As many people are job hunting right now, I wanted to provide some tips on how to use LinkedIn specifically with the goal of finding career opportunities.

Now that we are no longer in-person networking for the foreseeable future, there is no better way during the pandemic to build your professional network and look for a new position than LinkedIn.

The platform is essential for business professionals who are job hunting, whether you are actively searching for a new position, or you want to keep your options open (which in my opinion you always should do because you never know).

Also, remember that everyone is googling everyone to find out more about you and your background. Your LinkedIn profile is either your first or second search result (depending if you have a company web site bio or not), further underscoring its importance.

LinkedIn introduced a number of tools since the pandemic to help job seekers connect with open positions on the platform at no cost to them and that leads me to a question that I am asked quite often – which is “Do I need a LinkedIn Premium account?”

LinkedIn Premium

In my opinion, most people do not need a LinkedIn Premium account. First off, it’s not cheap (the Premium account options range in cost from $29.99 to $119.95 per month). Second, depending on which one you choose, there will be features you will pay for and not likely not use. I will cover the pros and cons of having a LinkedIn Premium account in another post, but there’s so much you can do without one – so I would start off there and see if you feel limited because you can always upgrade.

Here are a few tips to ensure your LinkedIn profile is in top shape to stand out to recruiters and potential employers.

Update your profile on a regular basis.

Don’t wait to update and overhaul your LinkedIn profile until you’re actively looking for a job. Your profile should be updated well before then and current. Remember, you are being googled every day whether you like it or not. Fill out all of the sections, ensure you have a keyword-rich, non-boastful about section (your bio) as well as all of your past positions included.

Upload a professional headshot and cover image.

This is a no-brainer today, but it’s still worth a mention as I have noticed some people still don’t have a current headshot and still have not uploaded a cover image. These are important areas that will brand and differentiate you.

If you don’t have a professional headshot, you can take a photo of yourself that you like and add in a professional background and retouch it using several apps on your smartphone. If you need help coming up with a cover image, reach out to me and we can brainstorm ideas.

Fill out the skills section.

The skills section is important when you’re job hunting because recruiters use the the keywords in this section to find candidates. In addition, profiles that have more than five skills on their profile are 27 times more likely to be discovered by recruiters according to LinkedIn further underscoring the importance of including skills on your profile.

You can ask current and former colleagues endorse the skills you’ve listed as well as take quizzes to verify the skills. By doing this, you will receive a LinkedIn Skill Assessment badge that you can display on your profile, which according to LinkedIn, helps candidates get noticed and hired quicker.

Note that you can delete skills and reorder them – pinning three skills to the top of the section. If you are a lawyer and you have been endorsed for “law,” please go ahead and delete that – it’s too general and obvious. In addition, if you are endorsed for an area of law in which you do not or no longer practice, please also delete that.

Always build your online network.

It is a good idea to connect with recruiters on LinkedIn throughout your career – not just when you are looking for a job. This way you have an already established group of people you can contact for help when making your next move.

If you are interested in a position at a certain company, it’s going to be important to network with people you know at those companies. If you don’t know someone at that company but one of your connections does (that means they are a second degree connection of yours), you may want to ask them to make an introduction for you.

In addition, you can also try reaching out to someone at a target company who you don’t know using one of your InMail credits (this is where Premium can come in handy because it enables you to message people on LinkedIn to whom you aren’t connected).

Just be sure to avoid coming off as transactional or desperate in your email message. Giving a compliment is always a good way to build a relationship with someone like this. In addition, be sincere about why you want to work at the company.

Be active.

Probably the most important tip for LinkedIn success in general is to be active on the platform on a consistent basis. This helps you stay top of mind and visible to your network, and enables you to build your brand as a thought leader in your respective area of expertise. This can be as simple as liking and commenting on other people’s content and sharing articles you read and liked.

Use LinkedIn’s job tools to your advantage.

LinkedIn has a number of tools available to job hunters, including the new “Open to Work” badge that you can put on the top of your profile and make visible to everyone or just to recruiters.

One of the best tools on LinkedIn in my opinion is its job bank.

You can set up email alerts for specific jobs, companies and titles (up to 10) that are emailed to you daily or weekly, and you can also receive notifications of the new jobs on the platform itself.

Be quick with applying for the jobs that interest you (by setting up a job alert) as LinkedIn’s algorithm favors candidates who have applied for the position very soon after it’s been posted on the platform.

You will often need to upload your resume to apply for a job on LinkedIn, so make sure you have it handy and always send it as a PDF.

Did you know that you can easily convert your LinkedIn profile into a PDF? The option is at the top of your profile. It gives you a polished CV if you should need something quick – but again word to the wise – you should always have your resume updated, not just when you need it.

