The Commons Digest (11/9/2022)

The COmmons Insider Newsletter

This week's discussion...

LinkedIn Refresh!

Learning at The Commons

2022 cohorts are now closed. Join the waitlist to get front-line access to our next cohort of members.

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Your Weekly Level Up

🔥 Hot topic: The Commons Summit

✏️ Career Resource: "Tell me about your resume gap"

✅ Community Reccos: Exponent

💭 Thought Starter: What's Elon up to?

💡 Brain Teaser: 🔢

🚀 Community Share: #anotherone

LinkedIn Refresh!

LinkedIn is a powerful platform for networking and career development. It can be a key part of building your network and finding your next role. But before turning your LinkedIn profile into your own personal lead generation tool, you'll need to have your profile in peak form. So we reached out to our community to provide you with some easy, actionable tips for improving your LinkedIn profile.

1. Update your profile picture and banner image

Adding a profile picture and banner image to your LinkedIn account can help you to stand out from the crowd and make a good impression on potential employers or clients.

"Make sure you have a decent profile pic! It doesn't need to be a professional picture (i.e. taken by a photographer). Present yourself the way you'd show up on day 1 of a new job."- Loren‍

A professional headshot or photograph that shows your personality will give people a sense of who you are. When choosing a picture, try to pick something that is high quality and conveys the image you want to project. If you don’t have a professional headshot on hand, head to the full blog post for tips on how to create a professional looking headshot with just your phone and Canva!

The banner image is one of the more under-utilized aspects of a LinkedIn profile. It’s extra space for personal branding, or communicating a message, and an easy way to make your profile stand out. Select or create an image that is relevant to your field or industry, and make sure any text is legible and that the dimensions don’t cut your image off.

In search of some ideas of an eye-catching banner image? Check out the full blog post for awesome examples.

2. Use keywords in your profile to make it easier for people to find you

Your LinkedIn profile is only as good as the people who can find it. That's where keywords and titles come in. By including relevant keywords in your titles and summary, you make it easier for people to find you when they're searching for someone with your skills and experience. LinkedIn's search algorithm will place your profile higher in search results if it includes relevant keywords. As a result, using keywords is a simple and effective way to improve your visibility on LinkedIn to get the roles and connections you want!

Take a moment to make sure your profile is complete with all relevant information including job titles, education (if applicable), location, and your headline.

“Always put a headline that describes your role whether it's Business Operations Manager, Product Manager, or Growth Marketing Associate. You don't want to put something like "Looking for a new opportunity" because recruiters search by title not by "looking for a new opportunity". - Aya‍

The headline is the section that appears just below your name. Most people put their job title here, but it doesn’t need to be limited to just that. Your headline can be a useful tool to showcase who you are and get you noticed.

For example, if you are an MBA student, your headline might look like: MBA Student at Ted Rogers School of Management

But you also have experience prior to your MBA in venture capital and have a side project hosting a crypto podcast. A more eye-catching headline could be: MBA Candidate | VC | Crypto Podcast Host

3. Add a summary in the “About” Section

Now that you’ve got everything you need for someone to find your profile, the About section is a great way to make your profile stand apart from the rest! Getting the About section right can be tricky, because there isn’t necessarily a right or wrong way to do it. This is a place to be creative, personal, and approachable. Here are a few tips to get started:

  • Write in the first person
  • Add a “hook” right off the bat
  • Focus on your strengths and accomplishments (so that companies can quickly understand the impact that you've had and how that can translate to their organization)
  • Use relevant keywords (hard skills, soft skills, job titles, industry terms)

If you’re looking for a good example for inspiration, check out the About section in Christian’s profile. Christian is a mentor at The Commons and personal branding expert.PS - register for the upcoming event he's hosting on personal branding below 👇

4. Nailing the “Experience” Section

The experience section is arguably the most important. Once you’ve caught someone’s eye with your profile, they'll dive into your experience section to learn more about your career trajectory. This is where you list out the roles you’ve held throughout your career, and have the opportunity to provide a short description about each role.


When creating a description for an experience on LinkedIn, start with a 1 or 2 short sentence overview to give a quick description of the company and your role (you can skip the company overview if it is a well-known company). This can be followed with short bullets on your responsibilities and accomplishments! You don’t want to overload the experience with information and endless bullet points, so try to stick to 2 to 4. Generally these bullets should be shorter than what you might write on your resume.


Use action verbs to describe your experience. Using action verbs are the best way to convey what you accomplished in your role and how you accomplished it, rather than just what your responsibilities were. Rather than saying you were “Responsible for the Product Roadmap”, say “Developed the Product Roadmap”. Check our our free resume guide for a great list of action verbs to consider using.

