Digital declutter: LinkedIn groups

Digital declutter: LinkedIn Groups

Digital declutter: LinkedIn Groups

As you know, I’m on a mission to declutter my home and move towards a more decluttered life. So today, I took a look at my LinkedIn account. I’m an expert on LinkedIn and have even written several books on the subject, but that doesn’t mean that my account isn’t cluttered.

My focus today was to examine my LinkedIn groups. You’re allowed to join up to 100 different groups on LinkedIn, and the members of each group become part of your LinkedIn network. For this reason, I tend to advise people to join the maximum number of groups, as this helps you get found in LinkedIn search results. However, I’ve changed direction in the last year but my LinkedIn groups don’t reflect this, for example, I’m still a member of several training groups.

To navigate to your Groups, you need to click on the Interests link and then choose Groups. You then have the option of  Group highlights, My Groups and Discover. In my groups, you can see a list of all the groups that you are a member of, with the most active groups shown first. For this reason, I started at the bottom of the list, looking at those groups that are most inactive, and applied my personal rule book for keeping groups:

  1. it must validate some part of my profile
  2. it must be part of an offline network that I’m a member of
  3. it must be relevant to any of my activities: decluttering, coaching, writing, social media marketing and entrepreneurship
  4. it must help me develop my business for example be a place where potential clients hang out

Of the groups that I’ve kept, only two don’t meet that criteria, and that’s because they are two groups that help veterans. Whilst I no longer do LinkedIn profile assessments or optimisation, I can still offer advice on how to improve profiles.

My short declutter means that I’m now a member of only 26 groups. I could declutter more, but that would potentially impact on where I appear on search results.

If you want to declutter your LinkedIn or Facebook groups, create a rule book for yourself that you can use to help you decide on which groups you stay a member of. Where groups have a similar niche, then look at how active the group is. I don’t mean the number of discussions, but how much interaction there is on those groups. Many groups have loads of discussions that are purely group members posting their latest blog post, but if there is no interaction, then that could indicate that the culture of the group is to post content only.

Manners and LinkedIn

Manners and LinkedIn

Manners and LinkedIn

“Manners are boring!” declared my little boy at dinner.

“Ok”, I said, “But what happens when you say please and thank you?”

After a moment’s thought, my little one realised “I get what I want”

Explaining good manners to a young child is fairly easy. To them, it’s simply saying “please” when you ask for something and “thank you” when you get it. With a bit of positive reinforcement, mine soon learnt the benefit of manners: if he said please he had a better chance of getting what he asked for. If he didn’t say please, then his request was ignored. However, to some people, manners seem to have gone out of fashion.  But if you’re on LinkedIn, then you’d better get over that idea. On LinkedIn, manners are not only expected, they are essential.  If you don’t use them, then you’ll stand out a mile, but for the wrong reasons.

What are manners?

Manners are the customs and standards used in society. However, there are cultural differences across the world.

Have a look at this old video about cultural differences:

On LinkedIn, it’s simple. Use please and thank you.

When to say please

When should you say please? Pretty much whenever you’re asking for something. Whether you’re sending a request for an introduction, an endorsement of a skill or a recommendation, always say please. The person may turn down your request, for example, I’ve had new connections that I’ve never met ask me for a recommendation. (Even if you say please, that’s not going to happen!) However, they will remember that you did say please, and are less likely to be annoyed by the request, than if the request is done in a manner that is perceived as being quite rude.

When to say thank you

When should you say thank you. Again, whenever, someone does something for you. This could be when someone:

  • accepted your invitation to connect
  • endorsed your skills
  • provided a recommendation
  • liked and/or shared an update or post
  • commented on an update or post
  • introduced you to their connection
  • emailed you about a job

So next time you logon to LinkedIn, check your notifications. If someone has been kind enough to do something for you, send them a quick email saying thank you. They’ll remember that you did.

Related posts:

6 Quick ways to add value to your network

Take care for now

Karen x

PS If you’re looking for help with LinkedIn, then I have a range of books, e-learning courses and services that you may find useful. Use the form below if you’d like a chat. Just give me a bit of notice, because, I’m a mum and a carer, so don’t always have time to check or update my online calendar.

My 10 Commandments for Job Magnets

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My last post was my 10 commandments for LinkedIn, today’s post is focusing on Job Magnets.

What are Job Magnets?

Job magnets are those people who seem to attract jobs to them. You may well be a job magnet yourself or know someone who never has a problem getting a job. I used to be a job magnet. I had recruiters ringing me up to see if I was available for work. I once applied for a job, didn’t get it, but the organisation created a whole new job, just for me. It’s an amazing feeling being wanted, but it takes time to get there.

