How to Tell Companies You’re Open to Taking a New Job on LinkedIn

Capture Date: 16.09.2018 23:08:34

There are plenty of resources, both online and offline, designed to show you how to write neatly. Below, you’ll find a list of only the best of the best.

The handwriting exercises you’ll learn from these resources, and penmanship practice you’ll gain will straighten out those illegible scribbles of yours in no time at all.

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Handwriting Exercises: A Few Common Themes

To save you a little time and to give some extra direction, it’s worth pointing out a few common exercises that are repeatedly mentioned in the courses, lessons, apps, and books that follow.

You should always keep these in mind, no matter which of these resources you try out.

  1. Start with basic movement exercises to loosen up.
  2. Practice your handwriting exercises every day.
  3. Slow your writing down.
  4. Learn from writing that you like.

The Basics: Cursive Writing for Adults

This basic 29-part YouTube course on How To Write In Cursive (the first video is above) is a thorough place to start. You might feel like you’re back in school, but you’ll be surprised at how many of the fundamentals have slipped your mind.

Each lesson is extremely short and comes with a free worksheet (which you can find in each video description) to print out to help you practice.

Intermediate Handwriting Exercises

Once you’ve nailed the basics of cursive (again), you’ll likely want to make some improvements to your style to add some more personality or professionalism to your handwriting.

This 14-minute video by professional sign-writer John Neal looks specifically at how to improve handwriting for adults. The valuable content really starts at 2:30, where you’ll be shown how to pay special attention to the rhythm, speed, and direction of your writing.

Penmanship Practice: Become a Pro

Next, work your way through this short, 8-part YouTube course taught by a handwriting specialist. Much of the information does overlap with the previous video, but hearing two different descriptions of similar handwriting techniques will only help.

Be sure to regularly practice the handwriting exercises you’re taught in these videos to help you create the muscle memory that’s needed to really make your new skill stick.

Splashing Out


If you’ve tried the above courses without seeing much improvement, it might be time to spend a little cash on something more comprehensive.

Udemy has a highly rated 4-hour course titled Improve your Handwriting – Improve your Life.I’ve not taken this course myself, but many past students cite “immediate improvements” after going through the handwriting classes. The course is usually priced at $75, but I’ve often seen hefty discounts of up to 85%, so it’s worth keeping your eyes peeled.

The aim of the course is to guide you through daily, 10-minute practice sessions to build your muscle memory, causing a positive effect on your handwriting. You can sign up on Udemy for a free preview of the course.

Books to Improve Your Handwriting

Books to improve your handwriting

If you’re looking at using a textbook to help improve your handwriting, there are two books I would recommend.

The first is Rosemary Sassoon’s Improve Your Handwriting. The structure of this book encourages adult readers to experiment with styles to find the one that works for them, including left-handers.

Improve Your Handwriting (Teach Yourself) Improve Your Handwriting (Teach Yourself) Buy Now At Amazon $6.08

The second is Barbara Getty’s Write Now: The Complete Program For Better Handwriting. The aim of this book is to help anyone “achieve elegant, legible handwriting” by focusing on writing in a specific italic style.

Apps to Help You Write Neatly

Although handwriting is almost exclusively for pen and paper these days, you can use mobile devices (preferably tablets) to help you practice. Using these apps on your smartphone is possible, but you’d definitely benefit from a larger, flatter area on which to write.

Cursive Practice (iOS)

If you have an iPad, the Cursive Practice app is an easy way for you to practice your cursive writing on the go. The handwriting lessons take you through uppercase, lowercase, individual words, cursive practice sentences, and numbers. You can also change the width and style of your “pen”.

Download: Cursive Practice for iOS(Free)

LazyDog Calligraphy (Android)

A similar option for Android devices is LazyDog Calligraphy. With this app, you can choose from a range of different handwriting styles, and you’ll be scored for each letter, showing you how you’re progressing. You’ll also have access to printable writing worksheets, so you can practice the same style on paper, too.

Download: LazyDog Calligraphy for Android (Free)

Remember, for best results, invest in a stylus pen to use with your smartphone, rather than relying on your finger.

