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Whether you're officially looking for a new job or just trying to get noticed by the right people in case they might be interested in you, the number one thing you need to do is get your LinkedIn profile in front of the hiring managers at your target companies.

In this article I will outline the four proactive LinkedIn steps you can take to get that done.

By the way, I will be sharing these and many more tips, tricks, and strategies at my virtual workshop Using Advanced LinkedIn Strategies to Up Your Job Search Game. The workshop will be on August 16, noon-2pm CT. No worries if you're busy, because all registrants will receive a recording of the session.

Note: Keep in mind that a successful job search during a pandemic may require some strategies you feel are too aggressive or don't fit your personality. However, tough times require tough steps; so try to keep an open mind about the strategies that may seem like a stretch for you.
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Four strategies that will get your LinkedIn profile in front of hiring managers

Keyword optimize your profile. The LinkedIn algorithm that determines who shows up higher in a LinkedIn search is similar to the digital gatekeeper most companies use, which is referred to as ATS (Applicant Tracking System).

Identify the most important keywords in a job posting you're interested in, and then place those words throughout your profile as you explain your experience. Place them in your headline, job titles, and the Skills & Endorsements section for the most impact.

For help with this, download my Keywords Worksheet by clicking here.

Ask your connections to refer you to the right people at your target companies. If the hiring manager or someone in HR shows up as a 2nd degree connection, investigate the people who show up as mutual connections, and see if they can put in a good word for you with their friend.

This investigative work may sound like it takes too much time. However, this "who knows whom" capability is one of the most valuable functions on LinkedIn. If you don't take advantage of this critical information in your job search, you'll be missing out on a powerful resource—the power of established relationships.

Confidently send a LinkedIn connection request to the hiring manager. I hear from many of my clients that this strategy is what helped them cut through the multilayered hiring process that is prevalent today.

If the hiring manager has the Connect button displayed on his or her profile, take advantage of this opportunity to send an invitation to join your LinkedIn network. The key here is to compose a customized message to connect that includes a strategically crafted, professionally written, 300-character note. Here is an example of what that could look like:

Hi, William:

I just got done talking with Bob Smith, your friend and mine. He suggested I connect with you to let you know that I just applied for the Project Manager position at your company and couldn't be more excited about the opportunity. I look forward to talking with you soon. In the meantime, I would be honored to have you join my network.

Wayne

Can you guess what he'll do when he gets this note from you, even if he doesn't decide to connect? It's very likely he'll look at your LinkedIn profile—the first step in getting past the gatekeeper.

Insightfully comment on a LinkedIn post from the hiring manager. LinkedIn has shared that since the beginning of the pandemic, more people are posting updates than ever before. Thus, chances are the hiring manager at a target company or maybe someone from his or her department has shared a post you could strategically comment on.

Why would you want to do this? Well, when people comment on my posts, the first thing I do is look at their profiles. Chances are pretty good that your comment will entice a hiring gatekeeper to take a look at your profile, too.

I'm confident that if you start consistently following some or all of these strategies, you'll get more profile views by the right people at the right companies, which will lead to more lucrative job interviews.

REMINDER: Using Advanced LinkedIn Strategies to Up Your Job Search Game

If you'd like to learn more simple ways to get noticed, get past the gatekeeper, and get hired, register now for my upcoming two-hour workshop on August 16. Click here to get more details and register. And remember—if you aren't able to attend the live virtual event, your registration includes a link to the recording.

Here is what a recent workshop participant shared about her results after attending:

"I attended a LinkedIn workshop by Wayne. Updated my LinkedIn profile using all his Awesome tips and got 4 interviews with top Fortune 500 companies 5 days later. His tips really elevated my profile. I would highly recommend everyone attend his workshops, they are great!"

 

8 Ways LinkedIn Can Help Sell Out Your Upcoming Event

Posted on June 28, 2021
Wayne Breitbarth

Live events are back!

Are you in the process of planning one for you and/or your company or organization?

If so, LinkedIn can be one of your best tools to make sure you fill the seats—and I'm not even referring to a fairly new and often confusing LinkedIn Events feature. I'm still testing out this feature and will share with you my thoughts in a future article. You can get all the details on this feature by reading the LinkedIn Events - FAQ in the LinkedIn Help Center.

