Tag Archives: Engagement

The Ultimate LinkedIn Guide, Engaging on LinkedIn: Part 3

In part two of this series, we looked at how to optimize your LinkedIn network. This post will address how to engage with the connections within your network in various ways. When I explain this concept to my clients, I tell them that they can have a stellar profile and large network, but if they don’t engage their connections, it’s like they don’t exist.

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Being Active Vs. Being Engaged

First let’s talk about the distinction between “active” and ”engage.” It’s possible to be active on LinkedIn, while not being engaged. When you’re active, you’re simply there and not making an impact. Whereas when you’re engaged, you’re truly communicating with your connections.

Let’s first look at examples of being active, followed by being engaged. Think about what you’re doing and if you need to change how you interact with your connections.

Being Active

Liking What Your Connections Post

There’s not much you can say about simply liking what your connections post, other than your connections might appreciate the number of Likes they receive. Then they’ll wonder, “What did Bob think of what I wrote?” This is the ultimate example of simply being active.

Sharing What Your Connections Post

Similar to liking what someone posts, simply sharing a post is clicking the Share button. Again, people will be grateful that you shared their post or article, but couldn’t you do more? “I’m glad Bob shared my article,” they will think. “But why did he share it? What did he think of it?”

Posting a Picture and Sharing a Quote

Posting a picture is nice. It adds color to peoples’ homepage feed. They may pause to look at it. A picture says a thousand words, right? Wrong. You want to explain why you’re sharing the picture, not have people guess. The same goes for sharing a quote without an explanation as to why you shared it.

Writing Brief Comments

Writing comments to what your connections post is a step toward the right direction, but your comments should be meaningful. For example, “Great article, Susan,” is not very meaningful. It is similar to Liking what someone posts.

One excuse I’ve heard from my clients is that it’s difficult to write a lengthy comment with their smartphone. My reply is wait until you’re in front of a computer, if that’s the case.

Asking a Question and Not Responding to Answers

Asking questions is fine; I do it all the time. However, just letting the responses you receive sit is disrespectful to the people who provided the answers. Make sure you ask meaningful questions, though.

Endorsing Connections for Their Skills

This doesn’t constitute engagement. You are simply clicking on your connections’ skills. Further, you might not have seen them perform the skills for which you’ve endorsed. My opinion of endorsements is well known by my clients. The opposite of endorsements are recommendations (discussed below).

Engagement

Writing Comments that are Meaningful

The opposite of writing a brief, meaningless comment is putting thought into what you write. The best way I can illustrate this is by sharing one I wrote for this article:

“Great post, @Susan Brandt. 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. I was scolded once for not doing this.

Sharing Original Updates

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

Note: Many LinkedIn pundits suggest keeping your status updates to one or two a day. I blatantly break this rule.

Responding to What Others Write about Your Updates

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. I am impressed with people who take the time to answer every reply they receive. I try to reply to all the feedback but, alas, I am only human.

Sharing Your Connections’ Articles AND Commenting

Unlike the aforementioned example of simply sharing someone’s article, you will go a step further and share a short synopsis of the message it delivers. This says, “I’ve taken the time to read the article, understand its meaning, and will elaborate on it for the benefit of the readers.” To be a curator is the true definition of networking.

Writing and Sharing your Articles

Writing an article with unique and fresh content takes engagement; it shows you’ve considered what your audience would benefit from. My primary audiences are job seekers and career coaches, so I write articles focusing on the job search and using LinkedIn in the job search. You can write an article on the LinkedIn platform or share one from a blog, such as this one.

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

I include creating and sharing videos under engagement. This is a fairly new concept—probably a year old by now—but it’s catching hold among LinkedIn members. If you are going to share videos, make sure you’re consistent and produce videos your connections will appreciate.

Sending direct messages

Sending individual messages to your connections is the most obvious form of engagement. This is where relationships are cemented, or not, depending on the interaction you have with said person. I received from a client a question about sending mass messages. This is not considered proper policy; but if you need to reach many people at once, you are allowed to message 50 people at a time.

Writing Recommendations for Your Connections

Unlike endorsing your connections for their skills, writing recommendations take thought and time. To write a recommendation requires having supervised a connection or witnessed them as a colleague, partner, or vendor. This is a true form of engagement, which I fear is going out of favor.

Following Up with Your Connections

To truly show engagement, you must follow up with your connections. I have developed many relationships by reaching out to my connections via telephone, if they live a distance away. If they live closer, I’ll meet them for coffee. 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.


Perhaps the most difficult part of a successful LinkedIn campaign is engaging with your LinkedIn connections. To do so requires you to extend yourself; perhaps reach outside your comfort zone. One of my clients told me, “I don’t know what to write.” I told her to write what she feels.

