Category Archives: LinkedIn

4 Thoughts on Sharing Posts on LinkedIn

The problem with public proclamations is that when you make them you have to practice what you preach, lest you be labeled a hypocrite. Case in point, I’ve stated that one should only share three to four posts a week. This means that if I’ve reached four posts by Wednesday, I’m shut off for the week. At least in my mind I am.

Photo by Jopwell on Pexels.com

But, like a diet, this is probably a good thing—making public proclamations, that is. Otherwise I would be flooding my connections’ feeds with content that is forced and without merit. I mean, how does one think of content on a daily basis? Or twice a day, as I’ve seen?

I could be wrong. There are some LinkedIn members who hit the gridiron everyday and seem to be doing fine in terms of the impressions, reactions, and comments they receive for their posts. They believe that by posting everyday they’ll be seen more often and build their brand.

But here’s the question: how long can they maintain the routine? The old fable of the tortoise and the hare is apropos. Eventually you run out of steam and lose the ground you’ve gained. Following are some suggestions for posting.*

Don’t post too often

Seeing an overabundance of posting in my LinkedIn feed gave me the provocation to write this article. It appears that either LinkedIn is encouraging its members to post more often to attain more impressions, reactions, and comments; or people are hearing whispers in their ears to this effect.

I conducted a poll that asked “How many times should one post on LinkedIn?” the results were surprising. My suggestion of posting three to four times a week (26%) came in a long second to posting only one to two times a week (59%). Posting more than five times a week earned 16%, thus supporting my assertion.

Surely posting only once or twice a week isn’t serving your network who rely on your content. As well, you won’t appear on the platform often enough to be remembered and get those numbers of reactions, impressions, and comments you yearn for.

On the other hand, posting every day and more is definitely too much. It says to me that you don’t take at least one day the whole week. I worry for your health and sanity if you think you need to post this often. And, quite honestly, you come across as desperate if you’re posting this often.

Don’t share content that adds no value

Related to posting too often on LinkedIn is failing to provide value to your network. Value is defined as the monetary worth of something. In this sense, value refers to providing worth to your network. This is vague, but think of it this way: you provide an aha moment for everyone who reads, views, or hears your content.

Returning to posting too often, I strongly believe that if you’re sharing original posts more than four days a week, your content will start to lose the value you hope to deliver to your network. There is a water-down effect where your content is diluted and lacks impact.

On the flip-side to not posting enough is losing inertia for posting at least three or four times a week. This happens to the best of us. We ask the muse to speak to us but, alas, she doesn’t. In this case, it’s advised to take a breather rather than posting shite.

I’ve found that including my connections in the articles I post is one way to add value to my network. I call it letting them do the heavy lifting, and my network appreciates it. Doing this also gives my contributors visibility. There are those who don’t share the wealth—perhaps they feel it will affect their brand.

Don’t post and ghost

This is the definition of conceit; you share a post and don’t respond to LinkedIn members’ comments. Often I’ve seen people leave great comments to a long post, but the poster doesn’t respond to their thoughtful comments.

When you don’t respond to others comments, you kill the conversation immediately. Reciprocity is one of the pillars of proper networking. It’s akin to telling someone at a networking event about yourself and then walking away. Is this a way to have a conversation? Of course not.

I’m particularly intolerant of this behavior. When I see a post from someone who does this, I scroll on down my feed. And if someone like this tags me in a post, I don’t engage. I know that if I do, said person will not respond to my comments.

The solution to over-posting

My valued connection, Karen Tisdell, said it nicely; she will comment nine times to every post she shares. This means if she shares a post every day, she will have to comment 63 times. I would never hold Karen to this, but I can tell you that she writes many more comments than posts.

Writing daily comments is really the solution to being top of mind on LinkedIn. It tells LinkedIn members that you’re more interested in continuing a conversation than posting for the sake of posting, or you value their comments and won’t ghost them.

*These suggestions are my humble opinions.

8 Major LinkedIn App Features, and How they Differ From the Computer Platform

It’s estimated that at least 60% of #LinkedIn members use the mobile app. Further, a poll I conducted on LinkedIn showed that 65% of the participants use the the app more than their computer (desktop or laptop).

Those who chose the the computer platform enjoy the ease of use; whereas those who chose the app cite convenience as their reason. Case in point: if I’m writing a long post, I’ll be at my computer. If I’m waiting for my daughter to get out of soccer practice, I’ll be on my LinkedIn app.

I’m going to dive into eight major LinkedIn features on both platforms and discuss how some of features differ between the mobile app and computer platform, so you can understand the advantages and disadvantages of using both.

1. Homepage/Feed

There’s no better place to start than the home page. It isn’t very sexy on the app, but what do you expect from a device that’s approximately 6″x3″?

This is where you’ll usually land if you’re opening the app for the first time in the day. Otherwise you’ll land on whichever page was opened last. This is also where your (ideally) relevant conversation is streaming.

There are many features located on the home page that aren’t obvious to the average user. The features that are easy to find are: Home, My Network, Post, Notifications, and Jobs. In the past they were in a different order than the computer.

Rest assured that the mobile app contains many of the features the computer provides. It’s just a matter of finding said features. One thing that is hard to get used to, at least for me, is locating the Messaging icon on the App. It’s at the top right-hand corner.

The computer platform lays out the features like a landscape canvas (image below). The icons (Home, My Network, Jobs, Messaging, and Notifications) are listed at the top of every page. Groups is conveniently hidden in the Work drop-down. Note how they’re listed in different order on the computer.

Some nice information at your fingertips on the computer platform on the left-hand side are your photo, complete Headline, Who Viewed Your Profile (within the past 90 days if you have premium) Views of your posts, and Your Groups, Recent Hashtags, and others. To access this information on the App, tap on your photo.

