Tag: LinkedIn

5 Steps To Building An Effective LinkedIn Profile

In my last article I spoke to the importance of why as a job seeker you should be actively using LinkedIn to further excel your hunt for the perfect career. This prompted the important question of, how? How do you go about creating a great professional profile that recruiters find compelling? Below are five tips that are effective in building your LinkedIn profile.

Professional Headshot

It is true what they say; a picture is worth 1000 words. LinkedIn is a website comprised of professionals. This is not a time for your latest selfie of you and your friends. You should aim to have a clean and clear headshot of yourself taken in modest clothing with minimal background distraction. While not every job will be strict with appearance and dress codes, it is best to be marketable to as many recruiters as possible. Your profile picture is the first photo a recruiter will see. Make sure you are well groomed and your headshot says, “Hello, I am your next perfect hire.”

Detailed Work Experience

Think of your LinkedIn profile as your virtual resume. If it’s not something you would be proud to bring to an interview, work at it until it is. The aspect that makes LinkedIn different than a resume is you don’t get to choose what professional might see it. There is a section to fill out your relevant work experience, and provide details of your achievements in each position. A good rule of thumb is to only list information that would aid in showing the goals you achieved and/or responsibilities, and then you can discuss additional information during your interview. Think about the relevance of your experience and try and tailor your information to match the career you are aiming for. In addition to showing your work experience, it’s equally as important to show volunteer work you may have completed. The more information you provide, the more a recruiter can learn about you and determine if you’re a good candidate for an interview.

Completing Your Profile

If you search for articles about making your LinkedIn profile stand out in the crowd, you will see this tip in each article. This speaks to the importance of fully completing your LinkedIn profile. A helpful feature that LinkedIn includes at the top of your profile is your percentage of completion. Take time to follow each prompt and purposefully fill in your content. Think about it this way: if you were a recruiter looking for a potential hire, would you choose the person who has an incomplete, vague profile, or the polished profile that is filled out in detail?

Reaching Out to Current & Prospective Connections

LinkedIn is all about building your network and connecting with professionals, and it’s important to establish new relationships and engage your connections. Send out connection requests to the individuals you have in your professional arsenal. You never know who might endorse one of your skills or write you a raving recommendation that can be displayed on your newly completed profile. Another important thought to keep in mind is, you never know where your connections may lead you. That is the beauty of LinkedIn–the site magnifies what a small world we live in. Use that to your advantage!

Your Elevator Pitch

If you are unfamiliar with an elevator pitch–it’s essentially when you have a short amount of time to tell someone who you are, what you want and why they should have a meeting with you. Underneath your profile picture on LinkedIn you will find a bio section. This is where you should put your pitch into full affect. The benefit of this section is, it increases your potential memorability to a recruiter. Make sure you are clear and concise in this statement–you only have 120 wordsas well as making it unique to your skills.

LinkedIn can easily be a job seeker’s best friend. The tips above are a nice place to begin in building a tool than can make you more attractive to the recruiters in your desired field. Implement them, and watch your professional life flourish!

Is LinkedIn Really That Important?

I first heard about LinkedIn while I was sitting in a classroom listening to my Professor discuss the importance of networking, and he briefly covered LinkedIn. Just as briefly as he touched on the subject of LinkedIn as a networking tool, I forgot about it. Knowing what I do about the tool now, I now know that was a mistake.

It is no secret that Social Media platforms are increasingly becoming the way we connect with one another. We share birthdays, vacations and thoughts with the click of a mouse on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. So if the Internet really is the place we are connecting, why are more people not using LinkedIn? According to a study shared on http://business.linkedin.com, the top recruiters for business are “60% more engaged with LinkedIn recruiting tools than the average recruiter”.1 If this is where employers are looking to hire, we should all run, not walk, to either fill out a profile, or improve upon that neglected profile that may be out of date

You’re probably thinking, “I have a profile. This does not apply to me.” While it is true that having a LinkedIn profile is half the battle, using the profile effectively will win the war. In a Forbes article I recently read, the importance of actively using your profile is discussed with the simple explanation that it’s not uncommon for a recruiter to look at your LinkedIn profile to determine whether or not to reach out to you.2

This behavior isn’t a unique scenario, as many recruiters will often review your LinkedIn profile to discover additional work-related information. Whether it is in our personal lives, or a job search, we turn to the internet as a reliable source of information and to seek out everything from restaurant reviews to career information.

