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!

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.

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.

Three Unconventional Ways to Supercharge Your Professional Networking

Are you looking for additional ways to network with people, but are hampered due to the pandemic? Instead of merely sending cold “connect with me” requests through LinkedIn in, why not try out one of these other approaches?

Start a Podcast

If you have a computer, are curious by nature, and are willing to step out of your comfort zone, consider creating a podcast. It not only can help you connect with other professionals, but you create a product that becomes your business card that has a life of its own.

Pick an interest that you are passionate about and then reach out to people in your network and ask if they would be willing to be interviewed on your podcast. Over time, as you build up episodes, you can then take risks and invite people onto your podcast with whom you always wanted to speak. 

Not only are you able to have thoughtful conversations with people, but by recording the session, you’re able to share what you learn with others. Your ability to network will skyrocket as you’re not only reaching out to new people to speak with, but over time, you’ll be building an online repository of content that will make your website a destination place for other like-minded professionals. 

So how do you get started using a podcast? It’s not as complicated as you might think. The most challenging aspect is the planning, organizing, and doing the work. From a technical standpoint, there are many free tools available. The basics of what you need are:

● Recording equipment. To record, you’ll need a laptop and a microphone. (Yes, you can use your phone in a pinch, but for best sound quality, you might wish to pick up a USB microphone with a shock mount and pop filter.)

● You’ll need software such as Pamela (for Windows) or ecamm (for Mac) to record your interviews.

●     Free software such as Audacity is available for editing your raw audio file. And if you need to learn how to use the software, free YouTube videos are available to help. 

● And finally, you’ll need a place to host your final podcast files. Anchor offers a free service (but be sure to read their terms of service to make certain you’re comfortable with it, as they might run ads within your podcast or create a derivative of your work). Services like Buzzsprout and Podbean also offer limited free services and paid options for more functionality and server space. 

Want to learn more about how to start a podcast? Be sure to read Joanna Penn’s How to Podcast article for more tips and recommendations on services and equipment. 

Write a Book

Like creating a podcast, writing a book is another unconventional way to broaden your professional network while also allowing you to become a thought leader or influencer in your area of expertise. 

First, take an idea and then come up with five people you’d like to interview in your book. Reach out to those individuals, share your vision with them, and ask if they would be willing to be included in your book.

Need an example to help you get started?

Monika Kanokova wrote her book My Creative (Side) Business: The insightful guide to turning your side projects into a full-time creative business by reaching out and interviewing 12 female entrepreneurs and asking each of them a set of questions. Her interviews allowed her to connect with like-minded women from around the world, amplify their stories, and then offer the book to up-and-coming freelancers who looked for a place to start.

The options available to you are endless. You could choose to make a short ebook or a print version, offer the book in digital formats that will work on a variety of ebook readers, or even distribute the book for sale on Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble. 

If you need help in creating an ebook, be sure to read my step-by-step How to Publish an eBook in 8 (Somewhat) Easy Steps. The technical aspect of creating a book is not the primary challenge. With today’s technology, anyone can easily create a book from their own computer, free software, and then distribute online.

The more significant challenge is coming up with an exciting topic, defining your project’s scope, and then executing. Remember, a book doesn’t need to be written in a day or a week. You can set your schedule as you see fit.

An excellent place to start is to brainstorm, select your idea, and then run with it. Writing 1,000 words a day for four days a week will net you 48,000 words in three months. That’s plenty to work with for a first non-fiction book.

After the draft is finished, you can use tools like Grammarly or ProWritingAid to edit the book (or share with friends to get their feedback), and if you’re not up for the challenge to format the text yourself, there are many freelancers out there to do the work for you at a minimal cost.

Once you have the book, share it with your professional networking groups. The point isn’t to become rich from the book, but to use your work as your business card. You can connect with other professionals during the research phase of your project and then share the books with those individuals to pass the book along to their networks (be sure to list your contact information in your book so that readers can reach out to you). 

Over time, with one ebook, you can distribute the file for free to tens of thousands of people. The possibilities indeed are endless if you are willing to step outside the parameters of traditional networking.

Volunteer and Teach 

What skills do you have? Choose one and then offer to reach out to a professional group and offer your services to the group. The Great Careers Group & BENG is one such organization that offers a plethora of events throughout each month.

Instead of looking for people to come to help you network or find a job, flip the dynamic, and ask yourself: “What do I have to offer others? How can I help?”

Professional networking is a two-way street in that we’re looking to make connections with people and give.

Think about how you can help people, write your idea down, and then reach out and volunteer to help. Do you have tech skills? Professional networking tips? Unconventional job searching techniques? If you stop to think about your skills, see what you’re passionate about, and then give back. The more you give back, the more your network will grow as you will become the person that people want to gravitate toward instead of showing up to people with your hand out.

If you want to take teaching to another level, why not record yourself on a platform such as Teachable, and then offer the recording to people? If signing up for a paid service is not an option, use your laptop to record your screen, and then upload the video to YouTube.

Take the YouTube link and share the video out on Twitter, LinkedIn, and any professional networks where you are a member.

