Archive for the ‘Social Media’ category

6 Ways to Look More Professional and Impressive Online (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)

November 23, 2010

Have you “googled” yourself lately?  If not, why not?!  

Potential employers, clients, and business partners will definitely “google” you before deciding whether to hire you or work with you.  If that is not motivation enough, you better believe that potential romantic partners will also look you up online to check you out! 

After you “google” yourself, you might find that you do not seem to exist on the Internet (i.e. nothing comes up for your name), or you might not like what you find. 

Search engine marketing is well outside of my marketing/business expertise, but I do know that social media web sites rank very high for google search results.  Here’s some proof.  When I “googled” myself yesterday, here were the first 4 results that appeared.  Notice that they are links to my LinkedIn profile, my “Career Muscles” blog, and my Facebook page.

Google results for "Pete Leibman"

Here are 6 easy ways you can take control of what someone sees when “googling” you:

  1. Buy the domain name for your name (i.e. johnsmith.com).  This is important for 2 reasons.  First of all, it prevents someone else with the same name as you from setting up their own page at this address.  Secondly, if you have web site design background, you can build a basic web site that positions you the way you want to be seen.  Note: if the domain name for your name is not available, consider getting a domain name that includes your middle initial or middle name.
  2. Clean up your Facebook page.  Facebook also ranks very high when someone searches for you online.  As I have written before, employers will definitely be checking you out on Facebook as well.  Keep your Facebook page set to private, and be sure that you remove any unprofessional pictures, quotes, comments, or wall posts.
  3. Use a vanity name for your LinkedIn page.  After you create a GREAT LinkedIn profile, you can modify the web link for your profile and create what is known as a “vanity URL” to make your LinkedIn profile more searchable for your name.  See below for a screen shot for my vanity URL, along with where you can edit your web link for your LinkedIn profile:

Use a "vanity URL" for your LinkedIn profile

4. Set up a blog at yourname.wordpress.com.  As I have written before, blogging is a phenomenal way to strengthen and demonstrate your written communication skills.  Potential employers and clients will be impressed IF you produce high-quality content.  If you incorporate your name into your blog, your blog will also be very likely to pop up in search results for your name, like it does for me.

 5. Create a Twitter account for twitter.com/yourname.  Twitter also ranks high when someone searches for you online.  Just make sure your tweets are professional and that they add value to people who follow you.  My Twitter account shows up for me on page 1 of search results for my name (see below), and many of my tweets show up on subsequent pages of my search results.  Since my tweets are high-value and since I have a great headline on my Twitter page, my online identity is enhanced yet again. 

A link to my Twitter account on page 1 of my google results

6. Upload a few video testimonials on You-Tube.  I saved the best tip for last.  Get a flip camera (a high-quality HD camera is only $100-$200 these days), and get several 30-second video testimonials from bosses, colleagues, or customers.  Then, post these videos on YouTube with titles like “Testimonial for John Smith from ABC Company.”  I recently posted a video from a student who attended a presentation I made last month at Stanford University.  Now, the following shows up on page 1 when someone “googles” my name:

A link to a video testimonial for me on page 1 of my google results

There are all sorts of additional ways you can take control of your online identity, but applying the 6 social media secrets above will significantly improve your “google juice” and make you look much more professional and impressive online.  Looks matter!  Take control of your online identity NOW!

-Pete Leibman

-Career Expert and Professional Speaker

-President of Idealize Enterprises

Pete@IdealizeNow.com

www.IdealizeNow.com

www.linkedin.com/in/peteleibman

Blog: http://CareerMuscles.Wordpress.com

Twitter: @peteleibman

P.S. I speak about career success to students and young professionals nationwide.  To learn more about my programs and speaking availability for The 2011 Dream Job College Tour, please send an email to Pete@IdealizeNow.com. 

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What image are you portraying on Facebook? (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)

November 16, 2010

If a company is thinking about investing thousands of dollars into you by hiring you, you better believe that they are going to stalk you online to learn as much about you as possible.

Back in 2005, my younger brother, Matt, was interviewing for a summer internship position with a small PR firm in Philadelphia.  Since the company only had 6 employees, the President of the agency conducted interviews with potential interns.

Midway through the interview with my brother, the President looked at Matt and said, “Can you explain the following quote from your Facebook page to me?  On your page, you wrote ‘It’s not that I’m lazy.  It’s that I just don’t care.’  What did you mean by that?”

In case you have not seen the movie Office Space, that is a line from Peter Gibbons, the lead character of the movie (see above picture). 

My brother is actually one of the hardest working people I know, and he was just trying to be funny.  However, the person interviewing him was not laughing.  My brother ultimately got rejected for that position.

Here is the scariest part of that story.  My brother’s Facebook page was set to “private,” and the President of the company did not even have an account on Facebook.  (This was in 2005 when less than 5 million people were on the social networking web site; today, more than 500 million people use the site.)  The President was able to access my brother’s page through one of his interns who happened to be Facebook friends with my brother.  Through his intern, the hiring person had access to every quote, comment, wall post, and picture on my brother’s page.  Yikes…

Setting your Facebook page to private is a step in the right direction, but it is not enough.  With over 500 million people on Facebook and with most young professionals having hundreds of “friends,” it’s not a stretch to believe that a hiring person can find someone they know who is friends with you.  Once they find someone who has access to your page, they can then see EVERYTHING on your page.