Ultimately, networking tools like LinkedIn can help you connect with friends, colleagues and more. Not only can you track connections and stay in touch with professionals in your field, you can consistently form new ones and expand your network. In today’s hyper connected world, you never know who could help you land your dream job.

1. “The Ultimate List of Hiring Statistics”; Business.LinkedIn.com

2. “Recruiters Say: Avoid LinkedIn at Your Peril”; Forbes.com

Using Your LinkedIn Profile to Change Careers

The following guest post is from Joshua WaldmanJoshua Waldman, author of JOB SEARCHING WITH SOCIAL MEDIA FOR DUMMIES. Joshua is the founder of Career Enlightenment which offers professional LinkedIn profile writing services and career advice for the modern job seeker.

man jumping

LinkedIn is the place to search for a job and change careers. But, when and where do you tell people you’re looking for a job, or changing careers, using your LinkedIn profile?

Read this LinkedIn headline and tell me what you think:

Creative problem solver with a committed heart currently seeking a position with a company where I can make a difference!

Personally, I probably wouldn’t click that profile.

Often, people struggle with knowing where on their profile to tell the world they are “seeking a position.”

If you are an active career changer, I’m sure you’ve thought about it too. If you do it wrong, you will not only scare away every recruiter who reads your profile, you will probably have a hard time building your network as well.

The Reality of Using LinkedIn

Let’s face facts, recruiters tend to hunt for people who already have jobs. Saying you are “seeking” in the headline means a recruiter won’t even bother clicking on your profile from a search results page.

Second, it’s human nature to be concerned with our own problems, not others. The fact that you are seeking does nothing for me. You aren’t offering value to me. You are not giving me a reason to be excited about you. As a job seeker, you are one of millions.

Now that doesn’t mean you have to lie or hide the fact that you are indeed seeking work. It just means you have to spring it on people at the right time.

Are using your LinkedIn profile to change careers? Here’s where to share it!

Not in Your Headline!

You need to earn the right to get someone’s attention on LinkedIn. It’s not something you can take for granted.

Since the headline is pretty much the only snippet of information someone has on you when they are searching, or determining to connect back with you, your goal here is to get the click. Period.

Your headline should sell the click. That means make it clear what you can do for them. I want to see a quick job title, and then a very short statement of value. Let them know you understand their pain and their goals and that you can help them.

Here’s a headline from one of my trainers, Cara Lee, where she did just that:

Adult Educator, Speaker and Trainer Creating Experiential Learning to Maximize Learner Success

What does she do? “Adult educator,” i.e., teacher or instructor.

What problem does she solve? Boring classroom experiences.

So Where Do I Tell People I’m Seeking a New Job?

The easy answer is at the end of your LinkedIn profile summary. If someone has bothered to read until then, you’ve earned the right to ask.

After all, telling someone you’re “seeking” is a form of asking for help, isn’t it?

If you follow a profile summary format like this one, you’ll have positioned yourself as someone unique and valuable.

The call to action at the very end gives you a place to let the world know you need help, and here’s how someone can contact you.

For example, let’s say you follow my four-step formula for writing your summary. The last step, the call to action, can go something like this:

I’m looking for a medical instruments company at the cutting edge, where I can lead a sales territory and make a difference. If you are looking for someone with energy, creative problem-solving skills, and unstoppable sales ambition, please contact me at eyemawinner@gmail.com.

Tying It All Together

To summarize, don’t use your headline to say you’re looking to change careers; use the last sentence of your summary. Expert tip: when you make these updates to your profile, let LinkedIn broadcast them to your network. When you do it this way, you may find droves of people coming out and offering you their hand.

