Your LinkedIn profile About section: 8 tips and suggested ways to write it

When I talk with my clients about their LinkedIn profile About section, I tell them it should tell their story. But that’s too vague. There’s more to your About section than this simple statement. Another way to explain this section is that it should encompass your overall value.

“Encompass your overall value?” you may wonder. People who understand what it means to encompass their overall value take the time to write compelling prose that clearly states their greatness. Yes, they don’t save all of their accomplishments for the Experience section; they present some of them upfront.

There’s more than showing your greatness to consider when you’re writing this important section for the first time or revising it. First, consider the following 8 tips. Then read about some ways you can write your About section.

Here are 8 tips to consider

1. Don’t skimp on your About section. If it’s similar to many of the ones I see, it lacks creativity. In fact, it resembles a résumé. This is what I call the bare minimum. You’re telling the world you don’t give a rat’s ass about your online image.

You’re allowed 2,600 characters—up from 2,000. It’s a lot, I know, but you’re not required to use all 2,600 characters. Some people write killer About sections with less words.

2. Make sure to include the keywords hiring authorities and other visitors are looking for. If you’re a project manager with expertise in Lean Sigma, list those words numerous times in your About section. It’s not only about the proper keywords; it’s also about density.

3. Write your About section in first-person point of view. In fact, write your whole profile in first-person to make it more personal. You can even write your Experience section in first-person.

4. Don’t be afraid to use some colorful symbols in your About section. It contributes to your personality. Just don’t over due it. You don’t want to distract your readers from the message you’re trying to deliver.

Karen Tisdell provides some symbols you can can copy and paste throughout your whole profile like 🔴 🌈 ✈️ 👉 I tend to be more of a black-symbol user; although, I have some color symbols in my About section, including a few 🏆s and a 👇.

5. Use some HEADERS to guide your readers as to what your paragraphs or bullets are describing. I use all-cap headers like JOB-SEARCH STRATEGY and WHAT MY CLIENTS SAY ABOUT ME (EXCERPTS FROM RECOMMENDATIONS 👇) to indicate exactly what I’m describing.

6. Keep your paragraphs short. Three or four lines should be the limit. I’ve seen About sections written like stream of consciousness. Dense paragraphs consisting of 10 lines will scare people away from reading your content.

7. Always include your contact information. At the very least list your email address. At best include your telephone number. Here’s the thing, hiring authorities aren’t going to spend time trying to find you. And, they might not be astute enough to look in the Contact Info drop-down under your name.

8. I saved the best for last. Use your About section to brand you. There is perhaps no better place to do this; you message must be compelling—who are you, what do you do, how well do you do it, and do your readers believe it? These are questions you need to answer.

Content

Intro paragraph

Three of the most important lines (approximately 50 words) are the ones that appear at the beginning of your About section; therefore they need to grab the reader’s attention and make them want to click …see more. I tell my clients they can talk about the following in their starter lines:

► A greater problem you solve
► What drives you in your occupation
► A question which you will address in the body

These will comprise your first paragraph. Here’s an example, from a salesperson in the LED lighting space, of the start of a great intro paragraph. He uses another approach for the intro paragraph by asking if the reader needs him, then explaining what he can do.

Are you looking for someone who can increase your ROI? With my product development, sales management, and channel management experience, I am a triple threat and will add great value to your company. I am a sales/product leader and global channel manager with a demonstrated history of working from startup to large… see more

Body of your About section

After your first and second paragraphs, it’s time to prove what you assert. Following is body content from a director of marketing. He chose to write his body highlighting areas of expertise, some of which follows what he wrote in his Header.

I offer:

►DEEP PRODUCT/TECHNOLOGY CAPABILITIES: My roots are in product management/marketing. This strength has enabled me to understand and market complex technologies and I have had success with a wide variety of innovative B2B and healthcare products, including data analytics, data prep, data integration, cybersecurity/compliance, telecommunications, and IoT platforms.

►DEMAND GENERATION SUCCESS: I’ve created modern demand generation engines that have led to fast growth (50% – 160% year over year growth). I’m experienced in different approaches, including account-based marketing, content marketing, digital marketing (SEO, PPC, email, website), product-led/freemium programs, and partner marketing.

►BRAND BUILDING / CATEGORY CREATION SUCCESS: I’ve helped companies become category leaders in the eyes of customers and industry influencers, such as Gartner and Forrester. Twice I have influenced Gartner to create new categories to reflect my company’s unique value. I believe customer advocacy and partner marketing are critical elements to making a brand grow.

►SALES/RESULTS FOCUS: Yes, I am a marketer, but I focus on driving sales results, not just marketing metrics. This focus permeates activities from buyer journey development to content generation and sales enablement. I’ve event built and managed business development and inside sales teams that generated $18M/quarter in pipeline.

►HANDS-ON CAPABILITIES: My hands-on capabilities span content development, campaign execution, marketing tech/CRM deployments, SEO optimization, ad campaign management, website optimization and more. I like to build and scale organizations, but I can do the job first to get things moving.

Note that my former client uses first-person point of view to add personality to his achievements. As well, he breaks down his achievements with all-cap headers. Finally, he provides some quantified results. And yes, he exceeds the three-line limit but only in one of his areas of expertise.

Concluding paragraph

Consider your About section a perfectly sculpted sandwich; the top bread is your intro paragraph, the middle is the roast beef and fixings, and the bottom bread is your concluding paragraph.

You need to tie it together with a paragraph that explains why you’ve written what you have above. I took the approach of ending my About section telling my readers that I get their plight.

I GET IT
If you’re unemployed, you don’t need to be told that being out of work can be challenging, both emotionally and financially. I know because I’ve been there. So I’ll be the last person to tell you to not feel bad. However, I will tell you that it’s temporary. I’ll also tell you not to go it alone.


Clearly there are many way to write your About section. Some choose to literally tell a story that describes their career trajectory. Others are all about the accomplishments. Some like to highlight their testimonials, which is a wise decision for entrepreneurs. However you cut it, your About section must demonstrate value and a reason for your visitors to read on.

Photo by Mikhail Nilov on Pexels.com

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Tips from 6 pros on how to use LinkedIn to network

I will be the first to admit that networking on LinkedIn is complex; it’s not straightforward. What does networking on LinkedIn involve? The first step is having a strategy, which will take some forethought. You also have to be willing to reach out to LinkedIn members you don’t know. These steps are the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

After your strategy is in place and you’re committed to connecting with people unknown to you, there’s more work to do. Having a powerful profile is necessary to entice potential connections to connect with you.

Networking on LinkedIn also requires communicating with your connections, lest you become out of sight, out of mind. A lot of moving pieces. Read the first article of this series: Tips from 5 pros on how to create content on LinkedIn

No fears. In this article, six LinkedIn pros explain how they network on LinkedIn, as well as what they advise job seekers to do when it comes to networking. They talk about strategy, taking the step to enter unknown territory, and more.

Yes, they’re well established on LinkedIn; that’s why their tips will make you better networkers. Let’s see what advice our pros have to give.

Jack Kelly, WeCruitr

I try to eschew terms that evoke strong negative emotions. Networking, unfortunately, carries the connotation of going to an old-school ‘rubber chicken’ dinner, wearing a tag with your name written in magic marker, putting on a plastic smile and shaking hands too firmly in an effort to show you’re the alpha dog in the relationship.

With LinkedIn, it’s different and the social media platform offers a better way to meet and engage with people.

In my personal experience, I’ve learned that it’s critically important to forge mutually benefiting relationships on LinkedIn. There’s no reason to embark upon a job search, project or advance your career all by yourself. You want to build a tribe of similar-minded people on LinkedIn.

I’m a big believer in being authentic and genuine. I won’t put on a fake facade. I’d like people to know the real me, for better or worse. I’m most comfortable being natural in my networking approach on the platform.

If you’ve just lost your job, you don’t want to scramble, starting to network from scratch. It’s awkward and uncomfortable for both parties if you reach out to someone online and ask them to introduce you to a hiring manager when you haven’t spoken with them in years.

Begin constructing a network before you need anyone’s assistance. You’ll be in better shape and have more confidence. On LinkedIn, feel free to reach out to others. Offer help without asking anything in return. Mentor younger people. If you come across someone who’s struggling, give them some attention.

Make it a practice to engage in random acts of kindness on LinkedIn. People will remember your generosity. When you pay it forward, the folks who you helped in their time of need will one day rally behind you.

To get ahead in your career, think critically and long term. There are different types of people to include and exclude from your LinkedIn network. Seek out fast-track stars. Instead of being envious, jump aboard their rocket-ship ride.

Cultivate online LinkedIn relationships with internal human resources recruiters. Start when you join the company. Keep in close touch with HR. Introduce people who could fill difficult job openings. When you notice that the HR person left to join another company, send her a nice congratulatory LinkedIn message. It could open doors for you too at her new firm.

Channel your inner Sun Tzu. View your competitors as potential allies. Invite them to your network. Engage in conversations. Share work stories. Commiserate together online. Over time, as they switch jobs, you’ll be connected with people working at an array of different companies.

Avoid certain types of people on LinkedIn. These are the folks who are perennially negative, gossip, talk about others behind their backs. They’ll drag you down.

Attend networking events on LinkedIn. During the pandemic there have been a large number of LinkedIn Live shows and online meetups designed to offer advice and introduce people to one another.

Politely invite people you feel comfortable with to join your network. Stay in touch. Like, comment on and share their posts. Follow successful people in your field and turn the online conversations into real relationships.

Always be open and friendly on the platform. You never know where your next big break will come from. It could be a recruiter who noticed a posting you wrote and has a great job to share with you. A former coworker, who you mentored and connected with, is now a manager and would like to see if you’re interested in a high-level position at his company.

Specifically target people at the companies you want to work for. Send them LinkedIn invites. If and when they connect with you, cultivate and nurture the relationship. You want to be on their radar screen when new jobs open up that you’re appropriate for.

Susan Joyce, Job-Hunt.org

As someone with a military background, my networking strategies are probably more careful than most LinkedIn members, particularly when it comes to accepting LinkedIn Connections. However, I highly value LinkedIn for networking, particularly during this pandemic.