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Free Handwriting Worksheets

Once you’ve spent some time studying how to improve your handwriting, you’ll need to have some decent worksheets on which to practice.

Handwriting Worksheets

First off, you should check out our list of free, printable handwriting worksheets. And if they don’t deliver, search Google Images for “handwriting worksheets” (searching specifically for large images which are suitable for printing), you should be able to find all you need.

10 Printable Handwriting Worksheets to Practice Cursive 10 Printable Handwriting Worksheets to Practice Cursive The best website to download free handwriting worksheets for practicing cursive. Don’t let the art of handwriting die out! Read More

Writing Neatly: Why Should You Care?

Whether you believe it or not, knowing how to write legible, cursive handwriting is still important.

Hate Handwriting? Me Too. Here’s Why We Should Teach It Anyway. Hate Handwriting? Me Too. Here’s Why We Should Teach It Anyway. We need to give young people the chance to love handwriting as an art, instead of making them hate it as a chore. Read More

For children, good handwriting leads to improved grades. For adults, writing things out by hand can act as therapy, and it can also improve memory.

Yes, you can access some of these benefits even with bad handwriting. But if your scrawls remain illegible, then you lose out on a chunk of these benefits because you simply can’t understand what you wrote down in the first place. This means you won’t be able to revisit those thoughts again in the future.

If you’re looking for an even more pragmatic reason to improve your handwriting, remember that the handwritten note will never be fully replaced by email. When it comes to building your network or climbing the career ladder, Jessica Cleiman believes:

“In this day and age, when sadly we’re getting fewer and fewer letters in the mail, a handwritten thank you note, well-crafted on good stationery, will make a candidate [or acquaintance] stand out from others who chose not to take that extra, personal step.”

A hand-written note tends to hold more value than a quick email or message. If you are able to craft such a note in decent, if not excellent, handwriting then, you’re able to use this as a tool to create deeper relationships and to stand out from the crowd.

A Life of Beautiful Handwriting

Once you’ve spent a good deal of time practicing the lessons you learn from the handwriting resources mentioned in this article, writing beautifully will become the new norm for you. You can finally have pride in your handwriting. And you can use your new skill in handwriting to start pursuing even more creative skills.

How Handwriting Improves Your Creative Skills How Handwriting Improves Your Creative Skills In today’s increasingly technological world, handwriting is a skill that many people are losing — but why should we worry? Well, for one, because handwriting could be linked with creativity. Read More

How to Write a LinkedIn Summary That’ll Help Land You a Job

Capture Date: 19.05.2018 23:47:46

Your LinkedIn summary is one of the most important parts of your LinkedIn profile. It needs to convince a potential connection to continue onto your experience, education, and other qualifications.

And if it doesn’t catch their interest right away, they’re going to leave. So your summary needs to be really effective in selling you to potential employers of clients.

But don’t panic, as we’re here to help. What follows is some simple advice to help you write a LinkedIn summary to sell yourself to potential employers and clients.

1. Remember That It’s Not About You

It’s a bit counterintuitive, but your LinkedIn summary isn’t about you. It’s about the person reading it. Many people treat this part of their profile as a biography, but this is one of the most important tips for an effective summary: write it as a sales pitch.

What problems will you solve for a potential employer or connection? What pain points will you address? How will their life (and company) be better after hiring you?

These are the kinds of questions you’ll need to answer in your summary for it to be effective. And you’ll want to answer them quickly, because your summary will be collapsed so that only the first sentence or two is visible:

collapsed linkedin summary view

Keep this in mind while you’re writing your summary. It should be immediately clear to any reader what value you’re offering. They’re not thinking about you—they’re thinking about themselves. So keep your focus entirely on their needs.

2. Identify Your Audience

Who will be reading your LinkedIn summary? Who do you want to reach out to you? What kind of job are you searching for? And what kind of person do you want to connect with?

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Knowing the answers to these questions will help you figure out what to write. There are a lot of people on LinkedIn, and they’re all looking for different things.

A recruiter, for example, might be interested in experience that you’ve had at big-name companies. A startup founder might be more interested to know that you’re looking to help build a company from the ground up.

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The narrower your focus, the easier the process (and the more effective your summary) will be.