If you’d like to become a job magnet in the future, then these are my 10 commandments:

1. Thou shalt recognise that thou ist unique, with thine own values, skills and experiences, for thy hast travelled thine own journey.

There is only one you, so best the very best version of you that you can be. Don’t compare yourself to others. They are on their own journey and may have advantages or disadvantages that you’re not aware of.

You have a unique set of gifts, value them. If you don’t who will? If you don’t know what they are, then take some time to find out. Try one of the career assessment tools and the VIA strengths assessment tool.

2. Thou ist responsible for thine own employability, for it is by taking responsibility that thy takes control.

You and you alone are responsible for your career, and for getting you a job. Learn to look at the recruitment process from the employers point of view, looking at what problems they have, so that you can demonstrate to them that you are the solution. Learn to build tailor-made resumes that get you interviews for the jobs that you want, and learn how to ace job interviews. You need to master these basic job hunting skills to be able to get to that point in your career where people seek you out for a job that they have in mind for you.

3. Thou shalt set career goals for thyself, for it is by meeting these goals that thy career willst develop

When you set out on any journey, you usually have a destination in mind. For a long journey, you’ll map out the different stages of the journey, stop off point refueling etc. You’ll also think about how you’re going to get there. The same applies to your career. Take to time to think about where you would like to be in 5 years time, and 10 years time. And then think about how you are going to get there. What actions will you need to take to get there for example does the job you want have a basic requirement for an MBA? In which case, what do you need to get on the course? What is the cost, the pre-requisites in terms of experience and qualifications?

4. Thou shalt work smart, as well as hard, for no-one’s headstone mentions thy job.

Hard work never killed anyone, but it will leave you burnt out if you’re not careful. Learn how to manage your time and prioritise your tasks, so that you’re effective at work. Make sure that you take time for yourself and your family.

5. Thou shalt recognise the importance of continuous professional development, for in this way thy shalt develop the knowledge and skills to become an expert in thy field.

As part of my nursing registration I was required to complete 5 days professional development every 3 years, and to maintain a professional portfolio that could be requested by the Nursing and Midwifery Council at any time. However, I soon learnt that I needed to take responsibility for my own professional development. When needed, I paid to attend the courses that would help my career, taking annual leave where needed. In many cases this was the only way that I could develop the skills to take my career to the next level.

6. Thou shalt build thine own personal brand, for thou dost recognise that thy reputation goes before thee.

Personal branding is just a fancy way of saying your reputation, but it goes further than that, because it encompasses your online and offline, personal and business personas. Decide what you want to be known for, and then build your personal brand from the bottom up, creating your own toolkit as you go.

It’s important not just to build your reputation, but also to manage it. Look at where you are visible and identify ways of increasing your visibility across the 3 areas of people, places and events. Check out this post to access the free download.

7. Thou shalt develop thy own personal code, for it is through integrity that we learn to trust and respect you.

My overriding code is to treat others as you would like to be treated. Whether it is the CEO or the janitor of the office building, treat all people with kindness and respect. Develop your own personal code, so that, like Gibbs in NCIS, people come to know, trust and respect you, because they understand the moral code and framework that you live by.

8.  Thou shalt work at building thy network, for it is in thine network that thine next job will be found.

You have different circles of friends and colleagues, and these may be online and off. To widen your network, you’ll need to go to places where you’ll meet new people

Access the hidden job market by building your reputation and your network, so that if a job becomes available, the key staff (managers and HR staff) will think of you as the perfect candidate.

9. Thou shalt only make promises that thy can keep, for it is through credibility that we build influence.

At an influencing skills course that I attended many moons ago, the trainer said that she would give £1 to the first person to stand up. After a few minutes of everyone looking at each other, one person stood up, and was promptly given £1. The trainer then said again that she would give £1 to the first person to stand up. As a group we all stood up. The trainer had kept her promise and everyone recognised that. She had built her credibility.

Credibility is the foundation of building influence, and keeping your promises helps build your credibility. People will come to you because if you say you’ll do something, you’ll stick with it until it’s completed.

10. Thou shalt try and engage thy brain before thy mouth, for what thou sayest may come back to haunt thee.

I live in Ireland, where there isn’t 6 degrees of separation, more like 2 1/2! Everyone knows everyone else, and when you meet someone new, the conversation starts with where you’re from so that they can find shared connections. So if you make a derogatory comment about someone, it will get back to them. Guaranteed.

