Category Archives: LinkedIn

9 ways to use LinkedIn to shorten your job search

If you’re searching for a job, LinkedIn can shorten your search. You’ve probably been told this, but it’s well worth repeating. Hopefully this article will be the push you need to dust off the profile you started years ago but forgot about it like your mother-in-law’s birthday.

LinkedIn mobile

Will using LinkedIn alone guarantee that you land your next gig? No; LinkedIn is a great supplement to your in-person networking, but you need to engage in both for a strong networking campaign.

So, how can LinkedIn help you land a job? There are at least eight ways LinkedIn can be one of your best friends in the job search.

It’s where hiring authorities hang out

Almost every recruiter I talk with says LinkedIn is the place to find talent. To them it’s like their favorite diner. Estimates of the percentage of recruiters who use LinkedIn to find talent range from 87 to 95 percent. Either way you slice it, these figures are astonishing.

I’m never surprised these days when clients tell me they were introduced to a company from a recruiter who found their profile on LinkedIn. It also doesn’t surprise me when I’m told my clients were contacted by the VP or president of an organization.

To this point, it’s not only recruiters who look for talent on LinkedIn. Human resources departments, hiring managers, even C-level employees will utilize LinkedIn’s search capabilities.


Your profile is similar to your online résumé but offers more

You might have noticed that the sections of your profile are anchored. Further, you might have noticed that your profile is ordered similar to your résumé. This is because recruiters prefer it this way.

Even so, recruiters will only find your LinkedIn profile if it’s complete and keyword optimized—similar to your résumé up against an applicant tracking system. Like your resume, recruiters expect to see the value you’ll bring to their client.

But let’s be clear, your profile is not your résumé. I often run across profiles that are simply a cut and paste of their résumé. While the two are similar, there are some major differences.

One major difference is that your résumé is sent out in response to a job post, whereas your profile draws hiring authorities to you. Think of your résumé as push technology and your profile as pull technology.

Your résumé should be tailored to each job; your profile doesn’t change as often. Therefore, your profile is more inclusive.

Your profile is also written in first-person- or third-person-point of view. It should tell your story through:

  • a relevant background image,
  • quality photo,
  • branding Headline,
  • accomplishment statements with quantitative results throughout, and
  • personable About and Experience sections.

This last point is what makes the LinkedIn profile more enjoyable to read for me. I love a well-told story woven throughout the profile. The résumé comes across as factual and less personable.

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


Create a focused network of quality and quantity

Here’s the thing: you can reach out to a bazillion people—LinkedIn’s limit is 30,000—but what good is that if you never interact with a majority of them?

Nonetheless, your LinkedIn network should be focused more on quality, not quantity. What’s a good number of connections I’m asked.

I tell my clients who have started their job search after many years of having to look that 250 connections is respectable. However, they won’t be taken seriously until their network is closer to 500 plus.

The big question is with whom you should connect. The short answer to this is the people who will be of mutual assistance. Your former colleagues are a no-brainer.

Seek out like-minded people next. These are people who do work similar to you, are in the same industry. If you work with recruiters, connect with the ones who serve your industry. They have a pipeline of employers of whom you might not be aware.

I Strongly suggest connecting with people who work in companies for which you want to work. Do this before jobs are advertised at said companies. The idea is to build your foundation before jobs are advertised; penetrate the Hidden Job Market.

Read Ultimate LinkedIn guide, Part 2: How to optimize your LinkedIn network.


Research companies and the people who work there

As I’ve strongly suggested, you should have a list of companies for which you’d like to work. Your list can include 10-15 companies or more. Remember, these are only companies of interest. You can follow companies and research them on their LinkedIn company page.

Of more value is connecting with current and previous employees at these companies. To access these potential connections:

  1. Type in Search the company’s name. I chose IBM.
  2. In the sidebar, click People. I came up with 583,133 employees.
  3. Narrow your search with filters. Here’s my string: IBM, Greater Boston, University of Massachusetts.
  4. My count is now four people who follow that criteria.

With a manageable number of LinkedIn profiles, I can read them with ease. I’m interested in if they currently work there or worked there, their previous experience, their Volunteer Experience, and other information with which we have something in common.

Your next step is to send an invite to people of interest. Do not make the ask in your first invite; rather comment on their posts, send personal messages, and engage with them in other ways. When a job becomes available, contact them to see if they can be of assistance, tell you more about the position or possibly deliver your résumé to the hiring manager.


Engage with your network

Once you’ve developed your network, you need to engage with them. This means sending personal messages, commenting on their posts or articles, creating your own posts, providing information on your occupation or industry, etc.

You will further brand yourself by providing valuable content to your network. I challenge you to write articles using LinkedIn’s Publishing feature. Although you might not get hundreds of likes and comments immediately, it’s a start to demonstrating your though leadership.

It floored me one day when a client of mine told me that because he was out of work, he didn’t feel he had the right to even write a long post. Hogwash. Anyone who has expertise to share, employed or not, has the “right” to share their expertise.

The bottom line: if you don’t engage with your connections, you’re out of sight, out of mind. There are some connections who I miss when I don’t see their comments or shares with their thoughts. Also realize there’s a difference between engagement and activity.

