5 LinkedIn Profile Writing Tips

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The job seeking marketplace has changed significantly, especially as you consider how technology has developed and just how many actual candidates are searching for employment. Seeing as I often instruct and write on resume-related topics, it seems only fair that I also mention LinkedIn. Today, while it might go without saying that in order for you to get the job of your dreams your resume needs to be seriously top notch, the same can be said about your LinkedIn profile. Recruiters are commonly taking to searching for candidates via this social network, and sometimes this is the first place these professionals go to post new opportunities and connect with job seekers. If you are in the middle of a job search, you can’t afford not to have consistency across these two platforms—namely your hard copy resume and what a potential employer might read about you on LinkedIn.

How Do I Create a LinkedIn Profile Worth Reading?

Just as there are rules for resume writing, the same is true with LinkedIn profile creation. As you begin to contemplate your LinkedIn profile, consider these tips.

  1. List every job you have held. While it’s true that it’s okay to be selective on your resume, the exact opposite is the case on LinkedIn. Why, you ask? Because recruiters will often search for a candidate based on where they have worked in the past. If this isn’t included on your profile, you won’t be found. Therefore, while you may have shortened your hard copy resume so that you do not present a veritable tome to a potential employer, expand upon your past on your LinkedIn profile.
  2. Write about all of your past positions. While this might seem like a serious time commitment, going back and rehashing all of the professional details from every job you have held, this is absolutely necessary when completing a LinkedIn profile. The reason for this is because what you write will contain keywords that will help you be found. Plus, just like on a resume, someone who is viewing and considering your profile wants to know your past successes and accomplishments.
  3. Fill in the section that outlines “specialties.” This is a keyword-focused area of LinkedIn and it’s incredibly important when you consider how a recruiter searches on the platform. Think about this area carefully and how it applies to your career. Do your due diligence in filling in as many competencies and proficiencies as possible. In order to do this correctly, it’s best if you take a bit of time and look for commonly used words and phrases that relate to your industry.
  4. Effectively edit your sub-header. When you first begin on LinkedIn, you will likely enter your current job first. Therefore, LinkedIn will place this directly underneath your name on the profile. So, unless your job title is really impressive, you need to edit it so it attracts attention. For instance, “John Doe, Sales Representative for ABC Company” is not overly striking, but “John Doe, Revenue Generating Extraordinaire and Consultative Sales Expert” could raise some eyebrows and communicate what you might be able to bring to a company.
  5. Create a personal URL. LinkedIn will automatically generate a seemingly generic URL for your profile when you start your account. This is bound to look something like: http://www.linkedin.com/johnd8976890. This URL is designed so a visitor can access your profile directly without searching for you and it is also a Web address that many job seekers choose to put on their hard copy resume. Ultimately, you can change and personalize this URL so you can both simplify it and stand out. For instance: www.linkedin.com/amandaclarkgrammarchic. Not only is this a direct match, but it also includes my company’s name, which is how many people search for me. So from an external Web standpoint, my LinkedIn profile is likely to be found on a regular search. LinkedIn, as a social network, ranks really well on the search engines, so doing this can help ensure that you are on page one of Google for your name.

In today’s digital age, it’s fine to have a great resume that you email or hand directly to a potential employer, but you also must make sure that your online profile is doing its job as well and presenting you in an attractive light.
Source : http://www.business2community.com/linkedin/5-linkedin-profile-writing-tips-0379108#Qpkzu8vj6Q2U5CAk.99

5 ways that social media can be used for marketing a retail business

Social media is becoming an increasingly important element of many firms’ marketing efforts but independent retailers are slower to pick up the trend. However social media can benefit all types of business, including high street shops, restaurants and pubs.

Recent research has underlined the fact that many consumers now use the internet generally, and social media specifically, as their first port of call when looking for products or services. It is also the case that as many as 70 per cent of consumers now use social media to air their grievances about firms with which they have had a bad experience.

As a retail business owner you must ensure that you are properly harnessing the power of social media if you are to benefit and control the way your business is perceived online.
All too often when social media is used, business owners think it is enough to simply sign up to a few social networks and then forget about them. This is not an effective strategy. In reality, you will only get the most out of social media if you make a proper time investment.

So how can you best use social media as a marketing tool for your retail business? We have compiled a list of examples showing how other retailers have used social media marketing (often shortened to SMM) to great effect.

Micro-blogging

Twitter and other microblogging platforms provide an incredible, free marketing opportunity for independent retailers. The benefits are two-fold.

Firstly, they provide you with an opportunity to monitor what customers are saying about your firm in real-time, while allowing you to respond instantly. Secondly, they allow you to engage instantly with your customers about promotions, new products and other related news.

Zappos, the American footwear retailer, set the benchmark for Twitter engagement. It was an early adopter of the technology, using it for customer service and to promote offers, and has since set up an aggregation page that displays every mention of its brand – again, in real time. This helps to present Zappos as a reputable brand, and an active part of the social media community.

Facebook applications

Facebook is by far the most popular social network, and marketers have long been considering ways to make it work for them. It may not be an effective marketing tool for every retailer, but it is worth spending a bit of time trialling it to see whether it is right for your business.

IKEA have been responsible for some of the most innovative uses of Facebook. Late last year they ran a campaign in which photographs of IKEA storerooms were posted on the network, and Facebook users were told that whoever ‘tagged’ themselves on an item first would win it. This clever combination of interactivity and competition helped to create significant exposure for the retailer across Facebook – and, of course, got people talking offline as well.

Employee engagement

SMM tends to fail when it is obviously dictated from the top down. Instead, you should think about ways that you can encourage your employees to participate in your social networks and their own on behalf of your business. Enlisting their help will also cut down on the time you spend managing your social networks, which can end up being quite a lot!

