Power Formula LinkedIn Blog

Here Is How To Make LinkedIn Part Of Your 2019 Success Plan

Posted on October 6, 2018
Site Administrator

Are you starting to put your game plan together for 2019? Is LinkedIn part of that plan? If not, it's probably because you don't know exactly what to do each week to get results.

Well, it's your lucky day. I recently revised and updated my LinkedIn Game Plan for Success: Your One-Hour Weekly Playbook for Results. It's received rave reviews from my recent audiences, and I know you're going to love it, too.

Start following these steps this fall so that by the start of 2019 they become part of your weekly routine.

2019 LinkedIn Game Plan for Success

You can download Power Formula for LinkedIn Success 3rd Editionthe full worksheet below, but here's a quick summary of the weekly process that's sure to kick-start your business and career in the new year.

Page number references in the worksheet refer to the 3rd Edition of my book The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success. Pick up a copy at your nearby book store or Amazon.com to learn more simple ways to acquire lucrative new customers, land a great new job, and, of course, substantially boost your income.

1. Start by checking out profiles of people you're considering connecting with, taking specific note of the things they're posting and sharing.
 Consider mentioning them using the "@" sign before typing in their name when sharing one of their updates. Then be sure to keep an eye on your "Who's Viewed Your Profile" section to see if they check you out. That would be a good sign.

2. Use a custom invitation and invite ten people in your target audience to join your network. This will take about 15 minutes per week, but strengthening your network is bound to result in more future business.

3. Send a follow-up thank-you note to ten people who have agreed to join your network. This should only take about ten minutes, and it gives you an opportunity to request a meeting or phone call that could lead to new business or lucrative referrals.

4. Engage with your audience. Like, share or comment on status updates, published posts or company page updates made by ten of your most important connections. This, too, should only take about ten minutes, and it's a great way to stay on the radar of your target audience.

5. Post ten helpful status updates each week. This might take you 20 minutes per week, but it will go a long way toward establishing yourself as a rockstar in your field—and it also gives you an opportunity to promote your products and services.

Use my 6/3/1 rule when making your posts. Six posts can provide useful content from others, three posts should include helpful content from you and your company, and one post can promote your products or services.

You're now prepared to hit the ground running in the new year and make it your best year ever.


Download (PDF, 2.66MB)

Are You Finding that No One is Listening to You on LinkedIn?

Posted on September 28, 2018
Wayne Breitbarth

"Lately I seem to have a much lower level of engagement (views, likes, comments or shares) on the articles I'm writing and the things I'm posting on LinkedIn."

I hear this frequently from my consulting clients as well as people in my LinkedIn network. They want to know why this is happening and how they can get back to "the good old days."

First, more people are writing and sharing than ever before on LinkedIn, so the news feed is getting more crowded. Secondly, because LinkedIn has set up an algorithm to decide what information goes into people's feeds, not everything you share goes into every one of your connections' feeds. Check out this article to get more details about how the algorithm works.

Because fewer people are receiving your articles and status updates, it's more important than ever to share the type of information your network is most likely to find useful and thus share, like or comment on—or, better yet, directly engage with you.

Because I understand that might be easier said than done, here are some ideas and resources that have worked for me and my clients and may help you, too, get the amount of engagement you got "back in the day."

Strategies to increase engagement with your LinkedIn posts

In addition to the suggestions below, feel free to check out LinkedIn's helpful guide Sharing Content on LinkedIn–Best Practices.

Make sure your content is relevant and interesting to your target audience. The topics or questions you've discussed with your clients and professional associates this week are probably on the minds of your network as well. Therefore, this is the type of helpful information you should be sharing. Personally, this is how I choose the topics for my weekly LinkedIn email and blog.

Be sure your post is visually interesting and appealing. When you share something on LinkedIn, make sure you post an image—or if you're sharing a link, be sure the visual that is populated from the web page is interesting. Also, LinkedIn seems to be giving feed algorithm preference to video right now; so sharing any form of video will typically result in higher engagement than simple text.

