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The Now, The New & The Next in Careers

Social Media & Online Reputation Articles

Stay ahead of the curve with insights from our CTL Associates.

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  • 30 Dec 2015 8:52 AM | Anonymous

    By Brenda Bernstein
    The Essay Expert

    One of the biggest mistakes I see people make in their LinkedIn profiles is that they do not distinguish who they are from who their company is. I call this “conflating” yourself with your company.

    “Conflating” is a completely natural thing to do, especially if you, like so many of us, identify yourself very strongly with your company.

    It just doesn’t work for your readers and potential customers.

    When I read a Summary on LinkedIn, I want it to tell me who that person is beyond the great professional photo up top. If I wanted to hear all about a company, I would go to the company website or LinkedIn page. I’m looking at your personal profile to learn more about you!

    Here’s an example from a profile I reviewed, along with my commentary:


    Over 17 years of expertise providing social networking strategy consulting and implementation in organizations such as Motorola, BF Goodrich, AT&T, American Express, Medtronic, CNA, UBS and hundreds of emerging companies looking to build key account relationships with large organizations, innovate new products or build their brands through social networking.

    Did you make it through that one? It was difficult, wasn’t it? Not only is this otherwise impressive list of credentials a run-on sentence, but it leaves us confused: Is this person talking about herself or her company? Does she have 17 years of experience or does her company? After reading this entire paragraph, I’m still wondering… who is she?

    Her next paragraph goes on as follows:

    We offer a unique, exclusive and cost-effective process to build leadership, sales and customer networks to grow revenue exponentially. Recently Crains named me the best networker in Chicago. I am also the author of eleven books (just working on book twelve)….

    Do you see where in the middle of a paragraph she switches from the subject “we” to the subject “I”? Again, who is she vs. who is her company?

    The above networking expert has stellar credentials and recommendations and is up to big things – but we might not ever get around to reading past the first two lines of her Summary.

    Now, here’s an example of someone who does a great job of distinguishing himself from his company, and who succeeds in selling both:

    I am a research professional and LinkedIn trainer with more than eight years of combined market intelligence, competitive intelligence and Internet recruiting experience. My focus has been on deep web sourcing, executive interviews and online social networking. I enjoy networking with professionals from any industry on a global scale and encourage you to contact me at any time…. Thanks!

    See how this entire paragraph is about the person himself? It works! We’re right there with him!

    His second section reads as follows:

    Current Phelps Research Services Initiatives:

    • Networking with business professionals in the greater Milwaukee, Madison and Chicago areas
    • Selling and conducting targeted LinkedIn training to corporations.

    Here he clearly makes a switch from talking about himself to talking about his company. We get that he is the principal in the company and we know who’s behind these initiatives. We stay engaged and wanting to read more.

    I encourage you to look at your LinkedIn profile Summary. Have you conflated yourself with your company? If so, it’s time to re-write that Summary and distinguish yourself and who you are. That’s what we go there to discover.

  • 30 Dec 2015 8:38 AM | Anonymous

    By Brenda Bernstein
    The Essay Expert

    Many people on LinkedIn make the mistake of copying their resume summary statements into their LinkedIn Summary section. There are three major problems with this strategy:

    Problem #1: Trite Phrases

    Often your resume summary is laden with overused phrases like “Results-oriented team player with a proven track record…” or “Dynamic, motivated self-starter with extensive experience…”

    If your resume summary looks anything like the above examples, please rewrite it and hire a professional resume writer if necessary! This type of language belongs neither on your resume nor in your LinkedIn profile.

    Problem #2: LinkedIn Summary Real Estate

    You have 2000 characters at your disposal for a LinkedIn Summary, vs. three to four lines maximum for your resume summary. Why would you choose not to use all that real estate to say something – really say something – about yourself?

    Problem #3: Keywords

    Your LinkedIn Summary is an essential place for you to insert keywords if you want to be found on LinkedIn. By inserting a 3-line summary, you lose out on your chance to build keywords into your profile.

    Resume Summary Example – For Resumes Only

    Here’s an example of a very strong resume summary statement that does NOT belong in a LinkedIn Summary (note I DO like this statement as a resume summary statement):

    Jane Doe – Producer – Writer – Editor

    Award-winning television producer and groundbreaking investigative reporter —  experience covering issues ranging from pre-election to international news, with special emphasis on East Africa. Creator and writer of highly acclaimed documentaries and promotional videos for non-profit organizations. Eight years as producer for CNN.

