The Importance of Balance between Work and your Social Life

Various experts worldwide have resoundingly agreed that it is important to maintain a balance between your work life and your social life. For many college graduates and millennials entering the workforce, they tend to make the mistake of overworking themselves beyond the societal norm. While it is great to assume that  ‘go-getter, first to enter last to leave’ mentality, it is imperative for you to understand the dangers that come with this level of work. Now I am not saying that you should not work hard. Investing in your job and your company is incredibly beneficial in shaping your overall career and professional development. But to overdo this can lead to physical and emotional damages.

One of the more popular negative damages many companies and hiring managers are seeing, especially amongst millennials, is the high burn out rate amongst employees. At any job, the position and responsibilities will always be new. Unlike college where you have various breaks in between classes and clubs, corporate, private, and startup culture will always demand more from you. Those senses of responsibilities can eventually lead to self-doubt and stress. But as much as I can fluff around the responsibilities and objective of the workplace, I have to be realistic. Work will always be stressful. There will be times where you will be overwhelmed to a point where you are unable to concentrate at the task at hand. To prevent this from becoming a problem, you need to, of course, gain the much-needed confidence at the office so that you can perform at your best. While some people think this requires more work, this confidence can actually come about through just a simple work-life balance.

Now, finding a healthy balance between your work and your social life is not always easy. There will be days where you will be required to stay late at the office or you will be asked to work weekends answering emails. While those days will come, it is important for you to create and establish a strong and healthy balance between your work and social life. To do this, begin by organizing your calendar. Organization will always be key to this level of balance. Make sure you fill out your schedule in its entirety. This will help you iron out any logistics and provide a stronger sense of open slots and times where you can use for yourself.

As for your social life, keep this one simple idea in mind: stay active. For many millennials, they burn out from work because their life schedule becomes clockwork where it looks something like this:

 

  • Work => Drive home => Watch television => Sleep => Work again

For anyone, this type of lifestyle is simply not sustainable. To prevent you from diving into that cycle, try to join various extracurricular activity groups. Think of any hobbies or interest groups that you enjoy and try and find various meet ups through Google or word of mouth. In addition, look into joining a gym or any extracurricular sports club. The more socially active you are the better. Lastly, to truly ease your mind and refresh your batteries, try planning a weekend or week trip. This will help ease your mind and prevent you from over-stressing about the workplace.

How to Stand Out at Work

In the workplace, your average American is not simply looking to do the norm. Instead, many of these young professionals are looking to go above and beyond the day-to-day operations in order to propel them in a more favorable position. As much as we can attribute the idea of success to their personal and professional goals, many young professionals are trending to this gung-ho work mentality because of the fear of being labeled ‘average.’  

For me, personally, the idea of being labeled ‘average’ or ‘fine’ is not just hurtful, but frankly quite insulting. Yes, you are seen as an individual who can handle the day-to-day operations within the workweek. But to be associated with such a phrase implies a sense of mediocre work and indifferent attitude and work ethics. This phrase not only speaks to your professional abilities at the office, but also overshadows your opportunities to stand out as a leader and game changer.

In order for you to change any preconceived notions as an ‘average’ worker, it is imperative you internalize your strengths and professional goals for your job. Having those in mind will allow you to leverage any opportunity where you can stand out amongst the crowd.

To begin, make sure you know how to do your job and how to do it well. This will allow you to brand your professional skill-sets within the office in a positive light. Now as much as doing a strong job at your position can gain you praise and recognition, you want to understand that standing out as a leader takes more than the standard work responsibilities. To help you stand out at work, try and assume new obligations within your company. Even if these leadership opportunities are limited, try and ask your manager or supervisor for more responsibilities. For many managers, they recognize individuals who are willing to go above and beyond their daily task to help the overall betterment of the company. This can even lead to new and exciting opportunities when it comes to management.

One way to do this is by offering new and innovative ideas and suggestions. Start with what you know. The build upon that with how things can be done more effectively. For many workers, these suggestions can be a huge game changer in how they approach the job in a more optimal manner.

