Tag Archives: online networking

Why are you on LinkedIn? Three types of LinkedIn members

Congratulations, you are one of more than 500 million LinkedIn members. LinkedIn is touted as the most professional online networking platform. Many job seekers have used it to find jobs, while others have had no success. You don’t want to fall into the latter category.

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The success of using LinkedIn depends on knowing why you’re using the networking platform and how to better use it. LinkedIn can be beneficial to your job search, but first decide if you should be using it.

You Have No Idea

You went through the easy process of securing your LinkedIn membership. Because you’re in the job hunt, a career expert told it would be the answer to your prayers. I curse the people who told you this.

If you really believe LinkedIn alone will land your next job, stop drinking the Cool Aid. LinkedIn is not the magic elixir that people might have told you it is. This is the hard truth. Now let me tell you what you have to do.

Have you seen the television program, “The Biggest Loser.” This is you. You will work harder than you’ve worked before…not to lose weight, of course. If you think I’m exaggerating, ask people who have succeeded using LinkedIn to find a job.

Here’s what you need to do: create a profile; connect with people you don’t know; and engage with said people. This is a tall order, but you can do it. The most promising thing about you is that you’re open to all advice LinkedIn authorities offer you. The question is if you’re hungry enough to do what it takes.

Please read this sequence of posts for a full explanation on how to use LinkedIn

You’re Half-Committed

Maybe you’re a tweeny; you have an inkling of an idea of LinkedIn and are knowledgeable enough to be dangerous. You joined the last time you were out of work but neglected LinkedIn after you landed your previous job; now it’s time to get back on the horse. You have promise, though.

First things first; your profile resembles your résumé. That’s because it is. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I suggest to my clients that they start with their résumé as a foundation, but from there they need to turn it into more of a networking document.

The solution is to do serious work on your Branding Headline, create a Summary that reflects your passion and value, and beef up your Experience section. This is what I mean by making your profile a networking document, while still maintaining your value to potential employers.

Next, slowly reconnect with with people in your network. Slowly because you don’t want to come across as someone who needs something only when you contact someone. My kids do this. Don’t be like my kids.

Finally, you’ll become more visible by sharing updates on a regular basis. I generally suggest sharing updates two times a day, four days a week…at a minimum. For those who are a little more committed, engaging with your connections every day is your goal.

Read about the next LinkedIn member, The Pro.

You’re a Pro

You know exactly why you’re using LinkedIn. You have a solid strategy that will land you a job. You’re a pro. This post may not enlighten you, other than you are curious to see if you are on track. You are.

I know your’e a pro when I ask you how often you use LinkedIn, and what you use LinkedIn for. The answer to my first question is…you guessed it, every day. How you’re using it is to continue your lifelong networking efforts.

You are making efforts to connect with people at companies for which you want to work, which means you have a target company list. You’re making substantial connections, some of whom you have met for coffee, or at the very least talked with on the phone.

Occasionally you use the Jobs feature to apply for jobs online, but you know this isn’t the most productive way to spend time looking for work. You notice the alumni who work/ed at your target companies, so you reach out to them. You’re stoked if your fraternity brothers work at a few of your target companies. Hey, bro!

Here is a partial list of what you have in place:

  1. A profile that effectively brands you. There’s nothing more that can be done with your profile.
  2. Keywords that put you within the first four pages of profile searches.
  3. More than 1,500 connections, many of whom are recruiters. Yes, it’s cool to connect with recruiters.
  4. Engaging with your connections in a number of ways, such as sharing illuminating industry updates, writing posts on LinkedIn that brand you, asking questions that provoke thought, etc.
  5. In industry groups, where recruiters also hang out, and starting and adding to discussions.
  6. Most importantly, introducing your fellow job seekers to people who can be of assistance.

Coupled with your strong LinkedIn campaign and personal networking, you’re not going to be unemployed too long. Your strategy is straightforward; connect with quality LinkedIn members and create a mutually helpful relationship. As they say, you’re killing it.


Far be it from me to suggest no one joins LinkedIn. The most important thing to discover is why you’re on LinkedIn. Once you’ve determined this, you’ll have to put in the appropriate amount of effort.

Photo: Flickr, Marco / Zak

72 LinkedIn posts that can help you with your job search

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

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72. 7 sins you’re committing with your LinkedIn campaign

You’ve heard of the seven deadly sins—Pride, Envy, Gluttony, Lust, Anger, Greed, Sloth. Two years ago I heard a podcast talking about them. Two years later I’m writing an article focusing on the sins you’re committing with your LinkedIn campaign. They are not the deadly sins discussed in the podcast I listened to, but they can definitely hurt your campaign and, consequently, your job search.

71. How you can direct your visitors to your LinkedIn Accomplishments section

Many people won’t look at your Accomplishments section. Many people don’t even know it exists. How do you draw people to this important area of your profile? You direct them to this area by mentioning it in your About section.

