Scrum Master Discovers Group on Meetup and Still Volunteers for Group After Landing

Tell us about yourself and your career.
My name is Michael Dieterle and I’ve been leading software implementations and knowledge management programs for the last 20 years. In recent years, my focus shifted more towards agile transformation and how it can make software development projects more successful by delivering more value to the business.

Why were you looking for a job?
My contract ended in the Fall of 2019.

How did you discover PAGCG?
I believe I initially discovered my first meeting on Meetup.

How did PAGCG help you in your job search?
The Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group (PAGCG) was a tremendous help. Both from a tactics perspective and also through the supportive dynamics of the group. Everyone is extremely helpful. You quickly expand your network and your knowledge of how to be more successful in the job market. I am deeply grateful to Lynne Williams, the powerhouse behind this remarkable group, and many other region volunteers. In fact, I am a volunteer and recommend that others pay it forward by volunteering.

How did you find your job? How long did it take?
A recruiter contacted me through LinkedIn. I was searching for six months.

What kept you motivated during the job search, especially during the downtimes?
What kept me motivated was the group’s ongoing support and my belief that it was only a transition to something better.

What were the lessons that you learned during your job search?
Master the ground game (resume, applications, LinkedIn profile, etc.) and increase your success by networking diligently.

Do you have any networking tips or tricks that you can share?
People who stood out during many networking events where the ones who selflessly put my interest first. I tried to pay it forward in the same manner when I had a firmer grasp on the current mechanics of job search.

What will you do in your new role?
I am currently leading a couple of agile teams at ASTM International as part of a more extensive transformation program.

What is one takeaway or nugget of wisdom that you would like to share?
Stay true to yourself in the process and determine what matters most to you. It will give you the clarity to apply to the right organization where you’re more likely to succeed.

The Self-Employed, Consultant, or Solopreneur on LinkedIn
Ditch the pitch and starting building relationships with people on LinkedIn. Don’t try to sell people right away.

As a self-employed sole practitioner, I am a member of the “job seeker” club with the millions of others searching for jobs. However, I am a job seeker of resume and LinkedIn clients, rather than the full-time W-2 job, until I complete my doctoral dissertation. Then, I will seek opportunities in higher ed career services. 

Because of the “corona times” we are in, I find that many people are sending me pitches on their financial services, franchise opportunities, animated videos, social media services, transformational coaching, etc. and they don’t even know me. They could be across the country or across a few continents, and they are already pitching me in their first communique after we connect. 


If you are desperate for work, explore LinkedIn’s Profinder to register yourself as a freelance or independent contractor. Although I am registered on it, I have never processed any client work through it, as my work comes from word of mouth referrals to fill my pipeline. 

There are groups on LinkedIn for freelancers, like The FlexJobs Group, so explore that and see if there are any opportunities for you there. 

If you really want a very comprehensive list for W-2 remote jobs, freelance links, and other resources that took many hours to put together, you could save yourself a lot of time and become a member. Make sure you save the link in the automated receipt that comes from our Salesforce immediately upon purchasing as a Bronze member (or apply as a BENG member if you are a mid to senior-level or C-Suite or a business owner). For 9-½ to 13 cents a day, you can’t beat this investment in your career, and all the time it will save, as the research has been done for you.

Write your business plan to set up your one to many.

As a solopreneur, you need some kind of platform to get your “one to many”, so read this Harvard Business Review article on The Best Business Model in the World, and perhaps you will gain some insights. Speaking of business models, don’t miss Chester & Delaware County SCORE’s upcoming October 8th workshop on Leanstack Canvas Business Plan on a Page. I’ll be there!

Make sure that you use keywords on what you do, rather than stating CEO or President of XYZ Company, in your LinkedIn headline. Think logically about what someone would type in Google to find someone like you. They would use keywords because they have never even heard of XYZ Company before. 

Since LinkedIn has recently expanded the character count to 220 characters in your headline (from 120), take advantage of using more keywords to explain what it is that you do. 

