Tag Archives: COVID-19

College grads, any honest work is a good work

A very short story.

My father once told me that honest work is good work. This was when I was working at a hardware store and hating life because I wasn’t putting my education to use. I graduated with a major in English and wanted to be a teacher and coach soccer. (I think I wanted to coach soccer more.)

agriculture close up environment farm

Skip 34 years later and now I’m telling my daughter the same thing. She has just graduated and her future is uncertain; one summer camp counselor job she planned to have won’t be running during the summer.

Following the summer job she plans to teach for City Year in Sacramento, CA, but this gig might not happen due to COVID-19. She was in the midst of interviews and things looked good, but a week ago she received a letter from the school.

The letter she received from the recruiter was kind. It led with, “THIS IS NOT A REJECTION.” I explained to her that the school for which she would teach needs to figure if they will open in the fall. Still she thinks of it as a rejection.

Recently she applied to work at a farm doing who knows what. She could be picking vegetables, bagging groceries (this is a large farm), running a cash register, driving the apple-picking tractor (run for your lives, people), directing traffic, or a number of things.

To say I’m proud of her doesn’t come close to the way I feel. Given a different time, I might be thinking–even out loud–that she’s not utilizing her four-year education. But these are different times we’re facing.

Internships have fallen through, seasonal jobs have disappeared, and long-term positions are put on hold or eliminated. And, of course, unemployment is as high as more than 15%.

For recent grads and those who have been laid off long ago or more recently, keep in mind that honest work is good work, as my father used to say.

Whether my daughter gets the farm job or not, I’m immensely proud of her.

Please watch this very impactful video, from Sarah Johnston, which delivers an encouraging message to the class of 2020.


Conclusion of this story: almost 2 months later

My daughter is working on the farm doing a variety of duties. She didn’t get the job at City Year in Sacramento; however, we recently heard good news—her duties are required in Boston, MA. The future is still uncertain, given COVID-19. Will she be teaching in a classroom or working remotely? Who knows?

Updating your LinkedIn Profile during COVID-19: 5 major areas

We’re in the midst of COVID-19 which has forced many of us to stay at home. To make matters worse, unemployment has risen to unprecedented levels. On the surface, things aren’t looking good. But I don’t need to tell you this if you’re out of work.

serious adult bearded worker using tablet near window in workshop

I also don’t need to tell you that being stuck inside probably leaves you sitting in front of your computer searching for jobs online; checking your LinkedIn and Facebook streams; or worst-case scenario, watching Netflix and the good ole tele. You have some time on your hands.

Now is the time to work on your LinkedIn profile, especially if it needs a lot of work. Not for nothing, I’ve reviewed and written hundreds of LinkedIn profiles, so I know there are some great ones, average ones, and downright poor ones.

Writing a profile is hard work and time-consuming; but if you want to separate yourself from the poor to average, you’ll have to dedicate some effort. Take advantage of the time all of us have on our hands due to COVID-19. Let’s take this step by step.

First, think about your accomplishments

Now is the time to think hard about your accomplishments. Easier said than done, you think. You think everything you did while working was just part of your job. Nothing special. I get it. But you have accomplished more than you think.

I tell my clients, who claim they can’t think of any accomplishments, to reach out to people with whom they worked for help thinking about their accomplishments. Like my clients, you might be too close to your accomplishments to recognize them as such.

For example, you led a team of five people that always delivered assignments on time despite tight deadlines. You don’t think of it as a major accomplishment. But if you were to reach out to members of your former crew, they’d tell you how your leadership made all of it possible.

The question is how do you reach out to your former colleagues? Put your computer to better use; set up a time to meet with video streaming platforms like Zoom, Skype, and Facetime. In some ways it’s easier to communicate with people than getting together for coffee.

After you’ve accumulated accomplishments you didn’t realize you achieved, you’re ready to go to work on your LinkedIn profile.

Your profile

Countless articles have been written on how to create an optimized profile that brands you. Take a look at yours and if it doesn’t accomplish this, now’s the time to make it right. I’m going to point out the most important sections on which to focus. Once you’ve nailed these, work on the others.

Snapshot area: background image, photo, headline

This is the area is at the top of your profile. It should include a background image first and foremost. Make sure your background image brands you by illustrating your industry and/or occupation. An image of a mountainscape or seashore is acceptable, as it describes your personality.

You might consider this statement to be too strong: you must include a photo because without it you won’t come across as memorable, trusted, and liked. What’s most important about your photo is that it’s high quality. This might be a tough order, as many photographers aren’t open for business.

Fix: have someone with a smartphone take your photo. I’ve seen some really great photos taken with an iPhone and Android.

A strong headline is essential. If your Headline is about your situation—you’re unemployed—it adds no value to your profile. This is where you want to tout your areas of expertise. Make it keyword rich like this:

Marketing Manager ~ Collaborative Planning | Customer Business Management | Brand and Product Marketing | MBA

A branding statement will also work but it won’t draw as many searchers, e.g., recruiters, as a headline that includes industry-related keywords will.

