LinkedIn for Career Success

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This Saturday, October 22nd, please join us at the Central Library for our Accelerate Your Career All-Day Career Event.

Joy Cohen, a Calgary career consultant, will be presenting the LinkedIn for Career Success program from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.

We asked Joy a few questions about the why and how to use LinkedIn as a networking tool.

With over 120 million registered users worldwide, LinkedIn is clearly popular with job searchers. What do you think is its greatest strength?

I think its greatest strength is the ease of use for individuals with basic computer skills. If you have a well developed profile containing key words and phrases from your industry, it’s easy to be found and to access wonderful career opportunities. As a career coach, I have found this site to be absolutely invaluable for marketing my job search clients to employers quickly and with great ease. Some of my clients do not have computer skills and I am able to intervene and connect very quickly with hiring managers and decision makers as well as others who can introduce me to those who are responsible for posting opportunities. I LOVE this site!

What are your LinkedIn pet peeves?

  1. A profile with just your name and nothing else or having a profile that says “unemployed and desperate for work—please, anyone, help me!”
  2. A profile full of spelling and grammatical errors. Have someone with a fresh set of eyes check your profile for you. If English is not your first language, have someone review your profile who is completely fluent in English.
  3. Inappropriate or family photos. Your photo should reflect a professional image, period.
  4. Inappropriate status updates giving information about your family or personal activities. These personal details are more appropriate for Facebook.

Do you think job searchers should include their LinkedIn URL on their business cards?

Sure! You can also select a personalized “Vanity URL” for your public profile, giving you a custom web address for linking to and promoting your profile. Once you’ve chosen your URL, you can use it to feature your LinkedIn profile on business cards, email signatures, your blog and so on. (source: Personalizing your LinkedIn URL)

Should job searchers ever ask their current boss for a recommendation?

As long as everyone is comfortable, I think it’s a very good idea. Be aware that some companies are not permitted to provide what may be perceived as “written references,” Many employers search LinkedIn and seek out candidates who have a minimum of 10 recommendations, so building up your profile is important. Always ensure that the recommendations are of quality and speak of your talent, strengths, skills and knowledge.

Joy Cohen, from Everyday Joy: Career and Human Services Consulting, is a Calgary-based Human Services and Career Services Professional. Joy will be presenting LinkedIn for Career Success during the Accelerate Your Career All-Day Career Event this Saturday, October 22nd at the Central Library. Register online or by calling 403-260-2620.

Best in Books: August

by Roberta - 0 Comment(s)

This month’s Library book review is from local career consultant Joy Cohen. Joy recently presented a LinkedIn seminar at the Central Library, where she talked about one of her favourite book series: Knock ‘em Dead.

Knock ‘em Dead Secrets & Strategies for Success in an Uncertain World is a satisfying read that offers practical advice that I have found to be personally instrumental on my own career path, as well as a helpful tool with my clients. Interestingly, I’d been a huge fan of his Knock ‘em Dead series, so I networked with the author through LinkedIn and he sent me an autographed copy!

Martin Yate emphasizes a straight forward, no nonsense, step by step approach to job search and career management advice suitable for new graduates and seasoned workers. I really enjoy his writing and have found that his enthusiasm is contagious and he possesses a flair for constructing creative, well written resumes and cover letters that get positive attention. He does, however, bluntly claim that this book will provide everything you need to take control of your life, which I found to be rather broad and subjective.

Three of the most important key concepts in Yate’s book emphasizes include:

1. Self-Responsibility

Successful career management and job search takes time, daily work and planning. If you’re stuck, then get practical help from a Career Coach to help keep you on track and motivated.

2. Producing Effective Resumes

Target and focus your resume and cover letter to each job posting. Yate discusses this in detail and his solution is TJD: Target Job Deconstruction for reconstructing a resume that employers will want to read. Generic resumes and “to whom it may concern” cover letters are extremely ineffective and usually do not result in many job interviews. Effective, relevant, worthwhile resumes contain key words and phrases that entice the reader to call the candidate.

3. Network, Network, Network!

It’s all about relationships. “The success of your job search depends on getting into conversation with people in a position to hire you, as quickly and as often as possible,” stresses Yate. This book contains little gems on how to bypass gatekeepers and make contact with decision makers. Quite simply, if you are not networking and following up with employers, i.e., finding names and contact information of people who can help you get resume requests and job interviews, then learn how to do so. Etiquette is also critical and will distinguish you in either a positive or negative way from other candidates. For instance, if you think that a thank you letter, card or email after an interview is a waste of time, think again. Lastly, if you have been attending job interviews and have not received job offers, then ask for feedback about your interview performance and make necessary changes.

Joy Cohen BPA-HS, RSW Career Consultant/Résumé Writer

Web: http://everydayjoycohen.ca/Tel: (403) 244-8771 Toll Free Canada and US: 1-888-534-5405

Best in Books: July

by Roberta - 0 Comment(s)

New! The Calgary Public Library is excited to share reviews of its print and electronic career resources. These reviews are written by local career practitioners and will give you the inside scoop on some of the Library's best resources for job search and career planning. The following book is available through the Library's website as an eBook: see below for instructions.

Social Networking For Career Success 2011: A Choice Works Book Review

If you are looking for a user-friendly, systematic narrative on how to leverage online tools to grow your professional network, generate job search momentum, manage your online identity or craft your personal brand, then this book is well worth your time. Miriam Salpeter provides refreshingly clear and focused guidance for job seekers. With Social Networking for Career Success 2011, you can begin to explore the value of incorporating social media into both active and passive stages of work search. This is an excellent resource designed to educate and inform. It avoids tacky self-promotion and succeeds in meeting the dynamic needs of recent graduates, experienced professionals, career explorers, small business owners, consultants and those considering encore careers.

Packed full of relevant sources for readers to explore in depth, this book also offers time saving tips gained from the practical experiences of the author. Expect to find how-to segments to begin using Linked In, Twitter, Facebook, Blogging and Social Bookmarking, strategies for crafting your Personal Brand, methods to manage your online identity and introductions to many other online tools. Challenging the belief that social media is merely the latest way to damage your professional credibility and get yourself fired, Salpeter causes readers to rethink career possibilities and evaluate their own attitudes toward social media’s transformation of our society. I consider this book a must-have, big-picture gem for those interested in capturing the best of what the online world has to offer.

By: Samantha Schellenberg, Alberta Employment & Immigration Career Development Workshop Facilitator, Designer and Presenter. Director, ChoiceWorks Rehabilitation Solutions Ltd.

Note: This book is one of many career books available as electronic books (eBooks) from one of the Library's subscription databases called Learning Express. You can download these books for free onto your home computer. Click here to learn how to access these publications.

Strategic Networking Sessions

Are you looking for work? These informal groups sessions will show you how to create new work opportunities, exchange ideas and job leads, and meet other job hunters.

  • Where: Third Floor,Central Library: 616 Macleod Trail SE
  • When: Thursday evenings: 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

For more information, please call 403-260-2782

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