Tag Archives: LinkedIn

13 LinkedIn pros talk about creating a powerful LinkedIn Experience section

The previous installment of the three most notable LinkedIn profile sections addressed the About section. This installment looks at what some, particularly recruiters, consider to be the most important section, Experience. If some of you protest Experience being the most important, don’t worry. The next installment will look at the Headline.

The ultimate theme of this compilation of sage advice is to show value in your Experience section. This goes without saying, but how you show it varies in method. For example, one pro advises to use bullets when sharing metrics.

Another pro advises you to make your Experience section more visual rather than simply listing all your duties; in other words, make it interesting to read.

Two recruiters weigh in, one emphatically stating that keywords, keywords, keywords in your Experience section are required to be found. Another explains how to lay out how to format your positions.

We can’t forget that personal “blanding” must be avoided at all costs warns one pro, while another one says, “Celebrate all you’ve accomplished, encountered and undergone with memorable high notes to keep readers glued.”

There’s much more, including thinking about your ABCs when writing your Experience section. More than one pro mentions keeping search engine optimization (SEO) in mind.

But I won’t sway your opinion as to which section is more important. Read what the pros have to say about Experience.

Make bulleted statements impactful

Biron Clark, CareerSidekick.com

Use bullets

Recruiters and hiring managers tend to skim through your LinkedIn Experience section before reading closely. They’re viewing many profiles each day and may not read each one fully.

So you’ll get more of your information seen and read if you present it in bullet format since bullets are a format designed to grab attention and make information readable quickly.

Use either a combination of short paragraphs and bullets, or just bullets, and your Experience section will stand out from the many job seekers using only large paragraphs.

Share results and metrics

When writing bullets in your Experience section, don’t just repeat the phrase, “Responsible for…” and share your basic duties. It’s much more interesting to employers if you can talk about what you achieved in past roles.

If you can show how you helped a past employer, they’ll be thinking, “Great, imagine what they can do for us if we hire them.”

Here’s an example:

Rather than saying, “Responsible for training and team development,” you’d say, “Led 3-5 training exercises per week, helping the team ___.”

Now, if this next employer needs that type of work done for them, you’ve painted a clear picture of exactly how you can step in and help. That type of writing will win you more interviews.

As a side note, it’s okay to break some grammatical rules in your bullets. When writing an essay, you’d spell out the numbers “3” and “5” above, but it’s okay to type them as numbers in your work experience bullets. Numbers stand out visually and are another powerful way to get the reader to stop and pay attention, and to set your LinkedIn Experience section apart from everyone else’s.

Show me the beef and personalize your Experience section

Bob McIntosh, ThingsCareerRelated.com

Stick with only the accomplishments and chuck the mundane duties is what I advise my clients to do. This is how you nail the Experience section.

Many recruiters will skip the LinkedIn profile About section and leap to Experience. This is similar to how they treat your resume; they go directly to Experience because—quite honestly—the resume Summary is often filled with fluff, whereas the content in Experience is more factual.

Speaking of being factual, I see too many C-level job seekers make the assumption that their visitors know what they did/do at their positions. They simply list the company name, their title, and months/years of experience. By doing this, they’re robbing readers, namely recruiters, of valuable information.

Here’s how it should be done from one of my former client’s job summary:

“As the Director, Marketing Communications at ABC Compnay, I planned, developed and executed multi-channel marketing programs and performance-driven campaigns, using digital marketing principles and techniques to meet project and organization goals.”

Notice how he used first-person point of view? Use first person point of view for your accomplishments, as well.

Take, for example, an accomplishment statement from a resume: “Volunteered to training  5 office staff on new database software. All team members were more productive, increasing the team’s output by 75%.”

The same statement on the LinkedIn profile sounds more personal: “I extended my training expertise by volunteering to train 5 office staff on our new database software. All members of the team were more productive as a result of my patient training style, increasing the team’s output by 75%.”

Recruiters are specific when they search for talent

Ed Han, Job-Hunt.org

Your LinkedIn profile certainly looks like a resume, doesn’t it? Both have Summary and Experience sections. But your LinkedIn profile is supposed to explain why someone might want to network with you. Industry, people in common, alma mater, and of course current or former employers.

These are all fertile ground in which to sow the seeds of your future network. Incidentally, if you are currently employed and interested in exploring alternative employment, you can tell the world, or just recruiters. 

What LinkedIn means by the “just recruiters” is recruiters using their premium LinkedIn Recruiter service, which truthfully, the majority of recruiters do not use. LinkedIn protects your privacy by not telling the recruiters who work for your current employer that you are open to work

Note: LinkedIn only knows to protect you if your profile links to the correct company page.

Speaking of which..recruiters are occasionally tasked with finding talent that does not exist within the organization. When that happens, we might be seeking someone with prior experience in a given industry. The pharmaceutical industry specifically is well-known for this.

Keywords, keywords, keywords

There are several places where keywords are weighted more heavily than other parts of your profile. One area where they are weighted pretty heavily is in the Experience section. When recruiters like me look for talent, we aren’t just looking for [JOB TITLE]: that produces way too many results. You need to get more specific–a lot more specific.

Let’s say I am seeking a PMP-certified project manager with experience with data center migrations. I will almost certainly look for the term PMP as well as “data center” and migration. Why bother with the job title? With a PMP the title is redundant.

If I am seeking a full-stack developer that’s nowhere near enough: I need to be searching on all four elements of the specific tech stack.

So get specific with the entries in your LinkedIn profile Experience: talk about the value you added, the things you accomplished. You don’t need to–and really shouldn’t–go into full-scale STAR story detail, but at least give the reader a sense of the things you achieved, processes used, and relevant technologies if appropriate.

Skip the mundane duties and grab their attention with visuals

Erin Kennedy, ProfessionalResumeServices.com

The Experience section on your LinkedIn profile, like your resume, is a blueprint of what you’ve done beginning with the most recent.  As with your resume, you need company names, job titles, and dates.

*It can easily be one of the most boring areas of your profile.*

The difference is, your LinkedIn profile, unlike your resume, isn’t geared for just one specific job. It is a more general overview of what you’ve done.

You don’t have to add everything from your resume. You don’t need to include the more mundane parts of your job.  Be strategic with your Experience section. Add what you enjoy the most about your role.

I am not a fan of adding every single task. I like to read/skim/read/skim through the profiles. If the experience section is content heavy, I lose interest. Use emoji bullets and arrows for visual appeal and to create focus areas within the role.

Keep in mind that LinkedIn’s algorithms are perusing through your profile targeting certain keywords. Make sure your experience section is keyword heavy.

It’s OK to add pronouns like “I, we, our, they” and, like the rest of your profile, should be written in a conversational and engaging first person tone.

A cool feature with the Experience section is you can add visuals—graphics, documents, videos, recommendation letters, PDFs, PowerPoints, and anything else that supports your role and experience at that job. So, you’re not only talking about it but you have visuals to back up your work.

Don’t ignore your Experience section! A well-written look into what you did at each role can mean the difference between gaining someone’s interest and not.

Make every word count

Karen Tisdell, KarenTisdell.com

The hard part: writing. Let’s break it down.

Title

In a few words, a title gives your profile visitors an idea of what you do, your expertise, and your career level. Business owners can get creative if they want, but job seekers should stick to the script. Use common or standard titles by, again, typing slowly and picking the default option. Your titles inform LinkedIn’s search function.

Body

Don’t copy and paste from your resume. Job seekers, I’m talking to you. You don’t want to give everything away. Give your profile visitors a taste of your value, tease your expertise. Use your Experience to highlight key points only, and not the key points that matter to you, but the key points that matter to your target audience.

You have 2,000 characters in total and it is best to use strong, active verbs. Keep sentences short and punchy. Conquer your reader’s attention. If you’ve written ‘key responsibilities,’ you’re not on the right track. Some active words to get you thinking include drove, collaborated, initiated, aligned, negotiated, established, and secured.

Don’t make sweeping heroic statements, but don’t undersell your awesomeness, especially if you’re a job seeker. You really don’t want to come across apologetic, indecisive, or unsure of your skills.

Use visual elements like emojis and Yaytext.com to break up big chunks of text – but use them sparingly. Less is more. Also, keep in mind that emojis and Yaytext (or Lingojam) can’t be read by people using reading options or by LinkedIn’s search function. If you’re a job seeker, don’t put emojis in your titles.

And one last note, especially for job seekers: Don’t disclose dollar amounts or sensitive information if it’s confidential or not widely known. 

Avoid personal blanding by following these 6 tips

Kevin Turner, TNTBrandStrategist.com

The [Experience] section of your LinkedIn profile shouldn’t be a chronological dump of everything you have ever done, including everything that wouldn’t fit on a two-page resume. Leaving the [Description] portion of your Work [Experience] is one of the worst forms of Personal Blanding possible. 

🔘 Avoiding the ‘Responsible for’s and focus on a handful of bulleted, succinct accomplishments with proof metrics that solve business needs and moves you forward

🔘 Entering Title, Company, and Location slowly and accept the market value options in the dropdown box so that you ensure you are within LinkedIn dB Filters

🔘 Leaving the Employment type [-] blank or selecting anything less than [Full-time] will lower your profile rankings in search results

🔘 Unchecking the box [Update my headline] will keep you safe from accepting the Personal Blanding default [Title at Company] as you [Headline]

🔘 Adding Media by [Upload] or [Link] to external documents, photos, sites, videos, and presentations, is a Visual Reward in a sea of bland text (we process images 60K Faster than text)

🔘 Being aware of the [Share with network] toggle; [On] may share your updates, like a Press Release, with your network & [Off] makes your updates a little more noticeable

Don’t neglect your Experience section

Laura Smith-Proulx, AnExpertResume.com

Many users have neglected their LinkedIn Experience sections, filling in job titles and dates, but little else. If this sounds familiar, you’re wasting a HUGE opportunity to differentiate yourself and attract employer attention.