About section: the why, how, and what

The most important lines in your About section are the first three, where you need to entice the reader to continue reading. This is approximately 50 words, so make them count. Look at your opening paragraph as the Why. In other words, why should they click “see more.”

The “What” you do (to solve the “Why”) can be the next paragraph. Finally, “How” you do what you do rounds out your About section. Throw in some accomplishments here. As mentioned above, if you’re having trouble thinking of your accomplishments, ask people you worked with or your spouse.

Note: Don’t forget your call to action: your email address and telephone number (if you want to include it.

woman working at home using her laptop

Experience section: be more descriptive

The Experience section has been much neglected, in my opinion. Again, take some time to think about what you’ve accomplished at your previous jobs. Many people simply list their company name, title, and years of tenure. This is a shame. Even if you are/were the CEO of a company, at least describe what the company does.

Another thing people don’t realize is that you can add more to your title. For example, you are a Financial Analyst at Biogen with areas of expertise in Data Analysis, Project Management, Contract Negotiations, and Renewable Energy. Your title should read:

Financial Analyst ~ Data Analysis | Project Management | Contract Negotiations | Renewable Energy

You’ve been told not to simply copy and paste your résumé’s Experience information to your profile. I agree…to a point. While you won’t want to include everything from your résumé everything, including the kitchen sink, you will list only the highlights from your résumé.

And don’t be hesitant to show some personality in your Experience section. This is another place where you can tell your story. Here’s the job summary of my profile:

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

Read: 5 reasons why you shouldn’t ignore your LinkedIn profile Experience section

Education section: continue to tell your story

This is another section that can be expanded to tell your story. Sure you earned a Mechanical Engineer degree at MIT. Impressive, but that wasn’t all that you did while there. You were also an editor of the engineering newspaper. You also rowed Varsity crew.

I always ask my clients if they earned a degree while working full-time. Hands go up. “Do you have this fact listed on your profile,” I ask them. Hands go down. I reprimand them saying this factoid shows diligence, time management, among other skills. It’s not easy. Ask my wife who’s earning a Masters in Project Management.

Skills and endorsements/recommendations: help others

I want you to take some time to endorse your connections for their skills in the Skills and Endorsements section. A close connection of mine, Shelly Elsliger, prompted people to do this for a day. I thought it was a great way to get people active. Now that you have time, endorse your connections.

The same goes for writing recommendations for people you managed. Take this time to make their day and send them a recommendation out of the blue. Don’t wait for them to ask, because they probably won’t. This is a great way to show your authority and the values you hold in employees.

If you need recommendations, ASK! I find this is one of the hardest parts for people who are developing their profile. Fear of rejection. Afraid of putting people out. There are a number of excuses. Take this time to write your own recommendations and have someone approve it.


The rest

The easy part is done. What, you’re thinking? That’s right; you have reacted to what I’ve suggested. Now it’s time to activate your profile by reaching out to like-minded people to create a focused network. Once your network is established, you need to engage with them.

I won’t tell you that what we’re going through is a blessing, but I’ll tell you that you need to make the best of this unfortunate situation. Begin with your profile and work from there. One more thing, your profile doesn’t need to be perfect in order for your LinkedIn campaign to be put to use.

3 facts about this impersonal job search: why adapting is important

With the COVID-19 pandemic, job seekers don’t have the option of attending in-person networking events, job clubs, buddy groups, or coffee meetings; at least for the time being. A time will come when they can engage in face-to-face networking. When this will happen is not certain, but it will happen.

woman typing a business plan on laptop

Similarly, face-to-face interviews are canceled at most companies. Job candidates look forward to interviewing at companies, as it promises the hope of landing positions at their desired companies. Again, a time will come when job seekers will return to face-to-face interviews.

This is the problem. What’s the solution? Virtual meetings via Zoom, Skype, GoToMeeting, Facetime, GoogleHangout, and other video platforms are the solution. The good ole telephone can’t be dismissed, but it doesn’t offer the intimacy that video conferences do.

1. What’s missing

Being in the moment is the most obvious missing piece in networking and interviews. Eye contact, a clear view of people’s facial expressions, body language overall are sorely missing. I, for one, feel more alive when in the moment of having human contact. I’m an introvert, so this is not an introvert/extravert thing.

Also missing is physical contact such as shaking hands, handing a networking partner your business card, or even a tap on the shoulder. The same goes for in an interview scenario where the handshake is considered one of the most important components of body language.

What about eye language? This is also key in both scenarios. Eyes speak. They can show sincerity, intelligence, interest, concern, or on the flipside dishonesty. Companies that use AI in their pre-recorded video interviews believe that eye contact counts for a lot.

We are human. We enjoy being present. There’s comfort in standing or sitting across from someone. Shaking hands, making eye contact, and the rest. Even getting in our cars to drive to networking events and interviews are part of the job-search process. There’s comfort in this.

2. What can job seekers do?

This will take a little practice for job seekers. It will require them to get into their stretch zone. They’ll have to make use of whatever resources they have. Maybe they’ll need to spend money they don’t necessarily have. It will require them to readjust their thinking.