My goal, on and off LinkedIn, is to help people understand how job search works today so they can successfully find their next job (or, even better, have the new job find them) through writing articles and sharing helpful information.

Most days, including weekends, I visit LinkedIn several times to check out my Notifications, catch up on Messages, and read the posts on my LinkedIn home page. These activities help me stay up-to-date, meet new LinkedIn members, and develop public dialogs with other members.

My basic strategy for networking on LinkedIn is to share good information with other members, find other members to learn from (like Bob McIntosh and the other contributors to this article), and carefully expand my network of connections.

For networking and professional growth, I find and follow:

  • Members who offer value in their posts.
  • Members who make good comments on my posts.
  • Members with whom I share some life experience – work in the same field, attended the same school, worked for the same employer, or have something else in common.
  • Members my connections follow.

Then, I do my best to make appropriate comments and learn more about these members. Connecting on LinkedIn may be followed by LinkedIn messages, emails, phone calls, and even video discussions. The result: developing relationships with LinkedIn members I would not likely have met in person before LinkedIn, particularly those who live outside of the USA.

When evaluating possible LinkedIn connections, I check the profile carefully. Usually, I accept or ignore invitations to connect using these criteria:

  • A complete LinkedIn profile:
    • More than 100 connections
    • Job descriptions connected to an employer’s LinkedIn Company page
    • About section more than 4 lines long
    • Recommendations
    • Skills and endorsements
  • Posts and activity:
    • Recent
    • On topic
    • More than a few words
    • Relevant and professional

I also Google the person’s name to verify that the person exists, that the employers exist, and to find some proof of professional expertise.

LinkedIn has helped me succeed professionally, and I have found many colleagues and friends through LinkedIn that I would have never met without it. Leverage LinkedIn for your career, too.

Ana Loktokva, CVLabs.ca

People often ask me: “What should I write to a stranger on LinkedIn?”

To me, networking on LinkedIn is no different than networking in person in a sense of how I approach every interaction. My rule of thumb is: don’t write it in a message if you wouldn’t say it in person.

Cold conversations can feel awkward, especially online. That’s why I actively use my news feed for networking. Every day, as I’m scrolling through my feed, I’m not just lurking behind the scenes—I do my best to engage with as many posts that interest me as I can.

What does engaging with a post mean?

It means you take the time to add value by commenting under the post to create a meaningful conversation.

The best part of it is that it’s not that hard to do once you get used to it. By commenting, you’re helping the author of the post to increase their visibility, as well as make new connections with others who have liked or commented on the same post.

I’ve found it to be a very natural way to ease into networking, especially for us introverts. It makes it so much easier to message someone directly after you’ve already had a couple of interactions with them in the comments, and have established some initial trust.

If you want some ideas for networking in the comments on LinkedIn, check out this video.

Once you decide to message someone you don’t know well yet, be mindful about how you ask them for help or advice. No one appreciates feeling used or burdened by a big vague request, like “help me find a job”, right off the bat.

If you want to receive great advice, make sure you formulate the right “ask” first:

  • zoom in on one specific aspect you need their input on,
  • explain briefly why they are the right person to address your question,
  • show genuine appreciation for their time by not asking for too much of it right away,
  • take any extra pressure off by openly telling them that it’s okay if they can’t help you or decide not to for their own personal reasons.

As awkward as it may feel at first, there’s nothing wrong with asking others for input. It doesn’t make you selfish or unethical—it makes you vulnerable. It is something everyone can relate to, which means you have every chance to create an emotional connection with another human being.

Biron Clark, CareerSideKick.com

My networking strategy on LinkedIn:

I focus on quality of connections, not quantity. I think that one or two strong, meaningful relationships are better than 100 new connections that I won’t ever talk to.

One key person can introduce you to opportunities, help you expand your network further, etc. So I focus on connecting with the right people, not a lot of people.

And I do my research first so that I’m able to clearly explain why I wanted to connect.

Next, when I connect with somebody new, I’m always looking to give value first.

I’m thinking about whether I have something to offer (advice, data, leads, information, tactics) or if I know anyone else they’d benefit from talking to as well!

Lastly, I also try to share content that will attract the “right” people to me… via my LinkedIn posts. That way, I receive inbound connection requests to grow my network further.

How job seekers should network:

Be strategic and focus on quality of relationships instead of connecting with everyone possible.

Think about who you’d benefit from knowing. It could be hiring managers, career advisors, or anyone else.

Then, do your research and find an angle to approach them with, and send a customized LinkedIn request.

For example, you could say, “I read your recent article about ___. It was incredibly helpful to me as a job seeker, so I wanted to connect here if you’re open to it.”

Then, after they accept, don’t ask for a big, time-consuming favor right away. That’s not how to build a relationship.

Ask for something smaller to start, for example:

“Thanks for connecting. I see you’ve been in the manufacturing industry for quite a while, like me. Do you have any thoughts on whether the worst is behind us in terms of layoffs, or whether this year might be a struggle for companies in this space as well?”

Or:

“I noticed you’re a former recruiter. Do you prefer when candidates put their Skills section high up on their resume, or do you prefer to see it lower down, after their Experience section?”

By starting with a small question, you’re a lot more likely to get a reply! Most people like being seen as an expert or authority on a topic, so it’s a compliment to ask their opinion on something specific and narrow.

However, I see job seekers run into trouble (and not get replies) when they ask for something too big right away. For example:

  • “Can you help me find a job?”
  • “Can you look at my resume and tell me what to change?”

I share more word-for-word examples of what to say to get replies (and what not to say) in my LinkedIn cold-messaging guide here.

Next, if there’s something you believe you can offer the other person, that’s an even better way to approach them!

Do you know anyone they’d benefit from knowing? Make an introduction. Can you share a piece of their content? Every content creator likes to get their work shared on social media!

Also, to gain more networking opportunities, consider creating LinkedIn posts to share with your network. If not, at least comment and engage on other people’s posts that you find relevant (and that the people you want to network with will find relevant).

If someone is a content creator, there’s another good way to get their attention and build a relationship, too. Follow them, start commenting on a few of their posts, and then send a message after they’ve seen your name a few times in the comments! You’re far more likely to get a reply if you do this.

Lastly, considering joining some LinkedIn groups. You can join industry-specific groups and groups for your situation (e.g. a group for unemployed job seekers, a group for coding bootcamp students, a group for entry-level workers in their first job, etc.)

Mark Anthony Dyson, TheVoiceOfJobSeekers.com

I changed the way I write my profile while noticing my own LinkedIn habits. I want to know who I am about to check out before I want to know about them.

Who I connect with is essential. I desire quality connections, and saying no to users who don’t invest the time to create a quality profile is disqualified. I know many career professionals will not accept a connection request without a message explaining the reason for connecting.

How will they learn if I don’t teach them?

The one networking habit most users on LinkedIn will want to know is who you are and your proposed value. Why should they have to go to your profile to understand? When they put their cursor over your name, the intrigue is there, and they want to know more. By not providing it, you are stunting your LinkedIn possibilities and potential opportunities.

The O’Jays song, “Give the People What They Want,” comes to mind.

I could preach all day about filling out the profile completely, but my networking strategy has everything to do with the first impression. There are a few ways to do it before or even without another user looking at your profile.

I try to create thoughtful comments on posts in two sentences or less to sway a connection request.

Thoughtful comments can be long or short, but I keep them short most of the time on regular posts. It is possible to be intelligent, compelling, and serve readers in two or three sentences most of the time. People seem to engage brevity, especially when most users are commenting long-form, and sometimes, longer comments can be useless.

I like to offer useful comments on 2nd and 3rd connection posts (especially if I want to connect with others).

Because I usually don’t know the person, I’m commenting to passively illicit connection invites. Even here, I’m intentionally brief mostly, and it often ends up in a connection request with a note. My goal is to offer more value to everyone, but a genuine first impression provides a pathway to an interactive relationship.

Most of the time, I respond to those who write a note.

I use a short one or two-sentence response to let them know I am not using the auto-respond messages. It’s a small way to show you’re thoughtful and personable.

Not everyone who writes a note is granted connection or access.

I do say no to those who emphasize selling in their headlines (especially those who help entrepreneurs get to seven-figures in the podcast) or anything similar. Furthermore, I delete connection requests with notices that say they want to know more about what I do. Arrgh! I couldn’t be more explicit in my messaging and LinkedIn profile. Must we do this dance? No.

Updates as mini-articles is a game-changer.

When I started writing mini-articles in my posts, my engagement skyrocketed and 3x-4x connection requests. But they also enacted many Zoom call invites for tea and great conversations. I try to be personable without being personal. I again try to throw a few lyrics from songs or compelling analogies. I update with far more useful and practical tips than offering up my accomplishments.

I do two or more Live Streams a week with experts I respect (like Jack Kelly and Damian Birkel). These conversations spark other offline discussions or provide a basis for additional networking with viewers.

I know LinkedIn users may take these opportunities for granted, but I found these strategies useful. Networking is naturally hard for me, but it energizes my long-term business efforts. If your net is indeed working, you’ll find these small changes to your strategy will stimulate and attract quality connections on LinkedIn.

Bob McIntosh, ThingsCareerRelated.com

Over the years I’ve built up a network of close to 4,000 connections. To some this might seem like a large number, whereas others might see it as small. I’m happy with the size of my network for the following reasons:

1. I communicate with enough of them by posting updates; sharing articles; DM them; and, more importantly, comment on their content. This is one rule of networking: give and give and take. Yes, I mentioned “give” twice.

2. The core of my network comprises like-minded people who “get” me. Not all of them are webinar facilitators, or LinkedIn trainers, or bloggers. But we have a great deal in common. And the content I share is of value to them. This is key when communicating with your network.

3. I see my Messaging icon light up on a daily basis. What this means is that I communicate with my connections in an intimate manner. In COVID times it’s nice to have the opportunity to do this.

Job seekers, networking on LinkedIn is difficult to master, but not impossible. Here are some suggestions for you if you’re struggling with networking.

1. Don’t internalize LinkedIn’s foolish statement about connecting with only the people you know. If you’re satisfied with having 150 connections, understand that you are seriously limiting your reach of LinkedIn users who can provide sage advice or a job possibilities.

