How to Connect on Online Meetings Without Obscene Pop Up Ads

Beware of XXX-rated porn trolls on your online meetings. I attended a meeting with a Zoom link that was publicly posted on a Meetup and BOOM! There it was – things that grandma should not see. Those were some things I have actually never seen either. Wow! Just wow! 

Come to find out, these surprise visuals are called ‘porn-bombing’ or ‘Zoom-bombing,’ and the filth pops up on your screen, according to The Sun and Business Insider.  But, you can stop them from infiltrating your meetings in the first place. 

Here are some recommendations to protect yourself from embarrassment and apologies. On your Zoom control panel, disable your screen sharing and switch it to “Host-Only” but feel free to invite Co-hosts who have the same privileges as you as the host. Disable “Allow Removed Participants to Rejoin.” Disable “File Transfer.” Make sure “Join Before Host” is not switched on. Switch to screen sharing for “Host-Only.”

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The Reality of Unemployment

Let’s focus on the bottom rung of Maslow’s Hierarchy of  Needs, namely physiological needs – food, water, warmth, rest, and air. Yes, air … air to breathe. We all need these. Many of us have had the carpet pulled right out from under our feet in the past week. There is nothing but uncertainty that lies ahead. 

Let’s discuss unemployment. The Department of Labor Statistics reports the monthly unemployment rate using the U3 and not all six measures of unemployment like they did from 1950 to 2010. The U3 includes the people who are actively looking for a job. The U6 the real unemployment number. It includes those who are unemployed, underemployed, have stopped looking for work, or are long term unemployed who cannot find work, or may have bought or started a business because they could not find a job. 

So, before the world changed in March, the real unemployment rate for February 2020, according to ShadowStats, was 21.1%. Save that link and keep a watch on it, especially since the U3 is around 3.9% and projected to go to about 20%. You can do the math and projections for what the U6 might be like down the road. 

If you find yourself as a newly displaced worker, here is the link to PA CareerLink so you can get information on unemployment compensation. See the schedule below for our online support meetings as well as online trainings. Everything we offer is currently free, though a suggested small donation for speaker meetings is always appreciated to support our nonprofit if you are not a Bronze member.

If  you need to accelerate your job search on a tight budget or manage your career, explore our resources that include links for remote work

If you are a small business with questions, contact the local SCORE chapter in your locale. They can share resources with you from the SBA: Chester & Delaware County or Montgomery County or TriCounty.

If you are employed and have the means to pay it forward, think how you can: 1) support family and friends in need, 2) the most vulnerable, 3) nonprofits, 4) places of worship, 5) anyone who is self-employed, etc. 

In the meantime, do the right thing and stay home and stay safe to keep yourself and others safe and pray that our scientists can produce a cure.

Originally published in Vista.Today

How to Make a Word Cloud for LinkedIn

You can make a word cloud for your LinkedIn banner or for an article.The more frequently that words are listed, the bigger or bolder they will appear. A word cloud is a visual design of text data and you can read here for more details and here for pros and cons. 

Although there are a lot of word cloud generators that exist, here are some you might like to try. 

Google Word Cloud Generator


Word Cloud Generator 

If you want step-by-step instructions on how to make a word cloud using Wordart, here they are!

  1. Go to & set up your account
  2. Click on Create Now
  3. Click on Create
  4. Choose 3 of your main keywords and 3 other keywords and type them over the existing words Word, Cloud, and Art and then click +Add to add the extra words
  5. Change the size of the 1st 3 words to be far bigger than than the last 3 
  6. Click on Shapes & choose Geometric
  7. Click on the bottom right hand corner of the square and click on the gear and then move the aspect ratio to the right to about a 3.06 to create a rectangle and click OK
  8. Click on Fonts and choose one
  9. Click on Layout and choose one
  10. Click on Style
  11. Click on the the word Custom and the 1st bar and move the white button on the bar in the middle and the black dot on the top to get to the colors you want and click on Add to Palette after each choice
  12. To delete the colors you don’t want, just click on them and they will disappear
  13. Click Close
  14. Click Visualize until you get to the image you like
  15. In the white bar at the top, name your selection as Banner 1 and click save
  16. Change the name to Banner 2 and click visualize again until you want to save and it will prompt you and choose Save as New
  17. Click Download Standard PNG or Standard JPG for your free version and then move the file from the bottom left hand corner of your window to your desktop or computer
  18. Create a meta tag with your keywords before you upload the image to LinkedIn 

Have fun making word clouds for your LinkedIn banner, articles, or wherever you have a need!

Originally published in

LinkedIn Learning and Other Online Platforms

Knowledge is power. You don’t know what you don’t know, so engage in continuous lifelong learning to improve yourself and your skill sets. 

In April 2015, Linkedin purchased a platform called and then subsequently rolled it into what is now called LinkedIn Learning. As of April 2018, there is no additional charge for the learning platform for those who have the following paid accounts: 1) Premier Career, 2) Premier Business, 3) Executive, 4) Sales Navigator Professional, or 5) Recruiter Lite. You will notice the Learning icon in the top right hand part of your profile page and can access it there.

You can learn about software, business, technology, or creative skills to reach your future career goals. When you complete certain courses or any of the over 70 learning paths, LinkedIn will allow you to download the certificates of completion on your profile. 

As a nonprofit leader, volunteer, or jobseeker, you might want to take a look at, which is run by Matt Hugg, who is one of three chapter leaders for the Nonprofit Career Network (NCN) Philly chapter of the Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group. The next meeting is Thurs March 12th in Lansdale at 8:30 AM. The topic of discussion over (buy your own) breakfast will be Nonprofit Board Recruitment and you can sign up here

Although there are many many other learning platforms out there, this is a pretty good list that will get you started on the road to self-improvement! Happy learning!


Class Central

Ivy League Courses

PBS Learning with Ken Burns

Originally published on

How to Use LinkedIn to Set Up Informational Interviews

If you want to advance in your career or need to explore careers as a new graduate or reinvention, you might want to have informational interviews. The late Richard N. Bolles, author of What Color is Your Parachute?, refers to these as conversations with an expert or specialist in an industry that interests you. It’s an opportunity to have a one to one dialogue. 

There is certain etiquette that should be followed for an informational interview, including the established length of time, which might be 15 to 20 minutes. If you are able to create an agenda and send it in advance, that will set a professional tone and help keep the conversation on track. 

Build rapport, discuss your needs, tap into the expert’s network, ask what you can do for them, offer contacts from your network, and follow up with a thank you. 

So where might this start with a stranger that you don’t know? On LinkedIn, of course. Where might you send the follow up thank you? On LinkedIn, unless you can write a handwritten thank you and send by snail mail. 

Use can do Boolean searches in LinkedIn or in Google for LinkedIn to find the right people you might want to interview. You can also ask others to make introductions for you on LinkedIn. 

Here are a bunch of resources on informational interviews if you want to conduct one.

3 things you MUST do before your next informational interview

5 tips for non-awkward informal interviews

70+ questions to ask in an informational interview

Email informational interview requests (with samples)

How I leveraged an informational interview to land a job 

How to conduct a proper informational interview

How to convince strangers to help you get a job

Informational interviews are a form of networking

Mastering the informational interview

The one job hunting trick you’ve been neglecting 

Top 10 tips for successful informational interviews 

Happy networking! Remember that networking is the key to your career success.

Originally published in Vista.Today