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.

Reinventing or Repurposing Your Career on LinkedIn

What do you do on LinkedIn when you are pursuing or wanting to pursue a new career path? How do you portray yourself in your future forward position? This is a question I am asked a lot. 

Your past experience is your past experience and you can’t change history. However, you CAN change how you market yourself in your future forward position (aka “what you want to be when you grow up!”).

Many people know they want to follow a new career path, but they may not know exactly what they want to do. 

In this case, a career assessment might “be the first step to understanding yourself, which is the first step to pursuing your own happiness and satisfaction”, according to Marc Miller of Career Pivot.

In interviewing Sarah E. Brown Ph.D., she noted that “Good career assessments highlight some combination of interests, strengths, and needs. Different assessments place emphasis on different components. What gets us hired are the interests and strengths. What often gets us fired are the needs not getting met.

So, included in the profile should be a really good combination of what we love doing, our interests, and what we are really good at doing …  our strengths.

We do not need to include our motivational needs in the profile, but we should keep that in mind as we are screening a prospective job opportunity” or the next career move.

In reading his book, Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for the 2nd Half of Life, Marc Miller stated that “the most valuable [assessment] for gaining insight into … [his] own needs was the Birkman … [as it is] like a psychic tell[ing] you things that maybe you didn’t want to know but … already sort of knew them, deep down.” To learn more about the value of the Birkman, there is a great article in Fortune magazine called “Are You  a Good Fit for Your Job?”

Once you have clarity with your future forward, think of LinkedIn like a newspaper. What sells top of the fold? The headline! 

Think of LinkedIn like a website. What sells? The attraction of the page before you start scrolling. Again … the top of the fold.

So, above the fold holds true for LinkedIn also … your headline, About section, banner, and all your new keywords need to target your new career path. They need to describe your future forward position. 

If you want to participate in a any assessments, become a Bronze or BENG member and you will have some discounts available. We offer some excellent choices that will provide you will some comprehensive data and analysis.

If you have further questions about who to contact about career assessments and providers, please email me!

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.

Contract Project Management Role Lead to a Full-time Job

Tell us about yourself and your career.
My name is John Whiteley and I was in a director-level position in project management for over ten years. I was later transferred to another company performing a couple of different roles for an additional seven years. After that company lost the contract, around February 2018, I realized it was becoming more difficult to find a job, so I worked various contractor positions in project management before landing my current role.

Why were you looking for a job?
The company lost a contract I was working on with billing systems, and I was laid off. I found other contract positions throughout 2018 and 2019 but sought to find more steady employment in my expertise area.

How did you discover PAGCG?
I hadn’t been laid off before, so I started with CareerLink’s office in Media. I would hear different names and groups while there, and because of this, I discovered Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group (PAGCG) and Lynne Williams. I went to a couple of career fairs and got to talk with Lynne and decided that I should attend some of the many meetings that PAGCG was having. To help me improve my job search methods, it would be better for me to join PAGCG as a member, which I did.

How did PAGCG help you in your job search?
PAGCG helped me find a job in several ways. First, I attended all of Lynne’s LinkedIn classes and gained a great deal of value from all three workshops. Afterward, I attended many chapter meetings where I could talk with others in professional careers in the same boat. For example, to use Les Segarnick’s interview prep group, there was no teacher, no seminar, just accountability questions such as “What are you doing this week?” and “Where have you applied?” With more than 700 events in the area, I found that many of them were a big help, and I recommend them to anyone looking for employment.

How did you find your job? How long did it take?
My current company had many people from my former company, which helped me. In the summer of 2019, I reached out to someone I knew in West Chester, a program manager at this company. He got me an interview, but unfortunately, it didn’t work out during that time, and I continued my search. Fast forward to January 2020, and I reached out to my friend again, who mentioned that a position was available. By February, I landed a contractor position, which helped me get my foot in the door with this company because of someone through my network.

What kept you motivated during the job search, especially during the downtimes?
There was a lot of rejection and general “Why me?” feelings, but in the face of that, I took classes in September 2019 with three certifications in mind. I received two out of the three, ITIL 4 Foundation and Scrum Master, and still plan on pursuing my Project Manager Professional (PMP) certification. Giving myself a goal and a routine where I could focus on my family, faith, and health helped build my confidence and give me a sense of self-worth. I would volunteer at my church to give back, and constructive, positive things in my life kept me going.

