8 #Things Highly #Successful #LinkedIn Users Do Right Everyday

There are unwritten rules of engagement on LinkedIn. Do you know what they are?

LinkedIn is currently the number one professional networking platform. With over 500 million profiles, it’s also where hiring managers and recruiters go to find their next rockstar employee, freelancer, vendor, etc. The challenge is standing out (for all the right reasons) among the sea of professionals with the same skill sets as you. Why do some people get tons of profile views, invitations to connect, and personal notes from employers and customers interested in hiring them? They’ve invested time and energy into doing all the right things on LinkedIn.

Every social media platform has some unwritten do’s and don’ts.

LinkedIn is no exception. Failing to adhere to these rules can hurt your credibility on the platform. Here are eight things you should (or, shouldn’t) be doing on LinkedIn:

1. Don’t put “actively seeking opportunities” on your profile. Besides conveying desperation, studies show recruiters are bias against the unemployed. Which is the message you’re sending when you post that publicly.

2. Don’t write your profile like a narcissist. Writing your profile in the third person is the fastest way to come across as out-of-touch and full of yourself.

3. Use the right terminology. LinkedIn’s search algorithm is keyword-driven. Knowing what skill sets to put on your profile and where will increase the number of times you show up in search results.

 4. Turn on the secret switch. There’s a privacy setting now available on LinkedIn that lets you secretly let companies know you’re open to new job opportunities. Ever wonder how some people get called out of the blue for interviews? Now you know.

5. Don’t feature the wrong profile pic. They say, “a picture is worth a 1000 words,” and on LinkedIn, that’s especially true. Too many people are taking the wrong approach to their profile photo and it’s costing them opportunities.

6. Don’t send horrible connection requests. If you’ve ever been “ghosted” on LinkedIn, then you likely broke the rules of engagement with strangers on LinkedIn.

7. Make sure your work history syncs up. According to hiring managers, the one place where your resume and LinkedIn profile should be identical is the work history section. Otherwise, they’ll assume you’re pulling a bait-and-switch.

8. Don’t use it to reach out on Mondays. Studies show it’s the worst day of the week to connect with people. Wait until Fridays when people are most likely to respond positively.

P.S. Treat LinkedIn like it’s the website for your business-of-one.

Today, every job is temporary and we are all just businesses-of-one who have to be strategic in our career planning. If you want the best job opportunities and to stay employed, you need to market yourself consistently. LinkedIn is the ideal place to do this. But, failing to use it correctly can cost you. As we say at Work It Daily, “Brand or BE branded.” Not taking control of the message you’re sending on LinkedIn isn’t smart. It can make you look like A) you’re not tech-savvy, B) don’t have any accomplishments, or C) you have something to hide. Like it or not, LinkedIn is now a required part of proper career management.


6 Ways You Can #Command A #Room Without Saying A #Word

When you have the floor to speak, you have the opportunity to command the room. You can command the room and lead even when you are not speaking. Follow these six nonverbal acts to establish your executive presence:

1. Acknowledge people when you enter and exit the room.

Don’t go directly to a chair and sit down. Recognize people at the beginning and end of a meeting. Nod your head. Raise your hand in the person’s direction. Smile.

When people feel recognized, they feel important. It is a simple and impressionable act that will earn you respect. Also, by acknowledging others, it is an opportunity for them to acknowledge your presence.

2. Pay attention to where you sit.

If the meeting is around a table, sit at the table and not on the side. Get in the game. Don’t sit on the sidelines. If you think you have less value to offer than others present at the meeting, people will think you are unimportant. Believe you are important, and others will, too.

If chairs are set in rows, sit towards the front but not in the front row. If you sit in the front, everyone can see you. But just being seen is not what will help you command a room. You also have to be able to see others. If you are far away from people, it is difficult for them to connect with what you have to say. To connect with people, leaders know they must strike a balance between being seen and being able to see others.

3. Lock eyes with the speaker.

During the meeting, avoid looking around the room. Don’t look at your phone, and don’t take too many notes. Lift your head up. Look at the speaker, in a relaxed manner. Don’t stare the person down. Let the speaker know you are listening and interested in what they have to say.

The more people feel heard, the more they will engage you and listen to you when you speak. Plus, by focusing on the speaker, you will have a better command of the material and be better positioned to ask insightful, smart questions that people will remember.

4. Don’t fidget.

Nervous movements like shaking your foot or twirling your pen are distracting. Don’t run the risk of people remembering you for your fidgeting and not your executive presence.

5. Expand your posture.

Don’t be afraid to take up some space. Keep your arms open and unlocked. Rest your arms shoulder-length apart on the table. Don’t twist your legs into a braid. Don’t try to make yourself smaller. Allow yourself to be seen. Take up the space that your frame allows. Use your body language to communicate your confidence.

