Category Archives: LinkedIn

Is your LinkedIn profile Headline memorable? 5 ways to write it

I put a friend to the test by having him tell me what I had just changed in my LinkedIn profile Headline. He couldn’t tell me. Which means he didn’t know what I had for a previous Headline. Which also means it wasn’t memorable.

Getty Images

This begs the question if the Headline is so important, shouldn’t people remember it? The short answer is they should. A poll I conducted on LinkedIn, in which 1,883 people voted, concluded that the Headline is the most important section, followed by Experience and About.

Much has been written about the Headline. Some have opined on what makes a Headline strong. Others have offered what they consider the Top 10 Headlines, which I believe is subjective. Today I’m going to suggest five ways to approach writing your Headline, none of which are wrong.

1. Keywords only

This is probably the most common way to write a Headline, and it was how I wrote mine back in the day. The purpose for doing this is to attract hiring authorities or business people to your profile when they do a search. It’s widely believed that the Headline is valuable real estate, carrying more weight than all the sections, save for your titles.

You can begin with your title followed by areas of expertise. Or perhaps you want to include multiple titles (guilty). Choosing the latter could spread you a bit thin. I went with titles that describe who I am:

LinkedIn Trainer | Career Coach | Blogger ~ LinkedIn and the Job Search.

Later I added a tagline and some awards when LinkedIn increased the character count from 120 to 220.

Note: I’m a strong believer that indicating you’re looking for work is a waste of space and, more importantly, doesn’t add value to your Headline. LinkedIn has made mentioning this fact unnecessary by giving you the option to wear the banner, “#OPENTOWORK.”

2. Tagline only

Those who feel comfortable being gainfully employed are more likely to write in their Headline a tagline similar to what would be listed on a personal business card. My valued connection, Austin Belcak, goes with a tagline:

I Help People Land Amazing Jobs Without Applying Online // Need Help With Your Job Search? Let’s Talk (Info Below👇)

This works well for him because his thing is emphasizing that searching online is not the way to go. Rather, one should tap into the Hidden Job Market by researching companies and then networking their way into said companies.

Another way to write your tagline is to begin with a question such as, “Ask me how I can consistently increase your revenue by 150%.” This serves as a viable hook.

Tagline and keywords

This is my preferred way of writing a Headline but as I said, it’s subjective; and you have to be comfortable with how you present yourself.

3. Tagline first, keywords following

One element of a strong Headline is a tagline–a sentence that stands out because it says what you offer employers or business partners. It effectively brands you by accurately depicting who you are and the value you’ll deliver.

A tagline with the previous 120 characters was hard to pull off, but now you have the space to comfortably include a tagline, albeit not too much space.

Where do you list your tagline, at the beginning or end of your headline? I suggest listing it first for the WOW factor. The keywords are important for searches. They are what helps hiring authorities or potential business partners find you. But the tagline is your value statement.

One thing to consider is that your photo and headline appear in people’s feed. We’ll call them your first impression. However, your whole headline doesn’t show; LinkedIn users seeing your first impression see approximately 70 characters or 10 words.

To illustrate what they’ll see, here is a segment of my colleague, Ana Lokotkova‘s headline: Helping hustlers tell their career stories & get hired | Career Advi…

This works for her because telling the world that she helps “hustlers” get hired is made very clear. I can relate to this. Here’s the complete headline:

Helping hustlers tell their career stories & get hired | Career Advisor | LinkedIn Personal Branding | Interview Coach

4. Keywords first, tagline after

Austin Balcak, suggest listing your keywords at the beginning of your profile. He calls them your hook. He writes:

“[A killer Headline is a] keyword filled overview of your role/abilities followed by an illustration of value (preferably with measurable metrics). For example, let’s say we’re a sales person in the market for an account executive or sales manager role. Our headline might look like this:

Account Executive, Business Development, Sales Manager | Helping SaaS Companies Accelerate Revenue To $10M+ In ARR

The beginning of the headline is packed with relevant keywords and the second half of this headline creates a clear illustration of the value we bring to the table.”

This approach is also good in theory, and many headlines I’ve seen lead with keywords. This method clearly says what the person does and their areas of expertise. They are an Account Executive, Business Development, Sales Manager.

5. The hybrid model

Another option is starting your Headline with keywords, dropping in a branding statement, and then concluding with keywords. This is the Oreo method with the cookie (keywords) sandwiching the branding statement (cream). Here’s an example of the hybrid model from Elise Finn:

Mentor and Advisor | Helping Female Professionals take Practical Steps to unlock the potential in their careers, businesses and lives | Leadership Coach and Marketing Expert| #HerCareerHerLife

I find this also effective in making your Headline memorable, especially the strong branding statement, which I bet Elise spent a good deal of time devising it.


Here we have the five ways you can write your LinkedIn profile Headline. Again, none of them are wrong. Depending on your goal, you might choose a particular style. Job seekers, for instance, might go with keywords only; whereas those who are gainfully employed could opt for tagline or tagline/keywords.

Checkout the list of the top 80+ LinkedIn voices job seekers should follow, where you will find the Headlines for each person.

3 LinkedIn Tips Guaranteed To Skyrocket Your Visibility

This guest article is written by Austin Belcak, founder of Cultivated Culture.

If you’re a job seeker and you haven’t optimized your LinkedIn profile, you’re missing out on a ton of opportunities.

In today’s market, 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find and vet new candidates. But not everyone is capitalizing on what the platform has to offer.

In this post, I’m going to walk you through three highly actionable tactics that will help you appear in more searches, get more profile views, and land more jobs. Let’s dive in:

Tip #1: Optimize Your Headline For Visibility And Value

Most people know that their LinkedIn headline is important, but they don’t know exactly how to maximize that opportunity.

Your headline is one of the most valuable parts of your profile for two reasons:

1. LinkedIn emphasizes the keywords in your headline when serving up search results. The more relevant keywords you have, the more visibility you’ll get.

2. Your headline is your hook. It shows up in search results and it’s one of the first things people see on your profile. A bad headline can cause people to click away while a great headline can convert more views into job opportunities.

If you want to capitalize on the opportunity here, you need a keyword optimized headline that sells your value. The LinkedIn headline formula I use with clients consists of two parts:

A keyword filled overview of your role/abilities followed by an illustration of value (preferably with measurable metrics). 

For example, let’s say we’re a sales person in the market for an account executive or sales manager role. Our headline might look like this:

Account Executive, Business Development, Sales Manager | Helping SaaS Companies Accelerate Revenue To $10M+ In ARR

The beginning of the headline is packed with relevant keywords and the second half of this headline creates a clear illustration of the value we bring to the table.

If you optimize your headline using this formula, you’ll not only show up in more search results, but you’ll win more clicks and generate more opportunities.

Tip #2: Double Down On Your Skills & Endorsements

Speaking of search results, I want you to run a quick search for your current job title on LinkedIn.

How many results does LinkedIn give you? 1,000? 10,000? One million?

There’s a specific way that LinkedIn ranks its search results and the secret lies in your Skills & Endorsements section.

LinkedIn uses this section to stack rank candidates in search results.


Let’s say you have a recruiter who is searching for a software engineer with Node.js experience. 

Three candidates pop up. Candidate A has 5 endorsements for Node.js, Candidate B has 10, and Candidate C has 15. All else being equal on their profiles, Candidate C will show up highest in the search results for this instance.

What does that mean for you?

If you want to appear higher in more searches (and increase your chances of getting a click!), you need to make sure you have the right skills on your profile and they need to have endorsements.

How To Find The Right Skills To Add

The first thing we need to do is find the right skills that are relevant to the roles we want. Here’s how to do that in three simple steps:

1. Open LinkedIn Jobs and run searches for all of the titles you’re targeting, same as you would if you were planning to apply for a job.

2. Browse through each job description and, when you find one that matches your goals, copy and paste the job description into a Word doc. Rinse and repeat until you have 20-30 job descriptions.

3. Open ResyMatch’s job description scanner and paste in the entire Word Doc, all of the contents from the 20-30 job descriptions, then hit scan.

ResyMatch will show you the keywords and skills that appear most frequently across all of these job descriptions! You want to prioritize the skills that appear the most and then work your way down.

How To Gain Endorsements

Endorsements can be a tricky thing to get because most people don’t know how to endorse skills on LinkedIn, and they’re also afraid to ask.

The good news is that I have an easy trick to help you with both!

First, you can learn how to endorse someone on LinkedIn in this post (feel free to bookmark that so you can send it to people when you make the ask).

Second, all you need to do is ask! Make a list of all of the people – friends, family, colleagues you trust, who would be willing to endorse you for a set of skills. When making the ask, be sure to call out the specific skills you want them to endorse and offer to endorse theirs as well.

Here’s a template:

Hi [Name],

I hope you’re doing well!

