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  • 02 Mar 2017 9:30 PM | Carolyn Sutton (Administrator)

    By: Liz Ryan     

    The end of the year has arrived — faster than ever!

    You’ve changed over the past twelve months. You are a different person now than you were in January. This is the perfect time to update your LinkedIn profile.

    Take a few minutes to log into LinkedIn and visit the Edit Profile page, read through your profile and see whether it still describes you.

    You can update your profile to move things around, change them or get rid of them if they’re no longer accurate or relevant.

    It’s a very good idea to update your LinkedIn profile at least once a year, or more often if things are changing in your work or career.

    Here are five ways to update your LinkedIn profile before January first:

    1. Update your headline

    2. Update your Summary

    3. Update your Skills, Projects, etc.

    4. Enhance your profile with media

    5. Grab your unique profile URL if you haven’t already

    Your headline is one of the few parts of your profile a LinkedIn user will see when they conduct a search on the LinkedIn user database and your profile is one of the search results.

    Your headline is critical because it tells a visitor to your page — or someone who sees your name  and headline in a list of search results — how to think about you.

    It is understandable that people tie themselves up in knots trying to come up with the perfect LinkedIn headline. Don’t worry about finding the pitch-perfect headline right now – the end of the year is stressful enough on its own.

    For now, choose a LinkedIn headline that more or less captures what you do professionally or how you want to be seen professionally by people who don’t know you.

    Here are some LinkedIn headline ideas:

    1. Controller for Growing Businesses

    2. Art Director and Print/Web Graphic Designer

    3. 2017 Marketing Grad Seeking Entry-Level Role

    You can use your headline to announce that you’re job-hunting if you aren’t working right now.

    You can think about LinkedIn headline over a few days or weeks and change it whenever you want.

    Personal branding is hard. Sometimes a good friend can be your best branding partner. Your friend will tell you how your friends and colleagues see you. Our friends often know us better than we know ourselves.

    Next on our update list is your LinkedIn Summary. You can write your Summary in paragraph form. Your Summary tells the story of you as a working person. It can be simple or complex. Here’s an example:

    I’m a Public Relations person who loves to get the word out about exciting products and services. I’ve gotten my employers and clients covered by CNN, the Chicago Tribune and the Wall Street Journal.

    You can decide how long or short your Summary will be.

    Take this opportunity to update your Summary with your 2016 projects, learning and accomplishments.

    If you can’t remember what you accomplished or learned in 2016, that’s a reminder to get a journal and start keeping track of your triumphs next year.

    If you read through your LinkedIn Summary and can’t see any way to change it based on your 2016 adventures, you may want to ask yourself why your job still deserves you.

    The right job gives you continual learning. That is all you will ever have to sell employers and/or clients.

    After updating your Summary you will scroll down through your LinkedIn profile to read what you’re currently saying about yourself in the many LinkedIn fields and categories.

    You can list and describe projects you worked on in 2016 or previous years. You can describe any talks you’ve given, internal or external presentations and committees or task forces you served on.

    You can have fun building out your LinkedIn profile. Business people like to deal with people who are well-rounded. It builds trust to know that someone is more than just their resume. You certainly are!

    You can add to or prune the list of Skills that your LinkedIn connections can endorse you for.

    Your Skills listing is one way of conveying the things you do, think about and care about professionally.

    You can be very serious or you can get silly in listing your Skills. LinkedIn can be a cold place, and many users will appreciate your efforts to warm it up.

    Now your LinkedIn profile is looking sharp! Next to do is to add media. You can upload presentations, images, video and other visual or aural content to enhance your LinkedIn profile, and I recommend that you do.

    If you don’t yet have one of your favorite images at the top of your LinkedIn profile, why not add one now? If you don’t like your LinkedIn profile photo, press one of your friends into service to take a new photo to replace the old one.

    If you have not yet created your unique LinkedIn profile URL, now is the perfect time to do it.

    To start, click on the Profile link in the horizontal navigation bar at the top of the your LinkedIn homepage. A pull-down menu will appear. Click on Edit Profile at the top of the list.

    On the Edit Profile page you will see a URL beneath your photo. That is the URL for your LinkedIn profile. If it is a long, gnarly URL full of random characters, you need a customized LinkedIn URL. To get one, click on the gear icon next to the gnarly URL.

    Doing that will take you to the page where you can create a customized, unique LinkedIn profile URL with your name in it, like this:

    Why do you need a customized LinkedIn URL? It is a handy thing to have!

    You can include your LinkedIn URL in your email signature, on your resume and on your consulting business cards — a box of which is a tremendous gift to give yourself this holiday season.

    You deserve your own, personal and individual business cards as you stride into 2017, running your own career.

    The new year is a new start, and it’s only a couple of weeks away. Bring your new and constantly-evolving self out to the world through a mighty and up-to-date LinkedIn profile!