70. 10 New Year’s resolutions I know I WILL achieve

Like many people, I dislike New Year’s resolutions, mainly because we rarely achieve them. But this year I’m going to set some resolutions that are attainable. The resolutions I vow to achieve are ones that relate to LinkedIn. These are ones I can do. I also hope my resolutions will benefit other LinkedIn users, namely job seekers; that they will emulate them. The following are 10 actions I will take in 2020.

69. 9 major areas where your LinkedIn profile brands you

It’s safe to say I’ve critiqued or written hundreds of LinkedIn profiles. What’s most important in a profile is that it brands the LinkedIn member; it sends a clear, consistent message of the value the member will deliver to employers. Does your profile brand you?

68. 5 types of like-minded people to connect with on LinkedIn

In a recent LinkedIn Official Blog post, the author suggests you should connect “with people you know and trust.” This seems like sound advice on the surface, but it shouldn’t be followed literally. My suggestion is to take it a step further and connect with like-minded people.

67. 3 challenges to improve your LinkedIn engagement

Engaging on LinkedIn can be tough. It requires dedication, stretching your zone and putting yourself out there. But here’s the thing; if you don’t engage, you’ll be forgotten by your connections. In this article I coach you on how to engage on LinkedIn.

66. The ultimate comparison of the résumé and LinkedIn profile: a look at 10 areas

Occasionally I’m asked which I prefer writing or reviewing, a résumé or LinkedIn profile. To use a tired cliché, it’s like comparing apples and oranges. Read this article to discover why the résumé and LinkedIn profile are different.

65. 5 tips for busy people using LinkedIn

No, this is not an article for LinkedIn power users (but there are articles for those in this compilation). This article is for busy people who want to make the most of LinkedIn.

64. The LinkedIn quiz: 50 questions

In a recent LinkedIn post, I asked my LinkedIn community to take a quiz consisting of 15 questions. Those who took it were honest about their LinkedIn prowess, or lack thereof. I promised in this post that I would reveal the entire quiz I give my clients. The quiz I give my clients consists of 50 questions. If you decide to take it and don’t score 100%, don’t worry. There is always room for improvement. I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t have a perfect score.

63. 10 reasons why you should use LinkedIn after you’ve landed a job

I’ve come across thousands of job seekers who believe in the power LinkedIn provides to help them land a job. I haven’t, however, come across as many people who believe in using LinkedIn after they’ve landed. They feel that once LinkedIn has done its job, it’s time to part ways.

Why is that? Do people not see the value of LinkedIn in their work?

62. Shaming on LinkedIn is NOT cool: 5 solutions

Unwanted sales pitches or requests to read an article can be irritating, but is it worth shaming the offender? In this article, people on LinkedIn weigh in. What do they suggest? Read to find out.

61. It’s your LinkedIn profile, not your company’s: 4 areas to show it

You might be in a situation where your company requires you to make your profile more about it than you. If this doesn’t settle with you, try compromising. In other words, dedicate most of your profile to your greatness and the rest to your company’s. Easy Peasy.

60. 3 proper ways for job seekers to send invites on LinkedIn

When you send an invite to a LinkedIn member to join your network, it’s important that you personalize the message. To do otherwise would show a lack of effort, and your invitation would probably we rejected. So what do you write in the message box when you send the invite off? This article explains how to write a cold invite, use a reference, and ask for an introduction.

59. 8 ways to use LinkedIn to shorten your job search

If you’re searching for a job, LinkedIn can shorten your search. You’ve probably been told this, but it’s well worth repeating. Will using LinkedIn alone guarantee that you land your next gig? No; LinkedIn is a great supplement to your in-person networking, but you need to engage in both for a strong networking campaign.

58. 8 common excuses for neglecting LinkedIn in your job search

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

57. 7 Reasons why you should be on LinkedIn

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

56. A little advice for my angry LinkedIn connection

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

55. 6 reasons to use Facebook; 6 reasons to use LinkedIn

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

54. The 50 most important words in your LinkedIn Summary*

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

50. 3 reasons to properly endorse people for the skills on their LinkedIn profile

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

49. Reflect before slapping your LinkedIn profile together

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

48. 7 steps to take to find the right person using LinkedIn’s All Filters

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

47. 10 telltale signs that your LinkedIn profile reveals

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

46. 3 reasons why you want to show activity on LinkedIn

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

45. 5 ways on LinkedIn to let employers know you’re unemployed

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

43. It’s okay to connect with strangers

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

42. Two LinkedIn changes: one good, the other Meh

I consider myself to be a fair guy. When LinkedIn does things right, I compliment them. When they do wrong, I criticize them. This time LinkedIn made a smart move by joining multiple job titles to fit under one company icon. But in the same fell swoop, LinkedIn truncating each position.

