Beyond the “Nerves” in an Interview: 4 ways to deal with it

Most people get nervous when they’re being interviewed for a job. They are peppered with questions that are meant to get to the core of their technical abilities, motivation, and fit. It’s a stressful situation. This is called “getting the nerves,” and it’s natural. Most likely you feel the same way about interviews.

anxious

But what if you are unable to get past the nerves because of anxiety? What can you do that will prevent you from losing the opportunity for the job? How can you stop your hands from shaking, your voice cracking, or even breaking into tears. In this post I’ll talk about what to do if it’s more than having the “nerves” in an interview.

Admit to yourself that you’re anxious

You’re not alone in feeling anxious. Knowing this should give you solace. Many job seekers have told me that they felt so anxious that they couldn’t think straight and answer the questions entirely. A few have even told me they had to remove themselves from the situation. While this is not “normal behavior,” it does happen.

Telling others, job counselors, a therapist, or even friends, could be helpful. Talking about how you feel can relieve some of your anxiety. Hearing from those you talk with that being anxious is understandable will be of comfort. Further, talking with someone who felt anxious in interviews, but landed a job regardless will give you a better sense of hope.

Know that the interview/s are barriers to getting a job, and once you’ve overcome the barrier, you will be able to do the work required to succeed. Remember that you want the job for which you’re applying; it’s the end game. This will take preparation, though.

Do your research before an Interview

I tell my clients that being prepared for an interview will give them confidence. This means thoroughly researching the position and company. If you’re really good, you’ll research the competition. People who interview without preparing—winging it—generally perform poorly in an interview.

While it’s important to research the position and company, you will benefit also from preparing mentally for the interview. This will include getting a good night’s sleep the day before. The day of the interview, you should take a leisurely walk and rehears answering the questions you predict will be asked. Or you might prefer answering the questions while looking into a mirror.

You might benefit from participating in a taped mock interview which will show you how you respond to questions, as well as your body language. I conducted a mock interview with someone who my colleague believed to be anxious. The client’s answers were fine; however she appeared tense and fidgeted with her fingers. My suggestion to her was that she keep her hands in her lap.

Admit to the interviewers that you’re anxious

Chances are that at least one of the interviewers—if it’s a group interview—suffers from anxiety and can relate to your condition. Perhaps one or more of the interviewers know others who suffer from anxiety. They should be empathetic if they know your condition.

You can simply say before the interview begins, “I’m a bit anxious at the moment. Interviews are stressful for me. I hope you understand.” Chances are that they’ll understand your feelings.

In fact, anxiety is more prevalent than you might suspect. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 19 percent of adults suffered from anxiety.

An estimated 19.1% of U.S. adults had any anxiety disorder in the past year.

Past year prevalence of any anxiety disorder was higher for females (23.4%) than for males (14.3%).

An estimated 31.1% of U.S. adults experience any anxiety disorder at some time in their lives.

It is possible that you aren’t clinically anxious, but interviews and other social situation cause symptoms of anxiety. The most important thing is the message you deliver. Focus on expressing the value you will bring to the table. If you have to pause at times, that’s fine.

When your anxiety is debilitating

You may suffer from clinical anxiety, in which case you’re probably taking medication or attending therapy to keep it at bay. Healthy Info Daily describes the biological reasons for anxiety:

For a person with severe anxiety, their neurotransmitters are not working properly, and important messages can’t get through properly, which in turn causes the brain to work improperly, leading to anxiety, depression and other stress-induced disorders.

There are obvious signs of anxiety. Some symptoms of anxiety are excessive worrying, sleeplessness, panic attacks, fear/discomfort around crowds, and fear of speaking in public. Compound your anxiety with the pressures of an interview, it’s no wonder being interviewed is difficult. However, knowing you’re suffering from anxiety will explain the fear you experience in an interview.

In some cases, job candidates may need intervention or help from a vocational professional. This is in severe cases and usually for candidates who won’t be serving customers. Jobs that are individualistic would be best for them. If you fall under this category, it’s important that you apply for jobs appropriate for you.

Disclose your disability at some point during the interview, perhaps at the beginning. You have the ability to handle the responsibilities of the job; however you will require accommodations. It’s best to let employers know this before they hire you, as if you’re hired and then disclose your disability, your supervisor will most likely distrust you and might find reasons to let you go.


Interviews can cause mild to server anxiety for many people. If you happen to be one who gets anxious in an interview, reflect on why you are, ask for help from others, and if your anxiety is severe consider medication as a means to keep your anxiety at bay.


If you’d like to know more about interview anxiety, visit Choosing Therapy to read their article 17 Tips for Overcoming Interview Anxiety.

This post originally appeared on recruiter.com.

Photo: Flickr, Eduardo

How to spot a good (or bad) boss in a job interview

This guest article is from Sonal Bahl. I recently read her original article and felt my audience had to know about this very relevant topic, spotting a bad boss.

People don’t leave companies, people leave bosses. Yes, yes, we’ve heard this for years. Then I heard something else: people don’t leave bosses, they leave a toxic work culture. Then I read that the number one reason people leave is because their position didn’t fulfil them. Then I heard about a Gallup study where 70% of leavers claimed it was due to their manager, not the position itself. (I can’t find that survey but have heard it quoted).

My head is spinning, is yours?

The point is: a toxic work culture and an unchallenging position are HUGE problems (or opportunities, for the optimists) for managers to fix. Some do, but most don’t.

It always starts with the top, it starts with strong leadership. To quote the spider superhero, with great power comes great responsibility.

So, what does this have to be with being a job seeker?

A lot, actually.

A recent post by the brilliant Dorothy Dalton got me thinking.

I always tell my clients during our interview preparation sessions, when they meet their hiring manager (who will be their future boss), that they are assessing for fit as well, not just the other way around. It’s a two-way street, always.

If you say: this is ridiculous, I don’t have a job, so how can I be the one assessing?

I say: you can, and you should. If you see tell-tale signs of a bad boss and you go ahead anyway because you need the money, then don’t ever complain when (not if, but when) things go south, your health starts to suffer, you bring your troubles home and your family doesn’t recognize you anymore. What’s the price of your mental health?

If you say: but I need the job more than they need me.

I say: hmmm… I’m not sure. The job market is tough right now, I know. But do you know times are hard for companies too? Not to sound dramatic, but there’s a war for talent, to quote my friends in HR. Good, very good people are hard to find. Companies are working hard to craft their EVP (Employer Value Proposition) so they attract the right kind of people and look good in the job market. You’re not the only one trying to impress someone.

The best relationships are relationships between equals.

The employer is not better than you. You are unique. You bring a standard, a point of view, a skill and a value that they need. Please don’t lose sight of that. I hope you’re convinced.

Anyway, coming back to the title of the article, let’s talk about the interview. You’ve just arrived at the office, you’re going to the meet your future boss. You’re prepared, you’ve done your homework, you’re dressed to impress. You shake hands, sit down. Now the assessment begins. They’re assessing you and you’re assessing them. Two-way street.

Look for the following, they’re part of a bigger picture called Emotional Intelligence, that I break down further:

1.     Respect

Here’s the thing. You don’t have to love or even like some people.Seriously. But if you can’t respect them this means they don’t have respect for:

a.     For your time: Did they make you wait for a long time before they finally showed up for the interview? Of course, in their defense, there can be an occasional fire to douse, and they got stuck, totally understandable. But did they apologise for keeping you waiting? A good boss will say sorry and mean it. If they don’t, they value their ego more than they value your time. Period.

b.    For what you say: Did you have a chance to be heard? Were you interrupted a great deal? Active listening comes from a deeper place, in my opinion. It comes from a genuine respect for what the other is saying, and then listening to them, really listening. Not with their phone flashing in front of them, not with interruptions, not with a crowded mind.

c.     For others: Did they gossip? Did they bad-mouth others to you? If they did, they will most definitely bad-mouth you to others too. Danger sign!

 2.     Humanity

‘We’re all human, duh’, you say. Yes, I know, I will ignore the scoff in your tone. Jokes aside, we’re all human, we’re all born as babies with the exact same needs. But at some point, something has happened to some of us, we became cold and lost touch with our humanity. Human Resources feels like only the ‘Resources’ part matters, not the human being. How can you check on the .. um… humane-ness of your boss?

a.     How do they talk about things? Listen carefully, really listen to them, when you ask about the challenges of the position, for example. How does their face look when they speak about such things? Do they make eye contact with you? Do they treat it like just another transactional piece, or do they they take pains to give you the bigger picture? How are they under duress? Are they are only compliance or process driven, or are they secure enough to be open and human?

b.    Ask them about opportunities for professional developmentand listen to their answer to see if this matters to them. The best bosses know that when their team succeeds, they succeed too. Egos are put aside.

c.     Ask thought provoking questions. A lot can be revealed by asking thought provoking questions, like “How would you describe your leadership style” or “What do you like best about working in this organisaion?” etc. Through their answers you can learn about how they deal with crises in their team, how they deal with exceptions. Just do the asking, and let them do the talking.

3.   A sense of Humour  

This is a tricky one, I know, and it’s not fair to judge someone based on whether they know how to have a good laugh or not. But the thing is, life is serious enough as it is, and the world is going through some tumultuous times. We spend nearly 1/5th of our life at work, so it really needs to be enjoyable, and not feel like going to prison or a punishment. Working with someone who doesn’t take themselves too seriously has personally helped me to keep the engine running during some rough patches.

Of course, as a disclaimer, I do want to mention that everything stated above is through my own lens: my own life experience, observations, research and lessons learnt. This is by no means a thorough and exhaustive list, because we are all different. What I look for or what matters to me may not hold the same gravity for you. You could follow this list or your own list to the letter, and still land up with a horrible boss. But when you approach the hiring process as an equal and with the intention of mutual fit, the chances that you do are a lot slimmer.


In conclusion, I’d just like to add that spotting a good boss is not rocket science and doesn’t need to be complicated. Good bosses are also good people. Do they smile, do they hold the door for the person behind, do they speak politely to the receptionist, the assistants, the colleagues, will provide you with a better idea of what you’re getting yourself into.

With these thoughts I just want to challenge the adage that you don’t get to pick a boss.

Yes, you do.

If you’re facing two doors: behind the first is the right company or job and behind the second, the right boss, pick the right boss. That boss, or leader, “doesn’t create followers, she creates more leaders.

And who does not want that?!

Now over to you: What are some of your best tips to spot a good boss during a job interview? Are there some red flags you’re always wary of? Share in the comments below!

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

To bold or not bold text on your resume and LinkedIn profile: 63% of voters opt for bold text

I’ve been a proponent for a long time of writing some of the text on job-search documents (resume and LinkedIn profile) in bold. I stress some of your text, not all of it. Because to bold all the text would diminish the impact of your sentences. It would be like having too much frosting on a cake.

I’m not alone in my preference for bold text. A poll I recently conducted says that 63% of voters favor using bold text on their resume. This poll garnered 4,564 votes, so we could say this is a valid case study. Some of the comments are listed below.

To be clear, I’m not talking about just the documents headings or your titles. I’m talking about select text to which you want to draw the reader’s attention. Text you want their eyes to settle on like:

𝗦𝗮𝘃𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗮𝗻𝘆 $𝟭𝟬𝟬,𝟬𝟬𝟬 over the course of 2 years by bringing social media campaign in house; revamped the campaign while 𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗮𝗴𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮 𝘁𝗲𝗮𝗺 𝗼𝗻 𝗮 𝗹𝗶𝗺𝗶𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝗯𝘂𝗱𝗴𝗲𝘁.

This is important for one obvious reason. It’s said that hiring authorities take six to 10 seconds to glance at your resume after it has been stored and accessed from the applicant tracking system.

This will help hiring authorities to capture important text on your resume within the six to 10 seconds and decide whether it goes in the “must read pile” or the “don’t read pile.”

Do you think recruiters and HR will take minutes reviewing your resume when they first receive it? No, the lives of these people who hold your future in their hands is hectic to say the least. Some recruiters say they spend most of their days reading resumes to determine if people like you will advance to the next round.

