Category Archives: LinkedIn

3 reasons why the LinkedIn Summary is key for career changers

I often come across job seekers who need a career change. They’ve had enough with their former career and want something more rewarding. I should know the feeling, as I have changed my career three times.

linkedin-alone

The LinkedIn profile is designed much like a chronological résumé, and there’s nothing you can do about it. The order goes: Summary, Experience, and Education. The Experience section is typically the most important one. The Summary is also important, but LinkedIn’s recent move to truncate it, is telling. Wouldn’t you agree?

This traditional outline is fine for most people, because 1) they show progression at the places for which you’ve worked, 2) have a steady work history, 3) are staying in the same occupation and/or industry.

1. Career changers, listen up!

If you’re changing your career, your friend is not the Experience section. Rather, your friend is the Summary section, which is now truncated in the Snapshot area. It is in the Summary where you will express your value to potential employers, not the Experience section.

SummaryThis said, it is important that the first two lines of your Summary (outlined above) entice viewers to read the rest of it. If or when LinkedIn returns to the complete Summary, this may not be as important.

2. Career changers can’t rely on the Experience section alone

Your Experience section will consist of responsibilities and accomplishments that don’t necessarily match those of your new career. You need to showcase the skills and experience that will make your transition almost seamlessly.

A typical chronological format wouldn’t work with your résumé, so why would it work with your LinkedIn profile? Presenting a chronological document would require the employer to search for your relevant skills, like a needle in a haystack.

Therefore your message needs to be delivered before the Experience section, and it needs to be delivered clearly.

3. This is where the Summary comes to the rescue

How do you show your value on LinkedIn? The answer is quite simple; you showcase your value in the Summary section, and you focus mostly on the accomplishment statements that highlight relevant transferable skills.

Take this career-changer scenario: you’ve been a public relations manager in technology for seven years but want to change to a program coordinator in the nonprofit.

The ability to make this change might seem like a leap to some, but with strong transferable skills, e.g., program coordination, communications, leadership, and outreach, you have a great chance of making this happen.

Using this career-change scenario, your Summary will include an introduction, three or more paragraphs describing your strong transferable skills, and a conclusion stating your career goals.

Intro (with strong opening statement)

THE VALUE I DELIVER

I develop programs that consistently increase participation by 80%. My enthusiasm for working with colleagues to produce results for the organization is evident by my willingness to collaborate on multiple projects. 

Learn how I’ve demonstrated skills in program coordination, communications, leadership, and outreach.

Value-added body (strong transferable skills in all CAPS)

PROGRAM COORDINATION

I’ve demonstrated strong program coordination, as demonstrated by supervising events and services, including work allocation, training, and problem resolution. Further, I’ve Increased sales leads 150% from Q1 to Q4, 2016, by creating a community outreach event.

COMMUNICATIONS

My president trusted my writing abilities  to the point where she stopped proofing the ghost articles I wrote. As well, I wrote press releases and spoke at trade shows with no supervision. Currently I write a blog addressing marketing strategies.

LEADERSHIP

Within two months of becoming the MARCOM writer, I was promoted to public relations manager, where I oversaw a staff of five. I also communicated directly with the director of sales in weekly meetings. I was acknowledged by the VP of marketing as a “natural born leader.”

OUTREACH

Read what the VP of Sales at XYZ, Inc: “Tom has opened new territories that have resulted in increased sales. He is extremely adept at creating relationships with important partners, VARs, OEMs, the Media, and most importantly our customers.” Jack Jones

Conclude with career goals

CAREER GOALS

With strong transferable skills to bring to your organization, I am excited to contribute as a versatile program coordinator. I have proven experience in program coordination, communications (both written and oral), leadership, and outreach. I can be reached at (email) and (telephone number).


As a career-changer, the Summary is the most important section of your profile. Simply writing a brief Summary and relying on your Experience section will make it more difficult to help employers understand how your previous experience can be transferable to your new career.

There are 5 LinkedIn contributors; which one 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 five 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. 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.”

The five 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.

Read why LinkedIn might not be 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. Busting your ass to catch up. 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.

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.

What’s alarming is the number of times you’re sharing updates. Ten times a day is a possibility. Five times a day is a definite. As well, you’re following your connections on a daily basis. You feel you know them as if you met them in person.

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. Strike a nice balance. I’ve seen people who’ve disappeared for months, if not years, only to return with enthusiasm. This isn’t you. You are on LinkedIn almost every day. You share posts twice or three times a day. They are relevant to your LinkedIn community.

