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.
In my house the basement is designated for the stuff we barely use or bicycles that my kids ride in warm weather. It’s not the type of basement that is a furnished “man cave.” I give it no thought until the furnace or water heater need repair, or I have to retrieve the lawnmower to cut the grass.
So when I consider the LinkedIn profile and how you can no longer move certain sections around at will, I think about one important section that is, as I tell my LinkedIn workshop attendees, buried in the basement like my furnace and water heater.
LinkedIn has made a statement. Like my forgotten stuff and rarely used bicycles, recommendations have lost the value they once had. We encourage business people and job seekers to ask for recommendations, but given that they’ve are shunned by LinkedIn, why should we talk about them as if they’re a valuable piece of the profile?
Do you remember when recommendations were required to meet 100% completion or All Star status? No longer is that the case. That’s right, you must have at least five endorsements on your way to stardom.
Below are five reasons why recommendations should get more respect.
1. Once considered one of the most important sections of the profile. 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.
But recommendations are more difficult to write than endorsements are to give. So eventually we’ve seen the number of recommendations decrease in favor of the all popular endorsements, which promote engagement and…laziness.
2. Say more about the recipient. This argument is so old that I’m tired of saying it, but I will. A recommendation is a testament, in the words of others, of your excellence. And we know the words of others say more about you than what you say about yourself. If written with thoughtfulness, a recommendation can be gold.
3. Say something about the writer. People who supervised you are demonstrating their authority and the values they hold in an employee. When asked to write a recommendation for you without any guidance, they are going to think about what makes you a great employee. If they value teamwork, communication skills, expertise, problem solving; these values will show in their writing.
I always advise my clients to take care when they write recommendations for others. In other words, produce well-written recommendations. The reason is obvious; visitors are going to make judgments on your content, as well as how you write.
4. They are testimonials for business owners. When LinkedIn delegated recommendations to the basement, I heard a collective grown from business owners who relied not on their supervisors’ praise, but on the most important people, their customers. The reason for their disappointment was obvious; recommendations were great advertisement; they were testimonies of the greatness of their work.
One self-employed résumé writer had approximately 70 recommendations which he proudly displayed after his Summary section. In fact, he made a point of mentioning his recommendations in the Summary. He knew the importance of recommendations to his business. But one day poof they went, landing in the basement.
5. Can be used for excerpts for quotes on your résumé. Many of my clients have used excerpts from their LinkedIn recommendations as such. And it makes sense. If you are in an industry where quotes are acceptable as résumé fodder, go for it. The proof is there; the recommendations are on your profile.
Recommendations can also be used for excerpts for you LinkedIn profile’s About section. In fact, I’ve listed five excerpts in my About section and direct my readers where to go to find them: 𝗪𝗛𝗔𝗧 𝗠𝗬 𝗖𝗟𝗜𝗘𝗡𝗧𝗦 𝗦𝗔𝗬 𝗔𝗕𝗢𝗨𝗧 𝗠𝗘 (𝗘𝗫𝗖𝗘𝗥𝗣𝗧𝗦 𝗙𝗥𝗢𝗠 𝗥𝗘𝗖𝗢𝗠𝗠𝗘𝗡𝗗𝗔𝗧𝗜𝗢𝗡𝗦 👇).
Recommendations are valued by recruiters, so why are they designated to the basement? What can those of us do about the disrespect LinkedIn has shown recommendations?
We can write occasional updates expressing our concern or outrage. We can begin discussions in “official” LinkedIn groups. Finally, we can write long posts like this one, hoping that others will feel the outrage that I feel.
You might be a beginner on LinkedInor even well versed with the platform. Either way this compilation of posts can help you use LinkedIn more effectively. Stay current by reading the most recent ones or all of them. I hope these posts help you with your job search.
It’s no secret that the Recommendations section has lost the allure it once had. Why’s that? We would all agree that employers want to know more about you than what you have on your resume. They want to know how others saw your performance and personality. But how will they find your recommendations if they’ve been banished to the basement of your profile? This article will explain how.
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.
