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6 Tips to Help You Improve Your LinkedIn Profile

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6 Tips to Help You Improve Your LinkedIn Profile

Using LinkedIn has become essential for professionals, and something like 89 percent of recruiters reported to have used the site to hire someone.

Whether you’re a fan of the platform or not, you can’t afford to have a lackluster profile with so many people in so many industries using the site. For some potential employers, a blank or unprofessional profile is a red flag.


 

6 Tips to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile

Having your profile in top shape is now one of those crucial things, like a well-formatted resume and a strong cover letter. Even if you’re not actively looking for a job at the moment, you don’t want to let a lacking profile be out there for everyone to see.

Fortunately, the steps to improve your LinkedIn profile aren’t too difficult. Here are six ways to go about it:

 

1. No Blank Spaces

Gaps in a resume are one thing that can be explained in an interview. Empty spaces in a LinkedIn profile are a whole other thing that could easily be avoided. You want to make sure everything is up to date, from your employment history to your college education.

Don’t just put in the bare minimum, either. Flesh out what you did at previous companies and define what your responsibilities were.

Touches like that can prove you’re a good candidate for a job, but it also makes the job of potential recruiters easier. They’ll appreciate having all that information at their fingertips.

 

2. Keep the Updates Professional

LinkedIn isn’t the place for cute photos or irrelevant updates. Keep those limited to Facebook or Instagram. If you’re going to post updates, keep them wholly professional and industry-related.

On LinkedIn, your name is a brand. Everything you post is out there for important people to see.

However, keep in mind there’s a fine line between using LinkedIn professionally and devolving into too much self-promotion. Aim to share articles, along with your own insights, rather than endlessly touting accomplishments.

More people are using LinkedIn than ever before, with 347 million users from across the world.

The risk now is that with recruiters and current employers combing through profiles, there’s a chance they might see something foolish you posted ages ago. The list of people fired for posting things on social media is a long one.

Go through your old posts and make sure there’s nothing on there that was posted either mistakenly or out of context. Failing to clean up your content is one of those things that could set you back, as minor as the post may have been.

 

3. Look Good in the Photo

A studio shot portrait isn’t essential for a LinkedIn profile, although it is a nice touch that’s worth considering.

Depending on your industry, you’ll want a sharp photo that plays things fairly straight. Some nice clothing and a clear shot of the face in decent lighting goes a long way in looking good, and it doesn’t cost much.

Photos from your latest vacation or a friend’s party probably aren’t what you want to use. Save the fun photos for different social media outlets.

 

4. Highlight Your Skills

List all your relevant skills for the world to see.

This is a space where you’re allowed to brag and show off, so why not make the most of it? Your contacts can endorse you on your skills, and while recruiters don’t put 100 percent of stock into this, it does quickly highlight where your expertise is.

Likewise, ask current and former colleagues for recommendations. Their words might help increase interest in your profile and put you over the top in consideration for a position. This feature isn’t totally required, but it’s one of those things that definitely doesn’t hurt.

 

5. Become a Leader

With LinkedIn being a place to make some personal branding, there are a couple ways to make a name for yourself and establish yourself as an industry leader (whether you are one yet or not). Look into the different groups pertaining to your industry and interests.

Once there, drive discussions and contribute. It’s a great way to meet like-minded people. If you don’t see a relevant group, try starting one for yourself and invite people who could help the group grow.

Consider sharing your insights on LinkedIn’s publishing platform, too. Various industries are represented, and it’s not just the big executives who have developed a following on here.

Lower-level employees who write compelling articles can be incredibly popular.

It’s a good way to develop a following and causes others to take notice. However, like with status updates, it’s important to keep these longer posts interesting and professional. You can have a little fun with them, though.

 

6. Don’t Just Use It Find a Job

You could be in exactly the kind of job you want to be in for a long, long time. That’s great, but using LinkedIn is still a good idea. Instead of a way to brand yourself and look for a job, it’s an ideal way to make valuable connections that could help you down the road.