A final note and something to never do…

I know times are tough – listen I lost my job last year, so I totally get it. But one thing you NEVER want to do is to seem desperate when looking for a job.

That’s why I am very much against anyone who puts that they are “currently seeking new position” or “unemployed” as their headline on LinkedIn. This is not a best practice in my opinion.

It’s okay to lose your job but you don’t need to broadcast that way.

Instead, simply write a headline that describes your professional background and who you are. It doesn’t need to have anything to do with your current position – in fact your headline shouldn’t be just your current title and company (because it’s the default on LinkedIn, and it’s not all encompassing of your entire professional history).

If you need inspiration for your headline, do a little competitive intelligence to see how others in your field and with your job title are talking about themselves. I use a formula of: Descriptor | Descriptor | Descriptor – now these words can be nouns or adjectives – but they do need to be unique to you. This format gives you more flexibility to describe yourself.

LinkedIn has so many purposes for business professionals – and one of the most important ones is to help job seekers with career opportunities.

I hope this article has given you some ideas for how you can enhance your profile and presence on the platform when looking for a job. Good luck!

I wanted to write a quick post on LinkedIn’s new “Super Admin View” since I’ve gotten a number of questions about it.

LinkedIn company page administrators may have seen “Super Admin View” pop up on their company page recently.

What does it mean?

As far as I can tell, nothing much – at least for the moment. It doesn’t seem that there are any new features that come along with this new view or superpower (LOL), and I can’t find any information from LinkedIn or elsewhere on what it means. I will keep searching and update everyone. In the meantime, keep (strategically) posting!

Thanksgiving looked different for everyone this year.

I couldn’t be with my dad because he lives in an area that has been hit hard by Covid, and he decided to self-isolate so that he stays safe.

And many of you know that my mom passed away a few years ago from cancer. So this year, I spent Thanksgiving with close friends with whom I’ve been microclustering since May.

I know a lot of others have similar stories of being without certain loved ones this year on special occasions and holidays.

Despite this challenging and unique year, it’s important to not lose sight of all the good things we have in our lives.

In such a tough year for so many, I think it’s important to reflect on all we do have (I’m a glass is half full kind of person anyway).

I am grateful and thankful this year for my family, friends and colleagues, all I have and every experience (bad and good) that has made me stronger, wiser and more resilient.

I’m grateful to have a platform to help others – whether it’s teaching them to be stronger social media marketers or how to write content that clients actually want to read.

But most importantly to be able to discuss issues like how to deal with mean girls in the workplace and in your personal life at any age, picking yourself up after a setback and mental health struggles is beyond rewarding and important.

This year I’ve learned I’m more resilient than I thought, that it’s okay to not be okay and that life never goes according to plan.

I’ve learned the most important thing you can do for others is to be kind and that making others laugh is an incredible healing power (hence the turkey skirt that I wore on thanksgiving pictured here).

I’ve also learned that you can come up with a million excuses for why you should wait to (or not) do something, and how your gut always will guide you in the right direction.

After adding Lucy to my life in July, I knew right away she would be happier in a home where she was not the only puppy. She needed constant interaction and playtime from someone other than me. I decided to get another puppy, despite my family and friends saying I was crazy for doing it and that it was too soon.

Scarlett joined me and Lucy last week, and I know in my gut it was the right decision. (She and Lucy are my CFOs – Chief Frenchie Officers 🙂.) I had to silence the naysayers (who meant well and had my best intentions at heart), and I had to believe that I could make it work. Remember, the only person who knows what’s best for you is YOU!

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday in spite of a challenging year. This too shall pass, and we are in it together.

The holidays are the most wonderful time of year and also the hardest time of year for people who have lost a parent or loved one, like me, and anyone who has had a rough year – which is basically everyone.

My bracelet says “You are not alone” and was given to me by my late mom when her cancer came back. I wear it a lot especially when I feel sad without her around the holidays, and especially this year.

For anyone who also feels sad at the holidays, I wanted to say that you’re NOT alone – the holiday season looks different this year for all of us – remember it’s temporary and take the time to tell those you love how grateful you are for them. Do something kind for your family, friends and community.

Last year my awesome sister-in-law suggested that we open a bottle of champagne while my brother and I recounted a favorite memory of our mom and toast her instead of being sad.

I thought it was a great new tradition and one that I wanted to share with others who may also benefit from doing something like this. We are going to do it again this year to honor my mom.

Your life can change in an instant. Tragedies and illnesses happen. Make sure to spend as much time as possible with and be good to the people you love.