The workplace is similar. Even within some industries it seems like everyone knows someone who knows someone. So before you say something negative about someone, ask yourself: would you say it to their face, could you back it up and how would they feel if you did? If you wouldn’t say it to the person’s face, then don’t say it behind their back.


So that’s my 10 commandments for job magnets. Would you have included something different? What would that be?

These 10 commandment can be downloaded as a pdf 

Related posts:


Job Magnet tools: 5 Books that job magnets should read

5 Books all job magnets should read

5 Books all job magnets should read

I love reading and have nearly 1000 books on my Kindle, however, in terms of helping people looking for work, there are 5 best-sellers that I would recommend to anyone looking to become a job magnet. To me, a job magnet is someone who:

  • works hard
  • has a great reputation in their field of expertise
  • works well with others, never losing their cool
  • is able to communicate their value to others

To achieve this they need to:

  • know themselves and understand their value
  • be able to communicate that value for example on a resume and in interview
  • have a strong personal brand
  • have a strong network of contacts
  • work with emotional intelligence

For this reason, these are my list of 5 books that job magnets should read:

What colour is your parachute? 2015: A practical manual for Job-Hunters and Career-changers by Richard N. Bolles

The job-hunters bible. It’s full of exercises to help you find your mission in life and the 16 tips about interviewing for a job are a must-read for every job hunter.

Working with Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman

Did you know that your EQ, rather than your IQ is a key determiner to how successful you’ll be. Learn about the 12 personal competencies  and 13 key relationship skills, and take your career to the next level.

Resume Magic: Trade secrets of a professional resume writer by Susan Britton Whitcomb

This is my resume writing bible. It has great checklists and so many resumes to give you ideas on presentation and content. My copy is always close by. I wouldn’t be without it.

The Rules of Work: A definitive code for personal success by Richard Templar

Richard Templar came up with 108 rules for work.  Whilst many would be seen as common sense, taken as a whole, it’s a blueprint for success at work. Just make sure that you have the work/life balance sorted.

Personal Branding for Dummies by Susan Chritton

Learn how to market yourself by learning about your value in the workplace and how you can communicate this to the rest of the world.

These are my top 5 books that job magnets should read, but there are many more out there. What are you favourites? What should I add to my reading list? I’d love to hear what you say so please post a comment below.


Many self-publishing authors have free promotions on Amazon, so if you navigate to the Kindle Bestsellers lists, choose the “Top 100 free” tab. Next find the Careers section in Business and Finance and you can download lots of free books offering job-hunting advice.

Take care for now

Karen x

10 Tips for networking offline

10 Tips for networking offline

10 Tips for networking offline

Tomorrow I’m booked to attend the #Bizpartyinspires Conference in Dublin. The people who have booked to attend the conference are all part of a Twitter chat group that happens on Wednesday nights, so it will be really great to put faces to Twitter handles and take the networking offline. I don’t know about you, but, being an introvert, I find these sort of events a little bit intimidating, so I was grateful to receive some of these tips from Sean Weafer, author of The High Trust Advisor: How to find, close and keep excellent clients, when he presented at a networking event that I attended last year. I find them very useful when preparing to attend events like this.

  1. Remember the reason why you booked to attend? What was it? Were there specific speakers that you wanted to hear, people that you wanted to meet? Whatever the reason, set yourself a goal for the event and try and focus on achieving it. for example to come away with 3 new contacts that you can follow up with coffee.
  2. In all likelihood, you will be judged from the moment that you enter the room, so make sure that you’ve dressed for the event. Knowing that you look your best will help reduce your nerves.
  3. Check your appearance before you leave home.
  4. Make sure that you bring business or networking cards with you.
  5. Practice your handshake. Like it or not, this alone tells people a lot about you.
  6. If you find these events intimidating, then you’re not alone. Try and go with someone that you know if possible, but know that there will be a large portion of people who will also find the event uncomfortable.
  7. Practice what you will say, when you introduce yourself. So something like “Hi, my name is Karen. I…. ” And don’t forget to smile!
  8. Look at the body language of the people in the room, and see where you can join in the conversations:
    • The person alone is a prime candidate to talk to. They are probably as nervous as you and will appreciate having someone to talk to.
    • Two people talking to each other. If they are facing each other, then the conservation is closed, so don’t try and join in. If they are facing each other at an angle, then they have created a space for you to join them. Just ask, “would you mind if I join you?”
    • In larger groups, look for an opening to join the group. For example in a group of three people, if they are grouped in a triangle, then the conversation is closed, whereas if they are grouped like three sides of a square, then there’s an opening for you. Look for openings.
  9. Listen to what people are saying, and let them do the talking. Don’t forget, people like to talk about themselves, and this saves you having to talk about yourself, if you’re uncomfortable doing this.
  10. If you struggle with small talk then remember the basics and use open questions that require more than a yes or no answer:
    • And what do you do?
    • How did you get here today?
    • What do you think about:
      • a recent sports match
      • a programme on TV
      • a movie in the cinema
      • a story in the news

