Category Archives: LinkedIn

LinkedIn’s mobile app versus the desktop: 8 differences

One gets the feeling that LinkedIn is migrating its desktop platform to its mobile app. Maybe not tomorrow, but gradually. The most obvious hint is the way the desktop’s interface increasingly resembles the app. We noticed this when LinkedIn launched its new, slimmed-down platform almost a year ago.

LinkedIn Phone

We also noticed enhancements made first to the mobile app, such as photo enhancement and video features. If I were a betting man, I’d say the demise of the desktop platform is nearing the end. Maybe not for awhile, though.

Is this a good thing? It is if you prefer to use the app. Personally, I use the app approximate 50% of the time, which falls in line with the figure Forbes.com gives. My phone is on me all the time, where as my laptop isn’t. This is perhaps why the mobile app is gaining more popularity; its convenience.

Recently I asked my workshop attendees how many of them are using the app. Only a handful of them raised their hands. The concept of LinkedIn on the move hasn’t entirely caught hold, which is unfortunate; because if you’re not using the app, you could be missing opportunities.

The similarities are immediately apparent when we look at the navigation bar from the desktop and mobile app versions respectively.

Top Navigation Bar

Top Navigation Bar phone

Both versions include Home, My Network, Jobs, Messaging, and Notifications; although not in the same order. As well, the icons are identical. Let’s look at the limitations, similarities, and advantages of your Home page on the mobile app.

Home

Limitations

1. Search is limited. Like the desktop version, you can search for Top, People, Jobs, Posts, Companies, Groups, and Schools. But that’s as far as it goes. There are some limitations. For example, when I searched for my school, I am unable to locate Find Alumni. This is because it doesn’t exist on the app.

As well, searching for positions is easier on the desktop. I searched on the app for accountants and when I chose Easy Apply, I was prompted to install a “LinkedIn Job Search” app.

Find Alumni and Searching for jobs on the app are topics for another post.

2. You can’t write or edit articles. One disappointing aspect of the phone app is the inability to write or edit an article. You can, however, read and check out the stats on your articles using the mobile app; but if you want to write or edit one, you’ll have to wait until you’re at your desktop.

3. Finding groups on the app is cumbersome. On the desktop the process is straightforward; you simply go to the Work icon. Not so with the app. You must type your groups individually in the Search field to get to them.

(By the way, when I questioned someone from LinkedIn about the future of groups—why they’re hidden in Work dropdown—he told me, ‘They’re on hold.'”)

4. Views of your visitors and latest posts are not available on the app. You don’t have the ability to see the number of people who’ve viewed your profile in the past 90 days. You also can’t see how many views the post you shared most recently received. In order to see this information, you must go to your profile where it is listed in Your Dashboard.

Similarities

Home view phone

5. Posting updates is no problem. Do you want to post an update? Not a problem with the app. Just click on the icon of the pen and paper at the lower right-hand corner.

We’re all aware of how to share an update on the desktop; the field in which you write your updates says, “Share an article, photo, or update.”

If you want to Like, Comment, or Share an article; LinkedIn gives you the capabilities for that on the mobile app.

6. Searches are decent on the phone app. With the desktop, you have the ability to search for people by location, current and past companies, industries, profile languages, and schools. The only criterion you can’t search by is languages.

Advantages

7. You can post a video with the phone app. This hasn’t yet taken hold like LinkedIn thought it would. But it could be a great feature (one that already exists on Facebook), that allows people to report their thoughts anywhere in the world. This feature is currently not available on the desktop version of LinkedIn.

8. It’s easier to get to your profile with the app. No matter which page you’re on with the app, clicking on your photo at the top right-hand corner brings you to your profile. On the desktop, once you leave your home page, you must click your photo at the top right-hand corner for a drop-down that allows you to chose “View Profile.”


Overall, LinkedIn’s mobile app offers you powerful features that will get you by as you’re waiting for your daughter to get out of dance rehearsal. Are there limitations? Certainly there are. But I think LinkedIn will improve the functionality of the app.

Next we’ll look at the differences between the My Network, Messaging, Jobs, and Announcements features.

LinkedIn is NOT dead but must step up its game in 6 areas

An article on Observe.com post entitled “The death of LinkedIn” caught my eye. This post spoke mostly about how business is being conducted on Facebook and no longer on LinkedIn. But I want to speak about job seekers on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn flag

One claim the author makes in his article is that LinkedIn is now only populated with recruiters trolling for job seekers. Reading this article left me thinking that if LinkedIn is, in fact, where recruiters dwell, it needs to step up its game in order to make it the ultimate platform for job seekers.