Read 6 ways to engage on LinkedIn, not just active


LinkedIn is the number 3 job board…for now

Polls are as good as a the source that provides the ranking. A more recent poll puts LinkedIn as the number 3 job board out there, with Indeed.com topping the challengers. I also saw a poll which put LinkedIn at the top and Indeed third. Go figure.

Nonetheless here are some notable benefits of using LinkedIn Jobs (its job board).

  1. With the basic feature, you can use Easy Apply, which is…easy to use. The idea behind this feature is that you send your profile directly to employers (another reason why your profile needs to be strong) along with your résumé.
  2. LinkedIn purported in April that there were 20 million jobs advertised on LinkedIn.
  3. The company also claims, “a hire is made every eight seconds on LinkedIn…” I buy that!
  4. LinkedIn Jobs also has some pretty cool features which allow you to choose the date it was posted, people who are in your network for each job, companies that are offering your desired position, experience level, and more.
  5. One feature I enjoy showing my clients is who posted the position. I encourage them to reach out to this person to forward their résumé to them, or to learn a bit more about the position.
  6. The Careers premium account shows you how many people have applied to the position, the skills you have or are lacking, the educational degrees applicants possess.

I’m not a huge fan of job boards—I rather see people use in-person networking coupled with LinkedIn. However, I never discourage my clients from using them. I know plenty of people who landed interviews by using them.


Introverts dig LinkedIn

As an introvert, I can attest to the comfort of communicating through writing. It allows me to compose my thoughts—multiple times if necessary—before releasing them to the world. Read 6 reasons why introverts prefer to write.

This said, I know plenty of great writers who are extraverts. My MBTI champion, Edythe Richards, always reminds me that both dichotomies are capable of demonstrating introverted and extraverted traits. She is an extravert and a great writer, by the way.

My belief is that introverts find it easier networking online than in person. Thus, they favor using LinkedIn over going to networking events. First of all, I get that. Second of all, this is not a way to conduct your Networking campaign.

Your connections aren’t bona fide until you reach out the them in a personal way. This deserves repeating. Even if you aren’t into large networking events, you can get together in smaller groups, affectionately called Buddy Groups.

I’ll contradict myself here: one of my best connections is someone I’ve yet to meet in person. We have spoken on the phone many times and Zoomed on occasion. So I feel like I know him well. Jim, you know I’m talking about you. And, yes, we’ll eventually meet in Maine.


You can take it on the go

Approximately 60% of LinkedIn members use their LinkedIn mobile app, which isn’t a surprise; we bring our phone with us wherever we go. I’m constantly on my phone, checking email, LinkedIn, Facebook, my blog, and WhatsApp. You get it.

Using your LinkedIn app can help you stay in touch with your connections for potential networking opportunities, recruiters and other hiring authorities, as well as being alerted to jobs that might be appropriate for you.

In addition, you can write posts and reply to posts, further contributing to your engagement.

I’m highly encouraged when I ask my workshop attendees if they have the LinkedIn app installed on their phone; most of them do.

The computer UI has increasingly been developing to resemble the mobile app. You’ll notice the look and feel is similar. There are some features the app has which the computer doesn’t, and vice versa. Anyway you look at it, you should be using both platforms to enhance your job search.


Follow up

Now that you’ve done the heavy lifting, it’s time to seal the deal. You’ve build a strong profile, created a focused network, and have engaged with your connections. You’ve even started using the LinkedIn App. Why waste all this effort?

Email, call, meet your valuable connections for coffee. Stay in touch with them. Send them articles of interest. Every once in awhile let them know about your status. Have you interviewed lately. How did your interviews go. And, oh by the way, would you keep your ear to the pavement for me.

No pressure. Keep it friendly and low key. No desperation. Simply stay on your connections’ radar.


These are nine ways you can use LinkedIn to shorten your job search. Keep in mind that in order to benefit from LinkedIn, you have to put effort into it.

The number one area I see lacking in job seekers is engaging with their connections. Let me reiterate, you have the right and reason to engage with your connections. Remember this.

Photo: Flickr, Christine Hueber

9 essential components of your job-search marketing campaign: Part 2

If every successful business requires a marketing campaign to promote its products or services, it figures that your job search requires the same. In part one of this two-part series, we looked at the written communications of a job-search marketing campaign. Four career-development pundits weighed in on research, the résumé and LinkedIn profile, and the approach letter.

woman on phone

Part two features five pundits, who address the verbal side of your job-search marketing campaign. To kick off this article, we’re going to address a very important part of you campaign, personal branding.

Personal branding

Erin KErin Kennedy specializes in personal branding for executive-level job seekers. She talks about the importance of creating a clear, strong brand for your verbal communications.

People sometimes get confused about what their personal brand is. What is it? How do I figure it out? But the fact is, we all have a personal brand already. It is entwined in everything we do i.e. what we are good at, what we are known for, what others come to us for, what we specialize in.

“Once job seekers look at it that way, it’s much easier to break it down and define what our “personal brand” is. One way to strengthen your brand is through your verbal communications. It is easy to confuse people about who you are if you are not crystal clear about your brand.