What were the lessons that you learned during your job search?
You should never assume and always be persistent. There are many variables, so just because someone told you “No,” today doesn’t mean that if you reach out later on, it is still a “No.” Don’t be afraid to reach out to people and try to get your foot in the door. Ultimately, you must believe in yourself and your abilities because a lot of this responsibility is on your shoulders.

Do you have any networking tips or tricks that you can share?
You get out of it what you put into it. If you don’t network and you’re sort of in the corner not attempting to meet new people, you won’t get as much of value out of the event as opposed to initiating conversations with a few people and learning something from them. I would pay it forward for others who needed help because if I can help others out, they can help me. It’s all about bringing each other up. Networking helped me understand the value of reaching out to others every once in a while, to see how they were doing.

What will you do in your new role?
I will be a Project Manager who focuses on training employees. I organize classes and update the training database with information on who has been trained and even teach some training classes myself.

What is one takeaway or nugget of wisdom that you would like to share?
It can be a very frustrating and sometimes lonely journey being unemployed, especially when you’re older. It would help if you reach out to as many people as possible, remain positive, and communicate your value succinctly. Keep a positive attitude so you can focus on constructive activities. There is a lot of rejection, but you will land something sooner or later, and I do firmly believe that. It may take a while, but you can’t ever give up.

Career Education Group Welcoming to Multicultural Community

Tell us about yourself and your career.
My name is Julia Fell and I grew up in Russia. There, I majored in journalism and worked for newspapers covering the automotive industry. It was a time of significant transformation when international manufacturers were entering the Russian market, and my mastery of German and English was a competitive advantage. Eventually, one of my German newsmakers offered me a job in public relations. “You know too much about us, we have to hire you,” he joked. Later I had a child, took a break, and relocated to the US to join my family. Here, I had to start from scratch, with a new language, new culture, and no connections. Again, the German background helped me. I found a German technology company that needed an all-around marketer who could write content, organize trade shows, set up email campaigns, and do anything else marketing related. From there, my career took a new start.

Why were you looking for a job?
I was laid off because of budget cuts.

How did you discover PAGCG?
I was exploring networking opportunities because the statistics say that 70% of jobs are found through networking. That’s why I went to a LinkedIn Philadelphia event. There, Lynne Williams, who is Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group’s (PAGCG’s) Executive Director, gave a presentation about LinkedIn profile optimization and best practices. Since then, PAGCG has been on my radar.

How did PAGCG help you in your job search?
When I got laid off, I went to every workshop that PAGCG had to offer. That was almost every day and sometimes twice a day. Even though it wasn’t my first round of job search, I learned something new at every workshop, whether about resume optimization, personal branding, or negotiation. Also, talking to people in the group about myself helped me understand what I am looking for and what I bring to the table. From Les Segarnick, who brands himself as “The Interview Doctor,” I learned how to tell a story to highlight my experience instead of just saying that I could do this, and I’ve done that. Eventually, it was LinkedIn optimization that got me my job.

How did you find your job? How long did it take?
It took me 2.5 months. It was faster this time because I knew the tips and tricks and devoted all my time to the job search. There were times where I had good traction on my search and periods of downtime. Near the end, I had four different opportunities: one from a job fair, another from a job board, a third through networking, and with the fourth, the recruiter found me on LinkedIn because I had the relevant keywords.

What kept you motivated during the job search, especially during the downtimes?
I felt a strong sense of urgency because I am the breadwinner, and I have a child. There was no option for failure. I knew that I had to take one step at a time, keep moving, and stay resourceful.

What were the lessons that you learned during your job search?
Every step of the way you learn. Even if it feels like a lot of rejection or time spent spinning your wheels, it makes you better next time. Also, there isn’t just one recipe for success. The stats are that only 7% of people find jobs through job boards and so the recommendation is that you should ignore them or spend just 7% of your time there. But I met someone who developed a method to work with job boards that got her a job faster than her previous networking efforts. So next time, job boards will be in my job search tool kit.

Do you have any networking tips or tricks that you can share?
Talk about your experiences with others and crystallize your story by talking about it to different people. These conversations will help you find a natural and straightforward way to explain what you do and what you bring to the table. Finally, learn to talk about your failures since these are opportunities from which you have learned.