Another thing you can do in the Experience section is click on “Self-Employed” under the Employment Type drop-down rather than leave it blank. The other options, just for the record, are Full-time, Part-time, Freelance, Contract, Internship, Apprenticeship, or Seasonal.

Stay tuned for more upcoming articles if you are participating in the gig economy with a side hustle or are a small business owner or are considering it. Read this article too.


Lynne Williams is the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group, a 501(c)3 nonprofit providing career education and networking. Lynne also writes for,, and

Career Education Organization Receives Award as They Help Job Seekers
Even nonprofits that help job seekers can scale as a small business.

Help job seekers is the answer! The question is … as a small business owner, whether a for-profit or a nonprofit, what do you do when you want to scale your business? How do you get help so you can help others?

First, let’s define what scaling means. According to SCORE, “Scaling a business means setting the stage to enable and support growth in your company. It means having the ability to grow without being hampered. It requires planning, some funding and the right systems, staff, processes, technology and partners.”

SCORE provides further details for these five steps to accomplish scaling:

  • Evaluate and Plan
  • Find the Money
  • Secure the Sales
  • Invest in Technology
  • Find Staff or Strategically Outsource

Let’s add a few more challenges. Let’s say you are a nonprofit and have little to no money, you just built a website to begin to monetize, are volunteer-based with no employees (yet), and have emotional attachments to what you do. Now what?

How do you get out of your own way and get a fresh set of eyes to have someone review your business? How do you get helpful advice and recommendations?

Contact SCORE, of course! There are chapters across the country, so you can find a chapter near you to get help and request FREE mentoring sessions!

Although I volunteer for more than one SCORE chapter, there is one particular SCORE chapter I want to highlight today, which is Chester & Delaware County SCORE.

Why? Not only have I been a SCORE volunteer on the SCORE speaker’s bureau since April 2013, but I reached out to SCORE to request a mentor as a small business owner.

I got great ideas from my mentor, Frank Millheim, that I shared with my Board of Directors and steering committee to scale. Our success story and others written about this 10th-anniversary awards celebration will be added to this Google doc.

Register for the virtual celebration.

The annual celebration for the small business award winners is on Thursday, September 24, 2020, from 12 to 1 PM, and it’s virtual, so register here.

Thank you to Citadel Credit Union for sponsoring this 2020 event and honoring me with the 2019 Community Hero Award.

To let my network know about this award and ceremony, I will be leveraging LinkedIn and will also be driving traffic to my website. Could you do the same for your business with your story?

Here are four tips of what you can do on LinkedIn, even with a free account:
  • Publish a full article on LinkedIn or write an enticing first paragraph on LinkedIn that makes people want to click your read more link that leads them to your blog, which drives traffic to your website. Or include your BIO with website links in the article.
  • Share short posts with a link to your article or blog on the feed on your homepage. It’s best to post on your company page and then share that company page link (three dots at the top right) on your home page. LinkedIn’s algorithm likes it when people stay on the platform longer, which is a way of accomplishing that.
  • Share short posts in groups following the same technique as above, but sharing the link from your company page.
  • Include a native video in your post (rather than take people off LinkedIn to Youtube or Vimeo), so they remain on LinkedIn longer. Again, the algorithm will like it more if people stay on the platform longer. Speaking of video, watch the 3-minute video about my SCORE story on our home page or our Youtube channel.

This article was originally published on,, and

BIO Lynne M. Williams

Lynne M. Williams, Ed.D. Candidate is the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group, an all-volunteer 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides career education and networking connections for: 1) jobseekers in career transition, including veterans and 2) employed and self-employed for career management. In addition, Lynne is also the owner of Around the Clock Executive Helper, a writer of resumes and LinkedIn profiles. Lynne presents unique research-based workshops on LinkedIn, resumes, the Applicant Tracking System, the Art of Networking In Person & Online, and other career-related, social media, and technology topics. She is currently working on writing her doctoral dissertation and is a contributing author to Find Your Fit: A Practical Guide to Landing the Job You Love along with the late Dick Bolles, the author of What Color is Your Parachute?. In addition, she writes a weekly career column in Vista.Today Montco.Today and Delco.Today and other publications with LinkedIn tips and more. Connect with her on LinkedIn at with a personalized message and visit the Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group website and read our SCORE Success Story!