    LinkedIn Summary Example – Great Model!

    What would a LinkedIn Summary look like for Jane?  Here is the statement we could write for her:

    • Award-winning investigative and documentary television producer

      Video production and broadcast journalism have been my passions for over 20 years, ever since receiving my MS in Journalism from Columbia University. I have produced everything from groundbreaking news stories for CNN to promotional videos for non-profit organizations, and I am currently hosting a blog radio show for parents relaunching their careers.

      My journalism background gave me the ability to distill a large amount of material and hone in on what’s true and important. I can pinpoint the real message that needs to be conveyed, creating a human story that moves and inspires an audience.
    • Promotional Videos for Non-Profit Organizations

      As a freelance video producer, I specialize in creating high caliber, professional and creative promotional videos for non-profit and educational organizations. I understand the budgetary constraints of non-profit organizations and will work within a range of budgets and scope of work.

      Funders respond to high quality video presentations that effectively convey your organization’s message. I will take your message, target it, and transform it into a concise and meaningful array of pictures, words, and sounds. You will then have the power of an impactful video to present your organization’s activities at fundraising events and through the web.

    • [Blog]

      In addition to being a video producer, I was a stay-at-home mom for 13 years, and I am committed to providing resources to women who are returning to the workforce. The [blog] chronicles my journey and shares information about the return-to-work process.

      Blog topics include emotional roadblocks to relaunching, preparing your resume, updating your wardrobe, and preparing your family for re-entry.

      Check out my weekly radio show on relaunching your career, with guests including authors, career counselors, therapists, and employers. (www.radio…)

    What works about this LinkedIn Summary Example?

    1. Conveys Jane’s story and her passion (the resume summary does not).

    2. Contains multiple keywords that will get Jane found on LinkedIn.

    3. Covers the different facets of what Jane has to offer.

    4. Draws the eye to sub-headings so that readers can easily see what Jane is about. The text is broken into bite-sized pieces, not so blocky that no one will read it.

    5. Has a call to action.

    Note that the resume summary does NONE of these five things, even though it is perfectly great as a resume summary. Use your LinkedIn Summary section to its full potential!

  • 30 Dec 2015 8:36 AM | Anonymous

    By Brenda Bernstein
    The Essay Expert

    Many people are flummoxed when it comes to choosing a LinkedIn profile headline.  What keywords should they include?  How do you get that up and down symbol ( | )?  (Hit shift and the backslash key.) Is it more important to have keywords or a Tagline / Unique Selling Proposition (USP)?

    This article will mainly address the last question:  Keywords or USP?  The answer to the question depends on your main goal with your LinkedIn profile.

    Below you will find several situations you might be in.  Find yourself as closely as possible and handle your headline in the most appropriate way for your situation.  If you don’t find yourself exactly, find the nearest match and adjust from there.

    1.  You are a job seeker and you want to be found in searches.*

    If you are a job seeker, your main goal is probably to be found and contacted by recruiters and hiring managers.  If so, you need to focus on keywords in your headline.  Keywords are the terms a recruiter would be searching for if looking for someone like you.

    The prevailing wisdom is to choose 4-5 words as keywords and leave it at that.  Adding extra words or extra characters like your email address may serve to dilute the effectiveness of your headline.

    Examples of good headlines are:

    Manufacturing & Supply Chain Executive | Asia

    Procurement & Contract Specialist | Treasury Manager

    Account Executive | OEM Sales | Field Sales | Territory Manager

    Director Communications | Branding | Online Marketing | Social Media

    Note these headlines zero in on the most essential keywords and do not add any fluff to dilute their impact.

    Some job seekers write “Open to New Opportunities” in their headline.  Some recruiters actually search on the term “opportunities” and might find you that way.  Other recruiters will skip over you if you put that phrase in your headline.  My advice is to try it one way, and if you’re not getting the attention you want, try it another way.  That’s the beauty of social media… nothing is ever engraved in stone.

    2.  You are a job seeker and your main goal is to look good when people find you.

    Perhaps you are currently employed and doing a very selective and confidential job search.  Or perhaps you want people to look for you primarily after you have contacted them.  If so, you may not particularly be looking to be found in searches.  In this situation, you have more flexibility when crafting your headline.  I recommend that you write your job title and a catchy phrase, tagline, or Unique Selling Proposition.