1. Many recruiters I see posting on LinkedIn are posting on Facebook at a greater rate. I asked one recruiter why I haven’t seen him on LinkedIn as much, as LinkedIn is my preferred place to hang out, and he told me he sees more candidates on Facebook.

This is true. SilkRoad.com presented an alarming figure stating that more job seekers (64%) are on Facebook, while more recruiters (87%) are using LinkedIn to cull talent. Job seekers should smarten up and hang out where the recruiters are. That would be LinkedIn, by the way.

2. LinkedIn’s groups are not what they used to be. Ever since LinkedIn took away the ability to search for people in groups and communicate directly with all members, regardless of degree, participation has waned. Yes, there was spam and yes, group members complained; as a result we have now is less activity.

Groups are supposed to be platforms for conversations, as well as business transactions. But this is not happening as it was supposed to. The aforementioned article may be correct on this front when the author writes

Facebook groups are much more valuable nowadays for business than LinkedIn. There’s so much value and quality in conversations that it’s unbeatable.” 

When LinkedIn placed Groups in the Work area—rather than making it prominent on the navigation bar—this sent a message of the unpopularity and, perhaps, death of Groups.

3. LinkedIn giveth and LinkedIn taketh. The feature that hooked me on LinkedIn was one that LinkedIn did away with around a decade ago. I’m speaking of Answers, which created a community that was asking questions and answering them. Granted not all answers were of the highest quality.

Many of the same people are turning to Quora, but the community that was created with Answers was affected by this move. Other features that have disappeared are Events, Reading List (people are still searches for a post I wrote on this feature), to name a couple.

4. You’re on your own with LinkedIn Pulse. No social media platform has the reach LinkedIn has for sharing one’s knowledge. Whether you’re in business or unemployed, you can share articles through Pulse.

LinkedIn hasn’t made efforts to dissuade its members from sharing information, but it has made reaching out to your connections more difficult.

LinkedIn once alerted your connections of every article you wrote, which gave you ultimate reach. This is no longer the case. LinkedIn made it clear that you’re responsible for marketing your own articles.

If what the aforementioned article says is true; only one percent of your connections will see your posts (based on a large network), you better do a great job of marketing your articles.

5. LinkedIn ain’t sexy; Facebook is. Facebook is emotionally charged; people might write stupid things. They post topics on politics, current events, and share photos of their vacation in Italy. There are no secrets on Facebook; people pour out their souls. But it’s all good to Facebook friends.

So why do I find myself spending approximately 50% more time on LinkedIn than I do Facebook? LinkedIn is a great source of gaining knowledge. I learn more about my industry than I do on Facebook. Nonetheless, the unspoken rule is don’t show too much personality in your LinkedIn updates.

6. LinkedIn makes job seekers pay for previous features. I haven’t paid a penny on Facebook and services have remained consistent; whereas LinkedIn requires its members to upgrade to premium accounts to recoup the features they used to have.

Read Are job seekers welcome on LinkedIn?

Case in point, with the advent of LinkedIn Lite, users must upgrade to Sales Navigator to retain Advanced Search features, tagging, and the full blown profile, among other features. This is an $80 a month investment.

I have suggested that all members pay a flat fee in order to be on the same page, and if they want high level sales or recruiter features, their companies can pay for said features. My suggestion that every LinkedIn user pay $9.99 a month is not popular; however, it would separate the true users from the ones who rarely use LinkedIn.

Good News: you can use Google to find a LinkedIn Trainer on LinkedIn. I wanted to find people in the Boston area, so I used this string:

site:linkedin.com (inurl:in OR inurl:pub) -intitle:directory -inurl:dir -inurl:jobs “greater boston area” “linkedin trainer”

LinkedIn isn’t dead

I stopped bashing Facebook in my LinkedIn workshops exactly one year and five months ago when I joined Facebook. Immediately I fell in love with it. But I also realized Facebook is a platform for a different purpose. It’s like comparing apples and oranges. So I interact differently on the two platforms.

LinkedIn has forced us to do with less, yet many LinkedIn faithful still spend more time using LinkedIn than Facebook. Some aren’t even on Facebook. I continue to use LinkedIn, because I believe it is the best way to network online.