3. Start With a List

There are elements that you should definitely include in your summary, and collecting these things beforehand will make writing it much easier. Here are a few things that you’ll want to mention:

  • Your most significant professional accomplishments
  • What makes you stand out from others in your field
  • A quote or testimonial from a past employer
  • Something authentic about your personality
  • Keywords based on the position you want

If you can get all of that into your LinkedIn summary in three or four short paragraphs, and include a few more things to make yourself stand out, you’ll have hooked your readers right away.

4. Craft a Few Paragraphs

I spend a lot of time on LinkedIn, and one thing that I’ve seen a lot of lately is very long summaries. Your LinkedIn summary should be just that: a summary.

You don’t need to go on at length about all of your qualifications and accomplishments. That’s what the Experience section of your profile is for.

The point of your summary is to get someone interested enough that they’ll check out the rest of your profile and—if they want to work with you—connect or get in touch. Keep it short. Some people even turn their summaries into a list to make it easy to read:

linkedin profile summary example

5. Check Your Keywords

This is an important step, but it’s also easy to get wrong. A secondary purpose of your LinkedIn summary is to help people find you when they’re searching for specific keywords.

For example, if you’re a sales manager, you might try to include the following keywords:

  • Sales management
  • Demand generation
  • Account management
  • Cross-selling
  • Relationship management
  • Sales forecasting
  • Business development

Of course, this will vary depending on your audience and goals. Think of the searches you want to appear in, then make sure you have those keywords in your profile.

Just don’t overdo it!

Many people put tons of keywords in their summaries and it ends up being a jargon-filled mess. It’s actually more important from a search-engine perspective to have the terms listed in your experience. You can put them in your summary, but make sure not to over-stuff it. You aren’t fooling anyone, and keyword-heavy summaries are obvious from a mile away.


You should include some of your keywords in your summary, but put a stronger emphasis on putting them in your experience entries.

6. Get Feedback

Once you think you’ve created an awesome LinkedIn summary, you’ll be tempted to post it right away. But don’t forget this last step. It’s important to get feedback from two people: one in your field and one outside of it.

The person in your field can tell you if your summary is appealing enough to catch the eye of someone who’s heard a lot of that same information before. The person who doesn’t have experience in your area can tell you if it flows well and piques their interest. If both people give you positive feedback, your new summary is probably ready to post!

What About LinkedIn Summary Templates?

In general, it’s best to avoid using templates for your LinkedIn summary. It might save you some time, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a summary template that fits your personality and doesn’t sound canned. It’s just not likely to happen.

There’s no harm in looking at other people’s LinkedIn summaries for inspiration. Just remember that your summary exists to tell people what’s unique about you. So drawing too heavily from someone else’s template might backfire.

Keep Updating Your LinkedIn Summary

As your professional situation changes, so should your LinkedIn summary. If you’re looking for a job, your summary will be different than if you’re just looking to grow your network.

Make sure to check on your profile often to make sure that your summary is still applicable.

And don’t neglect the rest of your profile! Your LinkedIn background photo, personal photo, experience, and media samples are all important, too. And be sure to check out these lesser-known LinkedIn features.

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7 Essential LinkedIn Profile Tips for Success in 2018

Capture Date: 08.04.2018 23:33:26


LinkedIn is a valuable resource for anyone looking for a job or to expand their professional connections. But if you don’t know how to write a good LinkedIn profile, you won’t be taking full advantage of it.

How do you show up in more searches? How do you show up in the right searches? And how do you get more people to take action?

These LinkedIn profile tips will help you increase your LinkedIn profile views in 2018.

Note that we’re going to skip the basics, like including a professional photo and making sure your information is always up-to-date, and go right to the things that make a great LinkedIn profile.

1. Niche Down to Stand Out

There are millions of people on LinkedIn. How are you going to stand out?

The answer is simple: niche down. Instead of pitching yourself as a manager, focus on presenting your profile as that of an IT manager. Or, even better, an IT manager with expertise in higher education systems.

The more specific you are with what you do and what you’re looking for, the more likely you are to be found.

