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Resource: Featured Articles
How to Use LinkedIn As An Effective Career Tool
Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Social media and online profiles have become an extension of most people's identities. While it was once something that people were still catching on to, today it's hardly considered optional.

An online presence is especially important for making a professional impression on others within an industry. Showcasing your skills and experience to the world opens up the lines of communication.

Being active on LinkedIn is one of the best ways you can help you career. Most importantly, it creates an all-inclusive environment for people to connect with others they share common career interests with. There are, however, major differences in how others see you if you aren't using the site like the pros. The following tips will help you polish up your profile and stay current with the changing job market:

Got questions, find answers.
LinkedIn houses all kinds of groups across nearly every industry which serve as platforms to open discussions for anyone within it to chime in on. Whether you want to look for answers to questions others have already asked or ask one of your own, the Answers section is a perfect way to gain some clarity and insight.

Get acquainted with a new field.
When you enter your skills and expertise in the search box, LinkedIn provides a list of others that are closely related. Are there some that you don't have yet? Having as many skills that relate to one another works greatly in your advantage. It's taking that step toward becoming an expert in the subject. Depending on your personal goals, you may only want to go after learning a select few of these skills. Think about who you should reach out to who can help you in that area.

Stay in the loop.
It can be hard to keep up with the different publications you read in order to find out the lastest in your industry. LinkedIn does the hard work for you, delivering all the top stories and headlines to you right on their homepage. You can see who's posting what and other topics that people are discussing. This way, you can log in, catch up, and search on.

Endorse and recommend.
Part of solidifying the relationships you build within your network is supporting your connections. It's a system of scratching each other's backs. LinkedIn has a recently added feature that allows you to endorse the skills your connections list on their profiles. Recommendations take it a step further by letting you write recommondations for your them based on their performance whether they request it from your or not. It shows that you aren't afraid to voice your genuine interest for their professional success. It's more than likely that they will return the favor.

Follow the leaders.
Just like you might follow your favorite celebrities on Twitter, you can do the same with industry and thought leaders on LinkedIn. LinkedIn's Today's News section lets you keep up with what's going on in the industry and what the people at the forefront are saying about it. You don't have to connect with them, but you can comment on their updates to demonstrate your own thoughts and leadership abilities.

Important Things Not to Forget In An Interview
Wednesday, November 07, 2012

It's essentially impossible to enter an interview without having done any preparation. Those that dare are in for one of the shortest interviews of their lives. Remembering all there is remember for an interview can be challenging. It's like cramming for the ultimate test and you either pass or fail. Interviews are nerve-wracking for many reasons, this is just one of them.
 
Whether you have an amazing memory or not, the truth is that you don't have to worry yourself with a great deal of rules and do's and don'ts. Instead, make these few important things clear in your mind  and you won't have to fumble through anymore interviews:
 
1) Understand what the job entails.
 
This is more than just going through a check-list of job duties. People often go into interviews under the impression they are there for a certain job that turns out to not be what they were picturing at all. It's really embarrassing to be in an interview for a job that you had mistaken for something else. Not knowing the details thoroughly can make you look foolish and unconcerned for the interviewer's time.
 
2) Know what it will take to succeed at the position.
 
Even while you may know what it takes to get the postion, that can be very different from being able to do it well. Companies will have certain expectations for new hires and one of them is exceeding those expectations. There's a major difference in the kinds of workers who work acceptably and the those that do exceptionally. See things from their perspective and evaluate yourself for the position. Identify areas you think may need improvement and go from being good for the job to perfect for it.
 
3) Outline why you are right for the job.
 
Make a list of your strengths, achievements and goals. Do they match what it will take to do well in this position? You want to give the interviewer plenty of reasons for why they should not only hire you, but why it would be a mistake not to. What are you equipped with to do this job better than any other candidate? This question is a very important one to be able to answer as it will heavily weigh on the interviewer's decision.
 
4) Have an idea of the areas you may struggle with.
 
Nobody's perfect. There may be some areas of the job that you aren't as familiar with. Don't let this get you down. If you believe that these are things that you want to tackle then be sure to do your research before the interview. If you're hoping you can get through the job and bypass these trouble areas, that won't be the case.
 
5) Will you mesh well with the company's culture?
 
Everyone company has its own culture and vibe. How well a candidate will fit in with theirs is usually what employers look for most in candidates. You'll be expected to match the way they do things and how they conduct themselves. Compatibility in this sense is often the dealbreaker since a bad match will result in an unhappy situation for both parties.
 
6) Eliminate the fear in the question you're most afraid of.
 
Most job seekers have a particular question that they dread, one that no amount of hoping will prevent the interviewer from asking it. It could be about why you left your last job, how much you expect to get paid, or even if you've ever been fired. Think of all the potential quesitons they could ask you and which one trips you up. Preparation is crucial to a good interview so there is no point in avoiding it. Arm yourself with an answer that you both will be happy with.