Readers, are you using your LinkedIn profile to change careers? Have you tried this approach? We’d love to hear how it has worked for you. Feel free to comment below.

Originally published as Using Your LinkedIn Profile to Change Careers.

How to Use LinkedIn to Get Calls From Recruiters

The following guest post is from Joshua WaldmanJoshua Waldman, author of JOB SEARCHING WITH SOCIAL MEDIA FOR DUMMIES. Joshua is the founder of Career Enlightenment which offers professional LinkedIn profile writing services and career advice for the modern job seeker.


This article first appeared on Simply Hired last February 25, 2015.

I was in my car, headed to a client meeting in the north part of Las Vegas when my phone rang.

An unknown number. Interesting.

“Hi. This is Scott from XYZ Solutions and we found your profile on LinkedIn. We’re looking to hire 5 new sales reps in the next month or so and wonder if you are open to other opportunities.”

This was the first of many such calls, all from different recruiters when I was working at Cisco back in 2007.

At that time my network size was about 300. I knew almost everyone in my network. And there were no recruiters in my first degree. LinkedIn was much smaller, I’d estimate their network wasn’t larger than 10 million (it’s 330 million today).

The draw for them was very simply that I work at Cisco. These recruiters were sourcing candidates from the big brands for their own contracts and relying on Cisco’s better judgment to help them determine who a good candidate might be.

The problem is that most people don’t work at big brands. So most people are missing out on this kind of easy attraction for recruiters.

Another problem is LinkedIn has gotten crowded, but many people haven’t adapted to the new situation.

If you would like to start receiving random phone calls from recruiters in your field, read on.

A Case for Adding As Many Recruiters in Your Network as Possible

If you are still rejecting invitations to connect, or you still feel that connecting with strangers is not the right way to use LinkedIn, please read my case for being more flexible with who you connect with.

Adding recruiters to your network does several interesting things.

First, understand that 93% of recruiters are using LinkedIn to source. That means they are actively running searching to fill roles.

Those search results show up in order of connection (no one knows for sure the secret algorithm used by LinkedIn, we know keyword density, keyword placement, number of recommendations, picture and degree of connection all play some role).

So just by having more recruiters in your network, you increase your chances of actually appearing on one of their search results pages.

Second, you are helping them with their jobs. When a recruiter gets assigned a role to fill, they will look at their database of A or B candidates. If that database is old, exhausted or just not in alignment with the current assignment, they will source for more.

The tool they use to fill those lists is LinkedIn.

So when you send a connection request to a recruiter, you have given them another name to add to their A list, which is their primary asset for doing their job.

Before you start inviting recruiters, make sure your profile is in good shape. Head on over to ProfileGrade.com to test your profile, then follow the steps to improve it.

How to Find Recruiters in Your Field

I got an email from a blog reader who told me that he has IT recruiters, Medical recruiters and Science recruiters in his network, but none in PR, Communications and Marketing.

How would he even begin to find the right recruiters to add? Here’s how.

  1. Open up the advanced people search feature on LinkedIn.

  2. Filter by location. This is a key variable. Make sure it’s where you want to work, not just where you live.

  3. Filter by industry, current company (if you are targeting).

  4. Add these keywords, try out “Recruiter” or “Talent Acquisition ” or “Sourcing”.

  5. Optionally, add role specific keywords like PR, or Communications and see how that affects search results.

For paid LinkedIn subscribers:

  1. Filter by “Interested in…Potential Employees”.

  2. Filter by Function…Human Resources.

  3. Join groups for recruiters and then filter your advanced search to include those groups.

In general, start off with as many filters and variables as you can. Then gradually lift them to grow your list size.

If nothing pops up, maybe recruiters in your industry don’t hang out on LinkedIn.

Tip: you can save your searches and come back to them later!

How to Add Recruiters

Once you have your list of recruiters from the previous step, connecting is really easy.