If you’re looking for work, this is a time when you’ll have to rise to the challenge of the impersonal job search. At least for the time being. It will require a different mindset. For example, you might be using a laptop which rests on your lap or sits on a table. This is your contact with a person or people miles away.

Getting used to looking at that little bright dot at the top of your laptop will seem weird at first or forever. But it’s something you need to do in order to make eye contact with whomever you’re communicating. I do webinars on a regular basis and believe me, it will never be natural.

Smiling at someone or ones on the other end of the line might also seem weird but it’s something you’ll have to do. People will judge your enthusiasm based on your smile. Smiling will show you’re friendly, approachable, likable, et cetera.

Finding the proper space to conduct your video interview might be a challenge, as well. Find a place in your home or apartment that is well lit. I find bright overhead lighting as well as lighting directed at my face on both sides to be the best. There’s nothing less appealing than dark lighting.

Note: Arlene Pierret, a recruiter at Facebook, recently said during a panel discussion for Hope Summit that recruiters will most likely give you a break on your space, but it’s best to handle it professionally.

Your background is also important. It should be devoid of embarrassing clutter in the background. I’ve seen people with laundry piled up in the background. Not good. What’s acceptable are nice prints, books, plants, et cetera. A room with items in it also reduces echo.

Background noise is also a negative. I’ve spoken with people who’ve had to conduct their virtual meetings from inside a closet, which in return causes an echo. Try to find a room that has items in the room and, most importantly, a door you can close.

3. Why this can be a good thing

The good news is that this impersonal job search is prepping you for remote work. You might be learning how to use Zoom or other video platforms. You have to practice better time management skills. No one is looking over your shoulder telling you what to do.

You’re learning to adapt to less than ideal circumstances. Like me, you’re realizing that there aren’t enough rooms in the house and that you can’t escape to a quieter place outside the house, but you’re adapting and this is a good thing.

You might be spending more time with loved ones; time you didn’t have in the past. You’re having family meals that might have been seriously curtailed by your former work schedule. I know these seem like small things now, but you will look back on them with fondness.

Employers are still hiring

If you think employers aren’t hiring, think again. Employers are hiring, albeit slowly. A few of my clients have been offered jobs during the pandemic. Some of them are being delayed with onboarding, others started immediately with a little difficulty in terms of logistics.

Employers continue to prepare for a time when they will open their doors. This means that you might be offered a job that begins in a few months, which is a long time. So be smart and consider looking for other positions. From a SHRM.com article:

Says, Joseph Puglise, senior director of executive search and recruiting at JMJ Phillip, a global executive search firm, “We’re seeing a mixed bag around how companies respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. We have many clients that are pushing the interview process forward for critical openings, with slight modifications.”

Champion of job seekers, Susan Joyce, publishes a weekly list of companies that are advertising positions. It is an extensive list, but Susan stresses:

Employee referral makes you stand out among the vast crowd of people who apply anonymously. So, leverage your network (LinkedIn is helpful for this). Find people who work at one of these employers IF you want to work for that employer.

Nonetheless, take a look at the list of open positions Susan publishes. It might give you ideas of other similar companies to include on your target list.

You have more time to do what you should, research employers of interest. Many job seekers spend the majority of their time on their computer applying for jobs. They blast off tens of resumes a week and wait for a response from employers.

Instead use this time developing a company list and researching them extensively, thus setting you up to write tailored resumes and being prepared for interviews.

Your work future might be different

Adaptability will be required if you want to jump out of the gate to land your next gig. For example, you might have to change your career if you were in industries like retail or food. This isn’t to say you can’t get back to what you love. But “transferrable skills” will become a familiar term.

Things will be different when you land your next gig. In other words, you might not return to an office, or if you do the employees could be staggard, as The Washington Post suggests. Working from home could be a thing for quite a while.

Or working at home might become the new reality. It costs some companies less to have their employees work from home. They can reduce office space and overhead costs.

Hopefully you’ve have become more proficient with video interviewing platforms. You held buddy networking groups and job clubs online. You learned better time management skills. Don’t take these skills lightly.

There are organizations that weren’t up to speed with this simple technology before COVID-19 hit. They’re playing catch-up. You could be a savior that teaches them more about the technology you’ve been learning.


There’s no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has turned the world on its head. Things have changed dramatically. Now is the time when we can embrace the change or buckle under it. I opt for embracing it and adapting to the way things are and the way things will be.

25 activities to make your life and job search easier during COVID-19

Tempers are starting to run high in our household. When we were first quarantined about three weeks ago, life went surprisingly well. Think about it; even the most congruent families will start to feel like caged tigers after awhile. Well, our time just arrived.

Yoga

I came home from a five-mile walk to hear the crashing of pots and pans. When I asked my wife what was wrong, she said the pans weren’t cleaned properly. An outburst like this is not common in our household. Yes, the time of implosion has definitely arrived.

In an article from Psychology Today, the author lays out the psychological symptoms of social distancing and being quarantined:

Perhaps you’re experiencing some of these symptoms or all of them—especially if you’re working from home for the first time, homeschooling your kids on top of this; on furlough; or unemployed.