Here are eight other simple ways to use LinkedIn to make sure your event is a sellout.

1.  Post an individual status update.
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  • Post several times leading up to the event, sharing details about agenda, speakers, venue, etc.
  • Post at different times of the day and different days of the week.
  • Always include a link to the registration site or attach a copy of the registration brochure to the update.
  • Encourage others involved in the event to "like," "share" or “comment” for more traction.
  • Make a video featuring the event's speakers.
  • Use the @mention feature to tag each speaker or presenter in the update.

2.  Post a company status update.
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  • “Pin” a status update to the top of your company feed, and it will stay at the top of your company page.
  • Use the new Employee Notification feature to encourage them to "like," "share" or “comment” for additional traction.
  • Attach a copy of the registration brochure to the update.

3.  Target specific first-level connections with a direct message.
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  • Share details about the event by attaching a document or a link to a web page.
  • Customize the message to each individual to increase relevancy to that person.
  • Direct messages are delivered to the recipient’s email account and LinkedIn inbox and are thus more likely to be seen and read.

4.  Share the event in relevant groups.
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  • Share your information in the Start a conversation section in the form of a question.
  • Include a link to the event registration page.

5.   Use the Featured section of your profile to upload a PDF or include a link to the event details or registration form.
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  • It could be as simple as one slide with event details.
  • This has high eye-catching appeal in your profile.
  • The video could include a clip from the previous year’s event or a promo from this year’s keynote speaker.

6.  For a period of time leading up to the event, include an event teaser in your Headline.
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  • This can be very impactful, but don't do this for an extended time.
  • Be sure to change back to your day-to-day, keyword-rich headline right after the event.

7.  Publish an article about your event.
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  • The article will be displayed very prominently on your profile until you publish another article.
  • Share the article 2-3 times the week leading up to the event date.
  • Be sure to encourage others in your company or organization to "share," "like" and "comment" on your published article.

8.  Use one of the three websites in the Contact Info section of your profile to link people to the event details or registration page.
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  • Reference the website link in your About section.
  • Describe the website link clearly (e.g., "Register for LinkedIn class").

You just may need extra space for your upcoming event if you follow these winning strategies.

SPECIAL OFFER

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 session.

Here are a few comments from my recent clients:

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

"My session with Wayne was so valuable. After only 11 days later, I increased my connections by 30, earned two meetings with decision-makers, and linked with C-level execs."

Don't miss your chance to get results like these. Book your session now by clicking here. Space is limited, so don't delay.

 

Have You Taken Advantage of LinkedIn’s Free Job Post Offer?

Posted on June 14, 2021
Wayne Breitbarth

Did you know you can post a job on LinkedIn for free?

Yes, and it has been that way for quite a while now. However, in typical LinkedIn fashion, they failed to let you know.

Here is an article from the LinkedIn Help Center that will give you the blow-by-blow details. Of course, they will encourage you to boost that free job post, but you don't have to do it.

https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/answer/121660

But is that really the only way—or the best way—to use LinkedIn to find your next great employee?

My answer to that question is a solid "maybe." It might be all you need to do, but my experience in working with lots of companies is that it isn't the only thing you need to do. What really works is to put together multiple LinkedIn strategies in addition to just posting the job and hoping people will find the post.

During my upcoming virtual workshop Using LinkedIn to Recruit Top Talent Without a Premium Account on June 28, I'll show you eight ways to effectively use free LinkedIn to directly find and reach out to people who have the perfect experience for your open position. You can check out the details of that workshop and register here.

Here is a preview of just one of the eight highly productive LinkedIn strategies I will be sharing during the workshop.

LinkedIn Alumni Tab on the University Page. Use the Alumni feature to find potential candidates who attended a specific school. Fellow alumni of the schools you attended is a good place to start.

Step-By-Step Instructions

1. In the large search box on your top toolbar, type the name of the school you're interested in. When it shows up in the drop-down list, choose that entry—or you can just click the name of a school on anyone’s profile.

