Tag Archives: LinkedIn profile

3 tips on how to get LinkedIn users to see your recommendations

By Bob McIntosh


Raise your hand if you visit a LinkedIn user’s profile and get as far as the Recommendations section. Don’t feel guilty if you don’t. Rarely do most LinkedIn members travel that far down another member’s LinkedIn profile. I usually don’t.

Now raise your hand if you feel the recommendations you proudly tout on your profile are helpful or essential to your business. I don’t blame you if this request gives you pause. After all, the Recommendations section is anchored in the basement of your profile. It’s likely that even you have forgotten about this section. We tend to forget what we don’t see.

There was a time when Recommendations was one of the most valued sections on the profile. That time was so long ago that I can’t remember when this was the case. My LinkedIn historian, Kevin Turner, reminded me of when Recommendations were banished to the cellar of our profile, and we lost our ability to move all our sections about:

“Recommendations were banished to the bottom of the profile around 04.07.2018 when the New Look was established.  Around ~03.2017 we lost the ability to reorder, having the corresponding [recommendations] under each job, and the ability to pull it to the top of the profile.”

I believe there is a segment of the LinkedIn community who still believes in the value of Recommendations, particularly business folks who use them as testimonials. I recall some of my connections who would move their recommendations to below Summary—as it was called then—to highlight the excellent services they provided.

But I also believe recommendations on a job seeker’s profile is also of great benefit. Think about how some hiring authorities might be more interested in a candidate’s recommendations and not so interested in their skills and endorsements. Reading some stellar recommendations could lead to a telephone call and subsequent conversations.

So, how do you direct visitors to your Recommendations section? I put forth three solutions.

First solution: mention Recommendations in your About section

Given that your About section draws the attention of visitors, doesn’t it make sense to point your audience to Recommendations within this section? Unfortunately, we don’t yet have the ability to post links to Recommendations—similar to the links to our Current Employer and Education—so words will have to do.

Matt Warzel has this simple statement in his About section: “I’ve earned 740+ LinkedIn recommendations.”

Or you might want to give your visitors a taste of your recommendations by including a few excerpts from them. This is how I do it:

𝗪𝗛𝗔𝗧 𝗠𝗬 𝗖𝗟𝗜𝗘𝗡𝗧𝗦 𝗦𝗔𝗬 𝗔𝗕𝗢𝗨𝗧 𝗠𝗘 (𝗘𝗫𝗖𝗘𝗥𝗣𝗧𝗦 𝗙𝗥𝗢𝗠 MY 𝗥𝗘𝗖𝗢𝗠𝗠𝗘𝗡𝗗𝗔𝗧𝗜𝗢𝗡𝗦)

“Bob’s expertise regarding LinkedIn is second to none. He is always looking for ways to leverage the platform for the benefit of his clients and his approachable style makes it easy to work with him and understand what he is saying.”

“Bob is the real deal. With his consistently published articles, super actionable tips and daily dose of inspiration here on LinkedIn, Bob is really the King of all Things Career Related. He made an appearance on my weekly live broadcast a few months ago, and the audience loved him. No surprise why.”

There are two other excerpts from some of my recommendations I list in About . Following the excerpts, I direct visitors to my Recommendations section by writing: “⬇️ 𝐈𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐢𝐧 𝐬𝐞𝐞𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐦𝐲 𝐫𝐞𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐝𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬? 𝐒𝐜𝐫𝐨𝐥𝐥 𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐛𝐨𝐭𝐭𝐨𝐦 𝐨𝐟 𝐦𝐲 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐟𝐢𝐥𝐞 ⬇️”

Second solution: point visitors to your recommendations in Experience

If you want to include excerpts from your current or previous positions, they’ll make a splash as worthy accomplishments. As I tell my clients, “What others say about you weighs heavier than what you say about yourself.”

Susan took our marketing department to greater heights with her advanced knowledge of product marketing. She and her team increased revenue over the course of 10 years to the tune of $400 million dollars.

You can point your visitors to your Recommendations section in the same manner you use in About. Susan’s excerpt can be followed with: “To read additional testimonials, visit my Recommendations section.” Again, it would be nice to have a link bringing your visitors to recommendations.

Third solution: point people to your recommendations in Volunteer Experience

By this point, your visitors have traversed a great distance on your profile, but why not direct them here as well? I will read a person’s Volunteer Experience section if I want to know more about the work they’ve done. And yes, volunteer work is experience.

Again, the process is the same as it is in your About and Experience sections. Take another example of someone who has volunteered to perform duties for his alma mater:

“Jason put in endless hours developing the University of Massachusetts license plate initiative which has exceeded expectations by 30,000 participants. There are hundreds of thousands of cars donning UMass license plates. This is special.”

Jason writes: “To the full recommendation from the director of Alumni, scroll down to my Recommendation section. Can a say it again? It would be nice to have a link to Recommendations.


It’s unfortunate that you can’t move your Recommendations section to the top of your profile — like you could on your resume—or LinkedIn doesn’t allow you to link to it. For some people like Matt Warzel, he displays hundreds of recommendations to prove his work. I wonder if he would want to reorder his Recommendations section.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

6 major reasons why it’s painful for me to read your LinkedIn profile

By Bob McIntosh

I’ve written or critiqued hundreds of LinkedIn profiles in my role as a career coach. Whether this impresses you matters not. I only mention this to let you know I’ve seen brilliant, so-so, and downright terrible profiles. In this article I’m going to address what makes a profile terrible.

You don't want to write your LinkedIn profile so it's painful to read. Here are 6 tips on how NOT to write your LinkedIn profile.

Don’t be offended if your profile falls under the following faux pas; not everyone has the gift to write their own powerful profile. Nor do they have the resources to hire a professional resume/LinkedIn profile writer (the two are mutually exclusive).

