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10 Ways to Make Your LinkedIn Profile Stand Out in 2021

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In 2021 successful job hunting requires having a LinkedIn profile that’s current and optimized. It’s not enough to simply exist on LinkedIn. In this column and the next, I’ll provide ways to create a profile that’ll attract employers and hiring managers.

Your goal is to create a profile that attracts attention, says the right things, and is a catalyst to connecting you with people who can help you. LinkedIn can literally get your name in front of thousands of professionals in your industry. If you’re looking for a job, that’s huge!

Something to keep in mind: Employers will read through your profile before deciding to schedule an interview with you.

Here are the first 5 ways you can make your LinkedIn profile stand out:

1. Add a headshot

It’s mind-boggling how many LinkedIn profiles don’t have a headshot, which is the equivalent of wearing a paper bag on your head at an industry tradeshow. Put a face to your name and add a profile picture, a good one. Your profile picture is the first impression people will get of you.

2. Create an eye-catching headline

Your headline is right below your name and therefore the first thing your profile visitors will read. It’s your profile most valuable real estate. LinkedIn’s default settings will create your headline with your current position, but you can edit it to whatever you want. You have 120 characters to work with, so write something that will resonate. Envision the text of a billboard advertisement for you and what you do. Instead of just listing your job title, mention your specialty and how you benefited your company or customers. Write for your target audience. Are you speaking to industry peers, customers, or hiring managers?

Example:

Inside Sales Representative · SaaS · $68.8 M in Software Sales Generated Since 2016

This tells the reader your job, what you bring to the table, and enhances your credibility.

3. Craft an interesting summary

Your LinkedIn summary is your opportunity to tell your career story with up to 2,000 characters. Spend some time crafting your story in a way that makes the reader say to themselves, I got to meet this person! Keep in mind attention spans are short; I don’t recommend you use all 2,000 characters. Keep your summary in the 1,000 – 1,250 characters range.

Your summary shouldn’t be rehashing your experience. Mention what you do well, where you’re a Subject Matter Expert (SME) in and what you’re able to bring to an employer. Keywords here is crucial! Use words strongly connected to your industry, while painting a picture of who you are as a professional.

Example:

As an information security analyst at Rockyview General Hospital in Calgary, I manage the day-to-day flow of information into and out of the hospital. With a focus on database management, my job ensures critical computer systems, medical files, and patient history remain active and never fail. My team and I stay updated on the latest trends in information security to not only keep Rockyview General Hospital safe but also on the cutting edge.

4. Highlight your experience

You can do much better than merely cutting and pasting your resume onto your LinkedIn profile. Include past jobs you deem relevant to where you want your career to go and use three to five exciting and impressive bullet points for each job.

Use action words to show your responsibilities and what you accomplished (results) for your employer. Using numbers as much as possible, communicate the impact you’ve made, the initiatives you led, and the revenue influence you had (most important).

Example:

Directed launch of 12 new product lines, with total annual revenue of $1.3B.

5. Use visual media

Like on Twitter and Facebook, you can add a background banner photo on LinkedIn. Your LinkedIn background banner photo should reinforce who you are and visually support your profile’s written portions.

LinkedIn allows you to connect other media to your profile such as YouTube videos, infographics, PowerPoints. Don’t be shy to be creative with relevant media to make your page jump off the screen and demand attention.

Next week I’ll provide 5 more suggestions to make your LinkedIn profile job hunt ready.

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Calgary Stampede to proceed with limited events

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The Calgary Stampede, an annual rodeo, exhibition and festival that is also Canada‘s biggest and booziest party, will go ahead this year after being pulled in 2020 due to the pandemic, though it will not look and feel the same, an event organizer told CBC Radio.

“It won’t be your typical Stampede … it’s not the experience that you had in years past,” Kristina Barnes, communications manager with the Calgary Stampede, told a CBC Radio programme on Friday.

She said organizers were still deciding whether to include rodeo or the grandstand show in this year’s version.

Known as “the greatest outdoor show on earth,” the Stampede draws tourists from around the world for its rodeo and chuckwagon races, but much of the action happens away from official venues at parties hosted by oil and gas companies.

“The Safest and Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth is what we’re going to call it this year,” Barnes said, adding the organizers are working directly with Alberta Health to ensure Stampede experiences stay “within the guidelines” that may be in effect in July.

The event is scheduled to take place between July 9-18, according to the Calgary Stampede website.