  • 03 Feb 2017 10:07 AM | Carolyn Sutton (Administrator)

    Tuesday, January 26, 2016 - by  Sue Kaiden 

    Writing your resume can be a frustrating experience. Ask 10 people for their opinions and you’ll get 10 different answers! In order to help you sort out conflicting advice, we’ve compiled a few of our best articles and resources on resumes. 

    How to Make Your Resume Stand Out: Career coach and resume writer Ed Hallenbeck shares his thoughts on resume development to help you make your resume stand out from the crowd;

    Resume Essentials: Lakeisha Matthews describes her recipe for developing a resume that will stand the test of time with a particular focus for Instructional Designers;

    Resumes for Online Applications: Lynne Williams provides excellent advice on formatting your resume for online applications to avoid the online application black hole

    Read More

  • 18 Dec 2016 5:29 PM | Carolyn Sutton (Administrator)
    By Ann Iverson, Senior Instructional Designer 

    In last month’s ID Essentials blog, we were instructional designers at World of Wings, Inc., a commercial airline dedicated to safety. We covered how to unpack those big, overstuffed objectives by first aligning them with business goals and then breaking them apart into smaller tasks. Now, let’s turn to a new issue at World of Wings.

    Safety numbers are in, and World of Wings continues to see low performance from its maintenance technicians. World of Wings wants to reduce both the severity and frequency of injuries that occur in the company’s maintenance hangars. Because many facilities emphasize and reward production output as a priority, World of Wings has found that employees take dangerous shortcuts to save time and maximize production. Those shortcuts often result in injury. Company stakeholders have agreed that training is essential for eliminating safety errors.

    We meet with SMEs to get some background information and define the course. They explain that they want an e-learning onboarding safety course – no more than 10 minutes. They also bring along their list of 10 objectives:

    1. Be aware of the 10 safety principles and how they provide a foundation for the company’s safety culture.

    2. Know the safety policies to protect World of Wings property and people.

    3. Wear the appropriate Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for the employee’s role.

    4. Identify and control common hazards at the maintenance hangar.

    5. Understand the employee’s role in safety maintenance and communication.

    6. Report any adverse information concerning employee safety and security violations.

    7. Recall facts related to Safety Data Sheets, including chemical storage and spill containment.

    8. Take the right steps in emergency situations such as fires, injuries, and natural disasters.

    9. Know the emergency exits in the employee’s facility.

    10. Employ personal safety strategies to reduce risk of workplace violence.

    Where, oh, where do we begin? Our ID instinct tells us that there’s just too much stuff for one 10-minute course, but how do we respond? We conclude that we have two options:

    Option A:

    Accept all 10 objectives as they are and try to design the course to touch on each one briefly. After all, we need to keep our stakeholders happy. We’re also delivering an onboarding course, so why not give learners a taste of everything?

    Option B:

    Recognize that we’ll dilute the course if we try to do too much. Decide to go back to our SMEs to get a better idea of their goals and priorities.

    Let’s go with Option B. However, we still need to do some work before our stakeholder meeting. Following are three steps to help design the courseware so learners can do their jobs safely immediately after completing the course.

    Step 1: Differentiate the KNOW and DO

    Learners need to KNOW and DO things to keep themselves and others safe on the job. Content-focused design involves information that learners need to KNOW, but this is not the best use of e-learning. Because we’ve read all of Dr. Allen’s books, we know that the CCAF (context, challenge, activity, feedback) design method is the best and fastest way to change behavior. Using CCAF, we immerse learners in their real work environment and present them with challenging situations to practice the desired performance.

    While we prefer the CCAF approach, our SMEs may need some convincing. Before we meet with them, let’s organize the objectives into KNOW versus DO to help support a CCAF course design. We can create an objective table like this:

     ID Essentials content performance table.png

    Step 2: Focus on the DO

    When presenting our table to SMEs, we explain that we didn’t revise their objectives – we simply organized them into the KNOW and DO categories. We also explain the CCAF design and how this approach increases learning and performance by allowing learners to practice the exact skills they need on the job. And, since we don’t have a lot of time for theory to build confidence and competence, we want to get to the point! Amazingly, every SME agrees with us and is eager to create a course that’s engaging and fun. We now ask our SMEs a key question to help focus on the DO:

    Which objectives don’t present a real safety challenge for learners, and can be addressed with non-interactive content (e.g., job aids, reference materials, etc.)?

    Our SMEs agree that all of the content-focused objectives can be met with training materials and performance support tools, so now we can focus solely on the DO column. (Of course, we aren’t always so lucky, but we really like the SMEs who are agreeable and collaborative!)

    Step 3: Prioritize the DO

    We’ve now focused our SMEs on the five performance-focused objectives and can ask them to help us prioritize the list to unpack it even further. We ask:

    Can you please choose the top three objectives from this list of five?