2. Once you're on the university's page, click the Alumni tab. This will take you to that school's Alumni page.

3. You can now filter the entire list by entering words in the Search alumni by title, keyword or company box, entering years in the Start year and End year boxes, or selecting or entering information into one or more of these six columnar filters:
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      • Where they live
      • Where they work
      • What they do
      • What they studied
      • What they are skilled at
      • How you are connected

If you’ve been looking for a way to sort people by age range, this is your ticket. If you sell products or services to a targeted age group, use the Start year or End year filters on the top right to find alumni who are probably in that age range. Granted, it isn’t exactly an age search because not everyone gets an undergrad degree at age 22, but it should still provide some valuable information.

4. Once you have selected your filters on the Alumni page by clicking the bars under your desired selections, LinkedIn displays a mini profile for everyone who meets your filtering criteria.

Without leaving the page, you can send a message to any first-degree connections or use a personalized message to invite anyone on the list to join your network.

If you'd like to see this strategy demonstrated on live LinkedIn or learn about my other seven proven ways to find great employees with a free LinkedIn account, then join me on June 28—or at least register so you can get the recording after the event. The full 90-minute workshop is only $79 plus fees.

Here is the link to check out all the details and grab your seat:

https://linkedinrecruitingsummer2021.eventbrite.com

 

Do You Really Look as Good as You Should on LinkedIn?

Posted on May 25, 2021
Wayne Breitbarth

I'm pretty sure that sometime in the last week or so you checked the ratings of a specific product and/or researched what others said about something you wanted to purchase. What others are saying is called social proof.

Whether it's a hamburger, a computer, or even a new accountant, we are all looking for information (including social proof) to help us make our decisions.

Here's how Hubspot defines social proof:

Social proof, also referred to as "informational social influence," is the concept that people will conform to the actions of others under the assumption that those actions are reflective of the correct behavior. In other words, it's the mentality that, if other people are doing it, and I trust those people, that's validation that I should also be doing it. This third-party validation can be a very powerful motivator for your site visitors' and prospects' actions.


How's Your Social Proof

Is your social proof helping or hurting you or is it simply absent on most of your online addresses (website, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.)? Do you have a 4.7/5.0 rating like your favorite restaurant on Yelp or Trip Advisor?

Even though it might not be quite as easy for you as an individual to accumulate a rating, there are specific things you can do to improve your social proof on LinkedIn.

I'm not just referring to the obvious LinkedIn sections—Recommendations and Skills and the Endorsements that attach to them. These are very important places to show social proof, but there are some other great ways to share positive ratings and reviews about you and your company.


Easy Ways to Share Your Social Proof

These LinkedIn profile sections and activities can help you highlight and share your social proof:

Add Media. There are lots of ways to use this add-on to your Featured, Job Experience or Educational sections. You can share video testimonials, traditional written customer recommendations, case studies, and success stories.

Projects. This is a good spot to include case studies or success stories, and you can link to web pages that include more details. You can also identify other LinkedIn members who were involved in a project and include a link to their LinkedIn profiles.

Individual or company status updates. Periodically share links in your status updates to case studies, success stories, and articles that highlight your capabilities.

Articles. You can display a long-form article, including an embedded video. This is perfect for highlighting customer testimonials and case studies. These will permanently show up near the top of your profile.

Honors & Awards. If you've got them, flaunt them.

Current Job Experience section. Extract a short quote from a recommendation and highlight awards you've received.

Publications. Link to articles on your website or other sources that display your experience or awards and honors.

Certifications. These are great social proof because others (certifying organizations) are saying you met a certain level of proficiency.

So why not get busy and take advantage of these opportunities. It just may get you to that 4.7/5.0 score—or, better yet, how about a phone call or email from that sought-after prospect.

If you want me to check out the social proof on your profile as part of my full profile critique and also help you develop strategies to skyrocket your business and career, then take advantage of my special one-hour $197 LinkedIn consultation. This consultation will take place on the phone, and I'll share my desktop screen with you. I will email your marked-up profile to you prior to our session. Click here to book your session.

Here are a few comments from my recent clients:

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

"I highly recommend Wayne's 1:1 Linked In 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."

"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."

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

Great, You Viewed My LinkedIn Profile…Now What?

Posted on April 26, 2021
Wayne Breitbarth

After someone looks at your LinkedIn profile, you'd probably like them to call you, email you, or send you a LinkedIn connection request, right?

But what if the reader is not quite ready to take that big step? What if (s)he needs more information about you, your company, or your products/services before (s)he picks up the phone or reaches out to you with an email?