When it comes to your LinkedIn profile, bold text also draws readers’ attention to important points you want to make. I use bold text in my Headline and About section.

Example: 👊 I’m on the front-line fighting 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗚𝗼𝗼𝗱 𝗙𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 for job seekers. For a little emphasis, I use the fist emoji; something you wouldn’t do on your resume. If you’re wondering how to employ bold text on your LinkedIn profile, here’s a site I use: https://lingojam.com/BoldTextGenerator.

This brings us to another reason to use bold text on your documents; it helps to highlight important information, particularly information relevant to the job ad. It reminds the reader of the major requirements, if you will.

The naysayers to bold text on their resume and LinkedIn profile think it’s nontraditional, just like using sans-serif font in nontraditional. Here’s some news for those people; if you’re using Times New Roman, you’re dating yourself. Perhaps there will be a time when not using bold text will be nontraditional.

Let’s read what others feel about using bold text.


Kevin D. Turner: If 𝗯𝗼𝗹𝗱 is used, IMO it must be sparingly, perhaps to highlight a few of the really big achievements, Bob, otherwise it can get a bit messy and if almost everything is 𝗯𝗼𝗹𝗱, there is then no emphasis.

Tejal Wagadia (She/Her): I don’t particularly like bolding. It takes my eyes away from what I am looking for. If I have downloaded resume that has bolding I will remove that formatting.

I have seen it done well a few times but most of the times it’s random bolding with no rhyme or reason!

Bernadette Pawlik: If a client who comes to me as a #CareerSTrategist wants to know how to use bolding, my advice is based upon 25 years of evaluating resumes as a career recruiter. Having evaluated thousands of resumes, what makes it resume instantly easier to consider first is being able to find what I needed: Name, Experience, Education. Bold those in all caps.

Then, after that I look for chronology, so employers, bold those but not in all caps. Then, I read the rest. I see resumes that are bolded in mid-sentence to accentuate an accomplishment.

Accomplishments should go in bullet points. Donna Svei, Executive Resume Writer who also has extensive recruiting experience has some great samples of resumes on her website which show how to use bolding, color, and italics…and I’ve spoken to Donna and we have no affiliate relationship..but her resumes make finding what recruiters/employers need to find wonderfully clear.

Erica Reckamp: Strategic bold, bullets, and shading allow key elements to pop off the page for stronger reader response and retention.

Stand out as a top candidate by highlighting your headline (demonstrate clear target and alignment), keyword bank and job titles (establish candidacy), and key phrases in accomplishments (preferably results: # s, $s, %s).

LAURA SMITH-PROULX: Bold text in a resume works very well, but only IF you limit it to notable career stories and IF you avoid drawing attention to items you’d rather not emphasize.

I see resumes all the time that apply bold text to “unfortunate” facts in a work history, such as dates that make you look like a job hopper. Go ahead and apply bold, but think carefully about the message you’re sending when doing so.

Sarah Johnston: The goal of the resume is to make it easy for the end user to consume your story. Design elements such as bolding, shading, and call out boxes (used sparingly) make the resume easier to read. Resume writers are also trained to use design to “trick the eyes” to read what we want the target audience to read.

Ed Han (He/Him): Absolutely yes on my own and I counsel the same to draw emphasis to proper nouns, names, brands, technologies (in IT), or anything else salient.

I also use them to call out hyperlinks, which I use incessantly for schools, former employers, trade associations, certifying bodies, etc.

The vast majority of resume reading takes place on a screen: optimize for this reality.

Adrienne Tom: Bolded text can help key content pop off the page. The important thing to remember is to only highlight top/best/relevant information and details. Be strategic with what you bold in a resume. Too much bolded text will cause key points to blend together again.

Angela Watts: As a screener, I’m drawn to read bolded text, even when doing an initial skim. If used well, it can encourage a reader to digest compelling content they may otherwise have missed.

Donna Svei: Bold narrative text jerks the reader’s attention around the resume in a graceless fashion, says “this is the only information in this document that matters,” and begs the reader to look at it. Thus, it signals desperation and lack of confidence in your story and story telling ability.

Story telling is a key leadership skill. If you want a leadership role, don’t use this awkward device on your resume.

10 reasons why hiring authorities dread reading your LinkedIn profile

There’s no debate when it comes to which document hiring authorities turn to first when evaluating you on “paper.” The resume wins this debate. For the time being. But with 78% or more recruiters looking for talent on LinkedIn, the profile comes in at a strong runner up.

Like the resume, hiring authorities (recruiters, hiring managers, and HR) want to see accomplishments on your profile. Additionally, if you don’t have a LinkedIn presence, you might not be considered for the role.

One stat claims that nearly 40% of employers won’t consider a candidate if they aren’t on LinkedIn.

You’ll notice that your profile sections are arranged similarly to your resume sections. This is because recruiters prefer to read your profile in the same order they read a resume. Still, your LinkedIn profile is different; it’s more dynamic than your resume. This is not lost on hiring authorities.

Following are 10 reason why hiring authorities dread reading your profile

1. They can’t find you

This is the most obvious reason why hiring authorities dread reading your LinkedIn profile. After reading your resume, they can’t find you on LinkedIn. You are lost in a sea of other job seekers. The most likely reason, you don’t have the keywords by which hiring authorities are searching to fill a role.

Many hiring authorities use the Search field to find talent because they don’t have access to LinkedIn Recruiter, which allows them to search for possible job candidates based on skills and other criteria. Without the expensive Recruiter package, they are left with entering your title and areas of expertise in Search.

2. It’s your resume

This is my number one gripe when it comes to LinkedIn profiles, and I’m sure hiring authorities feel the same. I’m 100% on the mark when I see a profile that is a copy and paste of a client’s resume. The give away is that there’s no subject in the sentences, e.g., “I,” “My,” “We,” etc.

It’s fine when you’re crafting your profile to copy your resume to your new profile, but from there you need to take it further and personalize it. A personalized resume, if you will. Hiring authorities want to see something different from your resume. After all, your resume most likely led them to you.

Erica Reckamp says it nicely: Oh, the drudgery of reading something you already read. Mix it up! the phrasing should be completely different. Shift to a friendly voice and convert those accs from months to years or $ to %s to keep it fresh!

3. Your photo is of poor quality

I know some of you are concerned about ageism and are hesitant to post your photo on your profile for fear that you’ll be passed on. Here’s the thing: if you are passed on by a hiring authority, you’ll never be the wiser. Whereas, if you are contacted by them, this means your age is not an issue.

Therefore, your photo is a must. Without one you are not memorable, trusted, or liked. What’s important is that your profile photo is of high quality and recent. Have someone who has a good camera—today’s phone cameras will suffice—take your photo.

Hint: Don’t post a photo with you and other people in it. Also, don’t use a selfie.

4. Your Headline is your job title and company

I wrote an article on writing a powerful Headline in which 15 LinkedIn pros participated. To a person, they all agree that simply leaving only your title and company name in your Headline is bad taste. The only thing worse than just listing your title and company is writing, “Seeking next opportunity,” or “Open to next opportunity.”

Hint: Hiring authorities aren’t typing in Search: “seeking next opportunity.”

You should include in your Headline a desired title, areas of expertise, and if you like a tagline. The idea is to demonstrate value that you’ll deliver to an employer. Listing only your title and company does not accomplish this.

However, don’t confuse creativity with clarity. Calling yourself “Chief People Person” isn’t as clear as “Human Resources Specialist, Employee Relations, DEI” which is what hiring authorities will be searching for.

Another hint: If you were unfortunate to be named that by your company, make sure you have a common title in your headline.

5. You’re hiding your email address

This might not be your fault if you’re unaware that the default setting in your Contact Info is that only 1st degrees. But if you know you can change it to “Anyone on LinkedIn” but don’t, shame on you.

You must have your email available for hiring authorities to reach you. They won’t take the time to search for you by other means if they have to fill a position, trust me. You should also have your email listed in your About section. Read this article for more ways to be visible to hiring authorities.

6. There’s no bling in Featured

The Featured area is improved from days of old; it’s now a one-click process for links to websites, YouTube, documents, PowerPoint presentations, and audio. Before it was clunkier. Take advantage of your online portfolio.

Leaving this section barren fails to demonstrate the work you’ve accomplished. Display what’s most important to hiring authorities. If you’re a Business Developer, present a document on your biggest project to date. Have you been featured on a podcast as a Sales Leader? Lead with the podcast in which you were interviewed.

7. Your About section doesn’t tell your story

Hiring authorities don’t want a tomb describing the passion you developed for landscape architecture as a young child, but they want to see what drives you in your occupation, why you enjoy your trade.

Don’t forget to list some accomplishments in bullet format so their easier to read. Here’s an opportunity to show the value you’ll deliver to potential employers. For example:

  • Improved supply chain operation 90% over the course of 2 years by implementing Lean Six Sigma methodology, earning accolades the CEO.

Also don’t disregard the keywords by which you’ll be found. In an article, 16 pros talk bout creating a powerful About section, recruiter Ed Han writes:

As a recruiter, when I am finding talent via LinkedIn profiles, I conduct a search based on keywords. Keywords can appear anywhere in a LinkedIn profile, but it’s easiest and most natural for them to appear in either the member’s 220 character headline or the 3,000 character About section.

8. You don’t emphasize your accomplishments in Experience

Hiring authorities dread reading an Experience section that precludes a clear idea of what you did at your past positions. I get this. All to often I see job entries with the company name, title, and tenure at said position. That’s it. Tejal Wagadia writes in an article on how to write a powerful Experience section:

The experience section is the most important part of your LinkedIn profile. You can have the best Headline, About and Education sections, and recommendation; but if a recruiter or hiring manager can’t tell what you have done as work experience there is no point.

This is an area on your resume where you can’t be shy with the accomplishment statements. As I tell my clients, “Hit them over the head with the accomplishment. Ideally the job summary explains your overall responsibilities and the bullet statements are all accomplishments.

Here’s an example of a job summary followed by a bulleted accomplishment:

As the Director, Marketing Communications at ABC Company, I planned, developed and executed multi-channel marketing programs and performance-driven campaigns, using digital marketing principles and techniques to meet project and organization goals.

  • Grew marketing department to achieve an average of 34% growth two years running by developing and nurturing a digital marketing campaign from inception.

9. You don’t utilize description in Education

Oh what a waste. I see too many LinkedIn users who don’t utilize the space in their Education section. This area is an ideal place to talk about what you did while at university of high school. Did you start a Outward Bound club? Were you the editor of the school newspaper? Did work full time while earning a degree?

Hiring authorities don’t want to see what’s on your resume: Degree, Institution, Location, Year of Graduation (please don’t list the date you graduated.) Again, they probably saw this on your resume or will. Throw in some narrative to make your profile more exciting.

10. You leave your Volunteer section blank

Rarely do people list their volunteer experience on their resume. There’s usually no room and it’s not considered vital information. But if you think about your volunteer work, you either gave of your time to help a community of organization or to enhance your skills.

Both are great reasons to list your volunteer work. I tell my clients that employers love to know that you were/are a giver. Consider this scenario: you read before an interview that the hiring manager volunteers at the local soup kitchen. You also volunteer at your soup kitchen. If you can work this into the conversation during the interview, you’re golden.


One more, your Activities section is a wasteland

You have not shared a post, commented on what others have written, shared an article and written a synopsis. Essentially you joined LinkedIn to create a profile and connect with as many people as you could, which wasn’t many. “I’m not serious about being on LinkedIn,” is what you’re telling hiring authorities.


What others have to say on this topic

Wendy Schoen: Every recruiter and/or hiring manager reads your resume. That is still the name of the game. But increasingly, they want to turn to the LinkedIn profile in the hopes that it will shed more light into who and what the person behind the resume really is. But at the moment, they dread doing that because what they find is a bare, unattended profile.

Bernadette Pawlik: Some things people don’t like to think about they should, and this is going to sound very blunt–we are always in transition. We may not be fired or downsized, but we might outgrow our jobs, our wonderful boss might leave, our spouse moves the whole family to a new state. There is “job search” and there is “career management”..we all want to put the “job search” behind us…but if we are active career managers we are taking control of our careers, instead of letting life happen to us and derailing them.

