Meaningful Connections LinkedIn for Job Search
I consider LinkedIn to be a Flashing Digital Billboard that I change every Sunday at 3:30. I call this changing my oil.
A resume is an historical document highlighting past jobs, achievements, education, and community involvement.
As a futurist and strategist, career coach and LinkedIn specialist, I teach my clients how to leverage LI to get what they want going forward, not to get what they have always had.
Having written over 7,000 successful LinkedIn profiles for job search and business development clients, here are my tips for making a LinkedIn profile Look Great and Be Found for success, differently from a resume:
1) Know Your Goals – the first and most important tip is to understand the purpose of your LinkedIn profile and the goals for being on this tool. My clients must complete my workbook with many questions that help them discern their goals. Here are seven important questions:
2) Look Great – In Europe, the Vita / resume includes a photo, in the USA a resume does not include a photo. On LinkedIn, a photograph is important as this is a social media tool and people want to know that the profile owner is real, authentic, and genuine. Be sure to get a professional head shot for your LinkedIn profile. (I do not even click on profiles without photos).
ANNE’S EXPERT TIP: Do not use a selfie for the LinkedIn profile.
3) Know Your Branding – Take time to unearth and understand your brand and communicate that in the Professional Headline area on LinkedIn, under your name. This area allows for 120 characters – start with the title that you desire, your brand statement and the industries that you desire. This area is high in search engine optimization.
Headline Example: Technical Project Manager that Every Engineer Loves to Work With in Electric or Industrial Manufacturing. This headline got my client found for a great job within four weeks.
ANNE’S EXPERT TIP: I change my headline based on what I desire, adding and removing keywords, titles, and industries that I am targeting. My branding remains consistent but the keywords may change based on the jobs or industries that I am targeting – i.e. LinkedIn Trainer, Sales Coach | Attorneys Look Great, Be Found, Get Know and Make Meaningful Business Connections. By adding the word ‘Attorneys’ I got two new law firm clients, as the found me on LinkedIn.
4) Be Aspirational – In your Summary area, which has a 2000 character limit, make sure that there are at least 50 keywords. If you are seeking a job and are unemployed start the first two lines (50 characters) with the job title that you are seeking and your contact information. This way recruiters can easily reach out to you. In the Summary let people know what you desire, what your goals are and what you have accomplished. Here are few samples of successful Summary samples that I share, from the Forbes article by William Arruda.
ANNE’S EXPERT TIP: if you are employed, DO NOT say that you are desperately seeking new opportunities.
5) Summarize Achievements in the Experience Section – Do not just copy and paste your resume into the Experience area. I coach my clients to create their accomplishments and rank them based on what they want to do in the future.
Next, study job descriptions that you are targeting and make certain to plant those keywords or requirements from those job descriptions in the Experience Description area.
I coach clients to use my ‘frosting and cupcake’ formatting. That means to create a headline for key accomplishment that quickly tells the story with keywords. This is important because when you apply for a job through LinkedIn or download your LinkedIn profile into an online resume format then the formatting is very easy to read and the keywords stand out. Example:
CREATED STRATEGY TO LAUNCH NEW REVENUE STREAMS
- Created $25 million dollar business – launched the in-store experience, procedures, tools and measurements for the initial launch of in-store gaming software trade-in.
- Developed the sales plan, trainings and tools that supported entry into selling eReaders in-store and online which is now a $60 million business.
ANNE’S EXPERT TIP: Never use the words ‘Responsible for’ in the Experience section. Recruiters want to know what you have achieved and not what the responsibilities were. Always put past job accomplishments in past tense.
6) Highlight Successes – There are many new areas on LinkedIn where you can display your experience. Begin adding the Volunteer, Honors and Awards, Publications, Organizations, Certifications, Courses and other sections to the profile.
ANNE’S EXPERT TIP: Each Sunday when I change my oil, I add a new keyword to the Interest area on LinkedIn. This area is high in search engine optimization and I use it as my ‘secret sauce’ to help get picked up in searches. I have hundreds of client success stories about clients who added a new keyword and were quickly found for a great job.
7) Show Your Stuff – In the new media-rich formatting area in the LinkedIn Summary, Experience and Education sections, you can add links, videos, PPT, PDFs or photos. If you do not have any of these, then create some visuals.
Visit www.linkedin.com/in/annepryor to view many media-rich format suggestions. With one client, we created a PPT slide showing how he has been successful in creating business analytics. This visual got him noticed by a potential employer.
ANNE’S EXPERT TIP: You can also create visual resumes to put in this area using tools such as www.branded.me, www.resume.linkedinlabs.com, or by creating a resume on your Pinterest and adding that account (see www.pinterest.com/annepryor).