This is where calls to action (CTAs) come in. What is a CTA? Wikipedia says this:

"A call to action, or CTA, is a term used to describe a banner, button, or some type of graphic or text...meant to prompt a user to click it and continue down a conversion funnel."

Hubspot, one of the world's leaders in designing websites that concentrate on lead generation and inbound marketing, says:

"Calls to action (CTAs) are one of the key lead generation elements, and they should be used in each and every one of your marketing tactics: emails, social media updates, press releases, trade shows..."
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What actions might you call people to take?

There are lots of possibilities, depending on your business purpose, but here are a few examples:
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  • Download an informational document
  • Watch a video or listen to a podcast
  • Download your resume
  • Go to your website
  • Read your blog
  • Read a product review
  • Sign up for a discovery call
  • Request a quote
  • Email you
  • Pick up the phone and call you
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How can you incorporate calls to action into your LinkedIn profile?

Your LinkedIn profile needs to have several CTAs to help move your reader down the conversion funnel and closer to that all-important step of contacting you. And if you have a company page, you'll want to put CTAs there as well.

The best sections on your profile to include your CTAs are:
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  • Headline
  • About (previously referred to as your Summary)
  • Featured (hands down the best NEW place to put your most important CTAs)
  • Job Experience
  • Contact Info
  • Status Updates
  • Projects
  • Publications
  • Long-form published posts

Here are examples of CTAs I've included in the About and Featured sections of my profile. The Featured section is simply the very best CTA tool that LinkedIn has ever given us for our profiles.

Here is another example but this time from one of my Job Experience entries. I give people a couple easy ways to contact me or sign up for my virtual one-on-one LinkedIn consultation service.

Other great places to include CTAs on your profile include the Websites listing in your Contact Info section as well as the Publications and Projects sections in your Accomplishments section. To see examples of these, check out my full LinkedIn profile.

Why not add some calls to action to your LinkedIn profile today, and hopefully your phone will start ringing just like mine.
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SPECIAL OFFER

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 session.

Here are a few comments from my recent clients:

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

"My session with Wayne was so valuable. After only 11 days later, I increased my connections by 30, earned two meetings with decision-makers, and linked with C-level execs."

Don't miss your chance to get results like these. Book your session now by clicking here. Space is limited, so don't delay.

 

Best LinkedIn Steps to Find a New Job on the “Down Low”

Posted on April 5, 2021
Wayne Breitbarth

Are you thinking of making a job switch, but you don't want to let the whole world (especially your boss) know it?

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, adjusting a few of your settings, and creating targeted search alerts are a few of the easy steps you can take when looking for a new job under the radar.

For those who are officially (and unofficially) looking for new jobs, I've created a new, two-hour, virtual workshop Leverage LinkedIn for Your Job Search During the Pandemic: Get noticed. Get past the gatekeeper. Get hired.

I invite you to attend on Monday, April 19, from noon-2:00PM CT. And no worries if you're busy, because all registrants will receive a recording of the session. In the workshop, I'll be presenting loads of specific strategies for all types of job seekers.

Here are some specific steps you can take if you want to keep your job search on the down low (but many of these tips are perfect for general job seekers as well).
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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." Then your network won't receive notifications about the profile changes you're 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 by clicking here.

About (formerly titled 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, you might try, “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 been expanded recently to 220 characters—so be creative.

For additional help on this critical section of your profile, download my free worksheet The Definitive Worksheet to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile Headline by clicking here.

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.

Completing this profile section correctly is critical, but it can be a bit confusing. Check out my article Have You Revisited Your LinkedIn Skills Section? for a detailed discussion.

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.
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Be proactive

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

Jobs tab. 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 in the Jobs tab. 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.

Alumni. Access this by clicking the name of one of the schools you attended on your profile. Then click the Alumni tab on 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.

“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 750 million member LinkedIn community, and before you know it you’ll have landed the job of your dreams.

If you'd like more winning strategies for finding a terrific new job, whether in stealth mode or not, be sure to register soon for my workshop Leverage LinkedIn for Your Job Search During the Pandemic on April 19 by clicking here.

 

How Much is Your LinkedIn Headline Helping You?

