The Best Ways to Use LinkedIn 2023

The Best Ways to Use LinkedIn 2023

Do you need a LinkedIn?

Short answer? Yes, you should have a LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is a resource for not only your job search, but for career exploration, networking, and growth. On LinkedIn you can access people’s professional credentials, explore what jobs are offered in your industry, and see insights into your career field. It’s likely a hiring manager on LinkedIn might find your profile in your job searching process, and the better your profile, the better impression you’ll make! Your LinkedIn account can build your credibility around who you are and your professional experiences.

 

So how do you get started on LinkedIn?

The first step is to make a profile! You’ll want to add a recent professional photo as your profile picture. Your company may offer custom LinkedIn banners, you could google a LinkedIn banner to add to your profile, or if you’re feeling creative you can create your own using Canva or Adobe. Then, you will add your career and education history. Add in your personal statement and you will have a great start to your LinkedIn!

 

What’s the best way to utilize LinkedIn?

There are many ways to use LinkedIn while in your job search and while already employed. Here are some of our top tips on how to utilize LinkedIn.

1.)    Follow companies and people you admire.

For example, if there is a marketing campaign that stood out to you on Instagram, check out LinkedIn to see more information. Are you interested in the next iPhone or electric car company? Follow their LinkedIn page to see what’s coming up next.

2.)    Post your thoughts on industry articles, share work highlights, and lessons learned.

It’s important to cultivate your personal brand in your posts. Comment friendly suggestions or compliments to others’ work accomplishments. Share your own accomplishments or challenges you’ve been having at work and ask for help from your network. You can even demonstrate how you overcame challenges to help others who may encounter similar challenges in the future.

3.)    Actually connect with your connections.

If there is someone who is doing really cool work, send them a message and ask for a coffee chat or informational interview. If someone reaches out to you, engage back with what they are asking or interested in. The whole point of a connection is to connect!

4.)    Add your portfolio or website links.

Do you have a portfolio of your past work that would contribute to your work credibility? That should be in the link section of your profile. It is fantastic for those who work in an industry where past projects can help you land your next role.

5.)    Add certificates, licenses, and projects.

Taking professional development courses? That’s an excellent opportunity to share your growth on LinkedIn. You don’t have to wait until you’re done to share either! When you reach a milestone in your course or work project, that’s a great chance to share with your professional network.

6.)    Follow accounts that inspire you and start scrolling.

The best way to learn how to utilize LinkedIn is by spending time looking at what others are doing. Ask yourself what you’d add or change about their posts and start making posts that you love.

___

If you’re looking for information on how to kickstart your career, browse jobs today! We help entry-level job seekers find positions that fit their expertise and career goals. Find more advice to help you in your job search. You can add Avenica on LinkedIn here.

6 Little Things That Will Help you Get a Job

6 Little Things That Will Help You Get a Job

The little things are sometimes what help you land the job, or even miss out on the opportunity. Our hiring experts at Avenica have compiled a list of the “little things” that end up not being so little in the hiring process. Make your time count by considering the following tips when searching for a role.

1.)    Set up your voicemail.

When a hiring manager gives you a ring it may be to ask to schedule your next interview round or even offer you the role! Without a voicemail, you have no idea what the news is, and it can be discouraging if the hiring manager doesn’t hear back. By setting up a professional voicemail you can be sure that there is no barrier to communication between you and those who want to hire you!

2.)    Keep your emails organized.

If spam and marketing emails are taking up all your space in your email inbox it may be hard to sort through interview emails and even the job offer emails that may be in your inbox. It can be helpful to create a folder where all your virtual meeting links go or flag the ones that have not yet occurred. In addition, keep track of any emails that get auto-trashed after accepting. The last thing both you and the hiring manager want is for you to not be able to find the link to connect.

3.)    Use your professional email address and proper grammar in your application materials.

If you’re still using that old email you made in middle school, that’s great, but not for your job search. Your email is one of the first things hiring managers learn about you and it is important to keep interactions with the hiring manager professional.

