Category Archives: Workplace Advice

How Linked is Your LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is a social media platform that goes beyond posting pictures and mindlessly updating your friends about day to day life–when done right, your LinkedIn can showcase all the hardwork you’ve done at your job, the impact you’ve made in your field, and shows your progression as a professional.  But when done poorly, it doesn’t do much of anything.  If your LinkedIn profile is still a Beginner or Intermediate, here are a few steps you can take right now to boost your profile, increase visibility, and develop your professional network.  If you are missing any of these things, I highly suggest going straight to your LinkedIn and updating it accordingly.

  • If you don’t have a photo, get one.  It doesn’t have to be a professional head shot, but a flattering photo that shows you from the chest up, wearing business casual (or more formal) clothing immediately makes your profile more interesting.  Note of advice–if the picture you’re using is more than 5 years old, or you have undergone a major physical change since it was taken, I suggest updating.  This isn’t a dating site.
  • Add descriptions to your job positions.  Just listing your job title and the company name doesn’t truly showcase all the good you did, and it doesn’t do anything to promote how valuable you are.  If you were at a networking event and someone asked you what you did at X company, what would you say to them?  That’s exactly what you should be adding to your experience section.
  • Don’t forget to put in your interests.  You don’t just go to work(hopefully)!  If you’re interested in photography, working out, PC gaming, or vintage cars, add it to your LinkedIn profile.  You never know what might resonate with someone.  Of course, try to limit yourself to work appropriate activities.  If you enjoy illegal drag racing, this isn’t really the place to share that.
  • Finally, write a summary.  If you only had a paragraph to get someone interested in you as a professional, what would that paragraph say?  Sit down, figure that out, and write it.  Adding a summary will make your profile more personable and immediately interesting.

Follow these tips and you’re profile will be on its way to all-star status!

Advertisements

Getting Hired in the DMV

If you’re looking for a new career path in the DMV, you need to branch out.  Career Fairs aren’t just for college students–check out these events to see what’s available.  And don’t forget to read our post about interviewing tips.

Washington, DC

The Washington Post Career Fair (Engineering and Technology):  This event is open to anyone regardless of security clearance, but does have a separate pavillion specifically for different levels of clearance.  It will be held on July 15th in the Washington Post building.

The Washington Post Career Fair (Nursing, Therapy, and Allied Health):  It’s recommended that you have experience in the given fields, and the event is open for all levels of experience.  It will be held on July 16th in the Washington Post Building.

Maryland

Diversity Job Fair:  On July 17th, Diversity Job Fairs will be hosting an event at the Double Tree Hilton in Baltimore.  Baltimore City Police Department, the Maryland Department of Transportation, and MassMutual are just a few of the companies that will be attending.

Andrews Air Force Job Fair:  If you or a member of your family are in the air force, then check out the job fair on Andrews Air Force Base on July 17th.  Companies registered for the event include Allstate Insurance, Stratford and Strayer University, Lockheed Martin, the U.S. Park Police, and many more.

CYBER Security Hiring Event:  This event is only for people who have security clearances.  On July 31st, there will be a hiring event that is great for veterans, and will be held at the Westin Baltimore Washington Airport.

Columbia Career Fair:  On July 24th, United Career Fairs will be hosting a career fair at the Sheraton in Columbia.  Hiring managers will be looking to fill positions in sales.

Baltimore Job Fair: On August 5th, the Baltimore Job Fair will held in the Best Western Plus Hotel.  The event is sponsored by Enterprise Rent-a-Car and Paypal, and is open to the public.

Virginia

National DC Career Fair:  Meet hiring managers face to face on July 22nd, in Arlington, VA.  Remember to dress well and bring plenty of resumes to hand out.  Register now and allow employers to see your resume ahead of time.

Virginia Peninsula Military Job Fair:  Hosted on July 17th at the Hampton Roads Convention Center, this event is free for all military veterans and dependents, has over 70 employers registered, and will also be hosting seminars.

Military Job Fair:  This event is open to all transitioning military, veterans and military family members at no cost, on July 23rd, in Norfolk.  The event will have over 40 military-friendly employers.

Getting and Staying Focused at Work

No one wants to admit that they might be a little scatter-brained. Whether you’re a young professional, distracted by your friends being crazy on Facebook, or a parent, distracted by your children being crazy on Facebook, keeping focused can be more of a struggle than it should be. As a computer science student, web designer, and social media marketer, I find myself constantly in front of a computer or on my phone for work related purposes. But when my work resembles what I do in my free time, sometimes I have to steer myself back onto the right path, and remind myself that as fun as it might be to check out the celebrity articles on Huffington Post, I need to focus on more work appropriate content for my clients. From having to keep myself on track, I’ve developed a few tips on how I keep myself focused, that will hopefully help you as well.

Pick a (doable!) major goal or project, and work on that until it is done. Ignore the small things that pop up and power through until the main endeavor is finished. When at work, if I’m writing the copy for a particularly wordy webpage and see that the CSS is a little wonky, I make a quick note and continue on. Stopping and addressing every little thing that comes up will distract you from your main goals and will end up taking more time than it would have if you just finished the main project and fixed the little problems later. This advice may seem basic, but the key is having to remind yourself to keep on track.

Keep a ticker of what you need to get down, and cross things out as you complete them. This works in two ways–the first being that if you can visualize all of the things that need to be done on a given day, and the rate at which you are completing them, you know when you are falling behind and wasting time. But it is also a nice pick-me-up when you’re able to cross things off of your list, and see all of the tasks you’ve accomplished.

Pick something constructive to do when you feel yourself getting distracted. If you find your mind wandering, instead of logging on to Reddit, checking Facebook, or doodling, get up and grab some water, take a quick walk, or use a bit of time to assess the latest project that you finished or are currently working on. Sometimes, you just need a different activity for a small amount of time to get you back on track, so pick an activity that will allow you to still be productive.

Hopefully these help!