Business to business networking, job seeking, developing relationships, disseminating and gathering information are LinkedIn’s purposes. As long as another product doesn’t come around that can promise these features, LinkedIn will stay alive.

Photo: Flickr, Coletivo Mambembe

 

 

Why are you on LinkedIn? Three types of LinkedIn members

Congratulations, you are one of more than 500 million LinkedIn members. LinkedIn is touted as the most professional online networking platform. Many job seekers have used it to find jobs, while others have had no success. You don’t want to fall into the latter category.

why

The success of using LinkedIn depends on knowing why you’re using the networking platform and how to better use it. LinkedIn can be beneficial to your job search, but first decide if you should be using it.

You Have No Idea

You went through the easy process of securing your LinkedIn membership. Because you’re in the job hunt, a career expert told it would be the answer to your prayers. I curse the people who told you this.

If you really believe LinkedIn alone will land your next job, stop drinking the Cool Aid. LinkedIn is not the magic elixir that people might have told you it is. This is the hard truth. Now let me tell you what you have to do.

Have you seen the television program, “The Biggest Loser.” This is you. You will work harder than you’ve worked before…not to lose weight, of course. If you think I’m exaggerating, ask people who have succeeded using LinkedIn to find a job.

Here’s what you need to do: create a profile; connect with people you don’t know; and engage with said people. This is a tall order, but you can do it. The most promising thing about you is that you’re open to all advice LinkedIn authorities offer you. The question is if you’re hungry enough to do what it takes.

Please read this sequence of posts for a full explanation on how to use LinkedIn

You’re Half-Committed

Maybe you’re a tweeny; you have an inkling of an idea of LinkedIn and are knowledgeable enough to be dangerous. You joined the last time you were out of work but neglected LinkedIn after you landed your previous job; now it’s time to get back on the horse. You have promise, though.

First things first; your profile resembles your résumé. That’s because it is. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I suggest to my clients that they start with their résumé as a foundation, but from there they need to turn it into more of a networking document.

The solution is to do serious work on your Branding Headline, create a Summary that reflects your passion and value, and beef up your Experience section. This is what I mean by making your profile a networking document, while still maintaining your value to potential employers.

Next, slowly reconnect with with people in your network. Slowly because you don’t want to come across as someone who needs something only when you contact someone. My kids do this. Don’t be like my kids.

Finally, you’ll become more visible by sharing updates on a regular basis. I generally suggest sharing updates two times a day, four days a week…at a minimum. For those who are a little more committed, engaging with your connections every day is your goal.

Read about the next LinkedIn member, The Pro.

You’re a Pro

You know exactly why you’re using LinkedIn. You have a solid strategy that will land you a job. You’re a pro. This post may not enlighten you, other than you are curious to see if you are on track. You are.

I know your’e a pro when I ask you how often you use LinkedIn, and what you use LinkedIn for. The answer to my first question is…you guessed it, every day. How you’re using it is to continue your lifelong networking efforts.

You are making efforts to connect with people at companies for which you want to work, which means you have a target company list. You’re making substantial connections, some of whom you have met for coffee, or at the very least talked with on the phone.

Occasionally you use the Jobs feature to apply for jobs online, but you know this isn’t the most productive way to spend time looking for work. You notice the alumni who work/ed at your target companies, so you reach out to them. You’re stoked if your fraternity brothers work at a few of your target companies. Hey, bro!

Here is a partial list of what you have in place:

  1. A profile that effectively brands you. There’s nothing more that can be done with your profile.
  2. Keywords that put you within the first four pages of profile searches.
  3. More than 1,500 connections, many of whom are recruiters. Yes, it’s cool to connect with recruiters.
  4. Engaging with your connections in a number of ways, such as sharing illuminating industry updates, writing posts on LinkedIn that brand you, asking questions that provoke thought, etc.
  5. In industry groups, where recruiters also hang out, and starting and adding to discussions.
  6. Most importantly, introducing your fellow job seekers to people who can be of assistance.

Coupled with your strong LinkedIn campaign and personal networking, you’re not going to be unemployed too long. Your strategy is straightforward; connect with quality LinkedIn members and create a mutually helpful relationship. As they say, you’re killing it.


Far be it from me to suggest no one joins LinkedIn. The most important thing to discover is why you’re on LinkedIn. Once you’ve determined this, you’ll have to put in the appropriate amount of effort.