Also, make sure your name is capitalized and spelled correctly in your application! Little things like this can make a big impact when hiring managers are looking at applications.

4.)    Texts and emails should maintain professional tones.

Texts with a potential employer aren’t the same as texting your BFF. Texting is a common form of communication in the hiring world, but it is still important to use your best grammar and spelling. Proper punctuation can help make it easier for you to clearly communicate to those who are working to get you a job.

5.)    Create a professional interview environment you can thrive in.

One of the best tricks for this is to DOUBLE CHECK your zoom background before hopping on! If you’re choosing to wear PJ pants with your blazer, that’s fine (though maybe not recommended…), but please make sure that the person you’re meeting with cannot see them. If there is someone else in the room with you, please keep them out of the background.

It is best to have a solid color background or if that is not an option most video apps have the ability to blur your background. If you’re not sure how to do this, look up a quick tutorial on YouTube prior to starting your virtual meeting. Feeling comfortable with technology can help your confidence and the ease at which you can communicate with those who want to hire you.

It’s important to know that the hiring process is an extension of the workplace. Life happens, but it is important to invest in your interview. This means not sitting on the couch or driving during your time with the interviewer. Keep your phone steady in one place to optimize sound and experience for all involved.

6.)    Read the emails that hiring managers send.

In order to get the most out of the time you have with a hiring manager make sure you know who you are talking to on the other end of the interview. Review the company’s core values and what they do, and be sure you understand the position being discussed. It is great to bring any clarifying questions you might have, but it’s up to you to really know generally what you are interviewing for before showing up to the interview.

Messages from the interviewer will most likely contain interview details, so be sure you are aware if something is a video or phone call interview, when it will take place, and if there are any additional steps to take before the interview.

___

If you’re looking for information on how to kickstart your career, browse jobs today! We help entry-level job seekers find positions that fit their expertise and career goals. Find more advice to help you in your job search.

Tips for Setting Professional Goals in 2023

Insights

Tips for Setting Professional Goals in 2023

Avatar photo

Avenica

 

As 2022 comes to a close it is a great time to take inventory of our accomplishments and look ahead to next year! As the new year approaches, whether you are in your first ever job, or working to make the leap to a new industry, these tips will help you get set up for even bigger professional strides in the coming year.

1.)  Set both long-term and short-term goals

It is important to have “reach goals” that will take a while to complete. These will help project a sense of anticipation and accountability throughout the time it takes to accomplish them. These long-term goals could be goals that take 1-5 years to accomplish. Short-term goals typically take less than a year to accomplish. Short-term goals help give milestones to celebrate and demonstrate you are on the right track to accomplishing those longer-term goals.

Some examples of long-term goals are: To implement a new marketing strategy in your company, with a timeline and deliverables structured into the strategy, or to complete a major project, with deadlines and milestones attached to the project plan.

Some examples of short terms goals are: Facilitate better feedback over the course of a quarter, make a certain number of sales this month, or have one meaningful networking lunch a month.

2.)  Make goals that are both measurable and abstract

It is helpful to be able to see progress by tracking goals through measurable data. For example, if your goal is to complete a course you will be able to track how much of the curriculum you complete. In addition, having a vision and feeling to focus on is just as important. Hand-in-hand with completing the course your goals could be to feel confident in the course material. Taking note in the degree of confidence you have will also push you forward towards this goal.

3.)  Ask someone to hold you accountable

The best way to make a goal happen is to tell others about it. Once you speak it into the world, you will likely feel a bit more pressure to complete it. It is important to share your goals with people who are safe and encouraging, so the pressure is positive and not anxiety inducing. Consider asking a coworker or manager to hold you accountable to your goals this year and schedule regular check-ins on the goals progress.

4.)  Make a vision board

Another great way to make your goals happen is to see them every day. Making a vision board that you keep in your office is a great strategy to encourage yourself to work toward the achieving your goal. This could be as easy as googling images that inspire you and pasting them on a piece of cardboard from the recycle bin! You could also create an online Pinterest board or go as far as to put images and affirmations on a bulletin board – the options are limitless!