2. Have a strategy. In other words, don’t invite people who will be of no mutual value. I talk with my clients about the tiers of their connections. Everyone will have different priorities, but I consider connecting with people in your target company list to be the top tier.

The next tier might be recruiters or other hiring authorities, particularly those who serve your industry. Also consider people who are like-minded, such as people in your occupation and industry. You will find a great deal to discuss in DMs and your content will be of interest.

3. Practice LinkedIn networking etiquette by sending personalized messages to the people you want in your network. The default message will not cut it. In fact, I always hit Ignore when I receive an invite that’s not personalized.

There are three types of invites; the cold invite, the invite with a reference, and the introduction invite. The cold invite is the least successful, but if done right can be successful. Biron Clark provides in his article above a link to how to write cold invites.

4. Follow up is key to success. One simple way to do this is by thanking the person for joining your network and asking a simple question. “I notice you live in Madison. Are you a Packers’ fan? I think they look good for a Superbowl victory” your chances of building a rapport with your connection is great.

5. My last bit of advice is to be respectful of LinkedIn members. Don’t troll them by vehemently criticizing the content they share. It’s perfectly fine to disagree with their opinion, but viscous attacks will only make you look bad and kill your networking efforts.

Now check out the other two articles in this series.

Tips from 6 pros on how to write a winning LinkedIn profile
Tips from 5 pros on how to create content on LinkedIn

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Close to 70% of 7,460 LinkedIn users agree that LinkedIn is for professional engagement only

In a poll that that asked, “Do you have two lives? Do you separate your LinkedIn life from your Facebook life?” nearly 70% of the 7,442 voters answered Yes. What they share on LinkedIn is professional and what they share on Facebook is personal.

bob with maisie

Seven percent of the voters said they share the same or similar content between both platforms, and 26% are AWOL from Facebook. They’ve been there, down that.

Read below my article what some people had to say about how they split their activity on LinkedIn and Facebook.


First my take on Facebook vs. LinkedIn

A while back, I changed my Facebook photo from a casual shot of me sitting on some steps to one of me perched with my ankle-biting dog on a rock. It was temporary, but I liked it. I had this temporary photo set to go back to my original one after a week.

This is a cool feature that Facebook offers, automatically changing your photo back to the original one. It’s also cool that Facebook offers this feature. There are other neat Facebook features which don’t apply to LinkedIn.

You can express your opinions with impunity.

I’m not one to express my political views, even though I’m gainfully employed, nor do I talk about religion. But I know I could on Facebook if I wanted.

Many of my Facebook friends are not shy about their political views, and that’s okay. If I don’t agree with their opinions, I scroll past them.

You can share photos of food and other stuff

Then there are wonderful photos of delicious food that one of my friends posts on a regular basis. They make me want to write to her and say, “When should I be over for dinner?”

Many people share photos of their kids–mixed feelings about the younger ones–playing lacrosse or football, attending proms, celebrating birthdays, and other sentimental situations

You can play games and other neat features

Occasionally I’ll participate in games or apps that tell you what famous character in history your personality resembles. Or what you will look like in fifty years. Pretty cool.

Groups on Facebook are livelier than LinkedIn groups

This is a sad testament to LinkedIn’s declining group participation. One Facebook group I like is Recruiters Online. Another is one that addresses issues in my home city. Be aware that Facebook members tend to speak their mind and don’t hold back on insulting others in the group.

You can get more personal with Message

I’ll reach more people through Messages on Facebook than I will on LinkedIn’s Messaging, which curiously copied Facebook’s form of one-on-one communication method. 

This is do in fact because I have intimate relationships with more people on Facebook than LinkedIn. Better put, I know people will respond quickly to my messages. I am not assured that my LinkedIn connections will check their accounts as much as Facebook members do.


People who know me would wonder, “Is this the Bob I know? He hates Facebook. He’s crazy about LinkedIn.” This is true; I dig LinkedIn, more so than Facebook. But it’s not true that I hate Facebook.


When LinkedIn is favorable

What I tell my workshop attendees is that Facebook allows me to let my hair down for the aforementioned reasons. I love making comments about my family and sharing their pictures. The only people I have to worry about is my oldest daughter and my wife, who literally critique my every post.

Facebook is not my professional arena. In fact, I refuse to allow myself to be professional on Facebook. For example, the photo you see below is one I have on my LinkedIn profile. I wouldn’t dream of using the photo above for LinkedIn. My connections would send me nasty comments if I did.

Below are times when LinkedIn is preferable over Facebook.

If you want to brand yourself, LinkedIn is the place to do it

Let’s be real, you can’t brand yourself on Facebook as a job seeker or business person as well as you can on LinkedIn. LinkedIn gives you a built-in audience for your branding. Most people on this platform understand its intended purpose. 

Your profile is the first opportunity to brand yourself, followed by developing a professional network, and engaging in an appropriate manner. To this point, your posts, shared articles, insightful advice is businesslike, not personal. 

Content on LinkedIn is more professional, and we like it

Some people on LinkedIn don’t get it; I don’t think they ever will. LinkedIn is for professional networking and curating relevant information. Occasionally the LinkedIn police will tell you, “More suited for Facebook” or “Send it to Facebook” or what I like to say, “I thought I was on LinkedIn, not Facebook.”

If you like to blog, LinkedIn has a platform for it

To a point, LinkedIn has a blogging feature that allows you to share your posts. The reach is greater than most blog platforms as long as you market your posts. The downside is if you don’t tag a hundred LinkedIn members when you post it, or write to them individually, your articles won’t see the light of day.

LinkedIn’s real value is its immense professional network

Even though Facebook is at least twice as large as LinkedIn, its members are more concerned about sharing photos of the food they’re eating, showing off their new grandchildren, bragging about their vacation in France. You get the idea.  

Those same people can use LinkedIn as a professional networking platform to generate leads for business and their job search. It’s all business, and LinkedIn’s members understand this…for the most part. The LinkedIn police are real.

Recruiters hang out on LinkedIn to cull talent

Again, due to Facebook’s immensity, there are probably more recruiters on its platform than LinkedIn. However, the recruiters on LinkedIn are more serious about finding talent. They expect to find qualified talent on LinkedIn.

Job seekers on LinkedIn understand the value this platform offers. They are focused on networking with other job seekers, recruiters, and employees in companies for which they’d like to work.

LinkedIn is doing its best to catch up with Facebook

Facebook has more bells and whistles than LinkedIn, and that’s okay. For example, I’m fine with not having Facebook live. I have dabbled with sharing videos on LinkedIn, but this feature is a little clunky. 

LinkedIn is focusing on features that professionals require; those that don’t succeed are eliminated. Two features on the phone app which will probably be abandoned: one that allows you to find people who can be located in your area, another that allows you to dictate your messages. Both of these features aren’t taking hold. 

If you’re not on Facebook, join it

I used to bash Facebook in my LinkedIn workshops and blog posts. That’s until I joined Facebook. What I realized is that Facebook is great for us middle-age people (sadly true, younger folks are shunning Facebook). 

I hypothesize that people who get too personal on LinkedIn, aren’t on Facebook or haven’t embraced its purpose. If you are one of these people, I ask you to visualize this overstated analogy: being on LinkedIn is akin to attending a professional networking event; whereas being on Facebook is similar to going to a party. 


Here’s how some people feel about sharing content on LinkedIn and Facebook

One person who separates her LinkedIn life and Facebook life is Executive Career Coach Sarah Johnston. I see her on both platforms. Here’s how she feels about sharing photos of her personal life, “Even though they are really cute, I do not share pictures of my kids on my business platform. I don’t have their permission and I think they deserve their privacy.”

The same applies to Executive Career Coach Emily Lawson who shares, “I [separate the two]. I prefer to connect with my friends and family on topics outside of work. Occasionally, I’ll share a big achievement or recognition if I know they would share in the excitement. But, outside of that, I keep it separate.”

Executive Resume Writer Erin Kennedy takes it to another level; she has two Facebook accounts, “Absolutely, Bob McIntosh, CPRW! I even have two separate FB pages. I really don’t want people I don’t know seeing pics of my kids, etc. I don’t need people to know everything about me (it’s not that exciting anyway!).”

Sonal Bahl writes, “I’m very private about my private life. On all platforms. Like [Sarah Johnston], I don’t share my kids pics anywhere public. As for FB; there’s regular Facebook where I hardly ever show up, like [Kevin Turner], then there’s my FB page: where I post work related content. In other words, my strategy is to use social media for my work. Friends: we do WhatsApp groups etc!


Seven percent of the voters said it’s appropriate to mix the two worlds. Some claim that doing this maintains consistent branding. I’ve seen members of both platforms use the same photo, as an example. I’ve also seen people in my LinkedIn tribe post similar content on Facebook. Is this the way it should be?

Business LinkedIn trainer Teddy Burriss, explains, “…I have found that allowing my friends, family, and community networks to overlap with my business and career network amplifies the value of both Networks.” He went on to describe how he and a Facebook friend started a friendly conversation that turned to business.

Or perhaps they take the hybrid approach like MBTI and EQ authority Edythe Richards wrote, “I’m struggling a little with this question Bob, but that’s because I’ve always been a person who ‘blends’ my personal and professional lives. Given the norms of LinkedIn, however, I refrain from posting personal content here.”

Her comment made me think about the times I shared professional content on Facebook. I never received a great response, save from my mother who always gave me a “love” reaction, but I think it’s because she loves me.

Yet, seven percent of voters disagree and choose to be LinkedIn/Facebook fence-straddlers. Even though this is clearly the minority, Executive Resume Writer Adrienne Tom fell into this category…which gives me pause.

Adrienne for whom I have the utmost respect–not simply because she’s one of LinkedIn Top Voices–explained it this way, “I spent many years, just like you Bob, keeping [content] separate. It felt, right. Now, I let things bleed a bit more across platforms– within reason. I don’t share a lot of personal/family things here on LinkedIn and try not to bore my family/friends with too much work news over on FB.”


Where did the other 27% go? These were LinkedIn users who aren’t on Facebook, either because they never joined or dumped it for one reason or another. Career Coach Austin Belcak simply stated, “I deleted my FB two years ago and it was the best decision (for me) Bob! I opened up soo much mental space.”