2. Search

This feature is extremely powerful. With it you can search for—in this order—People, Posts, Jobs, Companies, Groups, Schools, Events, Courses, and Services. You’ll have to swipe left to find Schools, Courses, Events, and Services.

Every feature you find on the computer (image below) is available on the App, save for All Filters, which we’ll get to shortly.

Doing a search. If you’re searching on the App for people, simply type in an occupation like “program manager” and you’ll have the option to continue your search for the occupation in People, Services, Jobs, Posts, Courses, Schools, Events, Groups, and Companies. Why LinkedIn lists the items in a different order beats me.

Note: Services is a new feature for people who are offering services in various categories. If you select it, you’ll get a drop-down that shows categories like: Consulting, Coaching & Mentoring, Marketing, Operations, Business Consulting. You can also select Add a Service and you’ll get a drop-down of a plethora of services like Financial Analysis, Accounting, Advertising….

Using Search on the App is not as easy to navigate as it is using the computer, but you can find almost all you need with Search.

Filter people by or All filters

This is a powerful feature within Search. If you select People as your search preference, you’ll see a symbol you’ve probably never seen before. It resembles three nob and tubing wires (boxed out on top left of screenshot above).

Not as powerful as the desktop version, it still allows you to narrow your search by: Connections degree, Connections of, Locations, Current company, Past company, School, Industry, Profile language, and Open to.

The computer version provides more features than the app, and Filter people by is way more friendly on your computer than your phone. There are a couple of more options to find people with the computer platform, which include Service categories, and Keywords.

3. Share a post

To start a post, you might have to look hard to find it. In image at the very top, the icon resembles a white cross in a grey box. Clicking on the icon gives you the option to Write a long post of about 1,200 characters but as I said above, writing it with the app can be difficult.

Other features that come with starting a post are: Add a photo, Take a video, Celebrate an occasion, Add a document, Share that you’re hiring, Find an expert, and Create a poll. The app separates itself from the computer with the Take a video feature. It’s not possible to do on the computer but easily done with the app.

Somewhat related to Start a post is a new feature that hasn’t rolled out for everyone. It’s called Cover Story and allows you to record a 30-second elevator pitch. At this writing I haven’t recorded my elevator pitch, but I’ve seen some very good ones.

The computer platform doesn’t allow you to take a video, rather you have to upload it to your hard drive. With your app, you can create a video straight from it.

However, the computer platform allows you to write and revise a Newsletter and create a LinkedIn Live video. It’s a bummer if you only have your phone and want to do any of the aforementioned.

4. Messaging

The most noticeable difference between the mobile app and the desktop for Messaging is that the app’s version is truncated (to left). Only by clicking on your connection’s message can you read the stream of conversation. 

On the desktop you can see the most recent messages you’ve had with a connection or someone with whom you’ve shared InMail. But this is expected, as the desktop has a larger surface.

Both the mobile app and the desktop allow you to search by Unread, My Connections, InMail, Archived, and Spam, albeit in a different order. (Are you getting the sense that the desktop platform is becoming more like the mobile app?)

With both mobile app and the desktop, you can respond to InMails by choosing some buttons, such as Interested, Maybe later, No thanks and other intuitive short responses. Obviously LinkedIn considers this lazy way of responding to be intuitive and clever. I will admit that that I’ve taken the shortcut.

One noteworthy difference is that the mobile app has a feature that suggests an opening verbiage for messages, such as, “Hi (name), I notice you’re also connected with (name).” This feature  is akin to LinkedIn’s default invite message. No thanks.

5. My Network

If you’re looking for the My Network icon, it’s migrated from the top to the bottom of the screen. Clicking on the icon brings you to a the ability to Manage my network, which shows your number of connections. It’s interesting that my number of connections is different from my computer (4,705) and the app (4,046). I wonder which is correct?

Other tidbits of information are: People you follow, #Hashtags you follow, Companies you follow, and other minor details. You can also check out how many Invitations and Sent invites that are pending.

Note: If you want to locate someone by occupation and other demographics, you can use All filters.

Also important to keep in mind is that LinkedIn will suggest people you know (to right). Don’t simply hit Connect, as the invite will be sent without giving you the opportunity to personalize it. Contrary to what many people believe, you can send a personal invite from the App. I’ve made the mistake of sending an invite sans personal invite. The secret, go to the recipient’s full profile on the App.

6. Notifications

This feature allows you to see what your connections have been doing:

  1. Who’s mentioned you in a post
  2. Liked your post, liked a post that mentions you
  3. Is starting a new position
  4. Commented on (someone’s ) post

The differences between this feature on the app and desktop are negligible and hardly worth mentioning. However, there is one major difference: the desktop seems to lag behind the mobile app. In other words, the streaming is slower on the desktop than the app.

7. Companies

Like the desktop, you have to use the Search to access your desired companies. The most important reason to use Companies is to locate people who work for your target companies, which is a bit more cumbersome with the mobile app than the desktop.

To do this you must type the company name into Search and choose People, and then use the Filter tool (boxed out on the image to the right). You can filter by:

  1. Connections (degree)
  2. Connections of
  3. Locations
  4. Current companies
  5. Past companies (not shown)
  6. Industries (not shown)
  7. Schools (not shown)

The only benefit the desktop version offers is the ability to search by Keyword. The other filters are superfluous. Such as Profile language and Nonprofit interests.

In my opinion, this is the most important feature LinkedIn provides, whether on the desktop or mobile app. This is where real online networking happens. In fact, I written an article on the Companies feature.