Reach out to people in your current industry, past and present colleagues and people you simply find interesting. At the very least, you might find some inspiration. However, you could also stumble upon some incredible opportunities for the future. There’s no downside.

 

In Conclusion

LinkedIn isn’t a tough platform to use, so take a few minutes to ensure your profile is up-to-date and professional. With millions of people using LinkedIn regularly, you never know where a polished profile may lead.

How’s your LinkedIn profile looking? Leave a comment below.

Anum Yoon is a writer and blogger with a passion for money management and a productive lifestyle. You can also find Anum on her personal blog, Current on Currency, and subscribe to her blog newsletter right here.

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Entrepreneurship

Can You use a Credit Card to Start a Business?

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Can You Use A Credit Card to Start A Business

It’s not unusual to think about credit cards when it comes to setting up a new business;

They’re a quick, easy way to get money and can be paid back at a reasonable rate when you may not quite have the cash flow.

It’s a move that’s being made more and more often as banks make it more difficult to take business loans. It’s now thought that the majority of small businesses use credit cards to help finance their business. And with good reason too.

One of the main reasons is that most people looking to start up a business won’t necessarily have business credit meaning a loan is out of the question.

This means that people turn to their personal credit cards to get things off the ground. While this isn’t a bad move, in fact, you can earn some pretty hefty rewards by doing this. You will be personally liable for any debts that may amount.

 

How to Get Great Deals on Credit Cards

However, you can get some good deals with credit cards.

There are a number of sign-up bonuses available with certain credit card companies; while you’ll also pick up things such as air miles. Which may come in handy for your business further down the line.

Tons of companies are now offering this. So for many who are looking to fund a business, it makes perfect sense to look towards a personal credit card. You can find more out by visiting a card’s website and is becoming one of the first port of calls for start-ups these days.

That’s because it’s so hard to find capital. If you’re new to business, it’s unlikely you’re going to qualify for a bank loan, so a credit card at least offers some form of protection.

 

Shop Around

One major thing to do if starting up a business is first finding a credit card with the lowest possible interest available. If a person has generally gone through life with good credit, it stands to reason that a good interest rate will be negotiable.

This is ultimately vital because, while a personal credit card can be great for starting a business, it can also affect your life. A large sum of money on a credit card may damage credit scores and even if bills are paid on time, it can stop the acceptance of mortgages or other loans.

That’s why it’s key to get the best possible deal, and only fund a business with credit cards if in a good position to do so.

Ultimately, if you need to get your business off the ground though, it’s going to be by any means necessary.

While a bank loan may be a better option or things such as crowdfunding or investors; if none of these options are available, there’s no reason why your great idea for a business should suffer.

If it’s ultimately going to make money in the long run, using a personal credit card to fund a start-up is a generally accepted way of going about it.

It has its perks and you can pay the balance back over time, just as you would any other loan or money lending. It could be just the sort of small investment needed…

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Entrepreneurship

The Jet Set: How to Make Money from Your Travelling

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How to Make Money from Your Traveling

There’s something widely appealing about just packing everything up and jetting off into the sunset. Leaving the job behind, the rent, the utility bills and exploring what the world has to offer. One problem, money.

It’s one of the main things holding people back from exploring the world for six months, and it really doesn’t need to. More people than ever before are making money as they go, and that doesn’t necessarily mean just getting behind a bar a few nights a week either.

We’re talking digital, laptop in on your lap, mojito in your hand, overlooking the beach.

 

How to Make Money from Your Traveling

So, don’t let the thought of money ruin the chance to travel the globe, take one of these pretty simple steps and make your dream a reality. Your boarding pass awaits…

 

1. Work Freelance

One of the most common ways to make money while on your travels is to simply work freelance. So many jobs these days lend themselves to working remotely, while you may also be able to transport your business to all corners of the world.