    High-Powered Financial and Analytical Trainer | Propelling International Business Teams to the Top

    Program, Process and Project Manager | Creating and Implementing Innovative Technological Solutions

    Managed Care Professional | Building relationships with attention and integrity

    3.  You are a business owner or professional and you want people to find you.*

    If you are a business owner or professional wanting to attract clients, stack your headline with the keywords your clients would be searching on.  My headline says:

    Essay & Resume Writer | Executive Resumes | Personal Statements | LinkedIn Profiles | Web Copy

    The result of having these keywords in my headline (and also in my summary, specialties and job titles) is that many people find me when they are seeking the services I provide.

    During admission season I change my keywords to emphasize college essays and MBA Admissions consulting.

    Change your keywords as much as you want until you get the number of visitors to your site each day that you’re looking for.

    4.  You are a business owner or professional and you just want to build a close network of solid business connections.

    If you are laying low on LinkedIn and selectively building a network, really all you need is your job title and organization.  LinkedIn will take care of that for you.

    *NOTE TO THOSE IN CATEGORIES 1 & 3:  Remember that the number of hits you get on your LinkedIn profile will always increase when you increase your number of connections.

    BEWARE of the LinkedIn Default! 

    If you update your current job position, LinkedIn automatically changes your headline unless you catch the box that lets you opt out.  If this happens, take control and change your headline if you want it to say something different! Like so many things, there is no “one size fits all” answer to the LinkedIn Headline question.
  • 30 Dec 2015 8:36 AM | Anonymous

    By Brenda Bernstein
    The Essay Expert

    Your professional image is largely determined by what’s on your LinkedIn profile. Don’t think for a minute that any — and I mean any — employer who considers hiring you won’t Google you and vet your LinkedIn profile.

    What would you like them to find there?

    Here’s what potential employers and clients will see in most profiles:

    1. Spelling, grammar and punctuation errors in the main profile. Don’t let this happen. Find a good editor to review your profile!

    2. Recommendations containing spelling, grammar and punctuation errors. Have someone check these and if there are errors, ask your recommender to replace the recommendation. Most people are very cooperative — I’ve made these requests myself!

    3. No picture, a blurry picture, a picture with 2 people in it, or a picture with a busy background. I understand some people have privacy considerations that raise concerns about posting a picture on LinkedIn. If you do choose to post a photo, however, make it a head shot with a plain, light background. We’re shooting for the professional look here!

    4. Websites like “My Company” and “Blog.” These titles don’t provide much information. Thankfully, it’s easy to personalize your URLs – just choose “Other” and write in your specific website description.

    5. Public profile URLs with lots of numbers, letters and slashes at the end. You can customize your URL to end with your name. Is that name taken? Try last name followed by first name, or use an initial or two, or insert dashes — you can figure this one out.

    Here’s what potential employers and clients will NOT see in many cases:

    1. Consistency. From one job description to the next, there are often discrepancies in format and structure. Consistency is extremely important in any resume-like document! If you have a heading that says “Major Accomplishments,” use it in all positions where you had major accomplishments. If you are writing in the third person (which I recommend for your profile), write everything in the third person. If you use periods at the end of your bullets, do it everywhere. Capisce?

    2. Recommendations. If you own a business or are looking for work, it is especially important to use this opportunity to have people sell you!

    3. Descriptions of your job duties and accomplishments — why would you leave these out? It’s okay on your 10th job in the list to leave out the bullets, but make sure you provide a description of what you did at your jobs. Start your phrases with verbs (past tense verbs for past positions, present tense verbs for present positions). Let us know not just what you did but what you accomplished. The more concrete and quantifiable the better. You can also attach a resume for this purpose if you download the application Box.net.

    4. School activities and sometimes degrees. If you got a degree or participated in activities while in school, list them! If you are a student, add the special section for Education.

    5. Applications. I recommend checking out the partner applications available through LinkedIn. You can attach documents, recommend books, and do many other things with these useful tools. Find out what’s available — and use it!

    If you avoid these errors and omissions in your LinkedIn profile, you will stand out in a positive way to the people reading it. Why would you take a chance by doing anything else?

  • 18 Dec 2015 2:30 PM | Anonymous

    By Rabbi R. Karpov, Ph.D., CPRW, JCTC

    Safer Linking is even more important now that ~2,000 people are signing on daily.