Job seekers need to realize that not properly communicating their brand in their job search can be a huge obstacle in finding the job they are qualified for…and are hoping for. Take the time to ensure you have a strong brand statement that shows your expertise and the value you can offer a prospective employer.

Every successful business requires a strong brand which is unique to its products or services. Taglines like, “Just Do It,” “Think Different,” and “I’m Lovin’ It” stand on their own because of the strength of Nike, Apple, and McDonald’s.


Networking

Nothing can be more effective to land an interview than networking. Many will agree that your résumé and LinkedIn profile are all important, but they would also agree that how you distribute them largely depends on networking.

AustinAustin Belcak’s LinkedIn profile tagline is: I Help People Land Amazing Jobs Without Applying Online // Need Help With Your Job Search? Let’s Talk. Austin is definitely a proponent of networking.

“When it comes to expanding your network, there are two rules I like to follow: first quality always beats quantity. People get scared of networking because they think they need to blast out a million connection requests or go to these meetups. That stuff doesn’t work.

“Real relationships are usually built in a small setting and they require a lot of work. Instead of spraying and praying, pick a handful of people you really want to connect with and focus in on them.

“Second, be relentless about adding value Don’t start the relationship with your palm out. Instead, research the person and work to find ways to add value. Send them a resource, offer some feedback, introduce them to someone, tell them how you took their advice and benefited from it.

“If you approach each relationship with a value-add mindset and consistently show up in a positive light, the reciprocation will be there. It takes time and it takes practice but it’s the best way to build strong relationships that pay dividends down the road.”

Whether you decide to go to large or small events or simply networking in your community, make sure you are equipped with personal business cards. Learn 7 reasons why personal business cards are important and what information to include on them.

Without networking, many companies would fail. Smaller companies often survive on word of mouth. Similarly, large companies need to create trust to close a deal. Your marketing campaign is similar. As Austin says, be selective in who you approach in your marketing campaign.


LinkedIn engagement

Although your LinkedIn engagement is accomplished through writing, I feel it’s important to note in this part of the article as a form of networking.

I tell my clients that their profile is important, but it’s also important to develop a focused, like-minded network and engage with those connections. Engaging with your network can be difficult if you don’t have the confidence and you don’t know how to communicate with them.

First of all, you have expertise in your field and, therefore, shouldn’t question your right to engage with your connections. Second, don’t start the relationship with “the ask.” I’ve been approached by LinkedIn users who want to connect, but instead of taking the time to communicate with me and build a relationship; they ask if I’ll review their profile. This is in the initial invite.

My clients often ask me how they can engage with their connections. The first and most obvious way to engage is through personal messages. You won’t reach as many people this way, but you can develop and nurture relationships.

Other ways to engage with your connections include: sharing and commenting on articles that will add value to them (just be sure to tag the writer of said articles); writing long posts in which you express your thoughts and expertise; contribute to other’s long posts; share photos and thoughtful captions; and ask questions. These are a few ways to engage with your connections.

Many successful businesses are using B2B networking, as they can reach more potential partners. The idea of using LinkedIn is similar; you, as a business are reaching out to potential employers and quality networkers.


The interview

Maureen McCann is a job search strategist and executive résumé writer. Who believes that first impressions are the first part of the puzzle. She relates her story to demonstrate the importance of first impressions.

One of my first jobs was as executive assistant to a general manager of a pharmaceutical company. Anytime he interviewed new members of our growing sales team, he’d immediately close the door after the candidate left and ask me what I thought of the candidate.

You see, all of the candidates would be selling products to medical professionals (think: plastic surgeons, dermatologists). To get the attention of the doctors, the salesperson would have to first connect with the person at the front desk (the gatekeeper) before scheduling an appointment with a busy doctor.

The GM of my company knew this and so he paid close attention to my first impressions of candidates. Those that did not strike up a conversation and simply waited to talk to the GM missed an opportunity to sell me on their candidacy and have me advocate for them following their interview with the GM.

It’s time for the interview. Are you ready? Sarah Johnston feels not only strongly about the importance of doing your labor market research (as she explains in part one of this article), she also feels strongly about assessing the big opportunity.

“When you are interviewing, make sure that you evaluate the company, your future boss, and the actual opportunity carefully to make sure that it’s a good fit for you. In researching a company, some of my favorite tools include:

  • “LinkedIn to review the credentials of the people that you are interviewing with. By looking at their profile, you can often gather where they’ve worked, how long they’ve been in a role, groups that they are apart of and where they went to school or received training.

  • “If you are interviewing with a publicly traded company, it’s a good idea to review their annual report to learn more about their profitability, biggest challenges, and their corporate responsibility. To access free reports, visit: http://www.prars.com/about.php.”

Along with assessing the company and people who will be interviewing you, it’s important to be prepared to answer tough interview questions. There are interview questions you know you will be asked. And you should have answers in mind.

Madeline Mann is the founder of the YouTube channel, Self Made Millennial, which delivers outstanding job-search tips. When asked what her number one tip for interviews is, she says, “Know your stories.”