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

Use this checklist to improve your LinkedIn profile. This is part 1 of a 3-part series. To succeed in your LinkedIn campaign, follow these posts on creating a strong LinkedIn profile, building your network, and engaging on LinkedIn.

40. The Ultimate LinkedIn Guide, Part 2: How to Optimize Your Network

After you’ve optimized your LinkedIn profile, now it’s time to optimize your network.

39. The Ultimate LinkedIn Guide, Engaging on LinkedIn: Part 3

You’ve established a great network. Make sure you stay top of mind by providing relevant, valuable information.

38. Should candidates send a LinkedIn invite after the first interview?

After a client asked me if she should send an invite to a recruiter after their first interview, it prompted me to ask recruiters who hang out on Facebook this question. Surprisingly, their answers were a definitive yes. Read what they have to say.

37. 5 reasons why LinkedIn recommendations should get more respect

Recommendations were once the rave of the LinkedIn profile; some considered them the profile’s best feature. Recruiters only had to read them to see your excellence. They could make a quick decision on whether to contact you or not. This is no longer the case.

36. 4 reasons why you need a strong LinkedIn Summary

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

35. 5 reasons why you shouldn’t ignore your LinkedIn profile Experience section

All too often job seekers and business people ignore their Experience section, assuming people will know what their positions entail. Even if you’re a CEO, visitors would like more description of what you and your company have accomplished. Don’t undersell this important section of your profile.

34. 3 ways job seekers can be found on LinkedIn

I’m often asked by my clients how they can be found by recruiters on LinkedIn. That’s a great question, and contrary to what my job seekers think, optimizing your profile with keywords is not enough.

33. 6 ways to be engaged on LinkedIn, not just active

It’s no longer enough to be active on LinkedIn; you have to engage with your network. There are differences. Find out what they are in this post.

32. 3 reasons for your LinkedIn success: it’s not only about your LinkedIn profile

Many people think having a great LinkedIn profile is enough. Well, think again. You must also develop a targeted and large network, as well as engage with your connections. These are the three pieces to a successful LinkedIn campaign.

31. 3 areas of information your LinkedIn profile Dashboard provides: part 1

If you’re not paying attention to the Dashboard on your LinkedIn profile, you’re missing out on some information. Who’s viewing your profile, how many views does your latest post have, and how many people have searched for you, plus more.

30. 3 features your LinkedIn profile Dashboard provides: part 2

Your LinkedIn Dashboard is privy to only you. Read about some cool features it contains, such as Career Advice, Career Interests, and Salary Insights.

29.  6 LinkedIn profile rules to ignore in 2019

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

28. 5 ways the new LinkedIn profile has changed for the good and bad

LinkedIn’s at it again. New changes to the top of your profile; what I call the Snapshot area. These changes are for the most part nice. Learn what they are by reading this post.

27. 8 areas on your LinkedIn profile where you can make your voice heard

One of the things I like about the LinkedIn profile is the ability to express your written voice. This is particularly important for job seekers, as it gives hiring authorities an idea of their personality. The résumé, on the other hand, doesn’t do this as well as the profile.

26. 4 steps to take—at a minimum—to ask for a favor on LinkedIn

How do you ask for a favor from one of your connections? Here’s a hint: don’t do it in your initial invite. That’s just plain rude.

25. 2 important rules for connecting on LinkedIn the right way

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

24. 6 interesting ways you can find your alumni using LinkedIn’s “See Alumni”

Your alumni can be great a great asset to your network. “See Alumni” is a great feature that allows you to find you alums based on 6 filters.

23. 4 reasons why your LinkedIn background image shouldn’t be ignored

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

22. 6 areas on your LinkedIn profile you should optimize in 2019

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

21. 5 connections that will optimize your LinkedIn network in 2019

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

20. 10 ways to optimize your engagement in 2019

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

19. LinkedIn makes changes to People Search: smart or for the sake of changes?

No one knows when LinkedIn will make changes to its functionality. Some changes are good, others make you scratch your head wondering why certain changes were made. This has been LinkedIn’s MO since its inception.

18. Meeting 5 objections to joining LinkedIn

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

17. 8 reasons why LinkedIn probably isn’t for you

I will be the last person to say “everyone” should be on LinkedIn if they want to land a job. Although LinkedIn is important in the job search, it’s not right for everyone.

16. 5 steps to connecting with LinkedIn members

How do you connect with people on LinkedIn? And what are the five steps to take to connect properly? Learn about the feature “Connections of” and how it can be a game player when you’re asking for an introduction or making a “cold call” connection.

15. 3 times when LinkedIn is essential for your professional career

You’ll need to use LinkedIn when you’re looking for work, working, and while in school. This post is ideal for all LinkedIn users. Are you using LinkedIn the way you should?

14. 8 ways to keep the LinkedIn process from breaking down

In this article I compare building your LinkedIn profile to painting a fence. Great fun writing this one. But seriously, these are the major components to be concerned about.

