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Authors

Ira Koretsky
(click for all of Ira's posts)
Duane Bailey
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Guest Bloggers
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Ira Koretsky

Ira Koretsky

Ira Koretsky is the president of The Chief Storyteller®, a boutique marketing and sales consulting firm. He has delighted audiences around the world helping them achieve better business outcomes and accelerate their revenue with highly effective written, spoken, and social media communications. With over 25 years of experience, he is a sought-after global speaker, columnist, consultant, and executive coach. Twitter @chiefstorytellr   youtube.com/user/IraKoretskySpeaker

Website URL: http://www.TheChiefStoryteller.com E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

LinkedIn Tips

Here's a total revision to of one of our more popular posts published a few years back (67 Tips for Using LinkedIn to Help You Find the Job You Want). I categorized the tips, added several, and removed the outdated ones. Suggestions, feedback, your favorite tips?  Please let me know in the comments.

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If you were not aware, LinkedIn is the number one business social media site in the world. Today, there are over 380,000,000 members with an average of 5,000,000 joining every month. Some interesting statistics:

- Officially launched on May 5, 2003.
- 4,500 members as of May 2003
- Available in 24 languages
- > 8,700 full-time employees with offices in 30 cities
- Members come from > 200 countries and territories
- Top Countries: USA 118M+; India 31M+; UK 19M+; Canada 11M+; France 10M+; China 10M+; Italy 8M+; Australia 7M+; Mexico 7M+; Spain 7M+

The tips are designed to improve your profile and for you job seekers, to help you find a job. These are the top ones that colleagues, clients, and friends have found most helpful. There are a lot more!

Suggest you identify the best tips for you. Then prioritize what you will do in what time frame. I did include a 30 Day Must Do, To Do list. Also, based on several suggestions from folks, each tip is on a separate line to facilitate a check-list approach.

Whatever you need from LinkedIn, be deliberate with your time and how you interact with the LI network.

30 Day Must Do, To-Do List

  • Customize your professional headline (it is critical to have a compelling and engaging headline...this is what people who search see first adjacent to your picture)
  • Check and correct grammar (copy/paste into your favorite word processing software - I have never seen anyone's profile with no grammar errors)
  • Check and correct spelling (copy/paste into your favorite word processing software - you might be surprised at finding a spelling error)
  • Check and correct readability (use Microsoft Word's Readability Tools). Generally, you should write at or below the 10th grade level. Most USA magazines write between the 6th and 8th grade levels. For comparison, The New York Times writes to the 10th grade level. For Readability, your goal should be greater than 50.
  • Omit your personal information that may lead to identity theft (e.g., birthday, marital status, and address...While its fun to get happy birthday notes. Today's hyper fraud and attack world, I'd suggest you omit it)
  • Spend time (a lot) on your summary. After your professional headline, it is the important section. It is what people read first (unless you changed the order of the sections).
  • Spend time (a lot) on your Skills. This is an important section as people can search on your skills.
  • Put your value proposition/elevator speech in your summary
  • Use action verbs and active voice. If you live and work in the USA, suggest you use first person voice. If you work a lot with people in the USA, also recommend first person voice.

  • Use a professional looking photograph. No cut-outs/cut-offs, boats, children, spouses, etc. There are exceptions to this rule of course (only a few). LinkedIn statistics show that profiles with pictures perform substantially better than those profiles without pictures
  • Use your personal email address for your account. This ensures you will always have access to your account

New to LinkedIn

  • Complete your profile (LinkedIn research shows members with complete profiles are more successful in securing employment and complete profiles show up higher in search results
  • Invite people to join your network with a personalized/customized note…EVERY time
  • Expand your network by adding people you know (Consider allowing LinkedIn to access your Outlook, Gmail, etc.)
  • Consider including your maiden name (women) in your profile name. This ensures people who knew you before you got married can still find you
  • Fill out your educational history (many people skip this. And join your alumni group)
  • Fill out your employment history, from right after college to present (many people skip this. And join your alumni groups if your organizations have them
  • Take advantage of the New User Guide from LinkedIn