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3 ways job seekers can get 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. Sure, having a profile that contains the proper keywords is important, but being found by recruiters takes more commitment than that.

Found

What we’re talking about is your ranking on LinkedIn — that is, how high up you appear in search results when recruiters look for people like you. The higher you rank, the more likely it is that recruiters will contact you.

The recruiters with whom I have spoken about this say they rarely look beyond the fourth page of results. At 10 profiles per page, that means recruiters will only look at the first 40 profiles. If you’re below No. 40, you’re probably not getting a call.

So, how do you improve your rank? There are three factors at play.

1. Keywords matter, but they’re not everything

You do need to include the right keywords throughout your profile, but according to LinkedIn, balance of keywords matters more than abundance. In other words: Don’t stuff your profile with repeated words, as this is considered spamming.

According to LinkedIn itself:

More keywords aren’t always better. Our advice would be to avoid overfilling your profile with keywords and only include the keywords that best reflect your expertise and experience. If you integrate an extended list of keywords into your profile, it’s likely that your profile will be filtered out by our spam detection algorithms, which will negatively impact your appearance in search results.

Where do keywords matter most? Every keyword is important throughout your profile, but the areas weighed heavier than others are the Headline and titles of your positions in the Experience section.

So, yes, keywords are important, but take LinkedIn’s advice and don’t overdo it.

2. Maintain an extensive network…with the proper people

You are deemed more relevant to a search — and thus ranked higher in the results — if you are connected to the searcher. Here’s how LinkedIn explains it:

The more connections you have, the more likely you will have a connection to the searcher. Closer connections, such as a 2nd-degree connection compared to a 3rd-degree connection, improve the likelihood your profile may appear in searches.

The more people you have in your LinkedIn network, the more connections you have. The more connections you have, the more likely it is that you will have some connection to a searcher who is looking for someone like you. Keep in mind we’re talking about connecting with the proper people — people who will actually be meaningful members of your network. You don’t have to accept every invite you receive just to build a network.

You can see how many searches you’ve recently appeared in by visiting your profile’s dashboard. When you click on the number, you’ll see where the searchers work, which occupations they hold, and the keywords they searched. This last bit of information can be valuable, as you’ll get a sense of whether you’re using the proper keywords to brand yourself.

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It’s also important to note the number of people who visit your profile, as this will give you an idea of your LinkedIn presence. You can find this number on your homepage under your headshot, as well as in your profile’s dashboard.

3. Engage with your connections

LinkedIn is a professional networking site. As such, LinkedIn wants you to network with like-minded people. A safe number of interactions on LinkedIn is twice a day, four times a week. I suggest to my LinkedIn workshop attendees that they engage with their connections daily. (I break my own rule.)

Participate in discussions, create your own discussions, share articles, write articles, ask questions, and provide tips about your industry. The most obvious way to engage with your connections is by writing direct messages. You can include as many as 50 people in a group message; although one-on-one messages are more intimate.

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

This aspect of your LinkedIn campaign is often overlooked. Many people believe that “set it and forget it” is the approach to take — that a great profile alone will draw people to them. Or to amass a ton of connections will do the trick. Both are important, but more engagement on LinkedIn is also essential to improving your search results.


In the end, note that LinkedIn’s algorithm for search appearances isn’t an exact science. LinkedIn writes:

Unlike standard search engines, we generate relevance uniquely for each member. The order of a search result is determined in part by the profile, activity [engagement], and connections of the person who is searching.

If you want to be found on LinkedIn, you must create a complete profile containing the proper keywords, develop a strong network to engage with, and stay active on the platform. If you do this, you’ll appear higher when recruiters search for someone with your experience and talents.

This post originally appeared on recruiter.com.

43 LinkedIn posts that can help you with your job search

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

LinkedIn Flag

Two LinkedIn changes: one good, the other Meh

I consider myself to be a fair guy. When LinkedIn does right, I complement 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.

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

Use this checklist to improve your LinkedIn profile. This part 1 of a 3-part series. To follow are posts on building your network and engaging on LinkedIn. This post originally appeared in recruiter.com.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

6 LinkedIn profile rules to ignore in 2018

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.

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.

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.

4 steps to take—at 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.

2 important rules for connecting on LinkedIn the right way

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

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.

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

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

6 areas on your LinkedIn profile you should optimize in 2018

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.

5 connections that will optimize your LinkedIn network in 2018

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.

10 ways to optimize your engagement in 2018

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

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

How to brand yourself with your LinkedIn profile

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

How to brand yourself by connecting with others

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

6 ways to brand yourself by being active on LinkedIn

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

There are 5 LinkedIn contributors; which are you?