Take advantage of hashtags. Hashtags are like a filing system for all content shared on LinkedIn. Thus, if you don't include them, your content may not be included in the mix. Be sure to include several relevant keyword hashtags at the end of your comments or weave a few into the comments themselves. LinkedIn will also suggest hashtags you could select that may apply to the topic of your post.

You can find more details about the use of hashtags here.

Draw individuals to the post by mentioning them. LinkedIn now allows you to tag or mention (using the "@" operator) individuals or companies that may be mentioned in the article or video you're sharing or that you want to be sure see your post. Because the individual or company is notified when you use the Mentions feature, they may be inclined to engage with your post.

You can get more information on the specifics of LinkedIn's Mentions feature by clicking here.

Respond to their engagement when it is your turn to do so. If you get notified that someone commented on or shared your posts, be sure to "like" their comment or share and thank them for doing so. Don't just type "Thanks for sharing, Wayne" but use the Mentions feature, and grab their name as part of the thank you by adding the "@" sign ahead of their name. Then when their name shows up on the drop-down list, click it, and LinkedIn will populate their name in the comment. In addition, that populated name is now a hyperlink to their profile, and they'll be notified that you mentioned them.

Ask a question or elicit an opinion. That sounds pretty simple, but I've found that if you ask people their opinion on something you've shared, you'll get responses from some of the people in your audience.

Sharing is caring. If the information you are sharing is something that comes with a very high value at a fairly low or no cost (e.g., a free webinar, download, etc.), then why not simply ask readers to hit the Share button and share it with their network—and don't be surprised when they do.

Implement these strategies, and watch engagement with your posts increase—and hopefully it will result in lots of calls, meetings, and productive email exchanges like in the "good old days."


What Are You Missing by NOT Paying for LinkedIn?

Posted on September 13, 2018

"Is it worth it to start paying for a premium LinkedIn account?"

I can always count on hearing this question during the Q&A portion of my LinkedIn presentations.

My latest LinkedIn user survey showed 20 percent of respondents have upgraded to one of the paid LinkedIn accounts—up from 15 percent a few years ago. More people are discovering specific features that work well for them, and they upgrade because they want more of those goodies. After five years of using a free account, I personally upgraded to a paid account in 2013.

To view a chart that outlines the additional features you will receive with the various types of paid accounts, do an internet search for “LinkedIn premium options.”

Who typically should upgrade to a paid LinkedIn account?

Consider moving to one of the paid accounts if you are:

  • A human resources professional
  • A recruiter
  • A sales professional who uses LinkedIn extensively for business development purposes
  • Someone who consistently runs into the screen that says you should upgrade

If you are regularly seeing the screen that suggests you should upgrade, you are probably using a LinkedIn feature that is working for you, and you may want to consider upgrading to one of the paid accounts. For example, if you like to send InMails, prefer to do an unlimited number of searches or would like to have more saved search alerts, you may want to upgrade your LinkedIn account.

In general, I do not recommend moving to a paid account unless you fall into one of the four categories listed above. However, in order to encourage more of us to pay for LinkedIn on a monthly basis, there will undoubtedly be more and more valuable new features available exclusively to premium members.

Features available to premium members

This is certainly not an exhaustive list of LinkedIn’s premium features, but here are a few features you might find useful:

More saved search alerts. The free account includes three saved searches. Many power users (including me) find this feature to be extremely valuable and well worth the money.

Longer list of search results. You get up to 100 results on the free account, but a longer list could mean more leads and thus more income.

Who’s Viewed Your Profile? With a free account, you can only see the last five people who have scoped you out. An upgraded account lets you see everyone who’s looked at your profile (unless they’ve blocked their name) in the last 90 days. This is one of the main reasons I finally broke down and upgraded my account.

Additional advanced search filters. I especially like being able to filter by company size.