This was a common sentiment. Some people had to choose between one or the other. Or they are on Facebook but aren’t active. Career Coach Ana Lokotkova is one who is not active on LinkedIn she explains, “Technically, I have a Facebook profile, but I haven’t been using it in months. So I guess it’s almost like I’m not on Facebook any more.”

Tips from 5 pros on how to create content on LinkedIn

Including the perspective from a recruiter on how job seekers can share content of their own.

What constitutes success when creating content to share on LinkedIn? One measure of success is getting many people to react and comment on your posts, videos, articles, podcasts, etc.

Some contributors say that educating their audiencee.g. on how to find a jobis the ultimate definition of success. This is an altruistic view and, some would argue, should be the goal of everyone who creates content to share on LinkedIn.

I think we can also agree that commenting on what others share is important, as it shows we value the content they share. We get outside ourselves and show selflessness. I’m not talking about two-word comments like, “Great post.” This is akin to giving a like or other reaction.

Doing all of the above is achieving success.

Am I one who achieves success? I wouldn’t proclaim my own success, leaving my posterior flapping in the wind; rather I’ll leave that up to others who are more objective than me to credit me with success. I will say one thing about me. I’m consistent and employ a strategy.

In 2020 I posted a poll on Mondays, released an article on Tuesdays, shared a long post on Wednesdays or Thursdays, and religiously ran, “Blast from the past Saturday.” Every day in between I commented on others’ posts. I’ll continue doing all of this unless I have nothing to add. I won’t mail in long posts or articles.

As I said, sharing content that benefits my audience (job seekers) is definitely one of the goals. If I accomplish this, the reactions and comments will follow. However, If I tell you I feel no pride in getting plenty of reactions and comments, I’d be a big fat liar. The truth is that the numbers do matter, no matter what anyone tells you.

But this is just me talking. I decided to ask five very successful LinkedIn content creators what leads to their success, one of whom is a recruiter and very successful in his own right. I wanted to know what he advises job seekers to do in terms of engaging on LinkedIn.

Adrienne Tom, CareerImpressions.ca

For me, the most significant ROI for raising visibility on the site has boiled down to being present on the site on a consistent and regular basis, sharing a variety of supportive and helpful content while also engaging frequently on other posts.

I primarily measure success on the site by the feedback I receive from others. People who tell me that my posts are insightful, useful, or made a difference in their job search prove my efforts worthwhile.

My site strategy is simple. I visit the site daily, post when I have something to share, and even if I do not post, I read my feed and comment/engage on posts of interest. I am a big believer that you can raise your visibility on the site by actively engaging with others, even if you do not share content of your own.

I encourage professionals to comment more on posts versus simply liking posts, which is a bit too passive, to better control the types of content displayed in your feed and spotlight insights.

If you are new to LinkedIn or looking to get more active on the site, start with a simple commitment to visit the site each day. I like to pop onto the site at intervals during the day, engaging when time allows. Start by visiting for just 10 minutes a day and work your way up from there.

If you do not feel ready to share content, comment on other people’s posts, adding personal insights and thought leadership. Focus on posts and topics related to your area of expertise and strive to connect with like-minded people. Consider the site a place to build rapport and relationships. Stretch yourself to provide professional, quality comments and connect with people of interest.

When ready, challenge yourself to share your own content and consider a variety of posting options. Try sharing documents, videos, and/or photos or creating newsletters, polls, or articles. Different content can resonate with different users. 

To support success, employ trial and error. What works for one LinkedIn user may not work the same for another user. Focus on quality engagement and start measuring the response.

Perhaps you commit to posting three times a week for the next month. After the month is complete, go back and analyze your activity. Which posts received the most reactions, ignited the most conversation (comments), or had the most views? Use these statistics to guide future posting decisions.

A final way to measure success on the site may be with profile views and follower growth. After a period of consistent engagement, you should see both profile views and followers increase. Let these increases motivate you to remain consistent on the site!  

Ana Lokotkova, CVLabs.ca 

When it comes to creating content on LinkedIn, I like to mix things up and leverage different formats to make my posts more engaging. Video, text, infographics and other visuals – there’s quite a bit of room for creativity.

Whichever format you’re going for, make sure your posts are genuine and touch on subjects your target audience cares about.

Content that is 100% self-serving isn’t going to strengthen your personal brand, and will only make it harder to cultivate the atmosphere of community and win-win mutual support.

To me, the most successful LinkedIn post is the one where the discussion in the comment section is more valuable than my post itself. This means I was able to not only engage people who are curious about the topic, but I also prompted them to chime in, share a new perspective, ask insightful questions, or even learn something new.

Biron Clark, CareerSidekick.com

I’ve gotten the best results on LinkedIn by mixing the types of content I share so that my readers don’t tire of any one type of post.

I’ve found that posts dispelling common myths tend to do well (for example, I wrote a post about why I don’t think you always need a cover letter when applying for jobs, even though many experts say you do).

Controversial topics do well, too. My post about cover letters was controversial as well, so it drew additional comments because of that. When people comment on your post, their network sees your post, too, and that helps you get more views and engagement.

Also, brief how-to posts with actionable tips do well for me. For example, I wrote a post about how to tailor your resume for a job step-by-step and it got a lot of engagement and comments.

Whatever type of post I write, one key tactic I implement is to write short sentences and only 2-3 sentences per paragraph.

People on social networks, including LinkedIn, don’t want to read long, bulky paragraphs.

Finally, I’ve noticed that posts with a positive sentiment tend to perform well, so I sometimes mix in a post that’s meant to be uplifting and motivating for my audience.

One additional way to boost comments and engagement on any type of post is to include a “call to action” at the end where you ask for people’s feedback.

By simply asking what people think, you’ll find that more people leave a comment, which then helps your post get seen by a wider audience on LinkedIn.

So, I often conclude posts with phrases like:

  • “Do you agree? Let me know in the comments.”
  • “Do you agree with this?”

Measuring Success:

If the goal of a LinkedIn post was to bring new website visitors, then I look primarily at clicks and website visits (measured in Google Analytics) to determine whether it was a success. Google Analytics allows you to see a breakdown of website visitors by source.

If a post doesn’t have links and wasn’t written with the goal of driving traffic to my website, then I look at comments and engagement. This gives me a sense of whether the topic resonated with my audience, and therefore whether I should share similar posts in the future.

In the longer-term, I look at my follower count and the general trend of whether my posts seem to be getting more engagement and views over time, or less. That tells me whether my broad strategy and the overall types of content I’m sharing are working.

Hannah Morgan, CareerSherpa.net

First, my purpose for sharing anything on LinkedIn is to be helpful.

I know my audience. The people I am trying to help are those that find themselves looking for a new job after years of being employed and not having to look for a new job.

I know what their challenges are, what their fears are and I know the common mistakes they are making.

Every post I write and share on LinkedIn is focused on helping solve their problems, offering insight, and sharing trends in the job search universe. I want to up-level their knowledge and understanding of the job search process. And it’s important to be relevant to what is happening in the moment and to mix the topics up.

Sometimes I share my own work and ideas, but other times, I share articles written by other experts I respect. And sometimes I ask colleagues to collaborate or share their best tips.

Because I have been writing about job search for over 10 years, I have a lot of articles I can repurpose or extract from and post on LinkedIn. Last year, I made an effort to post longer posts (excerpts from past articles).

I usually begin my post with a question or a sentence I know addresses the concerns of job seekers. It’s a headline of sorts. I also try to include a visual with every post because those tend to get more views and shares. (I use Canva to create my images).

Whatever I create, I want it to be useful to job seekers so that they might download it or save it for later.

I’ve never been obsessed with likes, shares or other metrics, but I do review the numbers and data to evaluate how the post performs. It’s sometimes surprising what gets a lot of reactions or shares. As for followers and connections, I have amassed a very large following (over 100,000). I chalk it up to luck – being in the right place at the right time.

I also watch what other people in my industry (and even outside my industry) are posting, how they are posting and what is working well for them. I often get ideas from seeing what others have posted on LinkedIn and adapt it to my own voice and knowledge.

I’ve cautiously and purposely revealed personal information in my posts and try to write/speak in a way that is true to the person I am. I think that’s also something that allows people to feel connected to what I am saying.

At the end of the day, I know I’ve been successful when people add comments or re-share my thoughts. I realize that the majority of LinkedIn users/job seekers are lurkers and WILL NOT comment or re-share. So my measure of success comes when people in my own industry (career and job search coaches) let me know my information has been helpful.

How job seekers should engage on LinkedIn, from a recruiter’s perspective

Most job seekers I come across either don’t see the need for engagement or are reluctant to. I’ll always remember a director of communications who told me that because he was out of work, he had not right to share content on LinkedIn.

Jack Kelly is a recruiter who feels otherwise (as do the folks above) and shares his views on job seeker engagement.

Jack Kelly, WeCruitr.com

If you want to find a new job or advance at your current company, you must make yourself known. It’s especially mission critical to gain the attention of recruiters.

You can be the best at what you do, but if no one is aware of you, nothing will happen. Cultivating an online presence is of vital importance now that the traditional methods of face-to-face interactions aren’t possible.

The key is to showcase your skills, ability, knowledge and achievements. You also need to broadcast what you are looking to do next, so people are aware of how they can help you. Ensure that your LinkedIn profile clearly and concisely sets forth your experience, background and achievements, as well as signaling what you’re looking to do next.

Recruiters are paid by companies to find the best, most appropriate people for their open job requisites. They are on a mission. Recruiters want to find the right candidate before their competition. If your LinkedIn profile is lackluster or hard to understand, they’ll quickly move onto another potential candidate. You want the recruiter to stop dead in their tracks when they see your profile or notice your online activities.

With millions of people in between jobs, you have to to stand out. Think of what specific, unique experiences, skills, talents, education and character traits you have to offer. These will be the building blocks of defining your brand and you need to broadcast it to the world.

Think of your online presence and postings as a way to burnish your brand and sell yourself. You want recruiters, hiring managers and human resource professionals to take notice of how great you are. You want them to keep you in mind when a job or new opportunity opens up.