Photo: Flickr, Marco / Zak

The 39 most important words in your LinkedIn Summary*

By now I’m sure you’ve noticed that the new LinkedIn profile Summary has been dramatically altered. You’ve noticed that it no longer has a section header and that it is included in the Snapshot area, where only two lines are displayed—or approximately 39 words. If your visitors want to see your whole Summary, they’ll have to click “See more.”

LinkedIn flag

What you might not know is that you must revise your Summary, at least the first 39 words or so. And you should do this quickly. Furthermore, you’ll need to develop a branding statement that grabs the readers’ attention with those 39 words. Failure to do so essentially renders your Summary nonexistent.

This sounds harsh, but the reality is that your Summary is not the one you wrote a year, two years, or three years ago. The folks at LinkedIn are sending a clear message that its new, slimmed down profile has no room for the expanded Summary of old. Too bad.

With the expanded Summary, your value statement/s could be seen at a quick glance, particularly if they where placed within a HIGHLIGHTS section; or if you set them apart with “THE VALUE I DELIVER.” In other words, they couldn’t go missed.

What if busy hiring authorities only read those two revealing lines of 39 words to decide if they’d read the rest of your profile? It’s live or die then. Some hiring authorities have indicated that the profile Summary is something they’ll return to. Why not entice them to click “See more”?

Writing an eye-catching opener

Here are some eye-catching openers from my connections.

Take the direct approach with your call to action. Bobbie Foedisch lets her visitors know how to contact her right off the bat and follows with a branding statement, telling visitors that CCI drives business results.

Bobbie Foedisch
★ (E) bfoedsich@cciconsulting.com
★ (M) 610.457.2561 | (W) 215.527.0237
★ (S) bobbie.foedsich

CCI’s Services Span the Employee Life Cycle, Optimizing Human Capital to drive business results.

There’s no hiding her contact information; she wants to be contacted and is making it easy to do so. Perhaps job seekers should take the same approach.


Talk about your industry. A former client of mine, Gerald Schmidt, begins his Summary with a statement of how new technologies are relevant to product development, and that he’s a player in this arena.

New technologies have the power to transform a business, especially when brought to market in the form of new products and services. That is what I enjoy doing.

Read the rest of his profile to see his major accomplishments. They’ll blow you away.


Show you can help. Sarah Elkins is a storyteller coach who has a strong passion for helping people gain success through telling their stories.

Improve Your Communication Through Storytelling <> Coaching, Workshops, Keynotes <> No Longer Virtual <> I am a consultant, coach, and speaker, and I can help you improve your communication through proven storytelling 

This is  a clear statement about the services Sarah provides for helping people tell their stories.


Say it with confidence. Laura Smith-Proulx is an executive resume writer who makes a very strong opening statement.

Powerful Results for Executives ● http://www.AnExpertResume.com LINKEDIN EXPERT ● FORBES COACHES COUNCIL ●FORMER RECRUITER Become the #1 candidate by partnering with the top TORI-winning executive resume writer. 

Laura’s goes on to tout her achievements. She is one who believes that achievements should be stated up front. I agree.


Use humor. Selling snow to an Eskimo? This is how Donna Serdula explains the difficulty of trying to sell oneself. A little bit of humor can grab a viewer’s attention.

➡ It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, it’s not easy to write about yourself! You can manage complex projects, sell snow to an Eskimo, or lead exceptional teams but sell yourself? That’s HARD! Besides, who can find…

Donna’s statement rings true for many job seekers and salespeople. Her opening makes people want to click “See more.”


Start with your story. Mario M. Martinez is a CEO and founder of Vengreso who had a dream. His dream came true, and he wants to help you succeed.

Almost one year ago, I had a dream. That dream came true on June 20, 2017, when I announced the 7-way merger of the world’s top Digital Selling minds now under one brand. Vengreso is committed to one thing – your sales success! 

I like Mario’s message of meeting a goal and dreaming big.


Start with a quote. Brian Ahearn, Chief Influence Officer, let’s Robert B. Cialdini, PhD speak for him. This is a very effective way of demonstrating his value.

“When Brian Ahearn speaks, people listen. That is so because he knows his material thoroughly, and he knows how to present it superbly. The upshot is that the genuine insights he provides are not just immediately….”

I tell my clients that others’ words can speak louder than theirs. Brian starts with a bang to draw viewers’ attention to his Summary.