Karen Tisdell: I have a story for you. I ran two LinkedIn webinars early 2020. Of all the people who attended one of them saw the massive potential I was advocating for to build relationships with partnering businesses and clients and became an avid user, hugely growing her network with the right people and producing 1-2 pieces of meaningful content a week consistently. (Many others did the same but tapered off after a month or so.) Fast forward nine months and the business sadly wasn’t doing well because of covid, supply issues and market sentiment. Many people were made redundant. The LinkedIn superuser was explicitly told her job was safe because her network and links with industry had become a valuable asset to the company.

We’d like to think people are employed and retained for their skills, but a closer look at many job adverts will reveal that it’s the relationships we bring to the organisation, and the relationships we have internally that can make a huge difference. In an environment where, here in Australia, travel is restricted and there are few face-to-face meetings, LinkedIn is an amazing tool to find and deepen relationships!

Hannah Morgan: I’ve known people who use LinkedIn to learn!
– Courses (learning and networking)
– Asking for recommendations for new software or service providers
– Problem solving (asking for help solving a problem)
– Giving a shout-out or congrats to people in your network
– Meet people in your profession
There is some overlap with what you’ve listed but wanted to be more specific. Great reasons to make LinkedIn a lifetime career habit!

Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich on Pexels.com

6 ways to make your resume easier for hiring authorities to read

One thing my wife and I disagree on when we go on vacation is whether we should make the bed when leaving a hotel. I tell her that the kind staff would rather we don’t make the bed, because if we do it’s more work for them.

I try to convince her that the staff who make our bed before we arrive for vacation, and while we’re there, make hundreds of beds. It’s easier for them if we leave the sheets and covers on the floor. She insists it’s better to leave a good impression than leave the bed unmade.

Similarly, hiring authorities read hundreds of resumes per week. You need to make reading your resume as easy as possible for them. Making it easier for them to read your resume depends on six obvious factors.

1. Make the paragraphs short

I tell my clients that readability is a big sticking point for me. I’m opposed to 10-line paragraphs, as they’re difficult to read. In fact, I won’t read them. The important information they’re trying to convey gets buried in all that text, much of which is usually fluff.

Instead, they should write paragraphs that are 3 to 4 lines each. When we read we digest information easier if the text blocks are shorter. This is important if you’re trying to make a hiring authority’s job easier.

  • You should use bullets to highlight your accomplishments and, again, the lines should be short, no more than 2 lines at most. One line can suffice in some cases.

You’ll note that none of the paragraphs in this article exceed four lines; most are three or two lines. My valued LinkedIn connection, Donna Svei, reminds us that resumes aren’t only read on the computer screen. She writes:

A big trend impacting all content consumption, resumes included, is the practice of using mobile devices as people’s preferred reading platforms.

Thus, your resumes needs to be easy to read on a phone. Send your resume to yourself, open the file, and make sure you can easily read it. Check for:

  1. White space.
  2. A font suited to being read on a mobile phone, such as Calibri.

Adequate font size. I like 11-point.

2. Prioritize statements

This means strategically placing on your resume the information relative to the job ad in order of priority. You want to make it easier for the reader to see that you meet the requirements of the job.

This applies to every section of your resume, even your Education section. For example, if you notice in the job ad that a Bachelor’s degree is the first or second requirement, strategically place your Education section under your Summary.

In the sections below, I’ll talk about resume areas where you can prioritize statements, starting with the very next one.

3. Use a Headline

Only professional resumes, it seems, have a Headline that brands them. You can call it a branding Headline if you will. It simply tells the hiring authority the title for which you’re applying and some areas of expertise. Here’s an example for a candidate applying for a Project Manager position.

Project Manager
Operations Management | Team Building | Lean Six Sigma | Business Development

Prioritize statements in your Headline. With the example above, the project manager identified Operations Management, Team Building, etc. as the important areas of expertise in order of priority. This makes it easier for the hiring authority to place your qualifications with the requirements of the job.

4. Point out your relevant accomplishments

Have you ever read a resume and said to yourself, “So what.”? You don’t want the hiring authority saying the same to themself. Rather, you want them to say, “Exactly, this is what we need.”

In the job ad you noticed that the marketing manager position requires a candidate who can lead a team of more than 5 staff, coordinate multiple projects with sales, and oversee external communications on a global scale.

Start of by highlighting your relevant communications in your tailored Summary statement:

Meets deadlines while leading teams to communicate companies’ external global communications.

Expand the broad accomplishment you mention in your Summary, making it one of the top bullet points in your Experience section:

Earned accolades for leading a team of 10 to meet deadlines—coordinating projects with Sales department—producing compelling external communications.

But wait; the job ad also states the successful candidate will have to manage the team, on a limited budget, to revamp the company’s social media campaign. You’ve successfully done this, so you write:

Saved the company $100,000 over the course of two years by bringing the social media campaign in house; revamped the campaign while managing a team on a limited budget.

5. Keep your work history shorter rather than longer

You’ve accomplished a great deal in your 25-year employment history. Here’s the thing, employers are more concerned about what you’ve accomplished within the most recent 5-10 years. Anything beyond 10 years is probably irrelevant. I can hear the silent boos from my clients when I say this.

I understand their displeasure when I tell them to cut their work history to 10—okay 15—years. They’re proud of what they’ve done throughout their career, but they have to realize that their resume should be written for the employer, not them.

Am I saying that your resume must be one page long? No, the winner of page length is two pages by most career-development pundits. This article, which includes many resume luminaries, settles the great resume-length debate.

6. Include keywords

We can’t forget the keywords that will help your resume to be found when hiring authorities are searching the applicant tracking system for winning resumes that will lead to interviews.

(There is much debate as to if the ATS automatically selects resumes to be read or if recruiters and HR do manually search for them.)

Most important, though, is that your resume is readable and demonstrates the value you’ll deliver to the employer. You can stock your resume with keywords, but doing so will make it negligible if your resume fails to accomplish the aforementioned.

Your keywords should be sprinkled throughout your resume. I tell my clients that the job-related and transferable skills should be highlighted in the Skills area, while the personality (adaptive) skills should be implemented in the paragraphs within the Experience section, NOT the Summary.


The argument of ti make the bed or not after our hotel stays is not one I find worth fighting; however, I pity the poor staff who have to unmake and then remake the bed after my wife makes it. I also feel sorry for hiring authorities who struggle to find the value candidates offer as they read their resumes.

Make it easier them to read your resume.

Photo by Michael Burrows on Pexels.com

Don’t hide from hiring authorities: 4 areas to list your email address on your LinkedIn profile

This article is based on a poll I conducted yesterday. Some of the excellent comments are at the end of the article.

Many of my clients don’t give enough thought to helping hiring authorities find them on LinkedIn. What I mean by this is that they don’t list their contact info on their profile. Essentially, they’re hiding from the very people who could be instrumental in them landing a job.

Hiding

Perhaps the word “hiding” is too strong. Hiring authorities (recruiters, hiring managers, HR) could use Inmail to contact them through LinkedIn, but that takes additional time. Further, some candidates don’t check their LinkedIn account on a regular basis.

If you’re in the hunt for employment, at the very least list your email address on your profile. Even better would be to include your phone number, as it would speed up the process. List your cell, not your landline. This is because hiring authorities frequently text job candidates.

The bottom line is that hiring authorities don’t have time to look around for your contact information.

Picture this: a recruiter needs to fill a software engineer position and she comes across your profile. You’re a slam dunk, but she can’t find any contact info. No email address. No phone number. Nothing. She’s on to the next candidate.

Reasons why job seekers don’t list their contact info

Here are some reasons my clients have given me for not including their contact information on their profile.

It never occurred to them

I understand LinkedIn is new to you. You’re trying to craft the best profile you can. Every ounce of your energy has gone into writing the content of your profile. But you didn’t considered how important it is to let hiring authorities find you easily. Now you know.

They don’t want spam

One of my clients told me he’s tired of getting emails for insurance sales positions. To this, I told him I felt sorry that he was receiving unwanted emails. I followed by telling him it was better than not getting any emails at all. It only takes the right contact.

Further, I told him that if he doesn’t want emails for sales position, remove any hint of sales he has on his profile. Hiring authorities looking for candidates for insurance sales positions will search for “sales” when doing their search. My client saw it my way.

They don’t know where and how to list your contact info

In my LinkedIn Unleashed webinar, the majority of my attendees don’t know where and how they should list their contact info. This leads me to the next part of this article.

Where to list your contact info on your profile

The answer to where you list your contact info is anywhere you can. There are four obvious places to list your contact info in order of least to most important.

4. Experience

You may be wondering where you could insert your contact info in the Experience section of your profile. One obvious reason for doing this is if you have a side hustle while your looking for work—or even while you’re working—and you want people to contact you.

Serious entrepreneurs will also include their telephone number. If you’re not squeamish about receiving phone calls from strangers at all times of the day, include your phone number. However, I respect people who want to communicate by email alone.

3. Headline

This is my third choice of where to list your contact info, because I prefer to see people sell themselves with keywords or a sharp branding statement. Remember that you only have 220 characters with which to work. However, this will certainly grab the attention of a recruiter.

2. Contact Info section

You might think this would be the best place to list your contact info, but I’ve found that few people even know about this gem of a place to list their contact and other info. It goes to reason that some hiring authorities don’t know about it, as well.

Below is where your Contact info resides on your profile.

LinkedIn provides fields for your phone number and email address. Smart job seekers will fill in both. It also provides a field for your address. Take this to mean an additional email address, not your home address.

Bellow is my expanded Contact Info. You should fill out the boxed-out fields.

See contact info

Note: You can show your email address to 1) Only visible to me, 2) 1st degree connections, 3) 1st and 2nd degree connections, and 4) everyone on LinkedIn (highly suggested). You set this up in Settings and Privacy under Who can see your email address.

1. About

This is the the best place to list your contact info. My connection, Sarah Johnston—a former recruiter and now a successful job coach—advises job seekers to include their contact info in the About of their profile. She also says job seekers should include their telephone number.

Watch Sarah’s excellent video on the topic of listing contact info on your profile.

To make the ultimate impact, list your info on the first line of your About. Keep in mind that LinkedIn only shows the first three lines of this section. When placed there, your contact info won’t go missed.

A former client of mine and now a salesperson, follows this rule of thought with her About. She really wants to be found and writes:

To reach me: (email address) and (phone numbers). As a lifelong athlete I have learned to be competitive within myself. This is the reason I have succeeded in my sales career. Like my fitness training I persist and never give up. Relentless and persistent until I land the sale.


What other LinkedIn authorities have to say about listing your email address on your profile (in order of commenting)

Wendy Schoen: As a recruiter I find it very difficult to reach candidates sometimes. You MUST have either a personal email or cell phone number in your contact information at all times.

AND this is not just for #jobsearch. EVEN for #businessdevelopment purposes, you need to do this. REMEMBER, people use TEXT messaging ALL the time and you need to know someone’s personal phone number to do that!!!

HOWEVER< I do not think that your email address belongs in your headline. You have too much other information that you want to include there. Of course, I am not one to talk as my contact information is in my banner!

Angela Watts: I must concur with Ed Han and Erica Reckamp about spam concerns. Those stinkers find my contact details even though I only list them in my Contact Info section.

As a recruiter, I tend to reach out to candidates via LinkedIn messages first (if I’ve found them on the platform). I’ve found that my emails often land in spam/junk mail so it tends to be safer to go through messaging. Once we’ve connected and I’m continuing the conversation, however, I do search for their email address on their LI profile. I’ve also looked for this info here when reaching out to colleagues.

Kevin D. Turner: I’m all in on 1, 2, & 4 Bob plus in my Custom [Background photo].
To keep my contact out of the hands of automation scrappers I parse my email as Kevin @ TNTBrandStregist.com (allows a person to copy it, paste it, and remove the spaces) and I set my phone number uniquely as +1-214-724-9111 (which is a math equation not a phone number formatting).

