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The 10 secret keys to unlock your potential and build a network from scratch in no time.

A definition for Networking that has been circulating some time ago in the media was “The unpleasant task of trading favors with strangers.”

In truth, this is exactly how networking feels at first for most people I work with as a career
Fortunately, they are efficient technics for building a network quickly and keys to make the process more comfortable and sometime, yes enjoyable.

Key 1: start by taking care of yourself by refilling your energy level. When reaching out to others, they intuitively caliber on your mood and energy level. If you shine, they’ll give you more back than if you don’t. Nurture your optimism and treat yourself kindly.

Key2: Fill your life with something that animate you: If you do not find your own life interesting, you could not expect other to be interested in it in return.

Key3: Understand what your values are, the ones preventing you to fully emerge yourself into the networking activities and the ones which could be used as resources.

 Key4: Identify the sabotaging voice whispering in your head and call it for what it is “your inner sabotaging voice” which may well be telling you something different than what the reality is really about.

Key5: Levering on your resource values, craft an empowering positive say annihilating the inner sabotaging voice, make it your mantra.

Key6: Research, follow, reach, watch out, be on top of things to know what is happening in your world.

Key7: find a networking mate or several of them and let people know where you are networking, you increase the chance to meet known
faces where you’ll be.

Top 8: Let go on the result, connect to the present and allow yourself to simply enjoy being there.

Key9: After each networking session, make it a routine to carry on a benevolent debriefing with yourself: what went well? What did you do
that make it go well? What could you have done even better?

Key10: Reach to a coach or a mentor to help you orchestrating the above tips.

Sandrine van den Oudenhoven


About the author:

Sandrine van den Oudenhoven helps dual career couples to make their relocation in Switzerland a project for both. With the job4U2 programs, she is supporting the accompanying partners’ professional integration by sharing her knowledge of the Swiss economic network, of the recruiters’ expectations and custom, but also by deploying her ability to nurture individuals’ motivation and positive energy during this period of major changes.

10 tips to refresh your LinkedIn profile during the summer

Before you take any of the steps covered in this article, I recommend you go into the privacy and settings menu of your LinkedIn account and set your “Sharing edit profile” to No.

I suggest you first pay some visits to the LI profiles of professionals in your field to see how their LinkedIn Profiles look.

  • Which ones are more appealing to you?
  • What is making a profile interesting to you?
  • What makes you click on one profile and not another one?
  • What do you find on others’ profile that is missing on yours?

Tip 1
By default, it is set to your last title, but you can customise it as you want. Pick a headline that is in relation with the role which you now target. Make sure you use wordings used by employers in Switzerland (check job ads title and use similar key words). You have up to 120 characters to express what is your professional identity about. Make the best usage out of them. If you are a freelancer or an entrepreneur, pick words that tell more about you and what you do, than “owner” “Founder” or “freelancer”.

Tip 2
Make sure your location is set to Switzerland, otherwise you can’t expect recruiters and talent acquisition specialists to find you.

Tip 3
Pick the industry where you most would like to work, next rather than your current one.

Tip 4
Having a picture makes your profile 14 times more likely to be viewed by others. Use common sense to decide which picture to use. A few hints: good image, resolution, close portrait, recent, smiling, enthusiast, professional but nothing more than your usual dressing code in the type of job you target. If you are in a less “corporate” type of industry, you can allow yourself to a bit of fantasy. Cook dressed as a cook, sport marketer in a sport outfit, etc…

Tip 5
The Summary
2 crucial elements to take into account to write your summary:
Your audience: Who are they? (Head-hunters, sourcers, talent acquisition specialists, hiring managers, clients?) What are they looking for? What are they key criteria to look for a new colleague?
The algorithm: Think SEO, imagine you look for someone like you, which key words are you going to use in your search?
A few hints: Speak with “I”, use bullet points rather than long paragraph, list your know-how even if you have outlined them at other places of your profile, think USPs, think Value proposal, get inspiration from other LI profiles in your industry or functional area, add your contact details (email), if you are, add that you are available upon short notice, add media (e.g. CV in an infographic format)

Tip 6
Your contact and personal info
Provide your phone and email address, these will be only accessible to your connection.
If You would like your email details to be accessible to all, I recommend also adding them into your Summary.
Website URL
If you have your own website or blog or a URL link to your CV, this is the place to add it.
Chose “Other” in the Website URL type option of LI, this gives you the possibility to adjust the text with, as an example: “About me”.
Profile URL
Replace the ugly string of character by a clean URL as close to your first name Last name as possible, check and update your contact info if necessary.