What will you do in your new role?
I am a marketing manager for a radio-frequency identification (RFID) company. For example, they use technology to track every piece of clothing or shoes from the factory to the store. That allows for minimizing losses, theft, and mistakes. It makes the experience better for the customer, for example, allowing them to find an item in the store through an online search. It’s a growing market, and the company has a strong position, so I’m thrilled how it worked out.

What is one takeaway or nugget of wisdom that you would like to give us?
There is no one recipe for success. Keep moving, keep learning, and stay resourceful.

Finding the Right Job for Your Personality

Your Personality. Your Values. The Right Job for You.

A recent LinkedIn survey reported the most frustrating manager qualities. The number one complaint employees reported was that manager expectations were unclear and frequently changing.  Micromanagement, manager unavailability, managers not fostering employee growth, and professional development ranked second, third, and fourth, respectively.

If you are currently in career transition, there is a lot you can do before “committing” (agreeing to take the job) to avoid being saddled with a frustrating manager. Ensure that your personality and values match with the organization, the hiring manager you will be reporting to, and the team you will be working with.

Taking a personality assessment and developing a company culture and role profile (CCRP) will help you make better decisions.

Understand Your Personality Strength and Struggles

Take a personality assessment to understand your personality strengths and struggles. A personality assessment is simply a subjective, self-report questionnaire. There are several reliable and credible assessments available to help you ascertain your typical personality strengths and struggles, such as Personality ID, Myers Briggs Type Indicator, DISC, The Big Five Personality Test, and many others. Personality assessments classify individuals into eight primary behavior patterns: adaptive vs. directing, reserved vs. interacting, objective vs. supportive, and unconventional vs. conscientious.

If your personality is highly unconventional, you tend to rely on instinct and like to operate without written rules. You are naturally flexible, versatile, and work well with broad concepts. Your personality type functions best in natural environments that encourage quick and candid responses.

Seek a company culture, a boss, and a role that best matches your personality.

Develop a Company Culture & Role Profile (CCRP) 

Developing a CCRP requires some basic knowledge, good detective work, and an investment in your time. Use a Microsoft Excel Workbook to capture data and information. Each worksheet can represent a separate company of interest. Perform research in the following areas and note the information in your Excel workbook.

Company Culture. 

Very simply, an organization’s culture is characterized by the way they do things. Culture shapes organizational social norms and attitudes. Culture is defined by how people interact, solve problems, and accomplish goals & objectives.

Groysberg, Lee, Price, and Cheng (2018) identified eight primary organizational culture styles classified by employee interactions (tendency toward high independence or high interdependence) and employee’s responses to change (tendency toward stability/predictability or adaptability/flexibility).

Caring: relationships & mutual trust

Purpose: idealism & altruism

Learning: exploration & creativity

Enjoyment: fun & excitement

Results: achievement & winning

Authority: boldness & decisiveness

Safety: planning, caution, & preparedness

Order: rules & structure

Recall our highly “unconventional” personality from the previous section? Which primary cultures might not be a good fit?  If you guessed safety and order culture, you are correct.

Internet Search 

You can find a lot about company culture by reviewing company annual reports, company web pages, LinkedIn company pages, Indeed, or Glassdoor employee comments.  Identify the company’s vision, mission, and values. Do you see evidence of what it might be like to work for the company? Check for the organizational climate indicators. Can you see evidence of the following or not?

Communication: communication seems to be open and free-flowing

Reward System: recognition of people for a job well done

Organization Clarity: things are well-organized with a clear definition of goals & objectives

Teamwork: the amount of understanding, cooperation, and support demonstrated

Suppose you value professional development, integrity, and social responsibility. Do you see evidence of tuition reimbursement for education or industry certifications, doing the right thing, or participating in a corporate social responsibility program?

Network, Network, Network 

Have informational conversations with staff at the company. Use LinkedIn to set up informational interviews to determine what it’s like to work for the company or the hiring manager. Reach out to people who work at the company or worked there previously. Connect and have a conversation. Ask: “Tell me what it’s like to work at Company ABC.” Review the hiring manager’s LinkedIn profile, skills, endorsements, and recommendations.