I recommend simple, yet powerful changes for your LinkedIn Experience section:

  • Add a bold opening statement to each of your job entries. This should be a short summary of your successes (such as “22% Profit Increase From New Sales Methods” or “Digital Strategies Enabling COVID-19 Remote Work”). You can further entice the reader with symbols or emojis in this line.
  • Describe what you enjoyed about this job, with a description of the projects, roles, and results you produced. These sentences don’t have to take up the entire 2,000 characters, but… (see the next point).
  • Make sure this text is keyword-packed and RELEVANT. Looking for a job in sales? Boost the sales-related content for each job. If you hated the job and there is little tie-in to your career goal, tone down the jargon and conserve your words.
  • Use plenty of white space to help readers navigate the great description and achievements you’ve written.
  • Add media for more color in your Experience section, clicking where it says you can link to documents, photos, sites, videos, or presentations. Maybe your employer published that big project on their News page, or you spoke at a conference. Feature these wins prominently.

If you’re unsure what to add, just start with your best shot at these steps. LinkedIn content isn’t carved in stone; you can change it tomorrow.

Keep them hooked

Loren Greiff, PortfolioRocket.com

Before you start taking the content from your resume and adding it directly into your Experience section. Step back, relax and recognize that the idea isn’t to cram it all in, you’re going to have to cherry pick the best of the best to portray the highlight your greatest hits.  

One way to do this is to get past the “ ✅ check the box” notion that your EXPERIENCE section is your resume online, and limited to nouns vs.verbs. 

Experience (n) practical contact with and observation of facts or events.

Experience (v) encounter or undergo (an event or occurrence).

Experience can be experiential. mitigating away from reporting  facts, metrics and responsibilities that risk putting those interested in you (and awake from your rocking Headline and About section) back to sleep. 

Keep them hooked with all eyes moving down your profile by: 

  • Choosing wisely which experiences to highlights and include ideally three to five tight ones making them easy to digest. 
  • Front load your biggest win within each role first, and with second biggest and so on. 
  • Mix up taking credit for what you’ve changed with what you’ve done. 
  • Embrace white space and formatting liberties with tasteful emojis and/or bullets. 
  • Include relevant attachments to make it easy for decision makers to find out more. 
  • Triple check your dates and explain any gaps unapologetically, sparing the TMI.

Celebrate all you’ve accomplished, encountered and undergone with memorable high notes to keep readers glued. 

Think ABC when you write your Experience section

Marie Zimenoff, CareerThoughLeaders.com

Although the About section may be first in a profile, there are a few reasons a recruiter or hiring manager will likely start with the Experience section when reading a profile.

First, hiring managers want to see if a candidate is qualified for the role before they take time to read an introduction like a cover letter or About section. Second, the Experience section titles are big, bold, and easy to skim – especially on mobile.

To maximize the LinkedIn Experience section to better connect with hiring managers, recruiters, potential customers, and beyond, follow the ABCs:

ATTRACT readers immediately with a strategic Title for each Experience entry. The Title field allows 100 characters – which most LinkedIn users seriously underutilize.

In addition to including an official title, add synonym titles recruiters might search and other targeted keywords. If there is space, consider adding a standout statement.

Example:

VP, Technology & Innovation ➡ Opened New Verticals & Grew Customer Businesses While Reviving $650M Operation

BEWITCH readers with a story that has an immediate hook. Make it clear right away that they are getting the same stories from the resume, with more detail, backstory, and intrigue.

This might be a challenge you faced at the company when you started, the details of your most relevant project.

Example:

Bringing disruptive technology to market isn’t easy. Businesses may not understand the value and want data that doesn’t exist before they’ll take a risk.

When I saw what the technical mastermind behind XYZ was doing, I knew it was valuable … and there was an opportunity for me to improve the value proposition so companies could see the value, too.

When you engage the reader in a story, it builds credibility and likeability while keeping their eyes on the profile longer.

CONVERT readers into connections or interviews by targeting stories – and especially the pains and challenges addressed – to align with the main concerns of the target audience.

When stories illustrate past experiences of delivering desired results, it creates an emotional connection – the feeling that they are understood and will get immediate value from taking the next step.

(Continued from Bewitch):

Together, we brought the first augmented/virtual reality (AR/VR) content publishing solution (PaaS) to market.

My Role …

⤷ Creating the growth strategy with a competitive bid model to raise VC/private equity funds and scale market adoption.

⤷ Calling on my trusted relationships with business leaders to understand market need, improve positioning, and garner interest.

My Results …

➡ Secured proof of concept commitments from 5 Fortune 500 companies.

Putting time into writing an engaging LinkedIn Experience section will attract the reader, keep them reading the profile longer, and go beyond keywords to create an emotional connection that leads to action!

Have strong SEO and differentiate yourself from the rest

Shelley Piedmont, ShelleyPiedmont.com

Of all the sections of your LinkedIn profile, the Experience area is the most important one for recruiters and hiring managers. When I was a recruiter, I went straight to the Experience section to get a sense of the type of roles and employers. If I found that information of interest, I then would look at other areas of the profile.

Yet, this section is a lost opportunity for many LinkedIn users. Why? People only put a title, employer, and dates of employment.  Nothing else is there to explain the role or any accomplishments. Don’t be that person.

Two areas of focus should be Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and differentiating yourself from the competition.

SEO

People do searches based on specific criteria. Don’t you want your profile to show up high in the search results for those terms that showcase your expertise or interests? You need to have these search terms or keywords appear in your profile.

In the Experience section, you can add these terms both as part of your title or in the text. Here is a hint: Feel free to change your title from something uncommon, like Director of People Development to Director of Talent Management, if “Talent Management” is a common search term. Also, add important keywords to explain your responsibilities and accomplishments.

Differentiate Yourself

People want to see more than just a list of job duties in this section. Provide additional information about your job title or the work that you do/did. Don’t forget that you can also add media, so if you have work that you want to showcase, take advantage of the opportunity. Remember, always add information about how you have provided value to your employer. This will interest potential employers.

Think about the employers for whom you worked

Susan Joyce, Netability.com

LinkedIn gives you 2,000 characters to describe each job in the Experience section. Done well, this section will increase your visibility inside LinkedIn, strengthening your personal brand and making your best keywords visible while highlighting your professional accomplishments and demonstrating your ability to communicate effectively.

Be sure to include your accomplishments that are relevant, and research appropriate job descriptions to identify the best keywords.

Going back as far as 15 years, describe each employer (keywords!) and each job (keywords!):

  • As you type in the employer’s name, LinkedIn will offer you the names of employers who have LinkedIn Company pages. If available, choose the appropriate employer’s Company page inside LinkedIn, for your current and also your former employers.

    The Company page link makes it easy for people to learn more about your employer to gain insight into your skills and experience. Many recruiters search through a company’s list of employees looking for potential job candidates.
  • Briefly describe the employer as positively as possible, especially if not a well-known name or one which has disappeared. Describe the industry (keywords!), location (keywords!), and well-known products and services (keywords!).
  • Provide your job title(s) for that employer (keywords!). If your employer uses a unique or non-descriptive job titles, become a “slash person” to make the job clear (and to include relevant and appropriate keywords).

    For example, if your employer uses “Admin Wizard” as the job title for admin assistant jobs, become an “Admin Wizard/Admin Assistant” in LinkedIn.
  • If you worked remotely in a job, include that term plus the remote tools you used (keywords!)
  • If you had more than one job with the employer, describe each job separately, focused on the accomplishments relevant to your personal brand and future (keywords!).

Obviously, the Experience section offers members a wonderful opportunity to include appropriate keywords, making your profile more visible in LinkedIn and highlighting your relevant experience.

How recruiters read your Experience section

Tejal Wagadia

The experience section is the most important part of your LinkedIn profile. You can have the best Headline, About and Education sections, and recommendation; but if a recruiter or hiring manager can’t tell what you have done as work experience there is no point.

As a recruiter, here is what I look for:

1.     Your work history, company name, dates, title.

2.     Beyond it being chronological, you need to write down what you do and what you have accomplished. This is the perfect place to utilize “I” statements. It can be in whatever format you want. Paragraph or bullets but make sure to list it.

a.     Pro-tip: If you want to make it easier for the reader, I’d suggest starting with a summary under each company as a paragraph and then add your accomplishments and duties as bullets.

3.     If you have any publications or media links, you should absolutely list it here as it relates to specific jobs. Especially for creative people, your work specific examples on your portfolio will go here.

Whether you are looking for a job or not, your experience section should always be updated because you never know which recruiter or employer might look at it and reach out to you with a potential role that might be your dream job.

If you’ve held multiple jobs at the same organization and/or been promoted, you should update your LinkedIn accordingly to highlight that. LinkedIn has a great feature where they update your profile with the same company but highlight the different positions you’ve held. 

Pay attention to job titles and think before describing current projects

Virginia Franco, VirginiaFrancoResumes

When writing your LinkedIn Experience section, I advise job seekers to pay careful attention to:

Job Titles

The platform’s algorithm weighs the keywords it finds here. LinkedIn gives you 100 characters to play with – I say take advantage of them!

Here’s how:

If you are targeting a role in Medical Device Sales but your job title is “Account Executive,” consider expanding upon your title by using this as your job title to capitalize on keyword searchability:

Account Executive | Cardiology Medical Device Sales

Current Role

If currently employed, I don’t recommend sharing info about how you turned a team around or fixed a hot mess within your organization – as this can paint your current company (and your manager!) in a negative light.

It’s important to remember that you might still need to attract and maintain relationships with customers/vendors, etc. Your best bet at not burning bridges while job searching is to include some info about the company’s products/services/mission. In addition, include a paragraph about what you’ve been brought on to do.

Public/Private Information

Not every company is comfortable sharing revenue or market share figures – particularly if the company is private. If this is your situation, it’s OK to share your accomplishments, but take care not to share exact figures. 

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

6 types of LinkedIn users; which are you?

Spending as much time on LinkedIn as I do, I notice how often my network contributes. Some are consistent and strike an even balance, others do not. In this post, I’m going to address the six types of Linked contributors.

Man on phone 2

I’ve always asserted that there are three components of your LinkedIn success:

Creating a profile;

connecting with LI members; and

engaging with your connections.

It’s the third component that can be as important as the other two, if not more. By engaging with your connections, it keeps you top of mind. I use the familiar cliche when I explain the importance of engagement by saying, “Out of sight, out of mind.”

Let’s take a look at the six types of LinkedIn contributors

1. The non-contributor

Some of you might relate to this. You were an accountant until recently laid off. While you were working, one of your colleagues—maybe your colleague—said, “Hey, you should join LinkedIn. I hear it’s important to be on it.”