I wanted to shoot you a quick note because I’m doing a bit of an overhaul on my LinkedIn profile and I’m aiming to get some more endorsements. I’m aiming to get more support for skills like [Skill 1 ], [Skill 2], and [Skill 3] because I’m targeting [Job Title] roles. Would you be up to endorse me for those skills? Here’s a quick guide on how to do that.

If you’d like, I’d be more than happy to reciprocate with endorsements or a recommendation for you. Either way, I appreciate you!

Best,

[Your Name]

Now all you need to do is rinse, repeat, and watch your endorsement count grow!

Tip #3: Start Leaving Thoughtful Comments

Now that your headline and your Skills section are optimized for visibility, you should start to see more views roll in.

But optimizing for search visibility is only one piece of the puzzle. There is still a LOT of competition out there and there are only so many searches happening every month.

If you really want to skyrocket your LinkedIn profile views, you need another strategy that will allow you to push people to your profile.

That’s where comments and engagement come into play.

Commenting and engaging on the right posts, in the right way, can send massive surges of traffic to your profile. People see your comment, they think, “wow, this is a great take, I want to learn more about this person” and boom! They click on your profile.

Here’s how to execute on this in less than 15 minutes per day:

1. Find people in your target market who post regularly and have followings who engage with them. This way you’ll be able to piggyback off of the views that their post is getting.

You can find them by going to Google and searching for “[Industry] influencers to follow on LinkedIn” or you can use LinkedIn to run a search for your job title and then filter by “Content.”

2. When you see a post that resonates with you and is picking up traction, you’ve found your mark (it helps if the post has been shared in the past 24 hours). Read through the post and think of a thoughtful comment that adds to the conversation. Aim for a few sentences vs. “love this” or “great tips.”

3. Set a timer on your phone for 15 minutes and knock out as many comments as you can before the timer goes off.

If you do that every day, you’ll see a significant jump in profile views and you’ll spark up a connection or two!

Happy searching 🙂

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

Things don’t look great for LinkedIn’s voice messaging, according to a poll taken by 1,355 LinkedIn users

occasionally I see on my LinkedIn App that someone has sent me a voice message. When I see these it’s like do I want to listen? What if they sound strange, incoherent, or like serial killers? They never do. Rather, it’s awesome to hear their voices.

I’ve tried sending voice messages but it doesn’t go as smoothly as I’d like. I forget that it’s not like using voice command on my phone (in lieu of texting).

Using voice messaging on LinkedIn’s app usually goes like this: “Hi, comma.” Oh crap, don’t say, “Comma.” Try again.

“Hi Jason (pause) This is Bob (pause) It was great hearing your voice (pause) I’m more of a writing guy um (long pause) I guess I should have planned this voice message period.” Oh crap, you don’t say, “Period.”

The concept of leaving a voice message is cool, but it’s unnatural to me. I’ve used the feature probably 1% of the time I’ve messaged. Apparently I’m not the only LinkedIn user who doesn’t use voice messaging a great deal.

I decided to conduct a MONDAY POLL to see how frequently people use this feature. After one day of voting, it was obvious that the outlook wasn’t good. Sixty-nine percent of those who voted chose, “What’s voice messaging?” Only four percent said, “I use it a lot. Cool!”

Here are the results from 1,355 people who answered the poll:

  • I use it a lot. 4%
  • It’s cool I use it when I think about it. 5%
  • I rarely use it. 22%
  • What is voice messaging? 69%

People who took the poll had some things to say about voice messaging. There were those who weren’t too crazy about it, while others thought it was a neat feature. Surprisingly, those who like the feature were more outspoken about it–nine in favor vs. seven not in favor.

Not all that crazy about voice messaging

I’ve already given my opinion on voice messaging; it’s not a deal maker. So, let’s hear from other people who are not crazy about voice messaging and why they could go without.

Marie Zimenoff: Voice messaging is especially hard for those of us with young kids. “Who’s that?” “Mom, who are you talking to?” That’s all I hear if I try to listen or send one … all my voicemail goes to text so I can read instead of listen.

Marietta Gentles Crawford: I’ve used it when someone else has or maybe it’s a special message that’s more detailed but it’s not my first go-to response. As a writer/editor, there’s too much pressure to casually record in one shot! Lol

Kevin D. Turner: I actually prefer Video to Voice Messaging. Once in a while, its nice to add the extra personality or connectivity that these formats provide. How often, maybe 1 in 50. Keep Rocking LinkedIn!

WENDY SCHOEN: As far as I am concerned, #linkedin is great for all of the things it was originally intended for…job search, networking, social media. But it is terrible for the things it has decided it can also do…The same is true for voice messaging. If I wanted to leave a voice message, I would CALL you and leave one on your voice mail.

Sarah Johnston: Text is easier and faster to read. If you are making a request of someone, don’t send them 3 sixty-second voice texts. It can feel intrusive to the person on the receiving end.

Emily Lawson: I remember when it first came out and I actually sent Karen Tisdell one of my first messages. I love the personal aspect of it, but I don’t always think to use it.

Madeline Mann: Thanks for the voice message, Bob! It was great to hear your voice and the message was short. The thing I am not fond of with voice messages is when they are from people I don’t know. If we are not familiar, I want to be able to read your message to quickly understand what you are contacting me about. But with a friend like you, I am happy to hear your voice!


Like or even love voice messaging

Now let’s hear from some of the proponents of voice messaging:

🚀LoRen GReifF🚀: I would say I use it sparingly and since LinkedIn is all about personal connections while even finding scalable personalization solutions, it’s quick,easy and even fun. It can also serve as a strong differentiator to stand a part from the sea of texts 🚀Thanks for the mention : )

Dorothy Dalton: I like it and find it helpful to contact existing connections. In lock down I find it’s more personal. I don’t use it with people I don’t know in case they think it’s odd. I have no evidence to support that assumption- just a feeling! They might be totally fine with it!

Tara Orchard: I advise my clients that voice and video can be a nice way to change up how you contact and follow up with people. Leaving a voice or video can be a way to humanize yourself when you have been trying to connect or reconnect with someone. The down side, you are using up more of the other person’s time and perhaps energy as it takes longer to listen or watch compared to reading a brief text.

Lotte Struwing, CHRL, CCP, CBP, CCS, CRS: I just discovered this on LI but you reminded me of how often I leave voice texts and it is so normal to say, comma, period etc. When I leave voice mails on the phone I say comma, period etc. and by the end of the voice mail, I am laughing on the phone……Between two worlds!

Karen Tisdell: Ha! This made me laugh out aloud. I hear you Bob! It has taken me ages to be a voice message person and stop verbalizing the commas as I speak. I can’t imagine ever being a video person. I use the voice feature a lot now though, and advocate for others to use it because in a world of chatbots and (YUCK) LinkedIn automation, a voice message is likely more trusted… Thanks for the mention and for making me laugh.

Sweta Regmi: I have been using it from day one and love it! Reason- I feel more connected through voice and articulate better. Saves time too. I wish LinkedIn give us more than 1 min.

Ana Lokotkova: I’m so glad you brought this up Bob! I love using voice messaging on LinkedIn. It feels more personal and also allows me to do a better job at responding to messages on the go.

Thomas Powner: I use it often, but after I’ve had some prior verbal interaction with the person. For me, using it with people I have not met can come off a little creepy; that might just be me; what do others think?

Sonal Bahl Love, love voice texts and use them a lot. A lot! The response I receive almost 99% of the time: “I didn’t know you could do that!!” In lock down, like Dorothy mentioned, I find it more personable and not intrusive at all. Unless someone is trying to sell something, I can smell that from a mile away.


You might be wondering why there are more people who were outspoken about their excitement of voice messaging. So am I, given that a combined 9% use it regularly or when they think of it.

What strikes me is the statement from Ana Lokotkova: “I love using voice messaging on LinkedIn. It feels more personal and also allows me to do a better job at responding to messages on the go.”

This makes me think that I should be using it more often. It is more personal than plain text and it allows listeners to hear the tone of your voice, which is something that’s missing from email and other written verbiage.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Show value on your LinkedIn profile by using testimonials: 5 areas to showcase them

And where to find your testimonials

I recall in one of my LinkedIn profile workshops an attendee told the group she couldn’t think of any accomplishments from her last job. As I’m known to do, I told her she wasn’t thinking hard enough. Silence.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

She was an administrative assistant and, like we’ve all heard before, she was just doing her job. I began by asking, “Did you reduce your boss’ stress?”

“Yeah,” she said. “He told me I organized his life. He’d be lost….”

“Do you have that in writing?” I interrupted.

She smiled. “He sent me e-mails saying this. Other bosses said I was efficient, organized, and had great time-management skills. These emails were really great to read.”