Have a strong branding statement like Michael Spence. There’s a lot of strength behind Michael’s 26-word opening statement.

I help executives accelerate growth by improving employee experience and increasing productivity through technology, training, and outsourcing partnerships. I’m motivated by creating win:win relationships and putting…

I read the rest of his Summary and was impressed with the statement: “My teaching roots proved to be a great tool, equipping me to train and boost the intellectual capital, skill development, and performance of others. ” 


The situation is more dire on your smart phone

The bigger challenge is writing a Summary opener for LinkedIn’s app. First of all, visitors only see approximately 10 words. And secondly, they have to know to tap on these words to open your Summary.

So now LinkedIn users have to ask themselves, is the Summary on their computer adequate for their smart phone app? Give it a spin to find out.


*How I came up with the number 39 words

39

My Summary opener contains 39 words. I’m sure the ones I included above contain more or less than 39 words, but mine fails to reach 40.

I empower job seekers to land rewarding careers by delivering today’s job-search and LinkedIn strategies, as well as blogging on these topics. If you’re unemployed, you don’t need to be told how difficult being out of work can be….

When I wrote my 39-word opener, as soon as LinkedIn truncated the Summary, I thought about my contribution to what I do. Although I couldn’t quantify my results with job placement numbers, I tried to think of the most powerful verb I could, “empower.”

 

Photo: Flickr, Coletivo Mambembe

Photo: Flickr, BullyRook

A compilation of 11 LinkedIn posts to help you with your job search

If you’re a beginner on LinkedIn, or even well versed on the platform, these are posts that can help you use LinkedIn more effectively. As LinkedIn makes changes to its platform, I will update these posts to provide you with relevant advice.

LinkedIn Flag

How to brand yourself with your LinkedIn profile

Part 1 of this series. Creating a profile that brands you is the first step in your LinkedIn campaign. It must include a photo, value added Summary, accomplishment-based Experience section, and other sections that can add to your brand.

How to brand yourself by connecting with others

Part 2 of this series. When hiring authorities look at your profile and see that you only have 30 connections, they’re going to move on to another candidate. Why? Because you’re not in the game. You’re not initiating and nurturing relationships.

6 ways to brand yourself by being active on LinkedIn

Part 3 of this series. To stay top of mind, you must engage with your connections. There are a number of ways to do this. You can share articles you find relevant, share industry advice, ask questions, contribute to discussion on your homepage and/or in groups, and more.

There are 5 LinkedIn contributors; which are you?

Have you ever wondered if you are contributing on LinkedIn enough or too much? Discover which type of LinkedIn user you are.

To share is Golden: 8 reasons to share others’ posts

Sharing what others write is a benefit to not only that person, but a benefit to you as well. You come across as someone who cares about your LinkedIn community. This post includes names of people who are great curators.

9 facts about LinkedIn lite profile vs. the LinkedIn profile we knew

This is one of the more popular posts I’ve written. It addresses the way LinkedIn’s profiles have changed. Even as I’m writing this, I’m sure LinkedIn is making more changes.

Three reasons why the LinkedIn Summary is key for career changers

If you’re changing your career, you’ll want to utilize every character in the Summary and explain your career goal.

The 39 most important words in your LinkedIn Summary*

In this popular post, I address the first 39 (approximately) first words of your Summary. Find out why they are important. This post is a good one to read after the previous one.

Great news; LinkedIn expands the extended Experience section

With the changes  that have taken place to LinkedIn, the company makes right on one change it’s made. Now they might want to return the ability to move the sections on the profile around. Read the next post as well.

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

You can’t move the Experience section on your resume, nor the Education, nor Skills and Endorsements. What effect does this have on you?

Six steps to take when using LinkedIn networking for a job

You’re on LinkedIn. You’ve been told it’s a great way to network for a job. This post explains how to use LinkedIn to find a job by using LinkedIn.

2 important rules for connecting on LinkedIn the right way

First, never send default invites

I estimate that I ignore 90% of invites from LinkedIn members, simply because they don’t include a personalized note. In fact, if I accepted all invites I’d probably have 10,000 connections in my LinkedIn network. This is not to brag; I’m just saying.

li-logoWhy am I so adamant about people taking the time to personalize their invites? Short and simple, default invites suck.

The default invite on LinkedIn is: I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn. While it clearly states a hopeful networker’s intent, I need more. Something that tells me why we should connect.