So you joined, not quite sure why, and let your profile sit. You accumulated 10 connections, because these were the 10 people you knew at work. You would get invitations, which sat in your My Network queue.

Now that you’re looking for work, you have no activity to speak of. In other words you’re nonexistent. You’re not getting any hits from recruiters, have no endorsements, not getting invites, don’t know how to share an update.

There’s a lot of work ahead for you.

2. Enough to be dangerous

If this is you, I want to say it’s almost worse than not contributing. You’re trying to do what you’ve been told by someone who was kind enough to give you advice. Perhaps your heart just isn’t into it.

Your profile is strong. There’s no problem here. In fact, you hired someone to write it for you. You were pumped when it was done. The person who wrote your profile mentioned numerous times that you have to 1) connect with ten quality connections a week and 2) engage with them.

The problem is that you are forgetting the last piece. You’re hoping that optimizing your profile with keywords will draw recruiters to you. However, optimizing your profile with keywords only works if you’re active and well connected.

You have potential, though.

3. Contribute too much

Someone managed to get it through your head that being a contributor on LinkedIn is crucial to being found. Your profile is strong and your network in good shape.

You’ve been contributing, which includes: sharing articles, mentioning industry trends, giving sage advice, asking questions, sharing news about your colleagues. All good stuff, but it’s gonna take awhile before your getting noticed like you want. So you overdue it.

I see you on LinkedIn contributing like a fiend. I see you six times a day. I won’t say your engagement reeks of desperation, but…. Here’s the thing, there is such thing as contributing too much.

It will take time to establish yourself, so be patient.

4. Addicted to LinkedIn

This is a bad thing, but you can’t help yourself. The worst thing you did was install the LinkedIn app on your phone. Just like people who are constantly checking their Instagram or Facebook accounts, you’re opening your LinkedIn app.

In fact, you’re posting updates and answering questions while you’re waiting for your son to get out of school, your wife to get off the train, during family gatherings. Yes, you’re concealing your phone underneath the table. You’re on LinkedIn every day, four hours a day.

I tell my LinkedIn workshop that at minimum they should be on LinkedIn four days a week. Their jaws drop. After pausing, I tell them that the optimum amount should be every day; yes, this includes Sunday. And I finish by telling them not to be like me.

Perhaps you should seek professional help.

5. Take too much or give too much

There are some people who just take and others who only give. Both attributes can be detrimental to your engagement. There are three major areas in which LinkedIn members take too much or give to much.

Recommendations: Takers will ask for recommendations but don’t think of returning the favor. When you look at the numbers of Received and Given, the numbers are extremely lopsided. It’s almost as bad to only give recommendations and not ask for them, as it looks like people don’t think highly enough about you.

Endorsements: Takers receive endorsements but don’t return the favor, whereas Givers will endorse their connections as soon as they connect. They’ll continue to click on others’ skills until the cows come home. But they won’t expect to be endorsed in return.

Long posts: Takers think that only their content matters in the eyes of their connections. They write multiple posts a week but don’t comment on what others write. Givers only comment on others’ content but don’t write their own. They are hesitant to write, thinking their expertise won’t be appreciated.

Not every LinkedIn user strikes an even balance. The next section talks about the takers, givers and the ones who share the wealth when it comes to engaging with the LinkedIn community.

6. Strike an equal balance

When I think about the people who strike an equal balance, I admire the humility my connections demonstrate when I’ve sent recommendations out of the blue to them. As well, my connections have sent me recommendations without my asking.

This is the way it should be. Will giving and graciously taking recommendations be 50/50? No, but the ones who strike an equal balance show a more balanced Received and Given ratio.

The same formula applies to endorsements. A golden rule of mine is that when someone endorses me, I send a quick personalized note thanking them for the endorsement/s and ask which skills they’d like to be endorsed for. This might shock the endorsers, but it only seems right to return the favor.

Another golden rule of mine applies to long posts. I believe in sharing long posts two or three times a week. When people comment on my posts, I do my best to interact with them. If they only react with a Like, Insightful, or Celebrate, that’s fine.

There are LinkedIn members who receive many comments on their posts because they comment on others’ posts. Their comments are sincere and fairly lengthy. Certain people come to mind because this is their policy.

Is striking an equal balance easy? No, it takes work. But the work you put in to strike an equal balance will be remembered by the people who truly matter.

The LinkedIn algorithm wants to see you participate in both manners. Comment on others’ posts and write your own.


Now that you’ve learned about the six types of LinkedIn contributors, which one are you? Are you barely on LinkedIn to the point where you shouldn’t bother or are you a LinkedIn addict like me. Or, do you strike a nice balance? I would love to hear your story, and I promise not to judge.

How could I judge?

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

16 LinkedIn pros talk about creating a powerful LinkedIn About section

What happens when you get 16 LinkedIn pros together to talk about creating a powerful LinkedIn profile About section? You get an variety of incredible answers. You might think all of the answers would be similar. Not so.

One of our pros advises not to write a boring About section. Blunt as this might sound, it makes sense; don’t use your 2,600 characters to write a whole lot of fluff.

Don’t write a “wall of words,” another pro emphasizes; meaning keep your paragraphs short.

Your resume is 2D but your LinkedIn profile is 3D, suggests a third pro. It contains your inner world and outer world. Read what he means by this.

Yet another pro writes, “Think of your About section as a sandwich, the top slice of bread makes a personal connection, the middle is the meat, and the bottom slice ends with a personal morsel.” Yum.

A recruiter among the group stresses the importance of keywords. If you want to be found, know where to place them.

These are only six of our pros weighing in. There are 10 more who have different, yet valuable, advice to impart.

What makes the About section hard to create for some people? One person who’s been active on LinkedIn told me he didn’t know what to write, so he doesn’t have one. Apparently, this sentiment applies to many people. I’ve seen many profiles without About sections.

If you are one of those people who don’t have an About section, or if you want more ideas on how to make it better; read this article. It’s long, but you’ll get plenty of great ideas. The authorities who contributed to this article are the best in their trade. You won’t go wrong.

Hook the reader and demonstrate value

Virginia Franco, VirginiaFrancoResumes.com

Taking a page from journalism, I liken your LinkedIn About section to a lead (lede) paragraph in a news story that gives the reader a sense of what the story will be about. Can you imagine a news article that skips this critical section? You’d probably skip reading it altogether. Same goes with your LinkedIn About section.

Contrary to popular belief, powerful and descriptive adjectives aren’t what make your LinkedIn’s About section powerful. While adjectives may be effective in telling the reader something, they don’t really show them anything of value.

Instead, a powerful About section tells the reader about the types of problems you solve while also sharing some detail about what makes you tick and be successful. It also hooks the reader within the first two lines and compels you to want to keep reading.  Here’s an example of an About section intro designed to inform and propel further reading.

When pharma companies need sales strategy and leadership to drive transformation, turnaround, launch new products or markets, or catapult teams from good to great – I am brought in.

The results? Plans that convert customers, bring new products to market and unseat the competition.

In addition to including details about your story, I often recommend including an email in your LinkedIn About section – which provides an interested party with an easy way to reach out without having to do extra clicking to find your contact info on your profile.


Avoid these three mistakes

Susan Joyce, Netability.com

I see three very common errors in the LinkedIn About section.

The first error is an empty or very short About section. Why is this a mistake? Wasted opportunity!

The solution? Summarize your qualifications for the job you want in your profile’s About section. Highlight your relevant accomplishments, and demonstrate your ability to communicate clearly.

The second error is what I call the “wall of words” mistake. The wall-of-words mistake is an About section with one or two very large paragraphs of content. Why is this a mistake? Because it looks like a wall of words and is not easily scannable! We are all in a hurry now.

So, recruiters and anyone else looking quickly to learn more about you, especially if they are looking at your profile on a smart phone (which more than 50% of them are), are not going to take the time to carefully read each dense paragraph.

The wall-of-words solution? Bulleted lists of short sentences, preferably highlighting your relevant professional accomplishments, quantified if possible to demonstrate your positive impact. Copy and paste LinkedIn “eye candy” (a.k.a. imoji) into About as bullets in your bulleted list to draw attention to them.

The third error is omitting contact information. Anyone not currently connected to you (like a recruiter) will not be able to read what you have posted in your “Contact info” section at the top of your profile. Even if you are the perfect candidate for a job, opportunities lost!

The solution? Add a sentence at the bottom of your profile which includes your permanent, professional contact information (NOT your current work or home contact information). My recommendation is to use Gmail and Google Voice, both of which can be re-directed to your current email and phone numbers.


Don’t write a boring About section

Shelley Piedmont, ShelleyPiedmont.com

Too many About sections have nothing in them or are boring. I read the first few sentences, and my eyes glaze over. It is such a wasted opportunity. When I ask why the person hasn’t focused on this section, they tell me they don’t know what to say.

So here is my advice. First, who is your audience? What do they need to know about you? Write it for them, not yourself. If you are a job seeker, what would an employer find of value about you? Focus on that. Likely, they will want to know about your knowledge, abilities, experiences, and accomplishments.

The About section is not your resume, though. You want to tell a story about what you have done but also who you are. What motivates you? What makes you stand apart from your peers? This is an opportunity to give a glimpse of the person behind the results.

It would be best to have SEO in mind as you are writing, so the search engine selects your profile as relevant. Ensure you sprinkle this section with keywords used to search for someone in your field or industry.

Make sure your about section is concise. Every word you choose is important. Does it bring value and tell your story in the best way? Likely you will need to edit your About section a few times to get it right. I have. And if it makes it easier to read, feel free to use emojis if your audience appreciates them.

Lastly, do not think that the About section is written once and never touched again. You should once a quarter review your LinkedIn profile and make updates as needed. That may mean adding or deleting information from your About section, depending on the changing needs of your audience.


A.C.E. your About section: Be authentic, captivating, and effective

Shea Ki, UpGradeMyInterview.com

The LinkedIn Profile About section can be our career momentum’s greatest friend or foe. So much can work against us including writer’s block, keyword or industry jargon overload, and too much copycatting someone else’s format. If you notice any of these issues about yours, I encourage that you inner-view yourself first to turn things around.