A data scrapping SPAMBot will not see either email or phone number, nor collect it for SPAMMING purposes, and yet a person visiting my profile knows immediately how to get in touch with me. Of course in a graphic you don’t have to takes these precautions because an image is not scrapable anyway.

It’s great to be contactable and SPAM Scrape proof too.
BONUS: Since I require an email address for someone to send me an invite, this tactical technique filters out those who don’t even read my profile..
#KeepRockingLinkedIn!
Kevin D. Turner @ TNT Brand Strategist LLC

Loren Greiff concurs, the price for characters in the headlines is too precious to give up for me BUT have contact area covered, business page and added call to action with email in the FEATURED SECTION!! This could be some fertile ground!

Sonal Bahl states that [Experience] and [Headline] are a bit much, especially the Headline, as it’s precious real estate. About and Contact, for sure. ALSO: the setting should be on which allows ANYONE to see your email address, not just first degree connections.

Ed Han:Technically, you could also include it in posts and articles, making it possible for the highly-motivated/very lucky. This is something that I have done when posting about a position for which I am hiring.

I realize that I erred in my response: I do have mine in the Contact Info. But I don’t make it visible in the other profile elements, as I get quite enough email and there’s a lot of web scraping off LinkedIn.

Adrienne Tom It’s amazing how many profiles I visit that don’t have contact info listed anywhere! Perhaps people are wary of spam?

I see a profile as just a starting point. You want to encourage engagement and follow-up — keeping conversations and opportunities moving forward. Inmails may be limited for some, so email is a great alternative.

Susan P. Joyce: This is SO important! The email address MUST be public (About). My advice: set up and use a permanent NON-WORK email address, your “professional email address.”

Make the address one that will work for you regardless of who you work for, where you live, OR who provides your home internet service:

🔹 Buy your own name as a domain name (annual fee), and then set up the email account using that domain name. Most of the domain registrars, like GoDaddy, provide email service for a low monthly fee. You do not need to build a website, but you can build one if you want to, someday.

🔹 If you attended a college (often, even if you didn’t graduate), the school probably offers an email service like you@alumni.school.edu. This can be great personal marketing, too.

🔹 Set up a Gmail account (NOT Yahoo or AOL).

❌ DO NOT ADD YOUR BIRTH YEAR TO YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS! ❌
If you must add a number, use your area code or other number that doesn’t look like your birth year.

You can usually forward all messages from the above email accounts to your personal (not work!) email account. Remember, your employer will not be thrilled to learn that a recruiter has emailed you.
Respond from the professional account or the message might not be seen or read.

Karen Tisdell: I think it insane that people don’t list their contact details, hugely missed opportunity because in a time-poor world we want, and are accustomed to, immediacy. To not have contact details in a few places to put up a massive barrier because we are all so distractable. It is like having lots of products on display in your shop window, but no online purchase facility. We may want to do business with you, but not want to connect or book in for a chat via Calendly… An email address opens opportunities!

Brad W. Minton: I think it boils down to context. If I’m a job seeker, I’m putting it everywhere because I don’t want to miss a chance to be contacted. I think for recruiters or coaches the contact or about sections are adequate simply because they do run into the spam issue more often!

Loribeth Pierson: I would say no to the headline Bob McIntosh. I know a lot of people miss out on opportunities when they omit the email address. If you’re looking for a job, make it easy to reach you. You can even get a free google number and list that instead of your personal cell number.

Shelley Piedmont: I have it in #4, #2, and #1. The headline seems a bit much for me, but I can see how it makes people so easy to contact. I once was on a webinar where the topic was how to source candidates. Many recruiters do not have the paid sourcing products offered by LinkedIn. For them, having your contact information easily accessible on your profile is invaluable.

Virginia Franco: I’m all about one-stop shopping — which means making it as easy as possible for a decision-maker to get in touch with you when they visit your profile.

If someone owns their own business, I’ll include the info in About, Experience and Contact section. If they work for a company, usually just the About and Contact section. I’ve hesitated with including in the headline because I want to maximize keyword searchability.

Laura Smith-Proulx: I’m so glad you brought this up, Bob. It’s amazing to see people who would otherwise welcome a new connection or job inquiry – but who never list ANY contact information on their Profiles. I insert email addresses into my clients’ LinkedIn Profiles and recommend adding it in the Contact section. Why not make it easier for a recruiter to reach out or stay in touch?



15 LinkedIn pros talk about creating a powerful LinkedIn Headline

This is the final article of a three-part series that looks at the most important sections of the LinkedIn profile, the About, Experienced, and now the Headline. It’s debatable as to which is the most important of the three profile sections, but according to a poll taken on LinkedIn, the Headline is the most important.

Now that you know the Headline is (theoretically) the most important section, you’re probably wondering how you can write a LinkedIn profile Headline that makes people take a second look and want to read the rest of your profile. Fifteen (15) LinkedIn pros go into detail on how to accomplish this.

One important element of a strong Headline is search optimization (SEO). One of the 15 pros goes into detail on how to optimize your Headline.

A common theme among the pros is not settling on your title as the Headline. Why should you? You’re more than what you do and where you work.

There’s the Good, Better, and Best kinds of Headline sections. Read how you can accomplish the “Best.”

Use emojis in your Headline? Heck yes; they add color and make it stand out.

And of course one of our pros comes up with an acronym. Find out what it is and what it stands for.

But don’t take my word for it. Read what all the pros have to say about writing a powerful Headline.


SEO for Effective LinkedIn Professional Headlines

Susan Joyce, Netability.com

Your LinkedIn professional Headline defines and brands you across the Internet. You are much more than a job title at your employer, the default.

FACT: The words you use in your Headline greatly impact your visibility when someone searches both LinkedIn and Google.

Know your most important keywords, and use those terms in your professional Headline:

  • Your job title is usually a very important keyword term.
    If your job title isn’t commonly used, add the more frequently used term (in the Experience section, too). So, a marketing manager who has the “Marketing Warrior” job title should include both terms in the Headline.
  • Add key terms that are important to people who might hire you or want to connect with you.
    Everyone who wants to work from home should terms like “Experienced Remote Worker” to their Headline, as appropriate. For example, an admin assistant working from home could use “Admin Assistant/Virtual Assistant.”
  • Include your most important skills and/or accomplishments.
    Check the job descriptions of the job you want next (with your target employers) and the profiles of your most successful competitors to see which terms are the most important.
  • Make the most important terms visible in the beginning of your Headline to have the best SEO impact.

Three key tips to remember about your Headline when someone is searching LinkedIn (not using LinkedIn Recruiter):

  1. Focus on keywords that will bring you the professional attention you want.
  2. Make the most important keywords visible near the beginning of your Headline.
  3. The keywords in shorter Headlines seem to rank higher in searches than those with the keywords near the end, so choose the words and the length of your Headline carefully for the most powerful SEO.

Do not make your Headline a list of keywords. Humans must find it interesting and appealing too.


Your Headline is like buying a house

Sonal Bahl, SuperChargeYourself.com

Imagine looking for a house.
You go to your favourite website.

Your specifications are:

House, 3 bedrooms, 120 m2 habitable area, 2 baths, near park and shops. Central location.

🏡

And you see the results.
How lovely.
Those pictures look inviting.

Some houses pop up, right on top of the list.
They match your requirements.
Your heart skips a beat.
Yippee.

Do you ever click on links without a picture?
Rarely.

Do you ever click on links without a description?
Nope.

It just says: House available. That’s it.

Nope, they don’t get clicked.

So, Dear Job Seekers,
Recruiters are looking for you.
You are the HOUSE.

I beg you. I BEG YOU.
PLEASE.

Stop writing ‘Actively seeking new roles’ in your LinkedIn Headline.
STOP!
🛑

Your Headline needs to help you to be FOUND.

Do this instead:
TSA.

TSA?
Going somewhere?
Ha, you wish.

TSA is
Titles Skills Accomplishment

Titles: What are they looking for? (Is it a house/apartment/studio?)

Skills: key skills/attributes you see repeatedly in job descriptions. (no. of bedrooms)

Accomplishment: I help you to find the house of your dreams

Example:
Project Manager | Agile & Scrum Methodology | B2B | 10 years experience managing complex, multi-stakeholder projects & saving organisations $300,000 annually.


Make every word count

Sarah Johnston, BriefcaseCoach.com

As many people probably know, the character limit for the Headline is 220.

I am personally a fan of making every (key)word count because your Headline is prime real estate. The words that you select for your profile should be exact words that a recruiter would use to search for someone with your skill set. 

When crafting LinkedIn Headlines for clients, I typically follow one of these formulas:

Formula: Role | Specific Industry Achievement | Fun Fact
Example: Senior Healthcare Executive | President & Chief Executive Officer | Turnaround and Multi-site Specialist  | Becker’s Healthcare CEO of the Year

Formula: Role | Industry/Expertise | Unique Value
Example: Chief Investment Officer | CIO | Legal Executive | Focused on strategic asset management of a $25B portfolio 

Formula: Role | Helping [type of company] do [result] | keyword 2 | keyword 3
Example: Chief Marketing Officer |  I increase revenue and product awareness through innovative brand and digital strategies | Retail and CPG 


You’re more than your title

Shelley Piedmont, ShelleyPiedmont.com

<Job Title> at <Employer>. That is what most people have as their Headline because LinkedIn makes it the default. But aren’t you more than a title? I hope so. Do you want your “personal brand” to be connected with one employer? Probably not. So, make sure you customize your Headline.

LinkedIn gives you 220 characters to tailor this most visible aspect of your profile to tell the reader about you. Think of all the places where your Headline is seen.

  • When you comment on a post
  • When you post content
  • In search results
  • In the People You May Know section
  • When you apply for a job on LinkedIn

That is a lot of places. Why should a person click on your profile or look at your content? Because you have hooked them in by having a compelling Headline.

So how do you get a reader’s attention? Tell the reader what they need to know about you. Interest the reader in you.

  • Tell them about your skill sets
  • Tell them your areas of expertise
  • Tell them what you have and can accomplish
  • Tell them how you help your target audience

Lastly, do not forget about keywords. Keywords will get the attention of your audience and help you come up in search results. To do this, make sure your Headline and other parts of your LinkedIn profile have the appropriate keywords that will be searched for by your intended audience.

If you are an Accountant whose practice focuses on tax issues, you should have “tax” somewhere in your Headline. If you are a Software Developer and have sought after programming languages, add them to your Headline.


Think branding, metrics, keywords

Nii Ato Bentsi-Enchill, AvenirCareers.com

Your Headline is often the first impression that people will have of you on LinkedIn. You can do better than just have it be a title and an employer.

You are not a default candidate, so don’t leave your LinkedIn profile Headline in the default setting, which is “Your Name at Current Employer.” This is the fastest way to blend into a page of search results. Instead, make yourself stand out by customizing your LinkedIn Headline. Not doing so is a missed opportunity to make a strong first impression

Forgoing customization means your Headline might currently read something like, “Sports Marketing Manager at Elevate Marketing.” This Headline barely makes a dent in the ~220-character allowance and fails to tell employers anything interesting and/or attractive about you to encourage them to engage.

I guide clients to include 3 key elements in their Headline to the extent it’s possible:

1) Branding

2) Metrics

3) Keywords.

Here’s an example:

Sports Marketing Manager curating creative touchpoints that inspire fans | Former Pr🏀  Athlete | Drove 30% revenue growth | Strategy | Digital Marketing | Business Development | Sponsorship | Experiential Events

This example is 210 characters long. When employers/recruiters are scrolling through search results for “Sports Marketing Manager,” the default Headline will not stand out, but this one will because it offers effective, attention-grabbing information.

This one also happens to feature an emoji, which can be helpful when used creatively. Your LinkedIn Headline is called a “Headline” for a reason. Just like a newspaper’s front page, make sure your headline sparks people to pick up this edition featuring your story.

“You are only as good as the good you do for others.”~Unknown


There’s Good, Better, and Best. Make your Headline “Best”

Loren Greiff, PortfolioRocket.com

You must take your LinkedIn Headline seriously. 