InMails. An InMail is a direct message you can send to people who are not part of your first-level network. The number of InMails you are allotted per month varies based on the type of premium account you purchase, but you can purchase additional InMails for $10 each. However, before buying an InMail, be sure to check if you are in a group with your target, because common group membership enables you to send a free message. Also, if the recipient of your InMail replies within seven days, LinkedIn gives you a $10 credit.

The cost of InMails may seem a little steep, but many people find the extra income that results from response to their InMails actually covers the cost of their upgraded account.

Only you can determine whether a premium account will be worth your investment. Personally, I’m currently on the Sales Navigator Professional version, and I’m happy I upgraded my account because I’ve gotten quite a bit of new business by contacting people who have viewed my profile and sending InMails to people outside my network.

But if you choose to upgrade and later decide you’re not getting as much value as you’d like from your premium account, it’s easy to cancel your subscription and return to a free account. However, please note that if you pay for your subscription annually (rather than monthly) to save money and you want to return to a free account or move to a different premium level, LinkedIn will not refund your money.

If you'd like to learn more about the very best Sales Navigator features, check out my article "Is LinkedIn Sales Navigator Worth the Money?"

So, as you can see, the answer to whether it is worth the money to start paying for LinkedIn is yes, no or maybe. For me, it's definitely worth it, because I do a lot of searches for prospecting purposes.

If you'd like a personal tour and evaluation of Sales Navigator, sign up here for one of my specially priced $197 one-on-one, one-hour LinkedIn consultations.

I will share my computer screen with you during the call and send you a critiqued copy of your profile prior to the call.

There are limited spots available, so don't delay. Book your session today by clicking here.


This week I'm going to address another one of those frequently asked questions: How many characters can I use in my headline? Summary section? Job titles?

And in typical Wayne fashion, I'm not going to stop with the raw numbers. Rather, I'll comment on the most important character limits and why you may want to use all the characters LinkedIn allows.

(Note: All numbers in parentheses represent the maximum characters allowed.)

Individual Profile

Headline (120)  This is the most important real estate on your profile. Include the keywords people typically use when searching for someone in your space. Tell your story. Impress your target audience. As of this writing, you may be able to increase your headline to 220 characters if you enter it via the LinkedIn mobile app.

Summary (2,000)  It’s like a cover letter—or your 30-second elevator pitch. Here’s how I can help you. Tell your story. And don’t forget to include your most important keywords.

Website descriptions (30)  Be sure to use all three slots and describe them accordingly.

Experience Title (100)  Go beyond your standard biz card title. Be creative with keywords.

Experience description (2,000)  You can mention your past experience, but focus more on demonstrating your capabilities. Describe not only what you are doing but also what you can do to help customers/clients. Include keywords, of course.

Education/degree (100)  Rather than simply putting BBA, MBA, etc., add descriptive phrases that might help people discover your profile when they do a search; for example, BBA with an international accounting emphasis or BBA with a minor in Spanish.

Education/Fields of Study (100)  Highlight classes you took that relate to what you are doing in your current position or the position you are seeking.

Education/Activities and Societies (500)  Be descriptive. If you were the president of Beta Alpha Psi, the viewer of your profile will recognize your leadership ability. If you were the captain of the field hockey team, a kindred spirit may reach out to you.

Recommendations (3,000)  Your two most recent recommendations are prominently displayed. Encourage people who write your recommendations to share specific details about you so viewers of your profile will be inclined to do business with you.

Organizations (1,000)  This is a good place to share organizations that may or may not have their own official LinkedIn group.

Honors & Awards (1,000)  If you don’t toot your own horn, nobody will. Be proud. These entries are important differentiators and build credibility.

Skills (80)  You can list up to 50 skills, and you have 80 characters to describe each skill. So don’t shortchange yourself. This is great for SEO of your profile.

Phone number (25)  If you choose to list your phone number, only your first-level connections will be able to see it.

Address (1,000)  If you include your address, it will only be visible to your first-level connections.

Other Limits

Invitation-to-connect message (300)  You'll have to be creative to stay within this limit when you compose your customized invitations.