Most people have a hard time engaging with the LinkedIn community, according to a poll I’m conducting on LinkedIn. Although the poll’s only on its second day, it reveals that 42% find it difficult to engage and 21% feel it’s somewhat difficult. Only 37% have no difficulty engaging with the LinkedIn community?
When you think about what makes a winning LinkedIn Profile, what comes to mind? Is it the first impression—background image, headshot, and Headline—the About, Experience and Volunteer sections, Skills & Endorsements, or Recommendations?
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.
I will be the first to admit that networking on LinkedIn is complex; it’s not straightforward. What does networking on LinkedIn involve? The first step is having a strategy, which will take some forethought. You also have to be willing to reach out to LinkedIn members you don’t know. These steps are the tip of the proverbial iceberg.
In a poll that that asked, “Do you have two lives? Do you separate your LinkedIn life from your Facebook life?” nearly 70% of the 7,442 voters answered Yes. What they share on LinkedIn is professional and what they share on Facebook is personal.
Seven percent of the voters said they share the same or similar content between both platforms, and 26% are AWOL from Facebook. They’ve been there, down that
What constitutes success when creating content to share on LinkedIn? One measure of success is getting many people to react and comment on your posts, videos, articles, podcasts, etc.
Some contributors say that educating their audience—e.g. on how to find a job—is the ultimate definition of success. This is an altruistic view and, some would argue, should be the goal of everyone who creates content to share on LinkedIn.
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
Approximately 65% of LinkedIn members use the LinkedIn mobile app, and some prefer it over the lap/desktop version, which doesn’t surprise me. In some ways I prefer the app because of its convenience and above average functionality. This article looks at other features LinkedIn users appreciate.
This guest article is from Hannah Morgan, a LinkedIn Top Voice, job-search strategist, and founder of Career Sherpa.net. Wondering what to post on LinkedIn? Hannah provides great advice on what to share with the LinkedIn community.
You’ve updated your LinkedIn profile for the one-millionth time but nada, nothing, zilch. No one is contacting you. What if I told you that having a dazzling profile is just one small part of getting found on LinkedIn.
How to write an invite to convince someone to join your network is a common topic. But what about accepting a LinkedIn user’s invite? Do you accept the default non-message? How about an invite that includes a personalized message? In this article, based on a poll I conducted, I talk about four types of invites.
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. This begs the question if the Headline is so important, shouldn’t people remember it?
Guest writer and recruiter Jeff Lipschultz is a 20+ year veteran in management, hiring, and recruiting of all types of business and technical professionals. He has worked in industries ranging from telecom to transportation to dotcom.
This guest post was written by Ed Han, a recruiter known for his excellent job-search advice. It first appeared on Job-Hunt.org. In it he talks about the three main benefits of posts, making and sharing status updates, finding your updates, making appropriate update posts, and how sharing Facebook posts is inappropriate.
If you ever wondered what LinkedIn features you missed in 2020, Kevin D. Turner has laid it out in this article (Originally published here). Kevin is all stats and to the point. To this end, you’ll learn a lot by reading what he has summed up. My favorite addition? Polls, of course. What is your favorite feature?
If you’re a job seeker and you haven’t optimized your LinkedIn profile, you’re missing out on a ton of opportunities. In today’s market, 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find and vet new candidates. But not everyone is capitalizing on what the platform has to offer.
In this post, Austin walks you through three highly actionable tactics that will help you appear in more searches, get more profile views, and land more jobs.
Like any list one creates, there’s a magic number in mind. It could be 10, 20, 30, etc. Mine was 50 LinkedIn voices job seekers should follow, but then I dug deeper in the proverbial weeds and found more than 50 voices who deserved to be on this list. And I’m sure I’ve forgotten people, so more will be added.
You might have noticed that content on LinkedIn has taken on a more personal touch. While I’ve never been a fan of this, I can understand it and even accept it…to a point. There was a time when I would write in the comments, “Take it to Facebook” when someone shared something personal. Now I simply scroll on down.