8. Jobs

You can search for jobs using Search just as easy as clicking on the icon. You avoid a step by using Search.

The Search feature allows you to find jobs, say in Accounting, and then narrowing them down to Location (allow your device to identify your location, if you like), and if you want to take it further, filter by:

  1. Most relevant
  2. Most recent
  3. Determine how many miles you are willing to travel
  4. Only show jobs with which you can apply Easy Apply
  5. Date posted
  6. Company
  7. Experience level
  8. Job type
  9. Industry
  10. Job function

When you’ve chosen a job to investigate, you’ll notice—because of the limited surface—the mobile app is not as robust as the desktop version. Some similarities are:

  1. Number of first degree connections
  2. Number of alumni
  3. Job description
  4. The person who posted the job
  5. Jobs people also viewed
  6. Easy Apply

When you open the LinkedIn app on your smart phone, you’ll see the power, albeit limited, it has to offer. You’ll also see that the desktop version closely resembles the mobile app. If I were to choose between the two, it would be a difficult choice. However, the prospect of opening up the laptop 10 times a day isn’t very appealing.

The Art of Commenting on LinkedIn Posts: 4 Rules to Follow

You have valuable content to share—be it long posts, articles, videos, or audios—but it’s not being seen and appreciated by your audience. You conclude that your efforts are being wasted. They are if all you’re doing is flooding your connections’ feeds with your content.

Photo by Cristian Dina on Pexels.com

One viable form of content not listed in the paragraph above is comments written in response to other LinkedIn members’ posts. While you might be posting like a bandit, you’re losing half the battle if you’re not commenting on what other’s post.

First of all, what not to do

As mentioned above, don’t flood the platform with your content. This is intrusive and, quite honestly, comes across as desperate for attention. I was asked by Orlando Hanyes during an interview on Career Talks how often a person should share content on LinkedIn.

I thought for a moment and responded with, “Enough to not come across as obnoxious.” I continued to say that what’s more important is commenting on the content that members in your network post, because when it comes down to it, you’re really communicating with the LinkedIn community.

You’ve read and heard it said that simply reacting to what others post is not enough, and it’s not. I’m guilty of doing this on occasion, but it’s usually because I’ve received the same treatment from the people who are quick to hit “like” and move on to other posts. I need to be better than those who simply react.

For job seekers, avoid simply reacting to what others on LinkedIn post. Follow the the key elements of commenting mentioned below. You’ll find it to be hard work, but it’s essential to being noticed on LinkedIn.

How to properly comment

If you’re someone who needs to know the quantified length of words for a comment, I won’t provide it. The reason is because a one-word comment might be as effective as a 200-word comment. But this is very rarely the case. It’s been stated that a five-word comment is the minimum.

What’s most important is the value of your comments. One thing I advise my clients to do is read the post or article, listen to the podcast, or watch the whole video before commenting on them. The person who produces content probably put a lot of effort into it and would like to know it wasn’t all in vein.

There’s nothing more annoying than someone writing, “Great post” and leaving it at that. This is a great opportunity to continue the conversation started by the poster. Also consider ending your comments with a question. I’ve seen a post take on a life of its own because of the comments it generated.

Let me give you an example, in its entirety, of a comment that shows effort on the commenter’s part. My valued connection, Wendy Schoen, wrote the following 200-word comment to one of my articles:

Bob McIntosh This is, by far, the most complete and well thought out set of interview advice, including video interview advice, I have ever seen in my 30 years of recruiting. I will be sure that all of my candidates see it from this point forward...

I would like to add an additional point to it however. Please remember that an interview is a two way conversation and that you want to make sure that at the conclusion of the interview the interviewers leave knowing all of the things about you that you wanted them to know.

I suggest that you choose the 3-5 most important things and make sure that you work those things into an answer you give somewhere during the interview. If, however, you get to the end and there is one point you have yet to bring up, when the interviewer asks if you have any questions, you ask a question that starts a conversation that allow you to bring up your last point!”

Note: did you notice that Wendy tagged me? By doing this, I saw in my Notifications that she commented on my article. Make sure when you comment on someone’s content that you give them a heads-up. They’ll appreciate this.

Reciprocation is key to success

It might seem counterintuitive but in order to receive, you need to give. This is the essence of networking. It’s also good manners.

Here’s how it works: in the course of your search for content to consume, you happen upon three posts, two articles, and one video that are written by your connections. For each one, you write a substantial comment of anywhere between 20 to 30 words (again, an arbitrary number).

The LinkedIn members who produced the content and see your comments will naturally feel they should return the favor whenever you produce content. I explained to Orlando Haynes that this is the natural flow of communicating on LinkedIn.

Comment within reason. Of course you can’t comment on everyone’s posts. That would require you to spend the majority of your day on LinkedIn. I have two rules when it comes to reciprocation.

  • Put a healthy limit on how much commenting you’ll do. Another one of my valued connections, Karen Tisdell, uses a 9:1 ration. In other words, she attempts to write nine comments to every post she produces. Karen also states that you can “suck the air” out of previous content by posting too often.
  • Write more in your comments than your connections do. I mentioned above that if someone only reacts to what I produce, I’ll do the same; but this is only if it’s a recurring theme.

Helping the poster helps you

There’s power in alignment with LinkedIn members who have sway; dare I say, are influencers. While this doesn’t help you immediately, eventually you will become known by the LinkedIn community.

Job seekers should get in the habit of commenting on as many posts they can. Their face and tagline will appear more often, especially when they comment on posts written by people who have a large following. (Don’t take this to mean that you stalk members with a large following.)