“Did you keep them? Forward them to your personal e-mail? Did you keep a brag e-mail folder?”

No she hadn’t. I’m not one to harp on past mistakes; but this was a mistake, and a good lesson for the rest of the group. I didn’t need to say more; the lesson was learned.

Normally we think of quantified accomplishments as the only ones that matter—they matter a great deal—but what others write and say about you also matters. Take the following testimonial for an administrative assistant:

The electronic filing system Adam created reduced tons of paperwork. It made the workflow process much more efficient.

Brian Martin, VP of marketing, ABC Company

Although the positive result—reduced tons of paperwork and made the process more efficient can’t be quantified—the VP of marketing makes the statement an accomplishment. One might argue that a testimonial from a boss is more persuasive than an accomplishment, especially if you can’t quantify the result.

Where to use your testimonials

To answer your question, there are five obvious places for your testimonials. I’ve listed them from most popular to least, but all five areas are game.

About

This would be ideal real estate to use your testimonials. You could list them under a heading: WHAT MY CLIENTS SAY ABOUT ME (EXCERPTS FROM RECOMMENDATIONS 👇)

“As a fellow MassHire Career Center colleague of Bob’s, I turned to his expertise of LinkedIn when I was working on developing a LinkedIn program for MassHire Cape & Islands.”

“If you are looking for someone who can help you maximize the value of your job search and your LinkedIn Profile, you need to look no further than Bob McIntosh”!

The above excerpts are a couple of testimonials I have in my About section.

I’m not saying they’re not worthy of being anywhere else in your About; it’s just that we remember statements at the end or beginning of something written or said. Which leads me to say that you could list them at the beginning of your About section. Hell, why not list them at the beginning and end?

Experience

This is also a great place to list your testimonials. Struggling to write accomplishment statements? Again, testimonials can be a great source of accomplishments.

Let’s face it; some people have jobs like the story I describe above, where it’s hard to put numbers, dollars, and percentages to results. I think of the nurses, teachers, engineers, marketers, etc., who’ve come to me with this conundrum.

Here’s one for a nurse:

Andrew was attentive to the needs of our patients, showing compassion and making them feel at ease. More importantly, he was extremely knowledgeable of medical care.”

Jessica Johnston, Nurse Supervisor, Lowell General Hospital

Make sure you list who provides your testimonial; their name, title, and organization. This gives a testimonial more credence.

Education

This is particularly relevant to students whose main accomplishment is graduating from university, even high school if they’re young. Employers who are looking at you for a internship or full-time work would like to see some evidence of what you did while in school.

Even if you don’t have a great GPA, you might have excelled in you area of study (I’m a perfect example of this). Ask your professors and internship provider for testimonials. Here’s an example from an internship provider:

James did such a fine job reporting the financial news that I assigned him cases that our full-time analysts were covering. I offered James a full-time job, but he was concerned about finishing his Journalist degree.

Susan Abbott, Sr. Editor, Dallas Reporter

Featured

You can use your featured section to post videos, audio, Slideshare, and documents. And for each media you can add a caption for them. A video would be awesome if you could get people touting your greatness, but a document or Slideshare would be more likely.

Volunteer Experience

I had a client who was very proud of the work he’d done with Boy Scouts of America. He had a testimonial from the district scout leader which he wanted to highlight. Although his volunteerism as a scout leader didn’t fit well in his Experience section, I suggested he use About to direct them to Volunteer Experience.


Where to get your testimonials

  1. E-mail is fair game. If you’ve receive an e-mail from you boss that touts your accomplishments, store it in brag e-mail folder. I do this when I get e-mails from my clients thanking me for the help I’ve given them in their job search.
  2. Performance reviews are an obvious source of fodder for your profile, especially if your boss was generous in what he wrote. However, If he merely clicked off some boxes, these reviews won’t be as useful.
  3. Verbal comments from your boss can also be used on your profile as testimonials. “Director of marketing commented, ‘Josh, your ability to build and foster relationships has helped Company X achieve the visibility we’ve striven for.'” It’s important that you’re both on board with this, just in case she’s questioned about it during a reference check.
  4. Thank you cards from patients/clients speak to your customer service and other skills you’d like to highlight on your profile. Have you received cards that thank you for your help and caring nature? If so, ask the sender if you can quote him for your profile.
  5. Voice-mail you’ve saved can be used as well. If your boss compliments you, consider using it on your profile and other written communication. You might want to get your boss’ approval before you use his words in a public forum; it’s only courteous.
  6. LinkedIn recommendations have been used by my clients as fodder on other sections of their profile. Not all employers will see your LinkedIn recommendations; many people won’t scroll that far down on your profile.

If you haven’t considered using testimonials on your LinkedIn profile, I suggest you do. I encourage my clients, who don’t have accomplishments with quantified results, to use testimonials instead. I reiterate that testimonials could carry more weight in this case.

The ultimate list of 80+ LinkedIn voices job seekers should follow

Like any list one creates, there’s a magic number in mind. It could be 10, 20, 30, etc. Mine was 50 LinkedIn voices job seekers should follow, but then I dug deeper in the proverbial weeds and found more than 50 voices who deserved to be on this list. And I’m sure I’ve forgotten people, so more will be added.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

The people on this list have stood out for sharing posts and articles; commenting on others’ content; producing video, YouTube, and podcasts; and overall providing sage advice on the job search. In short, they engage with their community. I assure you they have been present and accounted for.

The number of LinkedIn followers was not a condition when I put together this list: some have 500,000 or more, others have less than 10,000. No, this is a group of people whose purpose is to help others find work. And this purpose is much needed in these times.

Read their headlines to learn a little bit of who they are. Then read their profile, including their About, Activity, and Experience sections. If you like what you see, follow them. I have a strong feeling that you’ll follow most of them. They are the best of the best. Happy viewing.


Adam Posner 👉 Founder & Managing Director @ NHP Talent Group | #TalentAccess | 🎙 Host of #ThePOZcast | Connection Conduit |  #Recruiter

Adrienne Tom 👉 31X Award-Winning Executive Resume Writer, LinkedIn Profile Writer, Job Search Coach ▶️ I help managers, directors, & corporate executives (CXO) level up, land a job faster, & increase earning power! Canada & US Resumes

Alison Doyle 👉 Career and Job Search Expert | Consultant | The Balance Careers | Career Tool Belt

Ana Lokotkova 👉 Helping hustlers tell their career stories & get hired | Career Advisor | LinkedIn Personal Branding | Interview Coach

Andrew Seaman 👉 Senior Editor for Job Search & Careers at LinkedIn News

Andy Foote 👉 (I could be YOUR) Advanced LinkedIn Strategies Coach. Creator of the FOOTE-NOTES Podcast.

Angus Grady 👉 LinkedIn Unlocker marketing and magnetising profiles attracting customers and sales for business owners, start ups, Fiftypreneurs 💡 LinkedIn Trainer 💡 Lead Generation 💡 Job Seeker Help 💡 Common sense marketing

Ashley Watkins 👉 Certified Resume Writer ★ Job Search & Interview Coach ★ Former Recruiter ★ 2019 LinkedIn Top Voice ★ Land more interviews and job offers faster!

Austin Belcack 👉 I Help People Land Amazing Jobs Without Applying Online // Need Help With Your Job Search? Let’s Talk (Info Below👇)

Brenda Meller 👉 I Help You Unlock the Power of LinkedIn | Read My Profile for LinkedIn Strategy Tips | Virtual Speaker & Team Training | #LinkedinROCKSTARS List Creator | FYI: Headlines Can Now Have 220 Characters | Pie Enthusiast

Biron Clark 👉 Founder at CareerSidekick.com | Former Recruiter

Bob McIntosh (Me) 👉 I’m on the front-line fighting unemployment 👊 LinkedIn Trainer 🔸 Career Coach 🔸 Blogger 🔸 Online Instructor 🏆LinkedIn Top Voices for 2019 🏆MassHire Ingenuity Co-Award Winner 🔸 #LinkedInUnleashed

Catherine (Cat) Byers 👉 Chief Stripe Changer | Speaker | Author | Media guest | Recovering Recruiter | Consulting & Gig Economy Adviser since’97

Cynthia Pong 👉 Feminist Career Strategist for Women of Color | LinkedIn Top Voice | Speaker, Coach, and Author of **Don’t Stay in Your Lane: The Career Change Guide for Women of Color**

Daisy Wright 👉 Forbes Coach ★ Certified Career Management & Executive Leadership Coach ★ Certified Resume Strategist ★ Author

Debra Wheatman 👉 Marketing & Branding “YOU” for Career Success!

Donna Serdula 👉 LinkedIn Profile Writer ♛ Author ▪️ Speaker ▪️ Brand Strategist ▪️ Content Creator ▪️ Webinar Presenter ▪️ Career Branding ▪️ Transform your future today!

