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.
Next, the Current Title. He makes it very clear that he is actively looking.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
Whether it is LinkedIn, JibberJobber, your business card… the question is: what are YOU doing with it?
The post took a life of it’s own when people started asking for feedback on their headlines. Fortunately, Peter Osborne jumped in to respond to people… I finally had to close the comments before it became a full-time job!
Here’s the post – click here to read the excellent comments:
I came across Håkan’s LinkedIn Profile and I LOVE something he is doing with the formatting. What he is doing gets around something that bugs a lot of people…. they want real bullet-point formatting!
Alas, for the last many years, and even today, LinkedIn doesn’t allow hardly any formatting in the long description areas. But check out what Hakan has done:
In #1… how did he get that bullet? In #2, how did he make the lines below the bullet indent, the way that bullets are supposed to?
Okay, so we got that, right? How do you make the line below indent to the correct place?
You simple put enough spaces in. Really. You “hard code” spaces in. With your space bar.
If I mouse over and select the space from the left of the page to where the line starts, I can see there are individual spaces there. There are 5 spaces before a bullet point and 8 spaces before each line under a bullet.
It’s that simple… but the results really stand out, and are easier to read.
This entire profile also works because Håkan uses the underscore (_______) to make visual line separators throughout his profile, which makes it easier to read.
He’s put a lot of effort into his profile, from content to formatting, and it clearly shows. Great job Håkan! Click on the image below to see his entire profile:
Lisa Rangel is a career coach who I’ve met, had conversations with, exchanged emails, and trained in my webinars. I trust her. One week from today she is hosting this free webinar titled How to Double, And Even Triple Your Job Leads Using LinkedIn. You have nothing to lose, and hopefully will pick up some great ideas. Here’s her list of things she says you can learn:
Sign up here for this fast paced, packed webinar.
Well, I finally did it – I finished the recordings for the fourth edition of LinkedIn for Job Seekers. This edition will be streaming only, which will cut the cost down on producing DVDs as well as make it easier for me to do updates.
You can check it out here.
The most apparent change in this series is the layout change. The third edition is, I think, almost two years old, and there have been a lot of changes to LinkedIn’s layout. The most notable would be the header/menu, which has significantly been pared down (some of the favorite things are missing ), and the huge, massive overhaul to the LinkedIn Profile.
Functionally, the biggest change would be the absence of LinkedIn Answers, which for many years had been my #1 favorite feature. Most of the functionality that you found in Answers can be done in Groups, but not as easily, and perhaps not as effectively. We go into that.
There were other functional changes… most of which had to do with stuff either disappearing completely or moving from a free to a premium feature. I have a free account and focus on helping you get more value from the free account.
In this video series, which is appropriate for job seekers as well as business owners (who probably feel like job seekers every morning!), I want you to learn out to OPTIMIZE.
Optimize your chance to be found when someone is searching for you – this has to do with your Profile, and somewhat what Groups you (a) are in and (b) participate in.
Optimize how you share your brand – what message are you sharing, where, how often, etc.
Optimize your Profile, and the messaging you give there. I was finally inspired to update my Profile (which is a fluid, changing project) and made some really important enhancements.
Optimize your results – we’re on LinkedIn for a reason, right? Make sure you understand that reason and work towards that reason, instead of just being there because everyone else is. I’m not about herd mentality… I want you to purposefully seek, and get, value.
The cost of this training is $50. You have access to it as long as you wish. I ask that you do not share access with others, and you don’t show it in “public settings,” like at a university. However, if you want to show a video or two at a job club, feel free to do that.
Finally, did you know we’ve been working hard on enhancing JibberJobber and making it more value-add to you? Not only have we added new functionality, and cleaned up some stuff, we dropped the price of the optional premium level by 40%… to $60. If you are interested in the awesome premium features (including the oh-so-useful Email2Log feature), you can get both the 12 month upgrade and the LinkedIn video series for only $99.
Let me know if you have any questions, and if you want me to add any other trainings into the LinkedIn series.
Whew! Glad to finally get this updated!
I have a bunch of people ask me why we don’t have a one-click button to pull data from LinkedIn profiles. Well, it’s against their user agreement, and I think it’s unethical, and apparently illegal.
I know other websites, apps and companies scrape LinkedIn profiles. They have a for a long time. An old desktop app called LICM (LinkedIn Contact Manager), developed by someone in Europe, did it. At the time, though, the founder apparently had permission from LinkedIn to do it (written permission!). Not everyone at LinkedIn got the memo and users of LICM found they were locked out of their accounts because they had violated the user agreement. This was back in 2006 or 2007… YUCK!
I have had conversations with various LinkedIn employees about having an interface. Even after they created their “open API” I couldn’t do it. Finally I found out that LinkedIn considered JibberJobber competitive, and they wouldn’t allow us to API.
The bottom line is that if we do something, I want to do it legally and ethically. I don’t ever want to put YOUR LinkedIn access/account in jeopardy. So, we don’t have an interface, even though there are other sites that illegally scrape (and LinkedIn hasn’t gone after them).
You can learn more about the current topic here: LinkedIn Sues Unknown Hackers in an Attempt to Find Out Who They Are.
I wish LinkedIn and JibberJobber could play nicely, but until the mindset at LinkedIn changes, I don’t think that will happen.
Whew! Thank goodness for long holidays when the rest of the world has a couple of weeks of (and doesn’t respond to email) I spent all of last week and all of today updating the 4th edition of I’m on LinkedIn – Now What??? and sent it to the publisher a couple of minutes ago.
My next big project is to redo the LinkedIn for Job Seekers DVD… I expect to take all of this week and next week to do that.
I’ll let you know when those two things are available…