Examine Job Descriptions

A good job description and all job descriptions are not all created equally, is a communication tool that tells potential candidates what skills and qualifications the company and hiring manager are looking for in a candidate. Deconstruct the job description. If the job description emphasizes teamwork and learning, it is likely that the culture focuses on collaboration and learning or has identified it as a gap the candidate could fill.  It is your job to find out. LinkedIn Premium does some analysis for you.  See the following LinkedIn Sections:  How you match? and Competitive Intelligence About Other Applicants.

Interview Preparation

Schedule a mock interview with Leslie Segarnick, The Interview Doctor. Dr. Les is an expert in job search and interview techniques providing coaching no charge to folks in job transition. You will need to supply him with your resume and the job description in advance. He can help you “Flip the Script” (see below.). Read his Top Ten Interview Questions & Tips article, which includes his BIO.

Interview Time: Flipping the Script

Flip the script. A few strategic questions asked during the interview can give you useful information. Ask the recruiter: “What is it like working for Company ADC?”, “What can you tell me about (the hiring manager)?” Ask the hiring manager: “Tell me about yourself.” “Tell me about your leadership style.”, “Do you prefer weekly one-on-ones?”

While there are no guarantees, you will have significantly increased the probability of a more successful match, by taking this systematic approach. The higher the degree of match (company, boss, and job), the happier and more successful you will be in the new role!

References 

Groysberg, B., Lee, J., Price, J., & Cheng, J. (2018, Jan-Feb). The leader’s guide to corporate culture. Harvard Business Review (HBR).

LinkedIn. (2018, October 22). The “most frustrating” things a boss can do is…

AUTHOR BIO

Dr. Laura Dowling, MBA-TM, CHFP, CRCR, CSBI has 20 years of corporate leadership experience in the healthcare industry, developing and executing strategies to improve operational and financial performance. She has hired, trained, managed, and professionally developed hundreds of employees.  She has a reputation for building and leading high-performing teams that exceed expectations.

Dr. Laura has 13 years’ experience as a professor developing curriculum, designing courses, and providing instruction in business administration, healthcare administration, leadership, and strategic management at Gwynedd Mercy University. She is an instructor at Gwynedd Mercy University and doctoral dissertation committee member at the University of Phoenix. Reach Dr. Laura at  https://www.linkedin.com/in/laura-dowling-dm/

Top 10 Interview Questions & Tips

Interview preparation takes time. If you want to be good at anything, it takes practice. You must craft your STAR stories and practice your responses to interviewing questions. Below are ten interview questions and how you might respond.

Q1 Interviewer: “Why did you leave your last employer?”

Response from candidate #1: “I was laid off.”

Your response as candidate #2: “ I enjoyed working for the ZYX company for 2 (5, 8, 15, etc.) years. I started as a Customer Service Representative and worked my way up to the Customer Service Manager in 4 years. I worked well with my team and the management staff. Last year, the company lost its largest account and decided to downsize. I was in the third and last reduction in force. When I left, only the maintenance people were there to keep the pipes from freezing.

Evaluate: Who will stand above the competition, who will be remembered?

Tip: Answer questions in paragraphs, not sentences. Paint a picture with your responses to be considered for the second interview.

Q2 Interviewer: “What are three strengths that you bring to the position?”

Tip: Answer with three strengths from the job requirements, using metrics, written using STAR – Situation, Task, Action, Result. Keep in mind the three reasons you are being hired: 

  • Make money for your new employer
  • Save money for your new employer
  • Save time for your new employer

Q3 Interviewer: “What would you consider your greatest accomplishment, so far, in your career?”

Tip: Your response should match any of the job requirements, using metrics, written using STAR – Situation, Task, Action, Result. You should have at least five accomplishment stories matching five different job requirements.

Q4 Interviewer: “Where do you expect to be with our company in the next three years?”

Tip: You want to learn everything there is to know about the position. You are looking to become a bottom-line contributor to the company and become known as a corporate asset as soon as possible.

Q5 Interviewer: “Why should I hire you? Why do you feel you are more qualified for this position than your competitor? What are you bringing to this position?”

Tip: Draw a “T” on a blank page. On the left side, write out job requirements. On the right side, write out and script work-related experiences or transferrable skills using STAR – Situation, Task, Action, Result.