    Many approach us for our mutual benefit; but some have other agendas. (The New Yorker cartoon caption, “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog*,” is what comes to mind.)

    LinkedIn recently rolled out the “Block or Report” feature – for reasons. The “or Report” part is designed to remove Bad Actors. Some are NOT who they say they are – if they in fact areanybody but scam-bots carefully engineered to “hook” us (this IS a multi-billion dollar business, we were told at the SBA meeting with FBI and the rest).

    Since LinkedIn is business-based, it makes sense they would show up here, since the “419” scam involves an exchange of money – or access to it. NBCNews.com’s article, “Nigerian 419 Email Scammers Shift to Malware,” tells us how rapidly this problem is exploding.

    Here are a few basic steps to optimize your, and your practice’s, safety.

    Before Linking, Perform Due Diligence

    First, check out the photo. (we learned this “Google Images” algorithm methodology from Robin Schlinger, several years ago).

    1. When you hover your cursor over the lower right-hand corner, it should be able to come up – allowing you to save it. Do so.

    2. Next, run that photo through “Google Images,” which you bring up on Google by typing that phase into the window, which then prompts you to upload. Now you can find some things out.

    3. Ways they could immediately come up Wrong: (a.) Stock Photo. (That wholesome-looking woman, it turns out, wasn’t really an Apple Computer VP ... nor was that her profile.) (b) Or worse: Real Photo, but hijacked: Either from someone living, such a military-man (to pluck that heart-string); or Miss World Philippines contestant #15 (thank you, Liz Ryan, for pointing that one out; or someone deceased (hey, that’s the late President of Zaire!)

    Check out the rest of the general “picture”.

    1. Run the email address under ‘contact information’ through Google. Did it come up as known email address associated ONLY with scammer?

    2. Run the name through Google. What turned up?

    3. Run the name AND the email address through Google. Sometimes that is what turns up information that will make you glad you took this extra 5 minutes

    An example of Wrong is Inappropriate romantic/promise-to-pay-back-the-money-soon email – there are actual sites like “Pig Busters | Scammer Awareness”.

    BOTTOM LINE: If they’re Wrong, go directly to ‘Block or Report’; and ... guess what . . . REPORT THEM. (Methodology below; reasons why it’s better for YOU, for one thing, below THAT.)

    HOW TO REPORT THEM to LinkedIn

    1. Go to the creep’s LinkedIn site (much as looking at this photo and the rest may gall you).

    2. In the top square with the Name, etc., is what looks like blue bar that says “Send a message.” The blue bar is actually two components, a rectangle and a square on the right with the downward-pointing isosceles triangle. Hover over the triangle.

    3. The pop-up menu appears. Hover over that, and select “Block or Report,” which opens to LinkedIn’s specifically telling you, “Choose this option if you think this person’s behavior is bad for the LinkedIn community.”

    4. Report them for “misrepresentation,” if that’s what it is: Why the photo is wrong, what else about this is fraudulent, and so forth. Explain briefly but specifically – LinkedIn WANTS to know, so they can Clean House.

    In case you’re already gotten more than for what you’d bargained... ,

    1. If you’ve received Inappropriate Message, report THAT. (Someone who has to say they’re sorry for invading your privacy and then asks stalker-ish questions... that’s a Not-Pology. (I mean, they are sorry ... a sorry piece of work, that’s all.)

    2. NOW go back and unlink.

    3. Having done all of the above . . . it’s best to Block them while LinkedIn is removing them, so as to NOT optimize their chances of approaching your associates meanwhile!

    4. Your friends with whom they’ve also linked, will in general be grateful for a heads-up about this non-person.

    And next time, next approach from those whose business is primarily monkey-business...

    1. Don’t let it get that far.

    2. That’s it. Same as #1.

    Why It Is So Important That We REPORT THEM

    Since a “Link” is half a “vouch,”’ remaining linked or letting our friends do so if we know better, DOES damage our brand, by damaging our credibility.

    What should go without saying is that NOT passively letting your associates get hurt (even via time-wasting), should be common courtesy.

    Even passive involvement is Bad Karma. These scam-bots WILL approach others, until stopped.

    LinkedIn is very alert right now to NOT let itself become too-convenient grounds for stalking or Scam or any of that, and has rolled-out the ‘Block or Report’ feature. I credit them for that.