Sainsbury’s has become increasingly proficient at this in recent months, developing a ‘cookalong’ scheme whereby employees cook a meal (with Sainsbury’s ingredients, of course) once a week and tweet the recipe as they cook.

The importance of listening

Remember that your SMM efforts will only succeed if you are prepared to listen to your customers, rather than talk at them. Unlike most other forms of marketing, social media facilitates conversation, rather than a one-way flow of information. BT understands this well; they monitor many social networks for mentions of their brand name, and respond to users where appropriate.

Bear in mind, though, that users will be instantly turned off by anything resembling spam. So avoid mass following on Twitter, or going on ‘friending’ sprees on Facebook. Instead, think about ways that you can encourage users to come to you.

The power of video

Many businesses underestimate the power of video content but for many people, video is a far more engaging medium than text or still image. Comparatively few marketers bother experimenting with it, however, as it is difficult to get right and the videos can be expensive to create.

A ‘viral’ video is often seen as the holy grail of SMM, and content of this type has driven massive sales for some canny retailers and brands. IKEA has been particularly successful in this area, developing a series of somewhat risqué adverts, and then posting them to Youtube described as ‘banned’ commercials.

As a retail business owner you obviously need to stick to a careful budget, and some of the ideas and examples provided here may therefore be beyond your abilities. But they should help to underline the basic concepts of social media marketing. If you are prepared to listen to your customers, and you understand that the social media sphere does not work like any other marketing medium, you are on the right track.

Finally, it is important to remember that SMM is unlikely to be a panacea for your business. Do not throw all of your eggs in one basket by neglecting other marketing activities. Instead, think about ways that you can leverage a mix of media and marketing techniques to help get your message across.

Taken from: http://www.simplybusiness.co.uk/knowledge/articles/2010/04/2010-04-06-how-retailers-can-use-social-media-for-marketing/

One in 10 at risk of hard drive identity theft

Thousands of files containing personal information have been found on second-hand hard drives in an investigation by the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Financial details and scans of bank statements and passports were some of the data found on disks available on auction sites such as eBay, according to a report released today.

The Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham, warned that people are “in danger of becoming a soft touch for online fraudsters.”

Of the 200 hard drives bought in an Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) investigation, 11 per cent contained personal information, and around half had some data still on them.

In total 34,000 files with personal information were found on the disks.

Two drives had enough details to steal the former owner’s identity, and a further four contained financial or medical information. Mr Graham also warned that data on passed-on mobile phones and USB sticks could put people at risk. Nearly half of the 236,500 cases of fraud last year involved identity theft.

Thousands of used hard drives are available on eBay and other websites. The ICO found that two-thirds of people pass on or sell their old phones, computers and laptops, and that one in ten don’t delete information from the device beforehand.

Although sellers had often tried to wipe the data, programs freely available on the internet were able to uncover the data.

“We live in a world where personal and company information is a highly valuable commodity. It is important that people do everything they can to stop their details from falling into the wrong hands,” Mr Graham said.

“Many people will presume that pressing the delete button on a computer file means that it is gone forever. However this information can easily be recovered.”

Taken from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/9224163/One-in-10-at-risk-of-hard-drive-identity-theft.html

Google spends more on one day of lunch than it will on FCC fine

The FCC is fining Google $25,000 for impeding an investigation into personal e-mails and other data collected via the company’s Street View cars.

But that’s far from a punitive fine for the search giant. In fact, it is less than the company spends on one day of lunch for its employees.

Google generated more than $37.9 billion in revenue last year. It employees more than 32,000 full-time research, sales, administrative and operations workers, whom it famously provides with free food, drinks, snacks and ice cream.

Even if the company is spending just $1 per day per employee to provide its “healthy and delicious dishes,” the FCC’s fine is no more of a hardship on the company than its daily lunch expense.

Nevertheless, the government’s hands are tied. An FCC spokesperson told Mashable that $25,000, by both law and precedent, is the maximum fine the agency can give for impending an investigation.

What, then, is Google’s incentive — or that of any large company –to cooperate with any such investigation?

“There is something of the pain of embarrassment that goes with it,” John Simpson, a privacy advocate at Consumer Watchdog, tells Mashable. However, Simpson agrees the fine is miniscule “given the context.”

In order to collect the photos you see when in Google Maps Street View, Google drove camera-equipped cars through streets. The cars also collected information about local wireless networks that improve location-based searches.

The problem is that along with this data, the cars collected a snapshot of whatever data happened to be crossing those WiFi networks — whether it be an email message, a web search or something else.

It’s not clear exactly how Google used this information or if it even looked at it. The company says collecting it was an accident, but that it was nonetheless legal.

The FCC agreed with the later sentiment and did not fine Google for collecting the data.

If it had found Google to be in violation, the FCC’s penalty would likely be a greater blow to Google’s reputation than its bank account. The highest settlement the FCC has reached in its history was $25 million, which Verizon paid after overcharging 15 million cellphone customers.

For Google, that settlement would equate to lunch for a couple of months. Still, it’s just lunch.

Authorities in Canada and Europe are still investigating Google’s Street Car data collection issue. A French privacy authority settled its case against the search giant in March for 100,000 euros, about $140,000 at the time. According to The New York Times, it was allowed a fine of up to just 150,000 euros by law. The Belgian government offered to settle with Google for 150,000 euros, or $215,000 at the time.

European lawmakers are attempting to increase penalties for large companies that violate data collection laws. One proposed revision of Europe’s data protection law, The Times points out, allows violators to be fined up to two percent of their annual sales.

For Google, that would be 758 million euros — which has to be enough lunch money for at least a decade.

Should the U.S. fine Google more for privacy violations and investigation obstructions, accidental or otherwise? Let us know your take in the comments.

Taken from: http://mashable.com/2012/04/16/google-fcc/