LinkedIn for Job Seekers, Fifth Edition Video Course

July 12th, 2017

Today I am adding the twenty three videos that make up the fifth edition of the LinkedIn for Job Seekers course into the JibberJobber Video Library.

I used to sell this as a DVD, then as a streaming course, for $50.  But now you can get this course, AND all of the other courses, AND JibberJobber Premium, for one year for only $60. It’s like it’s Black Friday all the time around here :)  Just login and then click the bottom link to upgrade to get access to this course, the rest of the video library, and all JibberJobber Premium features.

There are still a few tweaks I need to clean up, but instead of making you wait to access it, you’ll have the whole thing today or tomorrow. We’ll do our cleanup in the background and hopefully you won’t notice anything amiss :)

Here are three videos that you’ll like:

LinkedIn Search Optimization: one of the reasons people upgrade is to get better search results. I tell them, why not learn how to use LinkedIn search better, so you get better results whether you upgrade OR NOT?

jibberjobber_linkedin_optimzing_search

Asking for and using Recommendations: LinkedIn has made a big deal out of skills and endorsements, but Recommendations is, in my opinion, much more powerful. This is a great opportunity to network, and get specific language you can use for your personal branding.  In this video I teach you what you are really after (what kind of language is valuable to you), how to ask for a Recommendation and get one that is awesome (instead of vague dribble), and then what to do with the Recommendation once you get it.

jibberjobber_linkedin_v5_usingRecommendations

Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile: Below The Fold: LinkedIn made some HUGE changes to your Profile in 2017, and it’s so important to understand what we can do to still have people find, read, and be impressed with our Profile.  The beauty of my LinkedIn Profile writing system is that you can add to it and tweak over time… you don’t have to sit down for to solid days and pour all of your creativity into it. Let’s make your Profile great!

jibberjobber_linkedin_v5_belowTheFold

Those are just three screenshots… you can see the videos are about ten minutes long…. I tried to make them shorter because all the experts say we our attention spans are too short for anything over three minutes, but really, there’s just too much to say. So, you get about ten minutes to learn what you need to learn.

Here’s the table of contents… I’ll add and update this over time to keep it current.

01: Introduction

02: The Landing Page

03: Profile: Above the Fold

04: Profile: The Summary

05: Profile: Below the Fold

06: Profile: Adding Rich Media

07: Profile: Wrap-up

08: Giving Recommendations

09: Receiving Recommendations

10: Companies

11: LinkedIn Groups

12: LinkedIn Jobs

13: Optimizing Search

14: X-ray Search

15: Communicating with Others through LinkedIn

16: Settings and Privacy

17: Status Updates and Posting Articles

18: BONUS: Exporting Contacts (for backup)

19: BONUS: Cleaning Exported Contacts

20: BONUS: FAQs I Get About LinkedIn

21: BONUS: Importing into JibberJobber

22: BONUS: Ten Things to Do or Know Right Now

Want access to this? Go to JibberJobber, login, then click Pricing or Upgrade at the very bottom.  You’ll see this new course up by tomorrow night under Tools >> JibberJobber Videos.

Enjoy!

 

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LinkedIn Open Candidates: Letting Recruiters Know You Are Available

April 20th, 2017

My friend at a top eMBA program asked if I recommend turning on the Open Candidates section of LinkedIn, for job seekers.

Haven’t heard of Open Candidates?  That’s okay, I haven’t talked to anyone who has.  The blog post in October 2016 is titled: Now you Can Privately Signal to Recruiters You’re Open to New Job Opportunities

Basically, what they are trying to solve with this solution is letting recruiters know that you are looking (or open, or available), without letting your current employer know.  It’s supposed to help you be an undercover job seeker, and not set off the alarm at your own company (lest you get fired for looking).

It’s a cool idea, and I don’t not suggest it. I honestly don’t know how effective it is… how many recruiters are getting notified that you are now available?  If they aren’t seeing this anywhere, then it’s not doing much good, right? However, it’s a simple process to turn on, and it could help, so why not?

If you are really concerned about a current employer seeing that you are broadcasting yourself as a job seeker, even though they are paying your salary, then I would probably recommend you DO NOT turn this on. Why?

LinkedIn says: “You can privately indicate to recruiters on LinkedIn without worrying. We will hide the Open Candidates signal from recruiters at your company or affiliated company recruiters.

Sorry, but my paranoid self thinks that this could go wrong. LinkedIn says to not worry, but what if they make a mistake and somehow, a recruiter (or worse, my boss) at my company sees that I’m open?  What if the recruiting company they outsource to finds my resume and submits it?  But, you say, LinkedIn said “or affiliated company recruiters.”  What if they make a mistake, and don’t know about all of the affiliated company recruiters?

What if all the technology works fine, but, well, didn’t you know that recruiters talk?  They are human, after all. And they can get you in a heap of trouble.

So, turn it on? Yes, unless you are in a confidential job search.  Then, stay confidential, and don’t trust that technology mean to broadcast your availability to keep you confidential :)

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I Guess LinkedIn Really Isn’t a CRM. Huh.