8) Flaunt Your Skills – The Skills and Endorsements area is important on LinkedIn. Add up to 50 skills and make certain that the top 10 skills get the most endorsements and that they are in the top 10 slots. Get at least 12 Endorsements. Give to receive! You can move these around now by clicking ‘Manage skills’ and then clicking on the skill and dragging it to a new position.
ANNE’S EXPERT TIP: Every Sunday I remove skills that I no longer want to show and add a new skill that I have found on other expert’s profiles or that are in job descriptions. If I do not have that skill, I visit www.lynda.com (LinkedIn owns this company) and take a tutorial about that skill and I add that word to my Interest area.
9) Recommend Others First – Give recommendations to former bosses, co-workers, staff, and vendors. Give three recommendations per week and watch how many you receive back. Recommendations are important as recruiters, HR and hiring managers want to understand your character.
ANNE’S EXPERT TIP: Always highlight their brand attributes and accomplishments in the first 6 words of a recommendation. This is all people can see on a LinkedIn profile and it is all they notice.
10) Invite Top Influencers – Once you have your profile Looking Great, invite your top peeps to your network. Get your targeted list of industries (I call them HUBS) then the top 66 people that refer business to you and that you refer business to.
ANNE’S EXPERT TIP: Always add a personal message when inviting people to LinkedIn. My five step process: 1) say where you knew them from 2) give them a complement or a connection point, 3) invite them to connect, 4) ask what you can be on the lookout for them, 5) sign off with your brand statement, name, phone, and twitter handle (LinkedIn does not allow you to add a URL on the Invitation message prior to connecting).
To you success, my friends,
Anne Pryor is a Universal Connector, Recognized as a Top 10 LinkedIn Trainer in the World, Certified Online Brand Specialist, Future Mapper and Co-founder of Meaningful Connections, a national leader in personal branding, online visibility using LinkedIn, and career and new world of work strategies. See her other blog posts at www.linkedin.com/in/annepryor, www.MeaningfulConnections.com or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, @annepryor
Every client has a unique objective from finding a new job to getting a promotion to wanting more speaking engagements to launching a book to selling more software to enhancing the company brand for possible investor attraction to finding more meaning in their life.Whatever the desire, working to put together a targeted strategy leveraging LinkedIn is the key.
Here are three success stories that happened this week. One for job search, one for business development and one for thought leadership that resulted in a great job. I am so grateful to work with amazing clients. (All names and locations have been changed).
1. Steve, my client from LA, was recently out of work and wanted to secure a VP of Sales leadership role in Health IT. He had been a sales executive in top performing companies where he helped his customers gain strategic, actionable insights in revenue management.
He did not have a branded LinkedIn profile and he did not know how to leverage it. His photo was too casual and he didn’t have hiring manager connections in clinics or hospitals, which is where he wanted to target.
Four hours after creating a branded LinkedIn profile Stephen got emails from 11 recruiters in the exact targeted field that he wanted. He accepted a VP Sales job within 3 weeks in a health technology company calling on hospitals and clinics. He loves his new work and accomplished his goal.
After landing the sales position, we worked together and re-framed his LinkedIn profile to ‘talk to’ prospective customers. I taught him how to leverage the search functions on LinkedIn for sales success. Good things happened!
TOP TIPS FOR BEING FOUND:
- Project the right images – get a professional head shot – now he looked like a VP of Sales. Leverage the NEW banner image to ensure it represents your brand. Click here for tips to creating a banner.
- Know your brand – know what happens because of you and highlight the three things that he wanted to be known for and wrote a Summary featuring those ‘super powers’ as my business partner Kathleen Crandall, calls them.
- Keywords are key – understand the keywords that your buyers or hiring managers use to search for someone like you. See job descriptions, company websites, Onetonline.org, Google Keywords and other people’s profiles.
- ‘Change your oil’ – I add new keywords each Sunday at 3:30 pm when I ‘change my oil’ on LinkedIn. This keeps my profile fresh and gets my profile coming up in new searches.
- Know your target audience – think about 5 industries that you want to target, find 40 companies in each industry and the targeted titles of the people buy, or hire you. Build your profile to share what you can do for them.
2. Jim is a recruiter targeting the financial industry, seeking top candidates for his great company. He had been using LinkedIn for 10 years and he was open to my suggestions. After asking his about his top 5 industries, he realized that there was a new category called ‘social entrepreneurs’. We added ‘social entrepreneurs to his Professional Headline, Contact Info and in his Summary.