While it may be daunting to put yourself out there, it is absolutely vital if you want to grow and develop within your company year after year. For meetings, try not to sit quietly. Instead, contribute to the conversation on a higher level. Even highlight some of the work you have done with customers and clients that has led to a higher success. Remember, leaders are not silent in meetings. Be purposeful with your listening and act and speak out when need be. In addition, make sure you try and add value. The worst thing you can do for yourself is to repeat or rehash something that has already been said before. The more value you can add to the team the better.

Now, when it comes to your team, do not be afraid to offer help and advice, especially to new workers. You have already developed a strong reputation from the work you have done, even if you are just a few months into the job. This will allow you to develop that ‘go to’ reliable personality that can help elevate you at your company.

Last but not least, you want to make sure you are proactive. Whether it is a new project or an anticipated problem, make sure you are the person your manager and workers can entrust in you. This will allow you to become more a part of the company and diversify yourself from the herd.

How to Email Efficiently and Effectively

Email is a widely used tool for business communication. However, because of its overpopulated use, it has caused some tension, confusion, and other negative consequences for many professionals within their careers.

So how do you avoid sending unwanted or unwarranted emails? What is the most effective and efficient way possible to write a professional email that can get the results you want?

In this article, I will go over a variety of strategies that can help ensure that your email is clear, effective and successful. At the end of the day, an average office worker will receive around 15 to 50+ emails each day from administrators, coworkers, and clients. With this amount of volume, you want to make sure your email gets noticed and acted upon so that you can continue with the day-to-day operations at your workplace.

To begin, you want to make sure you are not over communicating by email. As effective as emails are, you want to make sure that the particular person or people receiving this email are not thinking to delete the conversation from their history. To avoid this, make sure you are being simple and precise. Be sure to highlight all of the information without going too in-depth with the content. The worst thing you can do is sending an overcomplicated email that is just rushed through by your receiver. At times, you may even want to consider calling that person to simply explain the overall situation than to send a 500+-worded email.

Now to of course help get your email noticed by your receiver, you want to make sure you are making good use of the ‘subject lines.’ Think of this as a head-title or text feature that can grab the attention of your audience. Overly worded subject lines or one to two worded titles can be overlooked or rejected as spam. Instead, choose a few well-integrated words that can tell the recipient what the email is about. If you know that this is something important, make sure you note it in your subject line along with a date for said-task to be done. For example, if you have an email that simply says ‘meeting’ or ‘assignment’ this can be clicked on very quickly and breezed through. Instead, you want to specify what the meeting is about like ‘Contract Meeting with John Smith, submit at the end of the day.’ Having that type of title provides a holistic understanding of what your recipient should accomplish with your message.

With the actual email itself, you want to make sure you are following the traditional business letter format. As much as you want to stay professional, do not over complicate your emails with jargon words. While it may highlight your professionalism, you want to make sure your message is clear and concise. Any type of confusion could compromise the overall success of the email. In addition, you also want to tailor your writing to the person you are communicating with. For example, if you are sending an email to a client or an administrator, make sure you are framing your message in a professional manner. In comparison, if your email is a nontraditional email to a coworker or friend, be sure to stay personal. The main idea here is to internalize the topic and theme you want to correspond with in order to get your point across.

Now, there will be times where emailing can be taxing and downright stressful. Whatever is the case, make sure you are polite. People often think that emails can be less formal than traditional letters. But in the world of business, you want to reflect your own professionalism, values, and attention to detail. Stay formal and professional. Even towards the ending; make sure you close your message with ‘regards’ or ‘all the best’ depending on the situation.

Last but not least, make sure you proofread the entire message before you hit ‘send.’ Taking an extra five-minutes to make sure your email does not have spelling or grammar mistakes can be a huge game changer for how your peers and clients look at you.