Reflect on: Why are you attracted to the work you are doing or want to do?
What stories might other coworkers, bosses, or colleagues share if asked about your contributions? Which accomplishments professionally, personally, and academically are you most proud of?

Depending on your career goals, several parts of your answers can be included in the LinkedIn profile About section.

Be sure to evaluate this section every 3-6 months to confirm it is serving you well. Here is a communication strategy to help you ACE your About section on LinkedIn or upgrade any message about your professional value:

A = Authenticity     

Does it sound like YOU? Do what you can to provide a sense of what matters to you or activates your values when you are at work. That makes you stand out in a positive way from everyone else. 

C = Captivating     

Are you targeting your ideal audience (those you want to read your About section the most)? Address a problem or need they have and describe what you offer to improve their situation. That is how you hold their attention to read more and take action to connect with you further. 

E = Effective     

Is it getting the results and impact you want?  Gain clarity of what outcomes you are aiming to achieve so you can measure how it is going. That will make it clear what changes to make or if it is time to get more support with it. 


Throw out the “Old-School” About section

Sarah Johnston, BriefcaseCoach.com

Old School” LinkedIn profiles were told in the 3rd person and were more biographical. (Example:  Mark is an executive leader who works globally with senior management.  He has demonstrated strengths in helping companies make sense of their numbers; passionate about educating and sharing the story with the rest of the organization….). “Old School” profiles are known for feeling less personal and more jargon-y. 

 The “New School” or modern profile is engaging and tells a first person story and draws the reader in with a hook. With “new school” profiles, readers are more likely to read and remember the summary. Which is one of the main goals of personal branding: to differentiate yourself and be known.


The About section speaks to your “inner” and “outer” worlds

Nii Ato Bentsi-Enchill, AvenirCareers.com

If your resume is a 2-D representation of your candidacy, consider your LinkedIn profile to be your 3-D representative. The About section of your profile is really where your professional persona can truly come to life by sharing your bigger story. 

The best stories make readers feel something. Your About section has the ability to accomplish this by weaving together a tapestry of your inner and outer worlds. Your inner world comprises your deep seated beliefs, values, & passions, which represent the steady, animating forces of your career path.

Your outer world are the achievements you’ve consistently made throughout your career that are the manifestation of your internal drivers. By weaving these two core elements together you’re able to not only show what you stand for but also how you uniquely impact the world around you.

In addition to these two core components, it’s crucial to articulate what’s unique about you and/or how you do things. You’re not the only person with your job title or level of experience, so it’s critical to ensure that you stand out by honing in on an aspect of your career journey, background, or way of using your skills that will help you stand apart from the crowd.

If you’re in leadership, take the opportunity to define the type of leader you are and how you help create the conditions for success, and bring out the best in those on your team.

Finally, don’t forget to invite people to connect with you who are similarly aligned with your values and career interests. A powerful About section will serve as a rich conversation starter by giving your audience ample opportunity to connect to an aspect of who you are that sparks curiosity or emotion in them, and compels them to reach out to learn more.


Your About section is like a professional/personal sandwich

Loren Greiff, PortfolioRocket.com

The P&P (Personal & Professional) Sandwich. 

First,  imagine the start and end of your About Section as two slices of bread. The middle is the filling.

  • The top slice or up-front portion is where your story begins and your personal connection is established.  
  • Allow some of your personality to come out, writing how you speak in the first person, using. 
  • Create a “hook” to grab your readers’ attention,  with what makes you tick. 
  • Include keywords without overstuffing and steer clear of too much jargon. 
  • Remember you want them to be engaged and read until the end.

For the filling, it’s about quality meat (skip the cheese) to capitalize on your professional impact. 

Sprinkle in some metrics, without reporting data. 

Share quick examples of your career wins, a cool client you worked with and/or a memorable nugget not captured on your resume. 

Keep them captive.

The bottom slice and end should offer some parting personal morsels.

  • A few little known facts. 
  • Call to action. 
  • Contact information, making it easy for them to reach out, pronto. 

No matter what, avoid treating this section as regurgitation of  the same information on your resume. 

This is a rare opportunity for those who don’t know you, yet to get a peek inside and find out more about you outside of the required hiring documents. You can still be buttoned up and deliver outstanding value without being boring or cliche. 

Lastly, know that this takes time to construct, revisions and some finesse to strike the right tone. 

Have others read it. If it doesn’t sound like YOU, have another go until it does. 

Decision makers read the About Section and this is a piece of the hiring process you can control so 

deliver excellence, to attract excellence. 


Consider these 4 tips when writing your About section

Lezlie Garr, ResumeLezlie.com

Start with a hook

With your About section, you want to catch the reader’s attention right away. You have a limited number of visible characters before the See More, so make them engaging.

You can start by telling an interesting (relevant) story about you, showcasing an impressive achievement, or outlining the most important pieces of your professional brand.

Present a concise, consistent brand

Speaking of your professional brand, your About section should present your brand in a cohesive, concise way that is consistent with your resume and other job search documents.

You’re not looking to make an exact replica; just make sure the message you present about yourself and the major highlights, achievements, and skills you showcase are consistent from your resume to your LinkedIn profile.

Include targeted keywords

The About section is (like most other profile sections) keyword searchable by the algorithm, so incorporate the most relevant and important keywords for your target roles. This will help increase your ranking in search results for those keywords.  

Set your content apart

While the platform doesn’t offer many native options for formatting your content, there are two options to add a unique look that will make you stand apart from your competition.

Emojis – While it’s important not to over-use these, a few well-placed emojis can make a big difference in the engagement-factor of your content.

Yaytext – Yaytext.com (not an affiliate link) is a web-based tool that converts plain text into styled text (bold, italic, etc.) which you can then copy/paste into your LinkedIn profile.


The About section is like the back cover of a book: 10 best practices

Kevin Turner, TNTBrandStrategist.com

Imagine your LinkedIn [Profile] like one Book in a massive Bookstore of 760M+ Professional Stories. The [Top card] is like the spine of the Book; [Profile photo], [Headline], graphic [Background photo], and small details may be what gets someone to pull your story from the shelf. Once that interest is initiated, we all know the back cover turns the browser into a buyer; this is your [About] [Summary].

The Most Successful [About] [Summary]s contain the following:

Captures interest in the first couple of lines to get that browser to dig in deeper

Stands out, in a sea of competition, a little different can make all the difference

Recognizes People buy from People, so make it Personal

Knows the Buyer and speaks to solve their needs

Avoids too many adjectives, complicated word salads, and unfounded statements

Goes for impact by bringing in the proof metrics

Implements Internet best practices by presenting in short paragraphs

Stimulates the reader visually between paragraphs with 3 to 5 concise, hard-hitting bullets backed with business-appropriate emojis: 🔘, ►, ✓, 📱, ✉ , 🌏, 6σ

Closes the deal with a ‘Call to Action’ and provides a way to buy in; list your contact, so it’s recognizable but not scrapable by Bots. Example: ✉ Kevin @ TNTBrandStrategist .com: 📱 +1.214.724.9111

Presented in a Mobile Friendly way, so we maximize all our customers

If you build that [About] [Summary] correctly, you will drive your [Profile] browser to devour the chapters within your work & volunteer [Experience], dive into your proof of knowledge leadership [Activity], understand the categories you serve in your [Skills & endorsements] and be further sold by your written [Recommendations]. Hope these thoughts help you, Market, & Book Your Own Success!


Your about section answers, “Tell me about yourself”

Hannah Morgan, CareerSherpa.net

LinkedIn provides every user with the opportunity to write a summary about themselves. What is it you want someone to know about you?

You have up to 2,600 characters to answer the question “tell me about yourself?” This is time when less is not more! This is your chance to explain who you are and how you work.

You want to highlight your professional skills as well as your motivation and personality. There isn’t a one-size fits all formula or answer. Pick and choose what you want to include from the options below:

  • What got you started in your field or career
  • Why you love what you do
  • Your top achievement and why it’s significant
  • Work processes or procedures you enjoy
  • Certifications, degrees, memberships that are important to you and the industry
  • Problems you solve and who benefits
  • Breadth or depth of industries you’ve worked in
  • Why people like working for you or with you
  • A hobby or interest outside of work that’s important to you

How you string all this information together and structure your About section is equally important. Make your content skimmable by writing in shorter sentences and shorter paragraphs.

Writing your About section will test your writing skills as well as you creative thinking. Enjoy the process of detailing what you want to be known for!


Write in 1st person and explain what you can do for employers

Erin Kennedy, Exclusive-Executive-Resumes.com

Want to know a secret about how to get readers stop in their tracks when they read your LI profile?

Write your About section like your story, not like a biography!

Gone are the days when we would write our About sections like a formal, third person, boring biography.

Hiring managers and companies want to learn more about you by the way you write about yourself. Think of your About section as your story intertwined with your brand, specialties, and accomplishments. Write it in first person as if you are talking to your reader. Consider these ideas when writing it:

What problems do I fix?
What do I bring to the table?
How do I make a difference?
How do I contribute to team goals?
What are my leadership strengths?
What are my top contributions?
What is my value statement?
What is my communication style?
What am I known for?
What am I passionate about?

You can also break up and organize different sections of your About section with emoji’s like arrows, dashes, stars, etc. This is a great way to showcase your different skill sets into mini stories with headlines like:

BUSINESS & TECHOLOGY PROCESSES
ACADEMIC ORGANIZATION
LEADERSHIP STYLE
TEAM LEADERSHIP & SUCCESS STORIES

One thing to remember is to keep your reader in mind when writing your About section. They are thinking, “How can this person help us? How can they fix our pain points? What makes them different from everyone else in this role?”

Once you’ve completed the content, don’t forget your call to action! Offer an invitation to connect or follow, remind them to check out your portfolio of projects, work, or events in your Featured section, suggest a virtual coffee with people in your industry, or put a link to your website for more information.

There is so much you can do with your About section that will help it jump out and draw the reader in.


Make sure to list your skills; recruiters are looking for them

Ed Han, Job-Hunt.org

Despite its popularity with recruiters and omnipresence in hiring, LinkedIn is first and foremost a networking platform.That’s why Reid Hoffman created it in his living room in 2002. When viewing your profile, people want to know whether you are someone with whom they would like to network. 