___

If you’re looking for information on how to kickstart your career, browse jobs today! We help entry-level job seekers find positions that fit their expertise and career goals. Find more advice to help you in your job search.

Managing Stress And Expectations This Holiday Season

Insights

Managing Stress And Holiday Expectations This Holiday Season

Avatar photo

Avenica

 

As the holidays and new year approach it is important to take care of yourself. It may feel like a balancing act between holiday cheer and your usual work tasks. There are many end-of-year deadlines and expectations to meet, potential family and social pressure, as well as a change in the weather. With all these factors contributing to a busy time of year, we collected a list of 5 things that may help you manage or relieve some holiday work stress.

 

1.)    Plan out your holiday work schedule in advance

If you are planning to take time off, ask early so you and your supervisor can manage time together and look ahead for anything that may need to be done before you are out. In addition, look ahead at the beginning of the month to understand which holidays fall on which days of the week. Maybe a meeting will need to be moved or after school care changed. By looking ahead, you can ensure that you have a plan for the holidays in all of the areas of your life.

 

2.)    Plan time for yourself

Just as looking ahead can help you plan with everyone else in your life, it is important to plan some time for yourself. It might just be spending 5 minutes in the car before or after work on a YouTube meditation or going for a 15-minute walk by yourself to clear your thoughts. It is important to take time for yourself during the holidays as others’ expectations on your time may be higher than other times throughout the year.

 

3.)    Find out about your employer’s benefits

Many companies offer fitness incentives, mental health resources, and other programs that may offer support during this time of the year (and beyond!). Reach out to your HR department about what may be available to you through your company’s resources.

 

4.)    Check in with your coworkers

Holidays impact everyone differently, some may be celebrating holiday cheer while others may be looking for support for the season. If possible, take some time to connect with your coworkers to see if you can help support their workload. In addition, consider adding some social connects to your calendar to let your coworkers know that you have their back in their personal life as well.

 

5.)    Give back

The season of giving is all around. If you are looking for a way to feel good this holiday season look into some local ways to give back to your community. Consider volunteering at a local humane society, food drive or similar opportunity. You may even invite some of your coworkers to participate in a toy drive or other way to give back as a group to promote community within your team.

___

If you’re looking for information on how to kickstart your career, browse jobs today! We help entry-level job seekers find positions that fit their expertise and career goals. Find more advice to help you in your job search.

5 Ways to Support Black Employees

Insights

5 Ways to Support Black Employees

VP of DEI, Teron Buford shares five ways companies can support their Black employees.

Avatar photo

Teron Buford

How can company’s support their employees directly and acknowledge issues they face?

First, and foremost, you must be bold. Often, companies feel the obligation to explain why they’re spending time, energy, efforts, and resources supporting a specific group (in this case, Black employees) to employees who are not members that group (in this case, White employees). It’s taxing and further alienates when the primary goal is to bolster feelings of belonging. Now, I’m not saying that companies shouldn’t provide background information on why initiatives exist; instead, I’m saying that companies should provide the background and move into the implementation stages ASAP. Don’t spend time worrying about which privileged/highly represented group members might have FOMO; spend that energy doing the work.

Get away from the idea that equality is the gold standard. It’s not. Equality suggests that giving everyone the same resources or treating everyone the same way is the fix-all for DEI issues within a company. That’s analogous to giving everyone a slice of pepperoni pizza and disregarding the fact that some folks can’t eat cheese, gluten, pork, and/or tomatoes. Be bold in listening to the needs of under-represented employee groups and then act on their feedback. That’s when we step away from the idea of equality and toward the aspiration of equity: meeting employees where they are and giving the access to resources to get them to where they want to be.

How should company’s reach out to their Black employees?

