The Most Comprehensive LinkedIn Profile Guide

Most Comprehensive Guide to Update your LinkedIn ProfileThis comprehensive 22-point LinkedIn Profile Guide outlines the sections and how to accomplish the updates.

Understanding the components of developing a robust LinkedIn Profile is a key piece of having success in your job search using LinkedIn. With the knowledge gained as professional resume writer and executive job search coach, and a former recruiter, I’ve created a comprehensive 22-point check list outlining the sections to complete for your LinkedIn profile and guidance on how to complete these sections with optimum results. (…more)

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Talent Poaching Rampant

Tips to proactively retain talentA Just-Released Report On Talent Raiding Reveals Surprising Lack of Defensive People Strategies at U.S. Companies. Nearly 400 Leading CHROs and Talent Acquisition Leaders Have Weighed In. Let’s See What They’ve Got to Say

October 18, 2016 –

A full quarter of U.S. businesses are experiencing a marked increase in talent raids at the C-suite level. Yet most are woefully unprepared to combat the problem head on. This is among the key findings of a talent retention survey of nearly 400 human resource professionals conducted recently by Marlin Hawk, a global leadership advisory firm focused on next-generation talent, and Greenwich, Conn-based Hunt Scanlon Media.

Specifically, 54 percent of all responding HR experts indicated that their company either has no plan to ward off poachers or, if it does, they’re unaware of it. But of those talent acquisition professionals whose companies had a strategy in place, only 39 percent were satisfied with it.

Defending Talent

“What our survey demonstrates is a disconcerting lack of attentiveness on the part of many businesses to what is a growing problem,” said Marlin Hawk chief commercial & innovation officer Mark Oppenheimer. “No organization would let an intruder stroll in uncontested and walk off with its financial assets or intellectual property,” he added. “But when it comes to defending talent, the figurative gates seem to be wide open. It’s a huge mistake that can have an adverse impact on readiness to compete, growth targets, and share price.”

Recent headlines indicate that companies like Goldman Sachs, Netflix, Audi, Fox, and Tesla all have been victimized by a competitor plucking away some of their most talented leaders. Typically, there’s an initial approach, followed by an enticing offer, and then a crucial executive is whisked away. It happens everywhere, in all manner of businesses.  (…read more)


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Are You Emotionally Intelligent ?

Here’s How to Know for Sure

When emotional intelligence (EQ) first appeared to the masses, it served as the missing link in a peculiar finding: people with average IQs outperform those with the highest IQs 70% of the time. This anomaly threw a massive wrench into the broadly held assumption that IQ was the sole source of success.

Decades of research now point to emotional intelligence as being the critical factor that sets star performers apart from the rest of the pack. The connection is so strong that 90% of top performers have high emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is the “something” in each of us that is a bit intangible. It affects how we manage behavior, navigate social complexities, and make personal decisions to achieve positive results.

Despite the significance of EQ, its intangible nature makes it very difficult to know how much you have and what you can do to improve if you’re lacking. You can always take a scientifically validated test, such as the one that comes with the Emotional Intelligence 2.0 book.

Unfortunately, quality (scientifically valid) EQ tests aren’t free. So, I’ve analyzed the data from the million-plus people TalentSmart has tested in order to identify the behaviors that are the hallmarks of a high EQ. What follows are sure signs that you have a high EQ.

You Have a Robust Emotional Vocabulary

All people experience emotions, but it is a select few who can accurately identify them as they occur. Our research shows that only 36% of people can do this, which is problematic because unlabeled emotions often go misunderstood, which leads to irrational choices and counterproductive actions.

(…read more)

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Asking For A Raise

TCHG Stacked 1.5 x 2.6

For many people, asking for a raise can be as nerve-wracking as sitting in a boardroom across the table from Donald Trump. However, you can make a strong case for why your performance should be rewarded, if you; (1) know what you need to do, (2) do it, (3) document it, and (4) show that you’ve done it.