Are you tagging on LinkedIn?

By using the @ symbol in front of a person’s, company’s, or organization’s name on LinkedIn, the name is hyperlinked in blue and it brings the post to their attention. 

There are times when the tagging may not work.

LinkedIn has been known to have some glitches here and there. Therefore, you might need to try a couple times to see if the name comes up. Don’t give up if it doesn’t work the first time as LinkedIn is sometimes finicky.

Sometimes people do not want to be tagged, so they untag themselves or they may work for a financial institution which prohibits them from being tagged. Certain financial services firms mandate according to regulatory compliance with FINRA and social media. A financial firm may have a mechanism that automatically untags their staff.

If you are tagged in a post, you can like the post, comment on the post, or share the post. 

If you reply to a comment below a post where you are tagged using the reply box, it will be nested and indented under that comment and may be less visible (once buried) than if you commented directly under the original post.  

Here you will find LinkedIn’s instructions on mentioning people in posts, which will allow anyone to navigate to that hyperlinked profile. Note that if you publish an article, mentioning is not available, so you would have to hyperlink their LinkedIn URL using the figure 8 hyperlink symbol.

If you find any of the articles I have written that are helpful and you want to share, please feel free to tag me in your post!


Lynne Williams is the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group, a 501(c)3 nonprofit with over 6300 members and alumni providing career education and networking. Lynne also writes for,, and

Career Pivot To Follow Passion Lands Job Seeker in Wine Industry

Tell us about yourself and your career.
My name is Mary Lou Cummings and I started my career 30 years ago in IT, specifically data storage and search technology, and graduated to sales from there. I recently made a career choice to follow my passion, which is wine and the wine industry.

Why were you looking for a job?
I had taken a job as a wine salesperson in the Philadelphia area, selling an Italian wine portfolio to restaurants and private clubs. I decided to deepen my knowledge of the wine business – import/export, wine laws, and marketing – to catapult my career. I took a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take courses in France about the international wine trade; I thought I would land quickly from this but found the search to be more difficult than anticipated.

How did you discover PAGCG?
In March 2019, I sought out further assistance from a friend, where I ended up discovering the Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group (PAGCG). She was laid off and suggested that I join the Meetup group. Through this group, I cherry-picked the topics that I found to be the most interesting to me.

How did PAGCG help you in your job search?
Because of my unique industry, I shifted my focus to functional topics such as LinkedIn and the Applicant Tracking System (ATS), where I learned about the resume black hole. The camaraderie within the organization was especially helpful because I could speak with others in similar circumstances.

How did you find your job? How long did it take?
I found my job through LinkedIn. Before I landed, I immersed myself in conferences and wine events where I eventually found my current company, a conferencing company focused on print, digital, and live marketing. I was intrigued by this company and searched them on LinkedIn and, to my surprise, I found a fitting role. I grabbed the bull by the horns and reached out to the recruiter. She got right back to me, and we took off from there, which was back in November 2019. Due to some delays, I didn’t join the company until February 2020.

What kept you motivated during the job search, especially during the downtimes?
It was tough, but I reminded myself that this was on me and that it was up to me to find a job. No one would hand me a job – I needed to own this and take charge of my career. I wanted to make my schooling in France count for myself and my family.

What were the lessons that you learned during your job search?
Be targeted in your approach. Don’t just apply to something just because it sounds good. I nearly fell back into IT because I was so desperate to find a job; however, it was apparent to both the recruiter and me that my heart was not into it. Looking back, it is not worth the effort to fall back on a job you know isn’t your passion.