Careers such as graphic design, writing, even consultancy jobs can be done electronically, while the likes of Skype, email, and Whatsapp make communication available instantly.

Most jobs will allow you to work on the go in at least some aspect. You can fit your earnings around your rest days traveling, while if you’re a creative and make arts and crafts, you can spend your downtime building and making, and spend the weekends selling at local markets and craft fairs.

Markets all over the world are generally open to welcoming new stalls, particularly if you’re offering something different to the usual, and you can make some serious money.

Setting up a stall at markets popular with tourists is usually a good way of making money, so it’s worth searching for your local market once in a town.

You can then pack up and move on to the next one during your travels.

 

2. Spend Wisely

Of course, to make and save money you also have to spend wisely. Most of us would rely on a credit card while traveling, so get one where you can maximize your rewards.

There are dozens of cards out there tailored towards travel, so make sure you check out a rewards calculator to estimate how much you can likely earn from a card.

Ensuring you can pay the money back is key though, so it is worth combining this method of making money with one of the others on this blog. Earning air miles will certainly enable you to save money on any flights you might take further down the line on your travels.

 

3. Create A Blog

There are tons of fantastic travel blogs out there which offer fun and informative information on where they are in the world. Think you can do better? Then start a blog and see for yourself.

There’s money to be made from blogging, with businesses often keen to feature. You may not be offered money, but rather a product, which will at least save you money further down the line when needing to buy the items in question.

Advertising and promotions can make you serious money, all from telling people exactly what you’re up to in the world. It’s easier said than done though. Monetising a blog requires hard work, persistence, and regular posting – again, easier said than done!

Success won’t happen overnight, so it’s important to start working on a travel blog well in advance of heading out on your adventures. What’s more, if you can find a niche and make your blog stand out, even better.

 

4. Sell Your Snaps

If you’re snap happy when away from home, you may be able to make some money from them. There are dozens of sites on the market that will give you commission for photos you submit that sell.

For example, Alamy allows users to upload photos to the site and if anyone, or any business, was to purchase the photo you’d earn 50% commission. Likewise, sites such as Fotolia, Bigstock, and Shutterstock will also give you a commission for any photos sold via their sites.

It’s becoming more and more popular for business to use images like this instead of regular stock photos, as they’re a little more personal and give consumers a consumer side of the coin.

In some cases, a business may then contact you directly having seen your photos and commission you to do some work independently, then the big bucks really come rolling in.

 

5. Teach the Language

One of your greatest assets is your language and many countries are crying out for teachers of English as a foreign language.

If you’re planning on spending a significant amount of time in a country, you can organize to become a teacher and make money while you discover a whole new world.

So many people have found teaching the English language fulfilling while traveling, whether that be one on one tutoring or to entire classrooms.

Before you head off traveling, you’ll need to get an accreditation and of course, the sooner you research where you can teach, the more likely you are of getting a position. You can make some good money from this, although there are also other avenues you can take when it comes to teaching.

If you’re particularly sporty, you can take your knowledge to other parts of the world and teach youngsters how to play various sports.

Soccer is naturally one of the more popular coaching roles, and many who have played the game as a youth themselves will take up this in the likes of China, USA, and African nations.

Other teaching opportunities include art, computing and specific trades such as building, plumbing, accounting and more. Essentially, if you’re trained in a particular area which would benefit other parts of the world, there may be opportunities to teach it.

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Entrepreneurship

6 Mistake to Avoid When Launching An Email Marketing Campaign

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6 Mistakes to Avoid When Launching An Email Marketing Campaign

When it comes to launching an email marketing campaign, there are loads of potential pitfalls to watch out for. Unfortunately, the vast majority of us simply have to learn by a process of trial and error and hope that the mistakes we make don’t prove to be too disastrous.

Luckily for you, we’ve compiled some of the most common errors made by those piecing together an email marketing campaign – take a look at where so many people fall down, and try to avoid making these mistakes in your own efforts!