But you’re not here reading this installment of Things Career Related because you just want to network. You’re reading this article because you’re in the job search and want to be found be people like me.

As a recruiter, when I am finding talent via LinkedIn profiles, I conduct a search based on keywords. Keywords can appear anywhere in a LinkedIn profile, but it’s easiest and most natural for them to appear in either the member’s 220 character headline or the 3000 character About section.

The specific keywords I might search are those based upon my understanding of the need that will unearth the most relevant candidates. 

For example: if I am seeking a senior information security professional, I might search CISSP, a well-regarded certification for such professionals. I might also search for specific experiences or skills (e.g., threat or vulnerability management or pentesting). CISSP, threat management, vulnerability management, pentesting…all of these are keywords.

Personally, I avoid focusing on job titles. This is because I learned long ago that titles issued by employers can be non-intuitive. I’ve seen marketers with the job title of technical writer, VPs who are individual contributors (looking at your financial services industry)…heck, I’ve been an editor who didn’t actually edit anything.

For a powerful About section: talk about specific skills you have, the experiences you have had, the things that set you apart. That’s how you will be found by recruiters.


Show your greatness with your About section

Bob McIntosh, ThingsCareerRelated

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. To read further about 8 general tips and some ways you can write your About section, click here.


Your About section should sell you to the reader

Austin Belcak, CultivateCulture.com

The About section of your profile is your chance to really sell your reader. There are many ways to optimize it, but the two most important things any job seeker can do are:

  1. Lead with a highly relevant introduction

Your entire LinkedIn profile should be geared towards your target audience.

If you’re a job seeker, that means you’re writing it for the recruiter or hiring manager at your dream company who might read it. What do those people care about? They care about finding someone who matches the criteria for their roles. A winning About section opens with that.

I like to include a line that covers my background, how many years of experience I have, and a pitch of the value I bring to the table. For example:

“Award-winning sales executive with 8+ years experience driving $10M in new business for early stage cloud-based SaaS companies.”

If a recruiter or hiring manger needs a competent sales person in the SaaS / cloud space, you just checked a lot of their boxes! Relevance is key.

  1. Provide supporting evidence of their experience with results-based “Case Study” bullet

Now that you’ve introduced yourself, you want to back up your intro with some specific case studies of your best experience.

I like to include ~ 5 of these bullets that cover the full range of experience and results that my target audience is looking for. Continuing on the example above, I want to include some bullets that speak to my ability to drive $10M in new biz:

• Generated 5 deals worth $12M at [Company] in my first 16 months as an Account Executive
• Won “OneTeam” award for largest deal of the year ($8.7M) in 2021 at [Company]

These bullets should speak to specific wins and include measurable / tangible outcomes that make your value clear.

If you leverage both of these strategies in your LinkedIn About, you’re going to be off to a great start!


Think of your About section as a sales pitch

Ana Lokotkova, CVLabs.ca

Before diving into what a powerful LinkedIn profile About section is, let’s start with what it isn’t: it is NOT a word-for-word copy of the summary paragraph from your resume.

Imagine you’re browsing for a book on Amazon. A few books happen to match your search criteria. You click on them, and your eye immediately goes to the book description on the sales page (aka the short blurb you’ll likely find on the back cover) where you can skim through a short summary.

Just like the ‘About’ section of your LinkedIn profile, this short book description usually plays a key role in the book’s marketing by enticing you to buy the book. Same principle applies here: think of your About section as a powerful self-pitch.

What makes a compelling pitch for the About section? First of all, your pitch should reflect who you are and what makes you unique without giving away too much. Take an objective look: if your About section makes you want to read more, its core mission is accomplished. If, however, it reads as boring, overwhelming, and cluttered, then it’s definitely time for a revamp.

Writing the About section is my favorite part of crafting LinkedIn profiles for my clients. This is the perfect place for the core parts of your value proposition, i.e.:

  1. Summarizing who you are and what you do (what would you say during a handshake introduction?)
  2. Showcasing what sets you apart from your competition (what is your secret sauce?)
  3. Telling your target audience what’s in it for them (why should they keep reading?)
  4. Letting people know the easiest ways to get in touch with you (you might want to include a couple of options, such as your email and Twitter)

Think about S.H.A.R.P. acronym when writing your About section

Adrienne Tom, CareerImpressions.ca

When creating a LinkedIn About section, think S.H.A.R.P:

Searchable: Build your profile around your value offering and strategically integrate select words and language that support your offering and relate to your industry/role. What keywords and language are common for what you want to be found or known for (as a job seeker or professional)? Do some research to find out.

Hook ‘em in: Make the opening count. If a person lands on your profile, will the first few lines of your About section pull them in and entice them to read more? Ensure the first ~250 characters of your About section are interesting and relatable to the types of individuals you want to attract. Be unique.

Action-oriented: Write your profile with an active voice and share a few career wins or measurable achievements that support your brand and offering. Be specific about who you are and the outcomes you have generated. Metrics can really pop off the page.

Robust: The About section allows up to 2,600 characters – put these characters to good use to fully maximize all the above and more. A few paltry sentences won’t cut it. Just remember to focus on the quality of content versus quantity. 

Personalized: Write the About section in the first person to create more connection with readers. Be authentic and consider using the space to tell a story. Outline who you are as a professional, what makes you unique, and the value you have to offer. 


Well, here you have it. If you read to this point, skimming or reading every work, thank you for taking the time to do it. Every point to make about the About section has been covered. Or are there other points that haven’t been made? If you can think of any, let me know.

Photo by George Milton on Pexels.com

Eye Candy Adds ❃ Interest ❃ to Your LinkedIn Profile, Posts, and Comments

Guest writer Susan Joyce.

Well, now I have a name for what I referred to as simply “color” that peppers my LinkedIn profile. Online job search and SEO expert, Susan Joyce, calls it, “Eye Candy.” This makes sense, as color is sweet to the eye. It draws visitors’ attention, makes the profile more attractive, and emphasizes points you want to make.

Read her awesome article here.

When I show eye candy on my profile in the form of colorful images of a trophy 🏆, fist 👊, and arrows ➡️; I wonder if the LinkedIn community likes them or are annoyed by them. It’s of no consequence to me because I like them.

I also have black and white eye candy on my profile like stars (★) for my accomplishments in the About section and hollowed out dots (❍) for accomplishments in my Experience section. I decided against color in these sections because…I thought it would be a little too much.

(These black and white eye candy are not as stunning as the colorful eye candy, but they beat the hell out of the hyphens (-) and asterisks (*) and small dots (ŸŸ•) which are transferred when you paste your Word doc to LinkedIn.)

The majority of people on LinkedIn don’t know about eye candy and are content with the basic symbols that replace the laborious formatting in their Word file.

Today I’m presenting an article from Susan Joyce, one of a few people I host on my humble blog, who explains why and where to use eye candy and provides more than 100 examples of eye candy.

Click here to read her article.

PS. Susan provides examples of LinkedIn members who utilize eye candy on their profile. I’m included! 👍

Photo by Karley Saagi on Pexels.com

👍

5 areas on your LinkedIn profile you absolutely must nail

No matter how you slice it, there are five areas you must nail on your LinkedIn profile. People’s opinions vary on the order of importance, so the best I can do is give you my take on this and why I list them in my order of preference.

In a poll I conducted a year ago, of 1,189 people who voted, 46% chose the Headline over the About and Experience sections. I was in the minority and chose About (24%). The runner up was Experience (30%).

I’m not going to rehash this poll other than to say I’ve changed my mind in terms of how I rank the sections. (Hey, if politicians can change their minds, why can’t I?) Were I to vote again, I would place the Experience above the other two.

Experience

I’m not trying to be contrary here. The reason why I think Experience is so important is that this is where you hit recruiters over the head with the accomplishments. Stick with only the accomplishments and chuck the mundane duties. This is how you nail the Experience section.

Many recruiters will skip the LinkedIn profile About section and leap to Experience. This is similar to how they treat your resume; they go directly to Experience because—quite honestly—the resume Summary is often filled with fluff, whereas you can’t fake the content in Experience.

I want to bring up one of my pet peeves. I see too many C-level job seekers make the assumption that their visitors know what they did/do at their positions. They simply list the company name, their title, and months/years of experience. By doing this, they’re robbing readers, namely recruiters, of valuable information. It also comes across as arrogant.

Here’s how it should be done from one of my former client’s job summary:

“As the Director, Marketing Communications at ABC Compnay, I planned, developed and executed multi-channel marketing programs and performance-driven campaigns, using digital marketing principles and techniques to meet project and organization goals.”

Notice how he used first-person point of view? Use first person point of view for your accomplishments as well. Take, for example, an accomplishment statement from a resume: “Volunteered to training  5 office staff on new database software. All team members were more productive, increasing the team’s output by 75%.”

The same statement on the LinkedIn profile sounds more personal: “I extended my training expertise by volunteering to train 5 office staff on our new database software. All members of the team were more productive as a result of my patient training style, increasing the team’s output by 75%.”

To read a more in depth article on the LinkedIn profile Experience section go to 5 reasons why you shouldn’t ignore your LinkedIn profile Experience section.

Headline

The Headline is my second choice of areas where you must nail one of the five sections. I’ve read thousands of LinkedIn profiles—this is a fact I had to double check—so I’ve seen the good, bad, and the heinous.

A Headline that meets the heinous criterium would be “Seeking Next Opportunity,” and that’s it. This adds absolutely no value to a potential employer; rather it simply tell them the job seeker’s situation.

Meg Guiseppi, Personal Branding Strategist says this about the Headline:

“I always want people to reinforce their personal brand by getting some personality in their headline. But I feel packing it with keywords is more important. For the most part, save the descriptive adjectives for your About and Experience sections, and elsewhere.”

Here’s an example she gives:

CFO, Senior Finance & Operations Executive – Alternative & Mobile Payments Pioneer, Global Monetization, E-commerce, M&A

Keywords are important, especially if you’re in the job search, but I also like to see a short, impactful tagline. Take Lezlie Garr’s Headline that includes a tagline following her keywords:

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

About

Not to dwell on that notorious poll, but this section was my first choice a year ago. As I said earlier, people are allowed to change their mind. This said, About can be impactful if done correctly. But many people don’t put in the effort to make this section great.

