5 Ways Work Will Change in the Future

At least 30% of the activities associated with the majority of occupations in the United States (including knowledge workers) could be automated according to a McKinsey Global Institute Report.  Even though we can’t predict all the changes that will occur in the future, we do know there are things you can do to be prepared.  Read 5 ways work will change in the future via Forbes.

Write a Winning LinkedIn Headline

Ever wonder how to write a LinkedIn headline that will get you noticed?  The following are key messages and tips on how to use your LinkedIn headline to advance your personal branding objectives.

  • The headline is the section on LinkedIn that gets searched the most.
  • Your job title is not necessarily the right, or best, headline.  You have the ability to change your headline beyond the default that LinkedIn uses (your title).  Be purposeful in choosing the right headline.
  • The headline has a limit of 120 characters so plan your text wisely.
  • For consulting, consider spotlighting what you do and who you help.

Read Forbes magazine’s full article here for more details and examples.

Customize Your LinkedIn Background Photo

In follow-up to previous blog posts, we are highlighting another topic in the ongoing series of articles in Forbes entitled “The Baby Boomers Guide to LinkedIn.”  

The third topic in the series shifts focus to your LinkedIn Background Photo.

Rule #1 – Customize Your Background Photo/Banner
Take the time to customize your background photo/banner. You are not a “generic” professional, and it is vital that your presence on LinkedIn sends the right message.  By customizing your background photo/banner, you are also demonstrating that your understanding of tech and social media is “current”.

Rule #2 – Choose the Right Image for Your Personal Brand
Choose a background image that supports your personal brand.

Rule #3 – Choose an Image that Complements Your LinkedIn Headshot
Pick an image that works well with your LinkedIn headshot.  You may need to do some trial and error experiments to get this right.

Rule #4 – Know the Right Size
The size of your background photo/banner should be 1584 wide x 396 high.  Canva is a great tool to use for sizing of photos for social media purposes, and it is free.

Click here for more tips and to learn how Bill Gates has customized his background photo!

LinkedIn Photo Tips

In February Forbes launched a series of articles entitled “The Baby Boomers Guide to LinkedIn”.  This series provides great insights for the highly-experienced professional. 

The second article in the series focuses on 5 things to know about your LinkedIn photo (and, yes, you MUST include a photo on your profile). Here’s what you need to know:

1.  Headshot Only
Nothing else should be in the picture but your head, neck, and possibly the top of your shoulders.

2.  Professional Attire
You want to convey the right professional image so choose your outfit carefully. For men:  the formal business suit and tie is not seen much on LinkedIn unless that is your normal workday attire. These options are recommended instead: dress shirt open with jacket works very well for a classy look; dress shirt and tie; or just a collared dress shirt with a sweater or dress shirt. No casual shirts, short sleeve polos or t-shirts. For women:  a plain solid color outfit works best. Solid color dress, jacket, sweater or blouse.

3. Smile
It is best to smile to show enthusiasm and zest for life.

4. Lighting
Poor lighting can make any of us look older.  Outdoor lighting can be advantageous – especially on a cloudy, overcast day.

5.  Background
A plain background is best and less distracting.

Learn more here.

LinkedIn for Baby Boomers

LinkedIn is an essential tool for all business professionals to use. There is both art and science to building and sustaining an impactful LinkedIn profile, and the navigation between these two elements can be tricky – especially for highly experienced professionals.

We love that Forbes magazine has published the first article in a brand new series of articles named “The Baby Boomer’s Guide to LinkedIn.” Read the first article in the series that presents strategies baby boomers can deploy to fight age discrimination on LinkedIn.

Demand for Older Workers

Croixstone Consulting only hires experience – and demand is rising in the marketplace for older professionals with deep experience. With the labor market at its tightest in two decades, companies are increasingly turning to older workers to meet their talent needs.

Last September, Forbes magazine published an article addressing this trend that benefits older workers with experience.  We found the following factoids to be especially interesting:

  • The unemployment rate for people 55 and older is now just 3.1%, less than the overall jobless rate of 3.9%.
  • Workers 55 and older are the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. labor force.
  • Job growth for people 55 and older is up 4.5%, according to ADP. That’s more than twice as high as the 1.7% job growth for workers overall.

Read the full article here.

In Demand Projects + Skills for Consultants
Have you ever wondered what demand exists in the consulting marketplace for your skills?  Well, we have your answer courtesy of Forbes magazine.  Earlier this week, the magazine published an online article listing the most in demand projects and skills for “independent” consultants (the article is using this term to reference consultants who apply their skills outside the big firms like McKinsey and Accenture).
The most in demand projects for consultants include:
  • 61% Strategy:  Marketing + Sales Strategy, Growth Strategy, Opportunity Assessment, Product Strategy
  • 22% Operations:  Business Processes, Product Launch Planning, Supply Chain
  • 9% Transformation:  Business Intelligence and Analytics, IT/Tech Transformation
  • 4% Organization
  • 4% Interim Executive
The most in demand skills for independent consultants include:
  • Project Management
  • Market Landscape
  • Growth Strategy
  • Strategic Planning
  • Supply Chain
  • Program Management Office (PMO)
  • Corporate + Business Unit Strategy
  • Product Development and Launch
  • Market Access and Value
  • Innovation Strategy
Read the article to learn more about the leading industries using independent consultants, the company size leaders who use independents, and more.

What’s on the Mind of the Middle Market CEO?

Croixstone Consulting places a heavy focus on serving the middle market.  The middle market represents nearly 20,000 companies across the USA that generate approximately $10 trillion of the $30 trillion of annual gross receipts in the country. Middle market CEOs recently gathered at the annual “CEO Connection  Mid-Market Convention” at Wharton to discuss critical mid-market issues and challenges.  Read this article from Forbes to understand what’s on the mind of today’s middle market CEOs.

Expert Economy Growth

Croixstone’s business model is firmly founded in the “expert economy” as an “on demand” provider of highly-experienced, well educated consulting professionals.  According to a recent article published by Forbes, the growing on-demand model offers many companies access to a diverse talent pool that doesn’t exist in-house and would never make sense to build.  Read more here.