For whichever reason it is, you didn’t choose the situation you’re in. But you realize you can’t let yourself and family members become angry at the slightest drop of the hat. You have to reduce the anxiety and possible depression you’re experiencing.

For me a daily four- to five-mile walk does the job. It gets me going in the morning before settling down in my chair, which is my office, to conduct the work I have to do. My wife enjoys cooking better meals than what I produced as well as taking walks with one of her friends.

We also love talking with our two daughters and parents—who are within driving distance but self-quarantined—via Facetime, Zoom, or the phone. Here are some ways you can reduce the stress in your life.

Ways for everyone to make self-quarantine more bearable

Stop using your treadmill as a coat hanger. You’ve been looking at that thing for years wondering why you’re not using it. Now’s the chance to use it if you don’t have anywhere to walk.

Catch up on old The Office episodes. This is one of my favorite shows, especially the seasons starring Steve Carell as Michael Scott. I also recommend Ozark on Netflix or Luther on Amazon Prime.

Search through your bookshelf. I don’t understand why people, like a colleague of mine, re-reads books. That’s not me. Maybe you’re a re-reader.

Start that puzzle you purchased at the beginning of the pandemic. My wife bought one that has yet to be assembled. Maybe we’ll get to it. Maybe.

Stay in touch with family. One of the things I love doing is talking with Mom during my walks. As mentioned earlier, my wife and I Zoom and Facetime with the girls. It’s the next best thing to being there.

Tell your spouse you’re taking a walk. A long walk. You need to get away from your kids if you’re home-schooling them. That’s okay. Take turns; don’t do it by yourself.

Gas up the minivan. We called it forced family fun (FFF) when the kids were younger. We’d corral them in the van and tell them we were going for a ride. Of course they’d want to know where we were going. The answer was, “You’ll find out when we get there.”

Bake a cake. Or brownies, apple crisp, cookies, or whatever strikes your fancy. Our son who is home from university was exposed to baking. It didn’t take.

Take yoga online. My daughter has taken a liking to watch and perform yoga exercises. I tell her it looks too painful for me. This video with Yoga with Adriene has close to 3.5 million views.

Take a hike. For the more adventurous people, find an area that isn’t heavily populated—maintain social distancing—and enjoy nature while you’re walking ascending trails and climbing rocky terrain. Just don’t fall.

Break open a great bottle of wine. You have the right to relax. How you decide to do it is up to you. After the kids have gone to bed, take the moment for yourself and your loved one.

Ways for job seekers to utilize this time

Look at this time of self-quarantine as an opportunity to ramp up your job search. Despite the hit our economy has taken, it is going to rebound and employers will need to fill positions that employers were originally going to.

Note: for other great advice, check out a post that is heating up.

Develop a wellness strategy. Sabrina Woods advises job seekers to create “more calm and enhance productivity by:

  • Creating and following a schedule every day.
  • Paying attention to how much news/media you consume, as these will impact your state of mind.
  • Staying connected with friends and family (set up phone and video chat dates).”

Take on a project. A valued connection of mine, Sarah Johnston, writes that she’s painting old furniture as a way to take control of the chaos we’re experiencing. Take your mind off the job search by doing something that is cathartic.

Take inventory. My valued colleague, Maureen McCann advises to “research what you have to offer the market.” She created a great video summarizing how to do this. Check it out.

Read books relevant to your job search. Jim Peacock, another valued connection, is always peddling books and even writes reviews. Or read some fiction to take your mind off your search.

Join a free or inexpensive virtual program. Speaking of learning, Edward Lawrence suggests joining virtual trainings which are inexpensive or free through the Massachusetts Council on Aging, The Professional Development Collaborative of Boston, or MassHire in Massachusetts.

Now’s a great time to update your résumé and LinkedIn Profile. My connection Susan Joyce advises taking this time to finetune your LinkedIn profile. She suggests, among others, that you focus on your problem, actions, results (PARs) to write accomplishments.

Grow your LinkedIn campaign. People who I’ve coached know that I’m a staunch advocate for building one’s like-minded network and then engaging with them. Great opportunities arise from LinkedIn.

Networking must go on. I wrote an article that talks about how I run job club meetings via Zoom. We jokingly call ourselves the Brady Bunch, but it’s all serious business. Mark Babbit suggests reaching out to mentors and former colleagues via video platforms.

Be proactive and reach out to recruiters. They have time on their hands and any recruiter worth their weight in salt will welcome new connections that fit their industry. More importantly, recruiters are hiring for certain industries; maybe yours.

Be prepared for video interviews. “Practice zoom interviewing, use zoom to grab informational meetings, get very comfortable in front of the lens, it’s going to be more prevalent than ever, says Andy Foote. He offers some tips which you can read in the post.

Talking about being prepared; know your story: Gina Riley advises job seekers to get an understanding of employers’ pain points and be able to explain through your stories who you can solve them.

