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LinkedIn is the leading social media platform for professional networking. At this point, if you're looking for a job (especially in a communications field), you are basically required to have an account. However, don't look at setting up a LinkedIn as extra work. Think of it as an extra opportunity to explain yourself and sell yourself to potential employers. After you've uploaded a photo, there's still quite a lot to do.

1. Leave nothing blank

Make sure you fill out every possible space on your profile. Don't leave any blank space at all. This includes the summary space at the top and descriptions of all of your positions throughout the page. Don't skimp out. To get started, you can copy over what you already have on your résumé. But where needed, not be afraid to expand with more details. You have more space on LinkedIn to explain your experience than you do on a traditional résumé. Don't waste it.

2. Include links and multimedia content

Other perks of LinkedIn that you don't get on your résumé are links and multimedia content. Where applicable, link to your work. Include videos and visuals as they relate to different positions that you've had. This will not only make your profile more visually appealing, but will also prove your experience even further.

3. Don't forget the education and awards sections

LinkedIn has options for many different types of content. If you've handled several big projects, you can easily add them. If you've done a lot of volunteer work or published essays or scientific articles, you can add those too. But don't forget to include your education. Awards look especially impressive if you have any that are applicable.

4. Get endorsements for your skills

At the very bottom of your profile, you can list skills that you have. LinkedIn also allows other users to endorse each other for their skills. Having more endorsements shows employers that you can be trusted and not just lying to boost your résumé. Your connections can also recommend you on your profile. Make sure you ask your work friends and colleagues to endorse you on your profile. And don't forget to give your own recommendations and endorsements too. If you offer your own endorsements, people are more likely to endorse you in turn.

5. Keep your profile readable and easy to understand

You can add so many details to your LinkedIn profile. It's a great resource, but don't make it too busy or unreadable. Keep your descriptions clear, succinct and to the point. You want someone to be able to skim or scan through your profile and still understand what you're saying.

6. Never turn down a connection

A core feature of LinkedIn is connecting with other users. This is similar to a friend request on Facebook. Try not to ever turn down a connection if you can help it. LinkedIn is a less personal platform than Facebook. You don't need to censor who you're connected with. Accepting more connections will grow your professional network. And in a job search, connections are almost as important as qualifications.


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The Federal Reserve sets the guardrails for the federal funds rate, and through that helps control the money supply for the nation.

When you take out a loan for a car, charge something to your credit card, or get a personal line of credit, there is going to be an interest rate that applies to your loan.

A lot of different factors go into what you will be charged, including your own personal credit score. But even those with flawless credit still see a minimum charge that they can't get around. That all goes back to the Federal Funds Rate.

One thing consumers rarely realize is that all of our banks are lending money to each other every night. Banks are legally required to maintain a certain percentage of their deposits in non-interest-bearing accounts at the Federal Reserve to ensure they have enough money to cover any withdrawals that may unexpectedly come up. However, deposits can fluctuate and it's very common for some banks to exceed the requirement on certain days while some fall short. In cases like this, banks actually lend each other money to ensure they meet the minimum balance. It's a bit hard to imagine these multibillion-dollar financial institutions needing to borrow money to tide them over for a bit, but it happens every single night at the Federal Reserve. It's also a nice deal for those with balances above the reserve balance requirement to earn a bit of money with cash that would normally just be sitting there.

The Federal Reserve The Federal Reserve


The exact interest rate the banks will charge each other is a matter of negotiation between them, but the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) (the arm of the Federal Reserve that sets monetary policy) meets eight times a year to set a target rate. They evaluate a multitude of economic indicators including unemployment, inflation, and consumer confidence to decide the best rate to keep the country in business. The weighted average of all interest rates across these interbank loans is the effective federal funds rate.

This rate has a huge impact on the economy overall as well as your personal finances. The federal funds rate is essentially the cheapest money available to a bank and that feeds into all of the other loans they make. Banks will add a slight upcharge to the rate set by the Fed to determine what is the lowest interest that they will announce for their most creditworthy customers, also known as the prime rate. If you have a variable interest rate loan (very common with credit cards and some student loans), it's likely that the interest rate you pay is a set percentage on top of that prime rate that your lender is paying. That's why in times of low interest rates (it was set at 0% during the Great Recession), a lot of borrowers should go for fixed interest rate loans that won't increase. However, if the federal funds rate was relatively high (it went up to 20% in the early 1980's), a variable interest rate loan may be a better decision as you would be charged less interest should the rate drop without the need to refinance.

The federal funds rate also has a major impact on your investment portfolio. The stock market reacts very strongly to any changes in interest rates from the Federal Reserve, as a lower rate makes it cheaper for companies to borrow and reinvest while a higher rate may restrict capital and slow short-term growth. If you have a significant portion of your investments in equities, a small change in the federal funds rate can have a large impact on your net worth.

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