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Although there are those who say that Twitter is a good tool for job hunting, the majority of people, including myself, would argue that hands down, the most efficient and effective social media tool for job hunting is LinkedIn.

This tool is not only a fantastic professional networking platform, but also it has a great jobs listing area. So if you have found yourself recently unemployed, fear that you may be soon, or are considering leaving your current job on your fruition, you should have a LinkedIn profile.

Key things to do:

1. Complete your profile. Fill out as much as you possibly can.  Stuck on what to say or how to say it? Use the LinkedIn search tool to find other people with similar background and see how they did theirs! Make sure you create a user-friendly public profile url that you can add to your resume and cover letter.

2. Add connections.  Go through your professional and personal email lists and invite as many people as makes sense to invite. You can save your email contacts into a .csv file (most email programs will do that) and import it into LinkedIn. Or you can enter them manually.  Think of a message that you want to include with the invite. LinkedIn provides a standard invite, but make it more personal by adding more information.

3. Get recommendations. Once you starting getting connections, take a look and see who may be a good candidate for getting a recommendation.  It can be a former boss, colleague, employee, vendor, you name it.  Written recommendations are a thing of the past, LinkedIn profiles are much more effective.  Word of caution, don't send out a whole bunch of requests at once.  Spread them out by requesting a couple a day otherwise LinkedIn will think you are spamming.

4. Join Groups.  Search the groups area for groups in your area of expertise/job experience/interest. You can do a key word search and get a list of groups. Take a look and join ones that you think will be beneficial to you. You will be then be in contact with people within your industry who are sharing resources and discussion topics.  You may find a job connection there. 

5. Answer questions. There are a lot of people within the LinkedIn network who are looking for answers to questions or who are seeking resource information.  Do a search on your area of expertise/job experience/interest and see what types of questions people are asking.  Can you answer any of them? If you can, this is a great way to gain exposure and raise your credibility within your field.  You might also just find someone who may hire you for that expertise.

6. Search Jobs. Finally, LinkedIn has a great jobs search area.  Last year when I was looking for a new full time job, I used a paid service that was supposed to be exclusive.  However 2 of the 3 jobs that I eventually interviewed for I found on LinkedIn (even though they did show up the paid service too). The jobs are good qualified jobs by companies who believe is a good place to find good people.  In addition to the jobs within the LinkedIn network, there is also a consolidation of jobs from engines. Simply click on the tab labeled "The Web" after you search on job titles and you will also see additional jobs from these engines.

By following these steps you will be armed and ready to go!


 
 
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On the evening of June 12th there was a mad dash to Facebook. The reason? Vanity urls.  Facebook decided to allow users to personalize their Facebook URL (web address) by selecting a unique username. It appears in the location bar of your browser after "http://www.facebook.com/" when you view your profile.  At the same time people who had Fan/Business pages with more than 1000 users could also grab vanity urls for those pages as well.

Those with less than 1000 were out of luck, that is until last night (6/28/09) when Facebook opened up the selection process for Fan/Biz pages with less than 1000, but more than 100.  That is an achievable amount, so start planning.

Firstly, if you have a personal page and you have yet to create a vanity url, go do it!  You might wish you had done in the future. If you have a common name, you may have to play around with different variations.  Next, if you have a Fan/Biz page, you must have at least 100 users. So if you don't have a Page, get one created and get 100 fans. After that, select a unique vanity url for your business and start advertising it whereever you would normally advertise your social media "handles."

That's it, it's simple to do and makes linking to your Facebook pages a snap!

 
 
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Recently I participated in the Problogger's 31 Days to Build a Better Blog project for my personal blog. It was a very enlightening project that I highly recommend for any blog (either business or personal that is at 6 months old. It is not something that you have to complete in 31 days.  Think of it as 31 lessons to refine/enhance/improve your blog.

The cool thing is that Darren Rowse of Problogger has put together the 31 tasks into a neat notebook which also includes bonus material that is not on his website.

I plan on using this workbook as an audit for my blogs every 6 months and I think it is useful enough for you as well!

 
 
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Have a website or other online presence but have mainly offline clients? Want to train them to "move" online? Going to an event where you want to leave a physical brand impression that will get people to your website, Facebook group, blog or to follow you on Twitter? Enthusem offers a great solution for bridging your offline and online communications.

With enthusem you can create branded note cards with whatever messaging you want. Inside the card is your copy plus a pick up code to get your attachment.  The attachment can actually be a file - like if you were presenting at a conference and you wanted to offer the slides - or a specific url - you can direct people to a website, a blog, a promotion page, whatever you like.

I have had two experiences with enthusem, both interesting. The first was a card I received from Global Hugs Tour when I checked into my hotel for SOBCon at the beginning of May. It was a nice welcome card that directed me to the enthusem website where I entered a code printed into the card and was directed to a web page that gave highlighted the Global Hugs Tour project.

My second experience was when I received a card from the founder, Steve, after I followed him on Twitter (@enthusem). Instead of a generic DM, I got this card in the mail, which was much more personal and had more impact. It is more personal than a cookie cutter email and it provides a extra brand impression.

It costs $60 to send out 25 cards and $210 to send out 100. There are other amounts to which you can see on their site.

I highly recommend using enthusem as part of your offline and online communication strategy.

 
 
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I am pleased to announce that Your Online Go To Gal is now EBO Certified.

What is an EBO (Ethical Business Owner) certification? It is the new symbol of ethics and etiquette for entrepreneurs.

If you happen to work in a company that is publically traded on the stock exchange you may have already had Ethics training. It is a requirement for companies that are public.  All employees must complete the training and pass a certification.  In my corporate life, I have taken (and passed) this certification several times. But what about small businesses and private companies who do not have this requirement placed on them? Don't you as a customer want to feel secure that the people that you engage with are practicing ethical business practices? Well now you can with EBO certification.

I have taken and passed the examination and can now proudly display the badge which will let you, my clients (and potential clients), know that I am a conscientious business owner who has taken extra steps to show their commitment to providing the highest standards of interaction with you, the community and the planet.