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LinkedIn: five tips to start improving your profile

Is LinkedIn yet another thing on your “must do more of” list? As 2019 begins, what better time to get this underway.

In the first monthly article about digital skills, here are five ideas to help you create a LinkedIn profile you’re proud of.

That, in turn, may encourage you to start engaging more on LinkedIn.

Hardly revolutionary, but why not work on improving your profile little by little…

Dive in, give it a go!

1. Headshot: A high-resolution photo taken by a professional… why wouldn’t you? How to find a local photographer: you may want to ask on LinkedIn for a recommendation…Chances are you’ll already want to engage more on LinkedIn once that professional photo takes pride of place.

2. Headline field beneath your name: It’s the ideal place to summarise how you help your clients and solve problems; or your style of working with colleagues.Take a look at a few of your connections’ LinkedIn profiles to see how they put those 100+ characters to best use.

3. Edit public profile and LinkedIn URL: You may have a URL (the address of a web page) that includes numbers.It’s easy to clean this up, helping to “enhance your personal brand,” as LinkedIn puts it.See the top right corner of your profile.

4. Initiatives *and* teamwork: When you’re summarising* a previous role, it’s great to highlight what initiatives you took to “add value”.Teamwork is also worth giving its proper place. Collaboration always gets my vote, and I’m hardly alone in admiring that trait in others.(*Key word: less is more…)

5. Share *after* the edit: If you’re revamping your LinkedIn profile, e.g. the experience section showing your career history, chances are you don’t want your connections to know about every tiny change.So you may want to switch “Share profile changes” to no. It appears once you click on the edit icon (a blue slanting pencil). One swipe left, it’s done.

This article is by no means exhaustive but will help you take a few practical steps on LinkedIn.

The five steps will put you on the way to having a profile that you’re proud to stand behind, as a client of mine put it.

(We worked together to improve his profile, which didn’t reflect a busy few years at work. We then explored the best ways – that suited him, not someone else – to engage more on LinkedIn.)

Go on, dive in!

www.briandmcgee.com

I’ll be very interested to hear about your experience.

What successes have you had on LinkedIn? What about your frustrations?

Please add a comment after this blog: briandmcgee.com/networking/linkedin-five-tips-start-improving-profile

Photos: PublicDomainPictures & pixel2013 on Pixabay

Open spaces update from Jon Hartley, Dulwich Hill Ward Councillor

Open spaces provide a vital green lung to all of us living in London. With my colleague Maggie Browning, I represent Dulwich Hill, an area with much loved greenery. Residents often tell us how much they value our local open spaces; whether they use facilities within the ward such as Camberwell Old Cemetery or Dulwich Hill, or those just outside like Peckham Rye, One Tree Hill and Dulwich Park.

As your local councillors, Maggie and I work with local people who are interested in our local spaces, along with councillors in adjacent areas, other local authorities and Southwark council officers.

We’re keen to hear what you enjoy about our local open spaces. Whether to tell us about concerns or just to let us know how much fun your family is having in the amazing new Peckham Rye playground!

We’ve been working with residents and local groups on how to improve Dawson’s Hill. Meetings on the Hill with local people and Parks officers have helped clarify how we can best spend the money we have secured for improving a Park that is loved locally.

The challenge in our larger Parks is often the balance that needs to be struck between regular users and larger events. For the Council, there is increased need in this time of austerity to encourage extra funds to help cover the cost of maintaining the Parks.

A recent example of this challenge was the Gala festival. Following local concerns about the possible impact on Peckham Rye Park and noise in the surrounding area, we were able to ensure that many of the issues raised were taken on board by the event organisers. In the end there were few complaints during the event weekend and the Park is now (almost) back to normal.

Perhaps the trickiest of our local green areas recently has been Camberwell Old Cemetery, where the need to open long unused areas to new burials is a real source of local concern. We will keep working with residents to address issues about the works that are planned and how they are carried out.

There have been some vociferous campaigns against any changes, but Southwark Councillors take the view that we have to continue providing a place for people to be buried locally. This is actually a great example of our predecessors – representing the area over a century ago – making provisions that still serve people’s needs today.

We can only hope that the decisions we make will be as useful to the local community of the future.

Jon Hartley – Dulwich Hill Ward
jon.hartley@southwark.gov.uk

The Gardener’s Tool Kit 

Image: David Rangel on Unsplash

Having the right tools really can turn gardening from a chore to a pleasure. So if you fancy putting something gardening-related on your New Year wish-list or are thinking of buying a present for a green-fingered friend, take your pick from these “must have” tools.

Secateurs 

This is key for most gardeners – a sharp, good quality pair will make all the difference to pruning and harvesting herbs and flowers. I like Felco, which last a lifetime if you look after them, but thereare many other good varieties. For those with weak hands or arthritis, ratcheting pruners are a great choice. Try to buy quality, keep them clean and dry them if they get wet, so they don’t rust.

Gardening gloves

Protect your hands from mud and thorns with a good pair of gloves. Make sure they fit snuggly, particularly for fiddly jobs like tying in climbers. Bamboo gloves are light and stretchy, as are Showa Floreo. Thermal gardening gloves are cosy for winter and if you’re pruning roses leather is best.

Hand trowel and fork

Whether you have a large garden or a balcony with pots, hand tools such as trowels and forks are probably the most useful tools of all. Trowels are great for shovelling compost, planting and digging holes, while hand forks can be better for digging up or dividing plants, as they’re gentler on roots. Again look out for good quality and, a comfortable wooden handle and a stainless steel blade for durability.