For example, I recently looked at a niche I was using on my own LinkedIn profile. I ran a search for “b2b copywriter.” It came back with over 800 results. Then I ran a search for “b2b saas copywriter.”

Nine results:

LinkedIn search results number

It’s true that there will be fewer people looking at specific niches. But those people are also much more likely to want to hire (or at least get in touch with) you.

This is one of the more nerve-wracking LinkedIn profile tips. But it’s recommended by countless experts who say that it will improve your search views as well as the quality of people who find you.

2. Treat Your LinkedIn Profile as a Sales Page

If you want to know how to improve your LinkedIn profile in 2018, this is possibly the most important tip.

A potential client, employer, or business partner isn’t interested in your skills and experience—they interested in what your skills and experience can do for them.

And you need to sell that.

While your LinkedIn profile does serve as a sort of online résumé, it needs to be more than that if you want to appeal to valuable contacts. It needs to use the core principles of good sales to attract views and get people interested. 5 Top Resume Builder Sites to Create Your Resume Online 5 Top Resume Builder Sites to Create Your Resume Online Thanks to online resume builders, you can create a professional resume, CV, or bio-data in minutes. With the help of these tips, select the best one that fits your job-hunting needs. Read More

Possibly the most important thing to keep in mind is your customer persona. Who are you trying to attract with your LinkedIn profile? Are you looking for a job at a Fortune 500 company? Or a local startup? Do you want to be a teacher, or an airplane mechanic?

And, crucially, what do they want? If you can convince them that you can provide it better than anyone else, you’ve won.

The better you understand who you’re selling to with your LinkedIn profile, the more effective it will be. Keep in mind who you’re writing for and what they want, especially as you go through the next step.

3. Use Your Profile to Tell a Story

Once you’ve figured out who you want to see and be convinced by your LinkedIn profile, it’s time to start crafting a story. This is one of the most crucial parts of creating a great LinkedIn profile, and it’s also one of the hardest.

But the science is clear: effective storytelling engages people in a way that a simple recitation of your qualifications won’t. If you can create an emotional response in your viewer, the effectiveness of your LinkedIn profile will skyrocket.

Here are three questions to ask:

  • What causes your potential customer or employer pain?
  • How can you help ease that pain?
  • What will your reader feel like once you have?

If you can incorporate those three things into your summary, you’ll have a profile that stands out from the rest. Use these copywriting formulas to help create demand with your story, and your profile will become irresistible.

Here’s a great example of an opening line from an effectively emotional LinkedIn profile:

“I’ve been told I’m ‘like a one-woman TED conference without any breaks.’ If you want an intelligent writer and editor who never stops connecting the dots, step away from the search box—you’ve found me.”

Sophie Lizard’s LinkedIn profile is a lead-generating machine because it evokes emotion in its readers.

Learning to effectively tell stories in the business world is difficult. But it can be done. I suggest reading “Storytelling That Moves People,” a great Harvard Business Review interview with Robert McKee, to get some ideas.

And remember that while your summary is the main place to tell a story, you can also continue and support that story with your experience entries.

4. Include Calls to Action

This is one of the most significant omissions that people make with their LinkedIn profiles. They put out a bunch of information, and then leave it up to the reader to do something about it.

That’s not going to cut it.

You need to tell the reader what you want them to do. Here’s an example from my own LinkedIn profile:

“If you want stellar copy that moves leads through your funnel, get in touch. Send me an InMail or email me at dann.albright. I’m always open to chat about potential contracts, interesting projects, writing in general, and—when at all possible—mountain biking.”

It tells the people looking at my profile what they can get from me, and how they can start the process. It makes it very clear what I’m looking for.

GrammarChic lists four qualities that make a great call to action: brevity, strong action words, a value proposition, and contact information. You can see some great combinations of those factors in their examples of great CTAs.

You can also include these calls to action in your experience entries. Don’t overwhelm your reader with demands to connect or email you. But make sure that they never have to look very far to figure out how to get in touch.

5. Spice Up Your Profile With Media

Your LinkedIn profile is largely about sharing information—which is why it’s so text-heavy. But science has repeatedly shown that people are attracted to images. Take advantage of that fact by including media throughout your profile.