Think ahead – The time to start thinking about a raise is before you’ve even gotten the job. Ideally, during your second job interview – when it’s clear that you’re a serious contender — you should ask about the company’s or association’s performance-evaluation procedure. Find out how performance is rated, and how frequently.

Who’s the boss?  – When you answer to a board, it’s like having multiple bosses. When dealing with different personalities, clear communication is crucial. Make sure everyone understands exactly what your duties are as manager, and how your performance is judged.

Exhibit “A” –  Document your successes — and your failures — for a quarterly recap with the board, and quantify each success story.  Instead of pretending any past failures didn’t occur, acknowledge them and frame these as “lessons learned.” Discuss how you’d do things differently now.

Keep it simple. – This is a business basic when dealing with any presentation, no matter how complex. Instead of bogging down your employer or board with details, make your point succinctly. However, be armed with the data to support your case, and be ready to provide additional information. Check salaries in your field and in your local area to see how yours stacks up: or

Jody Weiss is the managing partner with TCHG Executive Search, locations in San Antonio and Atlanta (

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Story Trumps Resume

Story Trumps Resume

Your story trumps resume…! Everybody has one. And, often your story trumps your resume. When did you last look back at your work history? Unfortunately, most people only do so if they’re pulling together a resume or compiling a background for LinkedIn. But listing dates of employment and bulleting accomplishments, while informative, is not enlightening.

Revisiting our past work experiences, however, can catapult our careers.

How? Recalling anecdotes from former jobs reshapes how we see ourselves today, through the emotions they invoke and the insights they offer. Recalling hurdles overcome emboldens us to take on new ones. Revisiting how we handled past situations puts our strengths and weaknesses into focus. And lessons learned from early mistakes make us wiser, while memories of missteps make us humble. (…read more)

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What You’re Doing Wrong on Your LinkedIn Profile

Your LinkedIn Profile and common oversights that could be hinder its usefulness.

Last week, I had the privilege of speaking to a group of ambitious young Asian American professionals in Los Angeles about how they could use LinkedIn to build their careers. A few brave souls volunteered to have their profiles critiqued in front of 50+ people, and even more reached out to me afterwards to ask for private LinkedIn profile advice. After reviewing a dozen LinkedIn profiles over the weekend, I noticed some common oversights –

  1. You don’t have a professional profile photo. Your profile is 11x more likely to be viewed if you have a profile photo. That’s a big deal. My general rule for profile photos on LinkedIn is to show up on LinkedIn like you would show up to an interview in your industry. For attorneys, that might be you in a suit and tie but for an engineer, you can show up in a hackday t-shirt.
  2. Your Headline is your current job title. The headline is one of the first things people see on your profile. Your headline automatically defaults to your current job title, but your job title may not tell the whole story about who you are as a professional. For example, your job title might be “Sales Associate”, but the value you really provide as a sales person are your big ideas and focus on your clients so your headline could be more descriptive: “Big Idea, Client-Focused Salesperson”.
  3. Your public profile URL is not customized. It’s a whole lot easier for you and others to share your LinkedIn public profile URL when it is not a string of random letters and numbers, so take 20 seconds to customize it.

(…read more)

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6 Reasons to Keep Resume Updated

6 Reasons to Keep Resume Updated – If you’ve been happily employed at the same job for several years, there’s a good chance your resume has been gathering virtual cobwebs. You’re certainly not alone—my resume has yet to be updated with anything I’ve done for the past year and a half or so on the job.

And if you’re not planning on searching for a new gig anytime soon, you might think this is perfectly fine. Well, I’m here to tell you that, unfortunately, it’s not.

In fact, a polished resume (and LinkedIn profile!) can be almost as valuable to you now as they are when you’re in the middle of a job search. Read on for six good reasons to keep your resume updated—always.

