Looking to get a better job or just need to polish up the old resume? We’ll, you need to polish up your LinkedIn profile too. LinkedIn is HUGE (675,000,000 users!) and only getting bigger. Employers want to put names to faces and see who you are. Take the time to make your profile stand out with the tips I share today!
LinkedIn – if you don’t have a profile yet on here then create one. If you have one then update it! https://www.linkedin.com
PPI – PPI is our partner to help you ace your FE and PE exams. Use our discount code of CIVAC and our link at https://www.civilengineeringacademy.com/ppi to get 15% off any book you order. They also have a deal on courses that end at the end of May 2020.
CEA Community – haven’t joined up on our free community? What’s wrong you? J/K. Ok, just go to https://www.ceacommunity.com and join a group of like-minded civil engineers!
The Ultimate Civil PE Review Course- if you need a great review course for the civil PE exam then look no further. We have you covered. https://www.civilpereviewcourse.com
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CEA Show Notes
Isaac (00:05): What's going on, everybody, Isaac here with civil engineering Academy. Thanks for joining me on another sweet podcast. I thought today I'd give a well before we begin, give a brief COVID update as it relates to the exams coming up this year administered by the NCEES organization. So they published something, uh, back in April 14th and I thought it would be good to remind people of this just because we're hitting a deadline here soon to register for the PE exam. So it'd be good to talk about it a little bit. So as you may or may be aware, I'm not sure, but, uh, the April, 2020 exams were obviously canceled for the PE test takers and that is for paper and pencil exams and it affected approximately 16,000 examinees. So in order to accommodate these examinees, the format of the October exam is going to be a little bit different.
Isaac (01:10): And so the way it's going to work is that first to even register for the October, 2020 pencil and paper exam, the door opens to register at 10:00 AM on June 1st that's 10:00 AM Eastern time, June 1st and it closes at 3:00 PM August 20th Eastern daylight time. So if you were canceled in April, I'd recommend definitely getting started and registering again as soon as you can, which is going to be on June 1st. And this whole exam will take place over two days, which is on a Thursday and a Friday, which is usually different. Normally they test I believe on a Friday and Saturday. And so the exam will be administered October 22nd and 23rd and it's kind of chopped up a little bit. So on Thursday, October 22, uh, those that are going to take the geotech, transportation, or water resources, depth exams, you take your exam on Thursday and for Friday test takers if you are registered to take the construction or structural depth exam for civil engineers, that's your day.
Isaac (02:21): Okay. So, and if you're taking the SE, uh, you are split up between those two days depending on what you're taking. So you've got vertical forces for bridges on Thursday, vertical forces for buildings on Thursday and on Friday you have lateral forces for bridges and lateral forces for building. So anyway, that's just a quick update. I just wanted to remind you if you were canceled and taking the PE exam that you need to get on it, that's coming up here June 1st to get registered. Anyway, a little housekeeping item there. Just want to make you aware of that if you aren't already. Hopefully you are. Anyway, let's get to the episode. So today's episode is a good one. Today I wanted to talk about, um, really polishing up our LinkedIn profiles. Sometimes this gets neglected over time. Sometimes it sits there forever, especially if you have a current job, you don't update it.
Isaac (03:21): And so I wanted to talk about, some of the best practices or the best tips that I have found to really stand out with your LinkedIn profile. It's going to be a good one. So if you haven't done that in a while, there's going to be some tips for you. If you're new to LinkedIn, there's going to be some tips for you. There's just going to be some good stuff here for anybody that is a civil engineer looking to get some more exposure. So good, good stuff. And that's going to be coming right up.
Isaac (00:01): All right guys. Let's get right into it. Let's talk about how we can boost our LinkedIn profiles. If you're looking for a job, it can be a little easy to forget about your LinkedIn profile. Maybe it's been sitting there for a while, but the truth is employers want to know who you are. We definitely want to polish that up. Make sure it's good, make sure you stand out. When people go and do some research on you as a potential employee, they want to know more about you. Right? We want to put our best foot forward. LinkedIn is definitely the way to go when making connections with other engineers that are out there and other professionals.
Isaac (00:55): LinkedIn is huge. It's getting bigger. There are over 600,000 million users on LinkedIn. It's growing every year. It's something that you need to polish up and definitely need to put some time and attention into. That is actually the first tip that I want to mention is that you need to put some time into polishing up your LinkedIn profile. It's as simple as that. Let's make sure it looks good. Let's make sure all the sections are filled out that are available to you and just make sure that it looks complete. We need to treat your LinkedIn profile as if it were your resume. Do you leave your resume blank in some spots? No, you don't do that. Let's make sure it's all filled out and that it all looks professional.
