Finding The Gold Vein In LinkedIn

November 16th, 2017

A gold vein is what every prospector wanted to find.  Imagine you are digging around hoping to find gold and you find a streak of gold that extends for a long ways… you just found a gold vein.  From wikipedia:

jibberjobber-linkedin-gold-vein

Find one and you are wealthy (as long as you can get the gold out :p).

In LinkedIn there is a section I talk about that I call “the gold vein of LinkedIn.” That is, you are digging around looking for the right contacts… and you can find a lot of relevant people you should reach out to!  It’s very cool and really, it’s been right under your nose the whole time.

Imagine you search for someone… a hiring manager or decision-maker.  For this example let’s say you are looking for a product manager, or chief product officer… anyone on the product team of a company.  You already know you’ll put in “product manager” + location in the search box, like this:

jibberjobber-linkedin-search

NOTE: LinkedIn has a limit on how many searches you can do per month. It is a ridiculous limit that is simply designed to get you to pay for an upgrade. There’s a super way to get around this loophole… more on that below.

On the search results you’ll find some excellent contacts… but you might not find all of the excellent contacts. What if you found a good 20 excellent contacts but you know there are more?  That’s where the gold vein of LinkedIn comes in.  Here’s what you do:

From the page(s) of the excellent contacts, on the right, you’ll see a list of other contacts under the header “People Also Viewed:”

jibberjobber-linkedin-gold-vein-example

This is a list of ten contacts.  Some of them are going to be as excellent as first contacts you found.  Others will not be relevant (like the last one on that list… a teacher at a school district (fine person, I’m sure, but not a product manager)).  I want you to focus on the excellent contacts.

The next step is to right-click on each of the highly relevant contacts and open the profile in a new tab. Then, from those pages, do the same thing: look at the People Also Viewed list, open the right contacts in new tabs, and do it again and again and again.

If you find the right ones you could easily have dozens of profile pages open at the same time… I’ve found this to be a better way of finding excellent contacts than just relying on the search results.

This is the easy part. Seriously, you need to actually reach out to those contacts with the goal of having a conversation with them (not just “connecting” on LinkedIn with them, which too often is just the dead end of networking).

So what about that limiting loophole? Instead of searching through LinkedIn, search for LinkedIn profile through Google (or bing or yahoo or whatever you use).

These, and other tricks, can be found in my LinkedIn for Job Seekers video course. I used to sell it for $50, but now you can get access to it, and dozens of other videos and courses, PLUS a full year of JibberJobber premium, for only $60. That’s a savings of hundreds of dollars, and a value that can help get your job search on the right track!  Just login to JibberJobber and click on Upgrade in the bottom menu and then you’ll have access to this (and more) on the Videos page:

linkedin-for-job-seekers-videos

 

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Microsoft and LinkedIn Integration: Resume Assistant

November 13th, 2017

Last week Kylan Nieh of Microsoft/LinkedIn announced the newest integration called Resume Assistant. It looks really cool:

linkedin-resume-assistant

The only think I’d like to point out is that my advice is to have the wording and messaging on your LinkedIn Profile be different than, but complementary to, your resume.

The resume format and wording is pretty standard… strong action verbs that are past tense, short bullet points with plenty of quantifications, generally one or two pages, etc.

If I see this during a LinkedIn Profile consultation I always talk about changing it so that it’s a more interesting read, taking advantage of what LinkedIn offers, and more on-message for people reading your Profile (who are not necessarily looking for a resume format).

If you have a LinkedIn Profile with better wording, that is more enticing, will that transfer well to a resume?

(If it does transfer well to a resume, I think you have some work to do!)

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Ask the Coach #7: LinkedIn Privacy Expectations?

October 20th, 2017

This question is from the client of one of our coaches… Perry Newman asked me to share it amongst the group to see what everyone thought. Perry’s client, Grant, asks:

My question for you was about LinkedIn and the “letting recruiters knows your open” feature. Does this put anything on your profile for your connections to see? I saw it said we try to keep it private, but cannot guarantee. I have seen profiles in the past where it says “open to new opportunities”… for obvious reasons at this point I don’t want that on there for my colleagues to see and because I deal with some of our biggest customers day in day out whom I have connections with this could cause concern on their side too (if they even see it).

This is a really good, and very important, question.  Since I wrote a book on LinkedIn, and have done a gabillion trainings on LinkedIn (the most current is in the JibberJobber Video Library), I’m going to chime in.


jason-alba-125Jason Alba, author of I’m on LinkedIn – Now What, creator of the video course LinkedIn for Job Seekers, and CEO of JibberJobber.com

Here’s the bottom line: Assume that anything you ever do, or put, on any website, including social media, and LinkedIn, is visible to anyone. Period.