Because it’s crazy glued to everywhere you go on the platform. 

Anchoring your name. 

Appearing under all your comments on other’s posts

At the top of the DM strings. 

Headlines can be classified in three categories: 

Good: 

These are basic Headlines, reliant on your title, Creative Director

They’re uninspired but are good because your title (unless made up like Ninja) uses keywords that recruiters and other decision makers use to search for your function.  

Everyone and anyone can have a Headline like this. 

Better:  

Better Headlines combine  title with an ownable and benefit driven narrative

Precision Marketing & Media Lead, Nissan | Solving to Evolve Media & Marketing Organizations Prioritizing The 3Ps: People, Process, Product

Monetization mobilizer building, scaling & revitalizing revenue for everyday luxury brands | VP/GM, Global Data Strategy & Monetization at Condé Nast

Best: 

Does what better does AND adds in a little zinger: 

Founder + Creative Director | Sharpe Creative • I work with small and midsize companies who crave the impact of a big brand — together we are David, ready for Goliath 🤜💥🤛

🛵 Executive Creative Producer 🛵 Leading Large Scale Teams For Global Brands To Deliver Massive Impact.  🛵 On time. On Budget. No Ego.🛵

A few  final words on Headlines. 

They can take a little while to nail, and that’s normal. You’re going for right, not rushed. 

It should fit in tone and words to feel like you. 

Like other parts of your LinkedIn profile, your Headline should be refreshed from time to time in order to stay relevant and reflect your most current value. 

Don’t be afraid to get a little creative, even irreverent here. Every decision maker appreciates a candidate who has confidence and stands out. 

This is your first impression, make it the best one. 


5 steps to crafting the optimum Headline

Laura Smith-Proulx, AnExpertResume.com

A powerful branding element that describes who you are, what you deliver, and what you’re most proud of in your career, your Headline can entice other LinkedIn users to read further. Even better, it will attract traffic if you’ve added keywords that emphasize your most important skills.

Here are 5 steps to crafting the optimum Headline:

  1. Start with your career level or goal (SVP of Sales, Global Operations Executive, Contract Administrator, CIO, etc.). You can use more than one job title, but be sure it matches the positions you’d like to have.
  1. Next, add keywords matching what you WANT to do. In my case, Leadership Careers, Resume Writer, and Branding all help convey what I do for my target audience. Keywords should resemble your ideal job description. Important note: remove skills you’d rather not use in your next job. (I’m a former IT consultant, but you won’t find SQL or application development in my Headline.)
  1. Third, fold in a top career achievement. Maybe you’ve reached the #1 regional ranking in your industry, led digital transformations, or earned promotions at Fortune 500 companies. “Digital Payment Solutions Enabling 43% More Online Transactions” or “New Efficiencies From Robotics Process Automation” convey wins (and even include keywords).
  1. Then expand your Headline to use as many of your 220 available characters as possible. Longer Headlines have a better shot at incorporating a clear value proposition and the keywords integral to your findability as a candidate.
  1. Last of all, consider incorporating some bling with symbols in your Headline. A quick search on “symbols for LinkedIn Headlines” will return an array of interesting bullets you can use to separate key fields.

Set yourself a part from others, don’t commit #personalblanding

Kevin Turner, TNTBrandStrategist.com

Personal Blanding is the intentional or inadvertent act of demarketing or making oneself appear generic. Accepting any defaults on LinkedIn, especially the [Headline] of [Title] at [Company], are the most blatant forms of Personal Blanding. Personal Blanding won’t get you noticed while Personal Branding will!

Think of your [Headline] like a branding handshake. The up-to-240 spaces is like the time it takes to comfortably shake hands, introduce yourself, and maybe the deciding factor in your future.

Imagine you are on a two-story elevator with nine other people, just like you, going to an interview for the same opportunity. Right before the doors close, the CEO steps in. This decision-maker turns and says hello, introduces themself, and shakes each person’s hand, expecting the same.

This is not the time to falter, drone on, or try to regurgitate your resume. What can you say during this brief handshake time-frame that will set you apart from everyone else on that elevator? What can you say that is short, succinct, and will get you remembered?

That’s your Personal Branding [Headline].

#JustSayNoToPersonalBlanding!


💥 Make your Headline distinct with emojis 💥

Karen Tisdell, KarenTisdell.com

LinkedIn is highly visual, and it’s becoming harder and harder to cut through the
noise. If you want your LinkedIn profile Headline to capture attention you’ll need to do something many people still aren’t – use emojis.

You heard right. Emojis are a powerful tool on LinkedIn. They make your Headline
more visually memorable and can help you appear more friendly and approachable.

But don’t think that Emojis are all about conveying emotion, either. An emoji can be a bold shape, a conservative black dot, a brightly coloured symbol that stands out amongst the text and ensures your headline actually gets read.

Adding emojis to your LinkedIn profile and content is as easy as copying and
pasting. Depending on your operating platform, there are various keyboard
shortcuts you can use and emojipaedia.org will also enable you to find the right
emoji or symbol that suits your brand message.

The challenge being that often we don’t know what we want, until we see it…

My article HERE captures a wide spectrum of LinkedIn-friendly emojis, moving far
beyond a smiley emoji.


Don’t be invisible, stand out from the crowd

Ed Han, Job-Hunt.org

You know how sometimes you hear something and it gets stuck in your head. Like maybe the overture to Raiders of the Lost Ark? That’s pretty catchy: I don’t know anyone who couldn’t recognize it if they heard the first few notes.

Back on August 31, 1997, Fast Company published an article by  management consultant Tom Peters titled The Brand Called You. This article struck like a thunderbolt when published and remains just as powerful and relevant today, almost 24 years later. As Peters wrote:

Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.

Today we call it personal branding, a fairly common concept in career circles now but on the cusp of Q4 1997, it was revolutionary.

The 220 characters of your LinkedIn profile Headline are a stunning billboard to display your personal brand because everyplace your name goes on the platform, so go your profile photo and Headline. Everywhere, including search results.

And the best personal brands articulate a unique value proposition: what is it that someone brings to the table that they alone offer?

Unfortunately, when you create a LinkedIn profile, or when add a new job to your profile, LinkedIn “helpfully” suggests updating your Headline to match defaulting to [JOB TITLE] at [EMPLOYER].

Now imagine someone searching for what you do for a living. In the search results, they see literally hundreds or even thousands of search results, filled with firstname lastname [JOB TITLE] at [EMPLOYER].

So boring!

You have become invisible. My friend and fellow contributor Kevin D. Turner refers to this as personal blanding for good reason. There is a vast ocean of undifferentiated sameness in LinkedIn search results.

Stand out! The purpose of any branding statement is to make someone want to know more. That’s why it is essential that your Headline articulates your unique value proposition.

Give the reader a reason to want to know more. What motivates you to do what you do? Which of your traits would managers, reports, and colleagues consistently say were your top ones? And remember: it’s not bragging if it’s true.

You are more—far more—than the position you currently or last did. No job title can possibly contain the whole of what you bring to the table. So why constrain yourself?

You want to interest people. Craft your Headline accordingly. And when you do, front-load your highest impact content in the first 80ish characters, as over 50% of all LinkedIn traffic is via the app rather than desktop, and Headlines get truncated on the app.


Define your audience and write for them

Biron Clark, CareerSidekick.com

If you try to appeal to everyone with your LinkedIn Headlines, you’ll appeal to no one.

Take a moment to identify what type of person or employer you’re trying to connect with, and then think about which skills and qualifications you can put in your Headline to attract them.

For example, if 30% of your current role is sales-related and the rest is customer support, but you’re targeting phone sales jobs now, you could write this Headline:

Top-performing sales rep | 3 years of phone sales experience

(I have more Headline formulas/examples here.)

You shouldn’t go into your interviews and lie about the breakdown of your past job duties, but you should highlight what’s most relevant in your LinkedIn Headline to get that interview.

And there’s no rule that your LinkedIn Headline needs to be identical to your job title or even include it.

To gather ideas for keywords and skills to include in your Headline, look at a couple of job descriptions for the type of role you want. Notice the job titles and also the top skills listed.

The more you can demonstrate that you have some ability or overlap in those areas, the better, even if it’s from a different industry or slightly different type of job.


Use your Headline as the foundation of your About section

Bob McIntosh, ThingsCareerRelated.com

I tell my clients that their Headline can be the foundation of their About section and, for that matter, their Experience section. To stand by my word, I do this with my LinkedIn profile. This is how I started my profile, and this is how it stands now.

It makes sense if you think about it. If you want to brand yourself throughout your LinkedIn profile, you must be consistent. Every section of your profile should brand you, but there are no more obvious sections than your Headline and About.

There are a plethora of Headline and About section styles. Neither are better than the others; it’s a matter of preference, just as long as they fit your personal brand and deliver a strong message.

To illustrate what I’m talking about, I’ll show you my Headline which begins with a tagline and is followed by titles that I currently hold.

👊 I’m on the frontline fighting 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗚𝗼𝗼𝗱 𝗙𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 for job seekers ◆ LinkedIn Trainer ◆ Career Coach ◆ Online Instructor ◆ Blogging Fanatic 🏆LinkedIn Top Voices 2019 #LinkedInUnleashed©

In my About section I should closely follow the title listed above with two-three lines describing how I live up to the areas of expertise.

I’m not entirely accurate in terms of order of placement, and instead of using nouns I use adjectives. My headers are: 𝗝𝗢𝗕-𝗦𝗘𝗔𝗥𝗖𝗛 𝗦𝗧𝗥𝗔𝗧𝗘𝗚𝗬, 𝗟𝗜𝗡𝗞𝗘𝗗𝗜𝗡 𝗧𝗥𝗔𝗜𝗡𝗜𝗡𝗚, and 𝗕𝗟𝗢𝗚𝗚𝗜𝗡𝗚 𝗢𝗡: 𝗝𝗢𝗕 𝗦𝗘𝗔𝗥𝗖𝗛 | 𝗟𝗜𝗡𝗞𝗘𝗗𝗜𝗡.

Under 𝗝𝗢𝗕-𝗦𝗘𝗔𝗥𝗖𝗛 𝗦𝗧𝗥𝗔𝗧𝗘𝗚𝗬 I have the following two statements:

★ Recently I received an award for my part in delivering job-search webinars. 🏆

★ I consistently achieve “Excellent” ratings on webinar evaluations.

Why make writing your Headline and About complicated? Show your value by using a tagline and keywords by which to be found, and then structure your About section after your Headline. Value + Consistency = Strong Branding.


The “what,” “who,” and “why” of writing your Headline

Brad Minton, MintToBeCareer.com

The keys to a great Headline if you’re a job seeker center around how you define yourself professionally so that you can attract the right opportunities. This 220-character piece of real estate should help showcase your unique value and character to potential employers.

You want to say three things primarily. What you do, who you are and why you’re different.

1) What you do: Identify the roles that you want and incorporate the keywords and industry terms. Research job postings for positions of interest and use a Wordcloud to identify the most common words. This ensures that recruiters can find you through the power of search engine optimization.

Remember you can include several and separate them by vertical lines or bullets.  Ex: Career Development Specialist | Certified Coach | Resume Writer | Instructor | LGBTQIA+ & Career Consultant (Sandra Buatti-Ramos).  

2) Who you are: Showcase your authentic personality. This could be possibly incorporating your “why” or your personal mission. This is a great opportunity to get creative, use more subjective language and even emojis. Ex: I help executives (CXO), directors & managers level up, land a job faster & increase earning power! (Adrienne Tom).

3) Why you’re different. This component is critical to expand on how you’re more than just a job title. This is an opportunity to speak about your niche market, or perhaps a really high achievement that you’ve been able to accomplish. Ex:  “Acquiring 10,000 B2B Leads a Month” (Seun Oyediran).


Entice viewers with your Headline

Ana Lokotkova, CVLabs.ca

  1. Your profile Headline plays a crucial role when it comes to your visibility on LinkedIn for two reasons:
  2. It helps your profile pop up in relevant searches, meaning people can find you more easily, and

It has the power to grab attention and entice more profile views.

