This is a great time of year to look for a job. I was hired for all four of my corporate jobs in December for a January start.
I know that companies are hiring for Q1 – they have new budgets and projects. It is a slower time in the office and employees have more time to network. In addition, holiday parties are frequent and you can meet new people.
I would like to share 7 proven tips to getting your online presence ready, putting your best smile forward and getting that fabulous job for 2015:
1. BE MINDFUL – I have networked with over 78,333 people and I can quickly assess their intent. I have an assessment I call TUGS: I have found that people are usually in one of 4 areas: Takers, Users, Givers or Sharers. You know what I mean, don’t you? You have encountered each type, I’m sure.
Make sure that you are clear about your intention while you are networking. I make sure to set goals, such as who I want to meet, what advice I desire, and how I can help others. When I was in the employee engagement practice at Carlson, my team and I did work on the importance of emotional targets or “how do you want people to feel after they meet you?”
There are 4 emotional targets – after you meet someone, you want people to feel that you’re warm, authentic (genuine), empathetic and positive. My business partnerRisë Kasmirski helps people in job search become more mindful. She asks them ‘who are you?’ and ‘where do you want to go?’
TIP: Do a self-assessment, which type of a TUGS are you? Consider how you want people to think of you and feel about you after you meet with them, both in person and online.
2. BE CLEAR – before you begin to network, while in job search, be clear on what you desire: the job title that you want, why a company would hire you, and what your values are. My business partner and personal brand strategist, Kathleen Crandall,has 2 questions she asks our clients: 1) ‘what happens because of you?’ and 2)‘what 3 things do you aspire to be known for?’ These are foundational questions that you should be able to answer before you network especially with employees in the company that you are targeting, with recruiters or people that could refer you to hiring managers.
TIP: Reflect on Kathleen’s questions. Read The 20 Minute Networking Meeting byMarcia Ballinger, a highly regarded national recruiter who has created a step by step process for networking for success.
3. BE TRUSTWORTHY – say what you mean, mean what you say, and do what you say you are going to do. This means to be sure to follow up in a timely manner – and with thank you notes. I have a strategy when someone invites me to connect on LinkedIn where I ask myself:
- can they help me once?
- will they help me twice?
- will they help my network?
When I invite someone to LinkedIn I ask myself:
- can I help them once?
- will I help them twice?
- can I help their network?
When connecting on LinkedIn, I coach my clients to always write a personalized LinkedIn invitation. If I receive an invitation without a personal message I always review their profile to see who we have in common, then I click Reply Don’t Acceptand I write them a message; “Hi X, Thanks for the invitation to connect. I see that we are both connected to X. What did you have in mind that I can support you with today?” I wait 3 weeks and if they don’t respond then I click Ignore. I assume that they won’t be as likely to help my connections if they don’t reply back to me.
TIP: Be someone people want to help twice – this is a small town (where ever you live). Always personalize your LinkedIn invitations.
4. BE FOUND – look good, update your LinkedIn and other online profiles. Make sure that you have a great photo, targeted headline, current job title and company information, a summary that tells a story about who you are and what you can do for others, in addition to what you desire. Use many key words, check job descriptions that you’re applying for and company websites.
I add a new key word to my LinkedIn profile every Sunday at 3:30 pm. My clients know that I call this process ‘changing my oil’. I get ‘under the hood’ of my LinkedIn profile check the Settings, add new keywords or publications, projects, interests and maybe a keyword to the Summary (Premium account holders see a new feature which shows you keywords that LinkedIn suggests you add). This keeps my profile fresh and coming up in searches. See the blog from William Arruda for additional summary tips.
TIP: Look good, research your keywords, and get a professional headshot. I recommend social media certificated photographer Jennifer Kelly,[email protected] (Below is example of a great headshot by Jennifer of John Goodrich, one of my ‘board of advisors’ and an amazing CEO and connector.)
5. BE CONNECTED – to the right kinds of people; you’re judged by the company you keep. When we build my clients’ connection strategy, I have my them think about their HUBS.
These are groups, associations, organizations, and meet-up groups – places that are common connection points where many of their influencers ‘hang out’. These include college or company employee alumni groups, industry associations, specialty groups, hobby clubs, or community volunteer organizations. I ask my clients to join, get known and volunteer in at least 5 hubs. These are the easiest places to begin networking because there is already a common connection point.