This can be accomplished via commenting, sharing, writing posts and articles on LinkedIn. The content should focus on your area of expertise. Feel free to share your knowledge.

Strategically align yourself in a mutually benefiting way with people on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. These people should include recruiters, potential hiring managers, human resources and talent acquisition professionals at the companies you’d like to work with. Get involved in their conversations to amplify your own voice. Associate with leaders in your space. Don’t get involved with third-rail topics, such as politics, as you can be viewed as a potential problem.

Make sure that you find and connect with top-tier recruiters who are known experts in your field. Ask your former co-workers and current colleagues what recruiters they used. If they were satisfied with the results, ask them to make an introduction. Recruiters love pre-approved leads for their jobs.

Post regularly, so people get to know you. They’ll become interested in what you have to say. You’ll build an audience by continually marketing yourself. People will feel like they know you and would gladly help you out with job leads.

Share some recent wins, accomplishments and achievements. Write about exciting projects that you’re working on. If you are an expert in your field, seek out online conferences and networking events. Try to become a speaker. This spotlight will make you known to a wider audience and you’ll be viewed as an expert and a leader in your space.

Be open about your goal of finding a new job. Let people know that you’re in the job market and what specifically you want to do next. If no one knows that you’re on the job hunt, they won’t reach out to you with opportunities.


To share content or comment on what others’ share with purpose can mean different things to different people. It’s all good, as they say, if what you contribute causes an impact on your LinkedIn tribe. Biron Clark says he likes to stir it up a little, cause some controversy.

As a job seeker, causing controversy isn’t probably the best way to go, but as Jack Kelly has clearly stated, you want to be present on LinkedIn. You want to be noticed. And the best way to do this is by contributing; by sharing your opinions and demonstrating your expertise. I’ve seen it be done by job seekers. But not enough. Be bold. Be present.


Read the other articles of this series:
Tips from 6 pros on how to create a winning LinkedIn Profile
Tips from 6 pros on how to use LinkedIn to network

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

The 6 principles of a successful job search

As someone who’s on the front-line of helping job seekers gain employment, I see the frustration on their faces. Most are stoic and not outwardly emotional, but I know they’re struggling with a very difficult situation. Some are beyond frustrated; they’re bordering on hopelessness, wondering how they’ll land their next job.

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I’ve learned throughout the years that there’s a mindset job seekers need to adopt. They need to believe that, through their mental preparation and subsequent actions, they can positively affect their job search. A critical aspect of their success is practicing the art of persuasion.

Persuasion is often used in the sales arena, but it also applies to folks who are looking for work. Brian Ahearn, one of only 20 Cialdini* certified trainers in the word, often tells audiences, “Getting people to say YES to you is critical to your professional success.”

I agree with Brian’s philosophy and have read many of his articles as well as his book, so I elicited his help to write this article. What’s good for salespeople is good for job seekers, I reason. Today, we’ll take a look at each in the context of your job search.

  1. Liking
  2. Reciprocity
  3. Social Proof
  4. Consistency and Commitment
  5. Authority
  6. Scarcity

Liking

It’s easier for people to say Yes to those they know and like. That means you need to be likable. Liking starts with presenting a positive demeanor, even if you’re struggling with your job search. But there’s more.

We like people we see as similar to ourselves and those who pay genuine compliments. If you know some of the people you’ll meet during your interviews then do a little research using LinkedIn or Google beforehand. Find out what you have in common and how you might pay them a sincere compliment.

If you can’t do the research before the interview, then be very observant during your interviews so you can connect and compliment. You might not land a job just because someone likes you…but I guarantee you’ll never get a job if they don’t like you.

Reciprocity 

Reciprocity is that feeling of obligation to give back to someone who’s first given to you. When someone has done something for you, make sure you reciprocate in some way. It might be as simple as a sincere “thank you.”

Not reciprocating will put you in a bad light because it offends the sensibilities when people don’t give back in some way.

As was the case with liking, to be most effective you want to be proactive. Be the giver and the chances of getting what you want—that next job—will go up. This begs the question; how do you give?

Do what you can to help your fellow job seeker with their search. In other words, practice the six tenets of giving, some of which includes sharing information, mentioning a possible lead, providing moral support, among others. This will yield positive results because those people are likely to help you when you need it.

Social Proof

Social proof is key to creating a strong personal online brand, which can be seen by thousands of people. Some job seekers have the misconception that posting updates 10 times a day on LinkedIn is effective social proof. It’s not. Posting fewer quality updates is the ticket.

The person you interview with will also be impressed if they see you have lots of recommendations. Here’s where your prior influence is so important when asking for recommendations. The more they like you (Liking) and the more you’ve done to help them (Reciprocity) the more likely they are to give you a recommendation on LinkedIn.

Social proof is becoming increasingly more important for job seekers, as employers are primarily looking for talent on LinkedIn, Facebook and even Twitter. When I tell job seekers this in my webinars, some of them express looks of concern on their face because they have no social proof.

Consistency and Commitment 

Consistency and Commitment is all about the person you’re trying to influence. In your case, it would be the person who is interviewing you and the organization they work for. This principle says people feel better about themselves when your words and deeds match theirs.

Gandhi put it this way, “Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony.”

The more you understand the person and organization you’re interviewing with the easier it will be to engage this principle. For example, if a core tenant of the organization is learning, your ability to show you’re a life-long learner will make it easier for the interviewer to see you as a cultural fit.

Do some homework so you know the organization’s mission, vision, and values. Next, give thought to how you align with each. Finally, be ready to demonstrate how you’re the right person for the job because your beliefs and experience are in line with all that you’ve discovered.  

Authority 

images

It’s easier for people to say YES to individuals they see as wise or having expertise. That’s the principle of Authority. This means you have to be viewed as an expert.

Make sure your LinkedIn profile highlights your expertise then be ready to back it up with stories and insights. For example; the best writers, speakers, and curators know what’s trending, and they report on it in a timely manner.

People are more likely to follow the advice of experts when what they’re writing, speaking, or curating is relevant to them. Once again homework is key because it’s essential that you know your audience well. Once you, as a job seeker, become known as an expert or “authority,” what you share will carry more weight.

Scarcity

The less there is of something, the more desirable the object is. This doesn’t only apply to iPhone upgrades when they first hit the market. If you possess a talent, or a skill set, that employers find hard to come by, you will persuade them because you’re a scarce resource. You need to help them realize if they don’t hire you, they’re missing out and might be worse off for the decision.

Don’t worry; this doesn’t mean you have to be a rocket scientist. When it comes to people it’s rare that there’s only one person for the job. There might be combination of things you bring to the table are what make you the most unique candidate. Once you understand that, you need to be ready to talk about your uniqueness in a way that an employer feels they’ll make a big mistake by not hiring you.

I think of job seekers who have the sought after job-related skills, as well as emotional intelligence, as an example of scarcity. If you can persuade employers that you are the full package, your chances of landing a desired job are greater.


Persuasion is not a one-off thing; it involves all six principles. When job seekers visualize each principle, they will be able to master them. One who wants to master Authority, for instance, must put effort into demonstrating through social media their expertise in a topic like digital marketing.

When job seekers use persuasion, they control their destiny. Their situation may seem dire, but it can be turned around. If you’re struggling with unemployment, look at the six principles and see which ones you must improve.

This article was a collaborative effort with a valued LinkedIn connection and friend, Brian Ahearn. Brian teaches Dr. Cialdini’s methodology to salespeople nationally and internationally.

Brian’s book, Influence PEOPLE: Powerful Everyday Opportunities to Persuade that are Lasting and Ethical was named one of the Top 100 Influence Books of All Time by BookAuthority. His second book on Persuasive Selling for Relationship Driven Insurance Agents will be available on Amazon starting January 27th.

In addition to his writing, Brian has recorded the following LinkedIn Learning courses: Persuasive Selling, Advanced Selling: Persuading Different Personality Styles, Persuasive Coaching, Building a Culture of Coaching Though Timely Feedback.

*Robert Cialdini, Ph.D., is the most cited living social psychologist in the world when it comes to the science of influence and persuasion. In his New York Times bestseller, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, he lays out six principles of persuasion which are scientifically proven ways to hear YES more often.

Photo: Flickr, bm_adverts

Your LinkedIn profile alone won’t get you an interview

Here are the 3 components of your LinkedIn campaign that will.

If you think your LinkedIn profile alone will get you an interview, you’re sadly mistaken. I wish it were that easy. Imagine that you could write a great profile and wait for the interview offers to roll in. Sadly, this is not the case; it takes more than just your LinkedIn profile to get to interviews.

This isn’t to say you don’t need a LinkedIn profile that is optimized with keywords and brands you with the proper message. It will have to show the value you’ll deliver to potential employers with strong accomplishments, preferably with quantified results.

Enough of the profile for now. You can read about how to create one at the end of this article. Let’s start with two components of your LinkedIn campaign that might be considered even more important than your LinkedIn profile.


1. Let’s talk about networking

It’s not evident to enough people that the foundation LinkedIn is built on is making connections and nurturing relationships. Yes, creating a strong profile is important, as is engaging with others; but building your LinkedIn network is essential to getting to interviews.

How NOT to Connect

The number one rule when connecting with LinkedIn members is to send a personalized invitation. There is no deviating from this rule. To click “Send now” lacks creativity and is lazy. Instead, always choose “Add a note.”

The following ways to connect will not give you the opportunity to send a personalized invitation:

  • “Your contact import is ready” and then choosing to send mass invites to your email contacts. You’ll find this option in the drop-down tab “My Network” on the top navigation bar.
  • “People you may know.” This option is also in “My network.” When you click Connect, your invite goes straight to the recipient. No chance to write a personal invitation.
  • Connecting with someone on your mobile app by simply hitting the connect button. This, like the aforementioned ways to connect will send along the default message.

The Correct Ways to Connect

Connecting correctly simply means taking the time to read a potential connection’s LinkedIn profile and then writing a personalized invitation. This is covered in step 4 below.

You can connect with second and third degree connections. You should focus on your second-degree connections first, but your might come across third-degree connections with whom you’d like to connect. For third degree connections, LinkedIn hides the connect request under the three horizontal boxes beside the message box.