Imagine typing in a search on LinkedIn and seeing hundreds of profiles appear in the results. How would you differentiate among them? Which profile would you click on first, increasing the chance of engaging in a conversation with that person before you reach the rest?

Your Headline needs to set your profile apart from your direct competition. Instead of resorting to the default “Job Title at Company Name’, consider this an opportunity to make a first impression and tell a story in 220 characters or less.

A great way to do that is to turn your Headline into a short slogan that summarizes your core value proposition while also hitting some of the most relevant keywords used to describe your profession and level of expertise.

Compared to a plain job title, a slogan is so much more engaging and gets the message across instantly. You don’t need to be in sales or run your own business to write up your own branding slogan.

Here are a few examples for inspiration:

Digital Marketer | Merging social media and recruitment to connect people to the right role

Helping sales teams become more successful through social selling


Use S. O. A. P. to write your Headline

Adrienne Tom, CareerImpressions.ca

I like to say that strong LinkedIn Headlines apply the S.O.A.P formula:

Specific

Optimized

Authentic

Professional and personalized

Your Headline introduces you on LinkedIn. It follows you everywhere on the site. Often it is the only thing people see about you until your full profile is accessed.

Maximize Headline real estate to create a positive impression and help people better understand who you are and what you have to offer. 

Write your Headline with purpose and intent to get found for that next-level position or awesome job opening. Clean it up with a little S.O.A.P, working within the designated character limit, as demonstrated in these examples:

Sales Executive / VP, Entertainment. Evolved the customer experience in media advertising from transactional to collaborative, propelling sales and revenue growth >>> 500%+ revenue expansion in 4 Years

VP of Product Strategy: I delivered millions in new revenue for technology companies through customer experience and product initiatives. B2C | SaaS | Global Enterprise Software Solutions | Digital Marketing 

Oil & Gas Sales Manager | 110% YOY Sales Growth | $150M Territory | National Sales Teams of 40+ | Upstream and Midstream Oil & Gas

Controller: I influence decision-making and raise business profitability through the delivery of trusted financial intelligence. Accounting & Financial Leadership | Global & Fortune 500

The above Headlines are:

Specific. We know what type of role each professional holds or aspires to hold and the value they bring to business. Specific metrics and numbers help add scale, scope, and impact.

Optimized with industry keywords and terminology that recruiters could be searching for.

Authentic to each person and their offerings. Some even use first-person.

Professional and personalized, instilling confidence in the reader.

I share 3 additional ways to write your Headline for different audiences in this accompanying article.

 

 

 

 

 



12 steps to take to get back on track after losing a job

There’s a saying in the career development world: “You’re not in my club unless you’ve lost a job.” It’s not a kind saying, but it puts things into perspective. Many people have lost a job or two or even three. No one will ever say, “Losing a job is fun.”

To lose a job for any reason can be a blow to one’s self-esteem. Even if you were laid off because the company had to cut costs, you might think you failed.

If you were let go for lack of performance or you didn’t see eye-to-eye with your manager, this can be particularly devastating. You may feel that you’re incapable of returning to the productive employee you once were.

The same applies to having to quit under pressure. Your boss was constantly harping on you for small mistakes or accused you of missteps that you know, deep in your heart, were correct actions. But because they’re the boss, they hold the power.

No matter how you wrap your head around what happened, you can’t let go of what went wrong. You lose sight of what you did well. Negative thoughts swim around your mind.

With all of this said, there are steps to take to get back into the workforce. (These steps don’t necessarily follow in this order.)

1. Don’t deny your feelings

You might be experiencing one of the five stages of grief (Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance), or a few of them. Although associated with the loss of someone close to you, grieving over the loss of a job is common. Realize that this is natural and don’t deny the feelings you’re experiencing.

You may be experiencing feelings you’ve never had before: bouts of crying for no apparent reason, short temper with family members and friends; a diminished sex drive; lack of motivation, wondering what you did wrong. These feelings, and more, are symptoms of unemployment; you’re not going crazy.

Being unable to concentrate on what’s going around you is natural. Your mind circles back to the fact that you’re out of work. You might have been told to hold it in. I believe this applies to only when you’re in public. When alone let it out, but not at the expense of loved ones. Don’t kick the family do I tell my clients.

When I was out of work, I tried to recognize the feelings I was experiencing. It wasn’t always easy, but I realized my unemployment was temporary. You should also realize your situation is temporary.

2. Evaluate the situation and be able to explain why you’re out of work

Given three reasons why you are unemployed—you were laid off, let go, or quit—determine which it was and assess the situation. People who possess self-awareness are honest with themselves and with others.

The first reason—being laid off—is easiest to explain. One of my customers said, “I had no choice. The company could no longer afford my salary.”

While this is true, it would be best to go into a little more detail, such as, “We lost two major accounts that I was working on (as a software engineer). While my work was stellar, our customers decided to pull out.”

The second and third reasons—being let go, or quitting—are a bit harder to explain. These answers must be short while giving an honest description of the situation and, most importantly, explain what you’ve learned from the situation.

One way you might explain being let go is: “My boss and I agreed that I wasn’t a fit for the position, that I lacked some of the skills. I understand the requirements of this job and know I can excel in this position.”

3. Don’t sleep the day away

You might be halfway through your job search and feel like giving up the fight temporarily. Don’t do it. Stay the course. If you need motivation, have someone check in on you to see how you’re doing. These would be a good friends, so don’t begrudge them.

As difficult it may be, develop a routine. You don’t necessarily have to rise at 5:00 am so you can go to the gym before the workday. But getting up every morning at 6:00 am, taking a walk, eating breakfast, and getting out of the house would be much more productive than sleeping until 10:00 am every morning.

You’ll feel much better if you are productive, not if you rise late and watch television. I honestly believe that developing a routine is essential to your mental health and finding a job. Another suggestion is to attend your local One-Stop career center for career-search help.

4. Take a hiatus

You’ve heard of the saying, “Get back on the horse.” This is true, but you don’t have to do it immediately. I’ve talked with job seekers who say they’ve taken a week off to regroup, to get their bearings.

While some might believe that you should begin the job search the day after you lost your job, I’m not one of them.

To get back on the horse immediately might be more detrimental than helpful, as your head will be swimming in negative thoughts of self-doubt. Or you might not have the energy you need to succeed. Proper mental health is required to be successful in your job search.

This said, don’t take a “vacation,” as some of my job seekers have. They figure summer is time to vacation, right? Wrong. The best time to look for work can be the summer when many employers have more time to entertain your request for an informational interview. Just recently our organization filled three positions.

5. Let people know you’re out of work

I tell job seekers there’s no shame in being out of work. And I’m sure they say under their breath, “What would you know?” Plenty. I’ve been out of work myself and came to find out that my feelings of self-doubt were wasted.

In order for others to help you, they need to know you’re looking for work. The people you tell aren’t limited to your former colleagues and supervisors. They should include family, friends, and acquaintances.

Don’t disregard people who live across the country or even the world. Social media allows us to hear of opportunities in various areas of the country. Your brother in New York or San Francisco might hear of position openings close to where you live.

It’s important that you tell people exactly what you’re looking for in terms of work.

6. Be willing to accept help

I find this to be one of the largest roadblocks for some people; they just can’t bring themselves to ask for help. There are two things to remember: one, your job search will be shorter if you have help.

Two, most people like to help those in need. It gives them a sense of fulfillment. Look at it this way, you’re helping others by asking for help. Psychologist assert that helping others gives people a feeling of achievement. I think most people reading this article enjoy helping others, seeing them succeed.

This isn’t to say you should approach everyone in your community and ask, “Do you know of any jobs for me?” To tell people you’re out of work (#5) should be enough. For safe measure, however, “ping” people to stay top of mind. An occasional request like, “Please keep your ear to the pavement for me” should suffice.

7. Take action to prepare

As hard as it might be, you will have to focus on four major areas in your job search. My valued connection, Erin Kennedy, outlines what job-search measures to take to update your job search and to begin moving forward. According to Erin these are steps you will take in the early phase of your job search:

Update your resume Does it convey your message and brand? Is it up-to-date with your current role? Are your most recent accomplishments listed?

Update your LinkedIn profile as well. Do you have a current photo? Have you utilized the new “featured” tool to display projects and achievements?

We are all going through this same challenging time so reach out to your contacts. Check in on them. Set up a Zoom meeting so you can chat face-to-face.

Better yet, invite others as well! This is a great time to deepen your relationships and create new ones. We need each other right now.

8. Update your written communication materials

You now have time to update your resume and LinkedIn profile. Ideally you added accomplishments you achieved while you were working, but it’s understandable if you hadn’t. Many people are guilty of this. Lesson learned.

Think about how you saved the organization costs, improved processes, increase revenue, enhanced communications; and try to quantify the positive results. If you can’t come up with the numbers, dollars, and percentages, don’t sweat it. This is also a great time to think about your greatness.

I find that many of my clients hadn’t used LinkedIn when they were working, but now they are using it like a fiend. Another lesson learned. Remember to focus on the three components: creating an optimized profile that brands you, developing a robust network, and engaging with your network.

9. Start networking

Oh no, not this again, you might be thinking. I’ll be the first to admit that networking is tough, especially after losing a job. But it’s the most successful way to find a job. The numbers prove it—more than half of positions are gained by networking. PayScale.com claims 70% of jobs are gained through networking.

While we’re slowly recovering from the pandemic, networking is still being conducted online, typically with Zoom. Many are looking forward to the day when they can network in person.

If you’re still getting over losing your job, put off networking or engage in it slowly. And if you were let go, there’s no rule saying you need to disclose it. Rarely will fellow networkers ask you the reason for your departure. But if they do, ignore the question or politely tell the person you’d rather not discuss. it.

10. Practice using video conferencing

To Erin’s third point, with the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to be smart about interacting with others. This doesn’t mean we can’t continue to network. We might have to do it in smaller groups via Zoom or other video conferencing platforms.

Using video conferencing and the phone will prepare you better for interviews you’ll have in the near future. This is how companies are conducting interviews today. So, the more prepared you are with the technology, the better you’ll perform.

You probably didn’t think it would come to the point where you’d be going through multiple phases of the interview process participating in video meetings, but this is today’s reality. At least for the time being.

11. Seek professional help

You’ll probably experience many feelings, including anger, fear, self-doubt, etc. If you become consumed with these feelings, it might be best to seek the help of a therapist.

This is not unusual, trust me. I went through a plethora of feelings and, yes, I did talk with a professional. It allowed me to clear my mind.

If it gets to the point where all you can think about is the past and present, and fail to see the future, this can be an indication of depression or stress. It’s worth talking to a therapist when you reach this stage. Most insurance policies cover mental health services.

12. Consider your job search a blank slate


It’s hard for people who haven’t lost a job to understand how difficult being unemployed can be. The above are some simple suggestions to follow. Those who are in my club of people who have been unemployed at one point can be the best people to speak with. For some of us, it’s not our first rodeo. We have some sage advice to offer. Seek us out. We’re here to help.

13 LinkedIn pros talk about creating a powerful LinkedIn Experience section

The previous installment of the three most notable LinkedIn profile sections addressed the About section. This installment looks at what some, particularly recruiters, consider to be the most important section, Experience. If some of you protest Experience being the most important, don’t worry. The next installment will look at the Headline.

The ultimate theme of this compilation of sage advice is to show value in your Experience section. This goes without saying, but how you show it varies in method. For example, one pro advises to use bullets when sharing metrics.

Another pro advises you to make your Experience section more visual rather than simply listing all your duties; in other words, make it interesting to read.

Two recruiters weigh in, one emphatically stating that keywords, keywords, keywords in your Experience section are required to be found. Another explains how to lay out how to format your positions.

We can’t forget that personal “blanding” must be avoided at all costs warns one pro, while another one says, “Celebrate all you’ve accomplished, encountered and undergone with memorable high notes to keep readers glued.”

There’s much more, including thinking about your ABCs when writing your Experience section. More than one pro mentions keeping search engine optimization (SEO) in mind.

But I won’t sway your opinion as to which section is more important. Read what the pros have to say about Experience.