Attend virtual events. Do you want to take a deep dive into networking? Brenda Meller suggests attending virtual professional association events and gives as examples some events she’d attend: Detroit Together Digital, American Marketing Association, or Troy Chamber of Commerce

Take online courses. This suggestion comes from my valued connection Paula Christensen. If you’re not taking advantage of LinkedIn’s free Premium upgrade, do it. You can take advantage of LinkedIn Learning.

Take care of yourself. Vincent Phamvan says it well: “Spend some of your time on activities outside of your job search. Spend time with family, take walks, try to eat healthy meals. This will keep you mentally fit and ready to rock your upcoming interviews.”

Back away from high expectations. This one comes from Patricia Harding, and I thought it was so insightful that I’ll allow her to say it: “I think it’s also ok to back away from high expectations of yourself (and others) and slow down and do nothing now and then.”

Read what many other career-search pundits have to way about the job search in this COVID-19 time.

Photo: Flickr, Timothy George

81 LinkedIn posts that can help you with your job search

You might be a beginner on LinkedIn or even well versed with the platform. Either way this compilation of posts can help you use LinkedIn more effectively. Stay current by reading the most recent ones or all of them. I hope these posts help you with your job search.

LinkedIn Flag

81. LinkedIn’s “Open to Work” is the winner of 3 new features for 2020

I am particularly fond of LinkedIn’s poll feature which has been brought back from the early years. With Create a Poll, you can ask LinkedIn members to vote on certain topics like which three new features They appreciate most–Open to Work, Create a Poll, or Add Name Pronunciation? To my chagrin, Create a Poll didn’t win.

80. The LinkedIn profile Headline is the MOST important section, according to 46% of people polled

Wouldn’t you know it, the LinkedIn profile Headline is deemed more important than the About and Experience sections. In a recent poll conducted on LinkedIn, in which 1,189 people voted, 46% of the voters chose the Headline over Experience, 30%, and About, 24%.

79. It’s all important when it comes to your LinkedIn campaign

An optimized profile is important, but it’s not the end all be all. A strong LinkedIn campaign also includes a focused network and engagement. This is clear based on a poll I conducted on LinkedIn. At the end of the poll, 787 people weighed in. I would say this is a legitimate case study.

78. 10 LinkedIn experts weigh in on where to start your LinkedIn campaign 

Working for a One-Stop career center, I’m often confronted by job seekers who haven’t used LinkedIn but know they must in order to shorten their job search. Some of them believe they should begin by writing a compelling profile which makes good sense. But is a profile alone enough?

77. Updating your LinkedIn profile during COVID-19: 5 major areas

We’re in the midst of COVID-19 which has forced many of us to stay at home. To make matters worse, unemployment has risen to unprecedented levels. Now is the time to work on your LinkedIn profile, especially if it needs a lot of work.

76. Hot LinkedIn trends for 2020: what the experts say

To land a job in 2020, you will need to have a strong LinkedIn profile. And, that profile needs to clearly brand you. But is a strong, well-branded LinkedIn profile enough? According to four LinkedIn experts it isn’t.

I asked Hannah Morgan, Kevin Turner, Jessica Hernandez, and Andy Foote for their insights for the year ahead and received answers ranging from the importance of search engine optimization (SEO) to building a strong network and engaging with your network.

75. New LinkedIn feature provides advice on how to answer 26 general interview questions

LinkedIn has launched a new interview-practice feature which leaves me with a sense of ambiguity. On one hand, I think it’s a great attempt to educate job seekers on how to interview for a position. On the other hand, there are limitations to this new feature.

74. Why your LinkedIn profile resembles a combination résumé

The latest article makes a comparison between your LinkedIn profile and a combination résumé. Your About section is the functional piece of the combination résumé and the Experience section should be written with as much detail on the profile and résumé.

73. 5 steps to take on LinkedIn to be proactive in your job search

To land a job in 2020, more than ever, you’ll need to be proactive rather than reactive. In other words, stop blasting out job applications 10 per day. If you’ve been doing this for months, by now you know the ROI is very low.

This act of futility demands different approaches. This article explains how to be more proactive in your job search by researching and using LinkedIn.

72. 7 sins you’re committing with your LinkedIn campaign

You’ve heard of the seven deadly sins—Pride, Envy, Gluttony, Lust, Anger, Greed, Sloth. Two years ago I heard a podcast talking about them. Two years later I’m writing an article focusing on the sins you’re committing with your LinkedIn campaign.

They are not the deadly sins discussed in the podcast I listened to, but they can definitely hurt your campaign and, consequently, your job search.

71. How you can direct your visitors to your LinkedIn Accomplishments section

Many people won’t look at your Accomplishments section. Many people don’t even know it exists. How do you draw people to this important area of your profile? You direct them to this area by mentioning it in your About section.

70. 10 New Year’s resolutions I know I WILL achieve

Like many people, I dislike New Year’s resolutions, mainly because we rarely achieve them. But this year I’m going to set some resolutions that are attainable. The resolutions I vow to achieve are ones that relate to LinkedIn. These are ones I can do. I also hope my resolutions will benefit other LinkedIn users, namely job seekers; that they will emulate them. The following are 10 actions I will take in 2020.