Let’s start at the top.

A painful background image

I experimented by searching for a Project Manager to see what the first profile would have for a background image. Much to my dismay the first one at the top of my list had the default one LinkedIn provides (below).

I say “dismay” because the person whose profile sports this background image presents an outstanding photo, which I’d show you if I weren’t afraid of retribution from said person. Why didn’t this person finish the job? Said person could have Googled “LinkedIn background images” to find a free one.

A painful photo

There are numerous photos that I find painful. Here they are in no particular order:

  1. The imposter. This photo is 10 to 20 years old. Come on, we al realize that people age. I’m not satisfied with the photo that depicts my age, but it is what it is.
  2. The over-the-top photo. You know these photos of people who are trying too hard to impress us with their creativity.
  3. The group photo. Not really a showing the group but someone who has an arm draped over their shoulder.
  4. The blurry photo. I can’t make out who the person is. This shows they don’t care about quality.
  5. The selfie. I’ve seen photos of people shooting selfies in their car.

These are only a few of the photos that make reading a profile painful. Trust me, it’s worth investing some money in your photo; it’s part of your personal branding.

A painful Headline

Some will tell you that the Headline is the most important section of your profile. In a poll I conducted on LinkedIn, 46% out of 1,176 voters concluded that the Headline is more important than the Experience (30%) and About (24%) sections.

I wouldn’t neglect this section if I were you. This is prime real estate that is weighed heavier than others in terms of keywords. Read this article if you need ideas on how to write your Headline: Is your LinkedIn profile Headline memorable? 5 ways to write it

A few painful Headlines include:

  1. Unemployed statement. Writing that you’re Unemployed, Seeking Employment, Open to New Opportunities, etc. do nothing for your branding. Save that valuable space by using the Open to Work badge LinkedIn provides.
  2. Your title and current employer only. If you have enough remaining space to show your value, it’s fine to state this. But it’s more important that you have keywords that help others find you. A branding statement is helpful, as well.
  3. The scatter-brained Headline. This Headline gives readers no idea what you do or want to do. Visitors must have a clear vision of your career direction and areas of expertise at least.

Here’s one from Elise Finn which is nicely written:

Director and Co-Founder of Nkuzi Change – helping large organisations unlock the potential of Middle Leaders through Coaching | Leadership Coach | Senior Exec in FTSE 100 Companies | She/Her

And read some of the best Headlines here.

A painful About section

Although the poll mentioned above might indicate your About section isn’t as important as the other two, it is extremely important. So don’t fudge on this one. The About section is read by people who want to know your story; it’s where you can describe your passion, excellence, and voice.

A painful About section looks like this:

  1. It’s your resume’s Summary. Enough said on this. I can see a person’s resume Summary a mile away. It’s short and devoid of first-person point of view and sometimes is full of cliches.
  2. It’s too brief. I wouldn’t assume that your About section should be as long as mine, but I will advise that it provides some value. Some visitors find this section to be of most interest, so don’t disappoint.
  3. It’s too dense. When I see a paragraph that’s 10 lines long, I ignore it. If I want to read something that long, I’ll read Moby Dick.
  4. There are too many keywords. Some people like to cram as many keywords in their About section in order to be found by recruiters who are looking for particular skills. It’s best to sprinkle them throughout your profile to create a flowing document.

I wrote a recent, comprehensive post on what a strong About section looks like, so I won’t go into great detail about what to include in yours.

A painful Activity section

If you’re wondering what I’m talking about, it means you’re not using LinkedIn for one of it’s greatest assets; allowing you to be heard. This is where I like to see that people have shared long posts, commented on what others have written, created polls, maybe written articles.

Read an article I wrote on 10 easy tips on how to communicate with LinkedIn members. In it I explain how to make your voice heard on LinkedIn through the aforementioned paragraphs.

A painful Experience section

This section is one of the most neglected ones on a LinkedIn profile. And I don’t understand why. Here’s where you can really tout your greatness through accomplishments that are hopefully quantified. If not quantified, you can qualify them using first-person point of view.

A painful Experience section looks like this:

  1. Only includes the bare basics. This means one’s title, place of employment, and months and years of tenure. Come on, show me the money! Give me some description.
  2. Like About, it’s the resume’s Experience section. Here’s where you want to include only the best of the rest. In other words, highlight the accomplishments and the accomplishments only. If you have mundane duties on your resume, no need to mention them here.
  3. It shows no character. Start creating your profile by copying and pasting your resume content to it, but then personalize it with, you guessed it, first-person point of view.

    For example, “The team I lead keys into the business priorities, builds learning experiences to amplify the superpowers of the organization, and crafts engagement experiences to retain and celebrate the employees who achieve incredible results. We have such a blast making Inspire a place where people feel connected and are stretched to reach new heights.” ~Madeline Mann
  4. You don’t utilize keywords. This is similar to your Headline where you simply write, “CEO at ABC Company.” Boring. Instead, write, “CEO at ABC Company ~ New Business Development | Global Strategic Relationships | Marketing and Sales

This article explains why you should ignore your Experience section.

A painful Education Section

Yes, your Education section can be painful. Many assume that LinkedIn wants you to write this section like it would appear on your resume. Wrong. You want to put some detail into it.

This is painful:

University of Massachusetts
Bachelor’s Degree, English

Here’s my colleague Stacy Thompson‘s profile’s Education section, which is much better:

Boston College
Bachelor of Arts Field Of Study Sociology, Pre-Law
Activities and Societies: Undergraduate Government of Boston College, AHANA Leadership Council-Event Planning Director, Voices of Imani Gospel Choir

Member of the Undergraduate Government
AHANA Leadership Council Member
AHANA Leadership Council Assist Director Event Planning
AHANA Leadership Council Director, Event Planning
Voices of Imani Member, Leadership Role

In case you’re wondering, AHANA stands for: African, Hispanic, Asian and Native American descent. I’m proud to say that Stacey is a member of our city’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) committee.