Make bulleted statements impactful

Biron Clark, CareerSidekick.com

Use bullets

Recruiters and hiring managers tend to skim through your LinkedIn Experience section before reading closely. They’re viewing many profiles each day and may not read each one fully.

So you’ll get more of your information seen and read if you present it in bullet format since bullets are a format designed to grab attention and make information readable quickly.

Use either a combination of short paragraphs and bullets, or just bullets, and your Experience section will stand out from the many job seekers using only large paragraphs.

Share results and metrics

When writing bullets in your Experience section, don’t just repeat the phrase, “Responsible for…” and share your basic duties. It’s much more interesting to employers if you can talk about what you achieved in past roles.

If you can show how you helped a past employer, they’ll be thinking, “Great, imagine what they can do for us if we hire them.”

Here’s an example:

Rather than saying, “Responsible for training and team development,” you’d say, “Led 3-5 training exercises per week, helping the team ___.”

Now, if this next employer needs that type of work done for them, you’ve painted a clear picture of exactly how you can step in and help. That type of writing will win you more interviews.

As a side note, it’s okay to break some grammatical rules in your bullets. When writing an essay, you’d spell out the numbers “3” and “5” above, but it’s okay to type them as numbers in your work experience bullets. Numbers stand out visually and are another powerful way to get the reader to stop and pay attention, and to set your LinkedIn Experience section apart from everyone else’s.

Show me the beef and personalize your Experience section

Bob McIntosh, ThingsCareerRelated.com

Stick with only the accomplishments and chuck the mundane duties is what I advise my clients to do. This is how you nail the Experience section.

Many recruiters will skip the LinkedIn profile About section and leap to Experience. This is similar to how they treat your resume; they go directly to Experience because—quite honestly—the resume Summary is often filled with fluff, whereas the content in Experience is more factual.

Speaking of being factual, I see too many C-level job seekers make the assumption that their visitors know what they did/do at their positions. They simply list the company name, their title, and months/years of experience. By doing this, they’re robbing readers, namely recruiters, of valuable information.

Here’s how it should be done from one of my former client’s job summary:

“As the Director, Marketing Communications at ABC Compnay, I planned, developed and executed multi-channel marketing programs and performance-driven campaigns, using digital marketing principles and techniques to meet project and organization goals.”

Notice how he used first-person point of view? Use first person point of view for your accomplishments, as well. Take, for example, an accomplishment statement from a resume

Volunteered to training  5 office staff on new database software. All team members were more productive, increasing the team’s output by 75%.”

The same statement on the LinkedIn profile sounds more personal:

I extended my training expertise by volunteering to train 5 office staff on our new database software. All members of the team were more productive as a result of my patient training style, increasing the team’s output by 75%.”

Recruiters are specific when they search for talent

Ed Han, Job-Hunt.org

Your LinkedIn profile certainly looks like a resume, doesn’t it? Both have Summary and Experience sections. But your LinkedIn profile is supposed to explain why someone might want to network with you. Industry, people in common, alma mater, and of course current or former employers.

These are all fertile ground in which to sow the seeds of your future network. Incidentally, if you are currently employed and interested in exploring alternative employment, you can tell the world, or just recruiters. 

What LinkedIn means by the “just recruiters” is recruiters using their premium LinkedIn Recruiter service, which truthfully, the majority of recruiters do not use. LinkedIn protects your privacy by not telling the recruiters who work for your current employer that you are open to work

Note: LinkedIn only knows to protect you if your profile links to the correct company page.

Speaking of which..recruiters are occasionally tasked with finding talent that does not exist within the organization. When that happens, we might be seeking someone with prior experience in a given industry. The pharmaceutical industry specifically is well-known for this.

Keywords, keywords, keywords

There are several places where keywords are weighted more heavily than other parts of your profile. One area where they are weighted pretty heavily is in the Experience section. When recruiters like me look for talent, we aren’t just looking for [JOB TITLE]: that produces way too many results. You need to get more specific–a lot more specific.

Let’s say I am seeking a PMP-certified project manager with experience with data center migrations. I will almost certainly look for the term PMP as well as “data center” and migration. Why bother with the job title? With a PMP the title is redundant.

If I am seeking a full-stack developer that’s nowhere near enough: I need to be searching on all four elements of the specific tech stack.

So get specific with the entries in your LinkedIn profile Experience: talk about the value you added, the things you accomplished. You don’t need to–and really shouldn’t–go into full-scale STAR story detail, but at least give the reader a sense of the things you achieved, processes used, and relevant technologies if appropriate.

Skip the mundane duties and grab their attention with visuals

Erin Kennedy, ProfessionalResumeServices.com

The Experience section on your LinkedIn profile, like your resume, is a blueprint of what you’ve done beginning with the most recent.  As with your resume, you need company names, job titles, and dates.

*It can easily be one of the most boring areas of your profile.*

The difference is, your LinkedIn profile, unlike your resume, isn’t geared for just one specific job. It is a more general overview of what you’ve done.

You don’t have to add everything from your resume. You don’t need to include the more mundane parts of your job.  Be strategic with your Experience section. Add what you enjoy the most about your role.

I am not a fan of adding every single task. I like to read/skim/read/skim through the profiles. If the experience section is content heavy, I lose interest. Use emoji bullets and arrows for visual appeal and to create focus areas within the role.

Keep in mind that LinkedIn’s algorithms are perusing through your profile targeting certain keywords. Make sure your experience section is keyword heavy.

It’s OK to add pronouns like “I, we, our, they” and, like the rest of your profile, should be written in a conversational and engaging first person tone.

A cool feature with the Experience section is you can add visuals—graphics, documents, videos, recommendation letters, PDFs, PowerPoints, and anything else that supports your role and experience at that job. So, you’re not only talking about it but you have visuals to back up your work.

Don’t ignore your Experience section! A well-written look into what you did at each role can mean the difference between gaining someone’s interest and not.

Make every word count

Karen Tisdell, KarenTisdell.com

The hard part: writing. Let’s break it down.

Title

In a few words, a title gives your profile visitors an idea of what you do, your expertise, and your career level. Business owners can get creative if they want, but job seekers should stick to the script. Use common or standard titles by, again, typing slowly and picking the default option. Your titles inform LinkedIn’s search function.

Body

Don’t copy and paste from your resume. Job seekers, I’m talking to you. You don’t want to give everything away. Give your profile visitors a taste of your value, tease your expertise. Use your Experience to highlight key points only, and not the key points that matter to you, but the key points that matter to your target audience.

You have 2,000 characters in total and it is best to use strong, active verbs. Keep sentences short and punchy. Conquer your reader’s attention. If you’ve written ‘key responsibilities,’ you’re not on the right track. Some active words to get you thinking include drove, collaborated, initiated, aligned, negotiated, established, and secured.

Don’t make sweeping heroic statements, but don’t undersell your awesomeness, especially if you’re a job seeker. You really don’t want to come across apologetic, indecisive, or unsure of your skills.

Use visual elements like emojis and Yaytext.com to break up big chunks of text – but use them sparingly. Less is more. Also, keep in mind that emojis and Yaytext (or Lingojam) can’t be read by people using reading options or by LinkedIn’s search function. If you’re a job seeker, don’t put emojis in your titles.

And one last note, especially for job seekers: Don’t disclose dollar amounts or sensitive information if it’s confidential or not widely known. 

Read Karen’s expanded article on the LinkedIn profile Experience section.

Avoid personal blanding by following these 6 tips

Kevin Turner, TNTBrandStrategist.com

The [Experience] section of your LinkedIn profile shouldn’t be a chronological dump of everything you have ever done, including everything that wouldn’t fit on a two-page resume. Leaving the [Description] portion of your Work [Experience] is one of the worst forms of Personal Blanding possible. 

🔘 Avoiding the ‘Responsible for’s and focus on a handful of bulleted, succinct accomplishments with proof metrics that solve business needs and moves you forward

🔘 Entering Title, Company, and Location slowly and accept the market value options in the dropdown box so that you ensure you are within LinkedIn dB Filters

🔘 Leaving the Employment type [-] blank or selecting anything less than [Full-time] will lower your profile rankings in search results

🔘 Unchecking the box [Update my headline] will keep you safe from accepting the Personal Blanding default [Title at Company] as you [Headline]

🔘 Adding Media by [Upload] or [Link] to external documents, photos, sites, videos, and presentations, is a Visual Reward in a sea of bland text (we process images 60K Faster than text)

🔘 Being aware of the [Share with network] toggle; [On] may share your updates, like a Press Release, with your network & [Off] makes your updates a little more noticeable

Don’t neglect your Experience section

Laura Smith-Proulx, AnExpertResume.com

Many users have neglected their LinkedIn Experience sections, filling in job titles and dates, but little else. If this sounds familiar, you’re wasting a HUGE opportunity to differentiate yourself and attract employer attention.

I recommend simple, yet powerful changes for your LinkedIn Experience section:

  • Add a bold opening statement to each of your job entries. This should be a short summary of your successes (such as “22% Profit Increase From New Sales Methods” or “Digital Strategies Enabling COVID-19 Remote Work”). You can further entice the reader with symbols or emojis in this line.
  • Describe what you enjoyed about this job, with a description of the projects, roles, and results you produced. These sentences don’t have to take up the entire 2,000 characters, but… (see the next point).
  • Make sure this text is keyword-packed and RELEVANT. Looking for a job in sales? Boost the sales-related content for each job. If you hated the job and there is little tie-in to your career goal, tone down the jargon and conserve your words.
  • Use plenty of white space to help readers navigate the great description and achievements you’ve written.
  • Add media for more color in your Experience section, clicking where it says you can link to documents, photos, sites, videos, or presentations. Maybe your employer published that big project on their News page, or you spoke at a conference. Feature these wins prominently.

If you’re unsure what to add, just start with your best shot at these steps. LinkedIn content isn’t carved in stone; you can change it tomorrow.

Keep them hooked

Loren Greiff, PortfolioRocket.com

Before you start taking the content from your resume and adding it directly into your Experience section. Step back, relax and recognize that the idea isn’t to cram it all in, you’re going to have to cherry pick the best of the best to portray the highlight your greatest hits.  

One way to do this is to get past the “ ✅ check the box” notion that your EXPERIENCE section is your resume online, and limited to nouns vs.verbs. 

Experience (n) practical contact with and observation of facts or events.

Experience (v) encounter or undergo (an event or occurrence).

Experience can be experiential. mitigating away from reporting  facts, metrics and responsibilities that risk putting those interested in you (and awake from your rocking Headline and About section) back to sleep. 

Keep them hooked with all eyes moving down your profile by: 

  • Choosing wisely which experiences to highlights and include ideally three to five tight ones making them easy to digest. 
  • Front load your biggest win within each role first, and with second biggest and so on. 
  • Mix up taking credit for what you’ve changed with what you’ve done. 
  • Embrace white space and formatting liberties with tasteful emojis and/or bullets. 
  • Include relevant attachments to make it easy for decision makers to find out more. 
  • Triple check your dates and explain any gaps unapologetically, sparing the TMI.

Celebrate all you’ve accomplished, encountered and undergone with memorable high notes to keep readers glued. 

Think ABC when you write your Experience section

Marie Zimenoff, CareerThoughLeaders.com

Although the About section may be first in a profile, there are a few reasons a recruiter or hiring manager will likely start with the Experience section when reading a profile.

First, hiring managers want to see if a candidate is qualified for the role before they take time to read an introduction like a cover letter or About section. Second, the Experience section titles are big, bold, and easy to skim – especially on mobile.

To maximize the LinkedIn Experience section to better connect with hiring managers, recruiters, potential customers, and beyond, follow the ABCs:

ATTRACT readers immediately with a strategic Title for each Experience entry. The Title field allows 100 characters – which most LinkedIn users seriously underutilize.

In addition to including an official title, add synonym titles recruiters might search and other targeted keywords. If there is space, consider adding a standout statement.

Example:

VP, Technology & Innovation ➡ Opened New Verticals & Grew Customer Businesses While Reviving $650M Operation

BEWITCH readers with a story that has an immediate hook. Make it clear right away that they are getting the same stories from the resume, with more detail, backstory, and intrigue.