Donna Svei 👉 Executive Resume Writer | Former Retained Search Consultant | Certified Korn Ferry Leadership Architect | Award-Winning

Dorothy Dalton 👉 Executive Search | Career Coach (CBC) | Certified Trainer | Workshops | Speaker | Talent Management Strategy | Diversity Recruitment | Inclusive Workplaces | Helping YOU reach YOUR potential!

Ed Han 👉 Talent Acquisition Geek | Job-Hunt.org Contributor | JobSeeker Ally | Knows about LinkedIn | Wordsmith | Recruiter at Cenlar FSB | Ask Me About IT & other opportunities in the 19067 and 08618 ZIP codes!

Edythe Richards 👉 Career Counselor │ Podcaster | Emotional Intelligence Practitioner

Elise Finn 👉 Mentor and Advisor | Helping Female Professionals take Practical Steps to unlock the potential in their careers, businesses and lives | Leadership Coach and Marketing Expert| #HerCareerHerLife

Erin Kennedy 👉 Executive Resume Writers ✩ Forbes Top 100 ✩ Award-Winning Executive Resumes ✩ LinkedIn Profile Writers ✩ Mid Level Resume Writers ✩ Career Branding ✩ Career Coaching ✩ Coffee Lover ☕

Gina Riley 👉 CAREER TRANSITION COACH | EXECUTIVE SEARCH | Helping leaders customize career stories to land high impact jobs where they can create a legacy | Talent Assessment | Interviewing Skills | YouMap© Coach | Disrupt HR Speaker

Greg Johnson 👉 Executive Coach ✔️ Career Management Strategist ✔️ LinkedIn Evangelist ✔️ Speaker ✔️ Above The Rim Executive Coaching

Hank Boyer 👉 Strategic Planning | Leadership | EQ | Exec Coach | Employee Engagement | B2B Sales | Assessments | DISC | Talent Advisor | Hiring | Onboarding | Career Coach | Talent Development | Management Training | Top ROI

Hannah Morgan 👉 Job Search Strategist | Speaker & Trainer | Career Sherpa.net | LinkedIn Top Voice

Jack Kelly 👉 Founder and CEO of Wecruiter.io

Jared Wiese 👉 ProfilesThat🅿🅾🅿.com!™

Jeff Young 👉 #TheLinkedInGuru (Teacher), Professional Networker, Volunteering – getting paid in 3 “Cs”, Coffee, Conversation and occasionally Chocolate! Please click the Follow button if you want to see LinkedIn tips! Namaste 🙏 🖖

Jessica Hernandez 👉 Executive Resume Writer ★ Certified Personal Brand Strategist ★ Forbes Coach ★ Founder & CEO

Jessica Sweet 👉 Career Coach for Midlife Professionals & Executives | Job Search Strategy | Job Search Coaching | Interview Coaching | Forbes Coaches Council

Jim Peacock 👉 Providing Professional Development for Career Practitioners ◊ Skilled Presenter ◊ LinkedIn Strategist ◊ Author

Jo Saunders 👉 LinkedIn Training, Coaching & Marketing Strategy to Future Proof Your Brand // Connectfluence™ Coach Trainer & Keynote Conference Speaker ✈️ WA / Virtual // Energise Your Presence ⇢ Enhance Credibility ⇢ Earn Influence

John Marty 👉 LinkedIn Top Voice | Co-Founder Project 1B | Man on a Mission

Jon Shields 👉 Marketing Manager at Jobscan 🤖 I’m hiring!

Jonaed Iqbal 👉 Founder NoDegree.com | The NoDegree Podcast | Helping You Get a Killer ATS Resume & Secure Interviews | Speaker | LinkedInLive | Helping companies find exceptional talent without college degrees | Let’s Connect! |

Kamara Toffolo 👉 🤬 Job searching shouldn’t be this hard. That’s what she said. 🤬 Executive Resume Writer + LinkedIn Consultant + Job Search Strategist 👇🏼 GET MY FREE COVER LETTER GUIDE! 👇🏼

Kenneth Lang 👉 LinkedIn Trainer * Connector * Business Analyst * Product Owner * Networking coach * LinkedIn Lunch ‘n Learn facilitator * Founder * Always learning!

Karen Tisdell 👉 LinkedIn Profile Writer & Designer ♦ LinkedIn Webinars, Trainer, Speaker 📩 Karen@TisdellCareers.com

Kathy Caprino 👉 Author of The Most Powerful You | Finding Brave™ Career, Leadership & Executive Coach | Int’l Speaker & Trainer | Forbes Senior contributor | dedicated to helping women reach their highest, most thrilling potential

Kerri Twigg 👉 LinkedIn Top Voice | Author of “The Career Stories Method” | Story-based International Career Coach | M.Ed

Kevin Turner 👉 Personal and Organizational Brand Strategist; Providing the Sharpest Tools and Strategies for Your Professional Success! LinkedIn, Resume, Web site, Writer, Trainer, Career Coach, Board Member

Kyle Elliott 👉 Career & Life Coach | Resume & LinkedIn Writer | Business Mentor | Professional Speaker | Caffeine Addict | Disneyland Annual Passholder | Forbes Coaches Council & CaffeinatedKyle.com

Kyle Gantos 👉 CEO @ Learn Solve Grow | I transform ambitious leaders into empowered executives.

Lacey Abbacchi 👉 LinkedIn Coach | Unwavering Optimist | Classic Rock Enthusiast | LinkedIn Queen | Forbes Business Council | Personal Branding Strategist | #laceyisms 🌸

Laura Smith Proulx 👉 Global Award-Winning Executive Resume Writer & LinkedIn Profile Writer. Former Recruiter. 11X Certified, 21X Award-Winning Writer & Job Search Expert. Forbes Coach. Featured in Time, CNBC, Glassdoor. I get RESULTS!

Lorie Camacho 👉 Career Strategist ★ Consultant, Coach and Facilitator ★ I Build Community & Value-Driven People, Teams, & Business Initiatives ★ Skills Training & Development, Strategic Networking & LinkedIn Guru

Lezlie Garr 👉 Career Change Advocate | Certified Career Transition Coach & Resume Writer | LinkedIn, Interview & Job Search Strategist | I help ambitious professionals shift out of soul-sucking work and into meaningful careers

Lisa Orbe-Austin, PhD 👉 Psychologist & Executive Coach|TEDx Speaker|Author, Own Your Greatness: Overcome Impostor Syndrome|Top LinkedIn Voice

LoRen GReiff 👉 𝗜 𝗵𝗲𝗹𝗽 𝗦𝗿.𝗰𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲𝘀 & 𝗺𝗮𝗿𝗸𝗲𝘁𝗲𝗿𝘀 𝗳𝗶𝗻𝗱 𝟴𝟬-𝟴𝟱% 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗷𝗼𝗯𝘀 𝗡𝗢𝗧 𝗽𝗼𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝗼𝗻𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗲.

Madeline Man 👉 Award Winning Career & Job Search Advice from Human Resources | Learning & Talent Development | Creator of Self Made Millennial | Featured in Forbes, Business Insider, Newsweek

Marc Miller 👉 Career Pivot | Author of Repurpose Your Career A Practical Guide for the 2nd Half of Life | Forbes Top 100 Career Website | Podcast Host & Producer of the Award Winning Repurpose Your Career Podcast

Marie Zimenoff 👉 Careers Industry Advocate ► Advance the Careers of Clients & Colleagues ☆ Train Career Coaches & Resume Writers Globally

Maria Farfard 👉 Executive Coach, Facilitator, and Speaker

Mark Anthony Dyson 👉 I hack & reimagine the modern job search | E-Book “421 Modern Job Search Tips 2021!” ✍️🏾 Freelance Career Writer | Award-winning blog 🏆 Podcast 🏆 Features: Forbes, Business Insider, Inc., Fast Company, LI News LIVE

Mary Brandt 👉 Showing Professionals how to grow their business with LinkedIn 🔷 LinkedIn Trainer|Consultant 🔷 LinkedIn Branding & Content Strategist🔷 Certified Virtual Speaker🎤 Connect|Cultivate|Convert

Marti Konstant, MBA 👉 Workplace futurist | Curing stagnation for individuals and organizations via workforce and career agility training & coaching | International speaker, writer, and author

Maureen McCann 👉 Nationally Certified Career & Job Search Strategist | Executive Resume Writer | Fierce advocate for career development

Meg Applegate 👉 I connect high-achieving women to career advancement | Award-Winning Resume Writer | Job Search Coach | Personal Branding Strategist

Meg Guiseppi 👉 Executive Resume, LinkedIn, Personal Branding and Job Search Strategist | Differentiate and position yourself to land a GREAT-FIT New Gig™ | Co-Creator of award-winning, custom CareerBrandVideos™ for job search & career

Melanie L. Denny 👉 Award-Winning Resume Writer 🥉 Nationally Certified LinkedIn Strategist 🖊 International Career Speaker 🌎 positioning rising professionals & aspiring execs for $15K to $50K salary increases 💰

Marietta Gentles Crawford 👉 Virtual Keynote Speaker + Personal Brand Strategist | Personal Branding for Linkedin ► Connect like a human (it pays)

Michael Quinn 👉 2x LinkedIn Top Voice | People Advisory Services | Personal & Corporate Branding | Member, Forbes Coaches Council

Nii Ato Bentsi-Enchill, MA, Ed.M 👉 Holistic Career Coach for Professionals of Color | Resume & LinkedIn Writing | Job Search & Networking Strategy | Interviews | Professional Branding | Speaker | Workshop Facilitator

Paula Christensen 👉 Professional Resume Writer | Interview Coach | Certified Job Search Strategist | LinkedIn Profile Writer 🔹CPRW 🔹 CCMC 🔹CGRA 🔹 CEIC. Working one-on-one with clients to put them in a position to get noticed.