13. 5 major components of the LinkedIn profile on the mobile app

LinkedIn members need to be aware of the LinkedIn mobile app, as it will soon surpass the use of its computer application. This is one of a three-part series that discusses the LinkedIn profile on the mobile app.

12. 5 LinkedIn mobile app features you need to learn 

Although the LinkedIn mobile app doesn’t offer as much functionality as the desktop version, it is a powerful platform. Check out the differences between the two.

11. LinkedIn’s mobile app versus the desktop: 8 differences

One gets the feeling that LinkedIn is migrating its desktop platform to its mobile app. Maybe not tomorrow, but gradually. The most obvious hint is the way the desktop’s interface increasingly resembles the app. We noticed this when LinkedIn launched its new, slimmed-down platform almost a year ago.

10. 7 faux pas you may be committing on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is not kind to people who commit certain faux pas. Shall we say the LinkedIn police are watching? Be sure not to post irrelevant information, for example. There are six more.

9. 16 of my rigid LinkedIn principles 

There are some LinkedIn principles I hold which are quite rigid. They guide me in how I interact with people on LinkedIn. You may agree with some of them, and you may think some of them are bunk.

8. 10 steps toward a successful LinkedIn in Strategy

This post highlights 10 of the most important steps you need to take to be successful on LinkedIn. Read part one for the first five steps and then part two for the final five steps.

7. There are 5 LinkedIn contributors; which are you?

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

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

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

5. 9 facts about LinkedIn lite profile vs. the LinkedIn profile we knew

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

4. Three reasons why the LinkedIn Summary is key for career changers

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

3. Create a kick-ass profile summary with these four elements

This post is a blast from the past, but it’s still topical. Your LinkedIn Summary is an important part of your profile. Don’t take it lightly.

2. 5 ways LinkedIn Lite’s anchored sections are hurting its members

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

1. Six steps to take when using LinkedIn networking for a job

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


About Me

Bob CroppedBob McIntosh, CPRW, is a career trainer who leads more than 20 job search workshops/webinars at an urban career center, as well as critiques LinkedIn profiles and conducts mock interviews.

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

Recently he was awarded one of LinedIn’s Top Voices for his contributions on LinkedIn.

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

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

2 important rules for connecting on LinkedIn the right way

First, never send default invites

I estimate that I ignore 90% of invites from LinkedIn members, simply because they don’t include a personalized note. In fact, if I accepted all invites I’d probably have 10,000 connections in my LinkedIn network. This is not to brag; I’m just saying.

li-logoWhy am I so adamant about people taking the time to personalize their invites? Short and simple, default invites suck.

The default invite on LinkedIn is: I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn. While it clearly states a hopeful networker’s intent, I need more. Something that tells me why we should connect.

Sending the default invite is akin to going up to someone at a networking event and saying, “Hi. What can you do for me?” It’s insincere and sends the message, “I’m inviting you to be in my network, but I could care less if you join.” Is this the type of message you want to send to a potential networker?

I believe there are three reasons why LinkedIn members don’t personalize their invites.

One, they just don’t get it. Or they haven’t been educated. I can only spread the word to the people who attend my LinkedIn workshops or read my posts. Even then some don’t get it.

Two, they’re using their phone to connect with others on LinkedIn. Although there is a way to send a personalized invite from your phone, most people don’t know how to do it. The process is very simple, so there’s no excuse.

To send an invite from your phone, go to the person’s profile, click the three vertical dots for androids or horizontal dots for iPhones, choose “Personalize invite,” write one, and hit send.

Three, they’re plain lazy. I think this is really the heart of the matter, and I hesitate to say it, especially out loud; but in essence this is what it comes down to. To me, a default invitation is a statement of want without a sign of reciprocation. And this defies the true definition of networking.

lazyI and others, I’m sure, are more likely to accept an invite if a thoughtful note is attached to it. So what should you write if you want someone to join your network?

1. You might have something in common with whom you’re trying to connect. “Hi Susan, I’ve been following your updates and feel that we have a great deal in common. Would you accept an invitation to be in my LinkedIn network?”

2. Maybe you’re the bold type. “Hey, Bob. You and I are in career development. Ain’t that cool? Let’s link up!” I like this confidence, despite the slang.

3. You might want to take the calculated approach. “After reviewing your profile, I’m impressed with its quality and your diverse interests.” A little flattery never hurts.

4. Inviting someone to be part of your LinkedIn network is a perfect way to follow up with that person after a face-to-face meeting. “Sam, it was great meeting with you at the Friends of Kevin networking event. I looked you up on LinkedIn and thought we could stay in touch.”

5. Boost the person’s ego. “Bob, I read one of your posts and thought it was spot on. I’d like to connect with you.” Or “Jason, I saw you speak at the Tsongas Arena and what you said really resonated with me. I’d like to follow up with you.”