Direct message to first-level connections (1,900)  This is a very generous limit. Take full advantage of it, as well as your opportunity to include hyperlinks and attachments, when messaging your connections.

Direct, first-level connections (30,000)  Believe it or not, some people actually reach their limit.

Outbound invitations (5,000)  You can request more, and LinkedIn seems to give them out pretty freely at 100 per request.

Company name (100)  If your company name is less than 100 characters, I suggest adding a few of your most important keywords here.

Company About Us (2,000)  Use all of these characters to fully tell your company’s story, and don’t forget to include keywords, too. It’s a good idea to also include your company’s phone number and e-mail address.

Maximum number of groups (100)  You know the drill here. The more groups you're in, the more people who can find you. There are over three million groups. I'm sure you can find 100.

Status updates per day (no limit)  I suggest doing a couple each day.

Status updates (1,300)  You can use all 1,300 characters when sharing a status update. However, only 280 will transfer over to Twitter.

A robust network, fully optimized profile, and regular communication with your network will project trustworthiness and inspire confidence. This will increase engagement and ultimately lead to improved business and career success. So take full advantage of all the characters LinkedIn allows, and you'll be on your way to reaching (and exceeding) your goals.

Do You Know the LinkedIn Business Growth Formula?

Posted on September 1, 2018
Wayne Breitbarth

"I have been on LinkedIn for a long time now and still can't say that it has led me to any new relationships that have generated any new business."

I hear comments like this all too frequently when I meet with new consulting clients or speak at conferences and corporate events. LinkedIn is the largest database of decision-makers on the planet, but the majority of businesspeople have yet to figure out how to make money with it.

That's why I created The 5 C's: Using LinkedIn to Grow Your Business, and I've been sharing this proven strategy with my clients for the past five years.

I will be sharing this step-by-step process at my LinkedIn Extravaganza events this fall in the Midwest (click here for schedule and registration) and also at the Industrial Inbound Summit 2018 on October 3 in Milwaukee (use discount code WAYNE25 to save $25 off your registration).

But here is an overview of the 5 C's along with some of the specific Linkedin steps/features that you can begin implementing in your business right away.

5 Steps to LinkedIn Business Success

CREATE a customer-focused profile

  • Use special profile sections and add media to your profile Summary and Current Job Experience sections to highlight your area(s) of expertise.
  • Add your preferred contact information in your Summary and Current Job Experience sections.
  • Include calls to action throughout your profile to encourage readers to engage with you.

CONNECT with your prospects

  • Use Advanced People Search, Company Search, Alumni, Groups, People You May Know, and Who's Viewed Your Profile to find new prospects.
  • Use a five-star invitation to reach out to potential prospects. Include where you met (if applicable) and/or how you could help each other.
  • Always be on the lookout for quality connections. The larger your network, the more opportunity for business growth.

CATEGORIZE your connections

  • Download your connections database. You can then filter and sort the names for use outside of LinkedIn.
  • Consider upgrading to one of the premium LinkedIn accounts to receive additional profile sorting and saving options.

COMMUNICATE with your network

  • Stay in front of your audience by making daily status updates and publishing long-form articles.
  • Use direct messaging to contact your first-level connections and fellow group members. But don't contact them too often or sell too hard or they may remove you from their network.
  • Increase your exposure by engaging in group discussions and "liking," sharing or commenting on other people's status updates.

CAPITALIZE on existing relationships

  • Connect with all of your existing clients/customers.
  • Search their networks to find out who they know.
  • Get referrals, recommendations, and endorsements. It's easy—just ask!

To learn more about how the 5 C's formula can help you grow your bottom line, mark your calendar now and attend the Industrial Inbound Summit 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on October 3 (use WAYNE25 to save $25 off your registration) or one of my fall LinkedIn Extravaganza workshops: Grand Rapids MI (9/24), Chicago IL (10/1), Milwaukee WI (10/4) or Madison WI (10/17).