December 20th, 2016

Over the years I would get invitations to connect with people on LinkedIn, and they would say “I use LinkedIn as my CRM…”

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Manager. Think Salesforce, Highrise, even the oldies ACT! and Goldmine.  There are hundreds of CRMs.

JibberJobber was designed with “relationship manager” in mind… because we need a tool to help us manage the relationships we have with people we meet and want to meet. As important, we can use a tool that helps us with our follow-up, etc.

So yeah, chuckle and shake my head was my standard response for people saying they used LinkedIn as a CRM.  For a while, it really didn’t have any CRM functionality.  Then, they bought a CRM startup, and … nothing. Years passed and people still didn’t know the features were there.  My message to people was “use LinkedIn as it was designed… to find people, and be found by others, but get a real and independent CRM for relationship management.”

There are various reasons to get a different system for CRM, but for me the most important was that LinkedIn had (and has) a history of taking away features that we (the users) tend to find useful, but for some reason they don’t want to keep around anymore.

Remember Answers? Events (I never cared for it, but of all the features that LinkedIn removed, this was the one that I heard the most complaints over)?  How about the ability to view profiles of third degree contacts?

All pretty much gone.  Check out this article at their help center: Relationship Section of Profile – No Longer Available

What does this mean?

It means that you should always separate your CRM needs from your social tools.  Always.

I feel bad for the people who used LinkedIn as their CRM… because in a few months, all of the rich data they’ve entered there will *poof* away, just like the history of Answers.  Bleh.

And… use JibberJobber for your CRM needs.

 

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LinkedIn: Should I put “unemployed” or “looking” in my Professional Headline?

August 23rd, 2016

The professional headline on LinkedIn is the line that shows up directly below your name. For example, here’s mine:

jason_alba_linkedin_profile

One of the most common questions I get about the professional headline, from people who are looking for a new job, is: what do I put here?  Do I put the title I used to have, or do I put that I’m open to new opportunities (or any of the dozen other ways to say that)?

For a while, my answer was to focus on your value.  What do you bring to the table? That is what you should put there.  The reason I said this is because the professional headline is one of the first branding impressions that someone can get about you, and in some cases, it’s the ONLY branding impression they might see of you on LinkedIn. Don’t be too generic or vague… have a solid branding statement that accurately depicts your strengths now, and where you are headed.

Then, I heard about a friend’s husband who changed his professional headline to show that he was a consultant (I think that is what he did).  He immediately had a very interesting reaction: people congratulated him for this big step in his career.  He did this so that he could “fill a gap on his resume.”  This is why a lot of job seekers become quote-consultants-unquote.  The unintended impact of changing from “looking for work” to “consultant” is that his friends essentially said “great job, now you have landed, and I don’t have to worry about helping you anymore :)”  He quickly realized what he did and changed his professional headline back.

The argument for putting “I’m looking” is that it let’s people know you are open, and could even use some help (networking introductions, referrals, etc.).  It also tells recruiters and hiring managers that you are available immediately, and don’t have to tie up the same loose ends that someone in a job would have to tie up.

The argument for NOT putting “I’m looking” is that it might make you look like used material, and worse, that recruiters and decision-makers might discriminate against you because you are not employed.  This is a real thing, but I think that since 2006, it’s gotten a lot better (since so many people were out of work).  My argument, especially in the early days, has been to focus on what you bring to the table (your skills, passions, etc.), not on your employment status.

Note: Do not put your past title… unless (a) it is the exact same title that you are looking for next, and (b) really, and simply, communicates what your brand is.

So, those are the two sides…. what do you think?  What should someone put in their professional headline, if they are unemployed, or looking for a new job?

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Microsoft Buys LinkedIn?

June 13th, 2016

Wow… didn’t see that coming.

Will be interesting to see what happens. My guess is nothing.  Looks to me like it will be run as an independent company…

Much of what I’m reading (in comments) reflects low confidence that this is a good move for LinkedIn.

So, this is a wonderful announcement for the owners, and time will tell how it will be for users.  Probably just as good as it has ever been.

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LinkedIn Summary vs. LinkedIn Experience Sections

March 29th, 2016

I got this question from Derek, who saw my LinkedIn Optimization course on Pluralsight (which you can get access to for free… read below):

“I just completed the course on LinkedIn Profile Optimization and feel that I have a strong above the fold profile which the video was mainly focused on.

The video didn’t focus on the experience section and what to write based off what you did at the company. You touched on writing mini stories for the summary and experience sections, I am not sure writing only mini stories will give the best overall picture in the experience section. Do you have another video on pluralsight that helps enhance the content for the experience section?”

This is a great question. After doing group trainings and one-on-one consultations for years, I feel like my “best answer” is jelling pretty good. Of course, there are exceptions, but in 99% of the one-on-one consultations I do, and the Profile critiques I’ve done, the answer below will be appropriate.

It’s critical to think about the LinkedIn Profile as one single marketing document.  If you break up the sections of the Profile, and think about them as a critical reader (recruiter, hiring manager, prospective funder, partner, prospect, customer, etc.) might, you could probably guess that some parts are more important than others.  For example, your Professional Headline is not only at the top, but it’s a part of your “mini profile,” and seen in other places on LinkedIn (other than your Profile page). On the other hand, the best way to contact me, or the seeking sections, are largely ignored (by design, because they are so far down the Profile).