It’s never pleasant to remove someone from your LinkedIn network. But sometimes it has to happen. Like the person I mention in this article. I had to go to said person’s profile, click More, and then Remove Connection. I didn’t do it with malice. Like I said, “Sometimes it has to happen.”
There are many reasons why your photo should be more recent than ancient. In the comments of the poll, I shared an article I wrote back in 2016 called 4 ways your LinkedIn photo is an imposter. Trust me, the ways people’s photos are an imposter haven’t changed. Here is a rundown of what makes your photo an imposter:
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. This article addresses how to have your LinkedIn campaign critiqued.
You’ve heard it before: LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional, online networking application with approximately 700 million worldwide members. And according to many sources, at least 87 percent of recruiters are sourcing for talent on LinkedIn. It makes sense to utilize LinkedIn for your online networking.
From guest writer Adrienne Tom: Earlier this year, LinkedIn rolled out a small change to personal profiles that seemingly went unnoticed: they increased the headline character count from 120 to 220. This increase may not seem significant; however, increased characters afford users (you!) additional real estate to share value and attract readers.
Occasionally I’m asked which I prefer writing or reviewing, a résumé or LinkedIn profile. To use a tired cliché, it’s like comparing apples and oranges. Read this article to discover why the résumé and LinkedIn profile are different.
Guest article from Virginia Franco. Career change is more complex now with online visibility required, particularly on the most important social network for professionals — LinkedIn. LinkedIn for career change is extra tricky because your resume and applications must align with your LinkedIn Profile because most employers and recruiters compare the two.
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.
I am particularly fond of LinkedIn’s poll feature which has been brought back from the early years. With Create a Poll, you can ask LinkedIn members to vote on certain topics like which three new features They appreciate most–Open to Work, Create a Poll, or Add Name Pronunciation? To my chagrin, Create a Poll didn’t win.
Wouldn’t you know it, the LinkedIn profile Headline is deemed more important than the About and Experience sections. In a recent poll conducted on LinkedIn, in which 1,189 people voted, 46% of the voters chose the Headline over Experience, 30%, and About, 24%.
An optimized profile is important, but it’s not the end all be all. A strong LinkedIn campaign also includes a focused network and engagement. This is clear based on a poll I conducted on LinkedIn. At the end of the poll, 787 people weighed in. I would say this is a legitimate case study.
Working for a One-Stop career center, I’m often confronted by job seekers who haven’t used LinkedIn but know they must in order to shorten their job search. Some of them believe they should begin by writing a compelling profile which makes good sense. But is a profile alone enough?
We’re in the midst of COVID-19 which has forced many of us to stay at home. To make matters worse, unemployment has risen to unprecedented levels. Now is the time to work on your LinkedIn profile, especially if it needs a lot of work.
To land a job in 2020, you will need to have a strong LinkedIn profile. And, that profile needs to clearly brand you. But is a strong, well-branded LinkedIn profile enough? According to four LinkedIn experts it isn’t.
I asked Hannah Morgan, Kevin Turner, Jessica Hernandez, and Andy Foote for their insights for the year ahead and received answers ranging from the importance of search engine optimization (SEO) to building a strong network and engaging with your network.
LinkedIn has launched a new interview-practice feature which leaves me with a sense of ambiguity. On one hand, I think it’s a great attempt to educate job seekers on how to interview for a position. On the other hand, there are limitations to this new feature.
The latest article makes a comparison between your LinkedIn profile and a combination résumé. Your About section is the functional piece of the combination résumé and the Experience section should be written with as much detail on the profile and résumé.
To land a job in 2020, more than ever, you’ll need to be proactive rather than reactive. In other words, stop blasting out job applications 10 per day. If you’ve been doing this for months, by now you know the ROI is very low.
This act of futility demands different approaches. This article explains how to be more proactive in your job search by researching and using LinkedIn.
You’ve heard of the seven deadly sins—Pride, Envy, Gluttony, Lust, Anger, Greed, Sloth. Two years ago I heard a podcast talking about them. Two years later I’m writing an article focusing on the sins you’re committing with your LinkedIn campaign.