So I’m almost ready for tomorrow:

  • alarm clock set, as it’s an early start
  • clothes ready
  • shoes cleaned
  • ticket printed off
  • directions ready
  • business cards in handbag
  • diary in handbag
  • objectives in mind
  • tweets and status updates telling people that I’m going, have been posted

As an introvert, preparation is key for me. Sean’s tip about how to work a room, by actively looking for people to talk to and knowing where opportunities for opening are has made this a lot less scary. As much as I enjoy networking online, to really get to know people, you need to take it offline.

So over to you. How do you prepare for offline networking events? I’d love to hear your tips, so feel free to post them below.

Take care for now

Karen x

Networking on LinkedIn: What LinkedIn groups to join?

Which LinkedIn groups to join?

What LinkedIn groups to join?

Whether you’re using LinkedIn for business or for finding the next job, networking is essential to achieve both aims. The place to network on LinkedIn is via LinkedIn groups. There are over 2 million groups on LinkedIn, with the largest group being made up of 1.8 million users, the smallest being 1, however, you can only join a maximum of 50, so how do you choose which groups to join? There are currently 7 types of groups on LinkedIn:

  1. Alumni – the group shares the same school, college or university.
  2. Corporate – the group share the same workplace.
  3. Conference – group members attended the same conference.
  4. Networking – the group members share a common interest and network within it e.g. some business networking groups.
  5. Nonprofit – the group members share a common interest in the organisation.
  6. Professional – the group members belong to the same professional organisation.
  7. Other – i.e. none of the above!

What LinkedIn groups to join?

When you choose which groups to join, make sure that you include:

  • Groups that validate your profile. For example:
    • professional groups where you have to provide proof of membership before being accepted
    • alumni groups that validate your education section
    • company groups that how that you work there
    • conference networking groups that show you attended
  • Groups were your peers hang out. Take a look at the profiles of your colleagues and see which groups they have joined. If they are relevant to you, consider joining them yourself
  • Groups in your geographical area. Some groups are based around a specific geographic area like a city, state or county. If you are looking for work in a specific area, then these groups may be able to help.
  • Groups where thought-leaders hang out. They may have their own group to disseminate information, or be part of a niche group. To find out where the people that you’d like to learn from hang out, check out their profile. If you can’t see their complete profile, then consider following them.
  • Groups where potential clients/employers hangout. Do some research and look at groups that will extend your network, for example, when I was working with a business client, we found that the type of people who would hire her company would be in the C-suite. Therefore, we did a search on groups for CEO and found some open groups for them to join.

To find groups to join:

To the left of the search box, use the drop down menu to select “Groups”

Enter your search criteria, for example “CEO”

When you look at the search results, you’ll find the largest, most active groups are displayed first. You’ll have the option to join or view the group. The groups that you have chosen to join of will be displayed at the bottom of your profile. People viewing your profile can then see if they are members of the same group, and therefore part of the same network. If they are not, they get the option to join. This is important, because if there is someone that you particularly want to connect with, joining a group that they are also a member of allows you to:

  • Like or comment on a discussion that they have posted.
  • Post content on the group that your target person will see.
  • Start engaging your target person in conversation, so that if you send them an invitation to connect, they remember who you are and are more likely to accept the invitation.


LinkedIn groups are a great place to network, however, you can only belong to up to 50 groups, so you need to chose carefully. Make sure that you join a range of different groups, so that you broaden your network, and then start gently introducing yourself to the group.


If you’re looking for a job, then why not take my free Get That Job challenge? It covers preparing a resume that gets you interviews, building a killer LinkedIn profile, networking and interview skills. Alternatively my Get That Job Club has an exclusive range of courses and resources designed to help you get the job that you want. Try it for 1 month for only €5.

If you’d like some 1:1 help and support, then consider becoming a VIP client. My VIP package includes 13 weeks resume and LinkedIn coaching, weekly coaching calls (in person, by phone or via Skype), email support and so much. Check it out.

Take care for now

Karen x

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