Tip: Practice interview questions into a mirror, into a voice or video recorder, or practice with a friend or family member. Practice until you can respond in a conversational tone, with passion and motivation. Pretend you are in show business.

Q6 Interviewer: “What questions do you have for me?”

Tip: Respond in the following manner. Yes, I have a few questions for you, but before I get to those, “Do you have any hesitation about my qualifications for this position?”

Then follow up with 3-7 questions about the job itself.

Q7 Interviewer: “What is one thing your former manager asked you to improve upon?”

Tip: State the weakness and the recovery.

Q8 Interviewer: “What would your co-workers say about you?”

Tip: Organized, problem solver, and friendly.

Q9 Interviewer: “Have you gotten angry at work?”

Tip: Use STAR – Situation, Task, Action, Result, and respond that you are a good listener, you compromise when necessary, you seek suggestions, and if this fails, you bring the problem to management.

Q10 Interviewer: “What are your salary expectations?”

Tip: Can you share with me what is budgeted for this position? If pushed, have a range in mind.

On Fridays, from 9-11 AM EST, join Les Segarnick for a free workshop on Interviewing Techniques, currently run via Zoom. Register at http://bit.ly/WayneFri9a and also on the meetup of the Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group at https://www.meetup.com/Philadelphia-Area-Great-Careers-Group/. You must be a meetup member before you can RSVP. 

  

Author BIO

Les Segarnick (The Interview Doctor) is an accomplished recruitment expert, volunteer, and instructor. He has established himself as a well-respected advisor to professionals seeking new job opportunities. Since retiring as President and Owner of Action Employment Services, a national recruiting firm that he owned and led for more than three decades, Les has focused his efforts on sharing his knowledge and expertise in the areas of interview techniques and job search strategies through a wide array of volunteer activities. He is currently serving as a facilitator of multiple career development and job search workshops in Montgomery County, PA, and regularly spends time conducting one-on-one practice interviews with people in job transition, at no charge. 

Les has also lectured in a variety of classroom settings on such topics as elevator pitch, resume critique, interview techniques, job search strategies, networking, and the importance of using keywords . He has spoken to Juniors and Seniors at the Fox School of Business at Temple University on job and internships searches.

Through his experience as a hands-on owner of a national recruiting firm, Les was personally involved in more than 3,500 job placements and over 1000 practice interviews. His company specialized in engineering, sales, and marketing, and successfully placed professionals throughout Western New York and around the country. Known as the “The Interview Doctor,” his motto is “Ask Me How I Make a Difference.”

LinkedIn Updates - Keeping Up with Changes

Did you know that there is a LinkedIn hashtag for #Juneteenth which is the portmanteau of 19th and June? You can learn what others are saying by following this hashtag or by using it yourself on your posts about this momentous day in 1865 when slavery ended in Galveston, Texas. 

What else is new on LinkedIn? The menu bar is now black instead of dark gray. Speculation is that it changed for Black Lives Matter, but there does not seem to be an announcement about this, though LinkedIn did make a BLM statement. The change of the menu bar just magically appeared as black this past week.

Headlines used to be limited to 120 characters on the desktop, but you might have been in the recent rollout and now can expand it. LinkedIn has not yet updated their knowledge base article on this change to announce the official number of characters, but others have posted that you may have up to 220 characters.

Posts now have six options: 

1) celebrate a teammate (welcome a new teammate or give kudos to someone)

2) find an expert (in accounting, coaching & mentoring, design, marketing, and other)

3) share a profile with your network or search for a friend or former coworker, or connection)

4) add a job (create a new post or add a link)

5) create a poll (as long as it’s not political, or medical information or other sensitive data)

6) offer help (general, referrals, career coaching, resume reviews, introductions, volunteer work, or other)

Some other LinkedIn changes are below:

  • People Also Viewed has increased from 10 to 20
  • Hashtag displays are being reconfigured
  • COVID-19 themed banners are coming
  • Away messages for premium users are coming
  • Broadcast link field for online events is coming
  • A new search user interface is coming
  • Image cropping is coming

Need some visuals of the above? Here’s a great post from Andy Foote in Chicago. Andy also includes the reminder that LinkedIn will shorten the URLs in your posts if they are more than 26 characters. When you see the bitly links used by me on behalf of the nonprofit, those are shortened URLs also.

AUTHOR BIO

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