Advanced LinkedIn Content, Positioning, & Messaging

  • Change the website link for your blog from "My Blog" to a proper name such as "The Chief Storyteller Blog"
  • Change the website link for your company/personal site from "My Company" to a proper name such as "The Chief Storyteller® Website"
  • Change the website link for your LinkedIn public profile to a proper name/organization name such as "http://www.LinkedIn.com/in/TheChiefStoryteller"
  • Change the website link for your Twitter account to "Twitter" or your Twitter name such as "chiefstoryteller" 
  • Add into your profile articles and publications you wrote
  • Add into your profile presentations you gave via SlideShare.net
  • Ask for recommendations (helpful article Every Accomplishment Should Be Great: 5 Steps to Compelling Resume Accomplishments)
  • Consider including your LinkedIn address in your email signature
  • Consider upgrading your account to LI Premium
  • Expand your network by adding people that are like-minded (use groups, keywords, 2nd degree connections, and suggestions from LinkedIn)
  • Seek out advice from some of the smartest people in the world (any member can answer your questions - LinkedIn Inmail is a good way)
  • Help write your recommendations to ensure it is on-message - the message you want to communicate
  • Identify and include keywords relevant to audiences that will search for you
  • Join alumni groups to ensure you stay connected with high school, college, and graduate friends and colleagues
  • Join groups for personal development
  • Join professional groups important to your career success
  • Consider re-ordering your Skills. There are two approaches:  Listing your top rated skills and listing the skills you want more "clicks" on.
  • Track statistics for Who's viewed your profile. Identify trends

  • Look closely at Who's viewed your profile. Consider reaching out via LinkedIn InMail or connecting directly
  • Track statistics for Who's viewed your posts
  • For those that viewed your post, consider reaching out via LinkedIn InMail or connecting directly
  • Track statistics for your Actions Taken. Examine what activities you have completed and what ones you should be working on. Don't get caught up in the "gamification" aspect. Do what is right for you.
  • Visit the LinkedIn blog to gain insights and to learn more about changes coming
  • Use the "Follow Company" feature to stay current with organizations you have an interest in joining or learning more about
  • Use the "Saved searches" option to save your favorite search queries
  • Turn off your update notification in your settings when you are revising your profile for content changes, then turn it back on. Leave it on if you want people to know about job changes and other significant changes to your profile.
  • Consider turning your profile summary into one that is story-based 
  • Add the appropriate key words to your profile. Add the words your prospective audiences are searching for and the words you want to be known for - emphasize what your audience's point of view.

Building and Nurturing Your Network  

Ensure what you do share is very interesting and very relevant. LinkedIn is still a "noisy" social media community with articles, updates, announcements, sales solicitations, LinkedIn InMails, Pulse, etc.

  • Send articles of interest you come across from your favorite websites
  • Send articles of interest you come across from your favorite bloggers
  • Answer interesting questions in your groups thoughtful, education-focused responses
  • Share content from your blogs in your updates
  • Share content from your blogs in your Company page
  • Share content from your blogs in your Showcase pages
  • Share content from your articles in your updates
  • Share content from your articles in your Company page
  • Share content from your articles in your Showcase pages
  • Share content from your newsletters in your updates
  • Share content from your newsletters in your Company page
  • Share content from your newsletters in your Showcase pages
  • Share content from your favorite groups (not private)
  • Connect strategically with selected LiONs (LinkedIn Open Networkers) matching your interests to expand your network
  • Leverage advanced search functionality to locate/connect with people with experiences and education like yours to see where they work and where they worked
  • Look through your connections’ connections for good-fit additions for your network
  • Send notes to people in your network when you see status updates or changes to his/her network
  • Share news with appropriate Groups
  • Write recommendations for people in your network. Suggest you ask the person first for keywords and preferred concepts/ideas to write about

Career - Job Seekers / Job Hunters 

There may be some duplicate tips here. I wanted to ensure the tips specific to career were in this list.

  • Download Box.Net and then include your cover letter and resume
  • Help write your recommendations to ensure it is on-message - the message you want to communicate
  • Join professional groups important to your career success
  • Perform competitive intelligence research on the target organizations before applying for a position
  • Perform competitive intelligence research on the target organization's competitors before applying for a position
  • Perform competitive intelligence research on people (e.g., hiring managers) before applying for a position
  • Perform competitive intelligence research on interviewers before your phone screen or in-person interview (e.g., read profiles, do Internet searches, read articles, and read blogs they wrote)
  • Perform competitive intelligence research using the LinkedIn reference check tool on interviewers before your phone screen or in-person interview 
  • Perform competitive intelligence research use advanced search to find current employees. Send a personalized request for a telephone call to discover more information about the prospective organization
  • Perform competitive intelligence research use advanced search to find former employees. Send a personalized request for a telephone call to discover more information about the prospective organization
  • Spend time (a lot) on your Skills. This is an important section as people can search on your skills
  • Search frequently the LinkedIn job opportunities
  • Use the "Follow Company" feature to stay current with organizations you have an interest in joining or learning more about
  • Turn off your update notification in your settings when you are revising your profile then turn it back on. 

paul brandus book launch

Last year I had the honor and priviledge to co-present a program on messaging and the media with Paul Brandus. I'm not easily impressed. I was after working with Paul. I've met a lot of journalists over my career. He has a insightful grasp of the business side of journalism. And he wants the interviewee to be successful, really successful. 

