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Clean up your LinkedIn profile and stop getting passed over for jobs

LinkedIn’s primary functionality makes it entirely different than your personal Facebook, Instagram or Twitter account, and obviously, there are some fundamental things you must know in order to put your best face forward.



LinkedIn logo

Get your professional presence on fleek

LinkedIn is unlike all the dozens of social media sites out there. Even though you can post interesting articles and add pictures, this platform is a professional based resource that is utilized by any person who does recruiting for a company or business. LinkedIn’s primary functionality makes it entirely different than your personal Facebook, Instagram or Twitter account, and obviously, there are some fundamental things you must know in order to put your best face forward.


49 percent of users don’t know how the hell to use it

Bottom-line according to, 49 percent of people aren’t using this resource to its full capacity. Even more importantly, the number one way that the LinkedIn search algorithm displays results is by profile completeness. You could be one of the first people viewed if you JUST finish filling out your profile.

It’s that easy.

I’m going to briefly describe what the ideal LinkedIn profile looks like, and well, then you’re going to want to make some changes.

Let’s start from the bottom and work our way down.

Let’s get scrubbin’

Name: This should be both your first and last name (and your middle if it is applicable). Simple and basic. This is how people expect to find you.

Profile Picture: Best advice you’ll get all day (and it’s totally free) – spend that little bit extra and get a professional headshot; you can use it on any platform, and it pays to look qualified. A photography pro will know all the dos and don’ts of the best headshots, but think of this picture as your opportunity at a first impression.

Make sure your background is clean, your attire is suitable for business and your expression and body language appears personable. Additionally, the ideal size for a profile pic is 400×400.

Headline: This is the area where you can afford to be a bit more creative. However, make sure that it isn’t too longwinded either. Have fun with this bit of text, but be certain to make your content clear.

Background: Include your current position as well as long-term goals or ambitions, but keep it under 2000 characters. Future employers don’t want to read a book. If you have slides, blogs, podcasts, videos or any other media source, include those here. It will only ample up the credibility of your page. Also, be certain to include all of your contact information (phone number, email, Twitter, Facebook etc.).

Experience: This will read like a resume. Don’t be afraid to be detailed about your responsibilities, but make sure not to get too carried away.

Projects: If you have articles, blogs, presentations, etc. available online, link them all here! This will help cushion any of the responsibilities you defined above.

Skills: Skills are great because your contacts can verify your areas of expertise. These skills should be ones that describe your professional role.


  1. You worked hard for your degrees – show those babies off!
  2. Connect with alumni!
  3. You never know who might love your alma mater.

Connections: I know it sounds silly to have a goal to aspire to for connections, but 300 seems to be that lucky number. Keep it reasonable and only link with professionals you admire, coworkers and other like-minded professionals.

Groups: Adding and showing interest in groups is an excellent way to network digitally. This may be at the bottom of your profile, but it’s just as important as a lot of the information that’s higher up on your page.

The facts

Let’s face it, a LinkedIn profile if completed incorrectly, could be the catalyst for not getting that awesome job you were hoping to score. Kick off the New Year by scheduling some time to freshen up your account. I urge you to utilize this platform. Not only is it easy to use, but it also allows you to market your best self for free. Cleaning it up could be the best professional decision you’ve ever made. You never know who’s watching!


Staff writer, Ashley Lombardo, earned her B.S. in journalism from The University of Florida and has used her skills to report on everything from the economy to productivity. She is well-known for her tremendously positive presence, and when she's not trying to save the world she indulges in red wine, friends, fitness, books, bubble baths, shoes, family and love.

Social Media

How to quickly make your LinkedIn profile stand out from the masses

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Most of us have a love/hate relationship with LinkedIn, but no matter your feelings, you should be the one who stands out in a crowd – here’s how.




Your LinkedIn is your brand. That’s it. Whether you are job hunting (or people are hunting you), or are showing off your business, insight, acumen, or simply networking; your profile on LinkedIn needs to stay appealing and not drive potential headhunters, bosses, clients, or networking groups bananas.

Let’s start with a three part list of what you MUST do, what you SHOULD do, and what you COULD do.

Here’s what you MUST DO (as in, do it now).

  1. Get a #GREAT LinkedIn photo. Nothing sells you like the right profile picture. No selfies. No mountain biking. Get a professional headshot. Don’t lie about your age. Wear what you wear when you’re on the job. Smile. People are visual.
  2. Simplify your profile. Cut the buzzwords. Cut out excess skills that don’t add to your vision or that don’t represent the kind of job you want. (i.e. most of us can use Outlook but few of us need to mention that skill because we don’t support Outlook). Focus on the skills that are important.
  3. Keep it current. Your LinkedIn should reflect your career and current responsibilities. Update the description. Add new projects. Change your groups as you change in your career and move towards new levels. Indicate when you receive a promotion.
  4. Extra, Extra! Headlines. Don’t use something lame for your headline. How would you want to catch a headhunter to look at you if you could only say 10 words? Make it standout. There are thousands of managers – but only one you.
  5. Custom URL. Just do it. Pick your own URL. It’s FREEEEEEE.
  6. Get the app. Make LinkedIn a part of your mobile life and check it more often than you do Snapchat.

Here’s what you SHOULD DO (Set aside some time at Starbucks and go do this in the next month).