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

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

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

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

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

Three reasons why the LinkedIn Summary is key for career changers

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

The 39 most important words in your LinkedIn Summary*

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

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.

Great news; LinkedIn expands the extended Experience section

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

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

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

Six steps to take when using LinkedIn networking for a job

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

If you join LinkedIn, be prepared to work. 10 activities required to be successful

It hurts my heart when job seekers tell me they’ve been told that LinkedIn will be the reason for their success in finding a job. I mean it’s great that they’re using LinkedIn as part of their job search, but they have the misconception that LinkedIn is a job search tool that will deliver jobs to their lap.

hard work

LinkedIn is a networking application that was originally developed to help businesses network with other businesses, build leads, and help in sales and marketing. Which is precisely why job seekers should use to network and market their product (themselves); but in order to do this they need to clearly understand the purpose of LinkedIn.

And this is the conundrum—many job seekers only become active on LinkedIn when they need a job. This is a common scenario: their profile is incomplete, they have 25 connections, haven’t joined any groups, and spend one day a week on LinkedIn….But hope is not lost. What these job seekers need to do about this problem is work their arse off.

An example of someone who understood the purpose of LinkedIn is one of my former customers who wrote a stellar LinkedIn profile, based on my advice, and researching other people in her industry. She also used the Companies feature to identify the top players there. She shared relevant information with her connections, which drew the attention of recruiters and hiring manager. In other words, she put the work into using LinkedIn for her job search.

So what does it look like to work your arse off on LinkedIn, to take full advantage of what it offers?

1. First and foremost a complete profile which will include:

  • A professional photo that best reflects your industry. If you’re customer facing, you’ll dress to the nines. An engineer, most likely business casual is fine.
  • A branding headline that tells more than your occupation. It also shows the value you can bring to an employer.
  • A creative and somewhat lengthier Summary. (Some say it should be short. Let’s agree to disagree.) Your Summary should demonstrate the value you will bring to employers from the get go. To understand what I mean, read Create a kick-ass Summary with these four components.
  • An Experience section that focuses on accomplishments more than basic duties. The mundane duties might be on your résumé. You want to highlight the great things you did.
  • Keywords that will help you get found. After optimizing her profile, a former client said she went from close to 100 in rankings to 13.

2. Demonstrate commitment by spending at least four times a week on LinkedIn. For the diligent job seekers, every day of the week should be the norm. Spend at least 15 minutes a day on the platform. LinkedIn never sleeps; it’s 24×7. But don’t overdue it.

3. Frequent updates at least once a day. Occasionally you can explain your situation but not every day. Your updates can also include industry news, questions you have, sharing articles and media, tips or advice, and more.

4. What I call phase two of a successful LinkedIn campaign is accumulating quality connections, totaling at least 250 over a two-month period. Twenty connections will not impress anyone. You’ll be seen as timid and afraid to develop relationships. As well, your search engine optimization (SEO) will suffer, unless your a taxidermist.

5. Playing the Skills and Endorsement game, where you can list as many as 50 skills and be endorsed for those skills. All one needs to do is click on any of your skills to endorse you. Can you tell I’m not a big fan of this feature?

6. Acquiring recommendations. This feature was once considered for 100% completion but was taken over by Skills and Endorsements. Request recommendations from former employers who are your 1st degree connections.

7. Use one of LinkedIn’s best features, Companies, to locate key players in your job search—the better to get your résumés in their hands. Before you connect with someone, ask one of your connections who is in said person’s network for an introduction. Or mention your shared connection in a cold connection request. Read 5 steps to connecting with LinkedIn members.

8. Use LinkedIn’s Jobs feature which has been enhanced to include demographic information, including other positions viewed by job seekers, who you know at the company, the ability to apply to the company on its website. For Premium members there are additional features that give you access to big players and provide you with demographics.

9. Keep your engagement on LinkedIn professional. If you are more of a Facebook fan, refrain from posting family photos, video of the presidential primaries, and no mention of your frustration in your job search. Be relevant.

10. There’s one more thing to consider. Once you’ve created a great LinkedIn profile, have established a presence, and are active on LinkedIn leading to a job; don’t give up your activity on LinkedIn. You may need your network in the future. This time instead of having four measly connections, you’ll have hundreds.


Do you get the sense that LinkedIn will require hard work and may not yield immediate results? Good. Do you also feel that joining LinkedIn on the bottom floor will be to your benefit, as opposed to giving up on it? Good.

Photo: Flickr, João Guilherme de Carvalho Barbosa