Contrary to what many believe, you can connect with the LinkedIn mobile app and still send a personalized invite. It’s tempting to simply click “Connect,” but open the person’s profile first and then select the drop-down box. I’ve been guilty of accidentally hitting the connect button without going a person’s profile.

With Whom to Connect

Your LinkedIn network is your life blood. Without a strong network of people, you won’t be successful on LinkedIn. If you are weary of reaching out to people you don’t know, you’ll have to get over it. I tell my clients that the only way they’ll get to know people is by inviting them to their network, or accepting invites from the proper people.

LinkedIn members have opinions on how many people should be in their network. Some believe a smaller, more focused network is better; whereas others believe the more the better. How many people you have in your network is your prerogative.

Note: If you have less than 400 connections, you might not be taken seriously by some recruiters.

Regardless of how many people you would like to connect with, there are tiers of people you’ll want to approach. Note: these are interchangeable.

1st tier: Former colleagues and supervisors, as well as vendors, partners, distributors, etc. Connecting with these people first makes the most sense, as they know your work and can vouch for you.

2nd tier: People who work in your Target companies. Connecting with this group is your “in” to companies for which you’d like to work. Try to connect with people at your level or a someone who might supervise you.

3rd tier: Recruiters are an important group of people for many job seekers. I always suggest to my clients that they reach out to recruiters, as they have a pipeline of employers job seekers are unaware of.

4th tier: Same occupation, same industry. As an example, you’re an accountant in the manufacturing industry. You will search for other accountants in your industry.

5th tier: Same occupation but different industry. They have less in common with you, but can also be of assistance. A project manager in the software industry may know project managers in the medical device industry, and therefore can introduce you to them.

6th tier: Your alumni can be beneficial to you because of the bond you share–you attended the same university. This tier of people is particularly helpful to post grads entering the workforce who need connections to certain companies.

Tip: to get on someone’s radar or to be noticed by companies’ recruiters, follow said person and the the companies for which you’d like to work. Then comment on what your party of interests writes (this is discussed below).

How to Write Proper Invite Messages

The art of connecting with LinkedIn members is in the message you craft. There are essentially three types of messages:

The cold message. This is the most difficult to write successfully. In your message you need to provide a reason why your desired connection should join your network.

Using a reference. This message should garner success as long as the person you reference is well known and trusted by your desired connection. It’s important that your reference agrees to being mentioned in your invite message.

Asking for an introduction. This process is longer but involves sending a separate message or email to a trusted reference who can vouch for you. The person making the introduction for you must be a first degree connection with you and the recipient.

For the full article on how to send connection invites, read 3 Proper Ways for Job Seekers to Send Invites to Potential LinkedIn Connections


2. Be engaged, not just active, with your connections

To land an interview by using LinkedIn, you’ll have to show your areas of expertise or thought leadership. The key to doing this is engaging with your network and not just being active.

Write comments

To be engaged, you must read the post, interpret it’s message, and then Comment on said post. Do this first and then react to it. The poster will appreciate that you took the time to read their post. This can lead to further communications between you and the poster.

When you’re engaged, you elaborate further and demonstrate that you read the post, processed it, and respond to it in detail. For example:

“Great post, Susan. Your statement about a company lacking a social media campaign being akin to living in the dark ages really resonated with me. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and other platforms can create that ‘like, know, and trust’ relationship between the company and its’ customers. You’re also correct in stating that all platforms should be connected, as well as linked to and from the company’s website.”

Note: always remember to tag a person with @name so they will be notified in LinkedIn’s Notifications. When you tag someone in a comment, their name will appear in blue.

Write long posts

To stay top of mind, your posts must show engagement. LinkedIn encourages you to share an article, video, photo, or idea. Take the opportunity to engage with your network by providing valuable content to them; content that elicits responses. A sign that you’ve succeeded would be the number of Likes and, more importantly, Comments you receive.

One type of update I find successful is asking an illuminating question. If you’re going to do this, be diligent in replying to your connections’ and followers’ responses. Failing to reply to your connections who answer your question does not demonstrate engagement.

Write and share your own articles

Writing an article with unique and fresh content shows you’ve considered what your audience would benefit from. My primary audience is job seekers and career coaches, so I write articles focusing on the job search and using LinkedIn in the job search. I know I’ve been successful when people react to what I’ve written.

Note: refrain from only sharing your own articles. This gives off the sense of superiority.

I include creating and sharing videos under being engage. This is not a new concept and requires feeling comfortable being recorded. If you are going to share videos, make sure you’re consistent and produce videos your network will appreciate.

Tip: by engaging with the public, your name and Headline will appear in your first-degrees’ timeline, thereby giving you more visibility. Further, if a second- or third-degree connection happens upon what you write, they can share it with their network.

Send direct messages

This is the most obvious way to engage with your connections. You won’t reach as many people as you would by commenting on others’ posts, writing long posts, etc, but it is a sure way to solidify relationships. I write or receive on average at least one direct message a day. These are people with whom I’ve developed a relationship.


3. Yes, you need a profile, and it needs to be strong

You need to know your story. As easy as this sounds, it might take some reflection. For example, are you pursuing similar work? What do you enjoy about your occupation? Adversely, what do you dislike about your work? Importantly, what value do you feel you bring to a company?

Questions like these are necessary to create a compelling profile that sends a strong message that brands you.

Writing your profile

The first rule is that you profile needs to be complete. When I talk to my clients about their profile, I use a checkoff list to guide them through the process. Although there are more than 10 sections that you need to complete, I’ll cover the most important five.

The Headline is a section that can tell visitors your value by your title, areas of expertise, and a branding statement if you want to add one. Here’s an example of one that I consider to be strong.

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

It includes important keywords and adds a little humor in the branding statement. This article talks more about the ways you can write your Headline.

The About section should tell your story. It’s generally longer than a resume Summary statement. Written in first-person point of view, the first paragraph must grab the reader’s attention by talking about how you solve problems or what drives you in your occupation.

Following paragraphs can be examples of your greatness in bullet format. I prefer headers that are written in ALL CAPS to draw the reader’s attention to them. Here’s an example for a Information Systems Department Director who wants to highlight their ability to develop business:

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

  • Specializing in new project planning and achieving business objectives, I budget hundreds of thousands of dollars in project resources.
  • I Lead efforts that consistently generate sales exceeding $15K in a competitive pharmaceutical market.

Someone like this might have two or three additional examples of the value they can bring to employers.

Following the examples of what I like to call greatness, the profile writer might write about their client’s personality traits in the form of brief examples or even testimonials.

The Experience area is where you will take painstaking efforts to turn your duties into accomplishments. But before this, I like to ask my clients to give me a brief explanation of their overall responsibilities or even a mission statement. This is what I have on my profile:

I’m more than a webinar designer and presenter; I’m a career coach and LinkedIn trainer who constantly thinks of ways to better market my clients in their job search. Through disseminating trending job-search strategies, I increase their chances of finding jobs.

Here’s one example of turning a mundane duty into an accomplishment statement:

The duty: Used Lean methodology to increase productivity in a supply chain operation.

The accomplishment statement: I Increased productivity 80%—over a 3-month period—by employing Lean methodology in supply-chain operations. My CEO gave me kudos for this achievement.

Don’t be afraid to write some or all of your accomplishment statements in first-person point of view. Remember, you’re adding personality to this online document.

Education section. You earned Magna Cum Laude in university. I strongly suggest you include it in this section. As well, if you earned a degree while working full-time, include this in the description box. This makes the reader feel that you’re diligent and have strong time-management skills.

Skills and Endorsements. The reason why you need to focus on this section is because they will appear in recruiters’ premium package. You’re allowed to list up to 50 skills, but only list the ones that are relevant. And as far as endorsements go, they are looked upon favorably by recruiters. Want endorsements? Endorse others and hope they will return the favor.

Optimize your profile

Ensure your LinkedIn profile contains the proper keywords that will help you be found by recruiters and other visitors. The more keywords you have in heavily weighed sections, namely your Headline and job titles, the higher you’ll appear in searches.


Going beyond

Engaged—I’m brought back to the party analogy, where the person simply shows up and makes no effort to engage. I’m talking about going beyond the conversations you have with your LinkedIn connections. Yes, they constitute engagement; but there’s no effort to solidify the relationship.

Truly engaged—To truly show engagement, you must follow up with your connections. I have developed many relationships by reaching out to them via telephone, if they live a distance away, or meeting them, if they don’t live that far away. One of my connections and I had been exchanging discussions via LinkedIn. Yesterday we had our first phone conversation. Although we will not do business together, it was great finally “meeting” her on the phone.

It’s unanimous: the Top 10 LinkedIn Profile Headlines from job-search experts

Anytime a “Top 10” list is created there is some doubt in the minds of the readers if the selection process was fair. This is why I asked a committee of eight people to choose which 10 LinkedIn profile Headlines stand out from a list of the ultimate list of 80+ LinkedIn voices job seekers should follow.

I recused myself from voting and asked that the committee to not choose themselves as one of their choice for the 10 best Headlines.

They agreed to be as objective as possible: the Headlines they chose were to be based on content that resonated with them in some way, not out of loyalty to the individuals, the number of followers each person had, or any other variables.

One last rule was that if there was a draw, I would elicit the help from a third-party volunteer to break the tie. And, as it turned out, there was a four-way tie for numbers 9 and 10 on the final list.

What’s so important about the Headline?

In a poll I conducted seven months ago, it was determined that out of three profile sections–Headline, About, and Experience–the Headline is the most important of the three. And there has been a plethora of literature lauding the value of a strong Headline.

It’s been called your handshake, first impression, gateway to the rest of your profile, personal brand, and more. In addition, it’s the first thing (other than your photo) people see in their homepage timeline, when you comment on a post, appear in a search result, among other places.

The various types of headlines

There are various ways to write your Headline. The five that come to mind are: keywords only, tagline only, or a combination of a tagline and keywords. There are benefits to writing your Headline using all of these methods.

The keyword method’s purpose is to attract hiring authorities to your profile when they do a search. It’s widely believed that the Headline is valuable real estate, carrying more weight than all the sections, save for your titles.

