Using LinkedIn “Wrong?” Ahem…

June 8th, 2015

This month there is an article titled You’re Probably Using LinkedIn Wrong — And That Could Cost You Your Next Job.

I think that it’s a good idea to be active on LinkedIn, although I don’t agree with what the article says. In my experience, the main thing you should do is improve your LinkedIn Profile.  I have never seen a Profile that is awesome (or, that couldn’t use some help).  If I were to grade Profiles, most of them would get a C-.  IMO it’s more important to fix your Profile than put up weekly status updates.  You can get access to my LinkedIn Profile course (titled LinkedIn Strategy: Optimize Your Profile) for free on Pluralsight, just login through JibberJobber, and watch the video below to see how to access it (and get free JibberJobber upgrades).

I am writing this post because I don’t want you to think that if you are not putting in status updates, you’re using LinkedIn wrong.  Trust me, recruiters are smart enough to figure out your skills and competencies, even if you aren’t posting an update weekly.

If you want to know what to do on LinkedIn, check out my other course (for free on Pluralsight): LinkedIn: Proactive Strategies.

If you think I’m off my rocker, read the comments on the post.

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LinkedIn Groups: Valuable or a Waste of Time?

June 5th, 2015

I’ve been an advocate of LinkedIn Groups for a while, especially since they took away Answers.

This week I saw a message on Facebook that surprised me.  Michael Stelzner is one of the smartest entrepreneurs I’ve met, very savvy with social media, very likable, creative, and he’s been successful with his business ventures.  This message, from him, surprised me:

michael_stelzner_linkedin_groups

42,000 members in a LinkedIn Group… that’s pretty sizable. I think the only reason to shut it down is that it’s not bringing value to his business.  I’m guessing this is because:

  • As a Group Admin, when he sends out “announcements,” no one is acting on his call to action.  Note: Announcements are so powerful, if you own a Group and are not sending out Announcements, you are missing the main value of owning a LinkedIn Group.
  • There is too much spam.  This is a problem on many LinkedIn Groups, and something that people have complained about since the beginning. In his comments to that Facebook post he adds: “Actually we have staff dedicated to moderating our LinkedIn group and this is not a knock on LI, just the groups. In fact we have one of the cleanest groups out there as far as spam, but we have to remove 100s of comments a week that are self serving.”

On a semi-related note, LinkedIn has taken steps to reduce spam, kind of, but the implementation of the Site Wide Account Management (SWAM) is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever seen.  It allows one Group admin to say you are a spammer, and then you cannot post on any group.  To give one Group Manager that much power is nothing short of stupid.

Anyway, the idea that someone like Michael pulled the plug on a Group that big makes me question who is getting value out of their Groups.  Is it too hard to manage (taking too many resources)?  Is there no return value?

If you think this is overkill, and you have a Group and want to get more value out of it, check out this article: Introducing The Moderator’s Field Guide for LinkedIn Groups

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LinkedIn Connections Are Not The End Goal

January 19th, 2015

I have gotten thousands of invitations to connect over the years.  Mainly this is because I have a pretty public persona, from starting JibberJobber, and then writing the book on LinkedIn. I have spoken across the US and have done many webinars to global audiences.  So people send me invitations… which I don’t have a problem with.

What I do have a problem with is the idea that getting a connection on LinkedIn seems to be the end goal.

In my LinkedIn trainings I’ve suggested that once you start a relationship with someone, you DO NOT ask them to connect with you on LinkedIn – yet.  Why?  Because connecting on LinkedIn, many times, means “we’re done communicating.”  It’s the end.  I have reached my goal, I have won.

Think about it – how many times have you connected with someone on LinkedIn, and then you never hear from them again?  How many times have you had a good conversation with someone, then invited them to LinkedIn, and then stopped communicating with them?

I’ve seen this too many times.  So my suggestion is to build the relationship more, and eventually connect… but make it clear that you are interested in the relationship a lot more than a somewhat meaningless connection on social media.

Go back to Friday’s post, about getting beyond superficial.  If you have a superficial relationship, and you connect, you haven’t really moved beyond superficial…. too many times, this end goal is a dead end.