As much as LinkedIn says, “You should only connect with people you know.” Their features tell us that they actually want us to connect with as many people as possible. It only helps their share price!

Your second degree connections will look like this:

Just click on Connect, and the invitation with the boilerplate language is sent.

It will look like this:

For your third degree connections, you will have to take an extra step. Those will look like this:

In this case, click on the name of the person to open up their profile. Then click Connect from their profile to open up this window:

Here, you might modify the message to say something like this,

Hi Jean,

I noticed you are a recruiter in my industry. I’m open to new opportunities and thought it might be mutually beneficial if we connected.




Assuming that recruiters look at who’s viewed their profile on a regular basis, you can also use tools like LinkedIn Autopilot.

Autopilot “views” the profiles in a saved search at a rate you determine. The people whose profile it views might see you show up in their Who’s Viewed My Profile list. If they think you would be a good candidate, they will ask you to connect.

I’m curious how these techniques have worked for you. Please let me know if you tried it, and what happened in the comments below.

The expert trick to hone your skills section on LinkedIn

The following guest post is from Joshua WaldmanJoshua Waldman, author of JOB SEARCHING WITH SOCIAL MEDIA FOR DUMMIES. Joshua is the founder of Career Enlightenment which offers professional LinkedIn profile writing services and career advice for the modern job seeker.
skills section on Linkedin

The article first appeared on Mashable last February 22, 2015.

LinkedIn recently released its list of most hireable skills in 2014 — and, perhaps unsurprisingly, all of the top 10 are for techies.

If you’re employed (or hoping to soon be employed) in a tech-related field, this list is helpful. But what if you’re not a techie, hacker or self-proclaimed data geek? What about the plethora of salespeople, marketers, executives, entrepreneurs, consultants and writers also using the platform?

linkedin skills search







The skills you display on your profile matter — and in case you missed the update, LinkedIn recently tweaked its search engine so that you can filter by the skills on a user’s profile (i.e., your LinkedIn Skills affect your search rankings). So instead of simply guessing what to list or waiting for a colleague to endorse you randomly, try following the below steps to get more eyeballs — and more importantly, the right eyeballs — on your profile.

Below is an expert trick I’ve learned as a professional LinkedIn profile writer.

1. Find the schools with graduates in the companies and functions you are targeting

Using LinkedIn’s little-known University Finder tool, choose the filters that you are targeting, such as companies you want to focus on, locations where you want to work or roles you want to take on.

LinkedIn screenshot of university finder






For example, I might pick Google as the target company and my function might be marketing — I would get a list of schools including Stanford, U Penn, UC Berkeley and Harvard. Write these schools down to reference in step two.

2. Find the skills students graduate with in those universities

Now, pick any of those top schools from step one and visit their University Page, and click on the ‘Explore Careers’ link. A search interface should come up similar to the one in step one — but this time you can see a list of skills graduates have on their profile.

LinkedIn screenshot of Standford's page









In a spreadsheet, create a column A labeled “Skills,” and list the top 10 skills shown under the column labeled “What they’re skilled at” for each school. Don’t worry about repeating the same skills; just write them all down in one long list.

Using the example above, I would pick the target company, Google, and my function, marketing. What appears is a list of the top skills that alumni who are working in marketing at Google have on their profile. Write the top 10 of these skills in the spreadsheet, then move on to the next University Page, filter by company and function, and record the skills until there are at least 50 in your list.

3. Pick the skills with the most frequency

Go through five to 10 schools for each target company and function, recording the top 10 skills that pop up for each school. This shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes. The output of your research will be a long list of 50 to 100 skills in column A in a spreadsheet.

Now, look at the frequency of these Skills using the pivot table function. Create a pivot table with the entire range of column A:

  • Step 1. Add a row grouped by skills
  • Step 2. Add values, summarized by COUNTA
  • Step 3. Rank your skills based on frequency. The pivot table will tell you which skills appeared more frequently. Use those in your LinkedIn profile.

