Brush up your LinkedIn profile
If you're looking for a new job -- or even thinking of thinking about it -- you probably have a LinkedIn page. You also know that working out how to use the site can be a job of its own. LinkedIn recently added two new features that could make a difference in job hunting, if you handle them well.
Show your work. When you set up or edit your profile, you now have the option to add web links and upload files. You might share with people in your industry a video of a great speech you made, a presentation, or examples from your creative portfolio.
Endorse (sparingly). The site also added a one-click function allowing you to "endorse" someone's skills. If you are on LinkedIn, you already know this can be an in-box-flooding pain. (More than 2 billion endorsements have been made since last fall.) How to handle it: Accept endorsements only for a few critical skills you really have and want to advertise, and make a few for people you know well. But don't drive slight acquaintances crazy with your clicks.
Best new ultracheap MBA alternative
An online course worth paying for. MOOCs -- that's for "massive open online courses" -- offer free web-based classes designed by some of the top universities in the world. While the cost is hard to beat, taking a free noncredit class doesn't do much for your résumé. That may be starting to change.
MITx, the MOOC program developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will offer an "XSeries" certificate to students who can pass a series of courses. The price is $100 per course for a service that verifies your identity and monitors your tests. (Go to Edx.org for more.)
This fall MITx began a seven-course certificate series in computer programming. This spring it will begin a three-course series in supply chain management.
Three hundred bucks to show you've learned a key business skill? You don't need a sky- high GMAT score to see that's a bargain.