You’re also consistent in contributing on LinkedIn. People know when you will share updates and look forward to your posts. I envy you. Yes, I envy you because I am a member of the fifth type of contributor.

Keep doing what you’re doing.


Now that you’ve learned about the five 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?

Great news! LinkedIn returns the expanded Experience section

LinkedIn has done it again; it’s made a change to our profiles. This is a welcome change and hopefully a return to the old LinkedIn profile. Get ready for this—we can now see most of our positions expanded. 

LinkedIn Flag

I noticed this change when I was working with a client. Pleasantly surprised, I expressed my glee. My client, though, didn’t make the connection. He didn’t realize that only the first position used to be expanded; the others were truncated.

Immediately I reached out to my network to ask them if they noticed the change. “Do my eyes deceive me or has LinkedIn expanded the positions in the Experience section?” With, the blink of an eye, some of my connections responded with affirmation.

Others were unaware of what I was speaking of. They hadn’t received the update yet. With LinkedIn, changes aren’t made across the board at the same time. One of my connections wrote back a few days later when she received the expanded Experience section.

What was wrong with the truncated Experience section?

In a previous popular post, I complained:

Again the new model of more is less is in play in the Experience section. One is able to see the entire first job listed but must click to see more for each of the remaining jobs.

My concern here is that a person with a feeble current or most recent job will not show as much value as someone who has a more extensive and accomplish-laden job to show. Also, people who have two jobs must choose which one to demonstrate first.

Or, we can simply rely on visitors to click on every job to see their descriptions.

The answer to the final sentence in my post is, no. We couldn’t always expect people to click on the previous positions; thereby raising the possibility of your visitors missing some very important information, including your rich media.

For example, under my second position I have links to two podcasts in which I was interviewed for my knowledge on LinkedIn. Previously, this was not immediately visible without expanding my second position.

You might have been frustrated because you don’t have rich media examples under your first position, but have plenty of it under your previous positions. Now you don’t have to worry about people not seeing your rich media under your second or third positions.

LinkedIn hasn’t expanded all position, however. This might be a good thing, as it cuts down the verbiage seen on users’ profiles. And this was LinkedIn’s intention—to streamline and make the profiles more readable. In order to see all of a person’s Experience section, one must click See more positions.

LinkedIn hasn’t expanded the Summary section. Perhaps this is a good thing. While some don’t read the Summary, many do. I personally think this section is important in telling one’s story.

Just make sure your first 235 or so characters count, as they’re the only ones immediately available. I suggest using a branding statement that expresses your value to recruiters and other visitors.

LinkedIn, take it a step further

To make my LinkedIn experience complete, I’d like to see the return of the photos of the people who’ve written me recommendations. If you don’t remember said photos, they resided under each position showing who wrote recommendations for LinkedIn members. A nice touch.

What’s more, I’d like to see a link between the positions/companies and the Recommendations section. Currently, recommendations are arranged in the order of when they were written. This gives visitors no sense of the companies from which the recommendations came.

I’m sure recruiters don’t appreciate not being able to link recommendations to the respective positions.


When teaching LinkedIn, I’m never surprised when I come across a change made over night. In this case it is a pleasant change, and I am glad that I don’t have a reason to complain. I don’t like to come across as a downer, I really don’t.

Photo from Coletivo Mambembe, Flickr.com

6 Steps to take when using LinkedIn to network for a job

You’ve heard it before: LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional, online networking application with approximately 470 million worldwide members. It’s also said that LinkedIn is growing at a rapid rate of two people per second. And according to Jobvite.com, at least 87 percent of recruiters are sourcing for talent on LinkedIn.

Woman using computer

Here’s another fact that I can personally attest to: most recruiters with whom I’ve spoken tell me that LinkedIn is their site of choice when it comes to looking for talent. Not Facebook.com, Monster.com, Indeed.com, or SimplyHired.com.

Shouldn’t these facts be enough to use LinkedIn for you job search? Now, here’s the question: how can you most effectively use LinkedIn to network for a job?

1. LinkedIn is more than your online résumé

First of all, your LinkedIn profile is not simply your resume. This said, I suggest to my LinkedIn workshop that their first move is to copy and paste their résumé to their new LinkedIn profile.

From there, however, you need to add to it to make it more of a networking document that expresses your value, while also showing your personality. For example, your Summary must tell a story describing your passion for what you do, how you do what you do, and throw in some accomplishments to immediately sell yourself.