If you want people to engage with your posts, you need to engage with them first. Remember reciprocation? I asked Kevin Turner, whom I consider to be extremely knowledgeable in all things LinkedIn, what he considers to be the benefits of commenting on LinkedIn:

“Commenting is definitely part of the overall platform math. Value add commenting (not drive-bys) on others’ posts is showing engagement within the community and [In] values that as part of your predictive [nature].

If the Author is highly followed and respected, one of the biggest values for a commenter is alignment, basically riding their coat tails. If the Author, as described above, is outside of your 1st or 2nd level connections the biggest benefit may be reach. The other biggest value is in building a support reputation and perhaps some return reciprocity.

Is Commenting as valued by [In] as Posting and Nurturing that conversation, absolutely not. I do believe many Creators push it because in its own sense, it is self serving. The more the Author convinces others that commenting is a big deal, the better their posts do.


Although LinkedIn doesn’t count your comments in their algorithm (a four-step process including: creating content, user flagging, universal filtering, and finally human editing, any content that passes with flying colors will reach your feed), it reasons that the more you comment on “quality posts,” the more you’ll be noticed by top contributors.

Another valued connection of mine, Erica Reckamp, made it her mission to comment on as many posts as she could. I reached out to her one day and asked when she would start posting her own content, because what she wrote in form of comments was truly outstanding. Her response was something akin to, “In good time.” Now she is posting on a regular basis.

Enough with the Excuses, Promote Your Greatness with Your Resume and LinkedIn Profile

Four areas on your resume and six on your profile.

Talking with a client the other day, we had a conversation about the difference between bragging and promoting one’s greatness. Now, I’m the last person who would outright brag. Promote my greatness in a factual way? Sure. But brag, that isn’t me.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

And by no means was I suggesting that my client brag. I pointed out that her resume and LinkedIn profile lacked the oomph that would impress employers and separate her from every other job candidate.

Here’s the thing about your resume and LinkedIn profile: you are given permission to promote your greatness…in a factual way. You are not encouraged to brag; there’s a difference. So, let’s break this down in simple terms.

Your resume

There are four areas where you are encouraged to write about your greatness. They are your Summary, Skills and Experience sections, and even Education.

Summary

In the Summary it’s imperative that you convey the greatness you will deliver to the employer. Make it brief. No hiring authority wants to read a 10-line paragraph. You might decide to go with bullet points to separate the major areas of value. Here’s an example:

  • Workers Compensation Director with expertise ranging from examining claims to developing and marketing managed-care products and services
  • Establish relationships with partners in the Northeast region, exceeding managements’ expectations
  • Design products and provide services that Saves millions of dollars for client companies

Avoid using cliches like “results oriented,” “ingenious,” “outstanding,” to name a few. You get the picture. They do nothing to promote your value.

Skills

The Skills section is where you list the skills that are pertinent to the position at hand. Don’t be shy. Highlight at least nine skills mentioned in the job ad in order of priority. Reading the job ad you notice the following skills required for a marketing manager:

Strategic Sales

Branding

Media Relations

Promotions

Client Relations

Strategic Partnership

Market Planning

Event Coordination

Project Management

Your greatness is proven by knowing which skills to include in this section. If you list skills that aren’t relevant, you’re missing the mark. You will further backup your skills in the Experience section.

Experience

The Experience section is king when it comes to your resume. It’s where you must demonstrate your greatness. Again, avoid lofty platitudes that carry no weight. If you want to come across as a great sales person, prove it.

  • Increased company revenue 65%—in a turbulent economyby following up on sales made 2 years prior. Earned “Employee of the Year” for 2020

Prove you’re an outstanding IT specialist who can increase productivity and were acknowledged for your efforts.

  • Increased productivity of Sales Team 50% by initiating and implementing Infusionsoft software 2 weeks before 3-month deadline. Received accolades from CEO

Wondering if you should use metrics in your accomplishment statements, read Should You Have Metrics on Your Resume and LinkedIn Profile?.

Education

Even your Education section can demonstrate your greatness. Don’t be hesitant to let employers know what you accomplished 20 years ago; if you earned it, tout it.

Bachelor of Science, Software Engineering
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
Summa Cum Laude, in the top 5% of graduating class

You’re a smart cookie, so show it.

Hint: one strong suggestion is to make your resume easy to read. Here’s an article that explains how. 7 Ways to Make Your Resume Easier for Hiring Authorities to Read.

LinkedIn profile

There are six areas where you should express your greatness. They are your background image/banner; Headline; and About, Experience, Education, and Recommendation sections.

Background image

Promoting your greatness with your LinkedIn profile is a bit different; there are more ways in which to do it. It’s not bragging, for instance, to post a background image/banner. Make it relevant to the work you do or industry you’re in. Even make it about what you enjoy doing.

To learn more about the importance of a background image, read 4 Reasons Why Your LinkedIn Background Image Shouldn’t Be Ignored.

Headline

Tons of articles have been written about the Headline. Instead of getting into all of that, check out the list of LinkedIn voices job seekers should follow. There are about 100 plus people on it. Ergo the title, The Ultimate List of 100+ LinkedIn Voices Job Seekers Should Follow.

Check out their Headlines to see which ones draw your attention. These are LinkedIn members who are definitely worth following for the content they deliver on LinkedIn..

About

Again, much has been written about this section of the profile. In an article called 16 LinkedIn Pros Talk about Creating a Powerful About Section, the common theme is telling your story and starting with a hook.

The secret behind the success of these pros is their lack of reluctance to promote their greatness. I tell my clients to let loose some accomplishments to whet the appetite of hiring authorities who visit their profile. They don’t need to be saved for the Experience section.

Experience

This is a section where you should show your greatness with quantified results. Similar to your resume, the accomplishment statements should include actions and positive results, but not necessarily in this order. I’m a fan of leading with quantified results followed by actions.

