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About Me

About Me

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Hi, I’m Elaina and I want to help you live life on your terms, find a career you love, and travel as often as you want. 

 

I’ve lived, worked, and traveled to more than 60 countries, including some pretty off-the-beaten path destinations like Mongolia, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Paraguay. I’ve also lived out of a suitcase as a full-time nomad for the past 4.5 years, ever since leaving my management consulting gig in New York back in 2013 when I landed an international role at a media company that sent me all over the world to work. You can read my full story here

 

What makes my story unique is that I’ve traveled AND built a professional career, working for companies like IBM and Uber over the years. I’ve also spent long stretches of time freelancing and traveling adventurously through South America, Asia, and Africa. I’m currently freelance writing, coaching professionals through career transitions, and working on a few small business ideas while splitting my time between Berlin, the US, and India. 

 

I write about self-development, digital nomadism, charting unconventional life paths, finding REAL jobs overseas, pursuing long-term travel, and living more purposefully in a fast-paced, confusing world. There’s simply no one-size-fits-all model for creating a life you love. I’m not a full-time digital nomad and I’m not a full-time corporate professional: I’ve done things a bit differently and I think it’s feasible for more people to live “off the beaten path” this way. I hope my blog lets you see that it’s both possible and practical.  

 

I started this blog because I want to help you find an exciting career, travel the world, break the norms, and develop yourself both personally and professionally. Read on or get in touch to set up a 1:1 session with me: elaina@lifebefore30.com.

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10 Useful Tips for LinkedIn I Bet You Aren’t Using

Posted on June 2nd, 2015

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Back in 2012, I received an email from LinkedIn congratulating me on being among the “Top 5% Most Viewed Profiles on LinkedIn.” Three years later, I’m still getting about 200 hits a week on my profile. Naturally, I’m a bit of a junkie, but it’s because I believe that proper use of this tool can make or break your next career move.

 

I often get questions from people about my LinkedIn strategies – some 10+ years into their career – who admit they aren’t making the most of the site’s capabilities. Since even seasoned professionals struggle with how to present themselves on arguably the world’s greatest digital networking website, I figured I’d take some time to break down my favorite ways of using the site, along with specific tips for driving traffic to your page.

 

1. Actually fill in your profile. This does not mean throwing up a one-liner about your current job along with titles and dates from previous positions on there. Instead, transpose your resume onto LinkedIn and then add in even more detail. Because resumes should be limited to a single page, LinkedIn provides an avenue to expand upon what’s now probably crammed into .5 margins and size 8 font. Put those margins back to regulation standard, increase your font to a reasonable size, and add the extra stuff on LinkedIn instead. Then, when you send in a cover letter, include your CV and a link to your LinkedIn profile. This allows HR to see endorsements, additional details not included on your CV, and your professional headshot — if they’re curious.

 

Other ideas: List language skills and proficiency (don’t exaggerate — you’d rather pleasantly surprise someone than get fired because you can’t actually work in Japanese), provide a link to your professional website or blog if you have one, include universities you attended as part of a study abroad (it’s interesting), and make sure to include awards, scholarships, and research experience from college/grad school if you’ve graduated in the past 10 years.

 

2. Include a professional headshot. Unfortunately, cropping your best friend’s whiskey-slinging right hand out of a picture from Facebook (where you’re sporting a t-shirt or a low-cut, Saturday-night top) is not considered a professional headshot. Make your way to a photography studio in work attire, get a portrait taken, and go home and actually upload it. This costs maybe $50, or you can throw on a suit and have a friend with a DSLR camera do it for the promise of free lunch. Either way, an impressive headshot is your digital first impression and it’s worth its weight in gold.

 

3. Create a comprehensive summary. The summary section should be at least two paragraphs. The first paragraph should sum up your skills and experience, and the second should address your goals and where you hope to go given your aforementioned expertise. A final line, separated from the first two paragraphs should indicate if you’d like to be contacted, for what specific opportunities, and how (ie. an external email address). 

 

4. Use key words. If you want be found by hiring managers and recruiters, you’ll need to cater your profile to terms they will probably be searching for. For example, if you are a management consultant at a global health care company, your search words could be: business strategy, corporate development, health care, project management, communications, business development, international expansion, analytics, teamwork, and research. See how that makes you more searchable? Also, because those are transferable skills, it increases the likelihood of being found by a recruiter outside of your industry, which then extends your marketability.

 

5. Keep your profile updated. I recommend updating your profile every 2 months with a new skill you learned and a refreshed summary. Every time you update your profile, these changes are displayed on the LinkedIn homepage for all your connections to see, which can be especially helpful if you are job-hunting (recruiters notice who is updating their profile and are more likely to reach out to them). People also use LinkedIn to “look you up,” so even if you aren’t job-hunting, a neglected profile doesn’t reflect well on you and could even result in missed opportunities. 