To nail About you have to tell your story. Story, you may wonder? What does Bob mean by this. This is where you can describe what drives you to succeed or problems you face in your industry and how you solve them.

Here’s a brief example of a client of mine who’s baiting readers by asking them in the first paragraph if they need his services.

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

Another LinkedIn member uses the body of his About section to explain his experience in product management/marketing with a brief caption below. He lists five areas of expertise in all to tell his story.

►DEEP PRODUCT/TECHNOLOGY CAPABILITIES: My roots are in product management/marketing. This strength has enabled me to understand and market complex technologies. 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.

There are various ways you can conclude your About section, one of which is to list a call to action where you list your contact information. You can also reiterate your value to employers or, in my case, tell readers that you see the bigger picture.

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.

A recent article I wrote goes into greater detail on how to write a killer About section: 8 tips on how to write your LinkedIn profile About section, plus sample text

Activity

Why do I list Activity as one of the sections you need to nail on your profile? It’s simple; you demonstrate one of the most important components of a LinkedIn campaign, engagement. If I see no pulse in someone’s Activity section, I assume they posted their profile and just let it sit there.

This article is about the LinkedIn profile, but you have to look at the big picture. It’s not worth writing a stellar profile if people don’t know you exist. There are four simple ways to engage with your network:

1. Start by following LinkedIn members

You might want to start following people before connecting with them. You will still see their content in your feed, but you won’t be able to communicate with them directly unless you have a premium account and use Inmail to send them a message.

2. Actively search for content from LinkedIn members

Hopefully your first- and second-degree connections, and the people you’re following are like-minded and produce content that gels with you. For example, if you are in Supply Chain and want to read, view videos, or hear podcasts on this topic simply type “Supply Chain” in the Search field at the top left-hand corner of any page. Then select Posts.

3. Search for content companies produce

LinkedIn allows you to select hastags (#) which categorizes content. Instead of spending time on your feed searching for your desired topics, type in the Search engine #(topic). For example, if you want to read articles on digital marketing, type #digitalmarketing and select Posts.

4. React and comment on what others write

Once you’ve chosen who to follow or connect with, their content will be displayed in your feed. However, LinkedIn doesn’t show all of the content that LinkedIn members you follow produce. You’ll have to actively search for it. This might seem like a needle in a haystack.

3 reasons why your Articles & Activity section is important

Education

If you’re wondering why I list Education last, it’s simple. This section is the last one before Licenses and Certifications, and it can’t be moved like in days past. This is one reason why Education comes in last place.

More so, LinkedIn members dismiss this section by treating it like their resume. What I mean by this is that most of them simply list their school, location, and degree. But there’s so much more a person can write about their experience in school. Madeline Mann is a great example. Here’s what she writes:

University of Southern California
Master of Science (M.S.) Field Of Study Organizational Development – Applied Psychology Activities and Societies: Phi Kappa Phi

• Part of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society – only top 10% of the program selected for this honor
• Served as the sole student representative on the program’s admissions board

Relevant coursework:

Managing and Developing People, Strategy and Organization Consulting, Statistics, Organizational Psychology, Facilitation Design, Research Methods, Group Dynamics and Leadership.

The program turns psychology insight into business impact with a rigorously applied curriculum that combines research focused material in Dornsife College with MBA courses in the Marshall School of Business.

Do you see how well she uses the description area, rather than leaving it blank. This goes to further nail her profile.


You are probably wondering why Skills & Endorsements and even Recommendations weren’t included as areas you need to nail on your LinkedIn profile. And this is a fair question. Here’s the thing, these two sections have taken a serious nosedive in recent years.

Think about the last time you were endorsed for a skill. Are you being endorsed on a regular basis? Are you endorsing others? Now think about the last time you wrote someone a recommendation or received one. I think this makes my point.

Further, these sections are buried so low on the profile that people rarely look at them. I only visit these two areas on someone’s profile when I’m doing a LinkedIn webinar or training. And this is simply to say that one of my connections has 99+ endorsements for many skills, and that he hasn’t received any endorsements since.

8 tips on how to use the LinkedIn mobile app

It’s estimated that at least 60% of LinkedIn members use the mobile app. Further, a poll I conducted on LinkedIn showed that 65% of the participants use the the app more than their computer (desktop or laptop).

Those who chose the app claimed convenience as their reason; where as those who chose the computer platform enjoy the ease of use. Put it this way: if I’m waiting for my daughter to get out of work, I’ll be on my LinkedIn app. If I’m writing a long post, I’ll be at my computer.

I’m going to dive into eight major LinkedIn features on both platforms. I’ll discuss how some of features differ between the mobile app and computer platform, so you can understand the advantages and disadvantages of using both.

1. Homepage

There’s no better place to start than the home page. It isn’t very sexy on the app, but what do you expect from a device that’s approximately 6″x3″?

This is where you’ll usually land if you’re opening the app for the first time in the day. Otherwise you’ll land on whichever page was open last. This is also where your (ideally) relevant conversation is streaming.

There are many features located on the home page that aren’t obvious to the average user. The features that are easy to find are: Home, My Network, Start a Post, Notifications, and Jobs; although they’re in a different order than the computer.

Rest assured that the mobile app contains many of the features the computer provides. It’s just a matter of finding said features.

The computer platform lays out the features like a landscape canvas. The icons (Home, My Network, Jobs, Messaging, and Notifications) are listed at the top of every page. Groups is conveniently hidden in the Work drop-down.

Nice information at your fingertips on the computer platform are Your photo, complete Headline, Who Viewed Your Profile (within the past 90 days) Views of your posts, and Your Groups, Recent Hashtags, and others.

2. Search

This feature is extremely powerful. With it you can search for—in this order—People, Courses Jobs, Groups, and Schools. You’ll have to swipe left to find Posts, Events, and Companies. I find it interesting —actually counterintuitive—that Companies is placed at the end.

If you’re searching for people, simply type in an occupation like “program manager” and you’ll have the option to continue your search for the occupation in Jobs, in People, in Groups.

Tip: if you want more options, click the magnifying tool to get the other options listed above but just in a different order: People, Courses, Jobs, Groups, Schools, Posts, Events, and Companies. Again, why is Companies placed at the end?

Using Search is not as easy to navigate this feature is not as easy as using the desk top/lap top, but you can find almost all you need with Search.

Filter people by or All filters

LinkedIn can’t seem to make its mind up on what to call this awesome feature. On the left of the toolbar (image below) there’s the funky icon mentioned above and on the right are the words All filters. They both lead you to the same destination. Go figure.

This is a powerful feature within Search. If you select People as your search preference, you’ll see a symbol you’ve probably never seen before. It resembles three nob and tubing wires (boxed out on top left of the screenshot above).

Not as powerful as the desktop version, it still allows you to narrow your search by: Connections degree, Connections of, Locations, Current company, Past company, School, Industry, Profile language, and Open to.

The computer version provides more features than the app, and Filter people by is way more friendly on your computer than your phone. There are a couple of more options to find people with the computer platform, which include Service categories, and Keywords.

3. Share a post

To start a post, you might have to look hard to find it. In the top image, the icon resembles a white cross in a grey box. Clicking on the icon gives you the option to Write a long post of about 1,200 characters but as I said above, writing it with the app can be difficult.

Other features that come with starting a post are: Add a photo, Take a video, Celebrate an occasion, Add a document, Share that you’re hiring, Find an expert, and Create a poll. The app separates itself from the computer with the Take a video feature. It’s not possible to do on the computer while easily done with the app.

Somewhat related to Start a post is a new feature that hasn’t rolled out for everyone. It’s called Cover Story and allows you to record a 30-second elevator pitch. At this writing I haven’t recorded my elevator pitch, but I’ve seen some very good ones.

The computer platform doesn’t allow you to take a video, rather you have to upload it to your hard drive. With your app, you can create a video straight from it.

4. Messaging

The most noticeable difference between the mobile app and the desktop for messaging is that the app’s version is truncated (see below). Only by clicking on your connection’s message can you read the stream of conversation. On the desktop you can see multiple connections. But this is expected, as the desktop has a larger surface.

Both the mobile app and the desktop allow you to search by Unread, My Connections, InMail, Archived, and Blocked, albeit in a different order. (Are you getting the sense that the desktop platform is becoming more like the mobile app?)

With both mobile app and the desktop, you can respond to Inmails by choosing some buttons, such as Interested, Maybe later, No thanks and other intuitive short responses. Obviously LinkedIn considers this lazy way of responding to be intuitive and clever. I will admit that that I’ve taken the shortcut.

One noteworthy difference is that the mobile app has a feature that suggests an opening verbiage for messages, such as, “Hi (name), I notice you’re also connected with (name).” This feature  is akin to LinkedIn’s default invite message. No thanks.

5. My Network

If you’re looking for the My Network icon, it’s migrated from the top to the bottom of the screen. Clicking on the icon brings you to a the ability to Manage my network, which shows your number of connections. It’s interesting that my number of connections is different from my computer (4,705) and the app (4,046). I wonder which is correct?

Other tidbits of information are: People you follow, #Hashtags you follow, Companies you follow, and other minor details. You can also check out how many Invitations and Sent invites that are pending.

Note: If you want to locate someone by occupation and other demographics, you can use All filters.

Also important to keep in mind is that LinkedIn will suggest people you know (to right). Don’t simply hit Connect, as the invite will be sent without giving you the opportunity to personalize it. Contrary to what many people believe, you can send a personal invite from a LinkedIn users full profile.

6. Notifications

This feature allows you to see what your connections have been doing:

  1. Who’s mentioned you in a post
  2. Liked your post, liked a post that mentions you
  3. Is starting a new position; and
  4. Commented on (someone’s ) post

The differences between this feature on the app and desktop are negligible and hardly worth mentioning. However, there is one major difference: the desktop seems to lag behind the mobile app. In other words, the streaming is slower on the desktop than the app.

7. Companies

Like the desktop, you have to use the Search to access your desired companies. The most important reason to use Companies is to locate people who work for your target companies, which is a bit more cumbersome with the mobile app than the desktop.