Seriously, there are no guarantees of privacy. Want multiple extreme examples? There are too many private pictures that people have shared on Snapchat (that website who’s promise was to not allow anyone to share or keep pictures) online. How is it that Snapchat has implied a promise that they would keep these private things private, but they are out in the public?

There is no guarantee, ever, of privacy or security online. Ever.

Even the biggest companies with the best security teams have had problems with privacy and security. Think Equifax (oops!), and many others (click the orange slideshow button to be depressed about this whole topic).

Here’s my bottom line: do not trust that any company will or can protect your private stuff, including your private status of looking for a job. No matter what LinkedIn says (you already said they cannot guarantee it, so there’s your answer from them), you should keep your private stuff offline if you are worried that it might get out.

Let’s assume, though, that they guaranteed it. Imagine the following scenario: Your best friend sees your status as being open to a new gig, and he immediately screenshots it and emails it to his local recruiter contacts to “help” you.  So much for privacy.

No site can plug the loophole that security professionals call “social engineering.”


atc_3_headshot_craig_toadtman_125Craig B Toedtman, Job Search Consultant, Career Adviser, Coach, Executive Search Consultant

As the LinkedIn fine print indicates, privacy can’t be guaranteed. My advice would be to refrain from turning the signal on. More importantly, make certain your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date and separates you from your competition through your work experience, recommendations, and all avenues available through LinkedIn. A good recruiter will search for all qualified candidates without regard to whether the “open for opportunities” switch is on. If you are the right person for the specific job, you will be found, and the recruiter will reach out to you. At that point, you should stress the importance of maintaining confidentiality as long as possible.


atc_headshot_john_sattler_125John Sattler, Certified Personnel Consultant and Certified Professional Resume Writer

SHARING YOUR CAREER INTERESTS WITH RECRUITERS:
The feature merely prompts the software to allow your profile to show up in relevant searches run only by those with LinkedIn’s Premium Talent Solution Subscription. This is an expensive subscription, running between $1200 – $12,000 annually, per person, which pretty much means only serious recruiters are involved.

NO, enabling LinkedIn’s recruiter alert does not flag your profile in any visible way.

This link gives step-by-step instructions on how to find, enable, and use the “share career interests with recruiters” prompt:
https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/answer/67405?lang=en#!

This link shows exactly what will be shared with recruiters:
https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/answer/76792

MORE ON THE GUARANTEE (or not) of PRIVACY:
On the privacy issue, what LinkedIn seems to be saying is, ‘although the software is designed NOT to allow your profile to appear in searches run by a representative of your company, we can’t guarantee it.’

This link explains how LinkedIn protects your privacy with the recruiter alert enabled:
https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/answer/76791

I believe this is a reasonable caveat on Linkedin’s part. The software has millions of lines of code handling millions of searches a day. I doubt anyone would guarantee there never will be a snafu.

Should this stop you from using the feature? It’s your call but my opinion is absolutely not. I know the feature can work well.

FLAGGED PROFILES:
When you see “open to new opportunities,” or something similar on a profile, the profile owner did this themselves. LinkedIn used to offer a ”Job Seeker Badge,” though it has been discontinued.

MORE ON LINKEDIN JOB SEEKER HELP:
This video shows how LinkedIn “Premium Job Seeker” works: https://premium.linkedin.com/jobsearch

This link shows how to find LinkedIn Groups that will help with your job search: https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/answer/186


atc_headshot_sonia_cerezo_125Sonia Cerezo, Certified Professional Career Coach

Dear Grant,

I would suggest you make sure your LinkedIn profile is spot on. Be sure you use all the space available in the summary section, and use industry keywords several times through your profile. It is also important to have recommendations and endorsements. When updating your profile be sure to turn off your notification button, once you are done then turn it back on.

The next step is to contribute, share or like something daily. This increases your opportunities to be found quicker.

The most important thing to remember, whether actively or passively looking for a job, you are in the driver’s seat don’t assume others will find you. LinkedIn as a research tool, so make the most of it. Once you have identified recruiters connect with them outside of LinkedIn either by calling or emailing them and tell them you are conducting a confidential job search.

If they only way to connect is via LinkedIn, send them an invitation to connect but don’t connect with them yet. Inform them about your discreet job search and include your email so you can connect offline, then send your resume and take it from there.

Remember recruiters are working on many positions they need to fill, so don’t feel bad about following up with them. Also, be sure to keep a list of the recruiters, with follow-up dates. Once again, this is your job search, so don’t be shy about touching base.

Wishing you the very best!


Thanks to the coaches who chimed in! To see past Ask the Coach questions and responses, click here!

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LinkedIn Title When You Are Unemployed?

August 1st, 2017

This is a post from a few years ago, but just as relevant today: LinkedIn Current Title When You Are… Unemployed?

The big question is, do you brand yourself as what your profession is, what you want it to be, or that you are unemployed?

Check out the post and the comments… and feel free to add your two cents!

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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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