In addition, I ask my clients think about their TOP 11 people that have helped them in the past. Think about people that have helped you get that past job, introduced you to your spouse, helped you with your first house financing, etc. This could be former bosses, friends, colleagues, alumni, pastors, hair dressers, don’t forget accountants, lawyers, realtors as they are wonderful resources and connectors.
Then they make a list of the TOP 11 people that they have helped most. These are the people that we begin connecting with. This is a list of 22 people who have an average of 150 connections each – that’s 3,300 connections that can help.Statistics show that it’s the 2nd degree connection that will help you get that next job.
TIP: Ask 5 of your top people if they would be on your ‘board of advisors’. I have 5 and they are my ‘go to’ people to run by ideas, get advice and share new ideas. They are the people that refer 80% of all my business and I’m grateful to them. Join my Meaningful Connections group on LinkedIn and other appropriate groups where your HUBS and advisors are in.
6. BE CREDIBLE – what is the area of expertise that you want to be believed for? It’s important to stay top of mind, on LinkedIn, for your expertise. LinkedIn statistics show that your profile is 12X more likely to be clicked on if your photo shows up on the Home Page, Publishers area or in the Like, Comment or Share areas.
This is a part of the strategy that I teach my clients – how to create their meaningful marketing communications plan. We start by asking that question “what 3 things that they want to be known for or what 3 things would they blog about?”
Next we begin curating content, collecting and organizing information from Google Alerts, Newsle, blogs, experts, trade publications, Google+, Twitter, etc. Then we develop or create their point of view and begin to share it in the appropriate media. With the new Publishers pencil on LinkedIn this is much easier to do, however, only 1% of my clients do it, it is hard, I’ll be the first to admit. It took me 2 years to even post on LinkedIn.
TIP: Begin thinking about what 3 things that you desire to be known and believed for. Try the Publishers tool on LinkedIn (it’s the pencil in the Share an Update box next to your photo on the Home page).
7. BE KIND, HELPFUL and GRATEFUL – are you? As a ENFJ on the MBTI profile, I’m a giver profile. As a career coach, online brand strategist, LinkedIn trainer and consummate connector, I need a process to be available to help people. So I have created a variety of options to connect and network with people easily. Here are some of my meaningful connections practical ideas that I’ve started to ensure that I’m easy to connect with:
- ‘Meaningful Connections Meet + Greet’ sessions – every M-F between 7:44-8:33 am central I am easy to reach via phone at 952.484.6854 to make a meaningful connection (no need schedule an appointment). This is usually a quick 10 minute touch base call to see how my ‘new friend’ and I can support each other.
- Meaningful Connections LinkedIn Parties each Friday where I invite 5-7 clients and people who want to network to the local library, my office or the coffee shop where there is free internet. Everyone brings their computers and opens their LinkedIn network where I teach them how to do a Meaningful Connections Gold Mine Dive into our connections. We then make Introductions on the spot. Click here to read my blog for step by step details. Many of my clients have hosted their own LinkedIn Parties. Try it.
- Introductions – I make 2 meaningful introductions from my LinkedIn network for each client that I meet with. The goal is to get 2 coffee meetings and then get 2 more, then 2 more. LinkedIn says that for every 300 views of a profile job seekers get a job offer. I translate these to 150 coffee meetings (since the face to face meetings speed up the process).
- Group networking meetings, I attend 2x per month (I check out the MSP Business Journal and Star Tribune Business Sections for a listing of events and pick 2), I make it a habit to approach someone first with a genuine smile, a warm introduction (my first and last name, nametag on top right near my smile) a firm handshake and a sincere open ended question such as – “what brings you here today?” or “where are you coming from?” or “who do you hope to meet today?” or “what do you desire today?” – that one really throws them, as most people don’t know what they desire.
- I start my day giving away HUGS, it’s my coffee time (see the blog) – every M-F between 7:00-7:15 am I’m on my LinkedIn. I have a set process where I provide 10 Endorsements, thank Endorsers, invite 4 new people to my network, Like, Comment, Share, reach back to people who have viewed my profile and post on the Home page and in Groups, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.
- Each morning, I read the MSP Business Journal app, my Google Alerts and the Star Tribune and send an article to someone that I think would benefit. In addition, I will make meaningful connections to people that I think would profit by knowing each other.
TIP: Be the first to approach someone at an upcoming networking event. If you’re in a group or at a table have an open heart, a warm smile and an outreached hand. Invite that lone person to your table. You know how it feels.