Their are two points I make with your About and Experience sections. First, write it in first-person point of view. Second, only include the outstanding accomplishments. Let hiring authorities look at your resume to learn about the other stuff.

How would writing about your greatness in first-person point of view look? Take the aforementioned accomplishment statement above.

  • I Increased productivity of Sales Team 50% by initiating and implementing Infusionsoft software 2 weeks before 3-month deadline. As a result, I received accolades from CEO

This makes the Experience section of your profile more conversational, gives it a personal tone.

Read why the LinkedIn Experience section shouldn’t be ignored. The Majority of Hiring Authorities Read the LinkedIn Profile Experience Section First, so Make It Shine.

Education

Similar to the outline of your resume, the next profile section is Education. You guessed it; this section must also tell a story. Also similar to your resume, it includes the same information, degree you earned, academic institution, and year of graduation if you choose to list.

You can take it further than you would on your resume. In addition to the above information, LinkedIn encourages you to tell a story that includes any designation you earned, as well as what you did while at university. Here’s an example.

University of Massachusetts Amherst
Master’s Degree, English/Technical Writing
Grade: Magna Cum Laude

(You can provide a description of your time at university) This was one of the most exciting times of my life, as my wife and I were beginning our family. During this time, I interned at Mount. Holyoke College as a career advisor. This is where I learned I wanted to be in career development.

Recommendations

Let’s skip to the next section where you can demonstrate your greatness. This is Recommendations which is, unfortunately, anchored in the basement of your profile. This said, you can direct visitors of your profile from the About section to your recommendations.

A statement at the bottom of About like, “If you want to see my recommendations, scroll to the bottom of my profile.”

Your recommendations will do the speaking for you. You aren’t required to display every recommendation written for you, so only display the ones that speak highly of your greatness.


There you have it. Your resume and LinkedIn profile provide you with plenty of opportunities to promote your greatness. Don’t give up these opportunities. Grab hold of them like a python, because if you don’t you’ll be like the other job seekers, normal.

Should Your Resume/LinkedIn Profile Include Metrics? 65% Of Voters Say YES

Metrics in the form of numbers, percentages, and dollars give your resume’s and LinkedIn profile’s accomplish statements power and separate you from the fold. They cause readers to take note. They complete the story. They show proof.

Photo by Mati Mango on Pexels.com

Based on a poll I conducted on LinkedIn, 65% of voters said metrics on your job-search documents are important to have, 25% voted “No,” and 10% stated, “It depends.” The poll is still active with 1,334 people who have voted.

Executive Resume Writer Adrienne Tom says it well: “Numbers provide the proof. Anyone can say they are good at something in their resume. Anyone. The only way an employer can tell exactly how good you are is to back up your claim with numbers and specifics. Provide the proof.”

An accomplishment statement consists of an action (what you did) and a result (hopefully quantified with #s, $s, and %s). Simply providing a statement is devoid of a positive impact on the company, or an accomplishment.

Conversely, listing only the quantified positive result fails to explain to the reader how you were able to achieve the result. Some job candidates do half the job of writing an accomplishment statement by doing this.

Following is an example of a project manager who led a team of 6 software engineers to complete four major projects in one year. They were able to complete the projects before estimated time, thus saving the company cost on salary.

Duty
Championed a team of 6 software engineers completing 4 projects in 2020.

The problem with the duty alone is it doesn’t show the positive impact on the company. Here’s the positive impact on the company.

Quantified result
Saved the company $493,020 in projected salary.

You see that to only list the quantified result robs the reader of learning how the person achieved it. Following is the full accomplishment statement.

Saved the company $493,020 in projected salary by championing a team of 6 software engineers to complete 4 projects in 2020. The projected number of projects was 3.

An 18-wheel truck driver traverses the country on an annual basis. On their resume or LinkedIn profile, the candidate simply writes a duty: “Drove 18-wheel truck across the US.

Not nearly as impressive as: “Traversed the US 200,000+ miles annually, accomplishing a perfect safety record and earning Top Driver out of 30 employees for fastest hauler.

Better: “Earned top driver out of 30 employees for fasted hauler by traveling the US 200,000+ miles annually; achieved perfect safety record.

We can assume this truck driver saved money for their employer based on being the fastest hauler, and saving money equals increasing revenue. Alas, these figures aren’t available to the driver.

Laura Smith-Proulx provides an accomplishment statement that contributed to her latest TORI win (Best Classic High Tech resume):

Growth Imprint: Elevated Advantech to #2 market ranking by developing and deploying Demand Response product at global customers (now running 38%+ of all US electricity). Promoted offering at World AI IoT Congress.

Biron Clark offers an accomplish statement for a customer service rep who improved a process in their role.

Saved business $29,000 in 2019 by implementing new customer service process that reduced customer refund requests by 9%

Saving costs and increasing revenue ain’t all that matters

What you’ve accomplished in your most recent experience isn’t only about saving costs or increasing revenue; although, that’s great. Companies and organizations appreciate these two accomplishments. But what if you don’t have the numbers for metrics?

Jessica Sweet: While I will agree that numbers are important Bob, I will also say that not everything that is important can be measured by numbers. Improving morale – can you quantify that? Maybe you can quantify the increased productivity, but the fact that people don’t have ulcers anymore or aren’t on the verge of divorce because of the stress.

Coaching younger employees – can you quantify that? Maybe there’s less turnover or better performance, but the fact that you stick in their mind as the best boss ever, even 30 years later, and the one that inspired them to have a great career?

So there’s other things you can’t put numbers around that really, really matter.”