How you can Professionally Improve your Customer Service Skills

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Whether you are working for a private business or a nonprofit organization, effective communication will always play an integral role in your overall success at your company. At the end of the day, it is no secret that many hiring managers and recruiters are looking for qualified candidates that are already equipped with strong verbal and nonverbal communication skills. The reason why is that during the day-to-day operations within the office, you will be required to constantly communicate across a wide range of departments. While many companies will invest a large amount of their time, money, and resources into strong and viable communication, it is imperative that you reflect and internalize your own personal strengths and weaknesses with this overall skill. This type of reflective mentality will allow you to identify your own personal and professional flaws that you can alter to be a more confident and effective worker at your office. Remember, rock stars are not born; they are made. All you need to do is take that first step and the rest will come to you.

Now, for this particular editorial, I would like to speak more loudly on improving the customer service communication than internal communication within the office. If you would like to learn more about how to effectively communicate as manager or supervisor, you can visit my previous blog here: Scott Storick, Managerial Communication.

When we talk about client communication and customer services, we are initially talking about confidence and control. For this to be translated appropriately, you have to of course gauge the overall perspective of the client. Remember, good communication is about putting yourself in the position of your clients. Don’t be afraid to ask those overarching questions like: Why do they want to talk? What are they interested in talking about? Is this going to be a delightful experience or an absolute nightmare? By evaluating the overall situation in a holistic manner, you will be able to better prepare your side with the necessary information and tools your client or customer will want to hear. The worst thing you want to do to yourself is find yourself blindsided with various questions about numbers and progress and not having a strong and sufficient answer to back up your claims.

Now during the course of conference calls and emails, you want to make sure you are providing a sufficient amount of information to the table. Much of my advice to clients is based on being informed, and for good reason. All of us gravitate toward that one person who always seems to have the answer. It is that idea of being one step ahead of the game that gives the person you are talking to the necessary reassurance and trust that you are working with them than with their money. One of the things I like to do is of course provide some engagement task with my own personal clients. This type of information not only challenges your clients to think, but also have them explore new intellectual territory. By establishing that type of conversation, you will be able to ultimately build that much need trust for your future relationship with that person.

Now during this process, as much as you want to take control of the situation, you also want to be attentive and observant to their needs. For many of these calls, your client will contact you because of a misunderstanding within the contract or a miscommunication with the number of products delivered. My advice is simple; just listen. Humanizing many of your calls can help diminish any negative emotions coming into these customer service meetings. It will also give you a chance to control the situation even if you do not have the answer. For many of these cases, customers and clients just want to vent their frustration. Once that is all said and done, you are able to provide them with the necessary information to move forward into a better place.

The last piece of advice is more to do with you than anything. Be confident in your own personal abilities. At the end of the day, you are the expert on the call. If you weren’t, they wouldn’t be calling you for your help. By internalizing that one small piece of information, you will be able to remove those barriers and improve your abilities with customer communication. Just think of it like this. How would you react if you were in their situation? In the grand scheme of things, you would probably react the same. All you need to do is calmly and respectfully control the discussion so that you can move it into a more informative and effective call.

Creating Professional Goals

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When it comes to success, having a strong underlying intrinsic goal will always help cultivate and shape your decisions, your actions, and your thought process each and everyday. But what happens when you have already made significant advances within your career? What goals or objective can you create to help motivate yourself in establishing that consistency that you have worked so hard for all throughout your life? For a few very fortunate people, the answer simply comes to them. But for the rest of us who do not wake up with that goal in place, it takes a little bit of planning in order to clarify and execute for our career goals.

No matter where you are in your career, there should always be a vision and goal within your master plans. As much as we can frivolous live our lives day by day without a care in the world, the reality of it requires these guiding and awe-inspiring ideas to push us to be our best. That is why career goals are important. They are simply the things you want to achieve in your career and the person you are meant to be. While these objectives can be broad, and at times uncertain, they, at the end of the day, provide you with that much-needed direction to the end goals of your career. Think of this like a road map. Rather than wander around aimlessly within your life, your career goals can be your destination for your success.