Isaac (01:57): Another tip is that you should get your own URL. You can generally use whatever link that they give you but it's nice to have that URL be linkedin.com/whatever your name is rather than just some huge website list of letters and numbers. You can take that URL and you can dump it onto your resume itself so people have an easier time finding you. You can add it to anything else, such as cover letters, to point people to you if they want to look at you. That's pretty easy to do. If you are on your own profile, you can go to the edit profile screen and at the bottom of the gray window, it shows your basic information. There you'll see a public profile URL. Click edit on that, next to the URL, and you specify what you want your address to be. Hit finish and you've got your custom URL. So definitely use that on your resume. That is a great key.
Isaac (03:15): Another pointer is that you should have a professional photo. What does professional mean? Well, look at others in your industry. See what they're doing. Look at the camera, let's get the picture to look friendly and professional. We don't want to do pictures of you and your kids. Maybe you're doing all kinds of recreation or you're standing by your truck. I don't know what it is. It could be any of those things. It's not a dating site, right? It's somewhere where we want to present ourselves in a professional manner that really says I'm serious about this and I want to work for a company. I look professional and I want to put myself out there in the world.
Isaac (04:04): When you do put a professional photo of yourself out there, it sets the bar a little higher and people respect you a little more. So let's do that. Make sure you are getting an appropriate photo on LinkedIn and something that looks professional. Don't wear t-shirts with all kinds of logos or weirdness on there. I wouldn't recommend that, at least for the engineering world. We can do a better job there. I don't need to harp on that. You know what it means. Take a good photo, put it on there.
Isaac (04:41): Another one is to make sure you use those job descriptions to your advantage. You can really get a feel for words that are in the application process that you can use in your LinkedIn profile. As a transmission engineer, people want to hear words like what kind of voltages you worked on, anything to do with construction, electricity, structures, foundation, etc. Finding keywords is very helpful. If you can find keywords on job openings, it is very helpful to have those keywords on the job descriptions that you've listed on your LinkedIn profile.
Isaac (05:47): Another good tip is to write an excellent headline. It doesn't need to be your job title. It could be specific things that you want to stand out, to display your personality, or to state what you're good at. What value are you bringing to the world? What's your specialty? We can do a better job of writing a headline that really stands out and does really well.
Isaac (06:13): Another tip is to make sure you're not wasting the summary space that's in LinkedIn. They give you a space called the summary space. In fact, just to look at it real quick, you have a summary space and you should really add content there. It should be pretty short. You could have three paragraphs in there. You would want to walk somebody through what you're passionate about or what you've done, maybe some highlights, some of your skills or things of that nature. You can even list industries you've had exposure to over the years or training you have had. Definitely put something in a summary that looks appealing.
Isaac (07:09): The other thing people really like to see on resumes and in LinkedIn (because we're treating it virtually the same, right?) is they like to see numbers, data, things that they could pull out really quickly. There's no sense in hiding it, buried in three sentences. Let's get it right up front. In my case as a transmission engineer, I've worked on voltages, up to a certain voltage, up to 345 KV. I've worked on projects that have multi-million dollar budgets and I can list those exact figures. I've worked in teams of X amount of people. I managed X amount of people. These kinds of data points are really good to see. People want to see values, they want to see how many people, how much money, all that jazz. The more data driven things you can put on there upfront, at least with your employment, the better because people love to see that.
Isaac (08:22): In general, be happy and friendly on your LinkedIn profile, that goes a long way. Try to avoid super common words that everybody uses if you can avoid that. Avoid using creative, effective, and strategic, those kinds of things, these are common resume buzzwords. You probably want to avoid things like that. In general, when you're writing your LinkedIn profile all the way through, another good tip is to write in first person. You usually don't do that on a resume but on LinkedIn it's fine to do that. For example, I am passionate about this, I did this, I did that. Use first person. That's a good thing to do.
Isaac (09:23): They have offered a lot more features in LinkedIn where you can showcase your work now. If you can write a post, you should do it. Write something on the subject matter you're passionate about. If you don't have any experience, write something about a subject that you've worked on recently. People like to see that you care about the subject or the field that you're in.
Isaac (10:01): They offer this feature called featured where you can post documents. Let's say you had pictures of projects that you worked on. You could take pictures of that. If your project hits the news, you could put that in there. You could add websites, you can do posts, blog posts if you've written them on LinkedIn or another place. You can showcase the work that you've done. I think graphic designers do this very well and I think they've opened this up for anybody in any occupation to display what they're good at. You can show your achievements literally on LinkedIn and that's worth a ton when somebody can quickly open up and see what you've worked on. You could immediately fill a need that an employer has and wants you for. So definitely check that out.