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Discounted LinkedIn Profile Critique/Consultation

November 13th, 2014

I just sent this out to my LinkedIn Group… to get on that “newsletter” go to this page and find the Join button.

Once again I’m discounting my LinkedIn Profile consultation from $97 to $47 for a limited time.

Many of you know I was “the first” to write a LinkedIn book (now in the fourth edition). In fact, one person wrote his before me, so I was “the second.” I’m cool with that.

What you might not know is that I’m a nerd for communicating on our Profiles. While I have a bit of “cobbler’s kids” syndrome (that is, he made shoes but his kids were barefoot), I do love picking apart other people’s Profiles and seeing where there is opportunity for improvement.

I focus on (1) being found, which is usually about the search engine and showing up on the front page, and (2) being readable in an engaging, interesting way.  What I didn’t say in the newsletter: I also focus on giving you actionable advice…. stuff you can actually do.

I loathe jargon and cliche, and I love helping you stand out in a way that not many do.

If this sounds interesting to you, you can pay at the link below and then send me your profile information. I’ll do a recording of my critique, which might be from 12 minutes to 20+ minutes (depending on how much you have to critique, usually), and then I send you a video file you can watch as often as you want.

https://www.jibberjobber.com/pay.php?amount=47

I have done this for executives, professionals, entry-level, solopreneurs, career coaches, resume writers, branding specialists, outplacement pros (and their candidates (actually, for outplacement firms I offer a higher level, one-on-one service for their candidates))… it’s been a fun opportunity to help so many people.

A few months ago I did a critique for Tom, who I’ve known for years as someone who is very strategic about his career management, networking and branding. He already had a very good profile. After he watched the critique, these are some of the things he wrote to me:

“WOW! You’ve provided a great deal of excellent advise.”

“Fortunately I’m not in transition but I want to be ready for my next move no matter who’s choice it is…”

“EXCELLENT point about the professional headline. I definitely need to add …”

“Yet more excellent feedback about my volunteer work for… “

“You have provided a wealth of information and I thank you for that. It certainly is hard to be objective about myself so you’ve really helped me see many areas that I can improve my profile to help recruiters get to know me not just my skills and experience.”

I don’t normally get depth of feedback from people, but like I said, Tom is purposeful, and there is a reason he has weathered career transitions so well.

I want my JibberJobber users to have short, less painful transitions. Building our brands and nurturing our network is a big part of that. Shall we do this together? Click on the link above and I’ll do my part… :)

Jason Alba
CEO of www.JibberJobber.com
Author of www.ImOnLinkedInNowWhat.com

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How to Block People on LinkedIn

October 6th, 2014

On Facebook my colleague and well-respected career expert Susan Whitcomb asked if there was a way to block people from seeing updates in LinkedIn.  The typical scenerio is that someone starts a job search, and wants to NOT broadcast that to their network.  They might update their resume, post an “update” on the homepage, participate in groups, etc…. how do you block individuals from seeing what you are doing?

The short answer is, YOU CANNOT.

This question about privacy reminds me of my IT security professor back in the 90′s who said that if you want or expect any privacy, UNPLUG your computer from the internet.  Period.

You really shouldn’t have any assumption or expectation of privacy online, ever.

In LinkedIn, there aren’t any foolproof ways to shut people out of what you are doing.  In fact, you can’t even do that in Facebook.

Let me give you an example. Facebook has more refined personal privacy options than LinkedIn does, partially because of what Facebook is for and what LinkedIn is for.  Anyway, even with the very tight privacy settings in Facebook, it’s possible to *think* you are ranting privately, and you kind of are.  But what if one of your “friends” shares your rant with someone you mutually know, who you have blocked?

The rant isn’t so private anymore, is it?

What if they take a screenshot of your rant and post it on a blog?

Not private at all, huh?

You can have all the locks in place, but as long as humans are involved, there is potential for social engineering, which means that your update you thought was private is now shared in the lunchroom and boardrooms of your current company.