After receiving my invite to his book launch party, I asked him if I could share it and invite othes. "The more the merrier," he said. Come out and join us on Tuesday 29 September. The reviews list reads like a Whose Who in Washington, DC communications leaders.

Here's some information about Paul, Under this Roof (Amazon link) book launch, and the book itself.  Email me know if you are joining.

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About Paul

An award-winning, independent member of the White House press corps, Paul Brandus is the founder of West Wing Reports® in 2009 (Twitter: @WestWingReport, 200k+ followers) and provides reports for television and radio outlets around the United States and overseas. In 2011, he won the Shorty Award for "Best Journalist on Twitter," sponsored by the Knight Foundation. The Atlantic calls Brandus “One of the top Washington Insiders You Should Follow on Twitter.” He lives in Reston, Virginia.

Book Launch

Every guest at the book launch receives their own copy of Under this Roof.

Army and Navy Club
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
5:00pm-7:00pm

on Farragut Square
901 Seventeenth Street
N.W, Washington,D.C. 20006

http://www.armynavyclub.org/

Farragut North Station (Red Line)
Farragut West Station (Orange/Blue/Silver Line)

UNDER THIS ROOF: The White House and the Presidency—21 Presidents, 21 Rooms, 21 Inside Stories

Why, in the hours before John F. Kennedy was murdered, was a blood-red carpet installed in the Oval Office? Did you know Abraham Lincoln never slept in the Lincoln Bedroom—so where did he sleep? What really happened in the Situation Room on September 11, 2001? And why was the White House itself—home to a head of state longer than London’s Buckingham Palace, Tokyo’s Imperial Palace and Moscow’s Kremlin—nearly torn down on multiple occasions and moved?

From John Adams—the first President to live in the White House—to Barack Obama, the story of the White House is the story of America itself. You’ll walk with Adams through the still-unfinished mansion, and watch Thomas Jefferson plot to buy the Louisiana Territory. Feel the fear and panic as the British approach the mansion in 1814—and stand with Dolley Madison as she frantically saves a painting of George Washington. Gaze out the window with Abraham Lincoln as Confederate flags flutter in the breeze on the other side of the Potomac. Brandus takes us into the room as one president is secretly sworn in, and another gambles away the White House china in a poker game. Through triumph and tragedy, boom and bust, secrets and scandals, Brandus takes you to the Situation Room, Presidential Bedroom, Oval Office and more. You’ll read stories of First Ladies—Abigail Adams to Mary Lincoln to Jacqueline Kennedy—that will amaze you, and, along the way, learn how advances in technology that changed the nation—telephones, electricity, radio and more—changed the White House and the presidency forever.

Find the book on Amazon here.

Select praise for Under This Roof:
“Inventive, smart and engaging” —Susan Page, Washington Bureau chief of USA Today

“Under This Roof is like taking a tour of the White House with a gifted storyteller at your side illuminating the most dramatic moments of American history…. Paul Brandus paints a vivid picture.” —Christina Bellantoni, Editor-in-Chief, Roll Call.

“This fascinating book is stuffed with secrets and little-known tales of presidential intrigue.” —Larry J. Sabato, New York Times bestselling author of The Kennedy Half-Century

“[A]n engaging, endearing profile of the world’s most famous residence and the families who called the White House home… I thought I knew just about everything interesting about the presidency—until I read his book!” —Ron Fournier, senior columnist for the National Journal

“[A] fast-moving and well-written history of the presidency… Brandus is a top-notch tour guide, filling his pages with vivid portraits of presidents and their families at work and play.” —Del Quentin Wilber, New York Times bestselling author of Rawhide Down: The Near Assassination of Ronald Reagan


“[A] towering history . . . a riveting narrative.” —David A. Andelman, Editor & Publisher, World Policy Journal; Columnist, USA Today; and author of Shattered Peace: Versailles 1919 and the Price We Pay Today

“Under this Roof sweeps us into a sensuous account of the history of both the home of the President, and the men and women who designed, inhabited, and decorated it. Paul Brandus captivates with surprising, gloriously raw observations.”—Mark Santangelo, Chief Librarian and Archivist, The Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington

59 Veterans Project

I met Jeffrey Ehrenkrantz through an Army veterans LinkedIn group. He is working an awesome project helping both our veterans and national parks.