Isaac (11:00): I think another thing is that when you're listing your jobs, keep that up to date and put something in there. Keep this current, even if you have been unemployed. If you haven't had a job in a while, make sure that you still are showing here that you have had a job so you're not missed as a candidate. Just keep that stuff up to date. We talked about adding your work experience, that just falls in line with not leaving anything blank. What do you do if you're a beginning engineer and you don't have much experience? I think you still list positions that you had in the past, even if you worked somewhere that wasn't related to engineering. You can tie skills that you learned in those positions to your next position. If you're applying for an internship or just a beginning engineer position, you can still tie previous jobs to the things that are applicable to those positions. Relatable skills include working well in teams and being dedicated to timeliness. You can add all these little aspects of your previous positions that go a long way. Definitely make sure you're not leaving that blank. Put some experience in your experience location.
Isaac (12:42): The other thing that you can add here is definitely your education, list that in there if you've got it. You can add skills and endorsements. If you have any experience with software or what not, you can put that in there. Add recommendations, which naturally come from working at your position or connecting with other people on LinkedIn. Accomplishments are nice. If you can add accomplishments, volunteer experience, languages that you speak, all of those things are really nice to have. Like I said, this is just like a resume. Adding these things gives people a talking point, when you can share common interests that goes a very long way.
Isaac (13:32): The other thing I think is important to do is writing blog posts. I think in general, it helps to be an author. It says something about you, right? It's nice to see your perspective about something or you throwing your opinion out there and weighing in on some industry that you want to be involved in or are involved in. Show off your skills as a writer. If you just put on your resume that you know Microsoft word, let's instead show that you actually know how to type and can put thoughts on paper. I think that's a perfect way to get noticed and people will appreciate that. If you do keep a blog outside of LinkedIn, take the time to link that to it because I think that's really good.
Isaac (14:36): Through LinkedIn, you can go and search for groups. Groups are incredibly powerful. By joining groups, you immediately connect with people that are involved in that same group and you get engaged with other people in that field. It's just a really good thing to make network connections and it's very easy nowadays to get thrown in with a group and you're around all these like minded other individuals. It'll help you with your connections, your endorsements, some recommendations, and overall just help you. So go research some groups you can join and join them. I think that would be very helpful for you.
Isaac (15:24): Another tip is to not add people to your connections that you don't know. Right. I just don't think that's good. Eventually you just are going to have to clean this stuff up. If it doesn't match what you're doing, it's probably not the best idea to keep that. This isn't Facebook, it shouldn't be Facebook, right? LinkedIn is for professionals that are trying to maintain a professional atmosphere here and connect with people that are gonna help you.
Isaac (15:59): If you are searching for jobs, I think a good tip is not to just come out and ask people for a job. You want to connect with people, find out what they do. Then from there, once you establish a connection, you might get into more details about asking, "Hey, how's the work life balance there?" If you ask general questions like that to an employer or somebody that works there, they might give you a tip on what's available or whatnot. You can also find a mentor on LinkedIn by reaching out to other people that might be above you or in a space that you want to be in. It's helpful to do that. If you're looking for a job, it's does help you connect with people that way. Obviously you want to respect your current employer if you're doing that so keep that under wraps, but you can definitely reach out to other people and make connections that way.
Isaac (17:11): Those are the main tips I have. I think doing all those things is going to give you an upgraded feel. If you've got an image, make sure it matches the industry that you're in. I think that goes a long ways. You can have a banner image so make sure that's good. Make sure your profile image is good as well. Just fill out every section, make it look complete and that's honestly going to take you from a crappy LinkedIn profile to something way more outstanding. So those my friends are my tips to help you with your LinkedIn profile.
Isaac (17:58): I'm interested in what you think, what are some tips that you have? If you do have other tips regarding LinkedIn, please let me know. I'd love to hear about it. I would love to hear from you if you would like me to review your LinkedIn profile and give you some feedback, feel free to shoot me an email, [email protected] I'd love to check it out, maybe give you some pointers in general, and I would do that at no charge for you. So shoot me an email. Let's take a look at it. I want to help you advance in your career. If you already have one, if you're just starting out, let's make sure it's set up the right way and I want to be here to help you.
Isaac (18:39): So hopefully these tips helped you. Hopefully they made sense to you. Sometimes demonstrating it on a computer is hard, but you can visualize this. You can go home, get on the computer, go check it out, or just open it up on your phone and make sure all of the sections are filled out and looking good. So anyway guys, those are my tips. I hope these helped you out in some way. I know they can if you apply them and it's going to be good stuff. So having said all that, I hope you're having a great day, having a great life. Hopefully this COVID stuff isn't getting to you too bad. A lot of places are reopening for work. That's all good stuff. So anyway, guys, hang in there and we will see you on the next episode. Bye.
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