Optimized LinkedIn Profile and Accountability in Career Group Results in a Remote Job Landing

Tell us about yourself and your career.
My name is Brian Rickman and I have 25 years of experience as a Software Engineer working with computer programming. I was working remotely for a company based in Boston before I lost my job.

Why were you looking for a job?
About a quarter of the workforce was laid off included me at the end of March. We were laid off due to the initial outbreak from the Coronavirus.

How did you discover PAGCG?
A friend of mine in the city knew that I was looking for a job. He saw an ad for a Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group (PAGCG) meeting about updating your LinkedIn profile on the Philadelphia Free Library’s website Jobs & Job Seeker events and encouraged me to attend. I joined that meeting and liked the people. It felt like the right place to be. I am also a volunteer for the group, even though I am employed. It’s a way of giving back.

How did PAGCG help you in your job search?
The biggest thing the group gave me was the confidence and motivation to work on my job search. Many things were secondary, such as updating my LinkedIn profile and resume, but the social aspect was most important. In the meetings, we would go around the room and talk about what we had done the previous week related to our job search. It gave me and others a sense of accountability.

How did you find your job? How long did it take?
A recruiter reached out to me through LinkedIn after they saw my newly updated profile. I landed an interview and, eventually, the job itself. Luckily, I was only out of work for a month between losing my job and landing the new one.

What kept you motivated during the job search, especially during the downtimes?
The connection I felt with the other job seekers in the group helped me. It also helped to put a plan in place and treat my job search as a job – I would wake up in the morning, update my profile, spruce up my resume, and keep moving. I always made sure that I had something to report to the group at the next meeting.

What were the lessons that you learned during your job search?
You really must make an effort to get up and work for it. It’s not going to happen by itself, and the job won’t land on your lap. During better times, I had recruiters reach out to me every week, but that’s not happening right now. You have to get out there and make that effort.

Do you have any networking tips or tricks that you can share?
Reach out to anyone who could help you, even friends and neighbors. I was so surprised when I reached out to neighbors, and they would say, “Oh yeah, I can connect you to someone here. I can help you!”
On LinkedIn, especially, almost anyone will connect with you if you give them a reason. If you reach out and say you want to connect, they may ignore your request if they don’t already know you; however, if you reach out and say, “Hey, I’m interested in your company,” you are more likely to get a response.

What will you do in your new role?
My new job title is Camera Engineer. This role is a software engineer role with the primary focus on writing programs in C++ that run inside internet-connected security cameras.

What is one takeaway or nugget of wisdom that you would like to share?
I found a quote in an online class that was quite relevant: “Lady Luck favors those who try!” You will have better luck if you go out and make an effort. If you sit around doing nothing, then nothing will happen.

How to Add Images & Media to Your LinkedIn Profile

Readers love visuals! Did you know that you can enhance your LinkedIn profile by adding images, video, documents, weblinks, photos, presentations, PDFs, and other media under the About section as well as under your Work Experience? You can add these visuals to bring better attention to your post, and can edit or delete as needed. People love to see images that relate to the topic of the post so they can make a connection to…

Marketing Director Discovers Career Group to be a Wonderful Community That Is Motivational and Informative

Tell us about yourself and your career background. 

My name is Daria Duda, and I am a career marketer focused on entertainment and technology, specializing in product and content marketing.

Why were you looking for a job?

My company closed its office in King of Prussia, and I was part of the 80 or so folks laid off as a result. It was a huge change because I was consistently employed for 20 years, even surviving mergers, acquisitions, and company layoffs.

How did you discover PAGCG?

I discovered the Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group (PAGCG) by happenstance and didn’t even know that an organization such as this existed. I heard about PAGCG from two people: a recruiter and a friend at my gym. When they both raved about how helpful the chapter meetings were, I knew I had to check it out.

How did PAGCG help you in your job search?

The chapter leaders helped me stay positive; they were motivational, and the sessions were informative, often highlighted by expert guest speakers. At first, I was skeptical because I had never joined a networking organization, and I didn’t know what to expect. What I discovered was a wonderful community filled with smart, hard-working people. We all had the same goal of finding the right next job that would maximize our specific skills. Many folks were employed but looking to transition to a different position or even different career, and it was inspiring to support others on their journey.

How did you find your job? How long did it take?

Well, it did take longer than I thought. I also learned that taking the first option didn’t mean it was the right one for me. While I had plenty of interviews, I quickly recognized it would best to be particular about choosing the right company for me. It wasn’t without effort – lots of networking through PAGCG, lots of meetups, and events at Venture Café, along with adjustments to my LinkedIn profile. Then simultaneously, two good options came forward. One was from a personal connection who introduced me to a business acquaintance. The second was a posting on LinkedIn, and having been taught all the tricks by the PAGCG folks, I contacted the recruiter on LinkedIn before applying. Having a personal connection with the recruiter added an authentic element to my job search and made the right impression of getting the interview and landing my job.

What kept you motivated during the job search, especially during the downtimes?

Hah – chocolate, and of course, the PAGCG chapter meetings! Seriously though, support from my friends and family. My husband was one of my biggest motivators and would encourage me to attend all the events possible – I was going out nearly every day to events all over the city!

What were the lessons that you learned during your job search?

There were many things, and PAGCG helped me tremendously. It is not just about networking, optimizing, and maintaining a LinkedIn profile, or doing practice interviewing – but with the building of personal connections. I look at my contacts now on LinkedIn, many of whom I met through the group and now follow their successes, and it’s humbling to be a part of it all, and know that we are all worked together to help each other be successful – in whatever way that meant to each of us. 

Do you have any networking tips or tricks that you can share?

I would say, strive to have two meaningful conversations during an event. As an introvert, networking was difficult and exhausting for me at first, but I found that meeting even just two people and having meaningful conversations truly matters. It’s best not to overthink what you should talk about with someone and instead relax. Don’t panic and enjoy the conversation, be engaged, and work on your listening skills, make eye contact. You never know who will keep you in mind when an opportunity arises. When you let yourself have a great conversation with someone, you end up finding some common topic to discuss or learn something new – it’s a great way to stay motivated.

What will you do in your new role?

I am the Director of Marketing for a start-up focused on safety for automation and robotics. The subject matter is all new for me, and it’s exciting and exhilarating to be a part of emerging technology.

What is one takeaway or nugget of wisdom that you would like to give us?

Personal connections are more important than online job applications. Even when my resume keywords matched a job description, it still wasn’t a guarantee that I would get a response at all, and, most of the time, I got no responses. Talk about a downer. Instead, reach out and add that human element to your job search and meet people, exchange ideas, and you’ll find inspiration and even advice in every conversation. 

Scrum Master Discovers Group on Meetup and Still Volunteers for Nonprofit 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

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. 

PLEASE DON’T DO THAT ON LINKEDIN!

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.

AUTHOR BIO

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 vista.today, montco.today, and delco.today.

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 vista.today, montco.today, and delco.today.

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 www.linkedin.com/in/lynnewilliams 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!

AUTHOR BIO

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 vista.today, montco.today, and delco.today.