 

1. Failure to Identify an Audience

This is a mistake made all too often in the world of marketing in general. No matter what it is that you’re promoting – be it a product, an event, a course, or anything else whatsoever – there must be a target audience in mind.

The demographic you’re aiming for should inform pretty much every aspect of the marketing campaign, and it’s something you’ll have to keep in mind from the first draft all the way through to the completed product.

When you’re putting together your marketing campaign, think carefully about who you’re targeting. How old are they? What’s their income? What are their hobbies – all of these sorts of questions (and a whole lot more besides) should be constantly at the forefront of your mind?

Once you’ve identified your audience, you can tailor your content to suit the demographic. This means adopting the right tone of voice, utilizing appropriate imagery, color schemes, and much, much more.

Failure to identify an audience will mean that your campaign will lack structure and direction, and probably won’t end up striking a chord with your ideal customers or recipients… so think carefully, do your research, and get it right!

 

2. Incorrect Grammar & Spell Check

Nowadays, it is hard to imagine how you can miss a grammar mistake, having so much correction tools. Grammarly is a good example of this field instant improvement.

But, honestly, it’s really naive to think that apps and tools can polish up your letter so qualitative as the professional writers could make.

Lots of young entrepreneurs and business newbies used to hesitate with their written letters proofreading (or rewriting) by experts, without taking into consideration the fact, that these services make a huge difference.

When it comes to e-mail marketing, being creative sometimes is not enough. And remember, if you think that your primary letter is perfect, it is the first sign that you extremely need it to be revised by professional.

 

3. Making Your Message Too Impersonal

Another common error when it comes to a marketing campaign is all about the tone and wording you use in your messages. Nobody likes to feel as though they are being spammed by online junk mail, which simply flies into their inbox and doesn’t speak directly to the recipient.

Conversely, personalized, customized and tailored content pretty much always delivers far more effective and positive results… so you should absolutely be bearing this in mind when working on your campaign.

There are plenty of tools you can use to make sure your emails utilize the name of the recipient you’re targeting, and this can make a significant difference to how the mail is received (and whether it gets opened at all or tossed into the trash folder).

Also, small customization techniques such as setting up separate mailing lists for potential customers from different regions, backgrounds, or age brackets also leads to higher conversion rates, too.

 

4. Being Too Clever

When it comes to launching a successful email marketing campaign, often less really is more. Make sure your pages are clean, concise, and not overloaded with data, images, or things like unnecessary videos.

The main reason for this is that today’s web users prefer uncluttered spaces which allow a message to come across clearly, and people have only a tiny fraction of the patience they once had for loading times.

Even a lag of a couple of seconds is more than enough to get the average web user to lose patience and click that ‘back’ button, so keep your campaign simple, speedy, and easy to receive.

 

5. Not Being Creative Enough

On the flip side of the previous point, it’s all well and good keeping things simple, but unless your campaign stands out from the crowd, it’s not going to make the impact you want.

There are tens of thousands of campaigns doing the rounds at any given time, and if you want your potential customers to sit up and take notice, you’re going to have to think a bit outside the box.

This could be as simple as coming up with a memorable tagline or kicking off your email with an image that will stick in the recipient’s mind.

Get your creative team to work on something which immediately grabs the attention, and keep honing the imaginative aspect of your campaign until you get it right.

 

6. Lack of a Follow Up

Gaining new customers and a wider clientele is the entire reason you’re running an email marketing campaign.

As such, when the responses started flooding in, make sure you have systems in place to deal with them efficiently and with the same tone and warmth, you established in the initial contact.

A good follow-up is vital for your conversion rates, so don’t miss the opportunity to make it all worth your while.

 

Summary

Here’s a quick recap on the mistakes to avoid when launching an email marketing campaign:

  1. Failure to identify an audience
  2. Incorrect grammar & spell check
  3. Making your message too impersonal
  4. Being too clever
  5. Not being creative enough
  6. Lack of a follow up

Have anything to add to this article? Leave a comment below.

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