Note: You’ll want to ensure that these skills are actually in your skill set before listing them on your profile — be sure that you can speak to them in an interview setting and have proof to back up your claims if called upon to do so by a potential employer!

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.




LinkedIn Power Users for a More Powerful Job Search

The following guest post is from Joshua WaldmanJoshua Waldman, author of JOB SEARCHING WITH SOCIAL MEDIA FOR DUMMIES. Joshua is the founder of Career Enlightenment which offers professional LinkedIn profile writing services and career advice for the modern job seeker.

Before we get started, I would like to apologize to Derek Weeks for the quality of the video. This was my first time recording a Skype conversation, so the video and audio aren’t great. Actually, by the end the voices don’t quite sync up. (Yes, I am a cheapskate and used the free trial version of Call Record, and yes, I did eventually pay the $20 for a license.)  :oops:

But for my readers, don’t let that fool you. The information Derek reveals is POWERFUL.

Derek Weeks is a hiring manager as well as a LinkedIn power user for over 5 years.

  • Over 750 REAL connections; he doesn’t play the numbers game
  • Over 40 REAL recommendations
  • Career success though connections made on LinkedIn
  • Member of elite group of LinkedIn users

From the video, you will learn the importance of having a simple, clear and short profile summary. A company gives your entire profile about 90 seconds — the first 30 seconds are spent reading your profile. If the profile isn’t compelling, the hiring manager doesn’t even bother with the rest of it.

He discusses a hugely powerful technique that will allow you to get in touch with your target company’s customer base so that you can add real value to your conversations during an interview. Imagine being able to say, “Well, I’ve had several conversations with your customers and they love your product features….”

He tells how he averted disaster by finding the dirty laundry on a company that wanted to hire him — thus avoiding a potentially career-killing move. This illustrates how important it is to find out if your target company is actually a fit for you.

Optimizing your LinkedIn Headline, a Psychological Look

The following guest post is from Joshua Waldman, founder of Career Enlightenment which offers professional LinkedIn profile writing and job search services to colleges, WorkForce offices and re-entering veterans. Watch his exclusive video “3 Secrets to Getting Job Interviews by Next Week” to learn the 3 secrets no one wants you to know about getting hired in today’s job market. 

In the psychology of design, your LinkedIn headline is known as Caption Text, that is, any text that appears beneath or next to an image as if to explain it’s context.

Think about the last magazine you read. Your eye went to the picture, then the text below it looking for context.

It’s no wonder that eye tracking studies of people looking at LinkedIn profiles routinely show the headline as the #2 area just after the picture.

Furthermore, the headline is the only text presented next to your photo on a search results page. A good headline gets the click. A boring headline and the entire profile get’s ignored.

Despite the Headline’s relative importance, it amazes me how little time people devote to it.

Look. You have 120 characters to make a powerful first impression. Why not take full advantage of that opportunity.

If your headline is less than 100 characters, chances are you’re just using your job title.

I saw a headline once, “Senior Software Engineer | QA”. The guy lived in the San Francisco area. Do you want to guess how many other engineers he’s competing with for attention? Thousands.

Don’t commoditize yourself. You are more than your job title.

He might have added, “Enabling quality time to market products for 9 years” to show that he understands the business problem, time to market deadlines.

Here are some Headline writing guidelines:

  • Use up as much of those 120 characters as possible
  • Include your job title but…
  • add more than just your title, make your profile unique and interesting
  • Show you understand your target audience by mentioning a problem you solve

If you liked this post, join us for a free one-hour webinar, 3 Secrets to Getting Hired Using LinkedIn, featuring Career Enlightenment’s Joshua Waldman on Tuesday, May 20 from 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EDT. Learn more and register now!

4 Steps When Contacting A Stranger On LinkedIn

The following guest post is from Joshua Waldman, founder of Career Enlightenment which offers professional LinkedIn profile writing and job search services to colleges, WorkForce offices and re-entering veterans. Watch his exclusive video “3 Secrets to Getting Job Interviews by Next Week” to learn the 3 secrets no one wants you to know about getting hired in today’s job market. 