  1. Tell your story. Your summary should bring to live the content of your career. Don’t leave that section blank. Spend some time crafting a cool story. Run it by your professional mentor. Send it to your English major friends.
  2. Connect. Add colleagues. Add partners from other organizations. Use connections to broaden your network. Synch your profile with your address book. Add people after a conference.
  3. Endorse your connections. Identify people you’ve worked with and give them the endorsements – which can get them to come endorse you!
  4. Ask for recommendations. Ask a colleague, partner, or manager to write you a recommendation to help advertise your skills.
  5. Add a nice cover photo. Again, visual people. Some more on that here.

Here’s what you COULD DO (If you’re feeling dedicated, what you can do to give yourself an extra edge.)

  1. Share your media. Upload presentations, videos, speeches, or projects that you can share. (Don’t violate company policy though!).
  2. Publish original content. LinkedIn has a vibrant publishing feature and sharing your original work (or content you’ve published elsewhere) is a great way to share your voice.
  3. Post status updates. Share your reactions. Share articles. Repost from influencers. Be active and keep your feed vibrant.

That’s a quick list to get started. So go start your LinkedIn makeover (and I’ll go do the same). Let’s get connected!

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Social Media

Innovative widget places Instagram Stories right on your website

(SOCIAL MEDIA NEWS) Increase your social media reach with this neat new free to use Instagram Stories widget for your company website or personal portfolio site.



instagram stories widget

Instagram Stories are a great way to integrate video into your marketing strategy. If you’re already investing time and money in this successful strategy, might as well feature Stories on your website too, right?

Well lucky you, Fastory recently released a free widget to add Instagram Stories directly to your site to feature your nifty marketing efforts on desktop. Even though mobile is still dominant with younger generations, desktop users need some love and access to Stories, too.

Fastory CEO Sylvain Weber noted the “widget is the only one fully based on the brand new Instagram Graph API (no private API, validated by Facebook himself).” This pretty much means Fastory is ahead of the game with the newly opened up API, and are basically development pioneers.

Drive awareness and build loyalty by spreading the wonder of your Instagram Stories far and wide with the Stories Widget. Simply log in to Facebook to get the widget, then sync your Instagram Stories stream.

Next, all you have to do is copy the provided HTML code and paste it on your website. Hooray, now you have a widget that automatically updates your website with your latest Stories.

Keep in mind you’ll need an Instagram Business Account for this to work.

If you have more than one business Instagram linked to Facebook Pages, just select the one you want to use from the drop-down menu when getting the widget code.

You can continue that process to select multiple Instagram accounts and generate widget codes for each of them.

Free for a limited time, you can also utilize the Memories feature, keeping a collection of your Instagram Stories on your site instead of having them disappear after twenty-four hours like usual.

All the Stories featured on your site also include a “follow us” button to encourage user engagement and gain you more followers.

Looking for help jazzing up your Instagram Stories? Fastory was originally created as an easy to use design platform to create and customize Stories.

Their mobile-first marketing suite offers drag & drop design featuring animated headlines crafted in Adobe After Effects, fonts from Google Web Fonts, and motion design.

Story creation and editing is collaborative with varying roles and levels of privileges. Plus, you can track visitors in real time to identify drop off points and areas for improvement. Contact Fastory for Story creation pricing information.

And on the free end of things, check out the Instagram Story Widget.

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Social Media

Turns out the secret to brand success on Instagram is Stories

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Instagram is a marketing heaven, and Stories appear to be they key to success (even if they disappear in 24 hours). Let’s discuss.




It’s been over a year since Instagram (or “Insta” as the cool kids call it) launched their Stories feature. And while Instagram Stories may not seem like most obvious place for advertising your business, social media experts say that it has untapped potential as a marketing tool.

The seemingly biggest drawback of using Stories for marketing is that, taking a cue from Snapchat, Instagram Stories are only online for 24 hours, then they disappear forever.

Nonetheless, the analysts at Socialbakers say that businesses should seriously consider marketing via Stories. These experts looked at over 1,000 Instagram accounts from businesses and found that they are being underutilized as a marketing tool.

Stories are extremely popular amongst viewers. There are 300 million active users looking at Stories every day, and that number hasn’t stopped growing since Instagram launched the feature.

Stories also appear at the very top of a user’s feed – although we’re still not exactly sure how Instagram’s algorithms sort these posts.

It’s also important to note that users can’t “like” or leave comments on Stories, so you won’t be able to use these metrics to gauge the success of your Stories marketing. Instead, you’ll have to look at Total Impressions, which tells you how many people have seen your story, or Reach, which tells you how many brand new potential customers saw your story.

With social media platforms always changing their rules and algorithms, it’s getting harder and harder to reach new potential customers, especially without dishing out cash for paid or boosted ads. Stories is a great loophole that allows you to connect with your audience without paying for it.

Don’t get caught up thinking you have to make a high-production video. Short, rough-cut, unpolished videos work great for Stories and give your audience a behind-the-scenes view of your business. Stories can be utilized to tell the story of your brand. And you can even add a poll to your story to increase engagement. For example, Red Bull asks viewers which picture they should post next, keeping the user engaged and clicking.

Social media platforms are always changing, but your business can get an edge over your competitors by staying up-to-date with new formats and features.

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