Archive | January, 2019

How to Add a Bit of Personality to Your LinkedIn Profile

January 10, 2019


These days, applying to job applications online and networking via LinkedIn can make the whole job search experience feel cold. How can one truly connect human-to-human if all we’re doing is clicking and reading? It’s possible, and the effort it takes is well worth your time. Not only will you stand out from the rest, but you’ll leave people wanting more… which means they’ll just have to meet you in person!

  1. Your profile photo. Look at the camera directly as if you’re staring confidently into the eyes of someone you just met for the first time. It’s ok to smile, laugh, and show a bit of personality with a colorful top, an interesting background, or an outdoors setting. If possible, ask a friend with a high quality camera to capture a well-lit shot. Quick photo tip: avoid direct mid-day sun that creates harsh shadows.
  2. Your writing style. If you met someone for the first time, would you talk about your background in the third person? Write using the first person, using words like “I” and “my,” in a conversational and friendly tone. Pretend you’re sitting in a job interview. What would you want the interviewer to know about you?
  3. Your personal life. Weave in a few interesting bits of information about yourself. Whether it’s a sentence at the end of your bio that gives a glimpse into who you are after work or a fun fact dropped within a position description, this information will help people connect with you on a human level. Make them want to meet you.

Image via @rawpixel/Unsplash. 

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What’s More Important: Experience, Education, or Network?

January 8, 2019


Ask ten different people this question and you’ll likely get ten different answers. That’s because education, experience, and your network are all valuable assets to everyone’s career success. But are they weighted equally? That’s what’s up for debate.

According to the 70-20-10 model, which was created in the 1980s by three researchers, the “optimal sources of learning” can be broken down as such: 70% from your work experiences, 20% from your “interactions with others”, and 10% from your formal education. So day-to-day hands-on learning by far is the best way to improve your skills and therefore up your career potential.

But don’t dismiss interacting with others. That includes anything from networking to career mentors to insight from coworkers. We can always learn a lot from others. Anyone who’s looking to grow in their careers and progress in their field should be dedicating time to this pursuit.

When it comes to professional development, just 10 percent should be coming from formal training and education. It turns out we just tend to retain information better from hands-on learning on the job. It makes sense because we tend to get feedback–both good and bad–which means we can learn even more and drastically improve our skills. Not bad!

How do you think these three variables have affected your career success? Comment below!

Image via Sharon McCutcheon/Unsplash.

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Do You Manage Yourself?

January 4, 2019


Maybe you’re a manager. Or maybe you’re managed by someone else. But have you really considering how you manage yourself? Say what?

Sure, there’s likely someone you report into who is guiding your career in some shape or form. That person may be giving you an annual review or keeping track of your weekly or monthly goals. However, truly successful people don’t let others take the reins–they manage themselves.

It’s up to you to manage your day-to-day schedule from your wake-up call to your bedtime. It’s up to you to consider how you will best get your work done today, this week, and this month. And it’s up to you to take a look at your career trajectory and decide which step is next.

So, how would you say you’re doing? Are you a good manager? Give yourself the same amount of respect and attention that you believe you deserve from someone else. These not-urgent-but-important tasks like learning new skills, getting your life organized, and prioritizing your goals easily get pushed to the wayside. But a good manager carves out time for the things that will yield big results. So what are you waiting for?

Image via Laurenz Kleinheider/Unsplash.

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Forget the To-Do List. Get More Productive with This Trick.

January 2, 2019


You know those not-urgent-but-super-important tasks on your to-do list? They likely have sat on your to-do list for, well, an eternity. They’re constantly overshadowed by the urgent-but-not-important tasks as well as whatever easy tasks can get crossed off quickly. Because when we cross things off our to-do lists, well, we feel productive! Yet somehow we’re still behind on life and not achieving our goals. What gives?

Perhaps the issue is the time-old to-do list. Maybe it just doesn’t work the way we want it to, at least that’s what the Harvard Business Review suggests. But thankfully they have a solution, and it’s called time-boxing. It’s essentially migrating your to-do list to your calendar. You calculate how much time you need for a task and then you schedule it into your calendar. Hour by hour. Box by box. Day by day. Week by week.

There are a lot of reasons why this practice will make you more productive. For one, you’ll have a record of your time (no more “Where did the time go?” excuse!). When you plan ahead like this, there’s little chance of majorly missing a big deadline. And we all know that we tend to drag out work to fit within the time that is available to us instead of the time we really need. (Which can be both good and bad!) Giving yourself a limit and a restraint can help you stay focused and dedicate the proper amount of time to our projects.

Interested in learning more? Read about time boxing at the Harvard Business Review.

Image via @rawpixel.

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