Tip 7
Experience texts
Include all your experiences but focus on the experiences which are most relevant to the role you are now targeting by providing more details for those. Less relevant experiences should be kept short.

Tip 8
Look for the official schools registration on LinkedIn so that you can join the school LI alumni.
For non-academic education: add a courses section (this is sub-section to the LI accomplishments section), you can leave the number section empty.

Tip 9
Do not forget your mother tongue!
Use Linked Pre-set category. Be consistent with your CV. Do not be shy, other won’t.

Tip 10
Skills and endorsement
An efficient way to update your skills is to take your CV, to highlight all the relevant key words, soft and hard skills and then to enter these words in the skills search window and pick the closest one provided by LinkedIn.
Organise your skills with the ones most relevant to your next career step, first.

Bonus Tip
LinkedIN Career interest feature
Activate the career interest functionality.

With these 11 tips, you have improved your LinkedIn branding, to go further and to use LinkedIn to market yourself, the job4U2 career coaches are competent professionals to help you set up a targeted and efficient LinkedIn activity strategy in relation to the career objective you want to reach.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you want to know more about the 4U2 programs method and content and please share this blog with your friends and networks!

Sandrine van den Oudenhoven

About the author:
sandrinepicture_contactSandrine van den Oudenhoven helps dual career couples to make their relocation in Switzerland a project for both. With the job4U2 programs, she is supporting the accompanying partners’ professional integration by sharing her knowledge of the Swiss economic network, of the recruiters’ expectations and custom, but also by deploying her ability to nurture individuals’ motivation and positive energy during this period of major changes.


What is the job4U2 Circle about?

The job4U2 Circle is a linkedIn group which has been created in 2012 to the exclusive use of professionals who have or are about to follow their partners’ job in Switzerland.

The Circle is a place for accompanying partners, involved in a dual-career couple, to connect, exchange, present their skills, network with recruiting companies, corporate recruiters and peers.

On a regular base, the job4U2 consultants, post selected articles relevant to people wishing to settle a career in Switzerland, either as employee or as entrepreneur. Most of the selected articles are specific to Swiss topics. Articles are in English, French or German.

Like in all communities, rules and etiquettes apply. They are designed to ensure the job4U2 Circle remains, vibrant and useful for all group members.

  1. This is a closed group, exclusively for spouses and partners of International employees (local or expat) who will or have already settled in Switzerland. The registration is submitted to pre-approval. To this purpose, professionals who want to join the group are invited to send a note to the group manager to confirm their quality of accompanying partner. Registration will be granted only after reception of this confirmation.
  2. The group is also open to corporate members from Swiss based companies and to recruiting offices.
  3. The job4U2 Circle is meant for group members to connect and to interact on a common platform to exchange best practices, market insights, jobs and other valuable job related knowledge and information.
  4.  Corporate members and recruiting companies are allowed to share job offers.
  5.  Postings will not be checked by the moderators before they go live. Participant are invited to self and constant moderation
  6. Posting commercial comments in discussions when such comments have nothing to do with the discussion is not allowed.
  7. Be kind, polite and respectful of other members.
  8. Post should be written in English.

Some exemples of topics you will find on the Circle:

  • Special offer for the job4U2 Circle members: 20% off on your Professional CV/ LI pictures with Simon Whitehead Photographe.
  • The latest development of the job ads volume in Switzerland
  • 41 ideas to start your own business in Switzerland
  • And more!