Monthly Archives: September 2013

Taking the Mystery Out of LinkedIn by ed2go Instructor Ron Nash

ed2go Introduction to LinkedIn Career Networking

Taking the Mystery Out of LinkedIn by ed2go Instructor Ron Nash

You’ve probably heard about how great LinkedIn is, and you’ve likely gotten some invitations from friends and colleagues to connect. But if you’re like a lot of people out there, you don’t really get why you should be using it. What’s in it for you?

Well, I’m happy to explain. If you’re serious about your career or job search, you’ll want to learn how to leverage LinkedIn.

Why LinkedIn?

I was an early adapter to LinkedIn, and I’ve benefited from it for more than a decade. There are too many uses for me to state in this article, but here are a few ways LinkedIn can help you:

  • Get a job offer before you graduate
  • Change careers
  • Transition back into the workplace
  • Find mentors in your industry
  • Find a job or an internship while in school
  • Generate business opportunities
  • Build new relationships with potential employers
  • Increase your face-to-face networking effectiveness
  • Research people and companies
  • Connect with business associates and colleagues
  • Maintain connections with your past classmates and alumni

If I were a student or a professional, I’d create a LinkedIn network in my desired industry that consisted of:

  • Decision makers
  • Industry thought leaders
  • Industry-specific recruiters
  • Industry peers
  • LinkedIn industry-specific groups

This would give me access to industry professionals within three degrees of myself at all times. In other words, I could connect with people who are connected to people who are connected to people I’m connected to! Wait. What?

Three degrees of separation. And this means that if I ever needed anything—including a new job—I’d have the resources available within my network.

Here’s a rule to keep in mind: Reciprocation is part of networking. Friends help friends!


Learning to Use LinkedIn Effectively

It’s not difficult to use LinkedIn. If it were difficult, it wouldn’t be one of the most successful business networking sites on the Web. Millions of people around the globe are using it, and millions of people are benefiting from it.

I’m here to give you some tips for using it effectively. This is simple to do—it just takes time and commitment. The good thing is that we’re all lifelong learners. You already know that the more time you put in, the more efficient you become.

So let’s look at a few quick tips for how to use LinkedIn:

  • Create a LinkedIn Profile. LinkedIn basic accounts are free!
  • Connect with everyone in your class or alumni. This will help build your network quickly with people you have something in common with.
  • Connect with all of your friends. Adding as many people as you can to your network will increase access to the vast database of more than 240 million professionals.
  • Join a LinkedIn Group. A LinkedIn group is an industry-specific community that anyone can join or start.
  • Find an industry-specific headhunter. There are many recruiters using LinkedIn who are looking for talent every day.
  • Use LinkedIn Jobs. LinkedIn is a significant job aggregator. And many of the postings you’ll find on LinkedIn you won’t find anywhere else.
  • Research potential employers. Before you apply for an opportunity, research and interview employees who work there. In many cases, you make new friends who are willing to help.
  • Be consistent. Schedule your usage of LinkedIn, and visit the site regularly to check for updates, make connections, improve your profile, and search for jobs.

My Online Course on LinkedIn

Introduction to LinkedIn Career Networking is an online course that you can take over 6 weeks with 24/7 access. Not only will you learn everything you need to know about LinkedIn and how to use it effectively, this course will also give you the tools you need to succeed in today’s competitive market.

Think of me as your personal career coach. I’ll walk you down the path to success, and along the way, I’ll show you how to use LinkedIn and what to do with the connections and leads you get from this 21st century business networking platform. We’ll cover the hidden job market, online research tools, email and correspondence etiquette, netiquette (etiquette for online communication), interviewing techniques for phone, Skype, and in-person meetings—and we’ll even discuss how creative individuals can use LinkedIn to boost their careers.

As you can see, we cover a lot in this course. It’s 6 weeks packed full of helpful career strategies that you won’t find anywhere else. Introduction to LinkedIn Career Networking will take the mystery out of LinkedIn and career networking. I hope to see you there!


Mark Wahlberg & Taco Bell Foundation for Teens Announce a Pilot Partnership with ed2go


Taco Bell and Kinexus Partner with Cengage Learning’s ed2go to Offer First of Its Kind High School Educational Scholarships

Companies to provide fully accredited high school diplomas and career certificates to help employees succeed in workforce

STAMFORD, Conn., Sept. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – Taco Bell and Kinexus have signed on as the first two partners in Cengage Learning/Smart Horizon Career Online Education’s (SHCOE) Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action to reengage employees in the educational system. The CGI Commitment includes a scholarship agreement to offer fully accredited high school diplomas and career certificates to employees in the retail, hospitality, and food service industries via the Career Online High School.