“My top interview tip–the one that clients have most tightly correlated to getting a job offer–is what I call a “Story Toolbox.” It allows you to answer any behavioral question, and many of the other questions typically asked in an interview.

“What most people do when asked questions like, ‘What’s your greatest strength?’ or ‘What’s your leadership style?’ is they describe themselves. They say, ‘I am hard worker, team player, highly skilled…blah, blah, blah.’ But none of this gets down to: So what did you do?

“According to American psychologist Jerome Bruner: ‘stories are up to 22 times more memorable than facts alone.‘ Therefore, telling stories will help you to be memorable and are a great way to show your character through describing situations you’ve been in, rather than simply stating characteristics.

“So what I recommend is to make your own story tool box. You go into every interview with a set of planned stories and you frame it in a way that answers whatever question they are asking. Trust me, your stories will be effective for a wide variety of questions.”

Closing the sale is how I look at the interview. Here’s where your ability to speak of your value comes into play. For established companies it’s similar to attending conferences, trade shows, meetings, and other opportunities where they can deliver their value face-to-face.


Follow up

The final element of your job-search marketing campaign is one that people feel to complete. One of my valued LinkedIn connections said it best, “When you don’t follow up, you were never there.”

Some job seekers believe the interview is over once they’ve shaken the interviewer’s hand and left the room. “That went well,” they think. “Now, it’s time to wait for the decision.”

Perhaps it went well, but perhaps one or two other candidates also had stellar interviews. Perhaps those other candidates followed up on their interviews with thoughtful thank-you notes.

So when is the interview really over? Not until you’ve sent a follow-up note.

If you don’t believe sending a follow-up note is important, one source claimed:

  • 86 percent of employers will take your lack of a note to mean you don’t follow through on things;
  • 56 percent of employers will assume you aren’t that serious about the job; and
  • 22 percent of employers are less likely to hire you if you don’t send a follow-up note.

What Goes in Your Note?

  1. Show Your Gratitude
  2. Reiterate You’re the Right Person for the Job
  3. Cite Some Interesting Points Made During the Interview
  4. Do Some Damage Control
  5. Suggest a Solution to a Problem
  6. Assert You Want the Job

Lastly, follow up a week after the interview for no more than three consecutive weeks.

A company that fails to follow up will lose the sale or fail in attaining the bid. This reminds me of a plumber who doesn’t return my call. I’m on to the next person.


If you haven’t read part one of this series, I encourage you to.

9 essential components of your job-search marketing campaign: Part 1

Every successful business requires a marketing campaign to promote its products or services. Businesses utilize a variety of delivery methods—social media, websites, television, radio, and other methods—to deliver their message to their consumers. Their campaign must be convincing, impactful, and informational, or it will fail.

social media phone

Like any company, a successful job search requires a marketing campaign to deliver a strong message. Obvious methods to deliver your message are the résumé and interview. But your job-search marketing campaign must consist of more than these two elements.

Part 1 of this article focuses on your written communications, as well as what comes before. Part 2 addresses engaging with your LinkedIn network and your oral communications. I’ve asked nine career-development pundits to contribute to this article. Read both parts of this series to learn about your job-search marketing campaign.

Labor market research

Before you write your résumé, it might make sense to know which skills, qualifications, and experience employers seek, wouldn’t it? This general information can be ascertained by researching the labor market. This should be your first task in you job-search marketing campaign.

Ask yourself these questions: What kind of work do I want to perform? What is my ideal salary? Is my occupation growing or declining? Take it further and ask yourself which types of companies I want to work for? Do I have a list of 15 companies for which I’d like to work?

Sarah JSarah Johnston, is an Executive Coach and Résumé and LinkedIn Profile Writer who understands the importance of researching the labor market. She writes:

“There is a famous French quote that says, ‘a goal without a plan is just a wish.’ I’d like to go down in history for saying, ‘a job search without research and a strategy is like a trip with no destination.’ After getting crystal clear on your own personal strengths and career needs, one of the best places to start a job search is identifying a target list of companies that you’d be interested in working for or learning more information about.”

Any strong company will conduct consumer market research to determine if its products or services will be successful in a given geographic location. If they fail in this component of their market research, they will go under.


Résumé

One thing most job-search pundits and hiring authorities will tell you is that your résumé is a key component of your job-search marketing campaign. It is your ticket to interviews. However, few job seekers understand what employers are looking for in a résumé. Adrienne Tom, Executive Résumé Writer, knows what employers are looking for.

Adrienne TTo make your résumé stand out, Adrienne recommends two important strategies: making your résumé relevant and including powerful accomplishment statements. In terms of relevance, she advises:

“Focus on creating good quality content. Align every point with the reader’s needs. For every point you write down in your résumé ask, ‘So what?’ and ‘Will this matter to this reader?'”

And when it comes to creating impactful accomplishment statements, she recommends listing the most important information at the beginning, which she calls “frontloading.”