I agree that it isn’t always possible to provide metrics in your accomplishment statements. One solution might be using a quote, as such:

“Shannon has brought innovative supply chain strategies to (company) which made us more efficient and save cost. Our customers were extremely pleased with Shannon’s attention to their needs.” Bob Jones, VP Operations, ABC Company

Or simply state your value to the company/organization.

Frequently acknowledge by manager for providing the best service to our patients; earned “Employee of the Year, 2020.

Nii Ato Bentsi-Enchill provides a great example of an accomplishment statement which doesn’t contain a quantified result:

Designed ‘New Product Validation Program’ from scratch, enabling for the first time onsite initial quality verification to improve non-conforming parts prior to new vehicle launch, vastly reducing reliance on external labs.”


One person who wrote a comment for the poll I conducted said it nicely when it comes to quantifying results, or not:

Matt Warzel: Yes all resumes should have some focus on KPIs and bottom-line accomplishments. If you have sales, metrics, etc. use them! If not (or they have to remain confidential), turn your sentences in accomplishments still focused on operational impact, but without the figures. Streamlined efficiency, drove revenue gains, reduced waste, optimized workflow, saved money, etc…

The Majority of Hiring Authorities Read the LinkedIn Profile Experience Section First, so Make It Shine

Most hiring authorities (recruiters, hiring managers, and HR) who read many LinkedIn profiles at a sitting will tell you that the Experience section is where they will go first when reading a LinkedIn profile. Not the About or Education sections.

Amazon recruiter Amy Miller states this in her recent YouTube video, How Do Recruiters Look at LinkedIn Profiles? Amy’s not the only recruiter who’s made the claim that hiring authorities prefer reading Experience first. Eighty-two percent (82%)* of hiring authorities I asked also agreed that they go to Experience first.

Bernadette Pawlik explains how she reads a LinkedIn profile: “Titles all the way down, Experience, then About. With LinkedIn profiles and with resumes, I quickly scan down the left hand side. A recruiter isn’t going to excavate your profile for your qualifications.

So, think of the LinkedIn profile as the menu and your resume as the entree. Titles should reflect your roles, Experience should very briefly outline context, responsibilities, and one or two accomplishments.

Marie Zimenoff, of CareerThoughLeaders.com, adds: “Although the About section may be first in a profile, there are a few reasons a recruiter or hiring manager will likely start with the Experience section when reading a profile.

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

Invest more in your Experience section: 5 ways to do it

Given that Experience is preferred over About, it makes sense that you put your all into making it stronger. It’s been my experience that most job seekers don’t put as much effort into creating a strong Experience section as they do their About.

Is this because they’re encouraged by career coaches to beef up their About? I advise my clients to write a strong About section, telling their “story.” However, I also tell them they can also tell their story in Experience; that they can use first-person point of view even. Here is how Experience should be written.

1. Experience needs to tell a better story. Don’t have verbiage for your Experience section? A quick fix of copying the content of your resume to your profile is the first step; however, you’re not done yet.

You still have to modify Experience to make it more personal, more of a networking piece of your document. This means your point of view should be first-person and, of course, include quantified results.

Start with a job scope to craft your story. For example: “As the Director of Marketing Communications, ABC Company, I planned, developed, and executed multi-channel marketing programs and performance-driven campaigns, using digital marketing principles and techniques to meet project and organization goals.”

Use first person point of view for your accomplishments to tell a story. Take, for example, an accomplishment statement from a resume might read: “Volunteered to train Sales Team on Salesforce, increasing the team’s output by 75%.

Better: I extended my training expertise by volunteering to train Sales Team on Salesforce. All members of the team were more productive as a result of my patient training style, increasing the team’s output by 75%.

2. Utilize SEO by expanding your title. Did you know that the titles of your positions are weighed heavily in terms of keywords?

Ed Han is a recruiter who talks about the importance of titles in Experience: “There are several places where keywords are weighted more heavily than other parts of your profile. One area where they are weighted pretty heavily is in the Experience section.”

According to Ed, this would be wrong: CEO at ABC Company.

This would be better: CEO at ABC Company ~ New Business Development | Global Strategic Relationships | Increasing Market Share 74% 2020-2021

3. Expand the description of your role, no matter who you are.  You’re a VP, director, or CEO; so you think that says it all. Wrong! At the very least, your leadership as a director of an organization plays an essential role in its success.

  • What is the scope of your authority?
  • How have you helped the organization grow?
  • Have you contributed to the community or charities?
  • Have you turned around failing companies and made them more profitable?

Remember, you’re representing the organization. Your overall responsibilities and highlights will catch the eyes of hiring authorities. Here’s an example from one of my former clients of his job scope followed by a few accomplishment statements:

In this position, I was one of only four executives/staff retained in acquisition of Company ABC to remotely direct global sales, marketing, and product management. I created competitive analysis, technology roadmap, and product marketing for business unit success.

Highlights
Increased gross profit 9% year-over-year through BU cost reduction, improving product procurement process, negotiating vendor contracts, and owning product pricing structure.
Generated revenue growth of 76% by improving forecast accuracy, lead generation, engaging with key marketing influencers, and conducting technical workshops,
Expanded global sales by 20% through improved lead and opportunity management, technical training, identifying new markets, and improving channel partner experience.

Note: In this case, my client didn’t write his accomplishments in first-person point of view.

4. Stick with the accomplishments, ditch the mundane duties. There are two ways you can look at your position descriptions; you can stick with only the accomplishments, or you can mimic your resume.

I’m in the opinion that your accomplishments alone would impress hiring authorities more than all your duties and a few accomplishments.