    I also credit colleagues including Liz Ryan, Karleen Harp, Nina Ebert, Camille Carboneau-Roberts, obviously Robin Schlinger, and others, without whose input this article would not have been created.

    Link safely!

    *Peter Steiner, cartoon caption, ‘The New Yorker,’ magazine, July 5, 1993.

  • 18 Dec 2015 2:28 PM | Anonymous

    By Jan Melnik

    Job seekers at virtually all levels today are finally embracing the value of a fully developed LinkedIn profile — both for active job search and for passive networking. As compared with several years ago, most people are over the stigma that a presence will label them as job-seeking or, worse (from their perspective only), out of work. People recognize the value this tool brings to networking and remember that it is just that, a tool to support effective ways of reaching out and maintaining connections (and, yes, job search).

    If we accept, then, as a given that a LinkedIn presence is essential, what’s the next step? In coaching sessions, I’m frequently met with (virtual) blank stares. Without further prodding, many of my clients seem content to remain passive: ”Okay, my LI is ‘up’ with well-developed, branded content consistent with my messaging, I’ve reached out to colleagues, clients, vendors, former managers, etc., and built a respectable group of connections, and I’ve even uploaded a recent professionally done headshot.” And that’s it (they think). While it is true that in ever-increasing numbers executive recruiters are trolling LI looking for talent and may/do reach out, those engaged in otherwise active job search are leaving a huge stone unturned by not using the valuable features LI provides.

    When I point out the tabs-at-the-top of LinkedIn, I’m consistently surprised by the number of execs expressing surprise: they’ve not spent any time or even thought to ‘hit any of those buttons.’ The three I’ll spend the most time coaching on in a one-on-one LI training session: Groups, Jobs, and Companies. The biggest takeaway I impart is how to find and use the connections-in-common with each category of interest.

    In this article, I’ll focus on Groups. For instance, if I’m working with a CMO whose industry background has been aerospace and defense, I’ll encourage her to use the search feature in Groups to identify possible organizations to ‘join.’ I stress the need to be discriminating. While LI (today, anyway) allows up to 50 ‘memberships,’ it’s impossible to monitor, actively contribute to, and demonstrate thought leadership on that many forums. Pick a handful of engaged groups that can bring value while allowing you to potentially help others. Examine a few key criteria: How may members in the group? How active is it (LI will tell you this)? How many people in your network already belong? Are these 1st or 2nd degree connections?

    For this example, the group “Aviation & Aerospace Professionals” appears the most robust with more than 38,000 members, “very active” discussions (813 in a recent month), and it might be a good place to spend some time. Then go to the thread for that group and read. Anything catching your interest? Do topics seem lively, well-developed, eliciting involvement? Lurk for a while, then dip your toe in by sharing an opinion or thought on a thread. Of course, a savvy job seeker *isn’t* going to announce that fact. Rather, as thought leadership is demonstrated through intelligent, thought-provoking posts, people will notice… and when they visit that person’s profile, it will open the door to a contact if there is interest/opportunity.

    For this same aerospace CMO client, we find among the 1300+ possible associations/groups of interest another much smaller forum: Aerospace Marketing & Business Development. While there are only about 1400 members, the conversations in this portal are niche-specific. Probably another good place to check out. Use the connections you have within those groups to begin a separate dialogue by sending a message (or an invitation to connect if you haven’t already done so). Of course, it’s essential to personalize your message and not simply accept LI’s ubiquitous: “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.”

    This is just the start in connecting the dots between Groups and the other two important areas on LinkedIn for networking, Jobs and Companies. Be sure to leverage your LI power!

  • 18 Dec 2015 2:21 PM | Anonymous

    By Brenda Bernstein
    The Essay Expert

    Have you always wondered how some people got really cool graphics into their LinkedIn Profiles? Is it magic? No, it’s easy!

    All you need is your character map.

    “What’s my character map?” you may ask.

    If you are a mac user, I refer you to this forum.

    If you are a PC user like I am, just go to your start menu and start typing “character map” into the search box. Or, if you don’t have a search box because of an odd technical situation (not that I know from experience about this..  ehhemm…) you can click on All Programs, then the Accessories Folder, then System Tools, then Character Map. If you want to see images for these steps you can visit 386solutions.

    Here’s what you’ll see once you enter the character map:

    Simply choose the symbol you want to insert into your profile and double click on it. The symbol will appear in the “Characters to copy” box.