OOPS.

Are there security options in LinkedIn to block?  Kind of.

Should you trust them?  Only if… well, actually, NO.  NEVER.

But what if you aren’t connected with anyone at your company?

Um… let me explain how LinkedIn works: it doesn’t matter!

They can go to LinkedIn and still see some (most) of your stuff.  They can also do a search on Google and find some (most) of your stuff.  LinkedIn, by it’s nature, is a place to find and be found, to be visible, to share your brand, experience, etc.  It’s not a place to hide stuff.  That’s what a diary is for (you know, the book you write stuff in, and it’s not connected to the Internet!?).

Like I said, there are some technical privacy tools in place, kind of … BUT none of those matter as long as ANYONE in your network might share what you posted with their contacts… who just might be your boss you are trying to hide from.

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Why You Shouldn’t Message Me On LinkedIn

August 12th, 2014

Last week I was out of the office all week.  Two weeks earlier I was out for an entire week.  I was at camps with my kids and really didn’t have access to anything online.

I dutifully set up my “out of office” messages in my two main email systems, knowing that anyone who sent me an email would have known that I would take a few days to get back to them.  Unfortunately, I got a number of messages through LinkedIn’s messaging system… and those people didn’t get any message to let them know I was unavailable.

They just got radio silence.  Sounds an awful lot like being ignored.  Or that I don’t care to respond.

LinkedIn is cool, for sure.  But it’s not the only tool you should use.  Use email, or the phone, but don’t solely message people through LinkedIn.

If you don’t know someone’s email address, GET IT.  If you have it, USE IT.

The other reason I suggest you don’t use LinkedIn for primary or important messaging (if you aren’t doing important messaging, don’t send the message!) is because messages from LinkedIn don’t get in front of me very often.  A while back Google (Gmail) decided they needed to sift my email into three groups (they could have just named tabs 2 and 3 SPAM, right?):

gmail_buckets

Guess where I spend most of my time?

The “Primary” box.

Guess where your LinkedIn message goes?

NOT the “Primary” box.

Don’t use Gmail, so that’s not an issue?  I suggest you check out your spam or junk folder, and see how many LinkedIn messages are in there.  That should be proof enough that you shouldn’t depend on LinkedIn for sending messages.

Want to get on my radar?  EMAIL ME directly.

Sending me a message through LinkedIn is a gamble.

How about you?

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LinkedIn Videos update: 4 new videos on writing “Posts” (aka, articles)

July 30th, 2014

I just sent the message below to members of my JibberJobber group on LinkedIn.  If you are not a member, click here to join.  (this is slightly edited for this blog post)

Today I finished creating and editing four new videos to help you understand the (fairly) new Posts feature in LinkedIn. This used to be the “influencer” privilege, which very few people had access to. I think everyone has the feature now, though…. hence the addition to the LinkedIn for Job Seekers streaming video series.These four videos are a part of the LinkedIn for Job Seekers Fourth Edition series… if you have any questions about LinkedIn, go to this page and see what the videos.  The new video clips are:

  • Posts: Introduction (and writing your first post)
  • Posts: Rich text and formatting to your articles
  • Posts: Two important tips to have better articles
  • Posts: Conclusion and wrap-up

If you have a request for additional videos for this series, let me know.

The series is priced at $50. To get access, first get a JibberJobber account, then go here, and you’ll be able to purchase the streaming version.

If you want $11 off, get the one year upgrade on JibberJobber (only $60), and then add the LinkedIn videos for only $39 more.

IF YOU ARE A COACH, work in outplacement, or at a career center, and you are licensing this series already, your clients should have access to them. (if you, or they, have problems, refer them to the Contact Us page, or to Liz)

If you want information on bulk purchasing, and you are a coach, resume writer, in outplacement, a recruiter, etc, please use the Contact form to ask for more information.

Thank you, and have a great day!

Jason Alba
CEO – www.JibberJobber.com
Author – I’m on LinkedIn – Now What???

Let us know if you have any questions!