This article originally appeared in Ragan.com last December 2, 2013.

Last week, I received an info interview request from a stranger as a direct message on LinkedIn. Despite my very busy schedule, I decided to take his call.

Over the weekend, I asked myself, “Why did I agree?”

Let’s take his email apart and put it into four essential elements so you can use them in your own LinkedIn networking communications. Networking with strangers on LinkedIn can give you great results if you’re deliberate in the process.

First, here’s the email I got over LinkedIn from J.:

Hi Joshua,

I noticed we are both connected to M. F.—how do you know M.? I first met her at J.P., and she actually photographed my wedding. Small world.

I wanted to touch base with you because I saw an open position at J.R. I thought would be a great fit for me. I’m located in Portland now, and do social media strategy for a digital marketing agency here in town.

It’s a fun role, but you know how agencies are—fingers in a lot of different businesses, but no ability to truly own a marketing program. It looks like I would be able to do that with the Marketing Communications Manager role that is posted.

Would you mind if I called you some time this week to hear about your experience at J.R. and your perspective on the marketing organization there? I’d really appreciate it.


Now, let’s look at the takeaways:

1. Lead with something in common

J. began his email by pointing out our mutual friend M.F., and although I know M.F. from my sister’s college days, what really got my attention was M.F. was the photographer at his wedding.

With LinkedIn, there is a danger the first-degree connection isn’t really a close friend. I went through an Open Networking phase, and about 100 people in my LinkedIn network are complete strangers to me.

Don’t assume just because they’re connected that they know each other.

J. took a calculated risk. However, he mitigates that risk by further sharing a personal tidbit: He’s married. As another recently married guy, I can very much relate to his situation (i.e., he has my sympathy).

2. Get to the point—fast

J. wastes no time on BS or apologies. He’s writing to me because he saw an open position at a company with which I have a relationship and he thinks he’d be a fit.

Notice he says, “I saw an open position.” He doesn’t assume I know anything about this position. In fact, it was news to me. So I can infer he’s not assuming I’m any kind of decision-maker. I know this is going to be a purely informational interview.

Furthermore, he concludes the email by reaffirming that he’s just looking to hear about my experience with J.R., the company, and my perspective on its marketing organization.

My guard goes down, because I know he’s not going to put me on the spot or ask me for more than just my opinion.

3. What makes him qualified?

Without bragging, J. makes it clear that he’s a serious candidate, not one of those job fisherman.

He tells me he already works at an agency and that even though he enjoys his current agency, he’s looking for more. He wants to “truly own a marketing program.”

It might occur to me, after all, that if he already has a job, why is he looking to make a change? That concern is assuaged.

4. What do you want from me?

He concludes his email with, “Would you mind if I called you sometime this week…” meaning, I won’t have to do anything except wait for a phone call and talk to him. Sounds easy.

I would have even mentioned the exact amount of time such a conversation would have taken, “Would you mind if I called you this week for just 10 or 15 minutes?”

Other observations

You may have also noticed…

  • The email was very short. It took me less than 30 seconds to read it.
  • He named the position he was after, he did his research, and I know he won’t waste my time.
  • He is sensitive to and grateful for my time: “I would really appreciate it…”

The next time you are reaching out to someone new over LinkedIn, consider bringing in one or more of these elements to your message. I’m sure it will make a big difference in your response rate.

Any successful messages on LinkedIn? Please share them in the comments section so we can learn from your brilliance.

If you liked this post, join us for a free one-hour webinar, 3 Secrets to Getting Hired Using LinkedIn, featuring Joshua Waldman on Tuesday, April 22 from 2-3 EDT. Learn more and register now!


3 Secrets to Getting Recruiters to Find You on LinkedIn

Joshua Waldman, author of Job Searching with Social Media For Dummies, is recognized as one of the nations top authorities in Social Media Career Advancement. To learn Joshua’s secret strategies for shortening the online job search and getting the right job right away, watch his exclusive video training here to learn How To Use Social Media Find a Job. The following is a guest post from Josh.