I thank you for sharing your smile and for making meaningful connections. What can I be on the look-out for you today?
Be well, my new friends,
Anne Pryor is a Universal Connector, LinkedIn Trainer, Certified Online Brand Specialist, Future Mapper and Co-founder of Meaningful Connections, a national leader in personal branding, online visibility using LinkedIn, and career and new world of work strategies. Meaningful Connections is a collaborative partner of theCollaborative Leadership Center at Sugar Lake Lodge, Grand Rapids, MN. See her other blog posts at: www.MeaningfulConnections.com
By Risë Kasmirski, Career Strategist, Meaningful Connections
If you are a job seeker pursuing your next opportunity you know things have changed dramatically in what you must now do to find and land your next job. Employers also face challenges with a dwindling pool of qualified candidates, a need to attract and retain good workers, and technology advances that require more sophisticated worker skills.
Seven major trends have evolved in the past few years that dramatically impact how individuals seek out jobs, and how employers find great candidates. Understanding these trends can greatly enhance your job search savvy and potentially shorten your search.
1 – BALANCED EMPLOYEE & ORGANIZATION NEEDS
Younger generations in the workplace have a strong desire for development and growth opportunities and for social learning. Employers desire workers who are ready to jump right in to the next assignment or project, allowing them to create a lean, skilled pool of workers.
The Opportunity: Know your skills, strengths and the learning and growth opportunities you desire. Then you can pursue employers with the right development opportunities. You will gain needed skills for future career growth, and your employer will benefit from an engaged worker with current skills.
2 – GLOBALIZATION AND SHIFTING WORKFORCE DEMOGRAPHICS
With five generations in the workplace by 2020, global work teams, and a projection of up to 50% contingency workers (contractors, part-timers) by 2020, you are going to encounter great diversity in attitudes, ideas, and worker styles.
The opportunity: Be ready to describe your own style and the skills, knowledge, and personal attributes you can contribute to the organization. Prepare to discuss the ways in which you are flexible and adaptable.
3 – INNOVATION – CREATE AND LEARN AS YOU GO
With virtually anything we want to learn available 24 / 7 through technology, we all need to be ready to learn and apply our learnings as needs arise. It is the resourceful worker that keeps current who is the most valuable to the organization.
The opportunity: Close the gap between the skills and knowledge you have today, and what is currently needed in your profession. Do you need to adapt to some new technology, understand industry trends, learn a new process or procedure? Be ready to share how you keep yourself current with your new employer.
4 – PERSONAL BRANDING – REPUTATION MANAGEMENT
Everyone has a personal brand. You might think of it as how others experience knowing you, the impact you have on others, and your desired impact. Personal Brand Strategist Kathy Crandall defines it as “What Happens Because of You”™. The massive attention to personal branding is aligned with the rapidly changing workplace where workers move from company to company and often shift careers several times throughout their lives.
The Opportunity: Understand your personal brand and communicate your brand consistently so that employers understand who you are in addition to the skills and knowledge you have.
5 – SOCIAL MEDIA REVOLUTION
We live in a digital world that emerged so rapidly we all need to keep current on how technology affects job search. These days a computer will read your resume via electronic resume scanning long before a human will ever lay eyes on it. The messages you transmit via social media (Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, etc) all tell a story about you.
The Opportunity: Update your resume for electronic scanning including focus, keywords, branding). Google yourself and find out what others see when they search for you. Make sure the messages you are giving leave the impression you want your potential employer to see.
6 – LINKEDIN – NUMBER ONE RECRUITING TOOL
There are 300+ million users on LinkedIn worldwide, and more than 96% of recruiters inside and outside of organizations use LinkedIn to find candidates. It is possible that LinkedIn may replace the need for resumes in the future.
The Opportunity: Develop a robust LinkedIn profile that brings your personal brand to life, highlights your skills and accomplishments, and helps others find you for job opportunities and meaningful connections. Understand the powerful job search tool that LinkedIn has proven to be and develop a LinkedIn job search strategy.
CULTURAL MEGATRENDS ARE CHANGING OUR WORLD
As society becomes more socially and environmentally conscious, workers are more attracted to organizations that promote these ideals. The work practices and ethics of organizations have become increasingly transparent due to instant broadcast capability via the internet. Attitudes are shifting to more emphasis on personal values rather than what the workplace demands.