1. In Case You Want to Present Yourself as an Expert

2. In Case Someone Wants to Nominate You For Something

3. In Case You Want to Pick Up Some Side Work

4. In Case You Have Secret Admirers

5. In Case a Promotion Comes Up at Work

6. In Case the Worst Happens

This article was originally published on The Daily Muse.   Click here to read it in its entirety

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Mistakes and Bad E-mail Etiquette Can Help

Mistakes and Bad E-mail Etiquette Can Help – Imagine that you’re the 22-year-old co-founder of a small but growing tech start-up. One day, you get an unexpected e-mail from Mark Zuckerberg, the billionaire founder of Facebook. In a short e-mail sent to your personal address, Zuckerberg praises your company, calls himself a “big fan,” and says he’d love to meet with you one-on-one at Facebook’s headquarters.

How do you respond? Most experienced professionals would probably advise you to calm down, take a deep breath, and write a courteous e-mail back, perhaps one that starts “Dear Mr. Zuckerberg,” and praises the CEO (he is, after all, one of your heroes) before saying that yes, you’d absolutely love to meet with him at his earliest opportunity, and sure, you’ll hop the next flight to San Francisco if he wants to meet today.

But that’s not what Snapchat’s Evan Spiegel did when Zuckerberg e-mailed him in November of 2012. Instead of flattering the Facebook CEO or expressing his eagerness to meet, Spiegel (whose disappearing-photo app hadn’t yet become a household word) tapped out a shockingly casual e-mail on his iPhone:

“Thanks 🙂 would be happy to meet – I’ll let you know when I make it up to the Bay Area”

That’s it – no “Dear” or “Sincerely,” no effusive praise, just a smiley-face emoticon, a sentence fragment, and a vague, unpunctuated offer to meet at some indeterminate point in the future. It’s the kind of e-mail you’d write to an annoying high school classmate, not a billionaire tech mogul who could acquire your company and make you rich.

Spiegel’s e-mail, which he released earlier this week after a Forbes profile characterized the exchange in a way he didn’t appreciate, has been called cocky and arrogant. And it was. But it was also brilliant. By one-upping Zuckerberg’s breezy, informal style in his reply, Spiegel positioned himself as the CEO’s equal. Most people in Spiegel’s position would have conveyed shock and breathless excitement over being approached by someone like Zuckerberg. And I’d bet that Facebook’s subsequent pursuit of Snapchat – the social network offered $3 billion for the app last year, an offer Snapchat refused – is partially related to the fact that Spiegel played hard to get, and dialed down his enthusiasm from the start.

In most business situations, it’s helpful to abide by the time-tested rules of communication – proper spelling and grammar, courtesy and professionalism, and all of that. But, as Siegel’s e-mail shows, there’s another approach that can be even better when you’re trying to impress someone.

Call it “strategic sloppiness.” We’ve known for years that the higher you are on the food chain, the more license you’re allowed to take with the rules of professional communication. It’s why Michael Bloomberg can reply to e-mails with “tx” instead of spelling out “thanks,” and why many of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s e-mails to his subordinates consist of only a single question mark, appended to the top of a customer’s e-mail. As the boss, you can make as many mistakes as you want. Cutting corners is a time-saving mechanism that doubles as a display of dominance.

But in certain, very rare instances, non-CEOs can also benefit from bending the rules.

For example: Like every blogger who writes about tech start-ups, I get barraged by press releases and pitches from PR firms touting the latest apps and gadgets. And 90 percent of the time, I delete these e-mails without looking. But the 10 percent I respond to are often the ones that depart from the formula. I can still remember the PR guy who introduced himself with an e-mail that read “what things can i send you that you’ll actually give a crap about.” It was direct, puzzlingly sparse, and shockingly informal. I loved it, and e-mailed him back.

For another example: Here’s a cover letter that got passed around Wall Street last year. In it, the writer, a kid applying for an internship at an investment bank, took a brutally honest turn halfway through: “I won’t waste your time inflating my credentials, throwing around exaggerated job titles, or feeding you a line of crapp [sic],” he wrote. “The truth is I have no unbelievably special skills or genius eccentricities, but I do have a near perfect GPA and will work hard for you.” The blunt, unpolished letter was a huge gamble, but it paid off – by breaking the rules, the kid stood out from every other applicant with a “To Whom It May Concern” form letter. He got several interviews.