“Lead bullet points with results. Make it easy for hiring personnel to spot important details, fast; don’t make them hunt for it. Walk the reader through your career story, start to finish, by sharing relevant, measurable details that matter.”

ashleyAshley Watkins, Executive Résumé Writer, spent 15 years as a corporate recruiter, so she understands what employers are looking for in a résumé. She echos what Adrienne says about accomplishment statements:

“Hiring managers want to know what you can do to positively impact the company’s bottom line. Use every opportunity to include numbers, dollar amounts, and percentages to validate your results. It’s crucial that job seekers bring their achievements to life and convince employers that hiring them will solve their immediate problem.”

Ashley warns against writing generic, one-fits-all résumés.

“Although having a clearly defined career target is the most effective way to land a job, many job seekers use a very generic résumé strategy when applying for positions online and when networking with their referral contacts. When you do not have a keyword-rich, targeted résumé focus, you are leaving it up to the reader of your résumé to figure out what you do. Therefore, increasing your chances of winding up in the ‘no pile.'”

Both résumé writers stress the importance of crafting a résumé that will pass the applicant tracking system. You will only accomplish this if, like Ashley advises, your résumé is key-word rich.

Successful businesses deliver a strong message that encourages consumers to buy. Your goal is to encourage employers to invite you to interviews.


LinkedIn profile

Does your LinkedIn profile resemble your résumé? If it does, you’re hurting your chances of impressing people who read your profile.

Ana LAna Lokotkova is a Personal Branding & Career Search Advisor, who specializing in writing résumés and LinkedIn profiles, as well as coaching interviewing. She sees the LinkedIn profile as a digital handshake.

“The days of using your LinkedIn profile as a copy-pasted version of your résumé are long gone. Today, you can drop the résumé lingo and humanize every section of your profile. Your headline is the first thing people see when they come across your profile. Forget your most recent job title, and turn your headline into a slogan-like value proposition.

“Include relevant keywords that will help others find you on LinkedIn more easily. Write your summary section in 1st person. Help others learn about your WHY and what sets you apart from other professionals in your industry.”

VriginiaAnother authority on LinkedIn is Virginia Franco, Executive Career Storyteller. According to her, the headline and new About section are critical to your LinkedIn profile’s success:

“Storytelling as a concept is prevalent across our media today from newspapers to magazines. This is important to recognize because, in reality, readers skim LinkedIn profiles in THE EXACT SAME WAY they digest the news.

“At first glance or when in a rush, readers skim the headline and the first section of the article tell them 1) what the story is going to be about and 2) help determine if the story is worth a deeper read when there is more time. Applying this methodology to LinkedIn, it is essential that a profile contains a headline and About section tells the reader what your story is about, and intrigues them to want to read more when they have time!”

Successful businesses recognize that their audiences vary. Whereas a document as factual as a résumé is appropriate for one audience, a document like the LinkedIn profile might be more appealing to another audience.


Approach letter

A little known tool for your written communications is a networking document referred to as the approach letter. In the days of digital communications, this is usually sent as an email or even a LinkedIn message.

The idea is to send this to companies for which you’d like to work but haven’t yet advertised a position. You want to penetrate the Hidden Job Market by being known by companies before they advertise a position.

In your approach letter you can ask for a networking meeting where you will ask questions about the company, a position you’re interested in, and the individual who has granted you the informational meeting.

Your questions must be illuminating, not a waste of time for the individual. Ask about potential problems the company might be facing. What are the major requirements for the position. How the individual came to working in their role and at the company. What they see the role or industry evolving in the future.

If your timing is right, the company might be trying to fill a position it hasn’t yet advertised. You could impress the person granting the meeting so much that they might suggest you to the hiring manager. At the very least ask if you can speak to two other sources.


In this article I’ve covered the written communications of your job-search marketing campaign. In part 2 we’ll look at the verbal side, which will include personal branding, networking, the interview, and following up.

8 common excuses for neglecting LinkedIn in your job search

“Are you using LinkedIn in your job search?” That’s one of the first questions I ask my clients when I sit with them. Most of them say they are using it frequently.

no-excuses

Others say they rarely are, and a few admit they aren’t using it at all and give excuses for not being on the greatest online networking application there is.

Here are 8 of the most common excuses I’ve heard from people who neglect LinkedIn.

1. I was told to join LinkedIn when I was working but haven’t used it

This is basically saying you don’t use LinkedIn. I have a Pinterest account but don’t know my user name or password. I didn’t see any reason for using it. How ignorant on my part.

I get this. Your boss or colleague suggested you join but you weren’t encouraged to use it for your benefit or the benefit of the the organization.

Smart organizations, especially those who believe in the power of B2B, will strongly suggest that LinkedIn be part of your routine.

2. My LinkedIn profile is great as is

One day I received a phone call from a gentleman who wanted to skip my LinkedIn Profile workshop so he could attend the more challenging workshop, Using LinkedIn to Find a job.

While he was talking, unbeknownst to him I was looking at his profile which was sparse and only showed 94 connections. His inflated opinion of his profile was definitely faulty. Perhaps he’d been given poor advice.

3. I posted my résumé on LinkedIn, so I’m done

Similar to excuse number 3. Whoever believes this has their head in the sand. Start your profile by copying and pasting the contents of your résumé to your profile. But that’s just a start. From there, you’ll turn it into a networking document.