Have you ever wondered why you aren’t getting random calls from recruiters looking for someone with your experience and skills? I mean, the economy is coming back. Companies are hiring. And hiring managers are STILL struggling to fill positions. There should be a huge number of recruiters out there teaming to find people just like you!

Well, all of that is true. But chances are you are impossible to find!

Recently, I wrote a social media job search training curriculum for an unemployment organization. I had seven days to find trainers to subcontract and deliver it.

So I wrote up a job description and sent it out on my social media channels, emailed it to my network, and called a few friends. Five days later, I had no one, except a few pathetic emails from people who didn’t even send me their resume or LinkedIn profile link. The one resume that was sent in was so generic that I wondered if the person even read my job description.

With just two days left to deliver my candidates, I decided to do what most recruiters do in my exact situation. No, not start drinking! Do people searches on LinkedIn.

Several great candidates showed up as first or second degree connections. Of those, just one seemed to be available for contract work. So I InMailed her an inquiry, and she responded with a resume and video of her training. She was a perfect fit.

Life lesson: recruiting is hard work!

If you’re looking for a job, and you are reasonably smart, then there are recruiters out there who would benefit from talking to you. I’m guessing from my own experience, that they simply can’t find you. Or if they do find you, something about your LinkedIn profile turns them away.

In either case, you have more control over this situation than you think. Getting found by recruiters doesn’t have to be a passive strategy.

Here is a two part active strategy for getting found.

First, Get on Search Results

The first step to getting found by recruiters is to simply show up. Like me, recruiters are using keywords to search their LinkedIn profiles. Results will show up based on degree of separation and presence of the search term.

Tip 1: become 1st degree connected to as many recruiters as possible. They are the ones making the most searches. Having recruiters in your network increases your chances of popping up based on your degree of separation.

Tip 2: describe yourself as specifically and as accurately as possible. The well known social media strategist Christopher Penn uses his own profile as a great example of this:

My job is simple: get qualified leads in the door using Inbound Marketing methods such as social media, search, and email.

Not terrible, but it leaves a lot to be desired. Here’s the much improved version:

My job is simple: get qualified leads in the door using Inbound Marketing methods such as social media, search, and email. In the first 8 months, I’ve helped to create a 10x increase in the number of inbound leads through organic SEO, social media marketing, email marketing, and other marketing methods.

Tip 3: Adjust your profile for an upward trend in search appearances. Most LinkedIn users have access to a graph called, Appearances in Search. You can find it by going to your Home page and clicking on Who’s Viewed Your Profile. This is an area on the right side of that page, you can also get there directly by clicking: http://www.linkedin.com/wvmx/profile

On this page you’ll find the Trends box with a graph in it, see the chart below. By filling out your profile with specific and accurate information about yourself, you should start to see an upward trend in this chart. The better you write about yourself, the more this graph will grow. If you’re struggling with writing about yourself, there are plenty of LinkedIn profile writing services out there.

Second, Make Them Click

Think of your profile not as an online resume, but as an advertisement. Once you start to show up on search results pages for recruiters, your next job is to get them to click on your profile.

Just like with other paid ads online, just showing up on the page isn’t enough. The ad headline and description text needs to compel you to click.

On LinkedIn your Photo, Headline and Recommendations have the greatest impact on click rates (from my own experience). See this screenshot:

By making small changes to these three elements, you will begin to see increases in the number of times your profile was actually viewed. This is the graph called Views from the page we just visited.

If you’re not seeing an upward trend, the fix your photo, headline or number of recommendations.

Third, Be an Internet Marketer

Simply by shifting your perception of LinkedIn from an online resume to an online advertising platform, you can approach your career opportunities much more quantifiably. First you have to show up on search results for the right people, then you have to compel them to click. Using LinkedIn’s two graphs, Appearances in Search and Views, you can measurably make improvements and increase your chances of getting recruiting to that dream position.