Your Experience section must include accomplishment statements with quantified results that include numbers, dollars, and percentages. I prefer each job to comprise only of accomplishments, while other LinkedIn members throw everything into the mix,

Also important is that your LinkedIn profile is optimized for keyword searches by recruiters and hiring managers. They’re looking for a specific title, vital areas of expertise, and location. For example: “sales operations” AND crm “lead generation” AND pharmaceutical AND “greater boston area”. 

Read how to create a powerful profile with the new LinkedIn.

2. Use LinkedIn to network with people at your desired companies

Perhaps one of LinkedIn’s greatest strengths is the ability to locate the key players at the companies for which you’d like to work. My suggestion is that first you create a list of your target companies and from there connect with people on your level in those companies.

There are ways to go about getting noticed by the people with whom you’d like to connect:

  1.  You may want to first follow said people
  2. When you visit their profile, show your profile (don’t choose anonymous)
  3. Like or comment on their posts
  4. Wait to see if they reach out to you first
  5. Finally, ask to connect with them using a personalized message, not the default LinkedIn one

Read this popular post on the proper way to connect.

Once you’ve built your foundation, you can ask for introductions to the individuals who would be making the hiring decisions. You don’t want to do this immediately, because hiring managers will be less likely to connect with you without an introduction.

3. Make use of your new connections

When jobs become available at your target companies, you’re in a better place than if you were applying cold. You can reach out to the people you’ve connected with to have your résumé  delivered to the proper decision makers (in addition to applying on line).

Ideally you will build strong relationships with the connections at your target companies, so when companies are trying to fill positions internally, your connections will give you a heads-up. You’ll have an inside track, essentially penetrating the Hidden Job Market.

According to an article in Jobvite on what job seekers need to know in 2017: “Referred applicants are 5 times more likely than average to be hired, and 15 times more likely to be hired than applicants from a job board.”

4. Use the Jobs feature to network

Using LinkedIn’s Jobs feature to apply for jobs exclusively is not your best way to land a job because, after all, it’s a job board. (A very low percentage of job seekers are successful using job boards.) But I wouldn’t discount LinkedIn Jobs. Use it in conjunction with your networking efforts.

In many cases the person who posted the position is revealed, providing you with the option of contacting said person. You can also “meet the team,” whom you might want to reach out to. Perhaps my favorite feature of Jobs is the ability to see which of your alumni work at the companies of interest.

5. Alumni feature

Alumni might be the most underutilized feature on LinkedIn. In fact, many of my LinkedIn workshop attendees are unaware of this great feature and are amazed when I demonstrate this feature.

I show them how they can find alumni who studied certain majors, where they live, and where they work. I also explain that their alumni are more likely to connect with them than other people they don’t know.

If you see that some of your alumni work at a desired company, take the bold move of connecting with them. Your personal invite will start with , “Hi William, I see we attended Amherst College together….This alone will give you something in common.

Read more about the Alumni feature.

6. Take it a step further

A LinkedIn connection is not bona fide unless you reach out in a personal manner, such as a phone call, meeting for coffee, or even grabbing lunch. A phone call should be the very least you do in your effort to make a personal connection.

Talking to your connections give them a better sense of who you are. I’ve talked with some of my connections and was able to judge their character. For some I got the sense they were of quality character; for others I felt the opposite.

The final step. You’ve spoken with your connections and have gain their trust. Now you’re ready to ask them to go to bat for you. You will say, “I feel that you’ve gotten a good idea of who I am as a person. If you would mention me to your manager, I would greatly appreciate it. If you feel uncomfortable, I completely understand. I leave this up to you.”


Using LinkedIn alone will not quickly secure a job without also reaching out in a personal manner. This is the final step, and for some the hardest one to take. LinkedIn offers a lot of potential. Use it to its advantage, and then close the deal.

This post originally appeared on recruiter.com.

Photo: Flickr, JobMax

5 ways LinkedIn Lite’s anchored sections are hurting its members

The inability to move LinkedIn profile sections around may cause consternation for some members. Although the new LinkedIn profile is condensed, slim, and uncluttered; members are prohibited from strategically rearranging sections to highlight what’s most important.

Read How to brand yourself with the new LinkedIn profile: part 1.

anchor2

Did LinkedIn have its members’ best interest in mind when they made this decision? Will the profile revert to the former version when one could move sections about the better brand them? Below are reasons why LinkedIn members are hurt by the sections being anchored.