Now, one thing to point out is the various differences within goals. At one ends we have the broad, ambitious, and overarching goals, which are commonly referred to as conceptual or long-term goals. And on the other end we have the more specific day-by-day task related goals, generally known as operational and short-term objectives. As much as you can have one over the other, it is imperative that you have both. Begin with your long-term goal. This can be something you are looking to accomplish a year (five years, ten years) from now. From that goal alone, you will be able to conceptualize various operational tasks that you will need to accomplish in order for you to reach your long-term goal. For many young professionals, this type of mentality can be beneficial in shaping and molding your career. But what happens if you are already a seasoned veteran within your company? What goals can you establish to motivate yourself each and everyday?

While creating goals as a veteran within your company can oftentimes be challenging, they are, like they were in the beginning of your career, absolutely vital. The worst thing you can do for yourself is to stay stagnate within your job. To prevent this from happening, you need to recreate and articulate a vision statement for your career. The first step is to look back and reflect on all of your success. There is that famous saying: “Sometimes you have to take two-steps back in order to move ten-steps forward.” By having an intrinsic understanding of your career path, you will be able to connect the dots and establish that end goal. Go ask far and question why you made particular jumps and what you want to achieve out of your company.

Now for those who have not reflected, it may seem impractical to start now. Let me tell you, it is never too late to reflect. Reflection, at the end of the day, is the key to learning. This type of thought process will allow you to analyze your experiences and make the necessary changes and modifications to push you to your intended success. For some people, that success is simply getting on the right path. But for others, that long-term goal can require drastic changes and alterations within your life. Whatever is the case, make sure you know what you want. The worst thing you can do to yourself is waste and suffocate your knowledge and talents at a job you distain. Instead, create your goals and most importantly live your dreams.

Young Professionals Looking into Graduate Schools

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For many young professionals, graduate programs such as a Master of Business Administration or a Masters in Finance are seen as viable options in proliferating and diversifying their professional opportunities. While many seasoned professionals may question the two-year hiatus, having these graduate programs as a stepping-stone can oftentimes help you shape and mold your own personal and professional goals. Now before you make your decision, it is imperative that you reflect and internalize these overarching questions below.

Before I begin, I have to note that unlike undergraduate applications, graduate programs like MBAs and Masters in Finance require you to do various preliminary work and research before making the leap into the deep end. In fact, the arduous and elongated process requires a lot of time, dedication, sacrifice, and money before you even reach the finish line of graduation. If you are a young professional who is seriously considering leaving the securities of your already established career, make sure that this is what you want to do. The one situation you do not want to find yourself in is leaving your company without an actual game plan in mind. Now, if you have done your research and feel like now is the time to get one of these degrees, make sure you can ask the following questions:

Why do you want to go to graduate school?

While simple in it’s phrasing, knowing the ‘why’ can be one of the most convoluted answers you will ever respond to during your graduate school application process. In fact, to make sure you are ready to take that leap of faith, you want to solidify strong concrete reasons why graduate school is your best (and only) option. Do not limit yourself to the generic ideas of networking and job opportunities as your explanation. Instead, incorporate your goals and think of various ways of how that specific graduate degree can get you to where you want to be in the future.

What do you want to do with this particular graduate degree?

With an MBA, PhD, or Masters in Finance degree, you have the option to do really anything you want. But before you get those degrees, it is absolutely imperative that you understand what you want to do five, ten, twenty years down the line. To answer this question, go back to your professional goals. Your goals will allow you to create a strong and tangible step-by-step plan that you can implement each and everyday.

What program are you interested in?

There are a variety of graduate school programs that you can go into. While PhD in liberal arts programs can eventually lead to a tenure job at an elite university, you want to make sure your degree can hold a strong amount of value within the workplace. Just think about it. Education is not cheap. Because of this, you want to make sure that your degree can work in your favor. Make sure the program you are interested in is not just something you are passionate about, but also something that is attractive to the job market.

Where do you want to go?

For some people, they go by the name. For others, they go because of the city. Whatever is the case, make sure you are able to consolidate a strong list of schools of where you want to go. While it is nice to have various options, having a list that is oftentimes too large can be incredibly detrimental to your process. Instead limit your list from five to ten schools that adheres to your personal and professional preferences.

Are you financially capable of making this move?

