How to Increase Your LinkedIn Traffic

Online social networks have become increasingly significant for professionals searching for employment opportunities and accruing social capital, but the recent graduates and young professionals who need these networks the most usually receive the least traffic from potential employers. I have compiled eight recommendations for the content of LinkedIn profiles and the activities of highly-visible users that can help you increase the amount of visitors you receive and the quality of the matches between your own objectives and those of your viewers.

LinkedIn Profile

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Writing Professional Emails

We write and send emails more frequently than any other document, but I still receive messages from students, coworkers, and executives with unclear and unprofessional content. While we can and should write emails quickly (particularly when we receive hundreds of them every week), we should make sure our emails politely achieve their practical objectives.

1) Provide a clear subject line. Your subject line should immediately inform your reader about the contents and purposes of your message. Compare these examples: “Security Warning” vs. “Security Warning: Do Not Open Messages from Sender X.” I have occasionally received emails from students and full-time professionals without any subject line at all, and these messages not only require unnecessary time and effort from their readers but also prevent their recipients from easily processing their included information. We expect headlines from newspaper articles for the same reason; these synopses help us decide whether we should read the text and frame its content.

2) Include the expected conventions. Whenever we write emails without salutations (Dear Mr. Rochester), polite closes (sincerely, respectfully, etc.),  and signatures, our messages may feel hurried and impolite. While you can certainly remove these formalities when you correspond with your friends and family, you should always choose the most polite approach when you address your professors, managers, clients, and anyone else who directly impacts your long-term success. This default approach can and should change if your correspondents indicate that they would prefer more familiar conversations.

3) Use short paragraphs. If your email lasts more than 200 words, than you should almost always subdivide your message into paragraphs with different requests, arguments, and information. Emails, like other business documents, should let your coworkers and managers easily scan the included content without reading every word of your message. Even if some of your recipients carefully review the whole email, most of them will briefly skim the message for relevant details and action-items.

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How to Write Successful Resumes

We probably spend more time writing and revising our resumes than any other document, and I have listed ten recommendations for successful audience-centered resumes below. I hope you find this guide useful and will gladly offer advice for other technical and professional documents at your request. Without further ado:

  1. Use 20+ font for your name. Most of us remember John Lee Hancock because of the unrivaled size of his signature on the Declaration of Independence. If you use 20+ font for your name, you increase the chance that recruiters will remember you when they decide who should receive a first-round interview.
  2. Outline your main qualifications with a summary. Do not start your resumes with an objective: recruiters already know you are searching for opportunities with their companies and will expect more details from your cover letter. You should, however, summarize your qualifications and field-specific interests before you present your experience so recruiters can scan your document more efficiently.
  3. Quantify your value-addedWhenever possible, you should explain how you have contributed towards the success of your past and current employers. Compare these two examples: “Managed the quality-control division of the product-development branch.” “Managed a team of ten employees for the quality-control division of the product development branch and reduced the number of defective sprockets by 15%.” Make sure you supplement your general descriptions of your work with your achievements, which might include promotions, management and budget experience, completed projects, awards, revenue estimates, etc. You should consider how you can favorably compare yourself with an “average employee” with the same position. Continue reading