Employing a tagline only, in my opinion, is optimal for people who are gainfully employed and want to attract readers to their services or products. These people rely on the keywords throughout their profile to attract hiring authorities who are doing searches.

The king of Headlines is the combination of keywords and tagline. You can start with a tagline followed by keywords, keywords followed by a tagline, or a hybrid approach where the tagline is in the middle of your Headline.

However you decide to structure YOUR headline, follow Hannah Morgan‘s advice:

The best LinkedIn headlines explain what the person does and who they serve plus at least one surprise element. That could be a fun emoji, an achievement or a fun fact.

The best way to show you how to write a great profile is to present the Top 10 LinkedIn Profile Headlines.

The Top 10 LinkedIn Profile Headlines

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bob McIntosh 👉 I’m fighting the Good Fight for job seekers 👊 LinkedIn Trainer ◆ Career Coach ◆ Blogger ◆ Online Instructor 🏆LinkedIn Top Voices for 2019 🏆MassHire Ingenuity Co-Award Winner ◆ #LinkedInUnleashed

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

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

What the remaining committee members say about a great headline

A great headline is a Swiss-Army knife of words, serving multiple functions at once, slicing through the noise and grabbing your attention. Not only does it make you stop in your tracks, it quickly conveys what you do, how you do it, how well you do it, and reveals a bit of your personality. Including metrics, emotional words, and a clear target audience will all help your reader sit up and immediately know whether they need your services.

Jessica Sweet

Regarding the headlines, I was very impressed by the clear value statements in the headlines. For me, the most effective headlines begin with the value/benefit statement (Austin, Ana, Brenda, and Tony, for example) because:

🔹 These headline answer the question, “Why should I contact/connect with this person?”

🔹 The words at the start of the headline are the ones most consistently visible when the short versions of the headline are visible in search results and LinkedIn activities (posts, comments, etc.).

🔹 The words at the start of the headline are likely to standout in a quick scan of the top of the profile.

🔹 The value statements may add important keywords in addition to the keywords included in standard job titles and certifications/qualifications (like MBA, etc.).

Of course, most of the people on this list are consultants who are marketing their services to potential clients in LinkedIn. If someone is a happily employed IT project manager, for example, their headline would be similar but would also include a positive reference to the employer (keywords!).

Susan P Joyce

Nii Ato: Not all headlines are created equal, and that’s because the best ones stand out by serving their target audience with useful information and interesting details that grab their attention. Strong headlines typically include 3 core elements: 1) Branding, 2) Metrics/Evidence, & 3) Keywords.

Combining these three features allows a headline to tell a short but powerful story about the potential within the associated profile. It might spark curiosity or emotion when reading it. When you can provoke a reaction in your reader to immediately opt-in, you know you’ve done something right. The strongest headlines connect with and inform readers.

Nii Ato Bentsi-Encill

Imagine looking for a house. Your specifications are: 3 bedrooms, 120 m2, 2 baths, near a park and shops. Central location. You go to your favourite website, search, and here come the results. Right on top of the list and match your requirements perfectly.

Do you ever click on links without a description? It just says: House available. That’s it. Nope, they don’t get clicked.

So, Dear Job Seekers, Recruiters are looking for you. You are the HOUSE. I beg you, please. Stop writing ‘Actively seeking new roles’ in your LinkedIn headline. Your headline needs to help you to be FOUND.

Do this instead: Titles, Skills, and an Accomplishment. Example: Project Manager | Agile & Scrum Methodology | B2B | 10 years experience managing complex, multi-stakeholder projects & saving organisations $300,000 annually.

Sonal Bahl

I refer to the LinkedIn Headline as a Professional Branding statement because it’s job is to let viewers know who you are and what you do that differentiates you from the competition. When you are able to grab someone’s attention, own your space, effectively answer, “Why me?”, and add a touch of personality all at the same time, you have the ingredients of a winning LinkedIn Headline.

Shelly Elsliger

I’m attracted to [Headline]s that concisely tell and sell me on their value within a few words. Like Albert Einstein would say “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”  Once that is accomplished, I will forgive and expect the following space to be filled with key words for LinkedIn SEO. I must admit, I not a big fan of emojis, special characters like | or Fancy Font Generators in Headlines.

Kevin D. Turner

The top headline I chose clearly defines the work Adrienne does using well researched keywords. She quantifies the impact of her work by stating she is a 31X winning writer. She also defines her target audience by stating that she works with managers, directors and corporate executives in the US and Canada. 

Sarah Johnston

What makes a great headline, and why I chose who I did is because they all do three things really well. They straddle and strike the balance between these headline virtues:

Their audience: Who specifically they’re talking to and what they can do for them.

Their source of authority: Including recognition & credentials.

A personal something: That’s fun and/or disruptive to break away from a cliche or a diploma-like list.

LoRen GReifF

My deepest appreciation goes to the search committee who did the heavy lifting and kept me out of the process. The fact that my profile was chosen as one of the top 10 is an honor. I’m also happy to say that this article will be my 100th one for the compilation of LinkedIn articles.

Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

How To Post and Engage On LinkedIn

This guest article is from Hannah Morgan, a LinkedIn Top Voice, job-search strategist, and founder of Career Sherpa.net. Wondering what to post on LinkedIn? Hannah provides great advice on what to share with the LinkedIn community.

You’ve updated your LinkedIn profile for the one-millionth time but nada, nothing, zilch. No one is contacting you. What if I told you that having a dazzling profile is just one small part of getting found on LinkedIn.

Sure, you need to have a keyword-rich profile. But in order to expand the reach of your LinkedIn profile, you’ll have to become active and actually use LinkedIn.

But what kinds of stuff should you post on LinkedIn? And how often?

Just dedicate 5 minutes a day. That’s all it takes!

But First: Tips For An Awesome LinkedIn Profile

What To Post On LinkedIn

Sharing regular status updates and being active on LinkedIn will guarantee more people view your profile. And the more people who view your profile, the greater the chances of gaining new connections or future job opportunities.

So how often should you post (share an update)?

At least 20 posts a month and no more than 30 updates a month. (That’s just one update a day from Monday-Friday.) And don’t post them all on the same day.

If you want to see ideas of things you can post, read 25 Inspiring Ideas for What To Post On LinkedIn

Here are a few ideas

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Engage With People Too

Adding comments to someone’s post is better than “liking” it. Comments can lead to future dialog and networking opportunities! Do you need ideas? Here you go:

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For more details and examples, read How To Post Engaging Comments On LinkedIn

My Guarantee

I guarantee that if you try any of these tips for two weeks, you will notice more people viewing your LinkedIn profile! (That’s only 10 status updates!)

Be sure to record your LinkedIn views before you start your activities. (It’s kind of like weighing yourself before you start your diet!) Then, after one week, see how many people viewed your profile.

This post originally appeared here.

Photo by Ono Kosuki on Pexels.com

6 features on the LinkedIn mobile app that users appreciate

Approximately 65% of LinkedIn members use the LinkedIn mobile app, and some prefer it over the lap/desktop version, which doesn’t surprise me. In some ways I prefer the app because of its convenience and above average functionality. (Although, I have to admit I find using my phone’s keyboard challenging.)

There are also features on the app that are clunky and better used on the lap/desktop version. One that comes to mind is All Filters. But this is a small price to pay. It’s safe to say that if my laptop went down or I didn’t have Internet connection, I would be fine using the app.

I was curious what others thought about the app, so I started a post on LinkedIn that simply asked what people’s favorite LinkedIn mobile app feature is? There were a variety of answers and many of them are features not found on the desk/laptop version. One example is Stories which, for the life of me, I don’t get.

But that’s neither here nor there. Where someone enjoys Stories, I find the feature difficult to use and, well, frivolous. I guess the purpose of Stories escapes me, but I don’t claim to be the LinkedIn master who lords his opinions over others; and I hope I haven’t offended others who see value in the feature.

Convenience

I mentioned above that I enjoy the convenience of the app because I can use it anywhere. One of my LinkedIn colleagues, Tara Orchard, enjoys the “convenience, generally, from the car, the waiting room, at the track (when [her] daughter was training, not competing).”

Another colleague, Kevin Turner, jokes that the app was developed so people could be stealthy at work while using it: “…I believe one of the main drivers behind the LI Mobile App use was Members checking their account while at the office. It would be interesting to see what the actual use stats are for 2020…”

Like Tara, I find myself opening the app almost everywhere and at any time, especially when there’s no Internet access like at my mother-in-law’s house.

Voice Message

In another poll I conducted, in which 1,354 people participated, this feature didn’t garner a large percentage of votes: 9% out of 100% to be exact. Yet, quite a few of the people who weighed in for this post selected Voice Message as one of their favorites. Why? It could be that the 9% turned out to play.

How do these go for me? Something like this: “Hi comma” (Oh crap, try again.) “Hi Karen (pause) This is Bob (pause) It was great hearing your voice (pause) I’m more of a writing guy um (long pause) I guess I should have planned this voice message period.” (Oh crap, you don’t need to say ‘period.)

Sonal Bahl chose two favorites, Voice Message and Pronunciation. I have received a few voice messages from Sonal, so I know she uses it. In fact, when I see the voice message bar in her DM, I tense up wondering if the message is going to be serious in nature. So far, her voice messages have been very pleasant.

🚀LoRen GReifF🚀is quite enthusiastic about Voice Message. She writes, “YUP. VM is my favorite mobile feature. Text fatigue is real and even the best emojis can’t deliver the range, tone and connection of voice.” This is a good point; writing DMs can be tiresome and looking for the perfect emojis does wear on you. 😩

Pronunciation

This feature was mentioned often by those who commented in the post. While I see its value in terms of letting people know that McIntosh is pronounced without an “a,” I haven’t used it yet. Another reason for using this feature is to tell people your title and areas of expertise, all within ten seconds.

I listened to Virginia Franco’s Pronunciation wondering how “Franco” could be mispronounced. What I found is not that her name can be mispronounced; it’s that she adds her tiles to her name, which I think is a brilliant idea. (She gives Alex Freund credit for a way to brand you with this feature.)

QR Code

When it comes to the QR code feature found only on the app, 🍊 Madeline Mann 🍊 writes, “I’m with you on the QR code. I started using that instead of business cards.” I wonder if it would be overkill to include it in every post, DM, comments to posts and articles, etc. What do you think?