Phyllis Mufson 👉 Career Coach, CPCC, Helping with career change and job search

Randy Block 👉 Career Plan Advisor & Professional Certified Coach | Choose your career. Choose your life.

Sabrina Woods 👉 Holistic Career Coach ✦ CCC President ✦ Linkedin Trainer ✦ Workshop Facilitator ✦ Speaker ✦ Mindfulness Advocate

Sarah Elkins 👉 Communication Coach Focused on Storytelling & Story-Sharing * Engaging Virtual Speaker * Certified StrengthsFinder Coach * #NLV Founder*

Sarah Johnston 👉 I help high performers land amazing jobs 💼 Interview Coach | Executive Resume Writer + LinkedIn Branding | Speaker | Outplacement Services | The Future of Work is Here®

Shea Ki 👉 Holistic Interview Coach | I help women shine in the hot seat | What doors would open if talking about your professional value felt easier?

Shelley Piedmont 👉 Yes, You Can Love Your Job! I Help You Find The Right One | Career Coach & Former Recruiter | Resume Writer | Interview Expert | LinkedIn Profile Optimizer | HR Certified

Shelly Elsliger 👉 Globally Recognized LinkedIn Trainer / Speaker / Career Specialist▸Building confidence and leadership for the future of work: LinkedIn and EDI▸Women of Inspiration▸Forbes▸Chief Kind Club Officer-#decidetobekind

Sid Clark 👉 Want your profile tuned up, detailed or overhauled? I do all of that.

Sonal Bhal 👉 Career Coach || HR Director || INSEAD MBA || Fluent in English/French/Spanish/Hindi || Speaker || LinkedInLive #SuperChargeFridays every Friday at 2 pm CET

Sultan Camp 👉 WE ARE HIRING✔Veterans & Military Spouse Programs✯Diversity & Inclusion Strategist✯ Veteran Mentor✯

Susan P. Joyce 👉 Publisher/Editor of Job-Hunt.org, a Top Job Search Site ❃ Online Job Search Expert ❃ Personal SEO Expert ❃ LinkedIn SEO Expert ❃ Author ❃ Researcher ❃ USMC Veteran ❃ I help job seekers understand today’s requirements.

Sweta Regmi 👉 CEO|I teach do’s & don’ts to Jobseekers|Newcomer*Canada*Career Professionals| HIRING MANAGER turned into Job Seeker’s Consultant ——> Resume|LinkedIn Trainer|Interview & Personal Branding Coach|Author|Speaker

Tim (Mr. Future of Work) Salau 👉 CEO & Co-Founder at Guide {guideapp.co}, B2B Learning & Talent Development app for your remote teams & mobile workforce. Mr. Future of Work. International Keynote Speaker. Global Tech Leader. HQ: Oakland, CA.

Tony Restell 👉 Social Media Marketing is like a Rubik’s Cube. I’ll help your business solve it! | Small business marketing and lead generation | Recruitment marketing | Social selling

Victoria McLean 👉 CEO, City CV | Global Award Winning CV Writer | Career Expert & International Speaker | Outplacement | Interview & Career Coach | Corporate Branding | HE Employability | Corporate Career Programmes | Redundancy

Vincent Phamvan 👉 Helping job seekers achieve fulfilling careers | Forbes Council | 40 Under 40 | How I Got Here Podcast on Apple Podcasts & Spotify

Virginia Franco 👉 Executive Storyteller, Resume & LinkedIn Writer ✍️ 5X Certified ✍️ No Worksheets/Prep ✍️ Turnkey Services ✍️ Host of Resume Storyteller Podcast ✍️ Former Journalist

Wendy Schoen 👉 25+ yrs Legal Recruiter for law firms, companies, management consulting companies, and banks / partners & General Counsels; associates & counsel / top 3 MBA / top 20 JD / decade of Wall St experience

3 reasons why people are getting more personal on LinkedIn

You might have noticed that content on LinkedIn has taken on a more personal touch. While I’ve never been a fan of this, I can understand it and even accept it…to a point. There was a time when I would write in the comments, “Take it to Facebook” when someone shared something personal. Now I simply scroll on down.

Photo by Nicholas Swatz on Pexels.com

Recently I came across a post from someone whose son voted for the first time. It was heartfelt but the verbiage indicated the importance of everyone having the ability to vote. Voting has been a hot topic in the news; it is a political one. I processed this post and scrolled on down.

I also happened upon a post about challenging yourself to be alone. Again, it had nothing to do with business or the job search. If the author had tied it to anything professional, the post would be LinkedIn worthy for sure. You guessed it, I scrolled on down.

Of course content on LinkedIn has been personal since its inception, but never to the extent that it is now. As I’ve said, I’m not as adamantly against it as I was in the past. And I think others are coming to tolerate, almost accept it, in today’s climate.

Here are three reasons why content on LinkedIn is becoming more personal.

COVID-19 has changed the game

Those of you who know me know that I’m on LinkedIn every day, so I don’t miss much. I have seen the aforementioned examples and other personal ones like them shared on LinkedIn. Yeah, it causes a little twinge in my neck, but I’m not as taken aback by it like I was in the past.

Why? Because we’re in a different world now. People need to maintain their sanity if they haven’t already lost it. We forgive all kinds of actions people take—within reason—because of the stress and anxiety the virus has caused.

COVID gives one a sense of “what of it?” This is what we might call the perfect storm when it comes to abandoning professionalism. “COVID is ruining my life,” people want to write out of frustration. They need the release of putting word on screen. They need to be well.

Here’s something telling:

The good news is that the data shows professionals are taking action to take care of themselves and their mental health, and that step alone is an empowering first one to take. Professionals on LinkedIn Learning watched 5x more courses on Stress Management, Mindfulness, and Meditation this year compared to last year. 

Excerpt from Prioritize Your Mental Health with Free LinkedIn Learning Courses

COVID has caused people stress and anxiety, even depression, but should LinkedIn be used as a outlet for release? And if so, how can this release come across as professional? I don’t know if it has to. I think people should take a moment or two to express their feelings.

A valid point made by one of my valued LinkedIn connections, Virginia Franco, is that COVID is forcing people to stay home and perhaps causing them to interact more on a personal level. With kids under foot and space declining, frustration runs high and things are said and written our of duress.

LinkedIn encourages it

With the advent of Stories, LinkedIn is encouraging people to tell their stories. There isn’t an emphasis on being professional as evident by people sharing their workspace, showing themselves cooking in the kitchen with their kids, filming their walking route (for 20 seconds), and other activities we would call ridiculous in the past.

Perhaps this is LinkedIn’s way of separating the “unprofessional” from the professional content.

I’ve heard people talk about how LinkedIn is trying to be Instagram, but because I’m not on Instagram, I don’t get what they mean. LinkedIn has tried to copy Facebook in many respects. Take LinkedIn Live or even recording video. Yep, Facebook did it first.

One of my favorite features is Polls. I keep my questions professionals, but I’ve noticed some LinkedIn members getting a little more personal. “What’s your favorite cereal–Frosted Mini-Wheats, Captain Crunch, or Mueslix?” is not a professional poll question. But would I lash out at the author? No, I’d say “Captain Crunch.”

I’m not a fan of photos of people who declare a personal accomplishment, but the one I ran across to today was bordering on personal. How did said person turn their personal photo into a somewhat professional statement. They asked how they could post it on their LinkedIn profile. The comments they received were all complimentary.

I also happened upon a post about tables:

I’m obsessed with tables.

Some of my best business ideas came while at a table. The most memorable conversations I’ve had with my wife and kids were at a table. The last time I saw my hero (my grandfather) before he died was at his dining room table.