This might be a challenge you faced at the company when you started, the details of your most relevant project.

Example:

Bringing disruptive technology to market isn’t easy. Businesses may not understand the value and want data that doesn’t exist before they’ll take a risk.

When I saw what the technical mastermind behind XYZ was doing, I knew it was valuable … and there was an opportunity for me to improve the value proposition so companies could see the value, too.

When you engage the reader in a story, it builds credibility and likeability while keeping their eyes on the profile longer.

CONVERT readers into connections or interviews by targeting stories – and especially the pains and challenges addressed – to align with the main concerns of the target audience.

When stories illustrate past experiences of delivering desired results, it creates an emotional connection – the feeling that they are understood and will get immediate value from taking the next step.

(Continued from Bewitch):

Together, we brought the first augmented/virtual reality (AR/VR) content publishing solution (PaaS) to market.

My Role …

⤷ Creating the growth strategy with a competitive bid model to raise VC/private equity funds and scale market adoption.

⤷ Calling on my trusted relationships with business leaders to understand market need, improve positioning, and garner interest.

My Results …

➡ Secured proof of concept commitments from 5 Fortune 500 companies.

Putting time into writing an engaging LinkedIn Experience section will attract the reader, keep them reading the profile longer, and go beyond keywords to create an emotional connection that leads to action!

Have strong SEO and differentiate yourself from the rest

Shelley Piedmont, ShelleyPiedmont.com

Of all the sections of your LinkedIn profile, the Experience area is the most important one for recruiters and hiring managers. When I was a recruiter, I went straight to the Experience section to get a sense of the type of roles and employers. If I found that information of interest, I then would look at other areas of the profile.

Yet, this section is a lost opportunity for many LinkedIn users. Why? People only put a title, employer, and dates of employment.  Nothing else is there to explain the role or any accomplishments. Don’t be that person.

Two areas of focus should be Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and differentiating yourself from the competition.

SEO

People do searches based on specific criteria. Don’t you want your profile to show up high in the search results for those terms that showcase your expertise or interests? You need to have these search terms or keywords appear in your profile.

In the Experience section, you can add these terms both as part of your title or in the text. Here is a hint: Feel free to change your title from something uncommon, like Director of People Development to Director of Talent Management, if “Talent Management” is a common search term. Also, add important keywords to explain your responsibilities and accomplishments.

Differentiate Yourself

People want to see more than just a list of job duties in this section. Provide additional information about your job title or the work that you do/did. Don’t forget that you can also add media, so if you have work that you want to showcase, take advantage of the opportunity. Remember, always add information about how you have provided value to your employer. This will interest potential employers.

Think about the employers for whom you worked

Susan Joyce, Netability.com

LinkedIn gives you 2,000 characters to describe each job in the Experience section. Done well, this section will increase your visibility inside LinkedIn, strengthening your personal brand and making your best keywords visible while highlighting your professional accomplishments and demonstrating your ability to communicate effectively.

Be sure to include your accomplishments that are relevant, and research appropriate job descriptions to identify the best keywords.

Going back as far as 15 years, describe each employer (keywords!) and each job (keywords!):

  • As you type in the employer’s name, LinkedIn will offer you the names of employers who have LinkedIn Company pages. If available, choose the appropriate employer’s Company page inside LinkedIn, for your current and also your former employers.

    The Company page link makes it easy for people to learn more about your employer to gain insight into your skills and experience. Many recruiters search through a company’s list of employees looking for potential job candidates.
  • Briefly describe the employer as positively as possible, especially if not a well-known name or one which has disappeared. Describe the industry (keywords!), location (keywords!), and well-known products and services (keywords!).
  • Provide your job title(s) for that employer (keywords!). If your employer uses a unique or non-descriptive job titles, become a “slash person” to make the job clear (and to include relevant and appropriate keywords).

    For example, if your employer uses “Admin Wizard” as the job title for admin assistant jobs, become an “Admin Wizard/Admin Assistant” in LinkedIn.
  • If you worked remotely in a job, include that term plus the remote tools you used (keywords!)
  • If you had more than one job with the employer, describe each job separately, focused on the accomplishments relevant to your personal brand and future (keywords!).

Obviously, the Experience section offers members a wonderful opportunity to include appropriate keywords, making your profile more visible in LinkedIn and highlighting your relevant experience.

How recruiters read your Experience section

Tejal Wagadia

The experience section is the most important part of your LinkedIn profile. You can have the best Headline, About and Education sections, and recommendation; but if a recruiter or hiring manager can’t tell what you have done as work experience there is no point.

As a recruiter, here is what I look for:

1.     Your work history, company name, dates, title.

2.     Beyond it being chronological, you need to write down what you do and what you have accomplished. This is the perfect place to utilize “I” statements. It can be in whatever format you want. Paragraph or bullets but make sure to list it.

a.     Pro-tip: If you want to make it easier for the reader, I’d suggest starting with a summary under each company as a paragraph and then add your accomplishments and duties as bullets.

3.     If you have any publications or media links, you should absolutely list it here as it relates to specific jobs. Especially for creative people, your work specific examples on your portfolio will go here.

Whether you are looking for a job or not, your experience section should always be updated because you never know which recruiter or employer might look at it and reach out to you with a potential role that might be your dream job.

If you’ve held multiple jobs at the same organization and/or been promoted, you should update your LinkedIn accordingly to highlight that. LinkedIn has a great feature where they update your profile with the same company but highlight the different positions you’ve held. 

Pay attention to job titles and think before describing current projects

Virginia Franco, VirginiaFrancoResumes

When writing your LinkedIn Experience section, I advise job seekers to pay careful attention to:

Job Titles

The platform’s algorithm weighs the keywords it finds here. LinkedIn gives you 100 characters to play with – I say take advantage of them!

Here’s how:

If you are targeting a role in Medical Device Sales but your job title is “Account Executive,” consider expanding upon your title by using this as your job title to capitalize on keyword searchability:

Account Executive | Cardiology Medical Device Sales

Current Role

If currently employed, I don’t recommend sharing info about how you turned a team around or fixed a hot mess within your organization – as this can paint your current company (and your manager!) in a negative light.

It’s important to remember that you might still need to attract and maintain relationships with customers/vendors, etc. Your best bet at not burning bridges while job searching is to include some info about the company’s products/services/mission. In addition, include a paragraph about what you’ve been brought on to do.

Public/Private Information

Not every company is comfortable sharing revenue or market share figures – particularly if the company is private. If this is your situation, it’s OK to share your accomplishments, but take care not to share exact figures. 

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

6 types of LinkedIn users; which are you?

Spending as much time on LinkedIn as I do, I notice how often my network contributes. Some are consistent and strike an even balance, others do not. In this post, I’m going to address the six types of Linked contributors.

Man on phone 2

I’ve always asserted that there are three components of your LinkedIn success:

Creating a profile;

connecting with LI members; and

engaging with your connections.

It’s the third component that can be as important as the other two, if not more. By engaging with your connections, it keeps you top of mind. I use the familiar cliche when I explain the importance of engagement by saying, “Out of sight, out of mind.”

Let’s take a look at the six types of LinkedIn contributors

1. The non-contributor

Some of you might relate to this. You were an accountant until recently laid off. While you were working, one of your colleagues—maybe your colleague—said, “Hey, you should join LinkedIn. I hear it’s important to be on it.”

So you joined, not quite sure why, and let your profile sit. You accumulated 10 connections, because these were the 10 people you knew at work. You would get invitations, which sat in your My Network queue.

Now that you’re looking for work, you have no activity to speak of. In other words you’re nonexistent. You’re not getting any hits from recruiters, have no endorsements, not getting invites, don’t know how to share an update.

There’s a lot of work ahead for you.

2. Enough to be dangerous

If this is you, I want to say it’s almost worse than not contributing. You’re trying to do what you’ve been told by someone who was kind enough to give you advice. Perhaps your heart just isn’t into it.

Your profile is strong. There’s no problem here. In fact, you hired someone to write it for you. You were pumped when it was done. The person who wrote your profile mentioned numerous times that you have to 1) connect with ten quality connections a week and 2) engage with them.

The problem is that you are forgetting the last piece. You’re hoping that optimizing your profile with keywords will draw recruiters to you. However, optimizing your profile with keywords only works if you’re active and well connected.

You have potential, though.

3. Contribute too much

Someone managed to get it through your head that being a contributor on LinkedIn is crucial to being found. Your profile is strong and your network in good shape.

You’ve been contributing, which includes: sharing articles, mentioning industry trends, giving sage advice, asking questions, sharing news about your colleagues. All good stuff, but it’s gonna take awhile before your getting noticed like you want. So you overdue it.

I see you on LinkedIn contributing like a fiend. I see you six times a day. I won’t say your engagement reeks of desperation, but…. Here’s the thing, there is such thing as contributing too much.

It will take time to establish yourself, so be patient.

4. Addicted to LinkedIn

This is a bad thing, but you can’t help yourself. The worst thing you did was install the LinkedIn app on your phone. Just like people who are constantly checking their Instagram or Facebook accounts, you’re opening your LinkedIn app.

In fact, you’re posting updates and answering questions while you’re waiting for your son to get out of school, your wife to get off the train, during family gatherings. Yes, you’re concealing your phone underneath the table. You’re on LinkedIn every day, four hours a day.

I tell my LinkedIn workshop that at minimum they should be on LinkedIn four days a week. Their jaws drop. After pausing, I tell them that the optimum amount should be every day; yes, this includes Sunday. And I finish by telling them not to be like me.

Perhaps you should seek professional help.

5. Take too much or give too much

There are some people who just take and others who only give. Both attributes can be detrimental to your engagement. There are three major areas in which LinkedIn members take too much or give to much.

Recommendations: Takers will ask for recommendations but don’t think of returning the favor. When you look at the numbers of Received and Given, the numbers are extremely lopsided. It’s almost as bad to only give recommendations and not ask for them, as it looks like people don’t think highly enough about you.

Endorsements: Takers receive endorsements but don’t return the favor, whereas Givers will endorse their connections as soon as they connect. They’ll continue to click on others’ skills until the cows come home. But they won’t expect to be endorsed in return.

Long posts: Takers think that only their content matters in the eyes of their connections. They write multiple posts a week but don’t comment on what others write. Givers only comment on others’ content but don’t write their own. They are hesitant to write, thinking their expertise won’t be appreciated.

Not every LinkedIn user strikes an even balance. The next section talks about the takers, givers and the ones who share the wealth when it comes to engaging with the LinkedIn community.

6. Strike an equal balance

When I think about the people who strike an equal balance, I admire the humility my connections demonstrate when I’ve sent recommendations out of the blue to them. As well, my connections have sent me recommendations without my asking.

This is the way it should be. Will giving and graciously taking recommendations be 50/50? No, but the ones who strike an equal balance show a more balanced Received and Given ratio.

The same formula applies to endorsements. A golden rule of mine is that when someone endorses me, I send a quick personalized note thanking them for the endorsement/s and ask which skills they’d like to be endorsed for. This might shock the endorsers, but it only seems right to return the favor.

Another golden rule of mine applies to long posts. I believe in sharing long posts two or three times a week. When people comment on my posts, I do my best to interact with them. If they only react with a Like, Insightful, or Celebrate, that’s fine.

There are LinkedIn members who receive many comments on their posts because they comment on others’ posts. Their comments are sincere and fairly lengthy. Certain people come to mind because this is their policy.

Is striking an equal balance easy? No, it takes work. But the work you put in to strike an equal balance will be remembered by the people who truly matter.

The LinkedIn algorithm wants to see you participate in both manners. Comment on others’ posts and write your own.


Now that you’ve learned about the six types of LinkedIn contributors, which one are you? Are you barely on LinkedIn to the point where you shouldn’t bother or are you a LinkedIn addict like me. Or, do you strike a nice balance? I would love to hear your story, and I promise not to judge.

How could I judge?

If you want to learn more about LinkedIn, visit this compilation of LinkedIn posts.