Get Your Free LinkedIn Grade Now!

Posted on August 25, 2018
Wayne Breitbarth

It's back-to-school time here in the United States, and that means lots of new beginnings—teachers, friends, activities, and, of course, a new grading period. So, what does this have to do with LinkedIn?

Well, a few years ago LinkedIn came out with a new, FREE grading system for all users. This was previously only available to their largest corporate users. It's called the LinkedIn Social Selling Index (SSI)Even though this tool has been available for free for three years now, most people have not taken advantage of it. 

Don't be turned off by the word "selling" just because you're not a salesperson. Let's face it—we're all selling something. If you're not selling products or services, you're selling yourself or your organization every day. And with the rise of social media, this has never been more true.

Get your score by simply clicking the Get Your Score button on this page: https://business.linkedin.com/sales-solutions/social-selling/the-social-selling-index

What's your score?

Yes, 100 is a perfect score, and I doubt anyone has achieved that score other than maybe Reid Hoffman (founder of LinkedIn) or Jeff Weiner (current CEO of LinkedIn). But be sure to look past just the raw score and see how you rank in your industry and your network, both in total and in each of the four scoring categories (maximum of 25 points for each category). Also, take note of the trend line for your score. These spots are where the information gets particularly helpful for you personally.

What is SSI and why should you care?

LinkedIn came up with SSI to score sales professionals and their company teams and track improvement and results, thus proving the ROI from upgrading to their most expensive premium sales upgrade called Sales Navigator. So, of course LinkedIn has a motive for spending time and effort to generate this information. They're hoping companies will upgrade all their salespeople to Sales Navigator.

However, now all users can learn and improve by tracking their Social Selling Index (SSI). It's easy to set goals after you receive your score from LinkedIn.

LinkedIn surveyed over 5,000 sales professionals, and they've shared the following fairly significant results that demonstrate the importance of becoming an SSI leader:

  • SSI leaders create 45% more opportunities per quarter than SSI laggards
  • SSI leaders are 51% more likely to hit quota than SSI laggards
  • 78% of social sellers outsell peers who don't use social media

How does LinkedIn determine your SSI score?

Your SSI score is based on what LinkedIn refers to as "The Four Pillars of Social." Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 7.06.14 AM

1. Establish your professional brand. Complete your profile with the customer in mind. Become a thought leader by publishing meaningful posts.

2. Find the right people. Identify better prospects in less time using efficient search and research tools.

3. Engage with insights. Discover and share conversation-worthy updates to create and grow relationships.

4. Build relationships. Strengthen your network by connecting and establishing trust with decision makers.

You can view LinkedIn's SlideShare presentations with additional Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 7.21.38 AMinsights on how to improve your score in these four areas. I would highly recommend you take the time to click through these presentations, especially the ones related to the areas where your SSI results indicate you have the most work to do.

I am in total agreement with LinkedIn that these are the four critical elements for getting results from all your social media channels—and not just for selling purposes but also for growing your brand, improving your business and personal marketing, and finding your next great job.

I think we should give LinkedIn a big "high five" for creating this tool and then start our own benchmarking efforts right away.

And just in case you're wondering, my SSI is currently 75, and I rank in the top 2% of my industry and network—but I won't be happy until I get to 100. I only scored 18 out of 25 in the "Engage with Insights" category, and I'm going to work on that.

Speaking of engaging, if you'd like to discuss how I can help you and your organization get your SSI numbers up and improve your LinkedIn results, then take advantage of my specially priced $197 LinkedIn consultation.

This consultation will take place on the phone, and I'll share my desktop screen with you. I will perform a detailed critique of your profile and email your marked-up profile to you prior to our session. Click here to book your time.

Here are a few comments from my recent clients:

"Great job offer received via LinkedIn only two days after consulting with Wayne!"

"He made the learning experience fun, interesting, and was a big help to me. It has increased my exposure almost two-fold in a couple weeks."