To do this you must type the company name into Search and choose People, and then use the Filter tool (boxed out on the image to the right). You can filter by:

  1. Connections (degree)
  2. Connections of
  3. Locations
  4. Current companies
  5. Past companies (not shown)
  6. Industries (not shown)
  7. Schools (not shown)

The only benefit the desktop version offers is the ability to search by Keyword. The other filters are superfluous. Such as Profile language and Nonprofit interests.

In my opinion, this is the most important feature LinkedIn provides, whether on the desktop or mobile app. This is where real online networking happens. In fact, I written an article on the Companies feature.

8. Jobs

You can search for jobs using Search just as easy as clicking on the icon. You avoid a step by using Search.

The Search feature allows you to find jobs, say in Accounting, and then narrowing them down to Location (allow your device to identify your location, if you like), and if you want to take it further, filter by:

  1. Most relevant
  2. Most recent
  3. Determine how many miles you are willing to travel
  4. Only show jobs with which you can apply Easy Apply
  5. Date posted
  6. Company
  7. Experience level
  8. Job type
  9. Industry
  10. Job function

When you’ve chosen a job to investigate, you’ll notice—because of the limited surface—the mobile app is not as robust as the desktop version. Some similarities are:

  1. Number of first degree connections
  2. Number of alumni
  3. Job description
  4. The person who posted the job
  5. Jobs people also viewed
  6. Easy Apply

When you open the LinkedIn app on your smart phone, you’ll see the power, albeit limited, it has to offer. You’ll also see that the desktop version closely resembles the mobile app. If I were to choose between the two, it would be a difficult choice. However, the prospect of opening up the laptop 10 times a day isn’t very appealing.

Photo by Ono Kosuki on Pexels.com

62% of LinkedIn members say “LinkedIn Fatigue” is real

This article is based on a poll I conducted on LinkedIn in which 2,885 people voted.

This past Sunday was a lazy day. It rained in the morning after my daily walk, so there was no yard work to do. I powered up my laptop to check out what was happening on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Not much.

It’s not every Sunday that I have the opportunity to just sit and use LinkedIn. Like many people, I rarely (this word is relative) use social media on the weekends. These two days are dedicated to family, light travel, and getting things done around the house.

The day in question, I read some posts on LinkedIn and really had no desire to comment on any of them. I definitely had no urge to write a post. You could say I wasn’t feeling it.

𝗜 𝗵𝗮𝗱 𝗟𝗶𝗻𝗸𝗲𝗱𝗜𝗻 𝗳𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗴𝘂𝗲.

This is a real thing, folks. We develop a routine for using LinkedIn and when we veer from it, it seems strange. We strive for consistency without overdoing it; three or four days a week of engagement at the minimum.

And maybe this is the proper amount of time to be on LinkedIn. I don’t prescribe to this limit; there have been numerous times when I’ve said and written that I’m on LinkedIn everyday. This means 365 days a year. I’ve also seen some common faces using LinkedIn as frequently as me.

In another poll I conducted on LinkedIn, I asked how often members use LinkedIn. The options were approximately once a month, once a week, four times a week, or every day. Of the 5,040 people who voted 65% said they use LinkedIn every day. Four times a week came in second at 22% and the remainder of the voters were negligible.

One voter wrote, “Maybe not 365, Bob, but definitely high 300s. I typically spend multiple hours every week day, and less time on the weekends….”

For me, contributing to being on LinkedIn everyday is probably due to the mobile app. Using LinkedIn on the mobile app can definitely contribute to LinkedIn fatigue. We don’t see the app as a real device on which we use LinkedIn, but it is.

I think about the times I used the app while waiting for my kids to be released from their activities—soccer, dance, other school events—as well as checking it at work, outside waiting for the grill to heat up—basically anywhere. LinkedIn doesn’t escape from us, just like any social media platform come to think about it.

Some of my LinkedIn connections say the last thing they do before retiring for bed is check out their LinkedIn feed or Notifications. So, it seems there is no way to escape the beloved LinkedIn. Here is what some of people who suffer from LinkedIn wrote in the comments:


Kevin D. Turner: Absolutely Bob McIntosh, CPRW, I learned many years ago to schedule at least one bi-weekly #DigitalReprieve (a Day without Digital) and it’s helps.

Celeste Berke Knisely, MTA: The fatigue is real. It often strikes me when I see content from people who seem to be posting on top of one another – posting to post or get likes. I usually give it a good eye role, walk away and come back when I feel like it. No one can be on all the time with witty and thoughtful commentary.

Sometimes, we just need to stare out the window.

Hannah Morgan: Glad you’re sharing this and opening up a discussion. I used to post once a day on LinkedIn. Now I post twice a week. It’s a lot of work. And harder today to create good stuff!

Jeff Sheehan: I get overall social media fatigue. It’s not just limited to LinkedIn. The last year has been challenging with very little IRL interaction. Social media simply is not comparable to meeting face-to-face with people.

Maureen McCann, Executive Career Strategist 💎 (She/Her): I definitely had it last year. We had moved across the country and I just couldn’t get myself to sit in front of the LinkedIn screen trying to uplift others when I was mentally and emotionally drained. So I didn’t. I took a huge break. I don’t think anyone noticed.

Erin Kennedy: I hit Yes but am pretty good about boundaries. I definitely stay off of it on weekends.

Austin Belcak (He/Him): Absolutely! I’ve learned to listen to my body and trust that. If posting that day feels like a real chore, I won’t do it. If it feel that two days in a row, I just give myself permission to take a few days off. Being here should be fun, if you push past that it’s not leading to anything good.

Paula Christensen CPRW, CEIC, CJSS: I answered yes and I blame COVID. Over year+ I have had a lot more time for social media. I am getting tired of staring at glowing rectangles.

🍊 Madeline Mann 🍊: Content creation can be absolute blissful, but it also can really take it out of me sometimes. If you have a commitment to post a certain number of days, I use the tip from atomic habits. Allow yourself to break your habits, but never two days in a row.

Shelley Piedmont, SPHR, SHRM-SCP: I don’t think this is only with LinkedIn. Sometimes you just aren’t feeling it. Better to acknowledge it and move on to something else. Maybe on Sunday your time was better spent reading or taking a walk?

Ashley Watkins, NCRW, NCOPE: It’s cool to step away and return when you’re refreshed and energized. I don’t believe in posting just because. You need to be intentional and thoughtful in your messaging at all times.

Adrienne Tom: I get social media fatigue a lot. Whenever I do, I break from it. Usually just for short stretches. It can be a bit up and down…back and forth for me, but I’ve learned to embrace how I’m feeling and do what works best for me.

Virginia Franco: I get fatigue in general twice a year that absolutely extends to this platform. I also refer to it as “seasonal dementia,” as I tend to grow increasingly scattered! It happens as the end of the school year draws to a close (5 weeks for us) and from Thanksgiving until New Years!

Wes Pearce, Professional Resume Writer: Absolutely. Social media fatigue in general. When I feel this way, I just try to step away for awhile and come back tomorrow.

Honestly staying on screens and social media isn’t even natural for us to do, so it makes sense we get fatigued easily.

Ana Lokotkova: I definitely had it a few times not only in regards to LinkedIn, but all social media for that matter. As always, balance is key.

Matt Warzel, CPRW, CIR: Any and all social media can be fatigue-worthy. If I am annoyed, hungry, tired, or upset, the last thing I want to do is put that feeling in the form of a post or message out there. I love me some breathers and no-screen time when it’s needed. Solid poll question bud!

Laurence F. Smith:, In my opinion, there is too much content on LinkedIn to be of any value. Because of FOMO, there is an inclination to want to ingest everything on the platform. LinkedIn used to be a professional networking platform with relevant content communicating career and related educational opportunities, company/business news and business strategic planning. Now it is a platform with “Facebook-like” content (family videos, college or high-school graduation pictures, constant sales pitches, etcetera).

So it is easy to become fatigued from LinkedIn content. I do not use LinkedIn as much anymore and I suspect other professionals and job creators we all want to connect with may feel the same way.

Nilofar Shamim Haja: Interesting observation! I believe more than fatigue, many of us feel uninspired while using LinkedIn. It’s now cluttered with too many polls, news re-shares, and personal updates (or rants) that have impacted the platform’s value proposition. Sure, we live in a markedly different time today than when LinkedIn was launched, however, the core needs of professionals remain the same: networking, connecting with mentors and peers, job opportunities, and learning about industry updates. It’s just become that much more difficult to find the value in the midst of all the fluff.

Shelley Piedmont, SPHR, SHRM-SCP: Over this past weekend, I really tried to limit my social media intake on all platforms. It is good to do something else, anything else at times. In my daily journal, one of my prompts is how could you have made the day better. Often, I write about partaking in less social media.

Photo by Nathan Cowley on Pexels.com

3 Tips for using LinkedIn’s Companies feature to find a job

LinkedIn’s Companies‘ feature is a treasure trove of information if you’re searching for people with whom to connect. It’s of more value if you have a reason to connect with said people, namely they’re on your company target list (but this is a whole article in itself).

Many job seekers I speak with are unaware that the Companies feature exists. This might have to do with the fact that the feature isn’t highlighted as an icon to the right of Search. In addition, they don’t have a company target list. I strongly suggest they create one consisting of 15-20 companies.

Let’s look at how to find people at your desired companies

For our purpose we’ll assume you have an idea of who you need to find, such as the people on your company target list.

As stated above, the Companies feature is not listed on the toolbar. At one time, this feature was highlighted along with other features, but LinkedIn decided to “hide” it along with Posts, Groups, Schools, Events, and Courses.

To find the button for Companies, place your cursor pointer in Search and left click. You’ll see the drop-down shown below. When I click Companies LinkedIn shows 58,000.000 companies that have a company page.

You can simply type in Search the name of the company. The company for which I’ll search is Avid, a mid-sized company in my area. I know someone who works there, Debra, but not too well. My goal is to connect with a decision maker/s in the marketing department.

I could click People to find the decision maker/s, but I want more options, so I’ll click the number of employees who work there, 1,614. This will give me access to All Filters (see below).

In All Filters I select 2nd degree connections, the Greater Boston Area, and I type in Keywords “manager, marketing.” This gives me three people from which to choose. Rachel and Maria are two people who seem like ones to contact, so I visit their profiles.

Reading their profiles carefully, I look for commonalities between myself and them. Rachel and I went to the same university, and Maria and I have a mutual connection who will gladly facilitate an introduction.