Today I got a new table!

Here’s to new business ideas and more memories. 🍻

Where do you get most of your creative ideas?

What I ask you does buying a table have to do with professionalism. Oh well, scroll on down.

Facebook and other outlets aren’t favored by some

We have to agree that some people on LinkedIn don’t use other outlets for personal content. They’re not on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, or YouTube; even if they are, they don’t use these platforms. Probably can’t remember their passwords.

I’m on Facebook but take too much slack from the females in my family because of what I post, so I post sporadically and have my wife to sign off on my posts. This is probably a good thing, as I tend to be somewhat daft on certain matters. But I see many of my friends posting every day. Oddly they’re not active on LinkedIn, but this isn’t the point.

What do you do if you want to share a vacation, mention that you’re taking a cooking class, celebrate your kid’s graduation, or announce the death of someone important to you? Because you don’t use Facebook or the others, you’re in a bind. You so badly want to let the world know the news.

We’ve seen the angry side of people post racist comments and try to use LinkedIn in as a dating site, to name a few. In addition, I read an excellent article posted on LinkedIn about how bosses suck.

Articles like these aren’t rare—I’ve even written articles about how bosses can be better—but they probably don’t do job seekers much good.

I happened upon this post that has very little to do with the job search or business. It’s not professional but it comes from the heart:

[In] my opinion, there’s nothing worst than a human, who wants to hurt another human; Because a human is able to hurt even your heart and your soul, while a wild animal can only hurt your body. Humans are very different creatures on earth. Created to select between good and bad.

Don’t you agree?

Author is anonymous

Things might have gotten out of hand, as LinkedIn has just released a feature that issues a warning if the content someone posts is too controversial, e.g., using LinkedIn as a dating site or spewing racist and political garbage.

Perhaps LinkedIn has seen the writing on the wall. Is LinkedIn becoming too personal? I stated earlier that for various reasons some personal content can be understood, even accepted; but come on folks, let’s not get too personal.

10 reasons to dump someone from your LinkedIn network

Last night I received a message from a connection that read, “Bob; Good day. We spoke a couple of years ago about possible synergies. I want to speak with [one of your connections] about possible joint venture opportunities given our similar investment banking backgrounds. I was wondering if you could introduce me to [name]? Not a recommendation, simply a referral.”

Troll: Flikr, Rafael Lucien

I didn’t recall the connection, so I looked further back in Messaging and found our last transaction. It read, “Bob: I apologize for [blowing you off] a client call came up. I had a chance to think about our pre-holiday conversation. I don’t see a lot of synergies in our businesses for referrals. I think I will say best of luck!”

I had been ghosted. Not only that; my connection’s message reeked with arrogance and was poorly written. The good thing about this transaction almost a year ago was that it gave me the idea to write an article called, When ghosting is just plain wrong and invited him to read it. Apparently it made no effect on him.

From this intrusion last night, I decided to remove him from my network without guilt. I’m not one to act on impulse; it takes some thought before dumping someone from my network. But his bold request without apology for ghosting me in the past made it all so easy.

Rudeness

I call rudeness one of the reasons to remove someone from your network. To some this might seem a bit harsh on my part, but I believe making a request to introduce you to another LinkedIn member requires etiquette. How do I know this person won’t be as rude to my connections? I don’t.

In a poll I conducted yesterday, one of 1,533 who’ve voted called me “petty” for dumping this person from my network. Others asked if it was fair of me for not helping him. Check out what others are saying to: “Have you removed someone from your network?”

Here are other reasons why you shouldn’t feel guilty for removing connections from your network in no particular order.

Stalking and sexual harassment

It is unforgivable to stalk someone on a regular or daily basis regardless of gender. You wouldn’t want this to take place at work or in your daily life. Are you getting the sense that someone is following your every move on LinkedIn? Why should you put up with this on LinkedIn or any social media, for that matter? You shouldn’t.

Lately I’ve been seeing a prevalence of inappropriate advances toward my fellow female LinkedIn members. The offenders making the advances are mostly not in their victims’ networks; but if they are they should not only be removed, they should also be reported to LinkedIn.

Bullying

My valued connection, Shelly Elsliger, has made it her mission to prevent bullying on LinkedIn. She started a #decidetobekind campaign, of which I’m a member. (I have my blue wristband.) You’ve experienced bullying if, for example, you’ve been abused verbally on LinkedIn or someone has spread damaging rumors about you.

My experience with bullying came in the form of someone who started off harmless enough until his rhetoric became increasingly more aggressive. It got to the point where he took pot shots at my LinkedIn profile saying my profession is trivial. Another connection of mine experienced the same behavior from him. We dumped him from out networks.

Plagiarism

This is unforgivable. I’ve heard from valued connections about how the resumes they wrote for clients were duplicated by other resume writers. There have also been bloggers who have seen their writing show up on another blog without their permission, me included.

Universities would expel students who plagiarized. What makes it acceptable for professionals to do the same? Nothing. If I am going to include someone’s article on my blog, I will ask their permission and give them attribution for their work.

More on ghosting

Ghosting has been a hot topic as of late. Andrew Seaman, senior editor at LinkedIn, thought it was so important a topic that he interviewed me for an article. I said to him that ghosting goes both ways; job candidates get ghosted and hiring authorities get ghosted. It’s never right to do this to another person.

If you are a job seeker and a recruiter who you’re connected with doesn’t get back to you when they said they would, hold off on dumping them from your network. Give it multiple efforts of trying to reach said person before pulling the trigger. Being busy is not a reason for ghosting someone in the hiring process, either way.

Bait and Switch

This type of connection is short lived with me and other LinkedIn members. They will invite you to their network, and once you have accepted, or maybe after two correspondences, will show their true colors. They will ask for a phone conversation to discuss possible synergy. The bait and switch.

I recall one person who she wanted to collaborate on possible clients. She asked me to meet on Skype. No sooner had I joined here for the session, she asked me to go to a website for selling hygienic products for men and women. To make matters worse, I put aside valuable time to meet with this person.

Not part of your networking plan

Is your network comprised of like-minded people? I’m not talking only about people who do the type of work you do and in the same industry. I’m also talking about people in other industries where you share similar interests.

You might wonder why it’s important to have like-minded people. The answer is simple; the best way to help your audience is by understanding their interests so you can lead them to opportunities, provide the advice they need, and share valuable information.

My network consists of people in career development, bloggers, marketing, social media, education, and others of whom share my interests. I also have people of dissimilar interests who might be interested in reading my career advice.

Writing negative comments

Do you have a connection or two who criticizes employers, write about politics or religion, and otherwise embarrasses themselves? This kind of rhetoric is draining on me. And I wonder if remaining connected to what I call angry connections makes me guilty by association.

I have been very close to dumping one of my connections because of the negativity he spewed on LinkedIn. Others in my network agreed that this person needed to “reign it in.” He was hurting himself in his job search. What made me not remove him from my network is beyond me.

Trolling

Similar to bullying, trolling is known as blatantly criticizing what most people write. Trolls pop up in the comments of LinkedIn influencers. And if the influencers try to fight fire with fire, they are no better than the trolls themselves.

Trolls can also be subtle. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been trolled. But what irks me most is when someone takes a subtle jab at my posts or articles. If you want to criticize my opinions, I welcome it as long as it’s done with respect.

Pruning

You might feel the need to “prune” your network like a bush. This is similar to your connections not being part of your network but for a different reason. You might have reached your limit of 30,000 connections.

I connected with someone who told me that she first needed to remove people from her network in order to accept my invitation. LinkedIn Open Networkers (LIONs) collect connections for various reasons, so once they’ve reached the threshold, they need to offload some of them.


If I come across as a ruthless person who will drop someone from my network at a moment’s notice, this isn’t me. I have removed no more than five LinkedIn members from my network. In the poll I conducted yesterday on this topic, some of the voters were outspoken about how unfair I was.

This said, if any of your connections have committed the above “sins,” don’t hesitate from removing them from your network. It is your right and they won’t be notified.

Just how important is having a recent LinkedIn photo?

Before saying, “haven’t we read enough about LinkedIn profile photos,” consider how important it is to have a recent one. I believe having one that’s no more than two years old is ideal and anything beyond four years needs to be retaken. Of course there are exceptions; you might age nicely, or you might age…not so nicely.

When asked in a LinkedIn poll, that’s still brewing, if voters’ profile photo is too old, 41% of 2,017 voters say it is. The definition stated in the poll of too old means their photo was last taken four or more years ago. Thirty-eight percent of voters say their photo falls within the two- to three-year range.

Where did the remaining 20% go? Those people “don’t see a need for a photo.” Shame.

