When was the last time you did some of the following things?
At a recent networking event I asked the attendees some questions. One of them was when was the last time you updated your website?
Here is my list of questions (raise your hand if):
- How many of your have a website?
- How many of your have a Facebook personal page?
- How many of you have a company Facebook page?
- How many of you have a LinkedIn profile?
- How many of you have a company LinkedIn profile?
Then the questions were asked about when the last time any of those were updated.
It is great if you have a website! When was the last time it was updated? When was the last time you wrote a new blog post? How old is the content that the search bots will find. Are they totally ignoring your site right now?
It is great if you have a company LinkedIn or Facebook page! When was the last time you posted something to it?
LinkedIn itself has seen brands that post once a month gain followers six times faster than those who keep a lower profile. That pattern continues with more frequent posting: companies that post weekly see twice the engagement, while brands that post daily gain even more traction. Credit
Posting times vary based on your clients, type of business, and whether you are B2B or B2C. In my experience with B2B clients, once a day at the beginning of the work day tends to give the most engagement. That may not be the case for your business.
So, when was the last time you updated, posted or thought about how the search engines are finding you, let alone how potential customers are finding you. If you would like to have a more in-depth conversation, please reach out and let’s talk about your options.
What is better a resume vs LinkedIn?
If you are thinking that you only have time to do one thing, what would it be a resume vs LinkedIn? Well I am here to tell you that you can build one and the other will benefit. Read on to find out how. Take a look at the graphic to gain some extra tips.
I advocate that keywords are imperative for LinkedIn and nowadays we need them in a resume. So many companies are using Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) that focus on keywords or phrases prescribed by the job posting that keywords MUST be used in a resume.
Headlines and summaries on LinkedIn allow you to focus on the functions of your job by employing the keywords I just mentioned. Functions are a great way to build a resume for someone who has tons of experience or very limited actual work experience. When you focus on functions, make sure you tell a story about a problem you faced, an action you took and the result that happened. If you can relate it to savings or a gain in money, time, percentage or number a reader’s interest may pique.
Using functions allows you to include experience that may have volunteer roots rather than paid experience. Depending upon the type of resume that you build, the listing of job experiences can be a chronological listing or may necessitate including the particular functions of that job right there. On a LinkedIn profile you are forced to include your job experiences in a chronological fashion. If you have gaps in W-2 jobs, try to fill in with “consultant” type work. At the time of this writing, LinkedIn is promoting stay at home experiences because of the explosion of child care and elder care happening these days.
- Leave off the address – you really only need an email address, phone number and LinkedIn profile custom URL.
- Skills – bullet list your top 15 skills. If you can complete your list without using things like Microsoft Office (this is expected knowledge for many jobs) or employability skills the better your resume will work in an ATS reader.
- Time – avoid including dates on education or experience older than 15 years. While you can tout subject matter expertise, it could eliminate you from the original pool of applicants.
- Practical and focused – For the initial contact, make sure your resume is focused and succinct. No more than 2 pages. 1 page is better. Leave the artistic resume for the “leave-behind” at the interview. Don’t include an image on the resume you submit initially, the business isn’t supposed to accept it. In this situation, LinkedIn is a must-have. You can have the image; you can add attachments and links; your summary and each work experience can have 350-400 words; you can have as many jobs as you want that are applicable; you can list all of your certifications; you can include 50 keyword skills; and, you can have as many endorsements and recommendations as you can gather.
Summing it up
You need a resume. You probably need a LinkedIn profile. Take advantage of the tremendous amount of information that can be added and edited in LinkedIn to pick the best of the best to use on your resume. Take advantage of the file uploads to put your best generic resume on LinkedIn as a file. Both tools can be fluid. Make sure you aren’t building either one and leaving them out to get stale.
Do you Blog Regularly?
I am not the best example of someone that does blog regularly. I just realized the last blog I wrote was almost a year ago. I am like the shoemaker and his kids shoes. Or the parent who says do as I say, not as I do.
The best thing about writing a blog regularly is that you have new content on your website that web crawlers can find and report to help with organic growth and reach.
It can be easy or hard to actually take the time to write. If you blog regularly, it is easy if words and thoughts come out of your brain and onto paper or keyboard easily. It may be hard to blog regularly, if you have the thoughts and aren’t around your keyboard to post them.
One of the other things about blogging is that getting people to your website may be a challenge. One thing that you can do is take the content that you write on your website and share it in a newsletter, link to it on social media, and take the best part of it and post it as an article on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is a good option for anyone who does not already have a website with a blog platform. There are hundreds of millions of potential readers AND if you link back to your website, you may end up with a following on your RSS feed if you have one or a new connection on your social media.
A few tips for your blog:
- 275 – 300 words minimum
- include an image
- use your keyword frequently
Call me if you need some thoughts or guidance. I am much better at helping my customers than doing my own!