I don’t think it ever gets easier to deal with the death of a loved one – especially around the holidays. You never know what someone is dealing with – especially this year – so be extra kind to one another.

I’m sending a virtual hug to everyone who is not feeling themselves right now. Remember it’s okay to not be okay sometimes. We are all in this together.

Be safe and well.

It’s been a busy week for me not only with regular client work, still unpacking from the move into my dream home and prepping for Thanksgiving (be safe everyone), but I also added a new member to my family.

I lost my beloved French bulldog Charlie in June due to long-term health issues. I couldn’t imagine my life without a dog, and so I didn’t wait long to add a new puppy named Lucy to my life after he passed away. She came to live with me in NYC in late July and has brightened up every day since.

Lucy is a rambunctious, active puppy and being that I work from home, it became clear to me that she needed more stimulation and interaction during the day than I could provide her. (Thank you to everyone who was cool with me playing fetch with her while on a Zoom over the past few months).

And that’s where Scarlett comes into the picture. On Monday I brought home another French bulldog puppy to join Lucy.

Scarlett is sassy, sweet and chubby yet only 6.5 pounds. She and Lucy get along for the most part, play together for hours but are also figuring out how to share food and toys. They make my heart melt.

The moment I picked up Scarlett!

Am I crazy for having two puppies at the same time? A bit. But I can handle it. They bring so much joy to everyone, and they’re exactly what I need after battling depression and living in this pandemic alter universe.

When someone tells you not to do something like some people did with getting Lucy too soon after Charlie died or telling me it was not smart to have two puppies close in age to one another, thank them for their advice, but always do what feels right in your gut. Only you know what’s best for you. 

There is always a way to make something work if you really want to. Replace negative thoughts and thoughts of self-doubt with positive ones, and those that help to make what you want a reality.

You can follow Lucy’s and Scarlett’s adventures on Instagram.

Stay safe and well.

Do you want to reach the right audience for your social media posts? You should!

If so, get laser-focused.

The very first question you need to ask when creating a social media strategy is “what are your goals?”

This question is important to answer because figuring out your goals will help you develop an effective social media strategy, designed to facilitate them, and will determine and provide you with guidelines for your social media posts.

Think SMART:

  • Specific – Make your goals clear and specific so there is no confusion on what the end result should be.
  • Measurable – Make your goals measurable, so you know if your efforts are working.
  • Actionable – You’ll want to set up steps to reach your goal.
  • Realistic – Set goals that make sense for your brand. You’re most likely not going to gain 1 million followers overnight.
  • Time-bound – It’s important to set time boundaries for your goals, or else you might sit on them forever.

It’s important to always about the following questions when crafting each of your social posts on any social channel:

  • Who specifically do you help?
  • What problem do you solve?
  • Why should your audience care about your post?
  • How will your solution improve their life or business?
  • What is unique about what you are suggesting?

When crafting a social media plan for your firm or a client, I always ask the following questions or at least explore them when I get to know my clients (it’s so important to interview various stakeholders at your organization at the outset of starting a social strategy to get a clear sense for what they expect and so you have a risk measurable snd attsinable goals). 

Here are social media questions to ask to help you form a killer social strategy on any platform.

  1. Why are you on social media?
  2. What type of content does your audience respond to best on social?
  3. What do you hope to achieve using social media?
  4. What are the biggest challenges to your success on social media?
  5. How does social media fit into your growth plan?
  6. Who are your main competitors?
  7. What social platforms does your target audience use?
  8. What tone should social media updates have?
  9. What type of content do you want to publish?
  10. How often do you want to publish new content to your profiles?
  11. What resources (pictures, video, GIFs, etc) do you have available for content creation?
  12. What is your workflow process for content from inception to publication?
  13. What is the main message that you want to send through your content?
  14. Are you looking to expand onto new social media platforms?
  15. Are you looking to narrow your focus to fewer networks?

And remember to be client-focused and client centric in everything you do, otherwise abort mission or start over from scratch.

Each day is a great opportunity to learn something new and to challenge yourself.

For example, I never thought I could be a published author, but I loved to write. I now write articles all the time for major publications, and I have a blog. I had to believe in myself, ask others for advice, silence my inner critic, step in to the shoes of my target audience and trust my gut.

I also had to harness the power of storytelling and to allow myself to be vulnerable to connect with my audience on a deeper level – not only do they might read my work but so that I could help others. I knew it was my calling to educate and help others through the written word as well as public speaking.

I never was a graphic designer, and coming from big law to a small firm and then eventually venturing out on my own, I had to learn how to use graphic design programs on my own. Then when I found Canva, I taught myself everything there was about it and now I create many kinds of images and designs for my clients on a daily basis.