There are many reasons why your photo should be more recent than ancient. In the comments of the poll, I shared an article I wrote back in 2016 called 4 ways your LinkedIn photo is an imposter. Trust me, the ways people’s photos are an imposter haven’t changed. Here is a rundown of what makes your photo an imposter:

  • You’re vain. This is the worst kind in my mind. Pride is listed as one of the 7 deadly sins. Vanity is a form of pride. As my father said, “We enter this world naked and we leave it naked.” As Popeye said, “I Yam What I Yam.” Why should we pretend to be someone different?
  • You don’t realize that eventually you’ll be outed. I’ve entered many a room where someone says, “Hi Bob.” It’s flattering, while at the same time a little creepy. People do recognize you on social media, so you will be outed, if you don’t update your profile.
  • You don’t realize that honesty is the basis for networking. One point I make in my Advanced LinkedIn webinars is that those who don’t have a photo on their profile will not be trusted as those who do. To gain complete trust, don’t put up a photo of you in college when you’re 20 years beyond those golden years. What does this say about your trustworthiness?
  • You aren’t concerned about branding himself. Your photo is a way to brand yourself in a positive light. It can tell people about your personality; it really can. My photo, old and new, I’ve always felt it tells people that I’m caring and nurturing and, hopefully, wise. Others can brand people as authoritative, creative, serious, intelligent, etc.

To further illustrate how your photo can be an imposter and therefore should be updated, my valued LinkedIn connection, Kevin Turner posted a photo (image above) of the younger Kevin and one of him now.

This image from Kevin speaks to bullet number four of my reasons why your photo is an imposter and needs to be amended. You have to establish trust when you’re networking, whether it’s in person (we’ll get there) or via Zoom.

Speaking of…I often have the opportunity to look at myself while I’m doing one of the thousand webinars I’ve done over the years, and I can’t help but think about how my photo needs to be updated. Judge for yourself. Below are photos of Bob three years ago and a screenshot I took yesterday.

What others say about the importance of having a recent photo, or not

The reasons mentioned below speak to: trust, being recognized, your photo being part of your brand (3), and how to get a photo properly taken.

You’re right Bob McIntosh, CPRW it’s all about building Visual Trust. You don’t want someone to remember who you use to be by posting an old picture, then showing up in person, and they can’t recognized you, feel duped, or worse just can’t pin point why they don’t trust you. Even if the Profile Picture is recent but you made a major change like shaving your beard or coloring away the gray (neither of which I plan to do) you then need a new picture that represents the current you. Trust takes time to earn, but only seconds to destroy.

Kevin Turner

I just got a new one, too, Bob McIntosh, CPRW. I want my pictures to look like what you see when you meet me at a networking event or conference, and it was getting a bit dated (maybe 6 years).

Marie Zimenoff

Bob McIntosh, CPRW even a newly taken photo may not reflect what we look like on a given day on Zoom, so I don’t worry too much, although I try to maintain a consistent smile.

With that said, I think a photo should be reasonably timely. My strategy! Each year I look for the intersection of available time, such as a client cancellation, with great natural light and a good hair day. Then I take many pictures and see if any work out well.

Tara Orchard

This is a fun poll. I recently got a new headshot—not because I didn’t like my old picture– but because I am getting older (and wiser)–and wanted to make sure my headshot is a true reflection of me now.

It’s important to remember that your photo is an extension of your personal brand and in a lot of ways like your “brand logo.” I think a lot of people who typically engage with my content aren’t recognizing me on the platform [with new photo]. This is an important takeaway for folks too– make sure your not changing your picture too frequently!

Sarah Johnston

This is a big one Bob! Most people don’t understand just how important your profile picture is. Whenever I update mine or work with a client to update theirs, I have them follow this process:

1. Hire a professional photographer or grab a camera with portrait mode

2. Go shoot 3-5 headshots with different outfits and backgrounds

3. Upload all of the images to Photofeeler.com and see which image scores the best That helps you know which one is landing best and will maximize your results!

Austin Belcak

I am still within 2 years, though when I do update my photo, you better believe it will still have an orange background. People have come to expect and recognize it!

Madeline Mann

I just changed mine today! I had a brand shoot last month and was much clearer on what I wanted from my photos this time around. I hired a photographer last year as well, but my business was brand new and I wasn’t super clear on my goals – it was more of a lifestyle shoot. Living and learning as an entrepreneur!

Karen Styles

Please feel free to read what the other 91 people said about their LinkedIn profile photo by going to the poll. You may decide to have a new one taken or stick with the one you have. Also, please vote, and I don’t just mean for the poll.

8 areas on your LinkedIn profile where you can make your voice heard

One of the things I like about the LinkedIn profile is the ability to express your written voice. In addition, you can express your voice with images. This is particularly important for job seekers, as it gives hiring authorities an idea of their personality. The résumé, on the other hand doesn’t do this as well as the profile.

VoiceAs a job seeker, the goal of your résumé is to make you stand out among hundreds of others submitted for a job with value statements throughout. Your LinkedIn profile also needs to show the value you will bring to employers, only in a more personal way. This is why I tell my clients that their profile is a “personal résumé.”

Background image

The background image is the first area that gives your LinkedIn profile voice. The back ground picture of one my clients shows her standing in front of a snowy mountain side. She told me it accurately reflects her love for hiking. Her image also is relevant; at the moment she was working for Appalachian Mountain Club.

On the flip side, if you don’t sport a background image, it expresses a lack of voice. To some people who visit your profile, it may indicate that you don’t care about your LinkedIn profile. This seems unfair, right? After all, LinkedIn no longer offers stock photos from its site.

If you’re profile doesn’t have a background image and you’re looking for a quick fix, go to https://linkedinbackground.com/ to download a background image.

Photo

Your voice definitely comes through loud and clear with your head shot. The most important rules for your photo are it 1) includes only you, 2) is of high quality, 3) matches your occupation, and finally 4) expresses your personality.

When I talk to my workshop attendees about their profile photo, I stress they should project a professional image. This doesn’t mean they have to wear a suit and tie or a suit and blouse. However, it should reflect their personality in a positive light.

Headline

Your headline is what people see on their timeline, along with your photo. So it has to entice LinkedIn members to open it. A headline like, “Project Manager at IBM” Doesn’t do a great job of selling your value, and it certainly doesn’t express your voice.

This is where you can opt for a key-word based Headline, such as:

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

Or you might want to use a branding headline that gives your Headline more voice:

“Ask me how I can meet aggressive deadlines in delivering quality products on time and under budget”

The branding statement is meant to pique interest and is more conversational; however, if you’re goal is to optimize your profile, the key-word based Headline is the way to go.

About

If there’s any section where you’ll share your voice, this is it. This is a section that differs greatly from your résumé in voice. The idea with your résumé is to make it brief, while still demonstrating value. Brief is not the word to describe your LinkedIn profile Summary.

Note: LinkedIn now allows you 2,600 characters up from 2,000. Should you use all 2,600? It’s entirely up to you. I use 2,000 characters, not expecting people to read every word of my About section.

LinkedIn pundits will suggest different ways to write your About section. What’s most important is that your unique voice comes through. I suggest to my clients a variation of structures, such as:

  1. What you do—perhaps what problems you address;
  2. why and for whom you do what you do—you do work for company growth or to help people;
  3. how well you do it—include accomplishments to back it up; and
  4. where you can be reached.

Of course there are other ways to structure your profile’s About, but what’s important is using words and phrases that express your voice, giving readers a sense of your personality. This is as simple as using first, or third, person point of view. An About that lacks a point of view resembles that of a résumé; bland.

Activities

This section of your profile is often overlooked. Not by me. I always check to see if people have published posts on LinkedIn. Speaking of a way to make your voice heard, publishing on LinkedIn is a great way to do this.

You don’t have to be a author in order to create an article and publish it on LinkedIn. However, you should share information that is relevant and of value to your audience.

I also don’t overlook a LinkedIn member’s activity on LinkedIn. You can learn a great deal about a person’s voice by reading their shared updates. Your voice should be natural but, at the same time, professional. There will always be people who share updates better suited for Facebook. Don’t be that person.

Experience Section

Believe it or not, your Experience section can have a voice. Many people will simply copy what they have on their résumé and paste it to their profile. This is a good start. But it’s simply a start. From there you’ll want to personalize it with a point of view.

The most obvious area of a job description is the job summary. This is where you describe your overall responsibilities for that position. Here’s how I personalized my job summary to give it a voice:

I’m more than a workshop facilitator & designer; I’m a career and LinkedIn strategist who constantly thinks of ways to better market my customers in their job search. Through disseminating trending job-search strategies, I increase our customers’ chances of finding jobs.

Here is part of a valued connection of mine, Adrienne Tom’s, Experience section, which not only shows accomplishments, but voice as well:

▶️ If you want to move FORWARD in your career, generate increased recognition, and escalate your earning power with value-driven career tools = let’s talk.