They are not the deadly sins discussed in the podcast I listened to, but they can definitely hurt your campaign and, consequently, your job search.
Many people won’t look at your Accomplishments section. Many people don’t even know it exists. How do you draw people to this important area of your profile? You direct them to this area by mentioning it in your About section.
Like many people, I dislike New Year’s resolutions, mainly because we rarely achieve them. But this year I’m going to set some resolutions that are attainable. The resolutions I vow to achieve are ones that relate to LinkedIn. These are ones I can do. I also hope my resolutions will benefit other LinkedIn users, namely job seekers; that they will emulate them. The following are 10 actions I will take in 2020.
It’s safe to say I’ve critiqued or written hundreds of LinkedIn profiles. What’s most important in a profile is that it brands the LinkedIn member; it sends a clear, consistent message of the value the member will deliver to employers. Does your profile brand you?
In a recent LinkedIn Official Blog post, the author suggests you should connect “with people you know and trust.” This seems like sound advice on the surface, but it shouldn’t be followed literally. My suggestion is to take it a step further and connect with like-minded people.
Engaging on LinkedIn can be tough. It requires dedication, stretching your zone and putting yourself out there. But here’s the thing; if you don’t engage, you’ll be forgotten by your connections. In this article I coach you on how to engage on LinkedIn.
In a recent LinkedIn post, I asked my LinkedIn community to take a quiz consisting of 15 questions. Those who took it were honest about their LinkedIn prowess, or lack thereof. I promised in this post that I would reveal the entire quiz I give my clients. The quiz I give my clients consists of 50 questions. If you decide to take it and don’t score 100%, don’t worry. There is always room for improvement. I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t have a perfect score.
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.
I’ve come across thousands of job seekers who believe in the power LinkedIn provides to help them land a job. I haven’t, however, come across as many people who believe in using LinkedIn after they’ve landed. They feel that once LinkedIn has done its job, it’s time to part ways.
Why is that? Do people not see the value of LinkedIn in their work?
You might be in a situation where your company requires you to make your profile more about it than you. If this doesn’t settle with you, try compromising. In other words, dedicate most of your profile to your greatness and the rest to your company’s. Easy Peasy.
When you send an invite to a LinkedIn member to join your network, it’s important that you personalize the message. To do otherwise would show a lack of effort, and your invitation would probably we rejected. So what do you write in the message box when you send the invite off? This article explains how to write a cold invite, use a reference, and ask for an introduction.
If you’re searching for a job, LinkedIn can shorten your search. You’ve probably been told this, but it’s well worth repeating. Will using LinkedIn alone guarantee that you land your next gig? No; LinkedIn is a great supplement to your in-person networking, but you need to engage in both for a strong networking campaign.
LinkedIn can play an important role in your job search. You might be neglecting LinkedIn, thus hurting your chances of landing a job. Read this article to discover 8 common ways people neglect LinkedIn.
Are you wondering if you’re on LinkedIn? This article is meant for you. If you are on LinkedIn, this article will confirm your wise choice. The first thing you need to determine is if your industry is well represented.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I consider myself to be a fair guy. When LinkedIn does things right, I compliment them. When they do wrong, I criticize them. This time LinkedIn made a smart move by joining multiple job titles to fit under one company icon. But in the same fell swoop, LinkedIn truncating each position.
Use this checklist to improve your LinkedIn profile. This is part 1 of a 3-part series. To succeed in your LinkedIn campaign, follow these posts on creating a strong LinkedIn profile, building your network, and engaging on LinkedIn.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In this final entry of a series about the differences between the résumé and LinkedIn profile, we’ll look at the overall purpose of each document–the most obvious being that your profile is an integral part of your online networking campaign, whereas your résumé is specifically designed to secure a job.
It goes to reason that more people will see your profile than they’ll see your résumé, unless of course you’re blasting your résumé to every employer in the world. Bad mistake.
Years ago I came across a poll on LinkedIn asking which document the participants would give up first, their résumé or profile. The majority said they’d give up their résumé before the profile. I tell my workshop attendees I would do the same.