Money, like anything in this world, will always be a factor in whether or not you are able to go to graduate school. Now, depending on your situation, you may be in a position where leaving your job and your financial salary may not be the right decision. You may also very well be in a situation where you do not have the financial funding to make the leap into graduate school. Whatever is the case, make sure you understand the financial cost and financial sacrifice that graduate school is ask from you.

What is one thing that can prevent you from going?

This is an incredible question that not many applicants ask themselves. At times, life can throw you various situations preventing you from reaching your personal and professional goals. If you know there is something that can potentially hold you back from graduate school, make sure you are able to confront it. Otherwise you may find yourself at a dead-end situation.

The Secret to Sales: How to Market to your Client

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No matter what industry you are in, the sales profession continues to move faster and faster each and every day. In a blink of an eye, new competitors emerge and products, especially those similar to yours, are beginning to find their footing within the convoluted market you are working in today. Before you know it, you are far behind.

As much as we can question the new age of consumer products, we first must understand the biggest problem that is impacting the world of sales. Far too often, businesses and organizations make the mistake of assuming that the consumer and client are willing to purchase anything based on its novelty. While that appeal may work for certain products, the approach itself is undeniably short lived. In fact, when it comes to marketing, it is absolutely vital that you market for the customer! This is something I have constantly reiterated to my own sales team. When marketing for a customer, you are targeting your audience. Just think about it. Strong reputable companies did not get to where they are based on faulty hypothetical ‘shot in the dark’ approaches. Instead, they thought strategically and creatively about their products and services and how each one is applicable to the wants and needs of the general public. From there, that information was learned, rehearsed, understood, and translated through the sales department.

Now to be a strong salesperson, you need to always be cognizant of the perspective of your customer and client. For many companies and firms, they usually rely on various scripts that dictate every step of how they should sell and market a product or service. As great as they may be establishing your presence within a call or one-on-one talk with your potential client, you as a salesperson should go above and beyond the script. For the best salespeople, they do not simply rely on the content that is given to them. Instead they adapt and alter their sales pitches in accordance with their prospective customer to further educate and inform them of what your company has to offer.

To start, begin by internalizing the vision and goals of your company. By having this deeper understanding of your company, you will be able to translate the overarching business ideas that can be useful when educating the potential client of during your sales pitch. In addition, utilizing your company’s mission can diversify your company’s service and streamline how and what you do differently from your competitors.

During these pitches, it is imperative that you first and foremost recognize the problem. Many clients and customers go to these businesses because they have a particular problem. In fact, that problem is the ultimate reason why your company was establish in the first place. But to help personalize the message even more, make sure you understand where they are coming from. Gaining a strong holistic idea of the problem they are experiencing will help you sell and rationalize your services to each individual future client.

To further bolster this knowledge, make sure you do your research on other competitors or services that are similar to your company’s products. Having that in your artillery can help you shine once again diversify and differentiate your product and services in the most beneficial way possible. In fact, doing this type of research can offer various insights of the strengths your company has against other competitors.

Now on the calls, it is important that you personify the ideal salesperson. While each individual has their own unique personality and take on the phones, you want to make sure you are well disciplined, charismatic, and resourceful with every client that you are talking to. To start, sales will always and forever be a difficult job. The phrase ‘ABC – Always Be Closing’ may sound easy, but in reality, is an incredibly difficult task. For most cases, this skill usually takes time and practice in order for it to be second nature later on down the line. Because of this, you as a sales person need to be confident. You need to have that unrelenting attitude and approach to go above and beyond in any situation. In addition, you need to exemplify the charisma and trustworthiness charm that can build and establish a connection with your potential prospect. For many customers, they view charismatic salespeople as not just another person on the phone, but someone who they can have a real meaningful professional relationship. Now, to help assist you with this, it is imperative that you are resourceful. Successful sales reps differ from the rest because they reach out and target the potential needs for their customers. That idea of going above and beyond means having information, having the analytics, or having other resources that is helpful in landing a particular deal.