"I highly recommend Wayne's 1:1 LinkedIn coaching session. Per Wayne's guidance, I reached out to the SVP of Client Success for a company I saw a suitable role. I used language Wayne provided in our 1:1 session to initiate the contact...Since then I've had an initial interview and interacted with the SVP multiple times."

Don't miss your chance to get results like these. Book your time now by clicking here. Space is limited.

Is Opportunity Calling You on LinkedIn?

Posted on August 17, 2018
Wayne Breitbarth

When you answer the door or the phone and aren't sure what the person wants, you undoubtedly say, "How can I help you?"

But why aren't you asking the same question when strangers ask you to join their LinkedIn network?

Perhaps it's because you aren't really sure how to pose the question on LinkedIn or don't understand the benefit of asking how you can help.

Now, of course, some of the strangers are spammers or just want to sell you something you're pretty sure you don't need. With those folks, just hit the Ignore button.

But with other people who ask you to join their network, don't be so quick to hit the Ignore button on your computer or X on your mobile app, because a new, productive relationship may be just a button click away.

Simple ways to decide whether or not to reach out to strangers

Start by going to your Pending Invitations page. You'll find this page by clicking the My Network icon on your top toolbar. Choose Manage all, and LinkedIn will then display all of your inbound invitations in the order you received them.

If people include a personal message with their invitation, you'll see the message in a message box both on your mobile app or on your computer. Personally, I always look at these invitations first because they may require a prompt response.

To improve your chances of receiving a favorable response when you ask someone how you can help him/her, follow these three simple steps:

  • Check out the person's profile in detail, looking at his/her jobs, volunteer experience, education, and accomplishments.
  • See who you have as mutual connections, and consider reaching out to one or more of those people to get more information about the person who's asked you to join his/her network.
  • View the person's recent activity and published posts to see the type of information he/she is sharing with his/her network.

Once you're confident you should ask the How can I help you? question, click Message or Reply to [name] in the person's Pending Invitation box. You can then reply without accepting the person's invitation to connect.

You might say something like:

Thanks for asking me to join your LinkedIn network. I typically don't accept people into my network until I have either met them or understand how we might be able to help each other. So let me know how we might be able to collaborate. I look forward to hearing from you."

This simple technique will scare away anyone who's simply in the spam business and will encourage the others to share what is on their mind. You may be surprised by how many people are truly interested in helping you—and some are probably requesting a connection because someone you know and trust referred them to you.

This technique has helped me and my consulting clients find many new, important relationships. And opportunity may be calling you on LinkedIn, too—so why not give it a try.


Are You Missing Important Information on Your LinkedIn Profile?

Posted on August 12, 2018
Wayne Breitbarth

I field lots of questions each week about LinkedIn, but one of the most-asked questions is:

What information should I include on my LinkedIn profile?

As a general rule, if your answer to any of these questions is "Yes," then you should include the information on your profile:

  • Does putting this on my profile add to my story or increase my credibility?
  • Does putting this on my profile make it easier for people to find me?
  • If I do not put this on my profile and my competitors have it on their profiles, will I be at a competitive disadvantage?
  • Does this information help people understand what I do and how I can help them?

Other frequently asked profile questions

Here are some of the answers I typically give when asked specific questions about profile details.

Should I include my high school?

Yes, because people will find you when searching for your school, and people love doing business with fellow alumni.

Should I include an educational entry even if I didn't finish and get the degree I was aiming for?

Yes, as long as you are truthful and don't state that you completed the degree. Having that entry on your profile could help others find you in a search since you'll be one of the people who shows up in a search if someone uses the "Schools" filter or the Alumni search feature.

Should I include my Rotary Club membership (or similar civic type organizations)?

Yes, because people will find you when searching for other Rotarians, and people do like to do business with like-minded fellow club members. Also, others in the community will respect you for helping others.

Should I include the awards I won ten years ago at a prior job?

Yes, because awards enhance your credibility and add to your story even if they are unrelated to your current job duties.