69. 9 major areas where your LinkedIn profile brands you

It’s safe to say I’ve critiqued or written hundreds of LinkedIn profiles. What’s most important in a profile is that it brands the LinkedIn member; it sends a clear, consistent message of the value the member will deliver to employers. Does your profile brand you?

68. 5 types of like-minded people to connect with on LinkedIn

In a recent LinkedIn Official Blog post, the author suggests you should connect “with people you know and trust.” This seems like sound advice on the surface, but it shouldn’t be followed literally. My suggestion is to take it a step further and connect with like-minded people.

67. 3 challenges to improve your LinkedIn engagement

Engaging on LinkedIn can be tough. It requires dedication, stretching your zone and putting yourself out there. But here’s the thing; if you don’t engage, you’ll be forgotten by your connections. In this article I coach you on how to engage on LinkedIn.

66. The ultimate comparison of the résumé and LinkedIn profile: a look at 10 areas

Occasionally I’m asked which I prefer writing or reviewing, a résumé or LinkedIn profile. To use a tired cliché, it’s like comparing apples and oranges. Read this article to discover why the résumé and LinkedIn profile are different.

65. 5 tips for busy people using LinkedIn

No, this is not an article for LinkedIn power users (but there are articles for those in this compilation). This article is for busy people who want to make the most of LinkedIn.

64. The LinkedIn quiz: 50 questions

In a recent LinkedIn post, I asked my LinkedIn community to take a quiz consisting of 15 questions. Those who took it were honest about their LinkedIn prowess, or lack thereof. I promised in this post that I would reveal the entire quiz I give my clients. The quiz I give my clients consists of 50 questions. If you decide to take it and don’t score 100%, don’t worry. There is always room for improvement. I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t have a perfect score.

63. 10 reasons why you should use LinkedIn after you’ve landed a job

I’ve come across thousands of job seekers who believe in the power LinkedIn provides to help them land a job. I haven’t, however, come across as many people who believe in using LinkedIn after they’ve landed. They feel that once LinkedIn has done its job, it’s time to part ways.

Why is that? Do people not see the value of LinkedIn in their work?

62. Shaming on LinkedIn is NOT cool: 5 solutions

Unwanted sales pitches or requests to read an article can be irritating, but is it worth shaming the offender? In this article, people on LinkedIn weigh in. What do they suggest? Read to find out.

61. It’s your LinkedIn profile, not your company’s: 4 areas to show it

You might be in a situation where your company requires you to make your profile more about it than you. If this doesn’t settle with you, try compromising. In other words, dedicate most of your profile to your greatness and the rest to your company’s. Easy Peasy.

60. 3 proper ways for job seekers to send invites on LinkedIn

When you send an invite to a LinkedIn member to join your network, it’s important that you personalize the message. To do otherwise would show a lack of effort, and your invitation would probably we rejected. So what do you write in the message box when you send the invite off? This article explains how to write a cold invite, use a reference, and ask for an introduction.

59. 8 ways to use LinkedIn to shorten your job search

If you’re searching for a job, LinkedIn can shorten your search. You’ve probably been told this, but it’s well worth repeating. Will using LinkedIn alone guarantee that you land your next gig? No; LinkedIn is a great supplement to your in-person networking, but you need to engage in both for a strong networking campaign.

58. 8 common excuses for neglecting LinkedIn in your job search

LinkedIn can play an important role in your job search. You might be neglecting LinkedIn, thus hurting your chances of landing a job. Read this article to discover 8 common ways people neglect LinkedIn.

57. 7 Reasons why you should be on LinkedIn

Are you wondering if you’re on LinkedIn? This article is meant for you. If you are on LinkedIn, this article will confirm your wise choice. The first thing you need to determine is if your industry is well represented.

56. A little advice for my angry LinkedIn connection

This article stands the test of time, as I see negative posts here and there on LinkedIn. Think about how it hurts your personal brand when you show your negativity. In this article I use an analogy of a boyhood friend who was always angry. Eventually we drifted away.

55. 6 reasons to use Facebook; 6 reasons to use LinkedIn

Many people who know me, consider me a LinkedIn connoisseur. They would never imagine that I, in fact, enjoy Facebook. Awhile back, I decided if I were going to bash Facebook, I had to know what I was bashing. In any case, there are times when Facebook is preferable over LinkedIn. This article talks about the strengths of both.

54. The 50 most important words in your LinkedIn Summary*

In this popular post, I address the first 50 (approximately) first words of your Summary. Find out why they are important. This post is a good one to read after the previous one.

53. College students, 7 steps you need to take to be successful on LinkedIn

If you’re a college student, this post is for you. Now is the time to join LinkedIn, but use this platform to its fullest. Hard work? Sure it is. But you can do it.

52. Don’t hide from hiring authorities on LinkedIn: 4 areas to list your contact info

You are killing your chances of being contacted by recruiters, hiring managers, and HR if you don’t list your contact information on your profile. Include your email address and phone number in four key places. At least your email address.

51. One area on your LinkedIn profile you may not be aware of: and you probably should

Many of my clients are unaware of the Contact Info area on their profile. This is a bit disconcerting, especially since it’s an area stock full of information. Make sure you’re utilizing it, as well as checking other LinkedIn members’ Contact Info.