You’re probably proud of those duties and don’t want to let them go. Here’s the thing, accomplishments speak much louder than duties. Unless you can turn those duties into accomplishments with quantified results (or perhaps qualify them), I suggest you ditch them.

After reading your flashy, personal LinkedIn profile Experience section, hiring authorities can turn to your resume to get the whole picture. Don’t disappoint them by presenting duplicate versions of the two documents.

Add some zing to your Experience. Few people know that you can bold text on the LinkedIn profile. I’m going to let you in on how to do it. Go to: LingoJam.

Copy what you want to bold and paste it into the field on the left. Your bolded text will appear in the box on the left. Here’s an example from my profile:

❍ 𝗜 𝗿𝗲𝗰𝗲𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝟮𝟬𝟭𝟵 𝗠𝗮𝘀𝘀𝗛𝗶𝗿𝗲 𝗜𝗻𝗴𝗲𝗻𝘂𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗮𝘄𝗮𝗿𝗱 for my part in delivering webinars on various job-search topics for MassHire Lowell Career Center. 🏆

What this? There’s an award trophy at the end of the sentence. Yes, you can also use emojis on your profile. One of my favorite sites for emojis is Susan Joyce‘s article on Job-Hunt.org. Susan makes it easy to copy and paste the emojis, which she calls eye candy. There are other sites that provide “eye candy.”


What do LinkedIn’s new changes to About and Experience sections tell us? Kevin Turner, Jeff Young, and Gillian Whitney collaborated on a project that boiled down to some minor changes to About and Experience. About displays four lines opposed to three, and Experience displays only two lines.

LinkedIn’s efforts to emphasize About and de-emphasize Experience won’t change hiring authorities’ opinion on which section they’ll go to first. For the majority of them it will be Experience.

*A current poll reveals recruiters and others prefer Experience by only 61%.

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels.com

The Ultimate LinkedIn Profile Guide: a Look at 16 Major Sections

In this article, I revisit the LinkedIn profile to discuss what was and what is. Creating a profile that brands you is the ultimate purpose of your LinkedIn profile. However, your profile alone won’t effectively accomplish this goal; you also need to create a focused network and engage with your connections.

linkedin-alone

Although not a lot has changed since August 2018 when I wrote the original article, there are changes worth mentioning.

Brand or Message

This is more important than many people realize. If you don’t create your profile with a clear brand or message in mind, you’ll have an unfocused profile. Delivering a message that expresses your value consistently is key to keeping your brand alive.

What is: The goal remains the same and is more important than ever considering COVID-19 has sidelined us from in-person networking. Online branding spills over to in-person branding when if you reach out to people after you’ve connecting with them. Case in point, when I meet someone in person, I’m often told they’ve seen my profile, posts, and articles.

Major profile sections

1. Background image

Your background image is your first chance to brand yourself on your profile. It is important to use a photo that is relevant to your work or what you enjoy doing. Your image should be sized at 1,584 by 396 pixels for the best results.

What is: More job seekers are getting the message that their background image, also called background banner, is a necessity, lest they want the bland image LinkedIn provides (see below). My valued colleague, Kevin Turner, would call this #blanding.

2. Profile photo

If you think a photo is unnecessary, you are sadly mistaken. A profile sans photo gives the impression you can’t be trusted. In addition, people won’t recognize and remember you. LinkedIn says profiles with photos are 21 times more likely to be viewed than those without.

What is: Your photo is a huge part of your brand. You don’t have to necessarily dress to the nines for it. Just look professional and presentable. This is one area of the profile where I haven’t seen a huge difference. However, LinkedIn users are pushing the limit, as illustrated by Recruiter Amy Miller‘s photo. I think this works for her.

3. Headline

Perhaps the most critical component of your branding, your headline tells readers your title and areas of expertise. Don’t scrimp on this one — it carries a lot of weight when optimizing your profile. You have 120 characters to use — make them count.

What is: LinkedIn increased the character count to 220 for all, which allows you to tell a longer story. I’m a huge fan of the extended Headline, as it contributes to your story and keywords. My Headline (below) is about 180 characters long. This allows me to include four titles, a tagline, an accomplishment, and my hashtag.

In this article, 15 LinkedIn pros talk about creating a powerful LinkedIn profile Headline.

4. About (formerly Summary)

Much has been written about the About section, so I’m going to spare you the verbiage and simply say your summary must tell your story. It needs to articulate your passion for what you do, how well you do it, and a call to action (how you can be reached).

What is: There’s been a significant change here in terms of character count. At this initial writing the count was 2,000. Now it’s 2,600. What is one to do with the additional 600 characters? I personally didn’t add much to my About, other than excerpts from Recommendations.

Think the About section isn’t important? Recruiter Bernadette Pawlik reads About before going onto the Experience section.

5. Dashboard

In the past, your dashboard area contained a lot of handy information: views of your profile, views of your latest post, and the number of searches you appeared in. In addition, you could ask for career advice, turn on “career interests,” and check out the salary range for your position.

What is: Now the area is divided in two with Analytics above Resources.

Creator Mode was introduced which has been a deal maker for me. I created a newsletter, which you’re reading now, and can start a LinkedIn Live — I’ll pass.

Career Advice and Career Interests used to be included in Your Dashboard. It still shows the number of your followers, as well as the number of views for your recent posts. Two nice touches are having access to your network and easy access to your saved items.

Career Interests has morphed into Providing Services. You can also indicate that you’re open to work by selecting Open to in the Snapshot area. As well, you can choose to don the #OpenToWorkBanner, which leaves me with mixed feelings.

6. Articles and activities

This area below your dashboard is visible to everyone who visits your profile. Visitors will see how many articles you’ve written and the number of posts you’ve shared. When I see very little info in the activities section, that means the person hasn’t made an effort to engage with their network.