Your résumé is a document you send out when applying for a job, while your profile is a place people come to learn about you as a person and professional.

Read this popular article on How to optimize your LinkedIn profile.

4. I don’t want to connect with people I don’t know

Here’s the thing, networking—whether it’s in person or online—is about meeting people and developing relationships.

Not everyone will turn out to be a valued connection, but if you don’t extend yourself, you’ll never know the potential networking offers.

Read The ultimate LinkedIn guide how to connect on LinkedIn.

5. I don’t have the time to use LinkedIn

I hear this often in my LinkedIn workshops. This is a huge excuse. I only ask them to spend 20 minutes, four days a week on LinkedIn. I see some of them shift in their seats, their eyes roll, some groans.

Using LinkedIn to find a job is an important tool in your tool chest. It’s worth it to put in the effort to help supplement your overall networking campaign.

Just because I am on LinkedIn approximately 30 minutes a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year doesn’t mean my workshop attendees have to do the same. That would be crazy.

6. I don’t want to brag

Related to the previous excuse, what you’re really saying is you don’t want to promote your value to employers and potential business partners.

You’re not bragging if you state facts and provide proof of your accomplishments. And avoid using superlatives, like “excellent,” “expert,” “outstanding.” They’re empty promises.

Too many people have given me this excuse for not promoting themselves both on their résumé and LinkedIn profile. These are people who have a more difficult time getting to the interview.

7. I don’t know how to post a status update

I get this. You’re not sure how you can provide your connections with relevant information.

You’ve just been laid off and lack the confidence to write words of wisdom. Don’t sweat it. At first share blog posts from your connections or from publications you enjoy reading.

This article provides ways to engage with your connection as opposed to just being active.

8. LinkedIn is too complicated

This must be what my daughter is feeling, as I haven’t seen her on LinkedIn…at all. I’ve also heard this from older job seekers who feel they can’t master the technology.

Granted I use LinkedIn on a regular basis, read articles from my colleagues, and have taught it to thousands of job seekers; you don’t have to be an authority on LinkedIn to use it.

LinkedIn might not be as sex as Instagram, but it’s purposes are to help you land a job and, once you’ve landed that job, use it for business purposes. What’s complicated about this?


Ending thought

One young, smug man told me he’d never have to use LinkedIn; he would always have a job as the assistant to the Mayor. He was attending the workshop I was delivering out of curiosity.

After our discussion, he went on a stint of serving coffee, a far cry from what he was doing. He contacted me and asked if I’d review his LinkedIn profile. At first I was inclined to say no, but I couldn’t hold his ignorance against him.

7 reasons why you should be on LinkedIn

In almost every LinkedIn workshop I deliver someone asks me if it’s necessary to be on LinkedIn. Secretly I think they don’t want to make the effort to create a profile, develop a network, and engage with their connections. I get it. It’s like taking up jogging and wanting immediate results.

linkedin-alone

To go into explaining why these few hesitant people should be on LinkedIn would take hours to explain. Instead, I’ll direct them to this article which gives seven sound reasons why job seekers and business people should be on LinkedIn.

1. Your industry/occupation is well represented

The first thing to consider is if you’re in an industry/occupation that’s well represented on LinkedIn. If so, you definitely should be on LinkedIn. My valuable connection, Jim Peacock, painstakingly researched the ranking of all 147 industries that were represented on LinkedIn.

Here is a list of the top 20 followed by the number for each industry*

1 Information Technology & Services 17,076,099 11 Banking 7,472,071
2 Hospital & Health Care 13,445,850 12 Marketing and Advertising 7,447,442
3 Construction 12,878,172 13 Higher Education 7,392,617
4 Education Management 10,294,354 14 Health, Wellness & Fitness 6,599,303
5 Retail 10,289,983 15 Real Estate 6,384,135
6 Financial Services 9,450,549 16 Telecommunications 6,263,932
7 Accounting 8,527,864 17 Oil & Energy 5,986,554
8 Computer Software 7,938,087 18 Food & Beverages 5,805,185
9 Automotive 7,708,673 19 Mechanical or Industrial Engineering 5,257,926
10 Government Administration 7,486,477 20 Hospitality 5,095,957

The rankings have changed over the years, but not by much. There are 147 LinkedIn categories, so this is a limited sample of categories. A safe way to determine if your industry/occupation is well represented is by typing it into the Search field. Or you can access Jim’s ranking of all 147 industries here.

Note: you might think construction isn’t a player on LinkedIn, as far as industries go; but there are close to 13 million LinkedIn members in construction. Keep in mind that there are various occupations in construction, e.g., sales, marketing, finance, admin, etc.

2. Recruiters hang out on LinkedIn

Multiple sources state that anywhere between 87% to 95% of recruiters use LinkedIn to cull talent. But not only are recruiters using LinkedIn. Human resources and hiring managers use LinkedIn to find talent, as well.

Many recruiters who used job boards like Monster.com, Indeed.com, SimplyHired.com, etc., have told me they use LinkedIn more regularly than the aforementioned. To them, LinkedIn provides a better way to search for qualified candidates.