That night, Jeff emailed me that he had a ‘social entrepreneur’ who he had emailed six weeks earlier reach out to him on LinkedIn. They have set up an interview to meet next week. TIP: Keywords are Key! Know what you desire.
3. Barbara is a strategy leader and an executive client from a Fortune 500 company. After leaving her role she had a desire to serve as a adjunct faculty at a prestigious University and lead strategy for a global firm. After creating a branded profile, the next step was to Get Known.
We created a strategy for her to leverage the new LinkedIn long form post, or Publishers Platform. I challenged her to ‘write her book’, 8-12 chapters, that we could then leverage in the posts. She wrote a comprehensive post that received over 3,000 views. Because of this post, she was found be a prestigious University where she is now a Adjunct Faculty. In addition, she was noticed by the head of a company where she’ll now be leading strategy. She met all of her goals and three weeks after she lands her job we will meet again to adjust her strategy for her new role, as it includes some business development.
- 20% Creating Content 80% Sharing Content
- Write long posts (2,000 words)
- Use neutral title (How to.., X Steps to…)
- Use 4-6 images (check sources)
- Provide valuable information
- Use sub-headlines, bullets (make it easy to read)
- Post: Thursday, Sunday, Tuesday (in that order)
- Create a series of posts and tell them at the top: “Note: This is part 7 of 8 in the “Becoming a ‘Leader of Strategy’” series. The views I express here are my own.”
- End with your bio
- Add a call to action or additional links to other blog posts
- Use back links to other popular sites or people
What good things do you want to happen? Let’s come up with your strategy to Look Great, Get Found, Be Known and Making Meaningful Connections for Good!
Be well, my friends,
LET’S MEET – JOIN ME IN PERSON TO SHARE YOUR SUCCESSES!
LIVE EVENT: I will be sharing great success stories and providing practical and actionable tips and insights at the Unleash Your Inner Rockstar Mastermind Event on August 12, 2015 in Minneapolis with nationally known authors including Dina Simon,Carr Hagerman (the famous Rat Catcher from the Renaissance Festival), Deirdre Van Nest, and Cathy Paper. I’d love to see you there.
FALL 2015 DEVELOPMENT and LEADERSHIP RETREATS:
Lifting Up Leadership Retreat at The Collaborative Leadership Center at Sugar Lake Lodge, September 20-22, 2015
Personal Brand and LinkedIn Camp at the Collaborative Leadership Center at Sugar Lake Lodge, October 25-27, 2015
Anne Pryor is a Universal Connector, LinkedIn Trainer, Certified Online Brand Specialist, Future Mapper and Co-founder of Meaningful Connections, a national leader in personal branding, online visibility using LinkedIn, and career and new world of work strategies. Meaningful Connections is a collaborative partner of theCollaborative Leadership Center at Sugar Lake Lodge, Grand Rapids, MN. See her other blog posts at: www.MeaningfulConnections.com or contact her at email@example.com.
It’s where I go when I need to feel grounded – to remember who I am, what I care about, what I am here to do. As I walked, I thought about how easy it is to feel insignificant, unfocused, like a boat bobbing on the water – when we are not doing work that is alignment with who we really are. And that our greatest joy comes when we show up wholly and authentically in our life doing the work that is ours to do each day – through our interactions and in the work we do to lift up ourselves and others.
Sometimes we lose our way. We get caught up in others’ expectations of who we are and what we should do. Or we rely on that old career path that worked in the past but no longer fulfills us. So we find ourselves in a place of inertia or fear or confusion about how we should proceed. What we might really need to do is to take some time for ourselves…. go to that secret place where we reconnect with nature, play some drums, listen to waterfalls, or get very quiet and inward focused…until we hear that still voice within guiding us back on our path.
I am grateful. Each day I have compelling conversations with “self”-explorers… those who are determining where they are going in their work…how that impacts the rest of their life…what they think their gifts are, and how they want to express them. I ask them to sit with questions like these…
- What brings you alive?
- What is your dream work?
- What comes so easily and effortlessly to you that you would do it every day if you could?
- Is there a yearning inside you that you might express through your work?
- How are you called to serve the needs of the world while filling yourself up?
Maybe for you it is to tend the garden, prepare the food, create a clean and safe place. Or perhaps the creative realm calls to you…drawing great art, expressing through movement or communication, creating new products, launching a new business. Or maybe you are here to lead…take the helm, create the vision, lead others forward to bring newness into the world. All are fine gifts. All contributions are an important and a necessary part of the whole.
Maybe you can find some answers on a simple walk. If you listen closely, the heart always knows and can be your guide. All you need to know is on YOUR path…you will be fine, you can always start again.