50. 3 reasons to properly endorse people for the skills on their LinkedIn profile

To endorse or not endorse? That is a question many LinkedIn users have. Are endorsements valid? Here are three reasons why you should endorse others on LinkedIn for their skills.

49. Reflect before slapping your LinkedIn profile together

Writing your LinkedIn profile or revising it takes reflection. For example, think about how you want to brand yourself. Your profile is not simply your resume. And consider who your audience is.

48. 7 steps to take to find the right person using LinkedIn’s All Filters

When you’re searching for people on LinkedIn, there’s a nifty feature called All Filters. It allows you to narrow your job search to find who you need to connect with or send an Inmail. Read this post to learn about All Filters.

47. 11 telltale signs that your LinkedIn profile reveals

There’s more revealed on your profile than what your Summary, Experience, Education, and other major sections. Read this post to find out what reviewers see when they read your LinkedIn profile.

46. 3 reasons why you want to show activity on LinkedIn

LinkedIn members can see your activity section. That’s if you have one. If you don’t have this section, you might turn people away, including hiring authorities. Don’t make this mistake. Engage on LinkedIn.

45. 5 ways on LinkedIn to let employers know you’re unemployed

If you want employers to know you’re unemployed, here are 5 possible ways to do it. I’ll give my opinion on which ways are not preferable and which are. Here’s a hint, leaving your last position open is the least preferable.

43. It’s okay to connect with strangers

Although this post is written for younger LinkedIn users, the idea that you can connect with people you don’t know applies to everyone. Read the story of my daughter and the advice I give her.

42. Two LinkedIn changes: one good, the other Meh

I consider myself to be a fair guy. When LinkedIn does things right, I compliment them. When they do wrong, I criticize them. This time LinkedIn made a smart move by joining multiple job titles to fit under one company icon. But in the same fell swoop, LinkedIn truncating each position.

41. The ultimate LinkedIn guide, part 1: how to optimize your LinkedIn profile

Use this checklist to improve your LinkedIn profile. This is part 1 of a 3-part series. To succeed in your LinkedIn campaign, follow these posts on creating a strong LinkedIn profile, building your network, and engaging on LinkedIn.

40. The Ultimate LinkedIn Guide, Part 2: How to Optimize Your Network

After you’ve optimized your LinkedIn profile, now it’s time to optimize your network.

39. The Ultimate LinkedIn Guide, Engaging on LinkedIn: Part 3

You’ve established a great network. Make sure you stay top of mind by providing relevant, valuable information.

38. Should candidates send a LinkedIn invite after the first interview?

After a client asked me if she should send an invite to a recruiter after their first interview, it prompted me to ask recruiters who hang out on Facebook this question. Surprisingly, their answers were a definitive yes. Read what they have to say.

37. 5 reasons why LinkedIn recommendations should get more respect

Recommendations were once the rave of the LinkedIn profile; some considered them the profile’s best feature. Recruiters only had to read them to see your excellence. They could make a quick decision on whether to contact you or not. This is no longer the case.

36. 4 reasons why you need a strong LinkedIn Summary

Would you go to an interview or business meeting without shoes? Of course not. So I wonder why people feel that a Summary statement on their LinkedIn profile is unnecessary. Having viewed hundreds profiles, I’ve seen many that simply begin with the Experience section and have no Summary.

35. 5 reasons why you shouldn’t ignore your LinkedIn profile Experience section

All too often job seekers and business people ignore their Experience section, assuming people will know what their positions entail. Even if you’re a CEO, visitors would like more description of what you and your company have accomplished. Don’t undersell this important section of your profile.

34. 3 ways job seekers can be found on LinkedIn

I’m often asked by my clients how they can be found by recruiters on LinkedIn. That’s a great question, and contrary to what my job seekers think, optimizing your profile with keywords is not enough.

33. 6 ways to be engaged on LinkedIn, not just active

It’s no longer enough to be active on LinkedIn; you have to engage with your network. There are differences. Find out what they are in this post.

32. 3 reasons for your LinkedIn success: it’s not only about your LinkedIn profile

Many people think having a great LinkedIn profile is enough. Well, think again. You must also develop a targeted and large network, as well as engage with your connections. These are the three pieces to a successful LinkedIn campaign.

31. 3 areas of information your LinkedIn profile Dashboard provides: part 1

If you’re not paying attention to the Dashboard on your LinkedIn profile, you’re missing out on some information. Who’s viewing your profile, how many views does your latest post have, and how many people have searched for you, plus more.

30. 3 features your LinkedIn profile Dashboard provides: part 2

Your LinkedIn Dashboard is privy to only you. Read about some cool features it contains, such as Career Advice, Career Interests, and Salary Insights.

29.  6 LinkedIn profile rules to ignore in 2019

The first rule is your profile background image must match your occupation/industry. Well, not really. But that’s how most people try to do it. There are five other rules you can ignore in 2018.