1. Education first comes to mind 

One night I volunteered to critique current students’ and recent grads’ LinkedIn profiles for my alumni association. One thing that’s become clear from critiquing their profiles is how the inability to rearrange the profile’s section is a disadvantage to them.

One recent grad, with whom I spoke, had virtually no work experience or internships to tout. She had focused on completing her double major in business management and mathematics. She did extremely well, earning above a 3.5/4.0. However, her dual major put a toll on her, making it virtually impossible for her to secure internships.

Because LinkedIn has arranged the profile in the following order: Summary, Experience, Education, and less significant sections; this woman could not highlight her greatest accomplishment, her education.

What about teachers? The anchored sections isn’t a problem for only the recent grad; it affects most notably teachers, who benefit from placing their Education section below the Summary, rather than below the Experience section of their profile.

Generally speaking, teachers must immediately show their teaching license, school transcript, and GPA. School systems would like to see this early on.

Even IT job candidates might want their Educations section near the top. Not only teachers place their education at the top of their profile. Information technology candidates have been known to do this.

When I asked one of my workshop attendees why he placed his education at the top of his profile, he said it was a major requirement for a job he last applied for. He was going to keep it near the top for future jobs.

Other sections could be highlighted to strengthen a profile

2. Volunteer Experience. LinkedIn members who want to display their Volunteerism near the top of their profile will be frustrated. I had a private client who wanted to highlight his volunteer experience over his employment. With the old LinkedIn, this was an easy fix.

3. Featured Skills & Endorsements. I had this section placed under my Summary (which was expanded in the old LinkedIn), because I was more interested in showing my outstanding skills than my experience.

As an added insult, this section has been truncated to show only the top three skills. If visitors want to see additional skills, they must click “View more.” I fear people will only endorse their connections’ top three skills, because they will not think to…view more.

4. The Recommendations section was anchored at the bottom of the old LinkedIn profile, which caused consternation for some business owners, I’m sure. Recommendations are testimonials for members who rely on them to grow their business. To me this was a lack of respect for this section.

Now Recommendations are given the same amount of respect as Skills & Endorsements…well, almost. Let’s say they’re given more respect now, prompting me to request and write them more than before.

Note: recommendations are listed in order in which they’re written. AS well, the people who write your recommendations are not shown in the Experience or Education sections.

5. Accomplishments. LinkedIn has done such a great job of truncating the profile that sections some would like to relocated are hidden from the common observer. Within the Accomplishments section are subsections that used to be separate and rearrange-able:

  1. Certifications
  2. Projects
  3. Organizations
  4. Patents
  5. Publications
  6. Courses
  7. Honors
  8. Awards
  9. Test Scores

I know a LinkedIn member who uses Projects for highlighting a mini documentary filmed by Aljazeera America. In the video he is depicted as a New York City photographer who films models and the homeless. He used to have this section at the top of his profile; now it’s buried in Accomplishments.

Patents might be another section members would like to rearrange. Maybe not closest to the top, but within the first three-quarters. Engineers, scientists, and inventors could see these as some of their greatest accomplishment, and therefore place them below their Summary.

Courses, Honors, Test Scores all might benefit college students or recent grads. Yet, like all the sections contained withing Accomplishments, they must be discovered and chosen in order to view.

The goal of your LinkedIn profile is to highlight the most important aspects of your career. If you can’t rearrange your sections to do this, what’s the solution?

Two solutions to solve the anchored section’s conundrum 

The fist solution would be making better use of your Branding Headline. Let’s return to Education. Begin by showing your value in the Branding Headline by stating that you’re a student from your university, include your major, and what you’ll offer employers.

Wrong: many college students will simply write in their Branding Headline, Student at the University of Connecticut. This uses 40 of the 120 characters you’re allowed in your Branding Headline.

Better, show your accomplishments and goals: High Honors Student at UConn | Major: Business Management | Minor: Mathematics | Aspiring Business Analyst

Despite the Summary section being condensed and showing only the first two lines, it’s more important than ever to tell your story. Moreover, it’s essential that you use those two lines to highlight your greatest accomplishment.

You might indicate within the two opening lines that you worked extremely hard completing a Chemistry major while also completing four internships.

While at Tufts, I majored in Biology and completed internships in all four semesters. As a testament to my time management skills and ability to stay focused, I maintained a 3.8/4.0 GPA.

This falls well within the characters allotted for the opening two lines of your Summary statement. You will continue to tell your outstanding story about your college years, including participating in extra curriculum activities.