I know that companies are hiring for Q1 – they have new budgets and projects. It is a slower time in the office and employees have more time to network. In addition, holiday parties are frequent and you can meet new people.
I would like to share 7 proven tips to getting your online presence ready, putting your best smile forward and getting that fabulous job for 2015:
1. BE MINDFUL – I have networked with over 78,333 people and I can quickly assess their intent. I have an assessment I call TUGS: I have found that people are usually in one of 4 areas: Takers, Users, Givers or Sharers. You know what I mean, don’t you? You have encountered each type, I’m sure.
Make sure that you are clear about your intention while you are networking. I make sure to set goals, such as who I want to meet, what advice I desire, and how I can help others. When I was in the employee engagement practice at Carlson, my team and I did work on the importance of emotional targets or “how do you want people to feel after they meet you?”
There are 4 emotional targets – after you meet someone, you want people to feel that you’re warm, authentic (genuine), empathetic and positive. My business partnerRisë Kasmirski helps people in job search become more mindful. She asks them ‘who are you?’ and ‘where do you want to go?’
TIP: Do a self-assessment, which type of a TUGS are you? Consider how you want people to think of you and feel about you after you meet with them, both in person and online.
2. BE CLEAR – before you begin to network, while in job search, be clear on what you desire: the job title that you want, why a company would hire you, and what your values are. My business partner and personal brand strategist, Kathleen Crandall,has 2 questions she asks our clients: 1) ‘what happens because of you?’ and 2)‘what 3 things do you aspire to be known for?’ These are foundational questions that you should be able to answer before you network especially with employees in the company that you are targeting, with recruiters or people that could refer you to hiring managers.
3. BE TRUSTWORTHY – say what you mean, mean what you say, and do what you say you are going to do. This means to be sure to follow up in a timely manner – and with thank you notes. I have a strategy when someone invites me to connect on LinkedIn where I ask myself:
- can they help me once?
- will they help me twice?
- will they help my network?
When I invite someone to LinkedIn I ask myself:
- can I help them once?
- will I help them twice?
- can I help their network?
When connecting on LinkedIn, I coach my clients to always write a personalized LinkedIn invitation. If I receive an invitation without a personal message I always review their profile to see who we have in common, then I click Reply Don’t Acceptand I write them a message; “Hi X, Thanks for the invitation to connect. I see that we are both connected to X. What did you have in mind that I can support you with today?” I wait 3 weeks and if they don’t respond then I click Ignore. I assume that they won’t be as likely to help my connections if they don’t reply back to me.
TIP: Be someone people want to help twice – this is a small town (where ever you live). Always personalize your LinkedIn invitations.
4. BE FOUND – look good, update your LinkedIn and other online profiles. Make sure that you have a great photo, targeted headline, current job title and company information, a summary that tells a story about who you are and what you can do for others, in addition to what you desire. Use many key words, check job descriptions that you’re applying for and company websites.
I add a new key word to my LinkedIn profile every Sunday at 3:30 pm. My clients know that I call this process ‘changing my oil’. I get ‘under the hood’ of my LinkedIn profile check the Settings, add new keywords or publications, projects, interests and maybe a keyword to the Summary (Premium account holders see a new feature which shows you keywords that LinkedIn suggests you add). This keeps my profile fresh and coming up in searches. See the blog from William Arruda for additional summary tips.
TIP: Look good, research your keywords, and get a professional headshot. I recommend social media certificated photographer Jennifer Kelly,Jennnifer@kelicomm.com. (Below is example of a great headshot by Jennifer of John Goodrich, one of my ‘board of advisors’ and an amazing CEO and connector.)
5. BE CONNECTED – to the right kinds of people; you’re judged by the company you keep. When we build my clients’ connection strategy, I have my them think about their HUBS.
These are groups, associations, organizations, and meet-up groups – places that are common connection points where many of their influencers ‘hang out’. These include college or company employee alumni groups, industry associations, specialty groups, hobby clubs, or community volunteer organizations. I ask my clients to join, get known and volunteer in at least 5 hubs. These are the easiest places to begin networking because there is already a common connection point.
In addition, I ask my clients think about their TOP 11 people that have helped them in the past. Think about people that have helped you get that past job, introduced you to your spouse, helped you with your first house financing, etc. This could be former bosses, friends, colleagues, alumni, pastors, hair dressers, don’t forget accountants, lawyers, realtors as they are wonderful resources and connectors.