If writing your own profiles has been a bit frustrating, you are not alone. Many people struggle with writing about themselves. And your career is nothing to take lightly. If you’d like to see some stellar results from LinkedIn, check out my LinkedIn profile writing service.

The 3 Mistakes Job Seekers Make on LinkedIn

Need a little extra help with your job search? For a complete guide that shows you exactly how to get the right job right away using social media, download your copy of Joshua Waldman’s exclusive video “Social Media Job Seeking 101“. It’s yours free and will save you plenty of time and frustration while making you look like the best candidate for any job.

In 2006, I trained my MBA class on how to use LinkedIn. Back then virtually no one was on. And those that were on formed some kind of a tight-knit community. I remember landing in Vietnam on vacation, knowing only my college friend. I used LinkedIn to schedule 10 meetings with local business leaders.

Using the network, I arranged a breakfast meeting with the COO of the Mercedes plant, 2 vice presidents of the newly built Ikea, a top broker in one of Vietnam’s many stock markets and so forth. These experiences demonstrated to me the power of LinkedIn when used correctly.

The following are 3 mistakes Job Seekers tend to make when using LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Mistake 1: Not Representing Yourself as a Confident User

The most common manifestation of this mistake is when people neglect their profile health. Most audiences I speak at have one thing in common…Their profiles aren’t 100% complete.

This is like showing up to a job interview Naked. Why would you do that?

I understand it takes time to fill it out correctly, and writing a profile doesn’t happen all at once. But there is no reason it should take longer than a week to get yourself a nice looking profile.

When I was requesting meetings with top business leaders in a foreign country, I knew they would be carefully considering their decision on my request and my profile.

Please Please Please get your profile to 100% if it is not already.

Imagine requesting a meeting from a hiring manager at your target company. And when they look at your profile, it is clear to them that you are not taking your network seriously.

There is no one to blame but you, and no, it’s not the economy either.

My philosophy is: not everything is my fault, but when it is, then there is no one else to blame but me. When I point my finger, I need to make sure I can do so with 100% confidence that I’ve done everything I could.

LinkedIn Mistake 2: Not Stating Your Intentions Up Front

A few weeks ago, I received the following LinkedIn “In-Mail”

Hi Joshua,
I obtained your name through the Boston University MBA LinkedIn Group. I graduated from the School of Management last year and I am in the process of making a career transition. It would be helpful for me to ask you questions about your experiences as an Sales Account Manager for Cisco. I am not expecting to discuss a particular employment position but I would appreciate being able to talk with you on an informational basis.
I thank you in advance.

This is the perfect email format. Let’s look at the key elements:

  • She told me how she found me, the BU Group.
  • She gave me just enough background info about herself so I can know why she chose to reach out to me, her graduation date and her career transition.
  • She told me the topic that she wanted to discuss with me.
  • She made sure I knew she wasn’t trying to solicit me for a job, and she didn’t sound desperate.
  • The email was short and to the point, clearly respecting my time.

I got back to her right away and made sure to answer all of her questions. I suggest your requests for info interviews keep to a similar format.

LinkedIn Mistake 3: Letting a Robot Speak with Your Voice

LinkedIn does a fabulous job telling you who you might know. When I log into my account, I can see old colleagues’ whom I haven’t spoken with since 2006 or earlier. I can see some jerks I used to work with who took pleasure in kicking puppies. But I don’t see people whom I’d like to connect with in order to grow my business.

The direction of your network is in your hands. You need to make sure that you steer it in a direction that is strategic to your job search. Make sure to connect with people who are in industries that interest you, in companies you might like to learn more about or even in geographies that you would like to move to.

On a similar note, when connecting with folks, NEVER use the built in message:

I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.

You are not a robot. Don’t talk like one! Use your voice and personalize your request to connect. Not doing this is the fastest way to banality. To stand apart from other job seekers, you need to be different in ALL of your communications. Use every chance you get to demonstrate your personality and motivation.

Where those tips useful for you? Do you have more tips to share? LinkedIn pet-peeves? Please comment below to share with me and the other readers.

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