You can even publish your own content through LinkedIn. 11 LinkedIn Features You Aren’t Using (But Should Be) 11 LinkedIn Features You Aren’t Using (But Should Be) LinkedIn has a number useful features and tricks, some of which were very well hidden. Taken together, they can help make the network a tool for far more than just job-hunting. Read More

For example, you can include media in your summary and experience entries that show the kind of projects that you worked on. It could be a link to an article that you published. Or a local news story covering the work your company does. It could even be a photo of you speaking at an event.

Media included in a LinkedIn job experience entry

Whatever it is, it will catch people’s attention, and that’s crucial when you’re trying to boost views of your LinkedIn profile.

You can upload videos too, which is a great way to start establishing a personal connection with your readers before they even get in touch. Introduction videos, clips of your presenting or giving speeches, and anything else that shows off your expertise can be useful.

SlideShare has become a very popular content-sharing tool, and you can add slideshows to your profile, too. If you have a good slideshow, this is a great use for it. How to Gain a Huge Traffic Boost on Your Blog with Slideshare How to Gain a Huge Traffic Boost on Your Blog with Slideshare Never heard of Slideshare? You’re not alone. But don’t ignore it – Slideshare may be the perfect tool to give you that boost in traffic that you need right now. Read More

6. Use the Right Keywords

People obsess about keywords on LinkedIn. And one hand, it makes sense. Those keywords are how you get found. On the other, choosing the right keywords is a pretty simple exercise. If you spent some time thinking about your ideal client/employer/connection, you should have a pretty good idea of what they’re searching for.

LinkedIn's keywords your searchers used view

For example, if you’re looking for a management position with a non-profit organization, the people you want to connect with might be searching for “non-profit management,” “non-profit leadership,” and “fundraising,” to name a few.

Want to get a job as an app developer? “Java developer,” “Java programming,” “app creation,” “app building,” “Swift development,” and similar keywords are likely to be valuable.

Keep in mind that LinkedIn treats similar searches differently (“Java development” and “Java developer” return very different results).

So you’ll want to include variations as well.

The primary keywords you want to target should be in your headline, your position titles, summary, experience descriptions, projects, certifications, publications, and anywhere else you can put them.


Make it very obvious to LinkedIn’s search algorithm that you qualify for the search term you’re targeting.

Your headline is especially important. Laura Smith-Proulx gives a perfect example of how to better include keywords in your headline. Instead of simply saying “Operations Associate,” she says, you could use “Operations Associate – Operations Manager for Thermo-printing Division.”

That not only includes two more keywords, but it also gives people a better idea of what you do.

But Don’t Go Overboard With Keywords

This is crucial. Above all else, it’s important to use well-crafted copy that tells a story and makes an emotional connection with your reader. Stuffing a ton of keywords into your profile is going to be obvious, and doesn’t speak well for your communication skills.

It’s easy to spot a profile that was written solely for LinkedIn search engine optimization. And it really turns people off.

7. Be Active on LinkedIn

This might not fall directly under LinkedIn profile tips, but it will lead to more profile views and better search rankings. The more active you are on LinkedIn, the more you’ll improve your profile visibility, and the more likely people are to find you.

LinkedIn's profile articles and activity view

Whether it’s because you’re connected to their connections, they see a comment in a group that you’re in, or you sent them a message a while back, your activity makes you stand out. Find A Job Quickly With These 5 LinkedIn Groups Find A Job Quickly With These 5 LinkedIn Groups One of the most powerful tools for finding a job using LinkedIn is groups. Here are five that will significantly increase your job-hunting power. Read More

You don’t need to start spending tons of time on LinkedIn. Just make a point to share useful articles related to your field, update your network on what you’re doing (professionally), comment on other people’s posts, and things like that.

A great way to find awesome articles to read and share is by following great LinkedIn influencers.

To Succeed on LinkedIn, Focus on Being Helpful

LinkedIn is about making connections. Sometimes those connections lead to jobs, and sometimes they don’t. But knowing more people in your field (and outside of it) is always a good thing.