Tip: frontload your accomplishments and use numbers to back them up when possible. Frontloading means making sure the achievement is the first thing the reader sees. For example, rather than saying “Through automation I saved 20 work-hours per week” say “Reduced 20 work-hours per week through automation”. Frontloading and using numbers are a great way to convey your impact quickly and make it easy for the reader to understand your contribution.

Lastly, make sure you do a grammar and spelling check (this applies to your whole profile, not just the Experience section). Make sure that you are using the past-tense verbs for past experience descriptions and present-tense verbs for your current position.

5. Create a custom URL

“My personal underrated favorite is creating a custom URL”- Charliepat

One thing a lot of people don’t realize is that you can create a custom URL for your LinkedIn profile.Sometimes, it’s the little things. Creating a custom URL for your profile might seem small, but can go a long way.

Default LinkedIn URLs contain many random letters and numbers, and just don’t look very nice, especially when you include it on your resume. Creating a cleaned up custom URL will look nicer at the top of your resume, gives you yet another opportunity for a bit of personal branding, and makes it easy in case someone needs to manually type it in.
Check out the full blog post for steps on how to update your profile's URL.

6. Engage with former colleagues and classmates

Once you’ve implemented the suggestions above, it’s time to make use of your revamped profile. LinkedIn is a powerful platform for networking and building relationships. By connecting with former colleagues and classmates, you can expand your professional network which could lead to an opportunity in the future.“Post often & comment on other people’s posts vs. just ‘like’ so you can get visibility.”- Michelle‍But you need to do more than add connections, engage with them as well. When you post and engage with others on LinkedIn, your profile becomes more visible to potential employers and recruiters. Plus, you can endorse and recommend others, which can help build your credibility and reputation.

Final thoughts:

Building a rock star LinkedIn profile doesn’t take rocket science. With a little up front investment in your profile (and the help of the above tips) you can create a LinkedIn profile that pays dividends for years to come.

Angling for a career pivot? Register for the upcoming two-day only Tech Discovery Summit.

What’s happening at The Commons

Upcoming events

Building Your Personal Brand
From diving into areas of interest and starting side hustles, to opening up new opportunities and connections, there are plenty of reasons to think about your personal brand, so we're brining in mentor Christian (Chief of Staff at Astranis) to provide a primer and Q&A on the topic.

November 10, 7-8PM ET
Community only
Register here

New Circles Topics!
Our Circle topics for November have dropped 🪂 Go upvote your favorites and even better, sign up to co-lead one!

ICYMI, Circles are small groups of community members with a common interest in a topic. They meet at a set cadence to explore that topic together.
Community only
Check it out here

Automating Workflows with Alexis from Spotify
Calling all operators and builders! Alexis Lopez, Alexis is a BizOps Tech & Automation Manager at Spotify, is joining us for part 1 of a 3-part series on automating workflows 🤖 Part 1 will cover advanced Google Sheets formulas to take your Sheets game to the next level. Stay tuned for subsequent sessions on automated trackers, emails and building your own Slackbot 👀

November 15th 7 - 8PM | Virtual
Free for Community members ➡️

Register here

$15 for Part 1 for non-community members ➡️

Register here

Acing the Recruiter Screen
Join two community members, Marlies (Tech Recruiter @ Pinterest) & Shaurya (Talent Management @ Wealthsimple), with extensive experience and expertise in the people and recruiting realms, as they share helpful tips on how to stand out during a crucial phase of the interview process: the recruiter screen.

November 17th 7 - 8PM | Virtual
Community only
Register here

Past events

ICYMI we recently hosted these events. Members, you can find relevant recordings on our platform.

  • The Commons X The Peak IRL Social | It was so great seeing so many members of The Commons + new friends out last night. Thanks for joining us and s/o to our friends at The Peak for co-hosting.
  • Product Toolkit Essentials | In any job, having the right tools can make all the difference and be a game changer when it comes to efficiency, organization and collaboration 🛠 Product management is no different. In this session, Mentor Saumil walked through the most important tools for any Product Manager.

Application Alert: Join the Waitlist

Looking to join The Commons? Your way in is through an application. We've officially closed new memberships for a while. We'll be re-opening seats at the end of November. Be sure to apply asap to join the waitlist 👇 once the waitlist opens up, we'll be reviewing applications in the order they were received.

Join the Waitlist 2023

We'll be kicking off the following Sprints in January 2023:

  • Strategy & Operations
  • Strategic Finance
  • Product
  • Revenue Growth


Learn more // Join the Waitlist


All 2022 Sprints are now closed!