Last month, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney told reporters the Calgary Stampede can probably go ahead this year as Alberta’s coronavirus vaccination campaign accelerates.

Barnes and the office of the Alberta premier were not available for immediate comment.

The cancellation of the event last year was a crushing disappointment for Canada‘s oil capital.

The news comes as Alberta has been dealing with a punishing third wave of the pandemic, with the province having among the highest rate per capita of COVID-19 cases in the country. Data released on Friday showed the province had 1,433 new cases, compared with the seven-day average of 1,644.

 

(Reporting by Denny Thomas; Editing by Chris Reese)

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U.S. trade chief pressured to lift duties on Canadian lumber

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 As U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai prepares to meet her Canadian and Mexican counterparts on Monday to review progress in the new North American trade agreement, she is under pressure from home builders and lawmakers to cut U.S. tariffs on Canadian lumber.

Shortages of softwood lumber amid soaring U.S. housing demand and mill production curtailed by the COVID-19 pandemic have caused prices to triple in the past year, adding $36,000 to the average cost of a new single-family home, according to estimates by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

Republican lawmakers have taken up the builders’ cause, asking Tai during hearings in Congress last week to eliminate the 9% tariff on Canadian softwood lumber imports. Senator John Thune told Tai that high lumber costs were “having a tremendous impact on the ground” in his home state of South Dakota and putting homes out of reach for some working families.

The Trump administration initially imposed 20% duties in 2018 after the collapse of talks on a new quota arrangement, but reduced the level in December 2020.

“The Biden administration must address these unprecedented lumber and steel costs and broader supply-chain woes or risk undermining the economic recovery,” said Stephen Sandherr, chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America. “Without tariff relief and other measures, vital construction projects will fall behind schedule or be canceled.”

On Friday, White House economic adviser Cecilia Rouse said the Biden administration was weighing concerns about commodity shortages and inflation as it reviews trade policy.

The tariffs are allowed under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement on trade, which permits duties to combat price dumping and unfair subsidies.

The U.S. Commerce Department has ruled that lumber from most Canadian provinces is unfairly subsidized because it is largely grown on public lands with cheap harvesting fees set by Ottawa. U.S. timber is mainly harvested from privately-owned land.

Tai said she would bring up the lumber issue with Canadian Trade Minister Mary Ng at the first meeting of the USMCA Free Trade Council, a minister-level body that oversees the trade deal.

WILLING PARTNER

But Tai told U.S. senators that despite higher prices, the fundamental dispute remains and there have been no talks on a new lumber quota arrangement.

“In order to have an agreement and in order to have a negotiation, you need to have a partner. And thus far, the Canadians have not expressed interest in engaging,” Tai said.

Youmy Han, a spokeswoman for Canada‘s trade ministry, said the U.S. duties were “unjustified,” and that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has raised the issue with U.S. President Joe Biden.

“Our government believes a negotiated agreement is possible and in the best interests of both countries,” Han said in an emailed statement to Reuters.

But builders are growing frustrated with a lack of high-level engagement with high-level Biden administration officials on the issue as they watch lumber prices rise.

“They are clearly still gathering facts, which is even more frustrating given that this issue has been going on since before the election, before the inaugural,” said James Tobin, a vice president and top lobbyist at the NAHB.

 

(Reporting by David Lawder and Jarrett Renshaw in Washington and David Ljunggren in Ottawa; Writing by David Lawder; Editing by Paul Simao)

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Centerra to fight Kyrgyzstan takeover of its gold mine

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Centerra Gold said on Sunday it has initiated binding arbitration against Kyrgyzstan government, after the parliament passed a law allowing the state to temporarily take over the country’s biggest industrial enterprise, the Kumtor gold mine operated by Centerra.

Recently, a Kyrgyzstan court also imposed $3.1 billion fine on Kumtor Gold Company (KGC), which operates the gold mine, after ruling that the firm had violated environmental laws.

The gold miner said that it intends to hold the government accountable in the arbitration for “any and all losses and damage” due to its recent actions against KGC and the Kumtor mine if no resolution is reached.

“The Government’s actions have left Centerra no choice but to exercise our legal rights, through the pursuit of arbitration and otherwise, to protect the interests of KGC, Centerra and our shareholders,” Centerra’s Chief Executive Officer Scott Perry said in a press release.

Kyrgyzstan has a long history of disputes with Centerra Gold over how to share profits from the former Soviet republic’s biggest industrial enterprise.

 

(Reporting by Maria Ponnezhath in Bengaluru; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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