And the best way to connect with people is always to be helpful. Other them your expertise or to help them out with a project. That’s what really creates bonds between people, and that’s what will significantly improve the visibility of your LinkedIn profile. The Dos and Don’ts of Professional Networking on Social Media The Dos and Don’ts of Professional Networking on Social Media Professional networking on social media can feel like a lost cause. But stick to these dos and don’ts, and you can make the valuable connections you’re looking for. Read More

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How to Make Your LinkedIn Page Less Boring

Capture Date: 06.04.2018 13:51:26

Job hunting is always an exercise in patience and managed expectations. Whether you’re looking for a new gig, trying to get your foot in the door of an unfamiliar industry, or just want to ensure your professional life stays up to date and appealing, there’s no doubt you’ll have to get on LinkedIn and spruce up that profile. Let’s be honest: your current profile probably isn’t cutting it, and needs some work if you want to make a good first impression before you meet face-to-face for an interview.

First, Silence Your Updates

The occasional update on LinkedIn to highlight a career change or accomplishment is bound to send you notifications (if you have them enabled). Individually, that’s tolerable, but when you’re renovating your LinkedIn page, making multiple changes at once, it could get a bit spammy.


To avoid flooding your professional network with updates during your LinkedIn renovation, disable the option of sharing your updates until you’re done with reconstruction. Select your icon, then Settings & Privacy. Select the Privacy tab and scroll down to the “Sharing Profile Edits” section where you can toggle it off.

You’ve Got So Many Buzzwords

If you’re a programming ninja, marketing rock star, or management guru, you might want to drop those nicknames for something a bit less…obnoxious. That cute description of your job title tells recruiters and employers nothing about you besides the fact that you probably love listening to podcasts about computers. Be direct and clear when describing your job title or skills, and get straight to the point.

You’ve Got No Substance on Your Page

Unless you’re a hitman, hiding information relevant to your professional career won’t do you any favors. In your first pass through your LinkedIn profile editing spree, add as much information as you can, including your education, work experience, and contact information.

You might not think employers care where you went to school or what your first real job was, but simply having that information on hand helps connect you to similar people in your field who perhaps attended the same university or training program, worked with your previous employer, and can be valuable additions to your network either now or in the future.

In addition to your education and career history, you should include actual evidence of the work you do, if possible. LinkedIn has a Facebook-like status box that lets you write posts and upload images along with videos. You can also upload attachments like presentations and documents, or link to your site (or sites) and videos hosted elsewhere. Making it easy to showcase what you can do will separate you from the rest of the crowd, even if they’ve got a similar background or career path.

Recent Video from Lifehacker

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3/29/18 12:07 pm

You Need to Ditch the Selfie

Everyone you follow (or who follows you) on sites like Twitter and Instagram at the very least take a glance at your profile photo, but your bathroom selfie isn’t really what any employer wants to see when deciding to hire you for an actual job. Get yourself a professional-looking photo instead. Profiles with professional photos are viewed 14 times more often than those without, so avoid leaving your account’s profile photo blank unless you want that nondescript image of something resembling a human silhouette to handle your first impression (hint: you don’t).

Your URL is Nonexistent

Since you can edit your own LinkedIn URL, take the time to customize it with your name or online handle (if it’s professional enough). Having a customized LinkedIn URL also makes it easy to share that in the form of a text expansion shortcut, on a business card, or as a link on your personal or other professional site.


You can customize your URL by selecting your LinkedIn profile and selecting the Edit Profile & Public URL option on the right side of the page. Then, on the Edit my Public Profile page select the Edit URL section on the right side and enter your custom URL. Special characters, symbols, and spaces are not allowed, and your URL should be between five and 30 characters.

You’ve Got Too Many Skills

Sorry, listing Microsoft Excel as something you’re good at won’t cut it anymore. You’re going to need to revamp that list of endorsements and skills you’ve got on your profile, and that means you might have to let a few go to direct a viewer’s focus to your more relevant skills.

You should consider your LinkedIn page a major part of your job application, and treat it with as much reverence as you do the cover letters and resumes you email or hand out to prospective employers. With the whole world gunning for jobs that may or may not exist in the next few years anyway, anything you can do to prove you’re a valuable asset can and should be done. Besides, who doesn’t love bragging about their accomplishments online?