What is: This section hasn’t changed and it’s still an area I look at to see how much my clients are engaging on LinkedIn. I’m adamant about my clients not only reacting (Liking) to posts, but also commenting on them. Better yet, they should write their own posts.

7. Experience

Too often, people skimp on the details in their Experience section. This is particularly the case with C-level job seekers. You don’t need to include everything, but your major accomplishments are required. Note: Your job titles carry significant weight in terms of keywords.

What is: If you are in the job hunt, you need to give hiring authorities a greater picture of what you did. Focus on the accomplishments. Read this compilation of LinkedIn Experts who offer their opinions of the Experience section: 13 LinkedIn pros talk about creating a powerful LinkedIn Experience section.

8. Education

Don’t be afraid to add a little more character here than you would on your resume. Were you a D1 athlete? Mention that under “Activities and Societies.” Did you complete your degree while working full-time? Mention that in the “Description” area.

What is: Nothing has changed here, but I still tell my clients that this is a section where they can continue to brand themselves by adding more description of what occurred when they attended school.

Plus: One of the best ways to brand yourself as a hard worker and possess time-management skills is to write that you earned your degree while working full-time. That’s if you did, of course.

9. Volunteer experience

Don’t neglect this area. Employers appreciate people who give to their communities. This is also a section where you can showcase your personality. Your volunteerism doesn’t have to be job-related. But if it is and is extensive, list it in your experience section.

What is: I’ll continue to promote this area on a LinkedIn profile. Sadly, too many people don’t list their volunteerism, thinking it’s not pertinent. Well, it is.

10. Skills and endorsements and Recommendations

You can list a total of 50 skills, and others can endorse you for those skills. Take advantage of this section, as recruiters pay attention to the number and types of skills you have. When you apply for a job through LinkedIn’s “Easy Apply” feature, the number of skills you have for the job are counted.

11. Recommendations

Once considered one of the top features, Recommendations (seen above) have been relegated to the basement of your profile. Should you continue to ask for and write recommendations in light of this change? In my opinion, yes. Recruiters will continue to read them.

What is: I would like to report that Recommendations can be moved toward the top of your profile, but this hasn’t been the case for many years. The best you can do is direct people to your recommendations from the About section, as I have done at the bottom of my About .

12. Additional, previously Accomplishments

One of the major blunders LinkedIn has committed was anchoring Accomplishments in the basement of the profile. I say this because important information lay within, including lists of projects, organizations, publications, and patents.

What is: LinkedIn recently made a slight improvement by breaking out important sections within Additional. To add important sections, you need to select Add additional sections from the dropdown (you must hover over the top of your profile to activate the dropdown).

Note: like Volunteer experience, Skills, and Recommendations, you’ll have to direct reader to this section from your About section.

13. Interests

What is: This section shows visitors your interests in influencers, companies, groups, and schools. Recruiters might glean some information about you, based on the groups you’ve joined and the companies and schools you follow.

Profile Extras

When this article was first written, this section was called Rich media and resided in your Summary (now called About), Experience, and Education sections. Here you can post videos, audio files, documents, and PowerPoint presentations. See this as your online portfolio.

What is: This section is much approved. One click and you are taken to the media of your choice. I call this an extra because this feature isn’t used as much as LinkedIn would like. This is too bad, as it is your online portfolio.

15. LinkedIn Publishing and Newsletter

LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to blog on topics of interest and share the posts with your connections. If you’re consistent in blogging, you’ll develop a following. Promoting your blog is entirely up to you. In the past, whenever you published, your connections would receive notification of your posts. Not so anymore.

What is: Not a great deal to report here in regard to changes. LinkedIn still doesn’t push out the articles published on their platform. Approximately 1MM of its users utilize Write an Article. Some members have been granted a newsletter license, and it’s not clear why only a handful are.

Correction: as mentioned above, if you turn on Creator mode, you will have access to your own newsletter and LinkedIn Live. LinkedIn will push out your newsletter and notice of publication will appear in your email, if you choose email notification. Click here to subscribe to my newsletter.

16. Video

Video is becoming more important to stand out on social media. A good video must contain content that is relevant to your network. Small technical things like smiling, proper lighting and sound, and a steady camera are important.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10 Reasons Why Hiring Authorities Dread Reading Your LinkedIn Profile

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

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

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

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

Following are 10 reason why hiring authorities dread reading your profile

1. They can’t find you

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

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

2. It’s your resume

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

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

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

3. Your photo is of poor quality

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

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

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

4. Your Headline is your job title and company

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

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

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

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

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

5. You’re hiding your email address

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

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

6. There’s no bling in Featured

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

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

7. Your About section doesn’t tell your story

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

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

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

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

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

Another recruiter values a strong About section and wants to know where you’re going in your career:

Kristen Fife (she/her/hers:) You know what I care about? What you are looking for (About section), and what your career trajectory looks like – who do you work for, what is your title, and WHAT DO YOU ACTUALLY DO? I could care less about your photo or headline.

8. You don’t emphasize your accomplishments in Experience

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

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

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

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

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

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

9. You don’t utilize description in Education

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

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

10. You leave your Volunteer section blank

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

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


One more, your Activities section is a wasteland

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


What others have to say on this topic

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

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

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

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

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

Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich on Pexels.com

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

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

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

Hiding

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

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

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

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

Reasons why job seekers don’t list their contact info

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

It never occurred to them

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

They don’t want spam

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

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

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

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

Where to list your contact info on your profile

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

4. Experience

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

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

3. Headline

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

2. Contact Info section

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

Below is where your Contact info resides on your profile.

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

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

See contact info

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

1. About

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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