Should I include specific industry training programs or courses?

Yes, because it will obviously enhance your credibility and increase your chances of being found when someone is searching for people with that specific type of training/course.

Should I include the certifications I hold?

Of course, because certifications are instant proof of credibility, and people will search for professionals with those credentials.

Should I include local groups or associations I currently belong to or have belonged to in the past?

Yes, you should. Because people like doing business with others who have the same interests and affiliations, including your groups and associations could open the door. This is also another way to enhance your credibility.

Should I include all the jobs I've ever had?

Of course, because when adding connections, many people look for people they've worked with in the past. This will obviously help your past colleagues find you. Also, your job experiences help you tell your story, and the information you share might be just what a viewer of your profile is looking for.

Bottom line:  If you've done it, you're proud of it, and you want the professional world to know about it, put it on your LinkedIn profile!


If you'd like help creating an engaging, highly visible LinkedIn profile and a meaningful LinkedIn strategy that will skyrocket your business and career, then take advantage of my specially priced $197 LinkedIn consultation.

This consultation will take place on the phone, and I'll share my desktop screen with you. I will perform a detailed critique of your profile and email your marked-up profile to you prior to our session. Click here to book your time.

Here are a few comments from my recent clients:

"Great job offer received via LinkedIn only two days after consulting with Wayne!"

"He made the learning experience fun, interesting, and was a big help to me. It has increased my exposure almost two-fold in a couple weeks."

"I highly recommend Wayne's 1:1 LinkedIn coaching session. Per Wayne's guidance, I reached out to the SVP of Client Success for a company I saw a suitable role. I used language Wayne provided in our 1:1 session to initiate the contact...Since then I've had an initial interview and interacted with the SVP multiple times."

Don't miss your chance to get results like these. Book your time now by clicking here. Space is limited.

It only takes about five minutes on LinkedIn to put together a perfect list of people you might want to meet—and you don't even need a premium membership to do it.

But I'm always amazed at just how many self-proclaimed experienced LinkedIn users do not know how to do this. Therefore, I'm going to show you just how simple it is to do it with the current free LinkedIn user interface.

At this time there are fourteen available filters (e.g., title, locations, current and past companies) when using LinkedIn on your desktop and seven available filters when you're using the LinkedIn mobile app. These will help you quickly narrow down the 600+ million person LinkedIn database to the exact right list for you.

Building a highly targeted LinkedIn prospect list

Whether you're looking for new customers, donors for your nonprofit, or a great new job, these simple steps will help you build the perfect list of prospects to reach your personal or professional goals.

1. Put your cursor in your top toolbar search box and select Search for People when the drop-down menu appears.

2. Click the words All Filters in the white toolbar that appears below your top toolbar.

3. Put the words you'd like to search for in the appropriate filter boxes or check the box if your desired word(s) already appears under a filter category. Use LinkedIn's Boolean search rules so you get the best possible list. For instance, if you search for executive vice-president, you'll get people who have executive and/or vice-president on their profile. If you search for "executive vice-president" (with quotation marks), you'll get only people who have executive vice-president on their profile. When you've entered all your words and checked any applicable boxes, click the blue Apply button.

For example, if I am looking for people who work at Harley-Davidson with a current title that includes the word purchasing or sourcing, my entries would look like this.

LinkedIn then gives me a list of 78 people who meet those search criteria. Everyone who does this search exactly as I've done it will get a list of 78 people, but the order of the list (LinkedIn calls this relevancy to the searcher) and access to full profiles (currently you can view the profiles of 1st degree, 2nd degree, 3rd degree and fellow LinkedIn group members) will be different for each person who performs the search.

Getting your perfect list is just that simple and only takes about five minutes, but what should you do next? Check out my recent article How to Improve Your Chances of Getting a Response on LinkedIn to learn tips and tricks for capitalizing on the list you receive.