The Opportunity: Get in touch with what you value so that you can approach each opportunity through the lens of what is important to you and what type of contribution you would like to make.
Individuals who understand and embrace these workplace trends are more likely to feel focused and clear on what they are seeking, with consistent messages aligned throughout their resume, LinkedIn profile, and other social media avenues.
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by Anne Pryor:
I had the privilege of spending time with Don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements and his son Jose at the Omega Institute at Blue Spirit in Nosara Costa Rica.
My intention on this eight day retreat was to get in touch with my soul; to find what makes me happy and to activate that place inside of me. Do you know what I mean? I’d lost touch with who I am, what I am doing ‘here’ and what makes me happy. My work is to help others to awaken to do their greatest good and I wanted to reawaken that in me.
For the first four days I was on my self-imposed silent retreat. The other 19 group members, none of whom I knew, I’m sure thought that I was a bit strange. I ate by myself, spent time on the peaceful ocean painting alone and spent time in contemplative meditation by the koi pond overlooking the ocean.
I also practiced a daily ritual of gratitude. I had read The Magic by Rhonda Byrne (author of The Secret) on the airplane, and I was practicing the daily gratitude rituals.
The agenda each day was consistent, starting at 6:00 am with yoga, 7:30 breakfast, 9-11:00 lecture and experiences with Don Miguel and Jose, 12 pm lunch, 1-4 quiet time, 4-6 lecture, 6 pm dinner, evening free.
After two days I slowed down almost to a stop. I began to notice. To really notice the beauty around me. I saw the big spiders spinning beautiful webs in 3D. I realized that the spiders were not concerned about getting enough food, or losing their homes. They built high and low. Their webs were masterpieces.
Each day the howler monkeys would wake me at 4:00 am. They would climb through the trees with their infants and family in tow. I would go to the ocean and watch the sun rise. What a magnificent masterpiece.
On the beach when the tide would go out the crabs would have to rebuild their homes. With the flick of their ‘feet’ they would create amazing masterpieces in the sand.
One day sitting by the koi pond I was saying thank you to the butterflies, hummingbirds and dragon flies for their beauty and freedom and a morpho / blue butterfly flew around and around me and asked me to play and to dance. What a beautiful masterpiece she was.
Then suddenly something in me changed. In my silence, my observations, my gratitude, my connection with nature, from the lessons of the teachers and by being nourished by the wonderful and healthy food, I JUST STOPPED.
I stopped worrying, stopped thinking, stopped ruminating and stopped defending. I begin to smile, laugh, play, dream, and feel an awe-filled oneness. I felt this amazing unconditional love from everything around me and for everything around me. I felt one with all of these masterpieces. I realized that I AM a masterpiece.
Once you have an experience like this there is no going back. Have you ever had an experience like I described?
Here are some of the profound questions that Miguel and Jose asked us to contemplate. I will ask them for you to get quiet with:
- What are you afraid of?
- What is uninspiring you?
- What lies are you telling yourself?
- What is the truth?
- What tantrums are you still throwing?
- Have you forgiven yourself?
- Who do you need to forgive?
- Where is pride getting in your way?
- When have you received unconditional love?
- When do you give unconditional love?
- What kind of messages do you give yourself?
- What kind of messages do you give others?
- What legacy do you want to keep alive?
- Are you ready to love yourself?
- Can you be comfortable in discomfort?
- What ripples do you want to share? Are they positive or negative?
- Are you talking from your heart?
- Are you disrespecting yourself?
- Are you letting others disrespect you?
- What is your intention?
- What is your intent?
- Have any of your dreams come to an end?
- Have you shed a skin that you are still carrying around? (a snake does not carry shed skin)
- What imagination are you ready to make real?
- Are you doing what makes you happy?
- Are you grateful and living it?
Below are the Four Agreements (and The Fifth Agreement)
- Be Impeccable with your Word. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your Word in the direction of truth and love.
- Don’t Take Anything Personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
- Don’t Make Assumptions. Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
- Always Do Your Best. Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.
- Be Skeptical, But Learn to Listen. Become aware of the kind of message that we are delivering in this world. Don Miguel Ruiz asks this question: What kind of messenger are you? This is not a judgment. It’s just a little doubt for your mind, but it’s a big step into awareness. If you understand the question, then just this little doubt can change your whole life.