 

6. Seek out endorsements and recommendations. Message 5 contacts who you’ve worked with in the past (or who otherwise know you well) and ask if they’d be willing to write a short recommendation for you. Explain that you are trying to fill out your profile and that you’d be willing to write them one in return. This approach should have a 80-100% success rate in landing you 5 solid, public recommendations. As far as “endorsements” go, usually just endorsing people you know will prompt them to reciprocate. It’s as simple as clicking a single button, but they may not think to endorse you until you take action first.

 

7. Follow companies you like. This feature allows you to stay on top of the company’s news, see job openings, and find out else who works there. I often find hiring managers and people with the position I’m interested in this way and then reach out to them directly. It’s much easier than having to navigate an company’s internal job board and lets you create a go-to list of companies that match your career interests.

 

8. See who’s checking you out. Look on the right-hand side of the homepage. You should see a box that says something like “14 people have viewed your profile in the past 5 days.” Clicking on that link will allow you to see a snapshot of who has visited your profile recently. (Note: Only LinkedIn Premium members can see 100% of their visitors.)

 

Remember, this feature also means that when you click on someone else’s profile, they will be able to see that you visited them, too. You can change your privacy settings if you prefer to browse anonymously, but changing this setting will mean you can’t see who’s viewed your profile anymore either.

 

9. Be active in groups. LinkedIn groups exist for practically every industry and professional interest. Posting in a group makes you visible to other people with your interests, and more people will be likely to view your profile and reach out to you as a result of your activity in group postings. Since many organizations post job openings in industry-related groups, it’s also a great way to find out about new jobs and discover new companies in your field.

 

10. Reach out to people. Once you have an updated profile, add all of your friends, coworkers, classmates, professors, bosses, neighbors, and whoever else you know on LinkedIn. You never know who could be the person to connect you to your next position. Because the site acts as a digital contact book, you never have to worry about losing track of someone in your network — just send them a message and you’ll always be in touch. You can use LinkedIn to proactively find recruiters. Their job is to find other people jobs, so you might as well make it easier on them and introduce yourself. And it may surprise you just how hard they will try to get you hired.

 

Bonus tip: Put some personality into it. Someone browsing your profile might feel more comfortable reaching out to you or answering your private message if they see you have a common personal interest in addition to a professional connection of some kind. Under “Additional Information” at the bottom of the “Edit Profile” section, there’s a section for “Interests.” Obviously don’t mention your love of tequila shots or intense political leanings, but sports and hobbies, favorite books, and places you’ve traveled are all fine things to share.

 

Using the strategy outlined above, you should notice a huge increase in the traffic to your profile, as well as a renewed appreciation for the capabilities of this website. Whether you are an experienced professional, an entrepreneur, or someone looking for their first job, LinkedIn is an incredibly useful networking tool that can open a lot of doors.

 

 

How do you use LinkedIn? What recommendations would you add to this list? Share in the comments section below!

 

Did you find this article helpful? Please share with your friends and family on Facebook and Twitter.

 

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About Me

About Me

IMG_5937

Hi, I’m Elaina and I want to help you live life on your terms, find a career you love, and travel as often as you want. 

 

I’ve lived, worked, and traveled to more than 60 countries, including some pretty off-the-beaten path destinations like Mongolia, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Paraguay. I’ve also lived out of a suitcase as a full-time nomad for the past 4.5 years, ever since leaving my management consulting gig in New York back in 2013 when I landed an international role at a media company that sent me all over the world to work. You can read my full story here

 

What makes my story unique is that I’ve traveled AND built a professional career, working for companies like IBM and Uber over the years. I’ve also spent long stretches of time freelancing and traveling adventurously through South America, Asia, and Africa. I’m currently freelance writing, coaching professionals through career transitions, and working on a few small business ideas while splitting my time between Berlin, the US, and India. 

 

I write about self-development, digital nomadism, charting unconventional life paths, finding REAL jobs overseas, pursuing long-term travel, and living more purposefully in a fast-paced, confusing world. There’s simply no one-size-fits-all model for creating a life you love. I’m not a full-time digital nomad and I’m not a full-time corporate professional: I’ve done things a bit differently and I think it’s feasible for more people to live “off the beaten path” this way. I hope my blog lets you see that it’s both possible and practical.  

 

I started this blog because I want to help you find an exciting career, travel the world, break the norms, and develop yourself both personally and professionally. Read on or get in touch to set up a 1:1 session with me: elaina@lifebefore30.com.

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Currently in: Malawi

 

 

Previously in: Berlin

 

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What’s Hot

Recent Posts

Coaching

Coaching

Step into my office!

 

Five years ago, I changed my whole life in 30 days. I scored the job of my dreams, quit my job in New York, sold everything I owned, moved to West Africa, and never looked back. Read about it here.

 

Now I use Office Hours to help my clients do the same.

 

Do you want to travel but are scared to quit your job?

Do you want to find a job overseas but don’t know where to start?

Do you wake up in the morning dreading what’s ahead?

Read more

Like Me on Facebook

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Follow me on twitter

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