“Whether it is in news reports or a politician’s speech, we consistently hear that there are not enough skilled workers to fill job openings throughout the country,” said Ron Stefanski, Chief Business Development Officer at ed2go. “Through programs such as the Career Online High School, we are offering workers an opportunity to complete a high school diploma and post-secondary education, providing skills and a springboard to better opportunities.”

ed2go, the largest provider of turnkey online training and part of Cengage Learning, and SHCOE, the world’s first AdvancED/SACS accredited online school district, partnered in 2012 to provide affordable, career-based online education opportunities for the millions of adults in the United States without high school diplomas. Their partnership led to the establishment of Career Online High School, which offers students the opportunity to earn an accredited 18-credit high school diploma and credentialed career certificate in a single comprehensive online program. Career Online High School served over 2,500 students in its first year of operation.

Kinexus, a workforce development company promoting economic vitality in the southwest Michigan region, will offer the Career Online High School scholarship program to members of the communities it serves through Bridge Academy. Kinexus established Bridge Academy in 2010 to provide education opportunities for residents between the ages of 16 and 24. Located in Benton Harbor—one of Michigan’s poorest cities—the school focuses on teaching the skills local businesses need so students can find employment when they graduate.

“One of our biggest economic challenges in Southwest Michigan is that there are communities within the region where fewer than half the residents ages 18 to 24 have high school diplomas,” said Todd Gustafson, Kinexus’ Executive Director. “SHCOE is a proven, innovative, 21st-century solution to this problem and we see Career Online High School as an important new tool in our arsenal to educate workers so that the local economy can thrive off of the local workforce.”

Also signing a partnership agreement with SHCOE and ed2go is Taco Bell, the nation’s leading Mexican-inspired quick service restaurant, which will offer this key educational benefit to its employees, enabling them to earn high school diplomas and career certificates. Being a high school graduate is a requirement for promotion to management within Taco Bell, and also gives participants life skills they can use in any job beyond Taco Bell.

Former Taco Bell employee Deanna Boersma, a graduate of Career Online High School, said, “The program allowed me to get the education I needed to pursue the job that I always wanted and set me up for success. As a result of my degree, I was able to earn more money, get good benefits and buy a house. And if I ever want to go to college, I can do that as well. I am hopeful that the program will offer other Taco Bell employees the opportunities it has afforded me.”

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Drawing for the Absolute Beginner by ed2go Instructor Chad Walker

Drawing for the Absolute Beginner

Drawing for the Absolute Beginner by ed2go Instructor Chad Walker

Observation skills: These are great tools that artists have, and ones that carry through in all aspects of life. As we draw still lifes in a studio or sketch people traveling on the subway, we have the chance to sit and stare for long periods of time.

As a beginning artist, you get an opportunity to begin perceiving the world, taking it in and then expressing it through your drawings. Think about, for instance, when you walked into your room and sat down in front of the computer. Can you tell me (without looking) what type of doorknob is on your door? Or better yet, which side of the door the hinges are on?

Becoming more aware of your surroundings by increasing your level of observation is just one of the many exciting steps you can take on the path to becoming an artist.

Chad Walker teaches Drawing for the Absolute Beginner for ed2go

Speeding Up a Sluggish PC by ed2go Instructor Scott Jernigan

ed2go Introduction to PC Troubleshooting

Speeding Up a Sluggish PC by ed2go Instructor Scott Jernigan

A friend complained recently that her year-old PC was running really slowly. Browsing the Web was crazy. She’d click something and have to wait almost a minute before the page would load. It wasn’t the Internet, and her cable speeds hadn’t changed. What was making her PC so sluggish?

This situation is pretty common with almost every Windows PC. Background programs designed to optimize performance of certain applications—like Adobe Reader or Microsoft Office—often clutter the computer, taking up memory and slowing down the operating system. My friend had over 40 of these programs running! The good news is, they’re not necessary. You can safely and easily stop these programs from auto-starting—often with dramatic results.

Here’s how: (1) Click the Start button, type msconfig, and press ENTER. (2) When the System Configuration utility comes up, select the Startup tab and deselect auto-starting programs like Adobe Reader, Microsoft Office, QuickTime, Java, and anything that says “update.” Don’t deselect programs that say “Catalyst,” come from NVIDIA (these work with your screen), or say “point” or “pointer.” (3) Reboot your computer. (Be sure to try out things you regularly do to make sure you didn’t turn off an essential program. If something suddenly isn’t working, just go back to msconfig, re-enable that program, and reboot again.) Your PC should be much more responsive!

Scott Jernigan teaches Introduction to PC Troubleshooting for ed2go