A painful Recommendations section

I include this section because Recommendations (section) doesn’t get the respect it deserves. I recall when this section was considered to be one of the most popular among recruiters. Now it’s anchored in the basement.

Skills and Endorsements took its place as one of the criteria to have an All Star profile. Now S and E is also in the basement. There’s justice for you.

A painful Recommendation section looks like this:

  1. Poorly written recommendations. There are multiple typos and grammatical mistakes. Sharing them is just as much your mistake as the writer’s. You have the ability to send them back for revision.
  2. This section is all about you. So you have 20 recommendations. Great. But how many have you written for others? Are there crickets going off in your head?
  3. You got nothing. You’re so afraid of asking for recommendations that you literally have none to show. Which leads to….
  4. They’re old. The recommendations you have were written for you when you last looked for work, which was 10 years ago.

You might hate me for pointing out the faults of your profile, but I’m not writing this article for love. I’m writing it to make you better. When you write a strong profile–or have someone do it–it makes you think of your greatness. You need to think about your greatness.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

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

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.

Is your LinkedIn profile Headline memorable? 5 ways to write it

I put a friend to the test by having him tell me what I had just changed in my LinkedIn profile Headline. He couldn’t tell me. Which means he didn’t know what I had for a previous Headline. Which also means it wasn’t memorable.

Getty Images

This begs the question if the Headline is so important, shouldn’t people remember it? The short answer is they should. A poll I conducted on LinkedIn, in which 1,883 people voted, concluded that the Headline is the most important section, followed by Experience and About.

Much has been written about the Headline. Some have opined on what makes a Headline strong. Others have offered what they consider the Top 10 Headlines, which I believe is subjective. Today I’m going to suggest five ways to approach writing your Headline, none of which are wrong.

1. Keywords only

This is probably the most common way to write a Headline, and it was how I wrote mine back in the day. The purpose for doing this is to attract hiring authorities or business people 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.

You can begin with your title followed by areas of expertise. Or perhaps you want to include multiple titles (guilty). Choosing the latter could spread you a bit thin. I went with titles that describe who I am:

LinkedIn Trainer | Career Coach | Blogger ~ LinkedIn and the Job Search.

Later I added a tagline and some awards when LinkedIn increased the character count from 120 to 220.

Note: I’m a strong believer that indicating you’re looking for work is a waste of space and, more importantly, doesn’t add value to your Headline. LinkedIn has made mentioning this fact unnecessary by giving you the option to wear the banner, “#OPENTOWORK.”

2. Tagline only

Those who feel comfortable being gainfully employed are more likely to write in their Headline a tagline similar to what would be listed on a personal business card. My valued connection, Austin Belcak, goes with a tagline:

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

This works well for him because his thing is emphasizing that searching online is not the way to go. Rather, one should tap into the Hidden Job Market by researching companies and then networking their way into said companies.

Another way to write your tagline is to begin with a question such as, “Ask me how I can consistently increase your revenue by 150%.” This serves as a viable hook.

Tagline and keywords

This is my preferred way of writing a Headline but as I said, it’s subjective; and you have to be comfortable with how you present yourself.

3. Tagline first, keywords following

One element of a strong Headline is a tagline–a sentence that stands out because it says what you offer employers or business partners. It effectively brands you by accurately depicting who you are and the value you’ll deliver.

A tagline with the previous 120 characters was hard to pull off, but now you have the space to comfortably include a tagline, albeit not too much space.

Where do you list your tagline, at the beginning or end of your headline? I suggest listing it first for the WOW factor. The keywords are important for searches. They are what helps hiring authorities or potential business partners find you. But the tagline is your value statement.

One thing to consider is that your photo and headline appear in people’s feed. We’ll call them your first impression. However, your whole headline doesn’t show; LinkedIn users seeing your first impression see approximately 70 characters or 10 words.

To illustrate what they’ll see, here is a segment of my colleague, Ana Lokotkova‘s headline: Helping hustlers tell their career stories & get hired | Career Advi…

This works for her because telling the world that she helps “hustlers” get hired is made very clear. I can relate to this. Here’s the complete headline:

Helping hustlers tell their career stories & get hired | Career Advisor | LinkedIn Personal Branding | Interview Coach

4. Keywords first, tagline after

Austin Balcak, suggest listing your keywords at the beginning of your profile. He calls them your hook. He writes:

“[A killer Headline is a] keyword filled overview of your role/abilities followed by an illustration of value (preferably with measurable metrics). For example, let’s say we’re a sales person in the market for an account executive or sales manager role. Our headline might look like this:

Account Executive, Business Development, Sales Manager | Helping SaaS Companies Accelerate Revenue To $10M+ In ARR

The beginning of the headline is packed with relevant keywords and the second half of this headline creates a clear illustration of the value we bring to the table.”

This approach is also good in theory, and many headlines I’ve seen lead with keywords. This method clearly says what the person does and their areas of expertise. They are an Account Executive, Business Development, Sales Manager.

5. The hybrid model

Another option is starting your Headline with keywords, dropping in a branding statement, and then concluding with keywords. This is the Oreo method with the cookie (keywords) sandwiching the branding statement (cream). Here’s an example of the hybrid model from Elise Finn:

Mentor and Advisor | Helping Female Professionals take Practical Steps to unlock the potential in their careers, businesses and lives | Leadership Coach and Marketing Expert| #HerCareerHerLife

I find this also effective in making your Headline memorable, especially the strong branding statement, which I bet Elise spent a good deal of time devising it.


Here we have the five ways you can write your LinkedIn profile Headline. Again, none of them are wrong. Depending on your goal, you might choose a particular style. Job seekers, for instance, might go with keywords only; whereas those who are gainfully employed could opt for tagline or tagline/keywords.

Checkout the list of the top 80+ LinkedIn voices job seekers should follow, where you will find the Headlines for each person.

Show value on your LinkedIn profile by using testimonials: 5 areas to showcase them

And where to find your testimonials

I recall in one of my LinkedIn profile workshops an attendee told the group she couldn’t think of any accomplishments from her last job. As I’m known to do, I told her she wasn’t thinking hard enough. Silence.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

She was an administrative assistant and, like we’ve all heard before, she was just doing her job. I began by asking, “Did you reduce your boss’ stress?”

“Yeah,” she said. “He told me I organized his life. He’d be lost….”

“Do you have that in writing?” I interrupted.

She smiled. “He sent me e-mails saying this. Other bosses said I was efficient, organized, and had great time-management skills. These emails were really great to read.”

“Did you keep them? Forward them to your personal e-mail? Did you keep a brag e-mail folder?”

No she hadn’t. I’m not one to harp on past mistakes; but this was a mistake, and a good lesson for the rest of the group. I didn’t need to say more; the lesson was learned.

Normally we think of quantified accomplishments as the only ones that matter—they matter a great deal—but what others write and say about you also matters. Take the following testimonial for an administrative assistant:

The electronic filing system Adam created reduced tons of paperwork. It made the workflow process much more efficient.

Brian Martin, VP of marketing, ABC Company

Although the positive result—reduced tons of paperwork and made the process more efficient can’t be quantified—the VP of marketing makes the statement an accomplishment. One might argue that a testimonial from a boss is more persuasive than an accomplishment, especially if you can’t quantify the result.

Where to use your testimonials

To answer your question, there are five obvious places for your testimonials. I’ve listed them from most popular to least, but all five areas are game.

About

This would be ideal real estate to use your testimonials. You could list them under a heading: WHAT MY CLIENTS SAY ABOUT ME (EXCERPTS FROM RECOMMENDATIONS 👇)

“As a fellow MassHire Career Center colleague of Bob’s, I turned to his expertise of LinkedIn when I was working on developing a LinkedIn program for MassHire Cape & Islands.”

“If you are looking for someone who can help you maximize the value of your job search and your LinkedIn Profile, you need to look no further than Bob McIntosh”!

The above excerpts are a couple of testimonials I have in my About section.

I’m not saying they’re not worthy of being anywhere else in your About; it’s just that we remember statements at the end or beginning of something written or said. Which leads me to say that you could list them at the beginning of your About section. Hell, why not list them at the beginning and end?

Experience

This is also a great place to list your testimonials. Struggling to write accomplishment statements? Again, testimonials can be a great source of accomplishments.

Let’s face it; some people have jobs like the story I describe above, where it’s hard to put numbers, dollars, and percentages to results. I think of the nurses, teachers, engineers, marketers, etc., who’ve come to me with this conundrum.

Here’s one for a nurse:

Andrew was attentive to the needs of our patients, showing compassion and making them feel at ease. More importantly, he was extremely knowledgeable of medical care.”

Jessica Johnston, Nurse Supervisor, Lowell General Hospital

Make sure you list who provides your testimonial; their name, title, and organization. This gives a testimonial more credence.

Education

This is particularly relevant to students whose main accomplishment is graduating from university, even high school if they’re young. Employers who are looking at you for a internship or full-time work would like to see some evidence of what you did while in school.

Even if you don’t have a great GPA, you might have excelled in you area of study (I’m a perfect example of this). Ask your professors and internship provider for testimonials. Here’s an example from an internship provider:

James did such a fine job reporting the financial news that I assigned him cases that our full-time analysts were covering. I offered James a full-time job, but he was concerned about finishing his Journalist degree.

Susan Abbott, Sr. Editor, Dallas Reporter

Featured

You can use your featured section to post videos, audio, Slideshare, and documents. And for each media you can add a caption for them. A video would be awesome if you could get people touting your greatness, but a document or Slideshare would be more likely.

Volunteer Experience

I had a client who was very proud of the work he’d done with Boy Scouts of America. He had a testimonial from the district scout leader which he wanted to highlight. Although his volunteerism as a scout leader didn’t fit well in his Experience section, I suggested he use About to direct them to Volunteer Experience.


Where to get your testimonials

  1. E-mail is fair game. If you’ve receive an e-mail from you boss that touts your accomplishments, store it in brag e-mail folder. I do this when I get e-mails from my clients thanking me for the help I’ve given them in their job search.
  2. Performance reviews are an obvious source of fodder for your profile, especially if your boss was generous in what he wrote. However, If he merely clicked off some boxes, these reviews won’t be as useful.
  3. Verbal comments from your boss can also be used on your profile as testimonials. “Director of marketing commented, ‘Josh, your ability to build and foster relationships has helped Company X achieve the visibility we’ve striven for.'” It’s important that you’re both on board with this, just in case she’s questioned about it during a reference check.
  4. Thank you cards from patients/clients speak to your customer service and other skills you’d like to highlight on your profile. Have you received cards that thank you for your help and caring nature? If so, ask the sender if you can quote him for your profile.
  5. Voice-mail you’ve saved can be used as well. If your boss compliments you, consider using it on your profile and other written communication. You might want to get your boss’ approval before you use his words in a public forum; it’s only courteous.
  6. LinkedIn recommendations have been used by my clients as fodder on other sections of their profile. Not all employers will see your LinkedIn recommendations; many people won’t scroll that far down on your profile.

If you haven’t considered using testimonials on your LinkedIn profile, I suggest you do. I encourage my clients, who don’t have accomplishments with quantified results, to use testimonials instead. I reiterate that testimonials could carry more weight in this case.

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. In addition, you can express your voice with images. 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.

VoiceAs a job seeker, the goal of your résumé is to make you stand out among hundreds of others submitted for a job with value statements throughout. Your LinkedIn profile also needs to show the value you will bring to employers, only in a more personal way. This is why I tell my clients that their profile is a “personal résumé.”

Background image

The background image is the first area that gives your LinkedIn profile voice. The back ground picture of one my clients shows her standing in front of a snowy mountain side. She told me it accurately reflects her love for hiking. Her image also is relevant; at the moment she was working for Appalachian Mountain Club.

On the flip side, if you don’t sport a background image, it expresses a lack of voice. To some people who visit your profile, it may indicate that you don’t care about your LinkedIn profile. This seems unfair, right? After all, LinkedIn no longer offers stock photos from its site.

If you’re profile doesn’t have a background image and you’re looking for a quick fix, go to https://linkedinbackground.com/ to download a background image.

Photo

Your voice definitely comes through loud and clear with your head shot. The most important rules for your photo are it 1) includes only you, 2) is of high quality, 3) matches your occupation, and finally 4) expresses your personality.

When I talk to my workshop attendees about their profile photo, I stress they should project a professional image. This doesn’t mean they have to wear a suit and tie or a suit and blouse. However, it should reflect their personality in a positive light.

Headline

Your headline is what people see on their timeline, along with your photo. So it has to entice LinkedIn members to open it. A headline like, “Project Manager at IBM” Doesn’t do a great job of selling your value, and it certainly doesn’t express your voice.

This is where you can opt for a key-word based Headline, such as:

Project Manager ~ Business Development | Operations | Team Building | Lean Six Sigma

Or you might want to use a branding headline that gives your Headline more voice:

“Ask me how I can meet aggressive deadlines in delivering quality products on time and under budget”

The branding statement is meant to pique interest and is more conversational; however, if you’re goal is to optimize your profile, the key-word based Headline is the way to go.

About

If there’s any section where you’ll share your voice, this is it. This is a section that differs greatly from your résumé in voice. The idea with your résumé is to make it brief, while still demonstrating value. Brief is not the word to describe your LinkedIn profile Summary.

Note: LinkedIn now allows you 2,600 characters up from 2,000. Should you use all 2,600? It’s entirely up to you. I use 2,000 characters, not expecting people to read every word of my About section.

LinkedIn pundits will suggest different ways to write your About section. What’s most important is that your unique voice comes through. I suggest to my clients a variation of structures, such as:

  1. What you do—perhaps what problems you address;
  2. why and for whom you do what you do—you do work for company growth or to help people;
  3. how well you do it—include accomplishments to back it up; and
  4. where you can be reached.

Of course there are other ways to structure your profile’s About, but what’s important is using words and phrases that express your voice, giving readers a sense of your personality. This is as simple as using first, or third, person point of view. An About that lacks a point of view resembles that of a résumé; bland.

Activities

This section of your profile is often overlooked. Not by me. I always check to see if people have published posts on LinkedIn. Speaking of a way to make your voice heard, publishing on LinkedIn is a great way to do this.

You don’t have to be a author in order to create an article and publish it on LinkedIn. However, you should share information that is relevant and of value to your audience.

I also don’t overlook a LinkedIn member’s activity on LinkedIn. You can learn a great deal about a person’s voice by reading their shared updates. Your voice should be natural but, at the same time, professional. There will always be people who share updates better suited for Facebook. Don’t be that person.

Experience Section

Believe it or not, your Experience section can have a voice. Many people will simply copy what they have on their résumé and paste it to their profile. This is a good start. But it’s simply a start. From there you’ll want to personalize it with a point of view.

The most obvious area of a job description is the job summary. This is where you describe your overall responsibilities for that position. Here’s how I personalized my job summary to give it a voice:

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.

Here is part of a valued connection of mine, Adrienne Tom’s, Experience section, which not only shows accomplishments, but voice as well:

▶️ If you want to move FORWARD in your career, generate increased recognition, and escalate your earning power with value-driven career tools = let’s talk.

▶️ My RESUMES differentiate executive candidates from the competition. For 14+ years, I’ve supported the careers of global C-Suite executives, VP’s, Directors, Managers, and top professionals through captivating executive resume writing.

Education

You’re sadly mistaken if you think you can’t show your voice in the Education section. Your experience in university or high school wasn’t all about studying, was it? For your résumé it’s the basic information, such as educational institution and location, degree, area of study, maybe GPA or designation.

On the other hand, LinkedIn encourages you to describe what was going on during the time you were in school. One great example is someone who was earning their Bachelor’s while working full-time. Perhaps you were a scholar athlete. This is another opportunity to express your voice by describing the experience.

Volunteer Experience

We often don’t consider including volunteer experience on our résumé, particularly if there is a space issue. There is no space issue with your LinkedIn profile, so don’t miss the opportunity to express your voice in this area.

You volunteer at a homeless shelter. Describe your experience, in first-person point of view, and how it has had an effect on your life. Or you utilize your coding skills to develop a website for a nonprofit organization. Use your voice to describe the experience. In my case I describe how I help my alma mater with its Career Expo Night.


You have the opportunity to express your voice with your LinkedIn profile. Don’t squander this opportunity. Yes, you must show the value you’ll present to the employer, but hiring authorities want to know the whole person. What better way to do this than by using your voice?

Everyone can use advice on their LinkedIn campaign in these 3 areas

I recently completed teaching an online LinkedIn seminar. As the role of the instructor, it’s assumed that I know more than the students. This is probably true but there’s always something you can learn from your charges. If not, what’s the sense of being an instructor?

I had this great idea to ask my students to be the teacher and teach me how to write a better profile, create a more effective network, and how to engage with my network. Some of them wrote that as the instructor, how can my LinkedIn campaign be improved.

The answer to this question is revealed in a poll I started on LinkedIn yesterday, 79% of the 1,859 voters say to “Bring it on” when it comes to feedback. So, feedback for even some of the best LinkedIn users is considered a good thing to receive.

I was looking for honest critique from my students. This is what one of the students wrote about my profile:

This is a matter of preference, but for the headline, the way that it is written sounds like a commercial to me.

Ouch was my first reaction. But then I thought about it, she might have a point. I’ll have to revisit.

About creating and maintaining my network, the same person wrote:

Are there specific goals you have, such as connecting with more potential clients or identifying organizations that you want to provide training for? The exercises we did in this class are great for any stage, including identifying organizations.

She makes an excellent point. I should connect with people at companies where I’d like to provide LinkedIn training.

Another student wrote about my engagement:

One question I have that keeps niggling in the back of my mind is you actually have a tab titled Introverts on your thingscareerrelated.com blog. This seems like an area of interest, yet I don’t feel like I see a regular smattering of posts related to this topic

I thought this was incredibly insightful. She had taken the time to read through my blog and notice that one of the tabs is Introverts. Perhaps she is one herself and wanted to read my musings on preferring Introversion, and perhaps she was disappointed to find a limited number of articles.

These were just some of the observations a talented group of people offered up. There were many more. (In retrospect, I should have made this two- to three-page essay all about how they would teach their students/clients how to create a successful LinkedIn campaign.)

But I’m glad I gave them the opportunity to critique my LinkedIn campaign, and I think you should have others do the same for you. It could be incredibly helpful, providing you have thick skin (joking…no, not joking) and are willing to accept some of their advice.

Choose what you want critiqued

This isn’t a seminar. Ask the person who will critique your your LinkedIn campaign (I’ll call them “your mate”) to critique part of your LinkedIn campaign, not all of it. Ask them to be honest, keeping in mind that you can implement their suggestions or ignore them.

Profile

It’s all about value through branding and optimization. Ask your mate to read it in its entirety to get a sense of the message you’re trying to deliver. Is it making a strong overall branding statement? Does it come across as a profile that shows the value you deliver to employers or business partners?

Ask them to examine every section of your profile, especially:

  • Background image: is it industry related and of high quality?
  • Photo: this is what people will see in their stream and other pages on your LinkedIn account, so make it recent and of high quality.
  • Headline: some say this is the most important part of your profile. Make sure it contains the keywords for which employers are searching. You might also include a branding statement.
  • Activity section: more on this later; but suffice to say this is a tell-tale sign of your engagement on LinkedIn. One of my student delved into my Activity secion.
  • About: story, story, story. What’s your passion? Who do you do what you do for? Do you show immediate value with accomplishments? Why, who, what.
  • Experience: the person critiquing your profile should look for an accomplishment-rich section. Write this in first person point of view like your About section.
  • Education: There’s a story to tell her, believe it or not. What were your personal experiences while at University? Were you captain of a D-1 team? Did you work full-time while earning your degree.

These are some of the details your mate should look for. Provide some guidance as to what to look for. A detailed critique—like the one one of my student provided—will include comments on the other sections.

Network

This is a tough one for your mate to critique. The most obvious indicator is how many people show under your headline. LinkedIn only reveals 500+ which means the user can have 501, 1,000, 5,000 or 30,000 connections (the limit). If you have 250 connections, this might one of your mate’s concern.

Your mate will have to ask how many connections you have. They can find this under your My Connections tab, providing you give them access to your profile (requires your password). But it’s against LinkedIn’s rules to give access to your LinkedIn account.

The most important aspect of network is the modus operandi of your connections. In other words, which occupations and industries are they in? I suggest that a strong network would consist of 80% of like-minded occupations/industries.

For example, the like-minded people in my network would be career developers, recruiters, HR, and those in the industry Professional Training and Coaching. I also like to connect with people in academia and companies of interest. Remember what one of my students wrote:

Are there specific goals you have, such as connecting with more potential clients or identifying organizations that you want to provide training for? The exercises we did in this class are great for any stage, including identifying organizations.

The person critiquing your profile should recognize some tell-tale signs that show whom you’re connected with. They are your Skills and Endorsements section, Recommendations, and way down at the bottom in your Interests section the groups you’re in and even the companies you follow.

Lastly, ask your mate how you’re sending invites to potential connections. Are you personalizing the invites or are you simply hitting send without a note? The former is the correct answer. Many people who I’ve queried didn’t realize you could send a personalized invite. The person critiquing your network will be wise to ask this question.

Engagement

Another poll I conducted revealed that the majority of people feel that engagement is the most important aspect of your LinkedIn campaign. For some it’s also the most difficult to master, especially for job seekers who haven’t been using LinkedIn since losing their job. If you’ve been using LinkedIn regularly, this is a different matter.

There’s one sure way for your mate to determine how engaged you are on LinkedIn, it’s by visiting your Activity section and clicking on All Activity and Posts. Articles and Documents are a nonentity at this point. Very few people are writing articles; if anything they’re pumping out long posts.

You should demonstrate a consistent amount of engagement. Some say four times a week is sufficient, others claim every day is appropriate. How often you engage depends on the type of engagement:

  • Sharing long posts: this is the rave these days. Your post should show thoughtfulness and be relevant to your audience. It’s also wise to tag LinkedIn members if you want them to see your posts.
  • Commenting on other’s long posts: just as important is commenting on what other’s share. LinkedIn’s algorithm looks at both sides of the coin, sharing long posts and commenting on them. Your mate should take not of this. If you are only sharing, this comes across as narcissistic.
  • Sharing articles and commenting on them: I tell my clients that this is the best way to start engaging. Your mate should check to see if you’re comments are sincere, that you’ve actually read the articles.
  • Writing articles using LinkedIn’s Publisher feature: as mentioned before, this is not being done as much as it was in the past. There are many reasons for this, one of which is LinkedIn doesn’t promote one’s articles; it’s up to you to do that.
  • Asking a simple question: this is something I like to do on occasion. Your mate should see if you’re doing this as well and that your questions have a purpose.

Follow these people to learn how to engage. This is what your mate should be telling you. You can learn a lot from the information people in your network (remember, like-minded) share. Here is a partial list of the people I follow: Sarah Johnston; Hannah Morgan; Austin Belcak; Kevin Turner; Mark Anthony Dyson; Laura Smith-Proulx; Susan Joyce, and Adrienne Tom. There are many more.

Numbers do matter. Who you’re following and/or connected with does help you gain more visibility. For example, if you mention any of the aforementioned people in a long post, you’re more likely to get more people seeing your post. The same applies to commenting on their posts. Unfortunately, it is a numbers game.


Return the favor

If you’re looking for help with your LinkedIn campaign, be willing to reciprocate by critiquing the other person’s campaign. If the person feels they don’t want the favor returned, do it for someone else. Pay it forward. (For the seminar, I critiqued three of the students’ profiles for which they were very grateful.)

Here’s a guideline to follow in terms of your full-blown critique:

5 major components of the LinkedIn profile on the mobile app

And how they differ from the computer platform.

I don’t think LinkedIn’s computer (laptop/desktop) platform will disappear anytime soon, but I’m convinced that within five or so years the majority of us will be using our smart phone app more. At present, the app is used by more than 50% of LinkedIn members.

Further, a poll conducted on LinkedIn reveals that 65% of the voters (1,697) use the LinkedIn mobile app more than the computer platform. This is an overwhelming amount of people who choose the app over the computer.

With this in mind, I wonder how different LinkedIn appears on the two devices. Is the smart phone app all that different from the computer platform? There are some obvious differences, but are they too large to prevent the computer platform from becoming obsolete?

Let’s look at five major areas of the mobile app and how they compare to the computer.

1. Snapshot

The Snapshot area of your mobile app (that which sits at the top of your profile) is almost identical to your computer’s platform. There are some aesthetic differences between the two.

Brenda's background image

The first obvious difference is the background picture is smaller on the mobile app. You must take this into consideration if you have words on your picture, as they might be covered by your head-shot.

The example above is an excellent example of how Brenda Meller’s head-shot doesn’t cover any of her words.

The user’s head-shot on the mobile app is actually in good shape; in some cases better than the computer. I notice more clarity when comparing my headshot on the app and the computer.

Another small difference is that the computer provides live links for your current/past employer as well as your most recent education, allowing you to click on either to bring you to them.

A more significant difference is that LinkedIn has increased the headline character count to 200+ characters, but you can’t make edits on the mobile app; you are still limited to the former 120 characters.


2. About

LinkedIn increased the number of words one can initially see in the apps About section to approximately 23. Previously approximately 10 words were visible. Nonetheless, you need to demonstrate your value within the the few number of words you’re granted.

Laura's About App

The example of the first three lines on the mobile app About section starts strong, but the second sentence is cut off, failing to show the LinkedIn member’s further value.

It is prudent to write briefer sentences (three or four lines at most) so they don’t appear so dense on the mobile app.

Your computer’s About section displays approximately 50 words. Which isn’t a great improvement over the mobile app, but it allows you to be less stingy with your words.

Laura's About computer

You are now able to utilize 2,600 characters with the mobile app and desktop. So your kick-ass Summary can be expanded. It will just take some scrolling for visitors to see it in its entirety.

I suggest you include some compelling accomplishments within the About section to immediately show the value you’ll deliver to employers. Notice how dense the mobile app accomplishments appear vs. the computer view. Again, try to keep your paragraphs as brief as possible.

Mobile app view

Laura's About accomplishment

Computer platform view

Laura's About accomplishment computer

3. Experience

Bob's Education App

On the mobile app all your positions under Experience must be expanded. This requires a two-click process in order to access all jobs.

If visitors are unaware of this, they may miss your job descriptions; thinking you only listed your title, place of employment, and years of employment.

Therefore, it’s advisable to list as many areas of expertise next to your title as possible. This will give visitors a better understanding of not only your official title, but also additional value you provide/d your company or organization.

In contrast, the computer shows a partial view of a person’s position. All one needs to do is click …see more to get the expanded view. (Previously LinkedIn showed the fully expanded view of a person’s position.)

Bob's Experience computer

Again, it is important to write brief paragraphs so your Experience verbiage is easy to read on the mobile app…and the computer platform for that matter.

It’s essential to include compelling accomplishments for each position once again to show the value you’ll deliver to employers. Notice how dense the mobile app accomplishments appear vs. the computer view. Again, try to keep your paragraphs as brief as possible.

Mobile app

Highlight on app

Computer platform

Highlight on computer

4. The Rest

Madeline's eduatoin

Education on the mobile app provides the same information as the computer, but like the Experience section you must click multiple times to open the full view of an education and volunteer description. Given the limited size of the mobile app, this is understandable.

Provide as much information about your time at university as possible. Madeline Mann takes advantage of the ability to include more information in the Education section than most LinkedIn users do.

Featured Skills & Endorsements on the mobile app is relatively the same as the computer. You have the ability to arrange yours skills however you’d like. Only the top three are visible, as with the computer.

Recommendations reveal only one person, whereas the computer application reveals two. No huge difference here.

Accomplishments was the worst decision LinkedIn made, other than anchoring all the sections on the mobile app and computer. Within Accomplishments are some features that could (and were) be sections in themselves. Such as:

  • Certifications
  • Projects
  • Organizations
  • Publication
  • Courses
  • Honors and Awards
  • Patents
  • Test Scores
  • Languages

5. Editing Capabilities

Editing your profile on the mobile app is limited, of course. Unless you’re a master of copying and pasting text from a Word app to your LinkedIn app, making major changes to existing text on your profile would be better done on your computer.


This post wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t mention some strengths of the mobile app, such as being able to share your profile with someone at a live event. I found this useful at one event where instead of exchanging business cards, I scanned a networker’s QR code.

For the most part, the mobile app provides the same functionality as the computer, but in a smaller version. It’s mobility makes it easy for visitors to see your profile when away from their computer. Which is what they may prefer doing.

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

It’s the LinkedIn profile over the resume by a landslide: 3,338 voters decide

Like a lopsided political race, this one is a landslide. I’m talking about a LinkedIn poll asking 3,338 voters to chose between keeping either their resume or LinkedIn profile. Which one wins by 72%? Why, the LinkedIn profile, of course. I’m not at all surprised by the result.

What I find interesting is that the voters opting for the profile seem to have forgotten that the resume is where it all starts; it’s the foundation of your LinkedIn profile. No one writes their LinkedIn profile and then their resume. No one has their profile written for them and then the resume.

It comes as no surprise

So why is the profile the favorite of the two? In three words: “It’s all that.” Let’s face it, the profile is more exciting. It’s, dare I say it, sexier. Your heart flutters a bit when you see a great background image and professional photo respectively.

There’s also the Featured feature, where you can see one’s video, audio, documents, and links to a blog. LinkedIn has improved this feature in both look and functionality. With just one click, you’re brought to a LinkedIn member’s website, audio, SlideShare, or document.

You’ll find none of this on your resume. The photo is the exception but only for certain occupations and foreign country.

Another attribute that barely makes it on your resume is personality. The point I make about your resume being the foundation of your profile is true. However, once you’ve laid down the foundation, you need to personalize it with first-person point of view. Call it your personal resume.

In an article I wrote that is still streaming out there, I point out the differences between the LinkedIn profile and the resume. Here are some sections/features the resume lacks:

Photos and background image, already mentioned, are major differences that are being utilized by increasingly more LinkedIn users. Rarely will we see the light blue (whatever it’s called) default background image.

Same goes for the ugly light-grey avatar. Increasingly more LinkedIn users have professional photos or, at least, selfies (a no no) to be more recognizable, trusted, and liked. There still are some LinkedIn users who don’t get it, but LinkedIn isn’t for everyone.

Activity brings you to other peoples’ contributions on LinkedIn. They deliver you from a LinkedIn users’ profile to all their activity, articles (a dying breed), posts, and documents (what?). To me, this is where one shows their mettle; are they engaging with their network?

Skills & Endorsements and Recommendations I lump together because LinkedIn does—they’re located at the bottom of a profile. Endorsements are bling in most peoples’ minds, but the skills are what recruiters use to search for you.

Recommendations have lost the respect it had in the last decade. Which is a shame. If truthfully written, they can add a great deal to a job seeker’s candidacy. Recommendations used to be considered one of LinkedIn most valued features. Now it’s buried at the bottom.

In defense of your resume

In addition to your resume being the foundation of your profile—your profile shouldn’t be your resume—it serves a very special purpose, which is it’s required for a job search. I’m hearing the groans from the peanut gallery. “Networking will get you further in the search then your resume.”

This might be true, but the majority of the time you’ll have to submit a well-written resume even if you land the opportunity for an interview via networking.

Another key factor—and most resume writers will tell you—is your resume has to be tailored to each job for which you apply. There are two reasons for this. First, it has to get past the applicant tracking system (ATS). Second, it has to prove to the reader that you’re qualified f

A professionally written resume is a work of art. Having read thousands and written hundreds of resumes, I know the feeling of reading one that makes your head hurt. Many job seekers throw their resume together without thinking about five major considerations:

  • Length: too long, too short. There’s no solid rule on length but, generally speaking, it should not exceed the number of warranted pages. What warrants a resume longer than one or two pages? This is mentioned next.
  • Value add: means relevant accomplishments rule over mundane duties. The more accomplishments, the better chance you have of getting to an interview. Have you increased revenue, save cost, improved productivity, etc.?
  • Readability: three- to four-line paragraphs are the limit. A resume with ten-line paragraphs will be thrown in the proverbial circular file cabinet. Who wants to read a dense resume after reading 25 of them?
  • Fluff: “dynamic,” “results-oriented,” “team player,” are but a few of hundreds of cliches making the rounds out there. Stay with action verbs and do away with adjectives.
  • Branding: means your resume is congruent with your overall message of the value you’ll deliver to employers. This message needs to be delivered throughout your document.

The final point

I’m not foolish enough to believe that all things were equal in this poll. Those who voted for the LinkedIn profile are probably gainfully employed and have no use for their resume at this point. I voted for the profile because I benefit from it far more than my resume.

The question I ask myself if I were unemployed, could I rely on my LinkedIn profile alone to land me an interview? My course of action would be to take a more proactive approach and network before and during applying online.

Another consideration is how consistent is my profile with my resume. I believe that other than it being more personal and telling a better story, my profile is consistent with my resume. No surprises there. Final decision: I choose my profile over my resume.