Sending the default invite is akin to going up to someone at a networking event and saying, “Hi. What can you do for me?” It’s insincere and sends the message, “I’m inviting you to be in my network, but I could care less if you join.” Is this the type of message you want to send to a potential networker?

I believe there are three reasons why LinkedIn members don’t personalize their invites.

One, they just don’t get it. Or they haven’t been educated. I can only spread the word to the people who attend my LinkedIn workshops or read my posts. Even then some don’t get it.

Two, they’re using their phone to connect with others on LinkedIn. Although there is a way to send a personalized invite from your phone, most people don’t know how to do it. The process is very simple, so there’s no excuse.

To send an invite from your phone, go to the person’s profile, click the three vertical dots for androids or horizontal dots for iPhones, choose “Personalize invite,” write one, and hit send.

Three, they’re plain lazy. I think this is really the heart of the matter, and I hesitate to say it, especially out loud; but in essence this is what it comes down to. To me, a default invitation is a statement of want without a sign of reciprocation. And this defies the true definition of networking.

lazyI and others, I’m sure, are more likely to accept an invite if a thoughtful note is attached to it. So what should you write if you want someone to join your network?

1. You might have something in common with whom you’re trying to connect. “Hi Susan, I’ve been following your updates and feel that we have a great deal in common. Would you accept an invitation to be in my LinkedIn network?”

2. Maybe you’re the bold type. “Hey, Bob. You and I are in career development. Ain’t that cool? Let’s link up!” I like this confidence, despite the slang.

3. You might want to take the calculated approach. “After reviewing your profile, I’m impressed with its quality and your diverse interests.” A little flattery never hurts.

4. Inviting someone to be part of your LinkedIn network is a perfect way to follow up with that person after a face-to-face meeting. “Sam, it was great meeting with you at the Friends of Kevin networking event. I looked you up on LinkedIn and thought we could stay in touch.”

5. Boost the person’s ego. “Bob, I read one of your posts and thought it was spot on. I’d like to connect with you.” Or “Jason, I saw you speak at the Tsongas Arena and what you said really resonated with me. I’d like to follow up with you.”

These are some suggestions that would entice someone like myself to accept an invite. When I’m sent an invite, I only request a personalized note—it’s not that hard, really. So rather than just hitting the Send Invitation button, take a few seconds to compose something from the heart.


Second, thank people for inviting you to their network

Is there anything worse than sending a “cold,” “lazy,” “uninviting” default message to a potential connection? Yes, it’s not thanking people who invite you to their network. Come on, this goes against what your parents taught you when you were a child.

636072212661198938-231321585_3D-Thank-You-HD-Wallpapers

It just makes common sense. If you receive an invitation to be part of someone’s network, reply to the sender by thanking them for being considered. It’s an honor the sender has chosen you, so show your gratitude.

In effect, this is similar to walking away from a conversation at a social gathering. Would you simply walk away from a conversation without saying, “Thank you for the conversation?” Simply do an about face and make for the door? I would hope not.

What to Write. Your note can begin with, “Thank you for the invite. And thank you for the personalized message.” And if you want to carry on the conversation, you might add, “It would be great to talk about our common interests, as we’re both in (the occupation). I’d be happy to call you at your convenience.”

Also thank your new connection for joining your network. All too often LinkedIn members invite someone to their network and then kill the momentum by not showing their gratitude.

To make professional online networking effective, you must keep the ball in play, keep the lines of communication open. Extend civility and appreciation for someone joining your network.

“Thank you for being part of my network” would suffice. Or you may add, “I invited you to be in my network because we’re both (occupation) or (interested in) and think we can be of assistance to each other.”


Personalizing your invites and saying “Thanks” are two very basic, yet important components of developing a solid relationship with your LinkedIn network.  LinkedIn gives you the option to do neither. Don’t let LinkedIn let you get lazy.

It takes but a few minutes to connect with someone on LinkedIn the right way.

Photo: Flickr, ruijiaoli

Photo: Flickr, Retroeric

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 Flag

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 more extraneous sections follow.

The Experience section is typically the most important one of the big three. The Summary is also important, but LinkedIn’s recent move to truncate it, as well as remove its header, leads one to believe that LinkedIn has demoted it. Wouldn’t you agree?

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’s in the Summary where you will express your value to potential employers, not the Experience section.

Summary

This said, it’s 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.