The last thing I can say to help you develop within the field of sales is to be honest and transparent with every client. Regardless of what you are selling, establishing that trust with honest communication is something that will take you to the next level.

Improve your LinkedIn Presence Today

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While LinkedIn may not be the most popular or enjoyable social network to go on, it is absolutely vital that you do not underestimate its importance, especially when it comes to connecting with industry professionals, furthering your career, or expanding your network. With more than 400 million members, LinkedIn has become one of the fastest growing social media platforms for professional and career networking. The potential that this site has for both young professionals and seasoned veterans is something bigger than imaginable. Unlike Facebook or Twitter, LinkedIn allows their users to network and connect with some of the top-level companies and talent in the world. Because of this simple reason alone, it is absolutely vital that you, regardless of your work status, optimize your LinkedIn account in the best possible way.

So how do you do this? How can I shape my LinkedIn account to increase my chances for networking>

Before I discuss any beneficial professional tips in optimizing and branding your LinkedIn profile, let’s start off by understanding LinkedIn holistically. LinkedIn, like many social media properties, is considered to be a Web2.0 social media-networking site that allows its daily user to professionally brand and market themselves in the most efficient and effective way possible. Think of this like other various popular social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter. The only difference between LinkedIn and other social media sites is that this site is tailored primarily for professional networking and career-related content.

Because of this concept, LinkedIn has, and is continuing to grow each and every day amassing millions of users and countless daily visitors. While there are other sites similar to LinkedIn, none of them can content to the ever-growing active presence that this site contributes for its users day after day. One of the best things about the site is that it, first and foremost, allows you to connect with professionals. No matter where you are in your professional career, networking will always be skill that you will do to the day you retire. LinkedIn is a great platform for this. It allows their users to actively interact and connect with professionals and like-minded individuals within their industries. Not only do you connect, but you also showcase your academic and professional background. One of the best things about your LinkedIn account is that, unlike Facebook, you are able to promote your personal and professional achievements. While some sites may see this as boasting, LinkedIn sees this as viable content that helps shapes your professional niches and your professional trajectory. Now the last great thing about LinkedIn is its overall ability to help get you hired. If you are looking for a career, LinkedIn remains to be one of the premium places online in finding and landing a job. While other competitors like Monster.com or Indeed.com do provide a similar platform, many cannot rival the user-friendly interface and reputation that LinkedIn has built within these past few years.

Now, beyond the basics and fundamental knowledge of LinkedIn, you need to ask yourself that one important question: Have you optimized your LinkedIn account for professional viewers and future employers? For many users, the answer is either ‘I do not know’ or simply ‘no.’ While many of you guys may be shooting yourself in the foot, do not worry. The sad reality is that thousands, maybe even millions, of LinkedIn users are unaware of how to best optimize their professional profiles. To help with this, you need to start thinking of your LinkedIn account as your curriculum vitae, but without the necessary restrictions of a one-page limit. Bringing in that perspective will allow you to develop and alter all of the necessary tweaks needed to enhance your professional online presence.

To help with this, I have provided ‘eight’ vital tips you can utilize to improve your LinkedIn account today. While this may take time, the amount of effort and work you will invest on your online campaign can greatly increase your chances in landing that perfect job for your future.

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1. Know your Professional Theme

When creating your LinkedIn account, you want to go into it with a specific perspective. For some people, they want to be perceived as a professional sport expert. For others, they want to be viewed as a finance-extraordinaire. Whatever is the case, make sure you go into your profile with that idea in mind. This will allow you to cut out any unnecessary jobs or extracurricular activities and add any vital professional content that can benefit your image.

2. Create a Strong and Informative Bio

Unlike your resume, your LinkedIn account provides various features to showcase your personal and professional background. To optimize your account, make sure you fill out the ‘Summary’ section for your profile. This is usually the first thing visitors and future employers see when they visit your profile. To fully optimize this, make sure you include a 1000-plus-word biography on your personal, academic, and professional career. Be sure to highlight any professional achievements and accolades you have amassed throughout your career. In addition, provide some personal information about yourself. Be cautious though. You do not want to dive in to depth with this. To help benefit your campaign, include a two-sentence description that sums up your personal interest. It can be something like: “John Smith; fly fishing enthusiast, soccer player, and world traveler.