To connect or not connect

You might be wondering why I want to connect with people on my target company list. Fair question. The idea is to penetrate the Hidden Job Market. In other words, get known by people at my desired companies before jobs are listed. Once jobs are listed it’s often too late. I’m building my foundation, if you will.

At this point I’m trying to build my foundation at Avid, as it’s a company high on my list of target companies. I figure there’s a 50/50 chance of one of the two connecting with me. Rachel would be my first choice because she’s managing content writers, which is my area of expertise.

But Maria would also be a bonus connection. Once I connect with Maria, chances are good I’ll be able to connect with Rachel. In both cases I won’t simply send a default invite. No, I’ll have to write a sincere, thoughtful message to both women.

Hint: There’s no reason for either women to connect with me simply because I’m interested in the company for which they work. I’ll have to write a compelling invite message that will entice them to connect with me.

First smother them with kindness

I can take the following steps to impress my possible connections at one of my dream companies. LinkedIn only allows 300 characters* for an invite, so I’ll have I’m limited in terms of the tactics I can use below.

1. I could show Maria and Rachel that I’m simply not connecting with them for the heck of it. I’ll show them that I’ve read their profiles and, of course, mention our commonalities.

2. If either of Maria’s and Rachel’s teams are responsible for doing something notable, I could mention that in my invite. People like to be complimented regardless of what they say. I won’t use shallow platitudes; I’ll point out facts showing I’ve done my research.

3. I could demonstrate that I’ve done my research on Avid and talk highly of it. People also like to know that others admire the employer for which the work. If they don’t, they’re not made long for their position.

The invites

I’ll start with the long shot first. This would be Rachel. She and I don’t have a strong common connection. Debra, who’s my first degree connection displayed on the front page of the Avid’s LinkedIn page, is not one of Rachel’s first degree connections. I’ll go with the cold invite.

Reminder: LinkedIn allows 300 characters for an invite. This is why you might want to follow up with an email.

Hello Rachel,

I hope this connection request finds you well. I’ve always considered Avid to be a great organization that helps directors produce great movies, one of which for me is Ocean 8.

I notice you and I went to UMass Amherst. Were you as excited as I to see them win the Hockey National Championship?

Bob

The invite to Maria will most likely be more successful because we have a strong common connection. When I ask our common connection, Brenda, if I can mention her as a reference, she gladly agrees. She even offers to write an email to Maria as an introduction. I’ll take her up on it if my invite doesn’t come to fruition.

Hello Maria,

You and I are both connected with Brenda (last name). I know her from our days in marketing, where I was a MarCom writer and she was in public relations at Company ABC. She strongly suggested that I invite you to my network. She believes I would be a strong attribute to your team.

Bob


I’ve described how to write an invite from a basic account. If you have LinkedIn’s Career premium account, you can send an Inmail message containing 2,000 characters*. People have varying reactions to Inmail; some appreciate them while others aren’t fond of them.

How you choose to send invites to people on your target companies list is up to you. You should make it a goal to send four to five invites a week, and don’t be afraid to send multiple invites to a target company.

Photo by picjumbo.com on Pexels.com

6 ways LinkedIn makes networking easier for introverts

Preface: this is not an article that asserts introverts use LinkedIn more than extraverts and vice versa. Nor do I assert introverts are more skilled on this platform.

Whether you’re networking via video platform or in person, at some point LinkedIn can play a huge role in your success. I’ve witnessed this with my clients who have forged relationships with other job seekers, mentors, coaches, people in their target companies, and hiring authorities.

As an introvert, LinkedIn has made networking easier for me. It has helped to form solid relationships, generate business for a side hustle, and been a means to share my expertise. I’ve accomplished this, in a large part, by expressing myself through writing, which comes natural to me.

Introverts prefer writing

LinkedIn is a networking platform that is written-based. Written communication can include sending messages to your connections; writing long posts, including polls; and commenting on what others post. Of course, LinkedIn members can express themselves through video and audio.

Written communication is of great comfort for introverts. My valued connection and extravert, Edythe Richards, is a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and EQ trainer, as well as a podcaster. She explains introverts’ preference for writing this way:

“Introverts may prefer writing to speaking because they have ample time to gather their thoughts and edit their words, check and cross-check, before putting them out there into the world. They can also work alone for several hours, which is often harder for extraverted types to do.”

Another authority on introverts, Jenn Granneman and author of Introvert Dear, describes introverts’ preference for writing:

Even if you’re an introvert who doesn’t write for a living, you probably prefer texting and emailing over big in-person meetings or talking on the phone.

How can this be? Again according to [Marti Olsen] Laney, writing and speaking use different pathways in the brain. These writing pathways simply seem to flow more fluently and easily for introverts.

I’m not naive enough to claim introverts own the rights to the written word; that all introverts are great writers and all extraverts are lousy writers. Introverts are not the ruler of the writing hill. Extraverts can write with the best of them. However, introverts are more comfortable writing than speaking.

The voice message feature is pretty cool

I’ve used this feature on LinkedIn’s mobile app only a handful of times, but when I did I planned what I would say and re-recorded a message a few times. Here’s how my botched attempts might go, “Hi Brenda ‘comma’ this is Bob McIntosh ‘period‘ would you like to Zoom with me ‘question mark….'”

The point is voice messaging precludes the need for introverts think on their feet in face-to-face situations. We can do retakes. Small talk isn’t one of our strengths, as it takes thinking on our feet processing our thoughts quickly.

Marti Olsen Laney, The Introvert Advantage: How Quiet People Can Thrive in an Extrovert World, mentions in her book that introverts don’t process information as quickly as extraverts. I know, as an introvert, this is hard to stomach.

With writing and voice messaging, we have more time to think about what we need to convey, and this makes networking with our connections easier.

You can reach out to many people with LinkedIn

Are you a LinkedIn Open Networker (L.I.O.N)? If you are, you’ve probably reached your 30,000 connection limit. I don’t admire L.I.O.Ns for this feat, but I don’t dislike them because of it. My point is that you can reach out to and connect with more people than you’ll ever know.

I am not ashamed to say I have a little more than 4,000 connections and that I probably truly know only 150 people (according to Dunbar’s law of 150). I can safely say I am acquainted with 25 percent of them. I can write to a connection to ask if they’d like to start a conversation.

Rarely am I denied a request to engage in a conversation with my desired connections. I also don’t deny a conversation with someone as long as it fits in my schedule. My preferred way to talk is to do it when I’m walking. I call it “walking and talking.”

LinkedIn is great for soft introductions

Have you ever wanted to meet a person who could change your life, or at least help you in a significant way? If I want to meet anyone, my friend Brian Ahearn would gladly introduce me to whomever I’d like to meet.

Other than the fact that I root for the Patriots and he roots for the Steelers, we’ve grown a LinkedIn relationship of trust and liking (one of the six components he talks about when influencing others). This means that if I want to meet one of his connections he would facilitate the introduction, no questions asked.

The same trust and liking I have with Brian applies to more of my connections than I can list. Have I met these people in person? I’ve met Brian in Boston, but there aren’t many LinkedIn connections I can say with whom I’ve “pressed flesh.” This is the power of the soft introduction.

Key point: once you have been introduced to someone, it is on you to follow through to solidify the connection. You might be the one to send an invite to the person to whom you’re introduced or vice versa. In either case, don’t let this new connection sit; build a relationship as discussed next.

LinkedIn encourages relationship building

Reaching out to many people and getting to know them better through soft introductions is at the core of networking on LinkedIn. Did you know that LinkedIn was developed for business as a way for companies to network to develop leads? Job seekers saw LinkedIn as a way to network and develop leads.

This said, leads are leads until they amount to something. I mentioned above that I’ve developed some great relationships on LinkedIn. This wasn’t done overnight, especially with my preference for introversion. Introverts by and large seek deep, intimate relationships, where as extraverts have a friend in every port.

I would love to get together with many of my close connections; however, distance is a deterrent. For example, one of my connections lives in Los Angeles. Another one lives in Maine about a three-hour drive. And a close connection lives in Belgium. These are a few of the thousands of connections I’d like to reach out to. You get the idea; LinkedIn is a global relationship maker.

Kenneth Lang, another valued connection, adds:

“After connecting with someone, send a follow-up ‘Thanks for connecting,’ email with some CTA (call to action) – such as scheduling a virtual cup of coffee to learn more about what you each do and how you can support them.”

But we’re not done

I am constantly saying to my clients that to form a bona fide relationship with someone, you need to reach out in a personal way. Phone and Zoom are great ways to communicate, but there’s nothing like meeting someone for a coffee, a beer, or dinner. Networking is at its best when you gather in person.

Unfortunately the pandemic has put the kibosh on most in-person networking in the state in which I live. But pre-pandemic I enjoyed attending networking events to meet up with contacts or speak about LinkedIn to groups. It was great to see them in person and be able to shake their hand.

You’ve set yourself up for in-person meetings by writing to your connections, sharing content on LinkedIn, using LinkedIn’s voice message feature, and asking for soft introductions. These are all acts that introverts find comfortable with. Is LinkedIn the first step in the networking process? I think it is.


Back to Introverts and writing

It would be unkind of me to share what Edythe Richards shared in her message to me regarding the Introvert’s preference for writing:

“I’s may prefer writing to speaking because they have ample time to gather their thoughts and edit their words, check and cross-check, before putting them out there into the world. They can also work alone for several hours, which is often harder for Extraverted types to do.

“Some people – regardless of personality type – may prefer writing due to a real or perceived fear of judgment, social anxiety, or they’re just really good at writing.

“With this said, not all I’s may prefer writing to speaking, and not all E’s may prefer speaking to writing. There are nuances, shades, and blends of what we think of as a typical Extravert or Introvert. It could be situational as well – we may prefer writing to certain people and speaking to other people.

“Take me for example. I’m an Extravert, but I’ve spent years cultivating Introverted qualities. I prefer listening to other people’s stories rather than talking about my own. I cherish my few very close friends. And yes, there are many, many times that I prefer writing to speaking.

“My significant other identifies as a Very Clear Introvert. Though he will surely disagree with me, he is an eloquent speaker. And in true Introvert style, he usually chooses not to speak. But given the choice between speaking and writing, he will choose to speak.”

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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.

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