These are some suggestions that would entice someone like myself to accept an invite. When I’m sent an invite, I only request a personalized note—it’s not that hard, really. So rather than just hitting the Send Invitation button, take a few seconds to compose something from the heart.


Second, thank people for inviting you to their network

Is there anything worse than sending a “cold,” “lazy,” “uninviting” default message to a potential connection? Yes, it’s not thanking people who invite you to their network. Come on, this goes against what your parents taught you when you were a child.

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It just makes common sense. If you receive an invitation to be part of someone’s network, reply to the sender by thanking them for being considered. It’s an honor the sender has chosen you, so show your gratitude.

In effect, this is similar to walking away from a conversation at a social gathering. Would you simply walk away from a conversation without saying, “Thank you for the conversation?” Simply do an about face and make for the door? I would hope not.

What to Write. Your note can begin with, “Thank you for the invite. And thank you for the personalized message.” And if you want to carry on the conversation, you might add, “It would be great to talk about our common interests, as we’re both in (the occupation). I’d be happy to call you at your convenience.”

Also thank your new connection for joining your network. All too often LinkedIn members invite someone to their network and then kill the momentum by not showing their gratitude.

To make professional online networking effective, you must keep the ball in play, keep the lines of communication open. Extend civility and appreciation for someone joining your network.

“Thank you for being part of my network” would suffice. Or you may add, “I invited you to be in my network because we’re both (occupation) or (interested in) and think we can be of assistance to each other.”


Personalizing your invites and saying “Thanks” are two very basic, yet important components of developing a solid relationship with your LinkedIn network.  LinkedIn gives you the option to do neither. Don’t let LinkedIn let you get lazy.

It takes but a few minutes to connect with someone on LinkedIn the right way.

Photo: Flickr, ruijiaoli

Photo: Flickr, Retroeric

Great news! LinkedIn returns the expanded Experience section

LinkedIn has done it again; it’s made a change to our profiles. This is a welcome change and hopefully a return to the old LinkedIn profile. Get ready for this—we can now see most of our positions expanded. 

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I noticed this change when I was working with a client. Pleasantly surprised, I expressed my glee. My client, though, didn’t make the connection. He didn’t realize that only the first position used to be expanded; the others were truncated.

Immediately I reached out to my network to ask them if they noticed the change. “Do my eyes deceive me or has LinkedIn expanded the positions in the Experience section?” With, the blink of an eye, some of my connections responded with affirmation.

Others were unaware of what I was speaking of. They hadn’t received the update yet. With LinkedIn, changes aren’t made across the board at the same time. One of my connections wrote back a few days later when she received the expanded Experience section.

What was wrong with the truncated Experience section?

In a previous popular post, I complained:

Again the new model of less is more is in play in the Experience section. One is able to see the entire first job listed but must click to see more for each of the remaining jobs.

My concern here is that a person with a feeble current or most recent job will not show as much value as someone who has a more extensive and accomplish-laden job to show. Also, people who have two jobs must choose which one to demonstrate first.

Or, we can simply rely on visitors to click on every job to see their descriptions.

The answer to the final sentence in my post is, no. We couldn’t always expect people to click on the previous positions; thereby raising the possibility of your visitors missing some very important information, including your rich media.

For example, under my second position I have links to two podcasts in which I was interviewed for my knowledge on LinkedIn. Previously, this was not immediately visible without expanding my second position.

You might have been frustrated because you don’t have rich media examples under your first position, but have plenty of it under your previous positions. Now you don’t have to worry about people not seeing your rich media under your second or third positions.

LinkedIn hasn’t expanded all position, however. This might be a good thing, as it cuts down the verbiage seen on users’ profiles. And this was LinkedIn’s intention—to streamline and make the profiles more readable. In order to see all of a person’s Experience section, one must click See more positions.

LinkedIn hasn’t expanded the Summary section. Perhaps this is a good thing. While some don’t read the Summary, many do. I personally think this section is important in telling one’s story.

Just make sure your first 235 or so characters count, as they’re the only ones immediately available. I suggest using a branding statement that expresses your value to recruiters and other visitors.

LinkedIn, take it a step further

To make my LinkedIn experience complete, I’d like to see the return of the photos of the people who’ve written me recommendations. If you don’t remember said photos, they resided under each position showing who wrote recommendations for LinkedIn members. A nice touch.

What’s more, I’d like to see a link between the positions/companies and the Recommendations section. Currently, recommendations are arranged in the order of when they were written. This gives visitors no sense of the companies from which the recommendations came.

I’m sure recruiters don’t appreciate not being able to link recommendations to the respective positions.


When teaching LinkedIn, I’m never surprised when I come across a change made over night. In this case it is a pleasant change, and I am glad that I don’t have a reason to complain. I don’t like to come across as a downer, I really don’t.