3. Expand and Quantify your Work Experience

One of the biggest mistakes many professionals make on their LinkedIn account is that they will list rather than describe. As much as you want to ‘list’ every work experience option possible, you may get more bang-for-your-buck to expand and describe your work responsibilities, duties, and achievements for each particular position. One huge tip you can do to optimize your account and get it noticed by future employers is to quantify your work descriptions. For example, rather than saying: “I managed a large group of professional individuals,” say something along the lines of this: “Managed and cultivated a group of 200 professional individuals.” Having that detail quantified allows your achievements and job responsibilities to stand out and represent you as a stronger candidate for future employers and visitors.

4. Include References and Work Samples

Similar to job applications, you want to make sure visitors are accessible to professional references and work samples. To do this, ask a former employer or mentor to write you a positive professional reference on your LinkedIn account. To enhance it, or specialize it, go back to your theme and ask yourself what you are looking to highlight. If you are looking to highlight your leadership and management skills, ask them to write a reference for that. If you are looking to highlight a professional project, ask them to highlight that achievement. Whatever is the case, make sure your references stays aligned to the overall theme of your account.

5. Skills Section and Endorsement

To highlight your skills within your professional niche and field, make sure you fill out your skills section to the best of your abilities. Just like your work experience, you want to be as specific as possible. In addition, try and get endorsed through your other LinkedIn friends. The more endorse you are, the better.

6. Customize your LinkedIn URL

One common mistake many LinkedIn account users do not do is that they forget to customize their LinkedIn URL. When creating an account, the URL associated with your profile will end with a combination of numbers and letters. To make this more personalized, make sure you change it to your full name. To do this, go to the settings page and change the URL to your name. To learn more, please follow the directions here.

7. Increase your Network

For any LinkedIn account, make sure you continue to increase your LinkedIn account each and every time you sign on. Many people do not realize this, but your overall social media presence and ranking can be dictated by your connections alone. To expand on your connections, start off by connecting with friends and work colleagues. From there, tap into your other resources such as your alma mater, interest groups, organizations, or former/current jobs.

8. Add other Links

While this may seem minimal, enhancing your links, especially with your sites and social media properties, can help change your overall search engine rankings. To do this, be sure to add your sites and your social media properties on your LinkedIn profile page. While it maybe limited, you want to make sure you are utilizing every resources they are giving you to shape your online presence.

Resume Tips: How to Best Advance your Career on Paper

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No matter what field you are working in, the first key in unlocking that dream job all comes down to how you brand and market yourself on your resume. For many people, this process becomes quite meticulous and downright frustrating. But fear not! Below, you will find some of the best resume tips that can help convey your professional experience, skills, and goals for your future job.

Let’s start off by understand the overall purpose of a resume. For hiring managers, they cannot afford to waste their precious time trying to figure out your work skills and your overall career goals. This is where your resume comes in hand. Your resume, or curriculum vitae, provides a holistic summary of your skills, abilities, and overall accomplishments. Think of this as a snapshot of your professional life. It’s intent is to capture and emphasize interesting events that can help you secure that much needed interview.

Now, let’s get into the good part! When a future employer reviews a candidate, they want access to their professional skills, achievements, and future goals. Many people try to provide a quick blurb of this through an Objective section in their resume. While it is important for your resume to include a clear career goal, you do not have to convey this with this section. Instead, many hiring managers can look for this through a Personal Statement and match it up with your Work Experience section. For most jobs, an optional personal statement section will be added for your application. While it is not required, make sure you are able to write a strong subjective essay that highlights your work experiences and intended interest for the job and the company. To learn more about how to write a personal statement, you can check out this website here.