There’s no one-size-fits-all playbook for reaching out to black employees. The size of the company, number of Black employees, and already-established culture of the company are just a few things to consider when determining the best way to solicit input. Small company? Maybe safely assembling a group of Black employees to talk about their shared interests/concerns and potential solutions/desired outcomes is the way to go. Large company? Perhaps a climate survey to gauge perceptions and possible action steps. Knowing the audience and the company culture will be step one in devising an approach. Here’s the dirty little secret: it’s going to take time, trust-building, and intentionality to gain buy-in; that’s the hard part. But hard doesn’t mean “impossible.” We prioritize the things that we feel are important. If gaining perspective from your Black employees is valued, you’ll make time for it.

How should companies go about training for these topics?

Authentic voices are key. I want someone who looks and lives like me talking about experiences that are unique to people who look and live like me. That’s #1.

Modality is totally based on the audience. Some folks prefer reading and reflecting. Some prefer watching and taking notes. Others prefer listening and discussing. A healthy mix is probably the best way to go but, as always, the onus is with the facilitator(s) to know the group, understand their needs, and provide a curriculum that fits the learning style of the group. Remember: equity is better than equality in these cases.

It’s also important to note that modality should be fluid. What works today may not be applicable tomorrow. Instead of growing frustrated with changing landscapes, companies should work to become more flexible and open to the ever-evolving nature that is the human experience, which is exponentially more complicated at its intersection with race and ethnicity.

How can companies build a better workplace for Black employees?

Companies can’t be afraid to boldly go where others haven’t gone before. There will always be detractors and people who will ask “why do they get….but we don’t…..?” The company must determine which side of the fence they want to operate on and then do so boldly. Might you lose clients? Sure. Might you gain clients? Sure. It’s on the company to decide who and how it wants to serve. Part of that means listening to the needs of their under-represented employees (in this case, black employees) and then having the gumption to do something with the information that’s collected.

Also, building a diverse workforce is important but should not be the final goal. Companies need to ask themselves “what are we doing to empower the voices within our walls? Do we have meaningfully diverse and inclusive representation in positions of leadership? Do those in positions of leadership have power to create meaningful change?” You get the drift. It’s not a numbers game; it’s a matter of creating a sense of belonging and buy-in.

Also, if companies want to see more Black employees gravitate toward their business (for employment or use of services), companies should consider how they’re showing up to and for the Black community. Are you supporting policies and practices that benefit these communities? Are you speaking out against injustice? Are you using your platform to promote meaningful change? Are you modeling the environment you encourage other companies to have? Are you reinvesting in the community? Answering these (and other) questions will help you better understand how/why your company is/is not having success with recruiting, hiring, retaining Black talent and might provide insight on how the community views your presence.

How can leaders promote conversations around race?

They shouldn’t only “promote” the conversations; they should MODEL them. Be the example. Show that it’s ok to not know EVERYTHING. It’s ok to make mistakes, it’s ok to not fully grasp the lived-experiences and perceptions of other races. And, in the same vein, be willing to learn, share, own missteps, and take an active role in their own growth.

Leaders need to be better at acting on intel. If my son brings an important issue to me, it’s up to me to decide how to act on it. My response (or lack thereof) will directly impact his willingness to bring other concerns to me. His trust is me may falter. And his belief in my allyship may waiver. My son’s experience with me will undoubtedly be shared with my daughter who, too, may become wary of my desire to help. And, before I know it, the kids will be ready to label me as someone who is too rigid to change and too stubborn to admit shortcomings. Leaders need to allow themselves to believe the perspectives of others and then meaningfully work to support.

Leaders need to make working toward DEI+B (belonging) a priority. Not having “enough time” isn’t a good excuse. Not having “enough resources” isn’t a good excuse. Leaders can find time and resources for the things that truly matter if they TRULY MATTER. Your willingness to work for it, advocate for it, and believe in it. If there has ever been a time to buy into “trickle down,” it is for this kind of work.

If you’re looking for  information on how kickstart your career, browse our current job openings! We help entry-level job seekers find positions that fit their expertise and career goals every day.