It amazes me what people post on their pages for the world to see.  I have a friend who posts new pictures of himself weekly where he is either flexing with his shirt off and/or drunk at a party.  He looks like he’s trying to get cast on season 3 of the Jersey Shore!  Another one of my Facebook friends recently used extremely vulgar language when describing her ex.  Another friend often bashes her boss and colleagues through her wall posts.  I could go on and on and on.  Their online behavior certainly isn’t helping their chances of getting hired or promoted. 

In summary, you don’t’ need to be 100% buttoned-up online, but you do need to be smart about how you portray yourself to the world.

Don’t let one comment, quote, or picture be the reason you get rejected or fired from your dream job!  Keep everything on your Facebook page respectable, or prepare to be disrespected, unemployed and underpaid…

-Pete Leibman

-Career Expert and Professional Speaker

-President of Idealize Enterprises

Pete@IdealizeNow.com

www.IdealizeNow.com

www.linkedin.com/in/peteleibman

Blog: http://CareerMuscles.Wordpress.com

@peteleibman

P.S. I speak about career success to students and young professionals nationwide.  To learn more about my programs and speaking availability for the 2011 Dream Job College Tour, please send an email to Pete@IdealizeNow.com. 

9 Ways Your LinkedIn Profile is HURTING Your Career (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)

August 6, 2010

A bad profile on LinkedIn.com will HURT your career!

With over 75 million professionals on the site worldwide, it is an absolute must for everyone in the business world to have a strong presence on LinkedIn.com.

Whether you are looking for a job, looking to get promoted at your current job, looking to make a sale, looking to grow your business, looking to stay connected with your current contacts, and/or looking to build your network, the way you design your profile is essential.  Your LinkedIn profile will be among the first links to pop up when someone searches your name in google, and you better believe that people are “googling” you as part of any decision related to hiring you or doing business with you.

Unfortunately, most people do not take the time to design LinkedIn profiles that put their best foot forward online.  Here are 9 common LinkedIn profile mistakes that are hurting your career:

  1. Your profile is incomplete and/or has typos.  If you submitted a resume that was incomplete or full of typos, you would be removed from consideration for a job.  Treat your LinkedIn.com profile with the same care, and make it perfect.
  2. Your profile head-shot is unprofessional or you don’t even have a headshot.  You don’t need to go to a professional photographer.  Just use a picture where you are smiling and dressed professionally.  I often see students wearing baseball caps or other casual attire in their LinkedIn photos.  LinkedIn is NOT Facebook.  Your LinkedIn picture should show what you would look like if you were going to a job interview. 
  3. Your profile headline is boring, unoriginal, or hard to understand.  Like a good elevator pitch, your headline should be clear, original, and compelling.  Ask yourself what you would say if you had 10-15 words to describe to someone what you do.  See my recent post on elevator pitch tips.  The headline is valuable real estate, so don’t waste it!  If you are out of work or a student, then include some key achievements instead, along with a professional objective (i.e. “Honors Student at University of Maryland planning to work in sports & entertainment after graduation”).
  4. You have not included your email addressMake it easy for people to get in touch with you by including this in your headline!
  5. You do not appear to be well-connected.  Connect with EVERYONE you know.  Unless you are a student, it is a red flag if you have less than 50-100 connections.  Social proof is important, and I guarantee you know a lot more people on the site than you think you do. 
  6. Your summary is not as impressive as it could be.  Write your summary as a bio (written in the 3rd person) where you cite your most impressive achievements relevant to your current career objectives.  It is also recommended to include some sort of story (i.e. how you overcame an obstacle) related to your achievements.  Check out my profile at www.linkedin.com/in/peteleibman to see how to write a great summary.
  7. You are not involved in any groups.  Join relevant LinkedIn groups.  LinkedIn allows you to join up to 50 relevant groups.  If nothing else, it shows that you are passionate about a certain topic(s), and there are a number of ways to build connections through those groups and to stay updated on events and industry trends.  We’ll discuss that in an upcoming post.
  8. You have not listed your achievements for each of your prior jobs.  Just copy and paste the achievements from your resume.  Make sure every line sells you.  Focus on how you make things or people better.
  9. You have not been recommended.  Get recommendations from clients, bosses, colleagues, professors, or  even peers.  Focus on quality rather than quantity, but get something here.  Don’t just get recommendations that say how great you are.  Get recommendations that focus on results you have generated (i.e. making a company money, finding new customers, creating a new program, leading a team or project that produced certain results, and so on).  When you request recommendations, you should also tell the person writing the recommendation what you want them to say.  This gives you control over what they write, and it makes it easier for them.

While LinkedIn can help you advance your career in a variety of ways, a bad LinkedIn profile will actually HURT your career.  When someone checks out your profile, they should think “Wow, this is someone I want to get to know.”  What does your LinkedIn.com profile say about you right now? 