While the anchored sections might be a deterrent to showing the skills and accomplishments you want to closest to the top of your profile, LinkedIn has done a fine job of streamlining the profile.

No longer do we have people abusing the ability to overload their profiles with pages upon pages of extraneous information. Touche for that, LinkedIn.

What fun is that? 5 reason why you should contribute on LinkedIn

thinking

Recently I spoke to a person who uses LinkedIn on a fairly regular basis, at least four times a week he said.

When I asked him how often he updates, contributes to discussions in groups, or shares his thoughts in general; he told me never.

So naturally I asked him what he does on LinkedIn, to which he said he reads what others have to say.

So I’m trying to figure out why someone would just read what others write or would share articles written by others. What fun is that?

I’ll be the first to admit that I over contribute. I joke with my workshop attendees that I am probably the most hidden person on LinkedIn. In fact, I probably am.

Which isn’t to say I don’t read other’s updates and share articles written by others. A great deal of what I know comes from reading articles about the job search, LinkedIn, and introversion.

I am constantly trying to increase my knowledge so I can share it with my customers and colleagues. Call me an equal opportunity contributor.

Back to the person who told me he doesn’t update, contribute to groups, or share his thoughts in general. Here’s the thing: LinkedIn is a platform that encourages its members to share information.

Thus its creation of the publishing feature—yes, I’ve contributed posts on LinkedIn—which gives anyone the ability to share their words of wisdom and thoughts.

For those of you who are on the verge of contributing to LinkedIn but can’t take the plunge, here are five reasons I hope will urge you to make that leap.

It gives us a voice. Whereas some people are verbal communicators, others prefer to communicate via writing. They find comfort in being able to express their thoughts without interruption.

Updating and contributing to discussions in groups follows Parliamentary Procedure which allows one to speak, receive feedback, respond to feedback, and so forth.

LinkedIn is educational. When you write an update, contribute to a discussion, or post an article; you challenge yourself to present viable information, which means it’s best if you do a little research to back up your assertions.

Similarly you can be assured that what others write is well thought out and educational. Challenge yourself to produce updates, contribute to group discussions, and post on LinkedIn information that others will find interesting.

What you contribute isn’t done with impunity, though. On occasion I’ve been told my blog posts are utter shite, so I have to brace myself for this possibility.

When this happens my first instinct is to feel hurt, but then I think, “Hey, people are paying attention.” And that’s a good feeling.

You may want to be fairly conservative if you don’t want to be criticized harshly for your thoughts.

Contributing to LinkedIn can brand you as a thought leader. Not everything one writes is worthy of a Pulitzer. But when you contribute to a group discussion with well thought out content, or write a post that adds value; you’re positioning yourself as a thought leader.

I encourage job seekers to write articles on their area of expertise, even if they feel deflated from being out of work. They are, after all, professionals in their field.

Even asking an interesting question can demonstrate your expertise. Some of my most viewed writing are questions I pose to my connections. Make it simple, yet relative.

It’s fun. This is a matter of opinion. I find writing on LinkedIn extremely fun. For the four reasons listed above, plus an escape from the demands of daily life, as well as not having to watch mindless television.

My family doesn’t understand it until I ask my girls why they spend endless hours taking photos for Instagram. Enough said.


These are my five reasons for contributing to LinkedIn. To simply read what others write and not write stuff of my own is not my idea of fun.

I guess if I were a more understanding of people who feel shy about writing, I’d come up with five reasons why it’s cool not to update and contribute to discussions. Hey, there’s a topic for my next post.

6 ways to brand yourself on LinkedIn by being active: part 3

Now that you have a profile that brands you and you’ve started connecting with the right people, you’re two-thirds of the way to your LinkedIn goal. To wrap up your LinkedIn campaign and solidify your powerful brand, all you need to do is engage with your connections.

linkedin-alone

In this three-part series we have been looking at the components of a LinkedIn campaign that will brand you, which include:

  1. Creating a powerful profile
  2. Connecting with the right people
  3. Engaging with your connections

I’m often asked by my clients how regularly they should use LinkedIn. My inclination is to tell them, like me, use it at least two hours every day—but I know that is unreasonable for them. In fact, it borders on insanity.

So I suggest at least half an hour, four days a week. Still, their eyes glaze over and I hear some groans of protests. But I stay firm on this requirement.

Why is it important to be on LinkedIn often? Because if you want to be top of mind, you need to be present. In other words, you must consistently communicate with your connections to brand yourself successfully.