3. Not being on LinkedIn could disqualify you from consideration

An estimated 40% of employers won’t consider hiring someone who is NOT on LinkedIn. Again, if you’re in an industry that’s not well represented, i.e., ranching; you probably don’t have anything to worry about.

Being on LinkedIn shows employers that you have a social media presence, which is huge nowadays. It also shows them you’re tech savvy (somewhat). Also, if LinkedIn is part of their sales and marketing strategy, you’re toast if you’re not on LinkedIn. Think dinosaur if you’re not on LinkedIn.

4. More than 650 million people are on LinkedIn

So join the party. LinkedIn claims 2 people join every second, which means this figure will change in a short period of time. I recall when I joined LinkedIn in 2006, there were about 5 million LinkedIn members.

LinkedIn is used more by business owners and employees than job seekers, so it’s a no brainer if you have to build and nurture relationships. In my mind, connecting with well-established business people is the best method to network your way to a job.

5. You want to present yourself well on LinkedIn

First and foremost, you need a Powerful LinkedIn profile. If creating a LinkedIn profile gives you panic attacks, simply copy what you have on your resume and past it to your profile. But….You’ll need to further develop your profile to the point where it resembles personal resume. In other words, you’ll have to include and develop the following:

  1. Background image that reflects your occupation, industry, or interests.
  2. Quality photo that is professional (headshot and shoulders) or theme-based.
  3. Headline that brands you with keywords or a branding statement.
  4. Kick-ass Summary that tells your story. Write this in first person point of view.
  5. Robust Article & Activities section
  6. Experience section laden with accomplishments, also written in first person point of view. Yes, it can be done.
  7. Education section that goes beyond your resume’s. Talk about what happened when you were in school.
  8. Licenses and Certifications. Volunteer experience. Skills to be endorsed. Recommendations. Accomplishments.

These are the sections that constitute your LinkedIn profile. However, too many people make the mistake of stopping here.

Read this popular article on creating a powerful LinkedIn profile.

You want to build your online network. The second piece of the LinkedIn Campaign puzzle is developing a focused, yet large network. Your network should consist of people who are like-minded. My goal is to maintain a network that comprises 80% of people who are in the same occupation and industry.

However, everyone, job seeker or employed, should extend beyond people in their occupation and industry. Below is a pyramid of various types of potential connections. I list the most important people with whom you should connect from the bottom up.

pyramid-of-connections-21

Read this post to learn how to optimize your network: The ultimate LinkedIn guide: how to optimize your network

You want to engage with your network. You’re finally there. Now you need to communicate with your connections to solidify your community, or tribe. There are many ways to to engage with your connections. Here are some examples:

  • Direct messaging your connections.
  • Writing long posts to express your views. Yes, even if you’re unemployed, you should share your expertise.
  • Share articles that will be of value to your connections.
  • Create videos, if you’re daring. This is something that I’ve tried but realize my strength lies more in writing than producing video.
  • Writing your own articles and using LinkedIn as a vehicle, or writing directly on LinkedIn’s Publishing feature.
  • At the very least, reacting to your connections’ posts.
  • If you don’t engage with your connections, you ‘ll be forgotten. Out of sight, out of mind, as they say. As well, you get more views when you engage with your network.

Read this popular article on engaging with your connections.

6. You want to support your strong personal brand

You worked hard to brand yourself by the work you’ve done in the past. Further, you were respected by your colleagues. Now you have to present yourself to the world as someone who will add value to an organization.

In the job search, you will offer insightful information to your audience (network), whether it’s posts you write and comment on, articles you share or write, consistently pinging your connections, etc.

You’ve also refrained from being negative on LinkedIn. And this has benefited you in the long run. Some people don’t realize that employers and other LinkedIn members take note of negativity, whether it’s bashing recruiters, employers, other LinkedIn members, etc.

7. You want to continue using LinkedIn when you’re working

I’ve spoken about using LinkedIn to find a job. Now I want to reinforce the message that you should not stop using LinkedIn once you’ve found a job. All too often I see this happen.

Continue to grow your network. The old saying, “Build your well before you need to drink” is partially true. More accurately would be, “Continue to build your well and engage with your network to strengthen your opportunities for future employment.” If you have to look for another job, you’ll want to have an established network.

You’ll want to be a passive candidate. Sadly, some recruiters wrongfully believe that only passive candidates (those already working) are the best ones. You’ve proven that you’re hireable; now prove that you will be a right fit for a position you desire.

Hint: make sure you have Career Interests on your Dashboard on. Only you can see this.

You’ll need to accumulate endorsements and recommendations. I see my clients lament over having four endorsements for their skills, so I tell them they need to accumulate them when they are working. Listing skills is important. Are endorsements vital? The jury is still out on this.

The same applies to recommendations. As you were asking for recommendations when looking for work, continue to ask for them. Also write recommendations for others, as it shows your leadership responsibilities.

It’s great for business. Did you know that LinkedIn was originally build to generate business opportunities? Most LinkedIn members are using it for business, not the job search. However, job seekers see it as a great way to network online for work. This said, if your job entails B2B networking, using LinkedIn is a no-brainer.