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

Photo from Coletivo Mambembe, Flickr.com

6 Steps to take when using LinkedIn to network for a job

You’ve heard it before: LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional, online networking application with approximately 530 million worldwide members. It’s also said that LinkedIn is growing at a rapid rate of two people per second. And according to Jobvite.com, at least 87 percent of recruiters are sourcing for talent on LinkedIn.

Woman using computer

Here’s another fact that I can personally attest to: most recruiters with whom I’ve spoken tell me that LinkedIn is their site of choice when it comes to looking for talent. Not Facebook.com, Monster.com, Indeed.com, or SimplyHired.com.

Shouldn’t these facts be enough to use LinkedIn for you job search? Now, here’s the question: how can you most effectively use LinkedIn to network for a job?

1. LinkedIn is more than your online résumé

First of all, your LinkedIn profile is not simply your resume. This said, I suggest to my LinkedIn workshop that their first move is to copy and paste their résumé to their new LinkedIn profile.

From there, however, you need to add to it to make it more of a networking document that expresses your value, while also showing your personality. For example, your Summary must tell a story describing your passion for what you do, how you do what you do, and throw in some accomplishments to immediately sell yourself.

Your Experience section must include accomplishment statements with quantified results that include numbers, dollars, and percentages. I prefer each job to comprise only of accomplishments, while other LinkedIn members throw everything into the mix,

Also important is that your LinkedIn profile is optimized for keyword searches by recruiters and hiring managers. They’re looking for a specific title, vital areas of expertise, and location. For example: “sales operations” AND crm “lead generation” AND pharmaceutical AND “greater boston area”. 

Read how to create a powerful profile with the new LinkedIn.

2. Use LinkedIn to network with people at your desired companies

Perhaps one of LinkedIn’s greatest strengths is the ability to locate the key players at the companies for which you’d like to work. My suggestion is that first you create a list of your target companies and from there connect with people on your level in those companies.

There are ways to go about getting noticed by the people with whom you’d like to connect:

  1.  You may want to first follow said people
  2. When you visit their profile, show your profile (don’t choose anonymous)
  3. Like or comment on their posts
  4. Wait to see if they reach out to you first
  5. Finally, ask to connect with them using a personalized message, not the default LinkedIn one

Read this popular post on the proper way to connect.

Once you’ve built your foundation, you can ask for introductions to the individuals who would be making the hiring decisions. You don’t want to do this immediately, because hiring managers will be less likely to connect with you without an introduction.

3. Make use of your new connections

When jobs become available at your target companies, you’re in a better place than if you were applying cold. You can reach out to the people you’ve connected with to have your résumé  delivered to the proper decision makers (in addition to applying on line).

Ideally you will build strong relationships with the connections at your target companies, so when companies are trying to fill positions internally, your connections will give you a heads-up. You’ll have an inside track, essentially penetrating the Hidden Job Market.

According to an article in Jobvite on what job seekers need to know in 2017: “Referred applicants are 5 times more likely than average to be hired, and 15 times more likely to be hired than applicants from a job board.”

4. Use the Jobs feature to network

Using LinkedIn’s Jobs feature to apply for jobs exclusively is not your best way to land a job because, after all, it’s a job board. (A very low percentage of job seekers are successful using job boards.) But I wouldn’t discount LinkedIn Jobs. Use it in conjunction with your networking efforts.

In many cases the person who posted the position is revealed, providing you with the option of contacting said person. You can also “meet the team,” whom you might want to reach out to. Perhaps my favorite feature of Jobs is the ability to see which of your alumni work at the companies of interest.

5. Alumni feature

Alumni might be the most underutilized feature on LinkedIn. In fact, many of my LinkedIn workshop attendees are unaware of this great feature and are amazed when I demonstrate this feature.

I show them how they can find alumni who studied certain majors, where they live, and where they work. I also explain that their alumni are more likely to connect with them than other people they don’t know.

If you see that some of your alumni work at a desired company, take the bold move of connecting with them. Your personal invite will start with , “Hi William, I see we attended Amherst College together….This alone will give you something in common.

Read more about the Alumni feature.

6. Take it a step further

A LinkedIn connection is not bona fide unless you reach out in a personal manner, such as a phone call, meeting for coffee, or even grabbing lunch. A phone call should be the very least you do in your effort to make a personal connection.

Talking to your connections give them a better sense of who you are. I’ve talked with some of my connections and was able to judge their character. For some I got the sense they were of quality character; for others I felt the opposite.


One more step

You’ve spoken with your connections and have gain their trust. Now you’re ready to ask them to go to bat for you. You will say, “I feel that you’ve gotten a good idea of who I am as a person. If you would mention me to your manager, I would greatly appreciate it. If you feel uncomfortable, I completely understand. I leave this up to you.”

Using LinkedIn alone will not quickly secure a job without also reaching out in a personal manner. This is the final step, and for some the hardest one to take. LinkedIn offers a lot of potential. Use it to its advantage, and then close the deal.

*The number of LinkedIn users has surpassed 500 million, according to some counts.