Here are six very simple ways to communicate with your connections.

1. Share Updates

Sharing Updates

This is the easiest way to communicate with your connections and brand yourself as a thought leader in the LinkedIn community. However, what you write must be carefully thought out and must add value to people’s lives.

I’m not talking about tweet-like updates (although you can share updates to Twitter) every day stating you’re looking for work. I’m talking about illuminating updates that prompt participation.

I recently shared an update about how nine out of 10 people prefer extraversion over introversion. The response was tremendous, and I continued to brand myself as an authority on introverts.

Your updates might be about what’s going on in your industry. You can provide important tips (remember, you’re still an expert in your occupation). Maybe inspirational quotes are your thing.

My valued colleague, Hannah Morgan wrote this excellent article for theundercoverrecuiter.com on the 15 LinkedIn status updates to get you noticed.

The new LinkedIn profile combines articles, photos, and updates into one field (see below). This is in line with LinkedIn efforts to stremline its user interface (UI) as much as possible.

2. Publish Posts (Write an article)

Writing an article

By using LinkedIn’s “Write an article” feature to share your writing with the appropriate audience, you are gaining visibility and, therefore, enhancing your brand.

Again, it’s important that your writing adds value to your connections. If it doesn’t, you’re wasting your connections’ time.

Another great way to educate your connections is by acting as a curator. A curator is a selfless LinkedIn member who shares the writing of other LinkedIn members. In addition to educating others, you are building strong relationships with your fellow writers by sharing their work.

Don’t forget to “like,” “comment,” or “share” your connections’ updates. This shows you appreciate the efforts they’ve made to contribute on LinkedIn. In my mind, it is far better to provide an intelligent comment; rather than only “liking” an article.

Even if you’re unemployed, you should take advantage of this feature. You can demonstrate your expertise of your occupation/industry, thus strengthening your brand.

3. Participate in Groups

Groups went through an overhaul more than a year ago. Some believe that this feature may have suffered from LinkedIn’s attempts to enhance it. (Not sure what I’m talking about? Read this article for an explanation of the enhancements.)

Nonetheless, it’s important to participate in conversations that are going on in your particular groups. When you participate in a group discussion, your connections will see your input streaming on their home pages.

To brand yourself effectively, be certain that the conversations you start or contribute to add value. Don’t indulge in the silly arguments that can pop up in groups.

Many recruiters are members of groups that you may also be in. They may read your contributions to the group, so make certain you write intelligent, non-negative comments. Remember, it’s about branding yourself as a capable, positive job candidate.

4. Send Direct Messages to Your Connections

LinkedIn recently made another change in the way you communicate with your connections. Now, instead of sending individual InMails, all your correspondences are grouped together in an endless stream. It takes some getting used to, but it has proven to be an effective change.

Every once in a while, you should ping your connections, letting them know how you’re doing in your job search. This is another way to stay top of mind.

Keep in mind that your messages don’t have to always be about the job search. Sometimes, it’s nice to send an informal message, commenting on something like your connection’s daughter’s soccer game, or sending a link to an article you think your connection might appreciate.

Doing the aforementioned  will brand you as a concerned connection, not one who thinks only of themselves.

5. Endorse Your Connections for Their Skills

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You’ve probably read many opinions from people on the topic of endorsements – here we go again! Add me to the list of people who prefer receiving or writing thoughtful recommendations to simply clicking a button. And I’m not alone.

But in all fairness, endorsements have a purpose greater than simply showing appreciation for someone’s skills; they act as a way to touch base. In other words, they’re another way to communicate with your connections.

Don’t get click-happy when endorsing your connections. This will make you appear disingenuous and damage your brand.

6. Use the ‘Companies’ Feature

Search Groups

I saved one of the best features for last. The “companies” feature epitomizes networking on LinkedIn. It allows you to find people who are in a position to help you. It encourages you to be proactive.

In my LinkedIn, workshop I explain that the attendees should have a list of companies for which they’d like to work. It’s important to set foundations before applying for jobs at these companies. This means building a network of valuable people.

Once you’ve located the person with whom you’d like to connect, you manually connect with said person by going to their profile, clicking “connect,” and writing a personalized invite. Failing to send a personalized invite will hurt your brand; you’ll be seen as lazy.


Engaging with your connections is the only way to stay top of mind on LinkedIn. You may have the best profile ever and 5,000 connections, but if you are not active on LinkedIn, your results will not be rewarding.