Summing It Up

Yes, we are in the middle of a pandemic, and it’s more challenging than ever to meet up with people to network professionally. Stop sending the cold invites to people on LinkedIn. Successful networking takes effort, and the ideas suggested here are creative ones to challenge you in ways you might feel uncomfortable. That’s the point. Each of us has an opportunity to step up and use the skills/tools at our disposal to create something great and share that with others. Have fun, and if you have a question about one of the ideas in this article, reach out and contact me. 

Author Bio

Ron Vitale is an accomplished director of digital project management and has successfully overseen the launch of more than a dozen websites seeking employment opportunities.

His colleagues have come to know him as a diplomatic problem-solver with a proven ability to envision people’s web needs and then launch viable new web-based systems on time and under budget.

ONLINE ZOOM The Art of Hello with Paula Calise on Tuesday, August 25, 2020, 9-11 AM with chapter leaders, Drew Braun and Nancy Moyer. Free for Bronze or BENG members or suggested $5 donation to nonprofit.  1) RSVP on Salesforce at http://bit.ly/KoPTues9a  2) RSVP on Meetup 3) Zoom link will be provided upon registration on both links. If you are new to the group you must send an email to info@greatcareersphl.org with your Linkedin URL.…

How to make an Introduction on LinkedIn

On LinkedIn, you can make a personal introduction to other people in your network. A warm introduction is certainly better than someone reaching out on their own with a “cold call” approach.

As for networking online, LinkedIn might be considered networking on steroids so embrace this feature as part of the largest professional network in the world!

Introductions could happen for several reasons:

  • To set up an informational interview to learn more about their company, industry, or career progression. This could be for someone who is in college seeking ideas on where they should start their career, those seeking to change industries or considering a reinvention, or for many other reasons. P.S. Don’t forget that thank you note after that informational interview!
  • To learn more about the culture of a company when applying to a job posting (as you NEVER want to straight up ask for a job on an initial contact). It might cause for your resume to be asked to be sent or read or walked down the hall to the hiring manager.
  • For B2B sales prospecting for an introduction and referral as a potential vendor (as you NEVER want to ask for an order on the “first date”). According to Harvard Business Review, 90% or more of C-level executives don’t respond to a cold outreach or email blast. Rather than make this introduction out of the blue, you could warm up the outreach by sharing an article of interest with them or like or share their recent post, for example.

First, you need to build the KNOW, LIKE, TRUST with people. I would guess that it’s a rarity that two people meet and get married right after the first date. There is usually a courtship that happens over time, so networking in person and online is the same thing – you need to build a rapport and that takes time.

Here are a couple examples:

INFORMATION INTERVIEW

Hi xxx,

I would like to introduce you to the Executive Director, Lynne Williams, of the the group where I volunteer. She is exploring what the requirements are to enter career services in higher ed and would love to learn more about how you started in your position in the career services department. She wants to know if her skills and experiences alone would be considered for a position or if she needs to have a Master’s in Counseling. Would you be open to having a conversation with her? She will reach out and connect directly with you, but I wanted to make a warm introduction to you as my cousin. If there is anything I can do for you, please let me know. Thanks!

Bob

JOBSEEKER

Dear xxx,

As you know, I am an avid networker and have someone in my organization who saw the job posting of xxx. She would like to know more about the culture of your company before she applies. Would you be open to having a conversation with (Judy Jobseeker)? Her email is judyjobseeker@gmail.com and phone number is 610-123-4567. She will reach out to connect directly with you. If there is anything I can do for you, please let me know. Thanks!

Happy networking!

Lynne

B2B

Dear xxx

As you may know, I am an avid networker and would like to introduce you to (Victor Vendor) who I met through my membership at the XYZ Chamber of Commerce. I believe you two would benefit from knowing each other. (Victor Vendor’s) company has just come out with an amazing new employee benefits feature and I thought you should be made aware of this. It might save your company an incredible amount of money with this AI breakthrough. Would you be open to having a short conversation? He will reach out to connect directly with you, but I wanted to make a warm introduction. If there is anything I can do for you, please let me know.

Happy networking!

Lynne

Whenever you ask someone to make an introduction, don’t make them take their time on YOUR behalf. YOU create the draft for them as if they were writing it so they can do the 5 second tap-copy-tap-paste-post method and they would have the option to tweak it. It should be ready to go from the salutation to the closing as if you were in their body writing it. Remember –  KEEP IT SHORT AND SWEET!

STEP BY STEP ON THE SENDING END

  • Pull up someone’s profile that you are a first level connect with and click the blue message button
  • Click to the right of their name and start typing the other person’s name and when their profile comes up, click on it so it adds this second person (or you could add a group of people)
  • Type your message
  • Click send

ON THE RECEIVING END

Look for the messaging tab in the middle of the dark bar at the top of LinkedIn and click on it. On the left, you will see that unread messages will be bold until you open them and read them. You will see the names of the people in the message at the top of the message and when you reply, it goes to both of them.

Happy networking … online!

Jobseeker? Starting a business? Self-Employed? Employed? Networking? or LinkedIn or ther career education Workshops?

Come learn and network with the Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group and organizations that partner with us! There is something of interest for any working adult (or about to be working if you are graduating soon!)

See the schedule with links here or on our meetup or website at https://greatcareersphl.org/events