Monthly Archives: April 2015

Adding Symbols to Your LinkedIn Profile

Currently you cannot bold, italicize or format text on your LinkedIn profile. But in order to add some visual appeal you can put symbols or bullets into your profile. Adding symbols is one way to enhance your LinkedIn profile and make it stand out from other profiles.

To add symbols to your LinkedIn profile, all you need to do is copy and paste them.

  1. Highlight the symbol you want to use. Here are some examples:

Stars: ★ ✪ ✯ ✰
Arrows: ☛ ☚ ☜ ☝ ☞ ☟ ⇨ ► ◄ ► »
Traditional bullets: ■ ♦ ◆ ●
Ticks: ✔ ✘ ☐ ☑ ☒
Email: ✉ ✍ ✎ ✏ ✑ ⌨
Phone: ✆ ☎ ☏
Lines: ☲☲☲☲☲☲☲☲☲☲☲

  1. Once the symbol is highlighted, copy it to your clipboard. You can copy it by clicking Ctrl-C or right mouse clicking on the highlighted symbol and choosing COPY from the right mouse menu. If you use a Mac, you should click Apple+C.
  2. Within LinkedIn, click Profile > Edit Profile. Place your cursor where you want the bullet placed.
  3. Paste the bullet by clicking Ctrl-V or right mouse clicking and choosing PASTE from the right mouse menu. If you use a Mac, you should click Apple+V.

While it’s great to add this kind of visual appeal to your LinkedIn profile, use the symbols sparingly! Too many different types of symbols will make your profile look busy and unprofessional. Just choose one or two that suit you best. Remember that less is more.

Your LinkedIn Headline – DOs and DON’Ts and More

1. DOs
• Say WHAT you are.
• Say WHO you help.
• Say HOW you make a prospective employer’s life/work better.
• Give PROOF that you are credible.
• Highlight your past achievements and future value.
• Use your headline proactively.
• Promote your brand statement, core marketing message, most enticing expertise.
• Showcase your specialty, value proposition, or your “so what?”
• Speak directly to the audience you want to entice.
• Be specific.
• Focus on and include important key words.
• Be creative but appropriate to your goal.

2. DON’Ts
• Use the LinkedIn default header (current title and company name).
• Have a headline that is confusing.
• Have a headline that is boring or doesn’t add value to your profile.
• Make obscure references.
• Make quirky statements.

3. Headline FORMULAS
Expert status headline formula: {Keyword/subject matter expert area} who {does what} for {client, company, audience, project}. {Proof point}.
o Personal Chef specializing in gluten-free diets. Winner Seattle Personal Chef of the Year 2012.
o Social Media Expert driving successful campaigns on a shoestring budget. 800%+ ROI in the past 12 months.
o Bestselling Author and Professional Speaker energizing audiences to overcome limiting beliefs. 90%+ sat ratings.

Claim your niche headline formula: {Keyword(s)} | {your specific benefit or focus area}
o Six Sigma Master Black Belt | Dedicated to process excellence in auto manufacturing
o Tax Accountant CPA | Specialist in family-owned businesses with revenues of $1-$5 million
o Childhood Autism Psychiatrist | Specializing in diagnosing, treating and supporting families with autistic children

Direct to customer headline formula: {Attention-grabbing question} + {Who you are} + {who you help}. {Proof point}. OR {Attention-grabbing question} + {Free resource}.
o Need capital? Banker for early-stage technology growth companies. Clients include XYZ and ABC.
o Need talent? Exec Recruiter helping mid-size manufacturing companies find top talent. Clients include LMN and OPQ companies.
o Need to recharge your career? Join my FREE webinar on 5 things you MUST do before you search: {short link}

4. Some Successful Headline EXAMPLES:
• Executive Recruiter/Speaker/Author/who helps you create a better career | Featured on Fox/CBS/CNN
• Fundraising consultant who helps major non-profits raise more money | Clients include the Red Cross and YMCA
• Personal Trainer who helps high school athletes get stronger and faster | Certified by the American Council on Exercise
• PMP-certified project manager | Known for successfully leading multi-million dollar projects in developing countries
• Customer-focused pro who can program every robot in your manufacturing facility | Specializing in ABB, FANUC, and Kawasaki robots.
• Reliable pet-sitter who will find out and report back to you exactly what your dog is up to when you’re not home
• Copywriter who knows how to craft web content that goes viral. Oh, and you’ll never beat me at Scrabble
• Tireless, caring Registered Nurse who helps pediatric cancer patients and their families feel at ease throughout treatment and recovery
• Manufacturing & Supply Chain Executive | Asia
• Procurement & Contract Specialist | Treasury Manager
• Account Executive | OEM Sales | Field Sales | Territory Manager
• Director Communications | Branding | Online Marketing | Social Media
• High-Powered Financial and Analytical Trainer | Propelling International Business Teams to the Top
• Program, Process and Project Manager | Creating and Implementing Innovative Technological Solutions
• Managed Care Professional | Building relationships with attention and integrity

5. Another TIP
In edit mode on your profile, LinkedIn has two options: “Show examples” and “See what others in your industry are using.” Find a few you like (it will take some time, but keep looking) then craft your own, original Professional Headline. Change it often, trying out different headlines and seeing what works.

With thanks and credit to Forbes, LinkedIn contributor Pete Leibman, MarketingProfs, Brazen Careerist.

In The Job Market? What’s In Your Learning Plan?

Think about where you would like your career to take you and the skill profile of people in those positions.

In order to move forward and advance in your career, you must control your own learning program and take immediate action. Start now and plan on future continuous career learning.

“There is an increasing importance of talent development in the corporate environment,” notes Tom McNeil, President of Executive resource company MDL Partners. “A recent survey of CEOs indicated that talent development was typically a top three priority for their company. At the same time, companies are having difficulty meeting specific professional staffing needs and have significantly cut training budgets, pushed community colleges to step up their technical training programs, and asked the government to increase STEM and programming training programs in the public schools.”

While you’re waiting for corporate training departments to get re-funded, higher education to reform itself and federal and state governments to develop education programs that send out qualified engineers and programmers, it makes eminent sense to take personal charge and look at your own personal training plan.

MDL Partners recommends adopting the following strategy:

  • Ask yourself, how many “firsts” did I experience this week? Are you actively learning something new, how much time have you devoted in the last weeks and months to skill development?
  • Think about where you would like your career to take you and the skill profile of people in positions you aspire to.
  • Keep an eye on the shorter-term market. Think carefully about what you need to learn to stay marketable in the markets relevant to your career.
  • Set up a short, intermediate and longer-term learning strategy.
  • Focus on challenging, skill-building assignments, especially those that are a bit uncomfortable and risky.
  • Develop a training plan which might include classroom training, online education (Corsera, EdX, Khan Academy or thousands of others), joining professional associations or forming a learning group.

MDL Partners works with clients to stand out from the crowd, achieve their career goals and to broaden and deepen their network. There are plenty of times in your career that you will use MDL Partner’s services – and once you are a client, you are a client throughout your entire career. MDL Partners works with clients on their immediate needs today, with an eye towards the future.