Professional Advice

I regularly critique excerpts from random LinkedIn and About Me profiles (for anonymity). Pointing out dos and don’ts from real profiles can help with your own personal branding.


How to make management work harder (without cracking the whip).

Treat the LinkedIn profiles of your executives like individual ads in one campaign. Many companies know the value of a LinkedIn page. Some even know the benefit of having employees on LinkedIn to serve as ambassadors. Yet, few companies actually recognize the remarkable branding opportunity of their leadership team’s collective profiles. By presenting a strategic and unified front, a company’s key players can provide yet another touch point in a comprehensive branding campaign. Nevertheless, even those companies with media-worthy LinkedIn pages seem… read more

Before you join LinkedIn, ask yourself this.

What’s the point? To most, it’s called a LinkedIn profile. To me it’s best described as “one of the most powerful marketing opportunities for professionals to date”. Your LinkedIn profile is an ad and you can maximize it by using marketing techniques. One of the most fundamental is setting objectives. Like all ads, your LinkedIn profile needs to have a purpose. What’s yours? Why are you on the site? Many people are on LinkedIn simply because they heard they should… read more

LinkedIn photo or mug shot?

A friend of mine had been a highly valued sales executive for an organization that relocated. He chose not to make the move with them confident that he’d find work. His credentials are outstanding. His profile has been searched and viewed. Yet, two years later, he’s still unemployed. I’m convinced his LinkedIn photo is costing him opportunities. More specifically, it’s costing him about $100,000 a year. In his photo, he’s staring straight at the camera unsmiling. His arms are held tightly… read more

The destructive power of finding your passion.

A friend of mine lost her job recently due to downsizing. The parting was amicable. The change was welcomed. She also received a great severance. And yet… “I can’t find my passion”, she lamented, and “I don’t even know where to look”. I couldn’t have been more surprised. This friend is a wonderful designer who can create beauty in all media from print to digital. She’s also skilled in a number of complex online design tools. In addition, she’s a smart… read more

LinkedIn profiles, lip sync battles and lessons you can learn.

The other day I wrote a blog about what lip syncing can teach you about writing a dating profile. Now it’s time to apply those same lessons toward a winning LinkedIn profile (and About Me, of course!). When Dwayne Johnson made his lip syncing debut on Spike TV, I didn’t anticipate the former wrestler to do it to Taylor Swift. Yet, there he was shake, shake, shaking it off – rap number included. It was hilarious. It was also unexpected and memorable.… read more

About Me profiles about nothing.

I just read an About Me that was over 600 words long. Yet not one word was actually worthy of consideration, let alone serious consideration. The profile was that of a photographer. Ultimately, he was trying to sell his services. However, because of the way he sold himself, he was ineffective in reaching this objective. Moreover, anyone who demands that much of a reader’s attention needs to make every word count. He didn’t.  Don’t write your About Me as you… read more

The biggest mistake you can make writing your cover letter.

Dating profiles, LinkedIn profiles, About Us pages and even cover letters are all about marketing yourself. The environments in which they’re posted are competitive ones. Other people are vying for the same attention you are. It’s the first impression you make. It’s also your only chance at making a lasting impression. That’s imperative especially when it comes to cover letters. Imagine the job of a potential employer or recruiter in the midst of a search. They could be reading dozens,… read more

Profile writing tips for LinkedIn users.

How to unlock that opening anecdote. You may be surprised by this, but the best LinkedIn profiles and professional bios begin with a personal anecdote. Why? For three reasons. The first is that it makes the bio unique to you. After all, while other professionals may share your qualifications, none share your personality. The second reason is that a personal anecdote will bring you, the person, to life and, in doing so, it will inspire trust. Let’s face it, we… read more

The dumbest job interview question ever.

Years ago, a former colleague used me as a reference. When her potential employer called he had a number of questions related to her role as an Art Director. “Was she a team player?” he asked. “Was she any good at presentations?” “What was her best quality as a professional?” I answered each question positively, sincerely, and without missing a beat. Then he asked, “What’s her greatest weakness?” Stumped, I blurted out, “Umm, chocolate?” (which was true by the way). I’ve… read more

Top 3 Tips for Writing a Job Posting.

Insights from an ad and profile writer. Not long ago a friend of mine, who’s also a copywriter, sent me a job posting that had infuriated her. It was for a writing position and included a list of appropriate qualifications like strong editing and writing skills for the organization’s website, promotional materials and advertising initiatives. However, It also included a list of excessive qualifications like knowledge of Illustrator, Abode and other design tools. As if that wasn’t enough, the candidate would… read more