I think it’s cool that you’ll be transported to someone’s LinkedIn profile by scanning their QR code. Not nearby, someone can send it to you in an image. I encourage you to open Photo on your phone and scan my QR phone to see what I mean.

Stories and Video Message

This isn’t a feature I would have chosen as a favorite. I’ve tried it once or twice and find it frustrating that you only have 20 seconds per clip. It’s not that I consider myself to be long-winded, But com on.

Shelley Piedmont enjoys this feature because, “It has given [her] a more personal view of my connections. I feel like I have gotten to know them better.” Ana Lokotkova shares the same sentiment, “I prefer the mobile experience for sure. My two favorite features here are connection request previews and stories.”

I had to combine Video Message (simply called Video) with Stories because they’re both visual messages.

TIINA JARVET PEREIRA likes this feature along with Stories. She explains, “I like both the video messages and the LinkedIn story’s. [Stories] shows the list of the contacts of who have seen your story. On the posts you only see the location and job titles of the viewers. It’s more accurate and can open interesting conversations with your connections Bob McIntosh.”

I’m afraid I might have scared poor Tiina to death by trying Video and not leaving a message, simply staring into the screen. I sent her an apology, in text, but wonder if she’ll remove me from her network or send me a proper video to show me how it’s done.


One feature I thought would be an overwhelming favorite is Take a Video. No one offered it as one of theirs. With this feature you can take a video using your phone and post it on LinkedIn. You don’t have to download it to your computer first. Easy peasy, unless doing videos isn’t your thing.

Another feature that’s also available on the desk/laptop is Polls. As a way to communicate with my LinkedIn community, I use it once a week. I haven’t used it from the App, but I’m sure I’ll be away from my laptop and feel the urge to post a poll.

How to Leverage LinkedIn Posts for Your Job Search

This guest post was written by Ed Han, a recruiter known for his excellent job-search advice. It first appeared on Job-Hunt.org.

Of the four sites typically considered major social media sites, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn are vying for second place behind Facebook.

When it comes to professional visibility, LinkedIn is the clear winner.

Taking a page from the Facebook playbook, LinkedIn added status updates, also known as posts, to the options available for LinkedIn members.

Judiciously leveraging these updates — making posts, comments, and clicking on the “Like” button — can increase your visibility on LinkedIn.

Posts on LinkedIn allow members to communicate with each other and the world — LinkedIn’s version of the Facebook feed.

LinkedIn HOME iconTo create a LinkedIn update, LinkedIn offers several options for members on the member’s home page (the house icon visible on the left). From that page, a member may “Start a post,” or, by clicking on the appropriate icon, share a photo, a video, or a file from their computer.

LinkedIn also offers the option to “Write an article on LinkedIn.” So, five options are available to members from the top of their home page, as shown below.

3 Main Benefits of LinkedIn Posts

A LinkedIn public profile — the profile visible to anyone — can tell a viewer your experience, list your skills, and announce your professional effectiveness through Recommendations.

Posts provide additional essential elements in your online visibility. Posts will:

  1. Demonstrate You Are Reachable on LinkedIn  

If a recruiter wants to contact a LinkedIn user about a position, he or she has no idea whether or not the candidate is going to see the message, to say nothing of when they might see it. This is not good — recruiters are always in a hurry to find the right candidate.

For a recruiter, many possible job candidates may be qualified and could be contacted, but the candidates more likely to respond are are the candidates more likely to be considered. When recruiters see that you are active on LinkedIn, you are demonstrating that you are likely to respond if they reach out to you.

[NOTE: Read How to Safely Include Your Contact Information on LinkedIn so that recruiters can reach you quickly and easily.]

  2. Increase Your LinkedIn Visibility  

Posts remind people of your presence and your field (expertise and interests). Check out the posts from others to “Comment,” “Like,” or “Share” them with your network.

LinkedIn Like OptionsWhen you hover over the Like icon, you can choose one of several other reactions: Like, Celebrate, Love, Insightful, or Curious.

When you react to someone else’s posts, LinkedIn sends them a message about your actions, which helps you to expand your network.

Another benefit of the posts is that it is an easy, non-pushy way to stay top of mind for those in your network who are inclined to render assistance in the form of introductions.

  3. Reinforce Your Professional Image  

Obviously, the things one posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are typically not ideal for sharing on LinkedIn. This goes back to the core purpose of LinkedIn, why founder Reid Hoffman created it: professional networking.

Therefore, posts should be focused on professional career-enriching steps:

  • Shared news articles.
  • Skills development.
  • Actual networking events.
  • Helpful comments on the posts of other members.

These posts reinforce your image as a professional. See the examples below.

Making and Sharing LinkedIn Professional Status Updates

Facebook offers this critical lesson for the savvy job seeker looking to maximize the effectiveness of his or her LinkedIn profile: the post (also called the status update)..

The LinkedIn status update can be up to 1,300 characters in length, perfect for letting your network know what you are doing or introducing something you are sharing.

Updates typically stay “live” for 14 days before they disappear from view. And, remember that your most recent posts are visible on your LinkedIn profile.

Share your thoughts and interesting things you find several ways:

  1. Use the “share box” near the top of your LinkedIn home page.  

LinkedIn Profile Homepage Status UpdateYou have 5 options from your LinkedIn “home” page, as you see on the left.

Choose your option. To begin a discussion or ask a question, click on the words “Start a post.”

To share an image, video, or file from your computer, click on the appropriate icon.

Click the “Write an article on LinkedIn” link, and publish an article on LinkedIn (most effective when an image is included).

After you click one of the links above, a box, like the one below, opens allowing you to type in your update, including a URL, if appropriate, or add the image, video, or file. Ask a question or share good information.

You may even create a poll or share that you are hiring, as shown below.

Starting a LinkedIn Post share

To increase a post’s visibility and participation by other members, “tag” the members who would be most interested.

Tag another member by adding their names to your post, preceding each name with an “@” sign. Tagging another user has the bonus of pushing your post into the feed of that person’s LinkedIn network. Do this sparingly, and only when you have good reason to believe he or she would be particularly interested.

  2. Create posts by liking, commenting on, or sharing someone else’s post.  

Build your reputation as a good source of information by reacting to or sharing good information other LinkedIn members (those you follow) have published on LinkedIn as updates or articles. LinkedIn offers several types of reactions beyond Like, as seen above.

When sharing, if you use the originator’s name in the text of your update, LinkedIn will usually notify them that you have shared something they created.

LinkedIn Post or Update options

Be very careful making comments. Don’t share something just to make fun of it or highlight a mistake. Stay professional or your updates will create a negative image for you.

Please do note that commenting is considered the gold standard of engagement by LinkedIn’s algorithm, and therefore is most helpful to the poster.

When you have reacted, LinkedIn then prompts you to comment.

Adding comments to a LinkedIn post

  3. Like or share someone else’s post in a Group.  

When you find good information in someone else’s Group post, “Like” or “Comment” on it. LinkedIn will notify them of your action, which can be the start of a discussion or at least put you on someone’s radar for possible future connections.

LinkedIn Group Like or Comment

This can be a good way to become visible to an employer you are trying to reach. Again, stay positive and be professional in your comments.

Finding Your Updates

You can find your updates by scrolling down your LinkedIn Profile until you find a box labeled “Activity,” as you can see in the image below. This section is usually the fourth or fifth box down from the top of your Profile.

At the top on the right, as shown below, you will find a link to “See all” above your four latest shares or comments. Simply click on “See all” to see the update tracks you are leaving on LinkedIn.

Viewing Your LinkedIn Updates

This section is on everyone’s Profile, so you can see what others are sharing and writing on LinkedIn, too, by clicking on that link on their Profile.

Make Appropriate LinkedIn Posts

If you are in a job search, what should one say in a post on LinkedIn?

For example, consider the logistics professional who shares a new article discussing another way of viewing costs associated with Daylight Savings Time and minimizing disruptions in truck deliveries or train schedules.

I found this eye-opening article about the change in DST and a hidden impact on costs and scheduling [link].

And, imagine an aspiring project manager pursuing the PMP certification. Perhaps he or she has two peers who also plan to sit for the exam in 3 months. A post our project manager could share is:

Looking forward to catching up with John and Mary tonight to prepare for the PMP in 3 months. The discussion is always informative!

Maybe another professional is attending a networking event later in the day. The post could be:

Should be a good time tonight at my local Toastmasters chapter, I think I have turned the corner on projecting my voice powerfully.

Another example that is particularly current during the pandemic:

Excited to volunteer my time making masks and other personal protective equipment to donate to my friend, a first-responder with RWJ Barnabas Health. Please stay safe!

Updates about training you may be receiving, furthering your education, or other proactive steps to help enrich your professional value, are all valuable and tell people viewing your profile something important about you.

Each of the examples communicates that you are engaged in professional development or self-improvement, in addition to letting people know that you are on LinkedIn.

For more on tips on sharing good updates, read How Your LinkedIn Activities Impact Your Personal Brand.

Facebook Sharing Is Inappropriate on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is fundamentally different from most other forms of social media. LinkedIn is professionally-oriented. This means that many of the things one might do on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook are not suitable for LinkedIn.

Yet each of these sites has adopted new capabilities originally introduced on Facebook. Instagram is on the cusp of introducing advertising, Twitter’s targeted ads, and, on LinkedIn, the skill endorsement.

However, these Facebook activities are not appropriate on LinkedIn:

  • Discussions of politics.
  • How you binge-watched a television show over the weekend.
  • Cheering for your favorite sports team and/or making nasty comments about other teams.
  • Personal information like birthday parties, dating, and other family news.
  • Discussing religion and other non-business issues, etc.

While LinkedIn is definitely social media, the focus is not on sharing everything you are doing and thinking, particularly when the subject is not relevant to your professional image.

The Bottom Line

The LinkedIn status update is a powerful tool, and the savvy job seeker can use it to great effect. It can help you to communicate your ongoing professional endeavors and interests, skills development, and further networking by sharing content with your network, all while telling people that you actually do spend time on the site. And it helps keep your name and headline in front of the people in your network.