Join the Waitlist

HOT TOPIC - Introducing: The Tech Discovery Summit

"My expectations were certainly exceeded and I got a lot out of this summit. I now know which jobs I want to apply to, have a better understanding of the transferrable skills I have, and have a much higher confidence level."

💥 We're excited to re-launch The Tech Discovery Summit: a two-day virtual Summit to introduce you to strategic roles in tech and give you a leg up in your next interview. The Summit is open to everyone - you don't need to be a member! 💥

Change the trajectory of your career by learning about different paths in tech directly from mentors who work at Google, Wealthsimple, PartnerStack, Astranis, Dolly, Juniper, and Uber.

Over the course of a weekend, you'll dive into the following sessions:

  • Business Teams in Tech: a 360 view of all of the typical business, non-technical teams at a Tech company including: Product, Strategy & Operations, Business Development and Partnerships, Chief of Staff, Strategic Finance and more. Mentors in each role will walk you through what their team does, a typical day-to-day and project they work on.
  • Office Hours - Dive Deeper: You'll select two roles you're interested in and join those mentors in office hours for candid Q&A sessions filled with insight and advice.
  • Data Viz & Dashboarding: An introductory workshop on how to build strong data visualizations, a key skill for take home cases and on the job! We’ll dive into how data viz fits into dashboards - an operator's snapshot on the health of their projects and initiatives.
  • Tackling a Case Interview: Join two of our mentors for an in depth look at how they tackle an ambiguous project, like one you'd see on the job or in a take-home case. Walk away with best practices to apply in your job search or a new role.

The Details

⏰ December 3-4

📍All live and online

👋 For ambitious professionals who are exploring a pivot into tech. We’ve been in your shoes. We built this to make your journey easier and more successful.

🚨 Take advantage of reduced pricing. Only $20 for the first 30 enrollments (save $30 off the regular price!).

Learn More + Enroll

Your weekly level up

Interview Question

Question: Tell me about the gap in your resume

Type: BehavioralWhat they're looking for: Honesty and clarity on why the gap exists


  • Perhaps you were dealing with ailing family members, took a mental break or maybe you just took a while to land the right role - resume gaps are not uncommon these days, but you need to be prepared to talk about it
  • It's really important to be honest (the world is pretty small after all, plus most hiring managers will see through a fluffy answer)
  • Being honest doesn't mean you need to share more details than you're comfortable with
  • If you gathered any new skills through your time off, highlight those (for example, reference the new skills you've gained from The Commons. Alternatively, you could highlight the exposure you got to various people and cultures through travelling).

For example:"I spent 4 years working in a very demanding role. While I had strong performance throughout my tenure, I reached a point in my career where I wanted to focus on my personal growth. So I took time off to travel, immerse myself in different cultures and gain new perspective on the world and myself [you could summarize some of this growth if relevant]. I'm now excited to jump back into a fast-paced role with renewed energy, and [add something about how this role aligns well with your goals]."


Eager to nail your upcoming interviews? We've partnered with our friends at Exponent to give you extra practice material so you can build up reps and confidence! Exponent has awesome interview prep guides and content covering roles like BizOps, Product Management, Data Science and more.

They've passed along a great discount to The Commons community. You get access to the full content library, including mini interview prep courses for BizOps and Product.

➡️ Sign up HERE (You're getting 20% off)

➡️ You can learn more BizOps interview course HERE

➡️ You can learn more about the Product interview course HEREInterested in sharing your company with The Commons community? Let's chat - just shoot me an email!

What's Elon up to?

Do you think Elon's latest moves make product sense? Does being a media personality carry over to running a media company? Add your thoughts to the thread ⬇️

Hop into this thread to join the discussion.

What number and letter continues this sequence?12   T   17   E   22   F   27   N   ?   ?

Check out the answer here.

IRL Social

We loved seeing so many of you out last night! s/o to new and old members Alex, Almog, Ben, Bilal, Brooke, Christopher, Daniel, Holly, Jarson, Joseph, Josh, Khanh, Kris, Lilian, Mayur, Miguel, Mobeen, Molly, Neeraj, Sarah, Scott, Sybil, and Veena 🚀 Plus all of the soon-to-be members of The Commons who joined us!We have quite the roster of IRL events coming up across major cities, so stay tuned!

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Skillful is now The Commons.
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The time to build the education institution of the future is now. And we're doing it.

Careers are catalyzed through skills-training, mentorship and a supportive network. At The Commons, we're delivering those critical career elements together through learning experiences that are social, mentorship-based and community-first.

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