2020 is the Year everyone learned to Network Virtually
Networking in person is hard enough, but knowing how to network virtually can be extremely difficult. I would liken it to cold calling. There aren’t too many people around that think cold calling is the best thing since sliced bread. I am not a fan. But, networking virtually is not anywhere near as hard as cold calling. In fact, I promote the theory that to network virtually can help you warm up cold calls.
Let’s examine my list of options:
- Sign up for LinkedIn – and not only sign-up but get some help to optimize your profile (hint – I can help you with that.) LinkedIn is the largest professional network. At the time of this writing, there were 690M+ users on the platform with 169M+ in the US. Click here for the current stats. Granted there are a bunch of duplicate profiles out there because people forget how to access or lose access, but this gives you a huge pool of professionals from which to choose to build your personal network.
- Build the relationships you have – networking is akin to marketing. You need to get your name out in front of people for them to remember who you are. Use the tools at your disposal in Facebook or LinkedIn to be in touch. Wish people happy birthday, congratulate them on work anniversaries, promotions, or new positions. If you see an article that may be of interest to someone share it and tag that person in the comment.
- Take it off-line – building upon the last comment above, if you see something really compelling to share with someone, send it in an email AND, take it off line and make a phone call to talk to the person about your idea.
- Text – if you don’t have time for a phone conversation, send a text. Schedule a chat for later.
- Physical to Virtual Networking – many groups have had to change from meeting in person to meeting over one of the many apps available these days. You may be “Zoomed” out, but it is a great way to continue to keep your presence in front of your network.
- Allocate Time – did you meet someone in a webinar or virtual networking meeting? Can’t meet in-person for a “coffee meeting”? Try to schedule something virtually. So many options are available: Zoom, Google Hangouts or Google Meet, Facetime for iPhone users, What’s App, and Facebook Messenger all give you free options to hold a video meeting. Then there are the other platforms that are subscription based – Zoom, WebEx, Adobe Connect and so many others. Take the time to schedule a virtual sit-down with someone new.
- Tweetchats – This is an opportunity to participate in a forum type conversation in certain industries. Here is a schedule to check. Get to know who people are by their Twitter handle, AND in the meantime, learn some new things in your industry.
- Meet new people – so the people you met in the Tweetchat – perhaps connect with them on LinkedIn. You never know what sort of business relationship might develop. Use the advanced search functions to look for 2nd degree connections on LinkedIn who seem interesting and may be able to provide guidance, leadership, or information, OR just be someone worth having a chat with virtually.
- Join Groups – this is a good idea in person and virtually. Find a group on Meet-Up, LinkedIn, Facebook or Eventbrite. Other organizations that are career related may have a virtual presence as well. Participate in virtual conversation threads and when possible attend in-person events.
Now that you have a few tools to try, it may be easier to network virtually. I always say, “It isn’t about who you know, but who they know!” When you are talking with your existing network, take the extra step and ask if they know anyone to whom they could recommend you. Pay it forward and introduce your connections to someone that could use their talent or service. Now go, spread your wings and your network virtually!
How do you know if they are Fake Profiles?
Honestly, I don’t always know what are fake profiles and what aren’t. But I recently read this article from LinkedIn about what they are doing to combat Fake Profiles – An Update on How We’re Fighting Fake Accounts | Official LinkedIn Blog
In the past year my Facebook account was cloned. You can read about that here. I was surprised I was hit because I do all the password things I am supposed to do. I don’t click on suspicious email links. But it happened. It made me very leery about connecting with people that I don’t know, especially on Facebook.
I know I have connected with fake profiles on Twitter. I am pretty sure I follow some fake profiles on Instagram, but not as many. On Facebook, I always look at the invitations from people that I might know to see how developed the profile is and who mutual friends / connections might be. If it is a repeat invitation from someone with whom I regularly communicate, I will send a text or message them through another social platform before connecting.
One of my Facebook friends recently decided to switch her account to a “grown-up” version and sent out several posts alerting people to the fact that she would be closing down the old account in an effort to share the more adult/professional version of herself.
On LinkedIn, I find that not as many people are trying to scam others. Based upon the article linked above, LinkedIn is doing what I would consider a decent job of nipping fake profiles in the bud.
Here are my tips to do your due diligence before falling into the Fake Profile trap:
- Use a recent image of yourself on personal profiles.
- Brand your company profiles with a logo or a different image of yourself.
- Personalize any invitations that you send to people who might not know or remember you.
- Check profiles before you accept.
- Alert all connections if your account is compromised.
- If you do connect with a fake profile, be careful of any messages or requests asking for you to send money. If it is out of character, then it is probably fake!
- Don’t use the same password for all of your accounts to prevent a mass breech if you are compromised.