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What to put on your LinkedIn Profile when you are in transition

April 22nd, 2014

This question comes up all the time when I do presentations on LinkedIn.  There are a few different options, depending on the message you want to give (“I need your help…!” OR “I have expertise in this, and oh yeah, I might be open to looking at other opportunities” and everything in-between).

Recently I was talking to Nick Jenkins, a senior operations manager based out of Austin, Texas.  Nick has deep experience with the telecom industry but, as we were talking, he was explaining his passion to move to a few other industries (still within technology), including mobile stuff, cloud computing, etc.  Nick likes being in the leading edge tech space, which is what he navigated over the last 15 years in telecom.

As we were talking I had a thought: Your LinkedIn profile tells me you are actively looking, but nothing in your profile tells me you are not married to the telecom industry.  In fact, everything there indicates you kind of want to stay there.  What if you let me know you are open to non-telecom stuff?

I shared this idea with Nick and here’s what he changed to clarify his position (being available for new opportunities, and what he is open to).  I think this is the best way to communicate this stuff.

First, the Professional Headline.  Nick’s main message here is “I’m a professional!  Here are my passions and what I bring to the table!” Instead of focusing on “I’m looking for new work,” which is NOT his brand, he focuses on what he wants you to think of when you think about him.

nick_jenkins_linkedin_available1

 

Next, the Current Title.  He makes it very clear that he is actively looking.

nick_jenkins_linkedin_available2

 

Now, when I got on the phone with him, this was all that he had done.  I listened to what he was looking for, and open to, and then I compared that with his profile… and therein was the problem: Without having a conversation with him to know he was looking for a career even outside of telecom (or inside of telecom, but not limited to telecom), you probably wouldn’t know that he was open to it.  I suggested that he use the job experience are and tell people more about what he is looking for.  His summary is the typical “here are my strengths,”… but nowhere did he say “I’m open to non-telecom opportunities.”

(Next,) So instead of leaving the job description part of “Experienced Leader and Communicator” blank, he filled it in.  You can click over to his account to read it.

The takeaway for me was that I assumed, based on his profile, something that was wrong.  After talking with him I understood more, and I encouraged him to share that on his Profile (to remove bad assumptions).

I challenge you to state what you do or want to do, and then read through your profile and see if they are aligned.

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Don’t ask people to connect on LinkedIn until…

April 21st, 2014

If I can, I like to connect people.  It makes me feel good, and some of my contacts simply must connect with one another – they are that cool or complementary!

I recently made a connection between two people, and I suggested to one of them to NOT invite the person to connect until they actually had a conversation, and started a relationship.

Why?

Too often I see people who will take an introduction, ask the person to connect on LinkedIn, and then… nothing.

Folks, connecting on LinkedIn IS NOT NETWORKING!

Focus on the relationship!

Can you help that person?  Can they help you?  Is there a reason to have a relationship?  Can you nurture the relationship?  Can you get and give value through the years because of a relationship?

Have a conversation.  Then, in a month, or next quarter, have another conversation (or send an email).  And do that regularly.  Over time. Take the relationship from nowhere to somewhere.

The problem with starting out with a LinkedIn invitation is that too often, many times, I see this:

  1. Invitation is extended.
  2. Invitation is accepted.
  3. Relationship doesn’t go anywhere.

The LinkedIn connection is not a relationship, and it is not networking.  It gets in the way.

So, first work on establishing the relationship, and the LinkedIn invitation/connection is something for later. Don’t let it take the place of the relationship.

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Favorite Friday: Your LinkedIn Network is Useless if…

April 18th, 2014

Another Favorite Friday from my LinkedIn blog.  This one is about the utility of your LinkedIn contacts.  Too often I’ve heard people say “LinkedIn doesn’t work for me.”

That’s like saying “the hammer in my shed doesn’t work for me.”  They don’t tell you that they bought it, put it in the shed, and never used it.

You have to do something with it.  The main line in this post is:

Your [My] LinkedIn network is USELESS if I… DON’T DO ANYTHING WITH IT!

Whether it is LinkedIn, JibberJobber, your business card… the question is: what are YOU doing with it?

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