Then they make a list of the TOP 11 people that they have helped most. These are the people that we begin connecting with. This is a list of 22 people who have an average of 150 connections each – that’s 3,300 connections that can help.Statistics show that it’s the 2nd degree connection that will help you get that next job.
TIP: Ask 5 of your top people if they would be on your ‘board of advisors’. I have 5 and they are my ‘go to’ people to run by ideas, get advice and share new ideas. They are the people that refer 80% of all my business and I’m grateful to them. Join my Meaningful Connections group on LinkedIn and other appropriate groups where your HUBS and advisors are in.
6. BE CREDIBLE – what is the area of expertise that you want to be believed for? It’s important to stay top of mind, on LinkedIn, for your expertise. LinkedIn statistics show that your profile is 12X more likely to be clicked on if your photo shows up on the Home Page, Publishers area or in the Like, Comment or Share areas.
This is a part of the strategy that I teach my clients – how to create their meaningful marketing communications plan. We start by asking that question “what 3 things that they want to be known for or what 3 things would they blog about?”
Next we begin curating content, collecting and organizing information from Google Alerts, Newsle, blogs, experts, trade publications, Google+, Twitter, etc. Then we develop or create their point of view and begin to share it in the appropriate media. With the new Publishers pencil on LinkedIn this is much easier to do, however, only 1% of my clients do it, it is hard, I’ll be the first to admit. It took me 2 years to even post on LinkedIn.
TIP: Begin thinking about what 3 things that you desire to be known and believed for. Try the Publishers tool on LinkedIn (it’s the pencil in the Share an Update box next to your photo on the Home page).
7. BE KIND, HELPFUL and GRATEFUL – are you? As a ENFJ on the MBTI profile, I’m a giver profile. As a career coach, online brand strategist, LinkedIn trainer and consummate connector, I need a process to be available to help people. So I have created a variety of options to connect and network with people easily. Here are some of my meaningful connections practical ideas that I’ve started to ensure that I’m easy to connect with:
- ‘Meaningful Connections Meet + Greet’ sessions – every M-F between 7:44-8:33 am central I am easy to reach via phone at 952.484.6854 to make a meaningful connection (no need schedule an appointment). This is usually a quick 10 minute touch base call to see how my ‘new friend’ and I can support each other.
- Meaningful Connections LinkedIn Parties each Friday where I invite 5-7 clients and people who want to network to the local library, my office or the coffee shop where there is free internet. Everyone brings their computers and opens their LinkedIn network where I teach them how to do a Meaningful Connections Gold Mine Dive into our connections. We then make Introductions on the spot. Click here to read my blog for step by step details. Many of my clients have hosted their own LinkedIn Parties. Try it.
- Introductions – I make 2 meaningful introductions from my LinkedIn network for each client that I meet with. The goal is to get 2 coffee meetings and then get 2 more, then 2 more. LinkedIn says that for every 300 views of a profile job seekers get a job offer. I translate these to 150 coffee meetings (since the face to face meetings speed up the process).
- Group networking meetings, I attend 2x per month (I check out the MSP Business Journal and Star Tribune Business Sections for a listing of events and pick 2), I make it a habit to approach someone first with a genuine smile, a warm introduction (my first and last name, nametag on top right near my smile) a firm handshake and a sincere open ended question such as – “what brings you here today?” or “where are you coming from?” or “who do you hope to meet today?” or “what do you desire today?” – that one really throws them, as most people don’t know what they desire.
- I start my day giving away HUGS, it’s my coffee time (see the blog) – every M-F between 7:00-7:15 am I’m on my LinkedIn. I have a set process where I provide 10 Endorsements, thank Endorsers, invite 4 new people to my network, Like, Comment, Share, reach back to people who have viewed my profile and post on the Home page and in Groups, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.
- Each morning, I read the MSP Business Journal app, my Google Alerts and the Star Tribune and send an article to someone that I think would benefit. In addition, I will make meaningful connections to people that I think would profit by knowing each other.
TIP: Be the first to approach someone at an upcoming networking event. If you’re in a group or at a table have an open heart, a warm smile and an outreached hand. Invite that lone person to your table. You know how it feels.
I thank you for sharing your smile and for making meaningful connections. What can I be on the look-out for you today?
Be well, my new friends,
Anne Pryor is a Universal Connector, LinkedIn Trainer, Certified Online Brand Specialist, Future Mapper and Co-founder of Meaningful Connections, a national leader in personal branding, online visibility using LinkedIn, and career and new world of work strategies. Meaningful Connections is a collaborative partner of theCollaborative Leadership Center at Sugar Lake Lodge, Grand Rapids, MN. See her other blog posts at: www.MeaningfulConnections.com