As we begin 2014, may I invite you to embrace one of these Agreements and do your best to practice it. If you would like a Guide to coach you to see the Masterpiece that you are, perhaps Kathleen, Risё or I can help you to make that meaningful connection – with yourself, then with others, then the with Universe.
Jacquie Berglund CEO Finnegans Inc. Keynote at The Stir Women’s Foundation of Minnesota
It was an enriching week for the Meaningful Connections team. Kathleen, Anne and I had the opportunity to present at and hear two magnificently authentic and unforgettable key note speakers at two Twin Cities events. These are speakers that you want as friends once you’ve heard them. Speakers that you will secretly commit to supporting and spreading their good name every chance you get. These are speakers with the “Coolness Factor”.
At the annual Dakota County Chamber of Commerce Women’s Conference, where we presented strategies for networking and personal branding for multitudes of women entrepreneurs and leaders, we heard the effervescent and totally authentic key note speaker (aka Exceptional Executive) Jennifer “JJ” Schaidler. Her style was easy, engaging, backyard BBQ conversation – packed with warmth and humor. In this style she imparted her priceless wisdom on Maximizing Your Career Path, gained from years of experience as a senior female leader in the executive suite.
JJ instantly won over the hearts and minds of the audience as she told one tale after another of the ups and downs of her career….the importance of taking risks, treating her employees as co-workers, embracing new opportunities…. all for the benefit of our professional growth. One might say that JJ’s personal brand was alive and well throughout her address – and because of that, she won us over.
Later that day we found ourselves enraptured by Jacquie Berglund, a CNN Leader with a Heart, and key note speaker at The Stir (an annual fundraising event for the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota). From the moment Jacquie graced the stage, her passion and commitment to her lifelong mission of giving back captured and held the attention of an audience of 1200 throughout her presentation. One cannot fabricate that level of excitement and engagement without being authentic and real. Everything about the glint in her eyes as she spoke, her willingness to mix in the bumps with the triumphs, her gracious acknowledgement of all who helped her on her path, made us want to leap up and pitch in to support her mission.
So what is the Coolness Factor and when does it show up in your life?
- It’s when you know yourself well enough to not want to fake it for the crowd
- When you’re willing to show up 100% yourself for the sake of your message and your audience
- When you stand so strong in whom you are that you face your fear, and the audience, with all you’ve got.
We are all about authenticity at Meaningful Connections. We can help you uncover your powerful personal brand and build meaningful connections to attract other like-minded, authentic people.
I’ve spent most of my 30-year career managing and building brands. I’ve had the honor of working with some of the most recognized and respected corporate, service and product brands on the market. In all of my experience working with brands, I was, and continue to be, most intrigued by people and the fact that they, too, have a brand.
Every person walking this planet has a brand whether they are aware of it or not. And that brand has a voice. Our brand voice is communicating an expectation of what it might be like to know us or work with us. Our brand communicates, “Trust me” or “I am reliable” or “I am accomplished and professional and will take great care of your child / project / team.”
Our brand comes to life in every way we show up from what we wear (our brand image), what we communicate verbally and non-verbally (our brand voice), and in the experience of knowing us or working with us (the brand experience).
Most people aren’t aware that they have a brand let alone what it is. The prevalence of social media makes every person a global brand. What you post and how often says volumes about you and goes far beyond your small group of online “friends.” Every tweet and every Facebook or LinkedIn post is an opportunity to reinforce your brand or cause confusion. Every time you send an email (and how you sign that email), gives you a chance to build your brand. The way you treat a waiter or whether you deliver your work on time is your brand coming to life in an experience.
The most simple way to understand your brand is to ask yourself, “What am I known for?” and, more importantly, “What happens because of me and my impact on people?”
My brand is best captured in a quote by Alexandra Stoddard and I have this built into my email signature. “Slow down, calm down, don’t worry, don’t hurry. Trust the process.” Every time I send or respond to an email, my brand is building. My “style” is calm and reassuring. I deliver on my promise to “bring personal brands to life,” with a thoughtful process that gently guides people through phases of discovery and articulation of their brand for job search, to raise their visibility in their business and to help them get what they desire. I am reassuring as I inspire and motivate people to do their work. I help people bring their personal brand- to life authentically and consistently and with confidence.
In my role as a personal brand expert, with Meaningful Connections I am known for helping people understand their impact on people and to bring it to life consistently through their image, their brand voice and the experience of knowing them or working with them.
So, what happens because of you?