28. 5 ways the new LinkedIn profile has changed for the good and bad

LinkedIn’s at it again. New changes to the top of your profile; what I call the Snapshot area. These changes are for the most part nice. Learn what they are by reading this post.

27. 8 areas on your LinkedIn profile where you can make your voice heard

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

26. 4 steps to take—at a minimum—to ask for a favor on LinkedIn

How do you ask for a favor from one of your connections? Here’s a hint: don’t do it in your initial invite. That’s just plain rude.

25. 2 important rules for connecting on LinkedIn the right way

There are two rules I abide by when connecting with someone and after being accepted to someone’s network. Learn what they are and why they’re important.

24. 6 interesting ways you can find your alumni using LinkedIn’s “See Alumni”

Your alumni can be great a great asset to your network. “See Alumni” is a great feature that allows you to find you alums based on 6 filters.

23. 4 reasons why your LinkedIn background image shouldn’t be ignored

Often overlooked, this area on your LinkedIn profile is valuable real estate that contributes to your brand. Don’t ignore it.

22. 6 areas on your LinkedIn profile you should optimize in 2019

It’s no longer just about completing all the sections on your profile, you need to know where to include the keywords to be better found. Read this post to learn where the keywords matter most.

21. 5 connections that will optimize your LinkedIn network in 2019

Now that your profile is optimized for 2018, it’s time to optimize your network. This post helps you get the most out of your network by explaining the 5 types of connections with whom you should engage.

20. 10 ways to optimize your engagement in 2019

Now that you’re connected to the proper people on LinkedIn, you’ll need to engage with them to stay “top of mind.”

19. LinkedIn makes changes to People Search: smart or for the sake of changes?

No one knows when LinkedIn will make changes to its functionality. Some changes are good, others make you scratch your head wondering why certain changes were made. This has been LinkedIn’s MO since its inception.

18. Meeting 5 objections to joining LinkedIn

I hear many lame excuses from people as to why they shouldn’t join LinkedIn. Here are five of them.

17. 8 reasons why LinkedIn probably isn’t for you

I will be the last person to say “everyone” should be on LinkedIn if they want to land a job. Although LinkedIn is important in the job search, it’s not right for everyone.

16. 5 steps to connecting with LinkedIn members

How do you connect with people on LinkedIn? And what are the five steps to take to connect properly? Learn about the feature “Connections of” and how it can be a game player when you’re asking for an introduction or making a “cold call” connection.

15. 3 times when LinkedIn is essential for your professional career

You’ll need to use LinkedIn when you’re looking for work, working, and while in school. This post is ideal for all LinkedIn users. Are you using LinkedIn the way you should?

14. 8 ways to keep the LinkedIn process from breaking down

In this article I compare building your LinkedIn profile to painting a fence. Great fun writing this one. But seriously, these are the major components to be concerned about.

13. 5 major components of the LinkedIn profile on the mobile app

LinkedIn members need to be aware of the LinkedIn mobile app, as it will soon surpass the use of its computer application. This is one of a three-part series that discusses the LinkedIn profile on the mobile app.

12. 5 LinkedIn mobile app features you need to learn 

Although the LinkedIn mobile app doesn’t offer as much functionality as the desktop version, it is a powerful platform. Check out the differences between the two.

11. LinkedIn’s mobile app versus the desktop: 8 differences

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

10. 7 faux pas you may be committing on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is not kind to people who commit certain faux pas. Shall we say the LinkedIn police are watching? Be sure not to post irrelevant information, for example. There are six more.

9. 16 of my rigid LinkedIn principles 

There are some LinkedIn principles I hold which are quite rigid. They guide me in how I interact with people on LinkedIn. You may agree with some of them, and you may think some of them are bunk.

8. 10 steps toward a successful LinkedIn in Strategy

This post highlights 10 of the most important steps you need to take to be successful on LinkedIn. Read part one for the first five steps and then part two for the final five steps.

7. There are 5 LinkedIn contributors; which are you?

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

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

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

5. 9 facts about LinkedIn lite profile vs. the LinkedIn profile we knew

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

4. Three reasons why the LinkedIn Summary is key for career changers

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

3. Create a kick-ass profile summary with these four elements

This post is a blast from the past, but it’s still topical. Your LinkedIn Summary is an important part of your profile. Don’t take it lightly.

2. 5 ways LinkedIn Lite’s anchored sections are hurting its members

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

1. Six steps to take when using LinkedIn networking for a job

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


About Me

Bob Cropped

Bob McIntosh, CPRW, is a career trainer who leads more than 20 job search workshops/webinars at an urban career center, as well as critiques LinkedIn profiles and conducts mock interviews.

Job seekers and staff look to him for advice on the job search. In addition, Bob has gained a reputation as a LinkedIn authority in the community.

Recently he was awarded one of LinedIn’s Top Voices for his contributions on LinkedIn.

He started the first LinkedIn program at the Career Center of Lowell and created workshops to support the program. People from across the state attend his LinkedIn workshops.

Bob’s greatest pleasure is helping people find rewarding careers in a competitive job market. For enjoyment, he blogs at Things Career Related. Connect with Bob on LinkedIn and follow him on Twitter.