▶️ My RESUMES differentiate executive candidates from the competition. For 14+ years, I’ve supported the careers of global C-Suite executives, VP’s, Directors, Managers, and top professionals through captivating executive resume writing.

Education

You’re sadly mistaken if you think you can’t show your voice in the Education section. Your experience in university or high school wasn’t all about studying, was it? For your résumé it’s the basic information, such as educational institution and location, degree, area of study, maybe GPA or designation.

On the other hand, LinkedIn encourages you to describe what was going on during the time you were in school. One great example is someone who was earning their Bachelor’s while working full-time. Perhaps you were a scholar athlete. This is another opportunity to express your voice by describing the experience.

Volunteer Experience

We often don’t consider including volunteer experience on our résumé, particularly if there is a space issue. There is no space issue with your LinkedIn profile, so don’t miss the opportunity to express your voice in this area.

You volunteer at a homeless shelter. Describe your experience, in first-person point of view, and how it has had an effect on your life. Or you utilize your coding skills to develop a website for a nonprofit organization. Use your voice to describe the experience. In my case I describe how I help my alma mater with its Career Expo Night.


You have the opportunity to express your voice with your LinkedIn profile. Don’t squander this opportunity. Yes, you must show the value you’ll present to the employer, but hiring authorities want to know the whole person. What better way to do this than by using your voice?

Everyone can use advice on their LinkedIn campaign in these 3 areas

I recently completed teaching an online LinkedIn seminar. As the role of the instructor, it’s assumed that I know more than the students. This is probably true but there’s always something you can learn from your charges. If not, what’s the sense of being an instructor?

I had this great idea to ask my students to be the teacher and teach me how to write a better profile, create a more effective network, and how to engage with my network. Some of them wrote that as the instructor, how can my LinkedIn campaign be improved.

The answer to this question is revealed in a poll I started on LinkedIn yesterday, 79% of the 1,859 voters say to “Bring it on” when it comes to feedback. So, feedback for even some of the best LinkedIn users is considered a good thing to receive.

I was looking for honest critique from my students. This is what one of the students wrote about my profile:

This is a matter of preference, but for the headline, the way that it is written sounds like a commercial to me.

Ouch was my first reaction. But then I thought about it, she might have a point. I’ll have to revisit.

About creating and maintaining my network, the same person wrote:

Are there specific goals you have, such as connecting with more potential clients or identifying organizations that you want to provide training for? The exercises we did in this class are great for any stage, including identifying organizations.

She makes an excellent point. I should connect with people at companies where I’d like to provide LinkedIn training.

Another student wrote about my engagement:

One question I have that keeps niggling in the back of my mind is you actually have a tab titled Introverts on your thingscareerrelated.com blog. This seems like an area of interest, yet I don’t feel like I see a regular smattering of posts related to this topic

I thought this was incredibly insightful. She had taken the time to read through my blog and notice that one of the tabs is Introverts. Perhaps she is one herself and wanted to read my musings on preferring Introversion, and perhaps she was disappointed to find a limited number of articles.

These were just some of the observations a talented group of people offered up. There were many more. (In retrospect, I should have made this two- to three-page essay all about how they would teach their students/clients how to create a successful LinkedIn campaign.)

But I’m glad I gave them the opportunity to critique my LinkedIn campaign, and I think you should have others do the same for you. It could be incredibly helpful, providing you have thick skin (joking…no, not joking) and are willing to accept some of their advice.

Choose what you want critiqued

This isn’t a seminar. Ask the person who will critique your your LinkedIn campaign (I’ll call them “your mate”) to critique part of your LinkedIn campaign, not all of it. Ask them to be honest, keeping in mind that you can implement their suggestions or ignore them.

Profile

It’s all about value through branding and optimization. Ask your mate to read it in its entirety to get a sense of the message you’re trying to deliver. Is it making a strong overall branding statement? Does it come across as a profile that shows the value you deliver to employers or business partners?

Ask them to examine every section of your profile, especially:

  • Background image: is it industry related and of high quality?
  • Photo: this is what people will see in their stream and other pages on your LinkedIn account, so make it recent and of high quality.
  • Headline: some say this is the most important part of your profile. Make sure it contains the keywords for which employers are searching. You might also include a branding statement.
  • Activity section: more on this later; but suffice to say this is a tell-tale sign of your engagement on LinkedIn. One of my student delved into my Activity secion.
  • About: story, story, story. What’s your passion? Who do you do what you do for? Do you show immediate value with accomplishments? Why, who, what.
  • Experience: the person critiquing your profile should look for an accomplishment-rich section. Write this in first person point of view like your About section.
  • Education: There’s a story to tell her, believe it or not. What were your personal experiences while at University? Were you captain of a D-1 team? Did you work full-time while earning your degree.

These are some of the details your mate should look for. Provide some guidance as to what to look for. A detailed critique—like the one one of my student provided—will include comments on the other sections.

Network

This is a tough one for your mate to critique. The most obvious indicator is how many people show under your headline. LinkedIn only reveals 500+ which means the user can have 501, 1,000, 5,000 or 30,000 connections (the limit). If you have 250 connections, this might one of your mate’s concern.

Your mate will have to ask how many connections you have. They can find this under your My Connections tab, providing you give them access to your profile (requires your password). But it’s against LinkedIn’s rules to give access to your LinkedIn account.

The most important aspect of network is the modus operandi of your connections. In other words, which occupations and industries are they in? I suggest that a strong network would consist of 80% of like-minded occupations/industries.

For example, the like-minded people in my network would be career developers, recruiters, HR, and those in the industry Professional Training and Coaching. I also like to connect with people in academia and companies of interest. Remember what one of my students wrote:

Are there specific goals you have, such as connecting with more potential clients or identifying organizations that you want to provide training for? The exercises we did in this class are great for any stage, including identifying organizations.

The person critiquing your profile should recognize some tell-tale signs that show whom you’re connected with. They are your Skills and Endorsements section, Recommendations, and way down at the bottom in your Interests section the groups you’re in and even the companies you follow.

Lastly, ask your mate how you’re sending invites to potential connections. Are you personalizing the invites or are you simply hitting send without a note? The former is the correct answer. Many people who I’ve queried didn’t realize you could send a personalized invite. The person critiquing your network will be wise to ask this question.

Engagement

Another poll I conducted revealed that the majority of people feel that engagement is the most important aspect of your LinkedIn campaign. For some it’s also the most difficult to master, especially for job seekers who haven’t been using LinkedIn since losing their job. If you’ve been using LinkedIn regularly, this is a different matter.

There’s one sure way for your mate to determine how engaged you are on LinkedIn, it’s by visiting your Activity section and clicking on All Activity and Posts. Articles and Documents are a nonentity at this point. Very few people are writing articles; if anything they’re pumping out long posts.

You should demonstrate a consistent amount of engagement. Some say four times a week is sufficient, others claim every day is appropriate. How often you engage depends on the type of engagement:

  • Sharing long posts: this is the rave these days. Your post should show thoughtfulness and be relevant to your audience. It’s also wise to tag LinkedIn members if you want them to see your posts.
  • Commenting on other’s long posts: just as important is commenting on what other’s share. LinkedIn’s algorithm looks at both sides of the coin, sharing long posts and commenting on them. Your mate should take not of this. If you are only sharing, this comes across as narcissistic.
  • Sharing articles and commenting on them: I tell my clients that this is the best way to start engaging. Your mate should check to see if you’re comments are sincere, that you’ve actually read the articles.
  • Writing articles using LinkedIn’s Publisher feature: as mentioned before, this is not being done as much as it was in the past. There are many reasons for this, one of which is LinkedIn doesn’t promote one’s articles; it’s up to you to do that.
  • Asking a simple question: this is something I like to do on occasion. Your mate should see if you’re doing this as well and that your questions have a purpose.

Follow these people to learn how to engage. This is what your mate should be telling you. You can learn a lot from the information people in your network (remember, like-minded) share. Here is a partial list of the people I follow: Sarah Johnston; Hannah Morgan; Austin Belcak; Kevin Turner; Mark Anthony Dyson; Laura Smith-Proulx; Susan Joyce, and Adrienne Tom. There are many more.

Numbers do matter. Who you’re following and/or connected with does help you gain more visibility. For example, if you mention any of the aforementioned people in a long post, you’re more likely to get more people seeing your post. The same applies to commenting on their posts. Unfortunately, it is a numbers game.


Return the favor

If you’re looking for help with your LinkedIn campaign, be willing to reciprocate by critiquing the other person’s campaign. If the person feels they don’t want the favor returned, do it for someone else. Pay it forward. (For the seminar, I critiqued three of the students’ profiles for which they were very grateful.)

Here’s a guideline to follow in terms of your full-blown critique: