Tag Archives: LinkedIn profile

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

The director of the career center for which I work sat in on one of my LinkedIn workshops. In it I talked about how your whole LinkedIn profile should brand you. I thought I did well and afterward asked her for her thoughts.

Lake2b

She told me, that in fact, I did well but forgot to point out that the background image (which sits behind your headshot) is another area that brands you. I should have known this, but honestly it didn’t occur to me until she mentioned it. Boy, did I feel like an idiot.

The background image of the LinkedIn profile seems to get a pass from many LinkedIn members. Instead, they use the light-blue background decorated with dots and lines (below).

Bad background

To take a pass on this area is a mistake, as this is the first image people see when they visit your profile. Therefore it should reflect who you are, what you do, your brand, and that you care about your professional image.

It matters

This is prime real estate on your LinkedIn profile. If done well, your image will be properly sized at 1,584 by 396 pixels. Any image larger than that will be cropped, so you might not be able to include that great portrait photo of you standing before Mt. Kilimanjaro.

So why don’t LinkedIn members put more thought into their background photo, and what does your background image say about you?

Your brand

Shelly background

This is perhaps the best reason to have a background image on your LinkedIn profile. One of my most valued connections, Shelly Elsliger, PPCC, is all about branding. She takes it to a higher level than most people when it comes to developing a unique professional identity and coherent message that sets her apart from others. This is truly reflected in her background image above.

Ask yourself, “What does my background say about me?” If the answer is, “The same ole tired background many LinkedIn members are using, it’s time to think about how you can create a unique identity, as Shelly has. Obviously she has gone through the effort of creating her own personalized background. You might not have ability to go that far.

Who you are

One of my client’s background image is of her hiking in the Appalachian Mountains. It works because she loves hiking and wants her connections to know this. Her photo is also work-related, so it is relevant. Double whammy.

You may have a background image of the New York skyline, a tranquil lake, a field where horses are grazing, or anything else that describes you as a person. I recently asked a facetious question of my LinkedIn connections about including family members and pets in your profile background. The answer was a resounding “NO.”

What you do

Yoga

 

The photo above is of a woman doing yoga. If you’re a yoga instructor, this might be an appropriate background image for your LinkedIn profile. It sends a clear message about what you do.

As, a surgeon, you might not have a background that shows you in action operating on a patient. But perhaps you can find a photo of a hospital you can use as your background. You may have to get permission to use this photo.

That you care

When you use a background image on your LinkedIn profile, it shows you care about how you present yourself. I was critiquing one of my clients’ profile when I noticed, as his background image, a striking photo of Lowell, MA.

Does it represent what he does as program manager? No. Is it branding him? Not really. But it shows he cares about his professional image. He didn’t want to leave the default image, because doing that would show that he didn’t care about his professional image.


I’m grateful that my director mentioned my faux pas of not mentioning the LinkedIn background image as an important part of the profile. What hurt the most was not realizing how important the background image is to the profile.

If after reading this post, you feel you need to upgrade your background image, no worries. You can get free images from https://stocksnap.io/. I get many of my images from http://www.flickr.com, which allows you to use their photos as long as you credit the photographer. No problem.

Is there anyone I’ve missed? If you know someone (including you) who as a great background image, I’d love to add them to the list. Please tag the @person, as well.

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

Photo of yoga woman is from https://stocksnap.io.
Other photos were provided with permission.

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10 ways to improve your job search for the New Year

After reading this post, please read the second post of this series, 6 additional ways to improve your job search for the New Year

The mantra I deliver to my workshop attendees at the beginning of January is, “This is the year you’ll land your job!” And I believe this. That’s if they don’t lose sight of the prize and stay on course. But even as I’m saying it, I know it won’t be an easy journey.

Young job seekers

On the bright side, employers are opening their purses in January and beyond. While December is typically slow, it is a month your networking will pay off when positions need to be filled; this is a huge part of penetrating the Hidden Job Market.

If you didn’t reach out to employers in December, all is not lost. Let’s look at ways to improve your job search in the New Year.

1Know thyself

It’s important to possess self-awareness if you want to conduct your job search effectively. This means thinking about your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. What does this spell? SWOT. That’s right, do a SWOT analysis on yourself.

I have my attendees do a partial SWOT analysis in some of my workshops. I tell them to do a complete one on their own. You should write down 10 or more strengths, five weaknesses, three opportunities, and three threats. This will give you a better sense of what you can capitalize on and areas you need to overcome.

2. Take time to think about what you really want to do

All too often job seekers will settle for the next job that comes along. Sometimes it works out, other times it doesn’t. This stage in your life is a great time to reflect on what will make you happy.

If it’s a career change, think about how your transferable skills can make the transition easier, despite not having all the job-related skills. One woman I worked with had previously worked for Hewlett Packard in marketing. She joined our career center as a grant writer. Eventually she became the director of our Workforce Investment Board.

3. Conduct some labor market research (LMR)

Whether you know it or not, you’ve been researching the labor market. For example, you were gathering labor market information (LMI) while working and considering a move to a different company or occupation.

Now, you need to gather LMI on job availability, determining which skills are in high demand, and what salaries employers are offering.  One site that gives you a broad sense of your value in the labor market is Salary.com.

But the best way to gather LMI is by speaking with people in the know, who might include other job seekers or people who will grant you networking meetings, better known as informational interviews.

4. Create a list of companies for which you’d like to work

This is difficult for many people. The sharp job seekers understand the value of keeping a going list of 10 to 15 companies they research. This is also part of your LMR. Your research can tell you which companies are in growth or decline.

You also should identify important players in the companies, hiring managers, directors, VP, CEOs, etc. LinkedIn is ideal for identifying key players in your target companies. Networking is even better, providing you have the right connections.

5. Write your résumé and LinkedIn profile

Now it’s time to write your résumé. When others jump immediately to their résumé and LinkedIn profile, they’re flying blindly. They haven’t self-reflected, thought about what they want to do, and conducted their LMR.

Now you’re ready to address the needs of employers for whom you want to work. You know which accomplishments to highlight. You realize that a one-fits-all résumé won’t do it; it certainly won’t pass the applicant tracking system (ATS).

Your LinkedIn profile will be constructed to cover as many of the skills and experiences employers require. It’s generic, unlike your tailored resumes. However, it must show your value, just as your résumé does. Your LinkedIn profile is more of a online networking document that also shows your personality.

6. Networking is still your best method of looking for work

For those of you who have made connections in the fall at your desired companies, your networking efforts will pay dividends when employers ask for referrals to fill their positions.

Approach connections who work for your target companies or people who know people who work for your target companies. Many job seekers have great success using LinkedIn to make connections at desired companies.

I strongly encourage my clients to attend professional association events, where they can network with people who are currently working. Those who are working might know of opportunities for you, or at the very least provide you with some sage advice. To find an association, Google your industry/occupation and your location. Here’s one I found for marketing.

7. Get used to using LinkedIn’s mobile app

More than 50% of LinkedIn members are using the mobile app. This provides you with the convenience of using LinkedIn for research, communicating with recruiters, or searching for jobs.

The app is limited, but there’s still enough functionality to make it worth investing time into it. I believe the LinkedIn mobile app is where the company is dedicating its resources. Read this post on using LinkedIn’s mobile app.

8. It’s never too late to volunteer

Look, I’m not trying to sell you out. It’s a proven fact that volunteering is an effective way to land a job. Consider these four reasons:

  1. You improve your skills or gain new ones. For example, you’re a webmaster and volunteer to revamp an organization’s website to learn ColdFusion.
  2. It is a great way to network. If you volunteer in the proper organization, you can make connections with vendors, partners, customers, and others in your industry.
  3. You’ll feel more productive. It’s far better than sitting at your computer for six hours a day applying online. As I tell my clients, get out of your house!
  4. It’s a great way to pad your résumé. Volunteerism is work, so why not include it in your Experience section.

9. Be prepared for pre-interview assessments

Employers are getting creative in the ways their vetting talent. The telephone interview is a mainstay for recruiters but not considered particularly efficient. They are employing artificial intelligence (AI) to separate talent by personality and analytical ability.

This makes the hiring process longer than you would like. One of my clients said he was given assessment tools for multiple positions, and these assessments often took up to an hour or more. Read this article to learn more about the tools employers are using to find talent.

10. Don’t take an interview lightly. This means any interview

I can’t tell you how many people tell me they weren’t prepared for the telephone interview. They assumed it would be just a a screening. Guess what, the telephone interview is such an important part of the hiring process—it saves companies time and money—that they be the deciding factor. The face-to-face might be a formality.

There are seven phases of the interview you need to consider. Nailing everyone of these phases is important. Begin by reading part one of this series to help you get mentally prepared for the process.


Now head on over to 6 additional ways to improve your job search in the New Year.

Photo: Flickr, Ken Shoufer

There is no excuse for not selling yourself. 2 areas in which you must succeed

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard from my clients, “I can’t sell myself. I just can’t brag.” I understand their consternation, yet I can’t feign sympathy. This would be a disservice to them. What they need is positive reinforcement.

Job Interview

There are two undeniable truths. First, if you don’t sell yourself, no one will. It’s like waiting for Prince Charming to arrive or waiting for a job to jump in your lap, both of which aren’t going to happen.

Second, no one is asking you to brag, not even the employer. He’s asking you to promote your accomplishments and relate your skills to the job at hand. No one likes a braggart.

So how do you sell yourself? Selling yourself is going to involve developing a campaign that requires you to use your verbal and written communication skills.

Written skills

Your résumé. Most believe, understandingly so, that your résumé will be the first contact you’ll have with an employer. Let’s assume this is true, at least 85% of the time (some job seekers network their way to a job with applying for it using the traditional method).

A compelling résumé must include, among other components a branding headline; non-fluff, professional profile; and a robust employment history consisting mostly of accomplishment statements and duties of interest to the employer.

LinkedIn and cover letter. So far you’re not bragging, are you? Also included in your written campaign are your cover letter and LinkedIn profile. Like your résumé, they must promote (not brag about) your accomplishments.

The cover letter is tailored to each specific job (as should your résumé) and entices the employer to read your résumé. It points out your experience, skills and accomplishments pertinent to the position at hand. No bragging yet.

Increasingly more employers are enabling the Hidden Job Market by cruising the Internet searching for kick-ass LinkedIn profiles that meet their lofty expectations, so don’t disappoint. In my opinion; If you’re not going to put the required effort into you LinkedIn profile, don’t bother having one.

Verbal communications

Your elevator pitch. This is an area where job seekers have the most difficulty promoting themselves. For example, as they recite their written elevator pitches in my workshops, I don’t hear the enthusiasm in their delivery. Unbeknownst to them, when they talk about their accomplishments with pride, other attendees admire their confidence. This is not bragging.

Networking. Confidence carries over to you networking efforts. Delivering your pitch in a natural way is how people want to know about your accomplishments and outstanding skills. Remember, at a networking event or even when you’re out and about, people who ask about your job transition want to hear about what you do, have accomplished, and want to do in the future.

Also remember that listening to fellow networkers is just as important as talking about yourself. Too many people talk at networkers at an event. Or they feign listening, all the while waiting for their opportunity to talk.

Telephone interviews. On the telephone during an interview or leaving a message, promote yourself by explaining why you are the right person for the job. Again, demonstrating confidence, not arrogance, is essential. Confidence is one important skills employers look for in a candidate.

The interview. Finally there’s the interview. I can’t tell you how many people fall back into “we” statements when describing successful projects or programs. Interviewers want to hear about your role in the process, not your teammates. You’re the one they’re considering hiring.

Don’t be afraid to talk about your accomplishments with pride. This shows confidence. Without saying you’re the best project manager to assume that position, talk about the time when you assessed a major problem one of your clients had, then how you orchestrated a team of 12 consultants to resolve the problem two weeks before the deadline.

Read the series on Nailing the interview process.

while not coming across as bragging. No one likes a braggart. People appreciate others who are proud of their accomplishments.

5 major components of the LinkedIn profile on the mobile app

And how it differs from the computer application.

LinkedIn Phone

I am not the first person to say that LinkedIn’s computer application is migrating to its mobile application, but I’m convinced that within five or so years the majority of us will be using our mobile app more. At present, the mobile app is used by 50 percent of LinkedIn members.

Earlier I wrote about the five LinkedIn mobile app features you need to learn. This post will address the differences between the computer and mobile app.

1. Snapshot

michael spenceThe Snapshot area of your mobile app has one significant difference over the computer; your current, or previous, position is not listed. (LinkedIn no longer makes the distinction between current and past employment.) This is an irritant, as visitors to your profile can’t immediately see where you work/ed.

There’s an aesthetic difference between the two, the background photo is smaller on the mobile app. You must take this into consideration when you post your beautiful mountainside photo and are unable to show what is visible on the computer.

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

Some LinkedIn users are able to increase the character count by as much as twice the 120 characters (by using their smart phone). I have yet to experience this, which I would gladly welcome.

2. Summary

My biggest pet peeve with the Summary is that it is located in the Snapshot area of the mobile app and computer. It can go missed if your visitors doesn’t know what it is. Like the computer platform, the Summary area on the mobile app must be expanded in order for your visitors to read all of it.

Unfortunately only approximately 10 words are visible on the mobile app. What this means is that you need to show your value within the limited numbers of words it offers.

Michael Spence (above) shows his value by beginning his Summary with, “I help executives accelerate growth by improving employee experience.” This immediately makes a value statement.

The Summary of your computer displays approximately 39 words. Which isn’t a great improvement over the mobile app, but it allows you to be less stingy with your words.

You are still able to utilize 2,000 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.

3. Experience

Experience AppOn 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.

In contrast, the computer shows you full-blown first to five job descriptions. (Recently LinkedIn made the wise move of expanding more than just the first job description.)

4. The Rest

Education and VolunteerismEducation and Volunteer on the mobile app provide the same information, but like Experience 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.

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. For example, you can’t move positions you’ve held up or down like you can on the computer. Making major changes to existing text on your profile would be better done on your computer.

Similarly, entering entire sections would best be done first in WORD and then copied to the profile. So, unless you need to correct a typo you spotted on you profile, it would be best to make any edits on your computer.


This post wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t mention some strengths of the mobile app, such as displaying what you’re available for. My example, Michael Spence, shows he can be contacted for advising companies, contracts & freelance projects, and paid consulting. This seems to be missing from the computer application.

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.

 

 

10 steps toward a successful LinkedIn strategy (Part 1)

In our neighborhood no one knows which side of the street to park on when there’s a snowstorm, which prevents the plows from clearing the street properly. The result is a cleared path the width of fish line. My wife and I have deduced that this is because there’s no strategy in place.

business strategy woman

What does the dire condition of my neighborhood during a snowstorm have to do with LinkedIn? Simply this, like a neighborhood without a strategy for a nor’easter, your LinkedIn campaign will not succeed.

Do you have a strategy for your LinkedIn campaign, or is it like the street I live on which requires a snowmobile to negotiate? If you lack a strategy you’ll spin your wheels, get frustrated, and possibly give up on a valuable tool that has the potential to create job opportunities. A plan includes the following:

1. Dedication. I’m a bit of a lunatic when it comes to LinkedIn. One of my colleagues once said I need an intervention and he wasn’t joking. I’m on LinkedIn for an average of one hour a day, 365 days a year—yes, this includes holidays. I’m not advising you to spend this much time on LinkedIn.

However, a dedicated strategy is necessary to stay on your connections’ minds. This is why I tell my LinkedIn workshop attendees to dedicate at least four days a week of activity, or for the more dedicated, everyday. Try to share at least two updates a day.

2. Know what you want to do. Are you zeroing in on a specific occupation in a specific industry, or are you willing to take anything? The former is the correct answer. With this in mind, you’ll be able to determine who to best network with. If your goal is to work in public relations at a university, you should connect with people at universities, not retail.

3. Write a great profile. This is a big order and a blog post itself, but having a profile that attracts employers and other visitors to your site will take a strategy. You’ll need a photo that brands you—the days of a suit and tie might be history. Write a branding title that immediately describes what you do, as well as your areas of strength.

Your Summary should tell a story, your Employment section describe quantified accomplishments, and don’t forget using the Media section to highlight your talents. A major part of your plan should be Search Engine Optimization (SEO) that includes the correct keywords to raise your profile to the top of the first page.

Read How to brand yourself with the new LinkedIn profile.

4. Update often. This is how you communicate with your LinkedIn community. I get looks of disbelief when I suggest to my LinkedIn workshop attendees that they update once a week. They ask me what topics they should updates about. First, I tell them, share articles they’ve found on the Internet.

Other topics can include seminars or conferences you’re attending; interviews you’ve had; advice pertinent to your industry; a great book you’re reading; a happy landing; even a good quote or two; and, of course, a reminder you’re looking for a job. Just keep it professional and refrain from negativity.

5. Connect with other LinkedIn members. No two LinkedIn members are alike; some prefer to keep their network intimate by connecting with people they know and trust, while others will connect with anyone who’s willing. My suggestion is to have a strategy and be faithful to it. Connect with those who you can help and who can help you—a lot like personal networking.

Expand your horizon. Include people in your occupation, industry, and various levels of employment. There are like-minded people in different industries, so don’t be afraid to invite them to your network. Who knows, maybe opportunities will arise from the most unlikely people.

Read How to brand yourself by connecting with others.


Read part two of this article. In it I’ll discuss five other components necessary for your LinkedIn plan. You need a plan to be successful on LinkedIn.

If you enjoyed this post, please share it!

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

Photo: Flickr, Sandy Huang

8 ways to keep the LinkedIn profile process from breaking down

And how it’s like painting a fence.

This weekend I did something I hate. Painting. I hate painting for a number of reasons, but the major reason is the breakdown of process. For example, I’m cruising along painting my picket fence, taking my time, no spills, not a drop on my person (I’m proud of this), hitting every spot; and then whamo….

picket fence

Things start to hit the fan. All of the “accomplishments” I achieved for half an hour vanish, including not stepping on the top of the paint can and tracking white paint on the sidewalk. Now paint is on my hands, clothes, even my hair.

I lose focus, get sloppy, make a mess of things. That’s the breakdown of process.

If you ask some people who are starting their LinkedIn profile, they’ll express the same sentiment I have for painting—they just want to get it over with and have a profile that will help people find them. In other words, they don’t give it the attention it requires.

Do you relate to this sentiment? Here’s what you ought to do to prevent the breakdown of the LinkedIn profile process.

1. Take your time. When I set out to paint my fence I said to myself, “Bob, you’re going to take your time and do this right. It’s only a fence.”

LinkedIn is not a fence that needs painting, but there is ample opportunity for the process to break down. Following are some areas to pay attention to.

2. Get your photo done professionally. I had mine done by someone who sells one photo for $40.00. I’ve heard they come much more expensively than that. Having your photo done professionally is far better than having a relative take it with her Iphone.

I’m not saying you have to wear a three-piece suit to your photo shoot. Just make sure your photo is of quality. And no iPhone photos with you and your family on the beach or at a campground.

It’s said that a profile with a photo is at least 14x more like to be opened.

3. Think of a headline that brands you. Many people will settle for something like Marketing Professional which doesn’t do them  justice.

Instead, Marketing Director | National Speaker | Author | Revenue Generator | Business Development will do a better job of branding you. Don’t rush and throw any ole Headline up there.

Ask others what they think of your Headline. Does it sell you, show your value to potential employers? This is what you need to consider.

Your Headline is the second element of your profile that brands you; your photo is the first.

4. Write a Summary worth reading. What I’ve seen hundreds of times are LinkedIn Summaries that are a rehash of a person’s résumé Summary. Will this impress anyone? Certainly not.

Instead, take your time and write a kick-ass Summary that tells a compelling story—your philosophy, areas of strength, accomplishments, future plans. This section of your profile is one of the most important ones.

Without an impactful Summary, there’s a breakdown of process.

5. Your Experience section must lower the boom. Have you ever read a résumé that said, “So what? Who cares? Big deal”? Does your LinkedIn profile’s Experience section say the same? Is it a list full of duties and lacking accomplishments?

I suggest an Employment section that states accomplishments only, or strong duty statements and accomplishments. If you’re just starting your LinkedIn profile, copy and paste your résumés Experience section to your profile, but build it from there to be more personal.

6. Show off your writing. For more than three years LinkedIn has offered the a feature which allows you to publish a post on LinkedIn. If you enjoy writing and feel you’re a good writer, show off your expertise and writing style.

To date, I have published over 149 posts on LinkedIn. Obviously I enjoy writing. You can also be featured in Pulse, providing you receive enough “Likes” and views of your posts.

Although, the standards have become tougher to be featured. Don’t be deterred from writing; what counts the most is that you’re sharing relevant information.

7. Have fun with Media. Make use of the Media feature—found in Summary, Experience, and Education—to show off PowerPoint presentations, links to your website or blog, example of your greatest photos of urban blight, or YouTube videos.

LinkedIn is making it easy to showcase your talent to make visitors want to stay on your profile. Take advantage of this. (Watch this video from one of my connections which he places in his Projects section.)

8. List your skills and amass endorsements. Like them or not, endorsements are here to stay; so you might as well list as many skills/expertise for people to click on.

My feelings about endorsements are not all favorable. I believe they are more perceived value and a way for people to engage with each other.

Your skills won’t endorse themselves, just like my wife said about the unpainted fence. But if you endorse your connections’ skills, you’ll get endorsements in return. (Read how to endorse skills properly.)

white paint

This is just the beginning. The line from Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come.” Is hogwash. You can build the Taj Mahal of all profiles, but if you’re not active, no one will notice.

Being active on LinkedIn includes, connecting with people; engaging with your connectionsincluding updating on a regular basis, writing recommendations for others, endorsing your connections.


I’m happy to say my white picket fence is finished and looking great. The process of painting broke down, much to my chagrin, but I learned valuable lessons: take it slow and focus on quality.

The words my wife told me, “It won’t paint itself” are a good lesson for writing your LinkedIn profile and putting it into action. You’re  are responsible for your LinkedIn process; you alone.

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

Photo, Flickr, David Alston

50+8 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 the most up-to-date advice.

LinkedIn Flag

8 common excuses for neglecting LinkedIn in your job search

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

7 Reasons why you should be on LinkedIn

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

A little advice for my angry LinkedIn connection

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

6 reasons to use Facebook; 6 reasons to use LinkedIn

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

The 50 most important words in your LinkedIn Summary*

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reflect before slapping your LinkedIn profile together

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

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

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

10 telltale signs that your LinkedIn profile reveals

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

3 reasons why you want to show activity on LinkedIn

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

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

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

It’s okay to connect with strangers

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

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 guide, 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.

4 reasons why you need a strong LinkedIn Summary

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

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 2019

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

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.

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 2019

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

5 connections that will optimize your LinkedIn network in 2019

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

10 ways to optimize your engagement in 2019

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

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.

Meeting 5 objections to joining LinkedIn

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

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.

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.

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.


About Me

Bob CroppedBob McIntosh, CPRW, is a career trainer who leads more than 17 job search workshops at an urban career center, as well as critiques LinkedIn profiles and conducts mock interviews.

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

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

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