Do you have any networking tips or tricks that you can share?
Follow the basics. Read about the tips and tricks, the latest and greatest, about your industry. If I saw an article that was meaningful to me, I would find the author on LinkedIn and reach out to them and say, “Hey, your article was very interesting, I would love to be a part of your network and watch you grow!” Reach out to people on LinkedIn if you are interested in what they do, volunteer for events you find interesting, do some online work, and help others.

What will you do in your new role?
My role is an account executive to sell space at our conferences, and my regions are Europe and South America. Being fluent in French, and partially in Italian, helps me perform well in my role.

What is one takeaway or nugget of wisdom that you would like to share?
No matter how many times you hear “No,” believe in your innate knowledge and talents that you can offer to others.

What is Commercial Use Limit on LinkedIn?

If you have a free LinkedIn account, you may have received a warning that you were approaching your commercial use limit of 300 searches in a month. Your searching ability may actually come to an abrupt halt if you reached the maximum views by viewing too quickly.

This happens because you have viewed too many profiles on your mobile device or desktop or you looked at the profiles in the “People Also Viewed” section.

You do not get dinged for browsing for jobs on the jobs tab, for looking at your first level connections, or by searching by name in the search box at the top left of your profile. 

What LinkedIn hopes you will do is purchase a premium plan on 1) Sales Navigator,  2) Recruiter, or 3) Premier Business. Any of these upgrades will allow increasing the number of searches you are allowed. 

Upgrading to the Career and Premium Essentials plans have no bearing on increasing your commercial limits, as both of those are subject to the 300 searches also.

If, for example, you set up your account on the 16th of the month, your month would typically end on the 15th of the next month.

However, for the purposes of the reset for commercial use limit, you must wait until the 1st of the following month to reset your new count of 300.

New Jersey HR Business Partner Drives to Pennsylvania to Learn and Network

Tell us about yourself and your career.

My name is Joseph Turkowski and my background and undergraduate education focus were Math/Computer Science. After graduating, I began my career as an Actuary Trainee. From there, I moved to tech support, tech training, systems administration, project management, and then management. Next, I planned and executed a career transition to Human Resources. An HR opportunity became available, and I transitioned to an HR Manager role. I have been in HR for 10+ years now. An unusual and fairly unique career path!

Why were you looking for a job?
I was looking for a new opportunity closer to home.

How did you discover PAGCG?
My network connection, Ken Lang, introduced me to Lynne Williams and we met at a deli in New York City before she headed to LinkedIn to meet with a group of veterans. Lynne shared information about Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group (PAGCG) services and what it offers.

How did PAGCG help you in your job search?
PAGCG helped in many ways; here are just a few:
· Expanded my network in the Philadelphia market
· Fine-tuned and polished my resume
· Fine-tuned and updated my LinkedIn profile

How did you find your job? How long did it take?
I found my job posted on LinkedIn. My job search was approximately three months.

What kept you motivated during the job search, especially during the downtimes?
Networking and learning kept me motivated. I expanded my network groups outside of Central NJ and NYC. I took several leadership classes on LinkedIn, volunteered as a Career Advisor, and supported a disabled family member.

What were the lessons that you learned during your job search?
Never give up, always stay positive, take breaks, and pace your job search. Think of it as a marathon versus a sprint.

Do you have any networking tips or tricks that you can share?
Measure your success and adjust if you do not produce the results you desire. For example, if your goal is to meet three new people at the next networking event, seek out those you may be able to help. Send an introduction email to connect on LinkedIn and share your knowledge of what may help them. Measure your response rate and adjust as needed.

What will you do in your new role?
My new role is an HR Business Partner supporting our Engineering and Project Management teams. My focus is on building trusted relations across the employee life cycle from recruiting, onboarding, career growth, and development, to retirement.

What is one takeaway or nugget of wisdom that you would like to share?
Track and measure your job search success weekly. Adjust as needed. As a Bronze member, there are several job search trackers available.