Archive December 29, 2018

Everything Starts with Your LinkedIn Headline

Everything Starts with Your LinkedIn Headline

Besides your picture, your headline is the first thing people actually see when they run across you on LinkedIn. It’s the first thing they’ll read on your profile, and even if they’re searching and find you, they’ll see your headline below your picture in the search and suggested connection results. Your headline is what entices the reader to read more. If you have a boring headline, you’ve really shot yourself in the foot. If, however, your headline emotionally connects with your target audience, well, you’ve already won half the battle. Here’s some things not to do, and some things to do with your LinkedIn headline.

First off, never use your job title as your headline! That’s not only boring, but there’s no emotional connection with your target audience. Something like “IT Professional” says virtually nothing about you. Not only that, but there are probably a few million people on LinkedIn worldwide who’s title says the same thing. So, not only will you not stand out in the search results, but you’re not branding yourself as different from those other few million!

Instead of a job title, try saying something on a more human level that captures the essence of who you are and what you do. Using our example, what are you actually doing as an IT professional? Maybe you work for a school system, and you’re in charge of maintaining the school’s network. So, you could say something like… “Connecting Children Safely to The Internet.” That may or may not capture the real essence, so please don’t just copy and paste that, but it’s moving in the right direction! You can explain how you’re connecting children safely to the Internet in your paragraph summary where you can elaborate on being an IT professional.

How to Have Your Next Job (or Client) Find You on LinkedIn

How to Have Your Next Job (or Client) Find You on LinkedIn

One of the great beauties of LinkedIn is that it’s a search engine. Millions of people are using LinkedIn search every day to find other professionals both for jobs and to provide products and services. If you structure your profile right so that you show up in the right searches, you’ll find that the right job (or client) just might come to you easily, instead of you having to go out and find them. In this article, I want to talk about how to do just that. Make your profile very search engine friendly.

The first thing you need to do is to figure out how someone would search for you. You can get some small amount of help from LinkedIn’s analytics, especially if you have a paid account. What might be more useful, though, would be to go to Google and start typing in phrases you think someone might use. Look at the suggested searches that Google suggests. These are searches that have already been done by someone else on Google. And, it’s just as likely that someone’s doing these same searches on LinkedIn. Find a few that make sense for you, and then note down the actual phrase used. These phrases, by the way, are called keywords.

Once you’ve narrowed down to two or three keywords, you’ll want to optimize your profile for them. That starts with the headline. You’ll want to squeeze what you think should be the primary keyword into your headline, all without making it sound weird. The next thing you’ll need to do is to use your main keyword, and perhaps a couple related keywords, in your profile summary. Make sure it reads well, though! You don’t want to sacrifice readability for optimization.

Now that you’ve got your keywords sorted and your profile optimized, you want to make sure that it “sells” to an interested visitor who lands on the page. Start with a good, professional head shot for your picture. Next, you’ll want to beef up your recommendations and skills. The only thing you might want to do after this is to experiment with different keywords to see if you’re showing up in more or fewer searches.

LinkedIn’s Answer to Your Quarter-Life Crisis

LinkedIn’s Answer to Your Quarter-Life Crisis

If you’re 50 or older, I’m sorry. You’re now past the point of even having a quarter-life crisis, or statistically even a mid-life crisis. A quarter-life crisis is something that happens around age 25 or so. And, if you think about it, that all makes sense.

When you’re in your early to mid-twenties, you’ve probably graduated from college and have some sort of a career. And, you’ve probably settled down, at least a wee bit, on the dating scene. Maybe you’re married. Maybe you’ve at least got a steady “main squeeze”. One thing you probably have a lot of is debt, both college debt and credit card debt. Career, relationships, and finances are the three pillars, if you will, of someone’s life in their twenties and thirties. And, managing all of these can, and quite frankly does, cause a lot of stress in a lot of people!

You might have thought of LinkedIn as a platform that’s more geared to older folks. And, in a way, that’s true. Only about fifteen percent of LinkedIn users are under 30. That’s not stopping LinkedIn from catering to that age group. This is a move that makes total sense. If you get hooked on LinkedIn early in your career lifetime, you’re more likely to stay involved with the platform, which leaves little room for competing business platforms to move in on LinkedIn’s market share.