    Some of the brightest SMEs in the group make these comments:

    One of the objectives relates to workplace violence. Maybe we should focus this safety onboarding course just on safety.

    Reporting employee safety violations is too much for a new hire. That should be covered in the next course.

    With those two statements, we’ve now landed on three strong performance-based objectives, which seem achievable in a 10-minute course.

    Nice work! We’re now ready to move into design! Tell us your biggest design challenges and we’ll try to work them into the next blog.


  • 18 Oct 2016 4:39 PM | Carolyn Sutton (Administrator)

     How I Stopped Getting Project Hangovers

    Tuesday, October 04, 2016 - by  Nazmina Mohammed 

    A couple of months ago, I had a realization: I was a project doer and not a project manager. To be clear, I thought I was actually a pretty solid project manager. But this is what it was really like:

    Most of us can relate to Bradley Cooper’s character—the one doing all the work. I thought I had a perfect system in place: Establish the goal, talk to people who need to be involved, create every task and deadline in my Google Calendar—and do most of the work myself, lose sleep and not know why, and then chase the people who didn’t meet their deadlines. Oh, and celebrate the completion of the project by letting out a sigh of relief and making a mental note of changing the timing of my calendar reminders next time. That’s the project hangover, and let’s face it, project hangovers aren’t fun. 

    Sure, the way I was “doing” projects worked. But what didn’t work was my ability to anticipate things going wrong; that the three other guys might not meet their deadlines and I’d end up doing the work myself. Or something just doesn’t go as planned. The Project Management for Learning Professionals Certificate Program not only gave me the essential tools I was missing to mitigate the risks in managing any project, but also an understanding of how to respond and adapt to changes in the plan during the process. 

    One of the most important things to remember is that even if you manage a similar project four times a year, the risks and changes will be different. Properly defining, planning, managing, and reviewing the project—and avoiding a project hangover—requires specific systems, which you will learn in the course. I am happy to say I am now a project manager, not a project doer. 

    See More Topics at ATD's Learning & Development Blog

  • 08 Jan 2016 4:26 PM | Carolyn Sutton (Administrator)

     Now that it is 2016, you have probably set business goals for the year ahead: launch the new training program or increase efficiency.  You may even have set personal New Year’s resolutions, like eating healthier, getting organized or finally learning a second language.   

    But have you given any thought to your own professional development?  Improving yourself at work past meeting your specific performance goals – is too often left to the routine box-checking of annual reviews.  To successfully move to the next level, we need to ask ourselves: How can I ensure I’m more valuable at the end of the year than I was at the beginning?

    Professional development takes three key forms: learning, connecting, and creating. Depending on your goals for the year, you may want to prioritize one more than the others.

    If you’re seriously ready to make 2016 your best year yet, don’t forget about your own professional development. 

    Join ATD of New Orleans on January 20th, for a hands-on session where you will have the opportunity to set your professional development goals and create a plan for achieving those goals over the course of the year.

    During this session we are encouraging participants to pair up with an accountability partner, to check on your progress throughout the year!  

    Don’t miss this opportunity to make this year your best year yet!  Or like we said in our board meeting last night, the year of the unicorn!

    Register Today!

    You can't get water from an empty well.

  • 08 Jan 2016 3:55 PM | Carolyn Sutton (Administrator)

     Congratulations to our New and re-elected Board Members!  Check out their bios on the Board Directory Page

  • 24 Mar 2015 12:31 PM | Carolyn Sutton (Administrator)

    Attending ATD 2015 helps you.

    ATD 2015 is the premier talent development conference. With over 350 education sessions led by world-renowned thought leaders, you’re sure to have your burning learning questions answered. Make sure to join 10,500 of your peers from more than 90 countries next year.

    Attending ATD 2015 helps your chapter.

    For each registration tracked with our chapter’s ChIP code CH7002 our chapter will receive a 10 percent commission (maximum of $80). Please enter your ChIP code at the time you purchase your registration.

    Chapter Team Registration

    If at least five members of our chapter are attending, we will qualify for discounted rates. Chapter teams will be established when five registrations are received. If you plan to attend, contact us so we can set up a chapter team.

    Register Today!

    Early Bird Ends April 1st !

    Contact Our Chapter

    Tracey McDade


    Tiffany Landrum

    Vice President of Programs

  • 05 Mar 2015 9:15 AM | Carolyn Sutton (Administrator)

    The Baton Rouge Chapter has generously extended the member Price to all ATD NOLA members!  Now your ATD NOLA membership gives you double the amount of meetings at the same low price! 

    Check out their upcoming event, Revolutionize Your Onboarding.  To take advantage of this great offer you must enter the promotional code.  Check out our Member Resources page for the code!

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