Here is more information about the 59 Veterans Project. They are expanding their core team and seeking veterans interested in this journey of video discovery.

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Join The 59 Veterans Project on an epic journey of education and discovery that will be created by U.S. Veterans training for a new career in 4K ultra high definition and 3D high-definition videography. The result will be a series of half-hour programs featuring each of America’s 59 National Parks.

Utilizing state of the art 4K ultra high definition and 3D high-definition cameras, our team of videography professionals will teach the veterans field video production techniques. During the course of the project, an onsite producer will provide assignments for these programs which will be viewable online, in various formats including mobile as well as over the air programs.

This ambitious and far reaching year-long project will kick off an ongoing educational program designed to train returning U.S. service men and women to become professional 4K ultra high definition and 3D high-definition videographers. The 59 Veterans Project is just the tip of the iceberg and is a jump starter project that will aid in our larger mission of creating a U.S. National Park Video enterprise that will educate and employ U.S. Veterans for years to come.

We are currently looking to fill positions on our team, both for core team members and veteran participants. If you are interested in applying for a core team position as a chef, assistant chef, driver, or associate producer, please click on their links and fill out our form. We are also looking for veterans, plus a teammate of their choice, as well as bloggers to help tell their story. Preference will given to veterans with the skill to write the stories; it is their unique viewpoint that will add another dimension to the project.

The 59 Veterans Project is a unique and potentially life changing project for all that are involved. We are excited to give back to the veteran community, not only by providing an incredible experience in one of the 59 National Parks, but also educating them in the field of videography by way of a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

personalize linkedin profile

A few days ago I received this form-letter LinkedIn invite (see picture below).

I'm sure you get these...while sometimes fun to read, they have a variety of "bad" characteristics, some more than others. And to me, they really hurt your credibility. And always end up being deleted.

At The Chief Storyteller®, we often find if there is one error, there are at least three more errors.

The "Hi Ellen" greeting is what first caught my attention. Second, where was the personalization and more specifically, the relevance to me? What does "mutually benefit from connecting" mean?

Here is a list of the most common "bad" characteristics we see.

- Lacks personalization - overall, obviously a form-letter
- Lacks personalization - greeting - absence of a name (e.g., "Hello,")
- Generic subject line / irrelevant subject line
- Typos - misspelling, poor punctuation, poor grammar, bad word choice
- Lengthy - sentences and/or letter
- Poor organization of points and supporting points
- Lacks a strong and relevant call-to-action
- Inappropriate greeting and closings
- Far-fetched claims / chest-thumping
- Wrong names used (like this example) / misspelled names

For this invitation-to-connect form letter there are 5 bad characteristics:
- Lacks personalization - overall, obviously a form-letter
- Generic subject line / irrelevant subject line
- Unspecific body copy / irrelevant body copy
- Lacks a strong and relevant call-to-action
- Wrong names used

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Body Language Non Verbal Communications

We laugh, we wince, and we empathize…sometimes.

We all receive the emails and telephone calls from non-native English speakers. It’s easy to tell the legitimate from the fake.

I received the email pictured below a few days ago from Flora Lawrence, her self-titled "non de plume." Flora is from India and the way the email is written gives me considerable pause.

As such, this is more of an extreme example of what not to do. This tip of the week is for the legitimate professionals and organizations doing business in countries with different languages.

Since Flora’s first email subject line was “Premium website design,” I deleted it while on my personal computer. Her second email, “Re: Premium website design,” I read because I was on my mobile phone and pressed the arrow for next email.

What caught my eye was the first line, “Have you got a chance to overlook my earlier email…” Ignoring the “got” error, “overlook” made me wince and laugh—I absolutely overlooked your first email.

It doesn’t matter what the language is, you have to translate and localize your materials.

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Speaking of localize, here is an example. As I was getting my haircut yesterday, I noticed the bottle in front of me. I read “light styling gel” and then saw the two smaller text lines in French and Spanish. Since I’m a decent conversationalist in Spanish, I gravitated to the message line, “gel un terminado suave.” To me, terminado means end or completed. In context, I knew I had to be wrong here as mine was a literal translation.

I then asked two women at the salon whom I knew were native Spanish speakers. For about three minutes they quickly discussed the word choice. Both agreed “un gel estilo suave” is a better choice. For the curious, in Google Translate “gel un terminado suave” means “over a soft gel” and “un gel estilo suave” means “style soft gel.” Now to me, the crux of this messaging conundrum is whether soft in Spanish is the same as light in English?

By the way, “Xie Xie” is Chinese for thank you.

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