6. Lean in.

Slightly lean into the speaker. This is another nonverbal cue letting the other person know that you are listening and interested in what they have to say. When you lean in to listen to others, others will lean in to hear you.

Commanding a room is not about exerting power. Leaders behave in a way that is other-oriented and focus on developing reciprocal relationships with others. When you respect and acknowledge others, they will return the favor. Treat others how you want to be treated, and you will be treated as the leader you want to be.

5 #ways to #bounce #back from #criticism at #work

A highly critical manager isn’t an easy prospect to handle on a daily basis. But criticism can often help you improve as it allows you to see things from another person’s perspective. ET finds out five ways to deal with constant criticism at workplace.

Take It As A Learning Experience
When somebody criticises you, it is advisable to listen to the person and try to take it in good spirit. If you receive criticism with a positive attitude, you can use it to work on your weaker areas and improve yourself. Consider criticism as a learning experience, said WittyFeed CEO Vinay Singhal, instead of jumping to any negative conclusion.

Try Not To Take It Personally
Criticism often hurts, but taking it personally can be very harmful indeed. It is important to understand that constructive criticism is part and parcel of work, said Singhal.

Don’t React in Haste, Be Objective
Criticism may be painful, but it does carry a valid opinion about you. The trick to make criticism work in your favour is to keep your impulse to react in haste in check. Try to identify whether the criticism was really intended to be insulting or it was meant to correct your fault, said Sarbendra Sarkar, managing director, Cygnett Hotels & Resorts.

Look For Positives

See if there is something positive that you can take away from criticism, and once you get past the hurt, you will see that most of the time you can use it in a constructive manner to build a better you. “Treat it as feedback. And feedback is always helpful, whatever the source may be. If you take it in the right spirit you can only grow,” said Arpita Kuila, head of human resources at NEC Technology India.

Empower Your Professional Relationships
“We recommend you take the good point out of every criticism, which might lead to a great lesson in your professional life. You will be able to use hardship as a platform to build – not burn – bridges towards a successful career, said Sarkar.

Why prepaying a home loan may be the best investment option in current yields scenario

Major banks and housing finance companies have raised their lending rates. Whenever home loan rates are hiked, borrowers want to know whether they should prepay their loans to save on interest. In the past, there was no clear answer because there were several investment opportunities that could yield better returns than the interest paid on the home loan.

Not any longer. Stock markets are looking jittery, fixed deposits are tax-inefficient and debt funds are giving poor returns.If a penny saved is a penny earned, prepaying a home loan may be the best investment option available. Where else can you get 8.5% assured ‘returns’ on the surplus cash? Another compelling reason to rework the math and at least partially repay your home loan is the new tax rule that caps the deduction on home loans at Rs 2 lakh a year. If you have a large home loan running, you would do well to make partial prepayments as soon as you can.

There are some obvious benefits of foreclosing a long-term loan. The longer the tenure, the higher is the interest outgo. Just like long-term investments build wealth for you, longterm debt burdens you with high interest. Yet, a long-term loan may be unavoidable in some circumstances. A young person who has just started working may not be able to afford a large EMI. The loan tenure would have to be increased so that the EMI fits his pocket.

In such situations, borrowers are advised to go for a ballooning repayment, where the EMI increases every year in line with an increase in the income. This can have a dramatic impact on the loan tenure. If you take a home loan of Rs 50 lakh at 8.5% for 20 years, the EMI will be Rs 43,391. But a 5% increase in the EMI every year will end the loan in 12 years and two months. If you tighten your belt a bit and increase the EMI by 10% every year, you can become debt-free in less than 10 years (see graphic)

Pay off a 20-year loan in less than 10 years
Hiking the EMI every year reduces the tenure drastically.

Contrary to what T.S. Eliot said, April is not the cruellest month. Any salaried individual will vouch for this. While annual increments are something to celebrate, people with large outstanding debts should also try and increase their EMIs in line with the increase in income. In a few weeks, they will also get their annual bonuses. At least some of that should be used to prepay the home loan.

Reducing your outstanding debt or closing the loan is naturally a psychological boost. It gives the individual a sense of financial freedom.

Some people argue that prepaying the home loan robs the individual of liquidity. That’s not correct. Several banks offer home loans with an overdraft facility that allows the borrower to withdraw money as and when he needs it. Though overdraft facilities normally entail annual maintenance charges, home loan overdraft facilities are exempt from this charge. It’s also a good idea to use a loan against property to repay other costlier loans. For instance, an unsecured personal loan that charges 18-20% can be replaced with a loan against property that costs 8.5%.

(Author is founder and managing director, Mymoneymantra.com)
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this column are that of the writer. The facts and opinions expressed here do not reflect the views of http://www.economictimes.com.