LinkedIn Tips for the Discreet Job Seeker

Posted on July 28, 2018
Wayne Breitbarth

Are you stuck in a dead-end job? Not making the money you deserve? Just need a change but afraid your boss will find out if you start looking for a new job? LinkedIn to the rescue!

Obviously, you don’t want to use words like seeking, pursuing or looking in your LinkedIn profile—that’s the quickest way to the unemployment line. But sprucing up your profile, joining the right groups, and “following” companies you’d like to work for are a few of the easy steps you can take when looking for a new job “under the radar.”

Spruce up your profile

If you have used your LinkedIn account sparingly and all of a sudden there’s a flurry of activity, this might be a red flag to your boss. Therefore, if you plan to make edits to your profile, be sure that the Share with network button is toggled over to "No" to turn off the notifications to your network about the profile changes you are making.

Keywords. Use plenty of the keywords hiring managers and recruiters might use to find people with your specialties and skills (e.g., job duties, titles, industry certifications, software expertise, etc).

For help on this, download my worksheet Keywords: The Key to Being Found on LinkedIn from the free resources page of my website.

Summary. This is tricky. You need to look like a happy employee while at the same time touting your expertise and accomplishments. Keywords are definitely important. For example, “Johnson Company always puts the customer first, and my attention to detail and ability to provide excellent customer service make me a good fit at Johnson.”

Experience. Include a detailed description of your accomplishments for every job entry you include in this section. You’re trying to differentiate yourself from other job applicants, so don’t skimp here.

Headline. You only get one shot at a first impression. Make it a good one. It’s short—only 120 characters on the desktop—so you’ll need to be creative. But if you input this section using your LinkedIn mobile app, then you get 220 characters. A note of caution: Most people can use this trick, but occasionally people find that LinkedIn won't let them do this. I hope you're one of the lucky ones! Also, be sure to include your best keywords.

For additional help on this critical section of your profile, download my free worksheet The Definitive Worksheet to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile Headline on the free resources page of my website.

Skills. LinkedIn members will give you endorsements for your skills, and you’ll want to focus on including the skills you hope to use in your new job.

Accomplishments special profile sections. Options include Publications, Certifications, Patents, Courses, Projects, Honors & Awards, Test Scores, Languages, and Organizations. These are a terrific way to impress readers of your profile and differentiate yourself from other candidates.

Education. In addition to your general educational background, include any specialized courses you’ve completed. Describe them in detail and use lots of keywords.

Recommendations. Outside corroboration of the information on your profile is extremely important. Your two most recent recommendations will be prominently displayed on your profile, so try to get at least two current, impactful recommendations. You probably don’t want to ask your boss for a recommendation, but customers, vendors, and college professors (for recent grads) are great options.

Be proactive

Once your profile is in tip-top shape, you’re ready to start actively looking for a job.

Jobs Tab. Be sure to set your career interest preferences. Also, use the job search function here to laser focus your search for job postings that fit your desired positions. You can set up to ten job search alerts. It’s like having a 24/7 virtual assistant. LinkedIn will alert you when jobs are posted that meet your criteria.

Create search alerts. With a free LinkedIn account, you can create up to three Advanced People Search alerts. Use these for your target companies—the places you’d most like to work.

Groups. Join industry groups, and check each group’s Jobs tab for job postings. If you join job-hunting groups, don’t post discussions or show the group logo on your profile. Do participate in industry groups and demonstrate your thought leadership.

Alumni. Access this by clicking the name of one of the schools you attended on your profile. Then click the blue See alumni button from that university's LinkedIn page. Use the available filters to find out if any fellow alumni work at the companies where you're interested in exploring a new opportunity. This is a great way to get the inside scoop on jobs posted and not yet posted.

“Follow” companies. Go to the company page of your target companies and “follow” them. You'll then be notified of job postings and employment changes at the company.

If you follow this advice, HR professionals and recruiters will start discovering your profile. But don’t just sit around and wait for a job offer. Be an active part of the almost 600 million member LinkedIn community, and before you know it you’ll have landed the job of your dreams.