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

This post originally appeared on recruiter.com.

Photo: Flickr, JobMax

9 reasons why LinkedIn probably isn’t for you

For a long time I’ve considered it my mission to recruit people to join LinkedIn, like a college recruiter goes after blue chip basketball players. But after having a discussion a few days ago with someone in my workshop, it finally dawned on me that my persuasive style of exciting people to join LinkedIn might be too strong for some people.

Curious

After a workshop, where I spoke about LinkedIn like it’s the solution to finding a job, a very nice woman approached me and said she just wasn’t ready for LinkedIn. She cited many reasons for this, including not understanding a word I said (not my fault, she assured me), not sure if she can master the mechanics of LinkedIn, being more of an oral communicator, etc.

As she spoke, nearly in tears, I remembered some of the statements I made, “To increase your chances of getting a job, you must be on LinkedIn.

Oh my gosh, I thought, as this woman was pouring out her soul to me, I created despair in her. It occurred to me that a few people like her are not ready to be on LinkedIn, never will be. Because I am active—to a fault—on LinkedIn, doesn’t mean everyone must be active or even a member.

I can’t tell people they must be on LinkedIn. In fact, in a moment of honesty, I have told my customers in other workshops that, “LinkedIn isn’t for everyone. If you’re not ready for LinkedIn, you will only be frustrated.” Perhaps I need to lay off the hard sell, because LinkedIn isn’t for everyone for the following reasons:

1. You’re afraid of being on the Internet

End the discussion right here. If you’re afraid of being on the Internet, concerned your personal identity will be violated, your financial information will be at risk; there’s no convincing you that you’re safe on LinkedIn. No one is completely safe.

As long as I’ve been on LinkedIn, I’ve known of one breach. It was minor, required me to change my password. LinkedIn even suggests you provide your telephone number for added security. Still, if you’re afraid of being on the Internet. This is a moot point.

2. You want to socialize with friends

Guess what I’m going to say. That’s right, take your socializing to Facebook. Earlier I said I had no time for Facebook and no interest. Well recently I joined Facebook, and I love it. Facebook is where I can post photos of a snowstorm in April. Proudly post photos of my family and bobbleheads.

Bobbleheads2

LinkedIn is no place for politics, religion, or women clad in bikinis. There have been many shared updates that were inappropriate for LinkedIn, and they continue to come. If you feel the need to post garbage like this, open Facebook or Twitter accounts.

3. You’re  satisfied with a poor profile

The one and done attitude just ain’t gonna cut it. It’s not enough to simply copy and paste your résumé to your profile and leave it at that. People who are content doing this will hurt themselves not only by displaying a poor profile that fails to brand them, but also reducing the number of keywords necessary to be found.

Your LinkedIn profile is a networking document; it is proactive. Your résumé is a document you send in response to an job posting. Your résumé is reactive.

4. You don’t want to connect with others

This is a show stopper. If you’re unwilling to connect with people you don’t know on LinkedIn, this is akin to going to a networking event and not speaking to a single soul. “Oh, but I connect to the people I know, like my former supervisor.

That’s a pretty limited list of connections. Very carefully chose quality connections. If you’re not embracing meeting and learning about new people on LinkedIn, you are wasting your time  For a better understanding of who you should connect with, read my article.

5. You’re not willing to put in the time

My advice to LinkedIn members is that they have to dedicate at least four days (4) a week to LinkedIn; and spend half an hour a day posting updates, commenting on updates, and, if willing, write LinkedIn long posts.

lazypaintint

Ideally one will spend an average of once a day a week. If you’re not willing to put in the time, your excellent profile and healthy number of connections will all be for naught. Many of my workshop attendees balk at this, but I tell them this is the time to who your grit.

6. You don’t understand its purpose

For those of you who are thinking, Bob, aren’t you being a little judgmental? Aren’t you being a little harsh? I don’t think I am. Too many people have opened accounts many years ago, simply to have never visited them until they need it…when they’re unemployed.

LinkedIn is a networking application for when you’re employed and unemployed. In other words, it was developed to help businesses create partnerships, developed soft leads, reach a broader channel. These are the people who are using it correctly.

Job seekers who use it only when they need a job are missing the boat. Their opportunity to network is when they’re networking. It’s a full-time endeavor until you retire, or until something better comes along. What more can be said.

7. You’re not embracing change

LinkedIn is going through constant change. It’s akin to keeping up with the plot of Game of Thrones. With the new user interface (UI), people are at their wits end understanding the new look and finding features which were once easily found.

If you take the time to play with LinkedIn’s UI, you’ll find it’s not too difficult to understand. LI’s goal was to streamline the platform, make it lighter and quicker to use. Yes, it as done away with features that were once on the basic plan. Yes, we now have to pay for advance search and tagging and unlimited searches, but so be it.

You must also download the LinkedIn phone app to better understand it. This will help you to better understand the new UI; as they are almost identical. Embrace change, people.

