Ah, April. Warm, gentle rain showers wash over the earth and feed the land. Sunshine lures the cherry blossoms out into luxurious bloom, and fuzzy bunnies romp through verdant carpets of grass.
Wait. What? Whose April is this? We’re only halfway through the month, and here in the Northeastern United States we’ve already had thunderstorms, tornado watches, freeze warnings, and snow flurries. I am writing this article in the middle of a snowstorm. Yet another freeze warning has been posted. April is a month to be feared, dear readers. The weather’s wonky and—worst of all—it’s tax time. April 18th (Tax Day 2016) casts a pall over the entire month.
Apparently (in addition to snakes, spiders, heights, public speaking, and ear hair), being audited by the Internal Revenue Service and being unemployed are two fears that scare the bejabbers out of the American people. And rightly so. While I can’t help you justify those fuzzy bunnies as a legit tax write-off, I can at least I can guide you to a few ways to help improve your LinkedIn profile so you can avoid that whole unemployment thing.
So, button up your winter coat and hunker down with these links until the terror passes.
John Nemo, of whom we have a double-shot of posts in this edition, offers an interesting take on how to tune up your LinkedIn profile. Basically, you need to clearly spell out your audience (who you’re selling your services to) and what you can do for that audience (the exact services you sell.) Confused? That’s understandable, but don’t worry. John Nemo includes a link to a free script. Scroll down the page, copy the script somewhere, fill in your own information, and paste that bad boy right into your profile. Note that your audience includes potential future employers as well as head-hunters.
Personally, I hate asking for LinkedIn recommendations. I never know what to ask for or how to ask for it. Are you in the same boat? Never fear. In Part 2 of our John Nemo double-shot, he offers concrete suggestions on how to improve your LinkedIn Profile using Recommendations. He includes simple and useful scripts you can use to snag yourself a recommendation or three. The scripts vary based on how well you know the person and your level of comfort in contacting them. Nemo also offers advice on how to best use the recommendations you get.
If you’re one of those people who has a dream job in mind, that’s great! Michaela Alexis has a bunch of LinkedIn tips she would like to share with you. One of her tips goes against the commonly accepted wisdom of not connecting with someone you don’t already know. She says to go ahead and connect (personally, I already do that). Yes, she breaks the rules. And it works. Part 2 of her amazing story is available here.
We all make mistakes now and again, but making them on your LinkedIn profile could hamper your prospects or even damage your career. Kathy Caprino talks about three of them. One mistake, for instance, is listing responsibilities instead of accomplishments. Hey, I think we’ve all been guilty of that at one time or another. Head over to Kathy Caprino’s post to find out what the other two mistakes are.
Ready to start looking for another job? You’re in luck, because Tom Ireland knows several ways to tune up your LinkedIn profile for a job search. One of them is hiding your updates. For the other quick fixes, head over to his post to read the rest of his suggestions.
Have some tips or tools to share with your fellow technical communicators, information developers, and content creators? Let’s network! Drop me a note: HelpFiles@TechWhirl.com. Follow me on Twitter, connect with me on LinkedIn, circle me on Google+, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I enjoy connecting with others in the industry.