If we think about the Profile as a single marketing document, the question is, what is the single message of the document?  I am now counseling my consultation customers to have that single message communicated in a concise and clean way in the Professional Headline.  This is what I call your “main claim,” or your primary claim.  Then, your Summary has five to seven secondary claims, ALL OF THEM SUPPORTING THE MAIN CLAIM.  These can be communicated in various ways, my favorite of which is the mini-stories.

You can see all of this in action in my LinkedIn Profile Optimization course on Pluralsight for free.  How?  JibberJobber users get a free 30 day pass to Pluralsight, which means you can watch this, and dozens of my other courses (including the LinkedIn Proactive Strategies course), during your 30 day window.  Click here to see how you can have access within a 60 seconds – no credit card required.

Okay, so in the Pluralsight course, it’s clear how to position the secondary claims and make your Summary much better than the status quo.  Derek gets that, but wonders what to do in the Experience section, which some people call the job description – the parts in each of the jobs you list in your Profile. This really isn’t a job description, although some people treat it that way. I suggest you make this more about YOU and less about the job.

How do you do that?

I think the best way is to use the exact same strategy as what you used in the Summary section. That is, secondary claims (that all support the primary claim in the Professional Headline), with mini-stories that (a) present the claim, (b) give a “for example,” and (c) quantify the results.

Mini-stories are SO powerful. When you align them with your primary claim, you give further evidence and support that your primary claim is valid, and that you are focused and understand your value.

What I normally see is resume-like statements that are super concise, and super dry and boring. Worse, they look cliche. They look like what anyone else would write that has your same job history, and is making the same claims, and is looking for the same job you are looking for.

Okay, you think, maybe that’s not so bad.  To be honest with you, having resume-speak on your Profile is better than the weak, non-information that I see on too many Profiles. So kudos for having anything that helps me understand you more.

But what I’d rather see you have in your “experience” sections are mini-stories that each (a) make a claim, (b) give me a meaty for-example, and (c) tell me why it matters (ie, the quantification)… this is what we accomplish with mini-stories, and (d) support the primary claim. This last part is important so the reader doesn’t get sidetracked by irrelevant information.

That’s my recommendation… from the summary all the way down through the Experience section… claims, quantification, and alignment.

Do you have a different idea? Leave a comment and let us know!

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Should I Keep My LinkedIn Account?

October 13th, 2015

I got an email from a colleague who says he’s had this one question for a few months:

“Why should I keep LinkedIn?”

This is a good question.  Perhaps, maybe, you shouldn’t. Maybe you should delete it.

For most people, let me suggest that there’s no harm or commitment or money involved in keeping their LinkedIn account. It doesn’t make sense to delete your LinkedIn account, simply because it takes almost nothing to get it, and keep it up.

I’m not one of those LinkedIn enthusiasts that almost-blindly declares that you HAVE TO, or that not being on LinkedIn is a “deadly mistake” (um, it’s not deadly), or that “if you are not on LinkedIn, you don’t exist” (I’ve quoted recruiters on that one, though).  Not being on LinkedIn is not the end of the world.  Your career will not collapse, and you won’t be the laughing stock of the block if you don’t have a LinkedIn account.

The cost of having a LinkedIn account is so low (no money, just a little bit of time), and usually there is NO HARM (barring the weirdo stalkers that some people have to deal with) that I’m an advocate of having one.  Here is my advice for doing the least amount possible on LinkedIn:

  1. Get a free account
  2. Spend a couple/few hours on your Profile.
  3. Ignore all the invitations you get from people (unless you want to take a half second and accept

That’s a low-maintenance approach to having a LinkedIn account, and as far as some people are concerned, “existing.” If you are wondering how to optimize your LinkedIn Profile, check this Pluralsight course: LinkedIn Strategy: Optimize Your Profile. You can get a 30 day pass to Pluralsight, no credit card required, through JibberJobber – just check out the video here. All of my advice to help you have a great LinkedIn profile is in that video.

Let’s go back to the question… what if you aren’t’ getting any value out of LinkedIn? It’s “not working” for you? It seems like too many articles I read about LinkedIn on mainstream sites have more negative comments about LinkedIn than positive comments. Many people are frustrated, not finding value, etc. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t value to be found.

My argument is simple: in less than a couple of hours you can have a good-enough profiile, and then move on to the rest of your life. Really, nothing to lose.

If you want to do more, you can. If you want to get more, you can.  You’ll have to put some time and effort into it.  You’ll want to watch my LinkedIn: Proactive Strategies course on Pluralsight (again free, this is how).

Why would you keep it, and do nothing with it? Perhaps someone will find you. A new boss, a new partner, etc.

Why would you not keep it?  Perhaps you are worried about getting spam through LinkedIn. Or recruiters won’t stop bugging you. Or you really do have a stalker.  I’m not going to say you have to have an account. You can certainly live without one, and you can do very well. It’s not a requirement for success.

But for the cost, it seems like an easy choice to make.

 

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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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