For my latest Inc. online column, I spoke with Bravo TV star Tabatha Coffey about what it takes to build and sustain a family biz that last for generations. You know what it comes down to? Communication, communication. Communication. Check out what the host of the new series, "Relative Success with Tabatha Coffey" has to say.
Professionally speaking one of the highlights of this season was helping Monarch tell this holiday feel-good story. Meet Olivia Walker, who "kills it" on the piano. Click here or the image below for story and video.
Check out the photo at the bottom of this front page. All the feels. All of them. Also, I love working with Monarch.
Last month, I talked about small changes that make a big difference to your LinkedIn profile: Your headline, profile photo and cover photo. Now we can get to crafting your summary story and experience section.
This is your chance to show people what you're about, so you'll want to make these sections engaging, informational and all about you.
It's OK to brag a little. I recently heard a speaker put it like this: "Nobody cares about your career but you."
Here are three things to keep in mind as you write your summary story and experience section:
1. Tell a story. Your summary story must be a story — that narrative arc of your career. Think about the common themes that tie your jobs together, which are listed in the experience section, to make you and your career stand out. While your experience section is meant to sound like your resume, the summary sets you apart, and should be told in the third person. (Amy George is...)
As you write it, imagine someone using it to introduce you at a public event. Share tidbits someone else wouldn’t know. For example, I tell of getting my first typewriter (my first and only, BTW; I'm not that old) in kindergarten because it ties into my story as a writer. Weave in your career and education for a clear, engaging self-portrait.
2. Be clear and concise. The experience section — the resume portion — is where you tout your accomplishments and skills. Ditch the jargon. Ditch the corporate adjectives. Think of it this way: Who isn’t strategic? Who isn’t thoughtful? These are throw-away words that bog you down.
People aren't going to remember me as strategic and results driven. They're going to remember I got a client on CNBC, used to be a reporter and provide PR and communications services. They'll remember I have earned credentials and awards and I've served on boards. No embellishments required.
Style-wise, bullet your content so it's scannable and use parallel construction (which I'm using in this list). Use action words up front, and if one action starts in past tense, they’re all in past tense.
3. Be prolific. Stay active on LinkedIn by liking, sharing and commenting on people’s posts. Write your own articles and post status updates. Write recommendations for people. Request your own by asking your clients or colleagues, “Would you mind giving me a LinkedIn recommendation? I’d be happy to do one for you."
Hopefully, these tips will help you and your story shine on LinkedIn.
In my second column for Inc., I wrote about theme songs. I love theme songs so much that I collect them.
"What's your theme song?
That's one of my favorite questions to ask people -- friends, clients, sources I'm interviewing for stories, gym rats who come to the fitness classes I teach in my side gig. If you don't have one, you need one. Theme songs do your career and your soul some good. More on that later.
You can learn a lot about people based on whether they have an anthem and what it is. Picture my gym friend Bob. Bob is a fierce criminal defense attorney who also tears it up in the spin room. He has a quick response to my theme song query.
"I play 'London Calling' by The Clash on the first morning of every trial," Bob tells me. "The driving beat, the howls and the lyric 'now war is declared, and battle come down' all get my mind in the right frame. I usually play a different Clash song every other morning of trial, but 'London Calling' has to be the first day."
You can see Bob clearly, right?
Professionally speaking, there are theme songs for every occasion -- the powerful anthem before a big client meeting, the pick-me-up for when you hate your job or your boss, the victory dance song for when you score a big win, the ballad that's a balm after a long day."
A couple months ago, an editor friend working at Inc. sent me a LinkedIn message. Would I like to be an Inc. columnist, she asked. Heck, yeah! I love writing. It is my first love. But because I spend so much of my time writing for clients, I often don't write for me. Signing of for a regular column is scary though. Will I have time? Will I have something to say? What if I run out of ideas.
Perhaps I need a pep talk. A self pep talk. "Amy you got this."
In fact, my debut column is about the power of talking yourself up.
November is always hard for my friend Sosha. That's when she lost her mom and little brother. She wrote for CharlotteFive about coping with grief and turned to Monarch's Jude Johnson for advice.
"We have to be kind to ourselves," Johnson said.
I'm always glad when I can connect writers with experts — and that's especially true for stories like these. Good job, Sosh. Thinking of you this November.
The By George Insider newsletter debuted yesterday. In it, I offer three easy tips for upping your LinkedIn game. These tips are so simple to implement you could get started over your morning coffee or during your lunch break.
To kick off the newsletter, I'm also offering a free LinkedIn makeover. More details inside.
I love it when the people and organizations I work with have a good story. What's better is when they have lots of good stories. Take Monarch, a not-for-profit organization that provides support across North Carolina to thousands of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental illness and substance use disorders.
The Gaston Gazette featured Monarch in the story, "Lincoln woman turns her life around." This is the story of Patricia Ghostly, a recent high school graduate, who has battled depression and some tough life circumstances. She turned to Monarch for help. Monarch responded by linking her with Danielle Earl, an individual placement support and the supported employment team lead in Gaston, Lincoln and Cleveland counties for the organization. Earl helped Ghostly find her very first job. How cool is that?
People often ask what I do best. My answer: Write. Tell stories. Connect stories of fabulous people to audiences who matter to them.
That's the energy that fuels my business. Storytelling is what I did during journalism school and post college — first as a reporter and then as a corporate PR professional. It’s what I did in high school while at journalism camp (yes, there's such a thing!) and on the speech and debate team.
Write. Tell stories. Connect stories.
A visual reminder sits on my desk: a photo from Christmas Day 1979. My sister Cristy and I are wearing pink fleece footed pajamas. I'm hoisting my prized gift, a typewriter.
Many years later, I still remember how surprised I was as I hadn't asked Santa for a typewriter. I wasn't a big Santa fan after he once mistook me for a boy thanks to the wonderful 1970s bowl haircut my mother inflicted upon me. But that's another story. I had told my mom that my classroom had a typewriter for playtime, but it was always in use by my classmates. Little did I know that this was perhaps my first experience in telling a story that got others to listen, care and take action. (Thanks, Mom.)
What are you good at? What’s your story?
Been working with Gulf County Florida to tell the story of sea turtles. They're really special creatures. If you're ever in Gulf County, go on a turtle walk at dawn. Check out the AP story: "It's sea turtle season in Florida. Here's how to see them."
It's the challenge of HR professionals and hiring managers everywhere: how to know when a job candidate is lying. Former Wall Street investment banker David Shulman and some scientists have developed super smart software that helps companies reduce their risk of hiring liars and cheaters. Shulman was inspired by Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff. Read more about Shulman and his company Veris Benchmarks in this story by BBC Capital.