Should you be on LinkedIn? You should if:

  • Your industry or occupation is well represented.
  • Because recruiters and other hiring authorities are looking for you.
  • You might be not considered for a position.
  • LinkedIn is one big party with more than 650 million people on it.
  • You can create a strong profile, develop a focused network, and engage with your connections.
  • You want to support your strong personal brand.
  • You’re committed to using it after you’ve landed your job.

These seven components make you a strong candidate for being on LinkedIn.

*Your search will produce a slightly different number than Jim’s list did, but generally his numbers are accurate.

The (now) 50 most important words on your LinkedIn profile

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 three lines are displayed—or approximately 50* words. To see your whole Summary, visitors will have to click “See More.”

50

What you might not know is that you must revise your Summary, at least the first 50 words or so. And you should do this quickly. Furthermore, you might want to develop a branding statement that grabs the readers’ attention with those 50 words.

Previously approximately 39 words were visible to your visitors, so this is progress.

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

With the former expanded Summary, your value statement/s could be seen at a quick glance, particularly if they were placed within a HIGHLIGHTS section; or if you set them apart with “THE VALUE I DELIVER.” Your value statements could be placed anywhere in your Summary.

What if busy hiring authorities only read those three revealing lines of 50 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

To see what I mean, here are some eye-catching openers from my LinkedIn 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.raffetto@trinet.com ➡ https://ptdrv.linkedin.com/4wifrr8 ☎(610) 457-2561 ➡https://calendly.com/BobbieRaffetto-Foedisch Life Sciences benefit from an HR solution that supports innovation. TriNet Life Sciences reduces the time you spend on HR issues, so you can focus on achievin

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. Another thing I like about her opening are the colorful icons, which say something about her character.


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. Advanced materials and processes can form the basis for a product portfolio that will generate repeat revenues for years to come – if a compa

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 Relationships Through Storytelling <> Experiential Workshops, Keynotes <> No Longer Virtual Creator and Chief Storymaker <> Podcast Host: Your Stories Don’t Define You <> Gallup Certified Strengths Coach When we create an environment that encourages and inspires authentic connection, p

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.

Executive Resume Writer for C-Suite, Board, & Rising Leaders ● Gain a Powerful, Competitive Edge With a Razor-Sharp Message of ROI. ● As a former recruiter and the #1 US TORI Award-Winning Executive Resume Writer), I work directly with you to get RESULTS, differentiating you in a competitive job market.

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


Use humor. Sell pens to sharks? 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 pens to sharks, or lead exceptional teams… but sell yourself? That’s HARD! Besides,do you even have the time (or desire) to write your LinkedIn profile yourself? You know this: People are

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.

I had a dream. That dream came true on June 20, 2017, when I announced a merger of the world’s top Digital Selling minds now under one brand. Vengreso is committed to one thing – your sales success! As a former VP of Sales, now a Speaker & Digital Sales Evangelist, I am #SalesObsessed! I’ve spent 82 cons

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.

“You hit it out of the park! The last time I’ve seen such high marks was when we had Colin Powell as our keynote a few years ago.” – Jim Hackbarth, President & CEO, Assurex Global “When Brian Ahearn speaks, people listen. That’s because he knows his material thoroughly, and he knows how to present it supe..

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.

Exec’s, Boards, and IT departments work with me to improve operational excellence and be known as forward thinking business leaders. We infuse transformative technology into your business so you can achieve more. If you want the benefits of tech and peace of mind of security, with the best TCO…let’s ta

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 50 words

My Summary opener contains 47 words. I’m sure the ones I included above contain more or less than 47 words.

I empower job seekers to land rewarding careers by ◆ delivering today’s job-search strategies in group and individual settings ◆ training job seekers to strengthen their LinkedIn strategy and profile ◆ writing popular articles that educate job seekers on the job search and LinkedIn. If you’re unemployed, you do

When I wrote my 47-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.”

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

No One

I’ve been ripping through Games of Thrones, trying to catch up to season eight. At this point, Arya Stark has manged to get back to Winterfell by concealing her identity at times. She learned how to do this by being trained by Jaqen H’ghar and the Waif.

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When she’s asked who she is, she declares, “No One.”

For those of you who haven’t watched Game of Thrones or have no inclination to do so, let me get to the reason why I’m writing this post.

I received a belligerent Facebook message from a person who wrote, “Hi Bob…..do you even remember me or know who I am?”

To be honest, I don’t remember her. So what I did was look at her Facebook page to see if there were any photos of her. An image of a woman holding a baseball bat with a Bruins’ logo in the background is her photo.

There were pictures of many people young and old, but nothing clearly indicating her countenance.

Then I looked her up on LinkedIn, and guess what. Right, no photo on her profile.

Don’t remember her.

This account of mine might seem insignificant. And really I’m not rattled by it. However, it goes to show you that if you’re on social media and have no photo of yourself, you’re No One.


Here’s one thing to consider if you’re No One, you will not be trusted, liked, or remembered by LinkedIn members, including recruiters and other hiring authorities.

Photo: Flickr, loganathan kutty

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