Maybe this is because I see the profile as more dynamic than the résumé. Maybe this is because the profile provides more room to expound on your strengths and accomplishments.
You use your profile to network online, but people want to see much of the content you would have on your résumé; although not a rehash of it. Even those in business must sell themselves to prospective business partners by showing their relevant experience and accomplishments. Keywords and phrases are also essential to include on your LinkedIn profile and résumé.
The profile is more dynamic than the résumé for many reasons. Call them bells and whistles, but there are features on the profile that you wouldn’t or couldn’t include on your résumé. Here are lists of features that are exclusive to the profile, that lend well to networking:
Activities allow visitors to see how you’ve been utilizing LinkedIn to network. Have you been sending updates with information about your industry and/or occupation? Maybe you’re attaching an article you found interesting and valuable to your network. Show people that you’re active on LinkedIn by commenting on updates.
Media can be positioned in your Summary or Experience sections. Show your connections PowerPoint presentations, YouTube clips, or, like me, a link to your blogsite. The introduction of Media is at the expense of many applications LinkedIn deemed unnecessary perhaps, some think, for business purposes.
Information-rich Skills/Expertise with Endorsements are a nice touch. You can post up to 50 skills or areas of expertise, and your connections can endorse you for each one. Endorsements is LinkedIn’s way of keeping networking active and paying homage to your connections.
Recommendations have always been a favorite of LinkedIn members and recruiters and employers, as recommendations allow them to see the favorable comments you’ve received, as well as the recommendations you’ve written for others.
Additional Infolike Interests and Personal Details are normally missing from your résumé, unless the hobbies and interests pertain to the jobs you’re pursuing. A nice touch some people may not be aware of is Interests hyperlinks that take you to potential connections and groups.
Connectionsand Companies and Groupsyou’re following further encourage networking by showing visitors with whom your connected, which companies you’re interested in, and the groups to which you belong. You can chose not to allow people access to your connections, but that seem counterproductive if you’re trying to network effectively. Hopefully people will send you a note saying, “I see you’re interested in Kronos. I know the hiring manager for engineering there.”
This being the last entry in this series ends with, it may seem, a large boost for LinkedIn. I said I would choose the profile over the résumé, but I also stated that each has its own purpose, the former for a targeted job search and the latter for job search and business networking.
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Many jobseekers and employers think LinkedIn recommendations are worth gold. Recommendations espouse jobseekers’ performance, describing valuable skills and accomplishments, and are visible on their LinkedIn profile for potential employers to see. What a great LinkedIn feature.*
However, as valuable they are, requesting a recommendation can be frustrating for two reasons, timeliness or the quality of a recommendation…or both.
So after waiting for months and receiving something that doesn’t describe you the way you’d like, what do you do? Do you send the recommendation back to your reference, or do you post it on your profile as is? You send it back and you risk waiting even longer for a revised recommendation.
Let me suggest two ways to ensure a shorter wait, as well receiving a recommendation with which you’ll be happy.
1) First, offer some guidance to the person who’s writing your recommendation in terms of the types of skills, accomplishments, and experience you’d like to be included in the recommendation. Having written recommendations for others, I know how difficult it is to determine what to write about the recipient.
So eliminate any guesswork and tell your reference you’d like her to hit upon your leadership, customer service, team-building, technical expertise, or other strong skills. Also remind her about any accomplishments, e.g., you increased productivity 55% by taking the initiative to develop a better process to track and store electronic parts; just in case she has forgotten.
2) The second alternative is one that will require more work on your part; writing your own recommendation. This is a last-ditch effort but one your reference will greatly appreciate. You may remember doing this where you worked, when your manager told you to write your own for her to sign. Same idea.
This takes considerable work on your part because it takes stepping outside yourself to evaluate your performance. In other words, how would the person writing your recommendation see your current or past performance? You’ll be promoting yourself, which is not always the easiest thing to do. But this is not hard to do as long as you are as objective as possible. Refrain from using adjective like “excellent,” “outstanding,” “perfect,” etc. Stick to the facts. Also expect your professional reference to edit what you write, perhaps revise it significantly.
