Our Favorite Pittsburgh Things: Lawrenceville

Less than three miles away from downtown, Lawrenceville has quickly become one of the most popular areas of Pittsburgh. With its always-changing atmosphere and its vibrant energy, it is no wonder people have begun to flock its streets.

There is something to do for everyone, with a wide variety of shops and restaurants, like Mid-Atlantic Mercantile or Industry Public House.

You can feel the creative atmosphere of Lawrenceville with art galleries lining the streets and view local artists’ work. There is an event in April called Art All Night where local artists create works all night long while you watch. If you don’t want to just watch the action and want to try your hand at creating something, stop into Paint Monkey or Pinot’s Pallete and make your own masterpiece!

If you are interested in music, the Thunderbird Café always has local or touring musicians stopping in to play a set.  There is also an annual outdoor/indoor walking concert event called R.A.N.T. (Rock All Night Tour) where bands play at different venues in Lawrenceville for 14 hours.

Or, maybe you just want to relax and take in a great cinematic classic at the Row House Cinema where they show a different selection of classic movies every week, chosen around a singular theme.

What are your favorite things to do in Lawrenceville? Let us know in the comments below!

lawrenceville (1)

How to Take Your LinkedIn Profile from Beginner to All-Star in 7 Steps

LinkedIn is the largest professional networking service on the Internet. It can help users explore job opportunities, be seen by potential employers and network in their field, but it takes more than just signing up for a profile to get results. Here are seven tips to help you take your profile from beginner to all-star to make the most out of your profile.

  1. Have a professional picture. It is important to remember that LinkedIn is a professional platform, not a social one like Facebook where your picture can be casual.  Your picture should portray you in a professional light and make future employers take you seriously – no selfies or beach pictures please! Also make sure that you are the only person in your profile picture so there isn’t confusion about which person you are.
  2. Make an in-depth header. Fill in every field in the header with specific and accurate information so your profile stands out to the right people. Include your industry and location, as well as current position—highlight other previous positions if you’ve been in the industry for a while. If you’re new to the working world, include your education and/or internship experience.
  3. Create an interesting summary. The summary is one of the most important parts of your profile. Its job is to interest the reader enough that they want to learn more about you. Spend time determining what you want your connections to know about you and what you think your strongest characteristics are.
  4. Sell yourself. It is important that everyone looking at your profile knows your skill sets and accomplishments. When creating your skills and experience section, add all of the programs you have worked with and all of the characteristics you have. You should have at least three skills listed, but once you get started you will see how much more you can do.
  5. Make connections. The entire website is dedicated to making professional connections. If you don’t make a network for yourself, no one is going to see your profile. If there aren’t many people you know to connect with, try joining groups and participating in discussion boards. Get your name out there and you will have more connections in no time.
  6. Include attachments and visuals of your past work. When listing past job or internship experiences, add a project you are specifically proud of. If you want to include an uploaded version of your resume and references, then go ahead! These are the kinds of things that will set your profile apart from the others.
  7. Publish posts that interest you and that are relevant to your field. When you publish posts, it is another way to get your name out there and get people to see what you are an expert in.

Even if you make an all-star profile, you’ll need to be active to remain relevant, so make sure to frequently update, connect and post to get the most out of your account. Can you think of any other ways to improve your LinkedIn profile? Let us know in the comments below!

6 Ways to Make Your Day More Productive

It’s not always easy to stay on task and accomplish everything that needs to be done. Sometimes it feels like no matter how hard you work, there is still a pile of paperwork you need to get through. Here are some productivity tips to help make the most out of your day:

  1. Make a to-do list. List all of the tasks that you have to do in order of importance or deadline. It helps to have a clear outline of everything you have to do and when it needs to be done by so that you don’t start to panic thinking you need to accomplish everything in one day.
  2. Don’t put off until tomorrow what could be done today. Procrastination may seem appealing, but in the end, it will come back to haunt you. If you have the compulsion to procrastinate, just think about everything else that will soon begin to pile up. You will then have to spend your time completing the pile of work you avoided, leaving less time to work on other projects that could easily be finished now. Try to finish the hard stuff first so you can move on to easier tasks later, give yourself periodic breaks and try to keep yourself motivated by thinking about how happy you will be when you finish.
  3. Avoid distractions. There will always be distractions taunting you from every direction. Sometimes they are hard to avoid, especially during those times when you are looking for a way to distract yourself. Turn off your cell phone, block distracting websites like Facebook, stay away from people who try to engage you in conversation and work in a quiet environment.
  4. Be realistic with your time goals. Realize that tasks always take longer than you originally intend for them to. Set aside enough time to finish your work—include some buffer time, if necessary.
  5. Find time, or make time, to sleep. Sleep is a key factor to productivity. If you don’t get enough of it, you won’t be able to function as fully as you would if you had gotten enough rest.
  6. What would you like to accomplish tomorrow? Before ending your day, make a list of what you would like to accomplish tomorrow. By setting a clear list of goals for the next day, you’ll have a strategy allowing you to enjoy your evenings and be ready to go in the morning.

How do you make the most out of your work day? Let us know in the comments below!

 

How to Keep Readers Interested

How many times have you started reading something and then, before you were even finished with the first paragraph, became disinterested and stopped? I will throw my guilty hand in the air, and I know I’m not the only one. Something made us interested enough to look at it in the first place, so why were we turned off by the content as soon as we started reading, and how do we stop ourselves from writing articles that do the same?

    • Make sure you are interested in your subject. If you don’t care about the subject you are writing about, it will show. There needs to be some passion or spark behind the words on the page or a reader will be just as bored reading it as you were when you wrote it.
    • Approach the topic from a different perspective. Think outside the box and come up with something that doesn’t sound like every other article covering the same topic. People will always be more interested in reading something from a perspective they have never heard before, even if the topic is being written about often.
    • Make it relevant. If no one can relate to your topic, chances are that they won’t continue reading. To keep the reader engaged, it should feel like you are talking directly to them.
    • Think of your audience. What group of people you are trying to reach? When you try to make an audience too diverse, you lose relevance and the ability to relate to what you are trying to say. Narrow your audience and you are more likely to have a better turn out.
    • Make them laugh. Humor is always risky however, when used correctly it can make all the difference. People like to read something that makes them smile and if you are able to manage that, your reader should definitely make it to the end of your piece.
    • Keep it short and sweet. Try not to ramble. Have you ever closed out of an article because it looked like a long read? People are increasingly multi-tasking, and they typically only browse articles online. The fewer words it takes you to prove your point, the better.
    • Stay on task. Don’t write about several different topics all at once. If you get to the end of what you were writing and you see that the end result has nothing to do with the title of the article, go back and see where you started to stray. If you can pinpoint the moment you started to get off topic, it will be easier to go through and take out the unnecessary information.

Any additional ideas on how to keep your readers interested? Tell us in the comments below!