    Using this feature, you can insert foreign language alphabets, bullets of many varieties, and any other symbols that strike your fancy. You will then be able to create profiles that look like these (click to see full profiles):



    Another trick is to insert a line across the page for emphasis. Lines take up 40 characters but I think they’re worth it. The easiest way to create a line in your profile is to copy one from someone else’s profile. Feel free to copy and paste mine!

    If you want to experiment with different geometric shapes, or even letters in different languages, try copying and pasting your favorites from Wikipedia's List of Unicode Characters or (for foreign languages) use Google Translate. Or, I recently found CopyPasteCharacter.com, where you can easily find, click and paste characters into your profile.

    Using a combination of graphic highlights, you can make your profile “pop” in a way that everyone else’s does not. In my opinion, it’s worth putting a bit of effort into any strategy that will keep people interested in reading past the first glance. Graphics can do that!

  • 17 Dec 2015 10:52 AM | Anonymous

    By Brenda Bernstein
    The Essay Expert

    The LinkedIn profile activity update is often overlooked and underutilized.

    Context… and the Danger of Hootsuite

    The activity update feature gives you a chance to report on your personal or business-related “current events.” You may recognize the activity update from other social media sites.

    Facebook users change their status regularly and can be rather creative with the things they report. You might see anything from “I was rudely introduced to the hungry Pothole from hell in Boston which ate my tire” to “Delayed in Atlanta. Renewing vow never to take connecting flights” to “…is saving lives one shopping mall at a time.” You probably would not want any of these activity updates to show up on your LinkedIn profile.

    Then there’s Twitter. How can you sell your wares, report important news, or, better yet, say something pithy, in 140 characters or less? Yesterday I saw this one:

    “This dream today embattled with its back against the wall, to save the dream 4 one, it must be saved 4 all” Langston Hughes (2nd time/ #fb).

    Wow, was that really Twitter-compliant? Guess Langston was ahead of his time.

    So what about LinkedIn activity updates? What to do with these? Well, we know off the bat that you are on LinkedIn for professional networking purposes. We also know that a Twitter-proof activity update like “Discover the Best Anti Aging Vitamins That Will Change Your Life… http://tinyurl.com/xlr52pz” might not cut it on LinkedIn’s information-sharing and networking-focused site. Or would it?

    To all you Hootsuite users out there, you have the option of sending out the same status message to all your social media groups.  Be careful if you’re including LinkedIn in your Hootsuite targets!

    Report on your Business-related Activities

    LinkedIn suggests the following starts to your updates: “working on…”, “traveling to…”, “looking for advice on…”, “looking for a job…” or “reading…” I personally have taken a bit of a direct selling posture in my updates, at least sometimes. When I first started offering LinkedIn profile reviews, for instance, I kept track of the countdown in terms of how many LinkedIn reviews I had remaining at a bargain price. The reviews flew off the shelf! I also use LinkedIn updates to announce upcoming events and webinars that people might want to attend.

    I think the most effective activity updates report on current trainings, travels, ideas, etc. that show your readers that you are serious about your profession. If you have a blog, it’s a good idea to post a link to your latest article.

    If you were looking for an SEO optimization specialist, and you were browsing LinkedIn profiles, wouldn’t you like to see that your prospective SEO optimizer is at a conference that week in the field, or that she is leading a webinar or writing a blog on the subject? You probably wouldn’t care about this person’s flat tire or shopping plans, or even about the person’s visits to see the grandchildren. It is imperative as you update your status that you consider what your audience would want to read about you.

    Update Frequently

    Keep your activity updates current and your readers will know that you are serious about your business – plus, your connections will be reminded of your status if your settings and theirs permit it.

    Your Profile Settings

    You can’t do anything about your contacts’ settings… but you can make sure that you have "Who can see your activity feed" (under Profile Settings) set to Everyone, and then go update it! Isn’t it worth composing a few lines every few days to benefit from this visibility?

    Frankly, if you are on LinkedIn, sharing your activity is part of your business. Do it often and do it well, and start getting the attention you want out of your LinkedIn profile.

  • 17 Dec 2015 10:48 AM | Anonymous

    By Brenda Bernstein
    The Essay Expert

    On July 24, 2011, LinkedIn announced their “Apply with LinkedIn” system.  According to LinkedIn’s Blog, Apply with LinkedIn will allow you to “submit your profile for any job application on the web with one simple click.” Most notable about this program is that companies will be able to install a button on their websites, allowing applicants to apply using a LinkedIn profile!