I was never a great public speaker, but I had to get a B+ or better in a mandatory public speaking class in graduate school.

During one assignment in that class, I fumbled, overused index cards and wrote too much on my slides.

Well the cards all fell on the floor while I was still being recorded (I disappeared from view trying to pick them up) as the camera still rolled in front of my classmates. Let’s just say it was a complete mess, and I did not pass that assignment. I was also humiliated.

I learned that day to never depend on cue cards or a PowerPoint. I learned how to be myself when I present, how to tell stories and be confident. I now do paid speaking engagements each month.

So what’s the moral of the story? Never say you can’t do something. Because you can! Talk to others who have done it and ask them for advice. Most people are flattered when you ask them for their pointers.

If you want to be an author, make a plan for doing it – publish an article on LinkedIn or write a guest blog post. If you want to be a public speaker or sit on a board, go after it by networking and submitting for it. If you don’t do it, someone else will, and why shouldn’t it be you and why shouldn’t it be right now?

It takes preparation, hard work, grit, a little faith and most importantly, believing in yourself that you can achieve what you want.

Remember mindset is everything.

This morning, I went to use a pen that I got at a conference last year (I really do miss in-person conferences) from a law firm service provider. It’s my favorite pen. It writes perfectly, it never leaks on anything, it has the perfect consistency and it is a bright color, so I can always find it in my enormous bag.

On the flip side, I have another pen, from a top 10 Am law ranked law firm with profits of more than $3 million per partner that ran out of ink the second time I used it. It’s flimsy and plastic. I was surprised that a firm of this caliber would give out hundreds of these pens to their clients, recruits and prospects.

It’s incredibly important that each touchpoint your target audience has with your brand is reflective of your brand. That means even the pens you hand out at a conference, the coffee you serve, the way the bathrooms look and the tidiness of the reception area (as well as the health of all of your plants) need to be strategic and cared for.

The kind of swag (or promotional items or tchotchkes as I prefer to call them) you use to represent your company is much more important than you may think. Just like ensuring the plant in the reception area is healthy looking. It’s part of your outward facing brand and can be an easy way to gain visibility for your organization (such as through a tote bag, umbrella, portable charger or reusable coffee cup).

Let me give you an example. I was a guest in a summer share a few years ago in the Hamptons. One of my housemates walked into the house wearing a baseball hat that said “MoFo.” I said, “do you know what that stands for?” and you can guess yourself what he replied. I told him that MoFo was actually a global law firm. He was shocked. He said he had been given the hat by a lawyer friend of his about 10 years prior and didn’t know (or ask) what the abbreviation stood for. He just assumed it was – well you know what.

This is a great example of how the wording and branding on a swag item can make all the difference.

Once I told him MoFo was the name of a major law firm, the hat lost its “cool” quotient to him. Later that summer I remember seeing his once beloved hat thrown on a heap of beach gear in the basement. Let’s just say the MoFo hat had been demoted.

Company SWAG is the abbreviation of Stuff We All Get (I personally didn’t know that until I researched this article! It is free stuff and giveaways that employers give out to their current employees, recruits and clients.

As with so many things in marketing, one size doesn’t fit all – so it’s important to have multiple promotional pieces from which you can choose.

It should go without saying that your company branding should appear on every promotional piece.

So, how do you choose awesome company swag people actually want?

There’s a huge difference between being thoughtful with your company swag items and just throwing your company logo on the cheapest thing you can find, and the benefits of doing the former go way beyond what you might think.

Both internally at your company and externally, when you’re thoughtful with what you put your brand on, it’s going to pay off.

Investing in high-quality swag has the potential to earn you extra brand impressions, build awareness, cultivate strong company culture, and build good rapport between your brand and your prospects.

  • Make sure it’s well-made: The number one rule when considering company swag is making sure it’s high-quality. While the initial excitement of a new or free thing might last a week or so, if it’s not something of true value, people will be over it just as quickly. When you take the time to pick out swag items that are worthwhile, people are going to use it far beyond the first week, giving your swag more longevity and the chance to garner more impressions.
  • Think outside of the office. Find something that is useful even outside of the office – it doesn’t need to be a pen or a flash drive!
  • Keep your company culture at the forefront when choosing swag items. This one really doesn’t need an explanation. Make sure the items you select truly represent you and your organization.
  • Consider thoughtful details. When planning what kind of items you want to order for company swag, think about which items you can use to relay small details about the company or its culture.

Taking the time to pick out the right swag will gain you impressions, promote company culture and promote positive brand buzz.

I’d love to hear more about what promotional items your company uses!