Now, some caveats:

  • Strategic sloppiness isn’t right for every situation. In my experience, the ultra-casual approach works best when the person you’re e-mailing is already familiar with you and your work, and interested in you for a job or a new project. It’s risky with strangers, whose communication styles you don’t know, and riskier yet with bosses, who tend to be older and more conservative, and might take your casual tone as a sign of disrespect.
  • It’s probably best not to try sloppiness in formal job applications (especially if you’re applying to be a copy editor).
  • Don’t be sloppy in a way that will cast doubt on your intelligence and/or language skills. Typing “tx” instead of “thanks” is much different than mixing up “your” and “you’re.”
  • Strategic sloppiness doesn’t work at every organization. The brash, misspelled cover letter that might get you noticed on a Wall Street trading floor might get you laughed out of an arts non-profit or a law firm.
  • Don’t go overboard. The goal here is to appear important, not incompetent. One grammar mistake says “I’m too busy to proofread every e-mail I send.” Twelve grammar mistakes says “I did not pass remedial English.”

Professional communication is extremely dicey territory with high stakes. So if you don’t feel comfortable using strategic sloppiness at your job, forget it. (If you’re uncomfortable, your e-mails will come off as forced anyway, which kind of defeats the purpose.)

But if you, like Snapchat’s Evan Siegel, want to show a powerful person that you’re important enough to be feared and respected, you might want to try playing fast and loose with your communication from time to time. If pulled off correctly, strategic sloppiness can be a great playing-field leveler. Just, please, no winky emoticons.

*** (Via Linked-In) Kevin Roose is a writer for New York magazine and His new book, Young Money, about the world of young Wall Street bankers, comes out next month.

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Developing Humility as a Leader

Developing Humility as a Leader – Whether we’re looking at business or politics, sports or entertainment, it’s clear we live in an era of self-celebration. Fame is equated with success, and being self-referential has become the norm. As a result we are encouraged to pump ourselves full of alarming self-confidence. Bluster and the alpha instinct, contends Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, professor of business psychology, often get mistaken for ability and effectiveness (at least for a while). It may well be why so many (incompetent) men rise ahead of women to leadership positions, as Chamorro-Premuzic argued in a recent HBR post.

Yes, we have scores of books, articles, and studies that warn us of the perils of hubris. The word comes from the Greek and means extreme pride and arrogance, generally indicating a loss of connection to reality brought about when those in power vastly overestimate their capabilities. And yes, many of us have also seen evidence that its opposite, humility, inspires loyalty, helps to build and sustain cohesive, productive team work, and decreases staff turnover. Jim Collins had a lot to say about CEOs he saw demonstrating modesty and leading quietly, not charismatically, in his 2001 bestseller Good to Great.

Yet the attribute of humility seems to be neglected in leadership development programs. And to the extent it is considered by managers rising through the ranks, it is often misunderstood. How can we change this?

First, let’s get a few things straight. Humility is not hospitality, courtesy, or a kind and friendly demeanor. Humility has nothing to do with being meek, weak, or indecisive. Perhaps more surprising, it does not entail shunning publicity. Organizations need people who get marketing, including self-marketing, to flourish and prosper. (read more…)

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Executives in Transition

Hey, CFO’s and all Executives in Transition: Don’t Be ‘That Guy’

Are you the type who communicates with recruiters only when you’re looking for a job? Take note: It may harm your career. An executive search professional, my role is to help client companies fill open positions. But I also get many calls and emails from senior financial officers who are looking for jobs. On rare occasions, serendipity intervenes and the person is actually a good fit for a current assignment. Otherwise, I try to help them as I can, usually with advice or networking support. I reserve Friday mornings for these job-seekers. It’s the right thing to do. (read more…)

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