching online can often be an expedient way to sift through opportunities.  After all, income is important, and we need to do what we can to secure it.

Here are 2 of the sites that are my favorites:

1) Linkedin. 

Literally, I have used this to find two jobs.  Actually, two.  One was through applying to a job that was listed on this site.  The second was by being found on the site, with a recruiter calling me after seeing my profile.

The advantage of Linkedin, many people believe, is to keep in touch with people and network.  That is true, I believe – in terms of being one of the real benefits.  However, it’s not all.  I think that Linkedin is a good way to be found by those looking for someone for a position, depending on what you do for a living.  Your skills and experience are there to be found, and people searching by keyword or through other avenues can stumble upon the right candidates for positions with some searching.

Also, Linkedin allows you to search people who work at a company, and figure out the backgrounds of the people working in different roles there.  It can give a sense as to what kind of fit you might be there, as well as good information that can help position you to get noticed and even prepare for an interview if you get one.

2) Indeed

This search portal seems to have a broad reach in terms of the volume of positions that it shows.  Simply search by keywords (or title, company name) and location (city name, zip, or state) and you can quickly get a large set of positions that in some way match your criteria.

This is a great way to get targeted lists of positions that meet your stated search interests.  You can scan through lists of 10 at a time, which almost reminds me of searching the web.  Get the search results that are most relevant early on, then go to page 2, page 3, etc.  Or, you can sort by date instead of relevance.  This provides flexibility in terms of what you see in your search.

Bottom Line: In the past, I would have looked much more closely at Career Builder or Monster.  Now, if I were to look at a job board site, it would be these two.  Time is precious, why not spend it efficiently.

Readers – have you ever searched for a job online? If so, how did it go? What do you think the best ways to find work are?