    You now have another incentive to write a KILLER LinkedIn profile.

    LinkedIn claims that over one thousand companies are jumping on the bandwagon, including big names like Netflix, TripIt and Photobucket.

    The following are LinkedIn’s 3 advertised selling points for job seekers:

    1.  You can modify your profile for each position.

    If you want to cater your profile to each job position, this is your chance.  Of course, you could get in trouble if the company were to go back and check your profile to find that it looks completely different from the profile you submitted…  so don’t modify toomuch!

    2. LinkedIn will show you the names of people who can introduce you to someone in the company.

    We all know that the way to get a job is through networking, and LinkedIn apparently will help you get started.  I wonder how effective these leads really are, however, since if everyone who applies for the position is given contact information of people at the company, these contacts might be inundated with communications from hundreds of job seekers. This feature could lose its power pretty quickly.

    3. LinkedIn will track all your applications for you!

    Tracking services and historical information on your job search?  Now that is a huge advantage, especially for the organizationally challenged!  All you have to do is go to the “Saved Jobs” tab under the Jobs category, and you’ll be able to view a record of all the jobs you’ve applied to.  Imagine twenty or thirty years from now looking back nostalgically on those first Apply with LinkedIn attempts.

    Your STELLAR LinkedIn Profile!

    The most important takeaway of this roll-out as I see it is that if you are planning to apply to one of the thousands of companies who soon will be using the Apply with LinkedIn button, you will really need to make sure your LinkedIn profile is 100% complete – and that it sparkles!

  • 17 Dec 2015 10:45 AM | Anonymous

    By Brenda Bernstein
    The Essay Expert

    If you are a job seeker, how should you complete the “current position” item in your profile?

    LinkedIn presents job seekers with a dilemma: The site requires an “up-to-date current position (with a description)” for a 100% complete profile (see Profile Completeness list on LinkedIn); and according to LinkedIn, 100% complete profiles are 40 times more likely to be viewed. But if you are a job seeker, you might not have a current position other than “job seeker.” Should you create a “filler” job description to be 100% complete? Or should you hope that 95%-or-so complete is enough?

    Adding to this dilemma is that recruiters, according to experts in the careers industry, do not like to see made-up job descriptions in the current position spot. They prefer for job seekers to call a spade a spade, i.e., leave the current position description blank if they are not employed.

    Resume and LinkedIn profile writers come down on multiple sides of this issue. There are upsides and downsides to all of these options; in the end, let the numbers (how many people find you, view your profile and contact you) guide your choice.

    Option #1

    One camp says to put something in the current position field indicating you are a job seeker. You might give yourself a job title such as “Target position: VP Operations,” or “Seeking next opportunity as Graphic Designer.” You can then write a description of what you offer that adds to what you wrote in your Summary. In the company name field, you might enter “–“or “Seeking next opportunity.”

    Option #2

    Some people recommend putting volunteer work as your current position, or your “job” as Manager of a LinkedIn group. I would not recommend either solution unless your volunteer or group manager work is close to full-time. There is a section you can add on LinkedIn called Volunteer Activities and Causes. That is the most appropriate spot in which to put your volunteer activities.

    Option #3

    A third camp says to leave the current job description blank if you don’t have a job, and to complete as many parts of the profile as possible. If your profile is 95% complete, you should still do well in searches.

    The Essay Expert’s Recommendation

    You might want to try both Option #1 and Option #3. I wouldn’t recommend Option #2.

    The great thing about LinkedIn profiles is that you can always change them and do different things to see what works best for you. Try this:

    1. Write a current position that says, for example, “Target Position: General Manager, Automotive” or “Seeking Opportunities as Financial Analyst” or “Program Manager – Candidate” and track how many people view your profile and how often you are appearing in search results (this information can be found on your home page in the right-hand column).

    2. If you are getting sufficient activity in your profile, great. Don’t change anything! If not, the first thing to consider is whether you have enough connections to appear toward the top of searches. I recommend having 500+ connections in order to reliably raise your ranking in search results and increase page views.

    3. If you have 500+ connections and your profile is still not getting enough attention, either change what you have in the “current position” section or make it blank for a month. Track your profile views and appearances in search results.

    4. Repeat Steps #2 and #3 until you get the results you want.

    There are more options than these of course. What strategies have been working for you?

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