-Pete Leibman

Career Expert and President of Idealize Enterprises

Pete@IdealizeNow.com

www.linkedin.com/in/peteleibman

www.IdealizeNow.com

Follow me on Twitter @peteleibman

6 Essential Do’s and Dont’s for Using LinkedIn.com to Advance Your Career (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)

June 16, 2010

If you are not among the over 65 million professionals (worldwide) who currently have a profile on LinkedIn.com, or if you have explored the web site, but you have yet to fully embrace it as a dynamic career-building tool, you are putting yourself at a tremendous professional disadvantage. 

Every day, LinkedIn is used across the globe (for free) to (a) generate leads, gain referrals, and drive revenue, (b) strengthen relationships with current contacts and former colleagues, (c) form brand new relationships, (d) enhance one’s credibility and/or position oneself as an expert in a given field or on a given topic, (e) find new part-time or full-time job/career opportunities, (f) stay updated on relevant industry news and trends, and (g) conduct “market research,” exchange ideas, and tap into expertise from others.  Here is a very short list on the best and worst ways to unleash the site’s potential.

Do: Determine what you want to achieve by using LinkedIn.com (see above for major benefits).

Don’t use LinkedIn without first establishing your objectives.

Do: Invest at least a few hours into creating a thorough profile that represents you as positively as possible.  Include a professional headshot, quantifiable educational, professional, or charitable accomplishments, your specialties, a concise professional summary, papers, articles, or presentations you have created, and recommendations from colleagues, clients, and partners.  Think of LinkedIn as your online professional identity and make sure your profile is always fully updated.

Don’t create a partial or uninspired profile.  How do you think that reflects on you professionally?  I would argue that it’s better not to use the site at all (even though that would be a tremendous mistake) than to create a profile that is incomplete or unnecessarily modest.

Do: Maximize LinkedIn’s “Groups” feature which allows you to participate in up to 50 “networking” groups at any given time.  You should also add value to your groups by posting well-constructed responses to questions posed by other members, and you should start thoughtful discussion threads of your own as well.

Don’t spam members on a group or individual basis to promote yourself or your company’s products or services.  Such a strategy will turn off potential prospects or partners, and it’s against the “rules” of most groups. 

Do: Connect with EVERYONE you currently know (or previously worked with), while also using LinkedIn to expand your professional network. 

Don’t assume that it’s pointless to connect with someone with less experience than you or someone where there appears to be no immediate benefit.  You never know who/what someone else knows now or who/what they might know in the future.

Do: Engage in actual discussions with your connections. 

Don’t connect with someone just for the sake of increasing the number of connections you have.

Do: Devote certain times each week to using LinkedIn and track your progress based on your objectives.

Don’t allow yourself to wander aimlessly on LinkedIn without any direction.

When used correctly, LinkedIn.com can help advance your career to new heights.  Make sure you are maximizing its potential today!

-Pete Leibman

College Speaker and President of Idealize Enterprises

Pete@IdealizeNow.com

www.linkedin.com/in/peteleibman

www.IdealizeNow.com

4 Tips to Make Sure Facebook Does Not Hurt Your Career! (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)

May 24, 2010

Note: This would not be a good profile picture for your Facebook page!

A 2009 study by Microsoft showed that 70% of hiring managers have rejected a job candidate based on what they found when looking the candidate up online.  Another recent study showed that nearly 10% of U.S. companies have fired someone due to online behavior.  Here are 4 quick tips to make sure your career does not suffer because of your activity on Facebook:

  1. Use a professional profile picture.  You don’t have to be in a suit, but your picture should still represent you well.  In other words, it’s not a great idea to use a picture of yourself from a recent “pimps and hoes” costume party that you attended!
  2. Keep your privacy settings strict.  Employers are only looking at your page to see if there is a reason to disqualify you; except for your profile picture, keep your entire page private to people who are not “friends” with you.
  3. Assume that everything (pictures and content) on your page can be seen by everyone.  Just because your profile is set to private does not mean that an employer still can’t access your profile.  My younger brother interviewed for an internship position back in 2005 (when Facebook was in its infancy), and he had his profile set to private, except for people in his network.  (At that time, his network was “Villanova University.”) He was stunned when the hiring person told him that one of the company’s employees had been able to access to his page.
  4.  Assume that everything you post on other Facebook pages can be seen by everyone.  One of my former employees for the Washington Wizards ended up as a headline on ESPN.com last week for posting an inappropriate message on another Facebook page.   In addition to the extreme embarrassment he has experienced within the company, it remains to be seen what punishment he will receive from management.

You can still have fun on Facebook, but you have to be smart about it.  Assume that anything on your Facebook page and anything you post on other pages can be seen by EVERYONE.  Otherwise, you run the risk of missing out on job opportunities or even getting fired after you have been hired! 

Thanks for reading!

-Pete Leibman

College Speaker and President of Idealize Enterprises

Pete@IdealizeNow.com

www.linkedin.com/in/peteleibman

www.IdealizeNow.com