One of the ways that LinkedIn has decided to cater to younger professionals is through their new feature Career Advice. According to LinkedIn themselves, Career Advice is “a new feature that helps connect members across the LinkedIn network with one another for lightweight mentorship opportunities.” You basically sign up for Career Advice right from your LinkedIn profile. When you do you can specify what type of advice you’re looking for.

This is a brilliant move on LinkedIn’s part! There are over half a billion professionals on LinkedIn. It’s as if the entire group of business professionals on planet Earth are available to you. With Career Advice, you can seek guidance from people who’ve been there and done that. If you haven’t taken advantage of this valuable resource, you might want to give it a go! (Note: It’s not just for youngsters, either!)

How to Write a Very Powerful LinkedIn Recommendation

How to Write a Very Powerful LinkedIn Recommendation

Recommendations are critical on LinkedIn. Other than your headline, photo, and profile summary, recommendations are probably the next most important thing. Look at them like testimonials (real ones) for a service, business, or product. It’s called social proof in the online marketing world, it getting that social proof is often the key to success or failure. So, with all of that said, what makes the difference between a good, and a not so great recommendation?

The “ho hum” recommendation is generic. It lacks details as to what the person being recommended did or provided in a certain situation that made the difference. The reader is left with thinking, “So what?” Here’s a not so great recommendation.

George provided IT support to our company for a period of six months while we were changing locations. He was proficient, and we’ll definitely reach out to George again if the need arises.

Although not horrible, do you see how unspecific that recommendation is. Sure, it’s positive…sort of! But it really doesn’t tell you too much about what George did and why he was so great. As a matter of fact, it doesn’t tell you George was great at all! This isn’t “cringeworthy”, but it is a little lack luster.

Compare that with this…

George was the third freelance IT technician we hired in a two-month period. The first two were horrible, even leaving us offline for a period of over 24 hours. George was recommended by a friend. I was impressed with him from the beginning. When he arrived at our office, he had already done his homework on our system. He told us exactly what our main problem was and what would be required to fix it. Of course, we hired him on the spot. He even worked over the weekend to get us up and running as fast as possible. Not only did George fix our main problem, but he found a few other mistakes from our first two freelance IT guys. He fixed those too without even charging us extra. I’ve already recommended George to two other CTO’s that I know, and I’ll happily recommend him again!

Do you see the huge difference between these two? One’s like a limp, used dishrag. The other’s full of details and praise! That right there is how to write a killer recommendation for LinkedIn!

LinkedIn Networking Essentials

LinkedIn Networking Essentials

LinkedIn IS a networking platform! Repeat this at least twenty times a day when you get up in the morning! I’m always amazed at how many people have LinkedIn profiles, but yet do nothing to actually network there. Okay, I get it. Maybe not everyone is a sales person, but surely everyone can benefit from knowing more people in their career field. What if you walk in on Monday and get the dreaded pink slip? What are you going to do then? When it comes to personal networks size (and quality) actually does matter. So, let’s talk about how even the most wall flower of all the wall flowers can network efficiently on LinkedIn.


Don’t be too picky about your connections, and at the same time, be very picky. This sounds contradictory, and it is. Here’s the deal, though. LinkedIn works like that old game, six degrees of separation. I’m connected to you. You’re connected to someone else. And, I’m only indirectly connected to you. But there’s massive power in that indirect connection! The more connections you have, the more your network expands. But…you need to be directly connected to someone in order to message them. (Inmails are so expensive!) You need both! A large number of connections and also targeted connections.


Reach out to people in your network regularly. Doesn’t have to be every month. Just at least once a year for those people who’ve fallen by the wayside. You’ll be surprised at how much business will just bubble to the surface just by doing this.

Status Updates

Keep your profile and your status updates up to date! Tell your audience what you’re up to, as far as work is concerned. What projects are you working on? How might that benefit them? What types of employees are you looking for? You’d be amazed at who’s reading your updates and who you can get to reach out to you this way.


And, while you’re actually networking, how about really communicating with people? Ask them how the new job is going. How’s that move to Colorado Springs? Again, your goal is to stir up the proverbial mud and see what rises to the top!

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