Rake

If your lawn gets covered in leaves, it’s worth buying a leaf rake – the ones with large fan shaped plastic heads. They’re inexpensive and a super efficient way of tidying up the lawn. Removing fallen leaves is also important for lawn health as dead leaves block light from grass weakening the root system, as well as attracting pests and encouraging mould to grow. Garden rakes have springy thin metal tines and tend to spike leaves – they’re best for removing mossy thatch in grass in spring and autumn, and general garden debris from under shrubs.

Pruning saw

These lightweight saws are fab for keeping trees or large woody shrubs in check, easily removing larger branches that are too thick for secateurs or loppers. The folding ones that you can carry in your pocket are especially handy.

Digging spade and fork 

A decent long handled spade is useful for digging and planting larger plants and trees. Again try buying a quality spade, with a good strong handle and stainless steel head, which is smoother, easier to garden with and clean, and less susceptible to rust. For digging up established plants, it’s better to use a long handled fork, as they’re more forgiving on roots.

Topiary shears.

These hand shears are great – bigger than secateurs and smaller than regular shears, they make topiary a pleasure.

Hoe

A hoe is a great time (and back) saver for weeding – especially if you hoe off weeds when they’re small. Hoes with narrower blades are useful for smaller spaces. Other weeding tools includea hand weeder, designed to pull out weeds with tap root such as dandelions . Or you can use The Hori Hori or weeding knife, a combo knife/trowel that cuts, digs and weeds.

This article first appeared in the December 2018 issue of SE22 magazine.

The Last Word: Caroline Havers, Chair of Link Age Southwark

I am a long time resident of Dulwich and have recently been appointed as Chair of Link Age Southwark, a local charity providing befriending services and 24 groups for older people in Southwark.

How long have you lived in the area?

I have lived in Dulwich for 25 years

What brought you here?

Schools! My daughters were very lucky and were able to walk to school every day of their school career at Dulwich Village Infants school, The Hamlet and then Alleyns.

What has changed most during that time?

One of the lovely things about Dulwich is that things do not change that much, more traffic and different shops but otherwise changes are gentle enough that I have not really noticed them.

What do you most value about the area/street you live in?

I love the green spaces in and around Dulwich, yet can get to central London quite easily. I live down a little alleyway that is tucked away and hidden from view.

What’s the one thing you couldn’t do without?

It is not very environmentally friendly to say my car, but I drive a yellow VW beetle which I love!

The most famous person you’ve seen or met?

We have several famous people who support us at Link Age Southwark and I have been lucky enough to meet Jenny Eclair, Jo Brand, Rob Glenister and Edmund de Waal.

Do you belong to any groups?

I am a member of the choir at St Barnabas which is a wonderful group to be a member of, we rehearse on Friday evening and after singing great music we socialise over a bottle of wine, or two!

Describe your perfect weekend

On Saturdays I enjoy a leisurely breakfast either at home or brunch in any one of the great cafes in Herne Hill and East Dulwich. I have two Jack Russells so any weekend involves a walk in the park and after pottering about at home, I enjoy the theatre or eating with friends. I sing with the choir on Sunday morning and will go out to enjoy an exhibition on Sunday afternoon. I often go for a drink with friends on Sunday evening to bring the weekend to a sociable end.

What’s your favourite place for a night out?

In a relaxed restaurant eating interesting food, with my partner and friends, for example Spinach on Lordship Lane

The best meal I’ve ever had…

Pad Thai sitting at a shady table with my family and some friends on the beach on Koh Samui in Thailand paddling our feet in the sea.

Where’s your favourite place to walk?

I walk a lot in a Dulwich Park with my dogs and love it because I know it so well, but also how different it can be depending on the time of day and season of the year.

www.linkagesouthwark.org

Dulwich Entrepreneur Receives #Wow Award from Jacqueline Gold CBE

On Wednesday 5th December, Einav Avni from Dulwich, was recognised by British businesswoman, Jacqueline Gold CBE, for her success as a female entrepreneur and awarded with a prestigious #WOW badge.

Einav was one of three winners selected by Jacqueline after she entered ‘Women on Wednesday’ – a competition launched by Jacqueline in 2011 to celebrate the growing number of UK female entrepreneurs and businesswomen.

Women on Wednesday (#WOW) takes place every week and is run through Jacqueline’s Twitter page. When selecting the winners, Jacqueline looks for businesses that are interesting, that have strong brand values and that she thinks have potential to grow and succeed in their industry. She looks for quality products and services, well designed websites and entrepreneurs who demonstrate good business acumen and who have spotted a gap in the market that meets the consumer’s needs.

Einav says: “when you’re feeling stuck, lost, unable to make decisions or generally in a never ending loop of dread, this is a good indication you are not operating from your core values. It’s like you’ve lost your compass and now everything is foreign. Together we discover your values and work on bringing change into your life – one that is empowered by your true purpose, strengths and calling”

Jacqueline Gold says: “Untangled Coaching helps people overcome challenges and pain in their lives, providing the support and skills needed to assist them in their personal struggles. Einav’s own experience of becoming more connected with people shows how everyone is capable of growing and transforming into better versions of themselves and it makes her the perfect person to help others on their own journeys. I wish her every success in the future.

For me, #WOW is all about inspiring and celebrating female entrepreneurs. My vision is for women in the UK to come together, celebrate their strengths, skills and fantastic businesses, and do all that they can to inspire other women to realise their potential.

The WOW community is a fantastic network which offers female entrepreneurs the opportunity to share advice, support each other, trade and most importantly celebrate their successes!”

For more information about Untangled Coaching, please click here.

For more information about Women on Wednesday, please click here.