Recommendations are still valued by employers who visit your profile. It gives them an idea of your talents and promise for the future; so why drive yourself crazy waiting for them to arrive, and why guess what you’ll receive from the well-intentioned reference.
*Recommendations have been replaced by Endorsements as one requirement to reach 100% completion for a profile. This implies endorsements hold real value, which many LinkedIn members dispute. These naysayers think it’s a lot easier to click on someone’s skill/s than it is to write a thoughtful recommendation. I agree.
In my LinkedIn workshops I ask how many attendees are on LinkedIn. Some reluctantly raise their hand, clarifying they’re on LinkedIn but haven’t touched it in years. I tell them we’ll do something about that, because otherwise it’s a waste of time.
Alison Doyle of About.com wrote an honest article entitled “Don’t Waste Your Time On LinkedIn.” Let me rephrase: If you’re going to be on LinkedIn, do it right so you’re not wasting your time and the time of others who visit your profile, including employers who are searching for talent.
What I like about her article was that Alison tells it how it should be. I also like the article because she confirms what I’ve been telling my LinkedIn workshop attendees about not engaging in LinkedIn in a half-baked way. It’s better they hear the truth then spend the time starting a profile only to forget about it and take up space on the many servers LinkedIn use s to host over 120 million users.
“If you’re not going to do it right, there is no point wasting your time (and everyone else’s) on LinkedIn,” Alison writes. “LinkedIn is ‘the” site for professional networking.’”
Amen. Furthermore, she explains that when she is invited to connect with people on LinkedIn and goes to their profile to glean information on them, only to find their title or, worse yet, a “Private Profile,” she’s not likely to connect with them.
I sense her frustration and understand the reason for writing her article. She’s absolutely correct. What motivation would I have for connecting with someone who is unidentified? And for you employers, why would you pursue someone who has a profile that gives you very little information in terms of their skills, accomplishments, and related experience? The answer to both is a resounding none.
The bigger dilemma. This leaves the LinkedIn newbies with a dilemma. Should they join LinkedIn and put themselves out there if they’re not going the make the investment needed to succeed in networking on LinkedIn—let alone identify themselves? The truth is a poor LinkedIn profile will do more harm than good. Here’s why:
No photo will send a message to employers and potential networkers that you have something to hide—namely age. Whether we like it or not, LinkedIn wants us to be visible. While business people have no reason to fear age discrimination, jobseekers might. Jobseekers simply have to bite the bullet and have faith that their age will not hurt their job search.
An undeveloped Snap Shot is the quickest way to turn someone away from your profile. I’m referring to more than the photo; there’s the name and title, as well as potential blog or website URLs, that visitors see when they visit your profile. A developed Snapshot includes a full name with a descriptive title. Don’t be vague and announce yourself as a “Public Relations Professional,” when you’re a “Strategic, bilingual HR leader/business partner who achieves strong results through innovative solutions.”
The Summary section is often neglected by people who simply copy and paste their four-line résumé Summary statement. Folks, we have 2,000 characters with which to work. Let’s use them to craft a creative, descriptive Summary that states our value proposition and showcases our attention-grabbing skills and experience. Have fun and use the first person narrative, or even third person narrative if you’re accomplished.
The Experience section is also an area where visitors like to learn more about your identity. Simply listing your job title, company name, and dates of employment says, “I’m too lazy to give this any effort.” This laziness will get you nowhere. List three, four, or five major accomplishments for each job.
The last section I’ll address are recommendations, which do a tremendous job of telling visitors who you are through the eyes of your former supervisors, colleagues, vendors, partners, etc. Ask for and write at least five or six recommendations. This is especially important for jobseekers who need to deliver a quick punch.
Alison Doyle’s article had a little bite to it—I imagine because so many people with poor profiles asked to connect with her. I took a gamble and asked Alison to be in my network. Within half an hour I was accepted and also invited to join her group. Thank You, Alison. I’m glad I passed the test.
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