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When writing your Work Experience section, begin by having an overall theme to for your resume. This is probably one of the biggest mistakes many people overlook. Your work experience is something that can go on for days. Rather than listing out each and every job you did since high school, try highlighting specific jobs that are tailored specifically for your future employers. For example, if you are looking into the field of education, make sure you provide roles that showcase your skillset and knowledge with teaching and leadership. If you are looking for something more into the banking or finance sector, try pinpointing experiences that highlight your fundamental knowledge such as internships or shadowing positions. Be cognizant of what you put on your resume. This can be the make or break point for your future career.

For the actual job description, you want to make sure you are descriptive and meaningful in highlighting your skills. To do this, think of a list of adjectives that represent you professionally (for example: leadership). Use those descriptors as guides in how you frame what you have done for that position. In addition, be sure to highlight any achievements. One mistake many applicants do is that, for these achievements and descriptions, they oftentimes use broad and vague language. When a hiring manager is looking at your resume, they do not want to see that you ‘brought in a lot of money’ in to your firm. Instead, they want to see numbers. In your resume, be sure to quantify your job description as much as possible. If you brought in $4 million dollars into the company, make sure you say that! This will give your future employer a better idea of both your work ethics and goals for their company.

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Moving beyond the Work Experience, make sure you highlight both your Educational Background and additional Extracurricular Activities. Similar to your work experience, try and quantify each section as much as possible. In addition, be very aware of how you can translate those positions (for the extracurricular activities section) as an asset for your work ethics. Go back to those adjectives. Think about your resume’s them and how you want to be perceived. Many hiring managers love to see leaders and overachievers that go above their job description. Show them this through these two sections.

Last but not least, try and humanize your resume by adding a short and brief personal interest section. Try and stick to one line. This can be something like: “Outdoor Enthusiast – Avid fly-fisherman, endurance cyclist, sea-kayaker, nature photographer, lover of all charitable 5K runs.” These quick descriptions give your hiring managers a better idea of your own interest and whether or not they relate to that of the company.

How to Build Inspiration at the Workplace

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When it comes to success, inspiration becomes the sole intrinsic motivator that forces people to get up early within the day. It is the confidence that compels us to do the impossible. And most importantly, it is the reason that drives us to work hard and sacrifice each and every day.

For many business professionals, it can sometimes be difficult to keep that inspiration day-in and day-out. Oftentimes, we lose sight of the overall ‘bigger picture,’ because of minuscule daily task and weekly objectives. But when you find yourself lacking motivation, you need to make a change. Any type of deprivation within your professional work is the red flag for you reflect and internalize who you are and where you need to be both personally and professionally. If it seems that you are one of those individuals who have seemed to have loss that professional drive and fire, take a look at some of these helpful tips below. These tips will help guide you in where you need to be so that you can reignite that inspiration back in the workplace.

Put it on Paper

This can be done in a variety of ways: creating a list, writing pros & cons, or writing a journal-like essay. Regardless of what you choose, brainstorming and putting things on paper is the perfect way to reignite that flame. Usually the best way to do this is to evaluate your overall status at the work place. Then jot down some personal and professional goals and how you are going to get there. Most of the time, people forget why they started a task or project. By brainstorming, you are able to internalize your thoughts in a more positive and beneficial manner.

Gain a Different Perspective

While internal reflection plays a major role in building inspiration, talking and listening to another person can be absolutely beneficial in easing your mind. This can be from a fellow co-worker, friend, or family member. Many times, people can get lost in their thoughts, even through internal reflection. To prevent this from happening, consoling to another person can help put things into a fresh new perspective.

Learn from your Competitors

Yes, it is a dog-eat-dog world out there. But that does not mean that it cannot work in your favor. If you are struggling professionally, try looking to your peers and your competitors and what they are doing differently. At times, this can be difficult because you do not necessarily want to compare and contrast yourself against those at the work place. But to gain an insight at what they do differently can help shape you professionally.

Ask Thought-Provoking Questions

One of the biggest part of self-reflection is asking these hard-hitting thought-provoking questions. This will allow you to evaluate any mishaps and weaknesses that you can refine later on down the line. Make sure these questions push upon your strengths, weaknesses, and overarching goals. In addition, make sure you leverage these answers to help improve yourself within your field.