8. You’re not looking for a job

I presented how to use LinkedIn for business to a local credit union. When I asked my opening question, “Why would you want to use LinkedIn?” someone said, “To find a job.” Laughter ensued. But this is how many people think, they only need LinkedIn when they’re out of work.

That’s a misconception people have; when they’re working, they no longer have to use LinkedIn. In this post, 10 reasons why you should use LinkedIn after you’ve landed a job, I give as one reason that you never know when you’ll have to contact the people in your network. LinkedIn is insurance.

Did you know that LinkedIn was originally developed as a sales tool, not a job search application. Sales, marketing, and business development continue to use LinkedIn to build relationships. If you’re in a role similar to these, or any role for that matter, it’s important to represent you company with a strong profile.

9. One more

Another reason I hear from people who resist LinkedIn is their lack of desire to be an exhibitionist. While I find this a bit silly, I also wonder if by exposing my thoughts and feelings, I’m a bit of an exhibitionist.

Perhaps the word, “exhibitionist” is a strong word, but I sometimes wonder why I spend so much time on LinkedIn. Why do I share updates so often? Why do I distribute my and others’ posts? Why do I read posts to gather information. Shall we call it networking?

Photo: Flickr, Murel Merivee

Photo: Flickr, Brenda Valmont

Default invites from LinkedIn members stink: 6 approaches to sending an invite

 

I estimate that I ignore 90% of invites from LinkedIn members, simply because they don’t include a personalized note. In fact, if I accepted all invites I’d probably have 10,000 connections in my LinkedIn network. This is not to brag; I’m just saying.

li-logoWhy am I so adamant about people taking the time to personalize their invites? Short and simple, default invites stink.

The default invite on LinkedIn is: I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn*. While it clearly states a hopeful networker’s intent, I need more. Something that tells me why we should connect.

Sending the default invite is akin to going up to someone at a networking event and saying, “Hi. What can you do for me?” It’s insincere and sends the message, “I’m inviting you to be in my network, but I could care less if you join.” Is this the type of message you want to send to a potential networker?

I believe there are three reasons why LinkedIn members don’t personalize their invites.

One, they just don’t get it. Or they haven’t been educated. I can only spread the word to the people who attend my LinkedIn workshops or read my posts. Even then they don’t get it. Some workshop attendees will invite me from their phones while I’m leading the workshop…void of a personalized note.

Two, they’re using their phone to connect with others on LinkedIn. Although there is a way to send a personalized invite from your phone, most people don’t know how to do it. The process is very simple**, so there’s no excuse.

To the people who invite me to their network from their phone, I tell them to wait until they’re at a computer so they can send a personalized note. What’s the hurry? I’m not going away.

lazy

Three, they’re plain lazy. I think this is really the heart of the matter, and I hesitate to say it, especially out loud; but in essence this is what it comes down to. To me, a default invitation is a statement of want without a sign of reciprocation. And this defies the true definition of networking.

I and others, I’m sure, are more likely to accept an invite if a thoughtful note is attached to it. So what should you write if you want someone to join your network?

1. You might have something in common with whom you’re trying to connect. “Hi Susan, I’ve been following your updates and feel that we have a great deal in common. Would you accept an invitation to be in my LinkedIn network?”

2. Maybe you’re the bold type. “Hey, Bob. You and I are in career development. Ain’t that cool? Let’s link up!” I like this confidence.

3. You might want to take the calculated approach. “After reviewing your profile, I’m impressed with its quality and your diverse interests.” A little flattery never hurts.

4. Do you need assistance? I received an invite with the following message: “Please have a look at my profile and tell me what you think. I’ve been on LinkedIn since before it was, well, LinkedIn!” I looked at his profile and was impressed. I gladly accepted his invite.

5. Inviting someone to be part of your LinkedIn network is a perfect way to follow up with that person after a face-to-face meeting. “Sam, it was great meeting with you at the Friends of Kevin networking event. I looked you up on LinkedIn and thought we could stay in touch.”

6. Boost the person’s ego. “Bob, I read one of your posts and thought it was spot on. I’d like to connect with you.” Or “Jason, I saw you speak at the Tsongas Arena and what you said really resonated with me. I’d like to follow up with you.”

These are some suggestions that would entice someone like myself to accept an invite. When I’m sent an invite, I only request a personalized note—it’s not that hard, really. So rather than just hitting the Send Invitation button, take a few seconds to compose something from the heart.


*A very simple solution is eliminating the default message altogether, thereby requiring someone to write a personalized note. LinkedIn suggests, “Include a personal note,” but this doesn’t seem to work for some.

**To send an invite from your phone, go to the profile, click the three vertical dots for androids or horizontal dots for iPhones, choose “Personalize invite,” write one and hit send.

Photo: Flickr, ruijiaoli

Photo: Flickr, Retroeric