Posted on March 31, 2021
Wayne Breitbarth

Everyone knows headlines are important, but what exactly is a headline?

 "Headline: [noun] a head of a newspaper story or article printed in large type and giving the gist of the story or article that follows"  (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

But if headlines are so important, then why do most LinkedIn profile headlines (maybe even yours) simply state a person's current title and current company name? Because the user hasn't updated his/her headline.

Until you craft a first-class, 220-character (increased last year from 120 characters) descriptor of who you are and what you do, LinkedIn puts your current title and company in your headline so you don't embarrass yourself by simply having the default headline.
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What goes into a great LinkedIn headline

Your LinkedIn headline should:
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  • Provide viewers of your profile with a short, concise statement of who you are and how you can help them
  • Include your most important keywords so you are at the top of the search results when people search for someone like you
  • Encourage people to look at your entire profile, where they can see your full story and find a reason to engage with you

So, how are you feeling about your LinkedIn headline?

If you're feeling great about it, stop reading and share this article with a friend who needs it.

If there's room for improvement, get busy and start crafting a killer headline.

To get you headed in the right direction, below is one of my most popular worksheets, The Definitive Worksheet to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile Headline. I have shared this worksheet with thousands of people over the last eight years. This three-page, downloadable worksheet is the 2021 version that has been updated for the recent changes on LinkedIn.

Also, if you'd like my personal feedback on your headline so you can start attracting people who need your products and services, sign up for one of my specially priced $197 one-on-one LinkedIn consultations. Get more info and book your session here.

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

Whether you’re using LinkedIn to find your next high-impact customer, raise your organization’s profile, or land the job of your dreams, this session is for you.

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

 

Download (PDF, 1.02MB)

6 Unbelievable but Hard-to-Find Free LinkedIn Features

Posted on March 16, 2021
Wayne Breitbarth

Most LinkedIn users (61 percent according to the most recent statistics) are not paying anything to use the site. That's why most of what I teach in my book, public workshops, corporate training sessions, and personal consultations focuses on becoming a skillful user of the free account.

Here are six simple ways you can capitalize on powerful, hard-to-find LinkedIn features without spending a cent.

1.  Create Search Alerts for Advanced People Searches. This is like having a 24/7 virtual assistant who's always looking for the right people. Once you've completed an Advanced People Search that gives you a list of just the right folks, click the words Create search alert (top right corner).

Then each week LinkedIn will automatically show you new people who meet your defined search criteria. This is absolutely priceless.

2.  Find fellow alumni. It's hard to explain the warm, fuzzy feelings fellow alumni have for each other, but LinkedIn makes it very easy to find and contact your fellow alumni—and many times they'll be quite willing to do business with you.

Type the name of the school you attended in the top search box. Then choose your school when it appears in the drop-down menu. Next, select Alumni. Choose your filter columns or keywords, and LinkedIn magically shows you just the right fellow alums—smiling faces and all. Ka-ching! Learn more about the Alumni feature here.

3.  Add media to your profile in your brand new Featured section. To create a compelling profile, you need to strategically tell your professional story. A simple way to enhance your written story is to add links to important websites and upload media or other files.

Click the down arrow in the Add profile section button, and then choose Featured in the drop-down menu. Viewers will then be able to watch, download, and read your most important work samples, company information, personal testimonials and recommendations, and so much more. Learn more about adding media to your Featured section here.

4.  Download your connections database. Who wouldn't want a spreadsheet of their first-level connections' first and last names, current companies and titles, and the dates you connected with them?

Simply select Me on your top toolbar, and choose Settings & Privacy. Then you will be taken to the How LinkedIn uses your data page, where you can click Get a copy of your data. Next, check the Connections box, and then click the blue Request archive button. You will then have to enter your password. Within minutes, LinkedIn will send you a file with that information in a helpful spreadsheet.

5.  Send messages to fellow group members. Unless you have a premium account, you cannot send a direct message to people who are outside your first-level network without incurring an InMail fee—with one exception. Each month LinkedIn gives you 15 free direct messages you can send to people who have agreed to accept messages from fellow group members. InMails typically cost $10 each, so this is a $150 gift from LinkedIn.

You can join a group just long enough to send someone a free InMail. From the specific LinkedIn group page, click See all in the top right corner. Then enter the person's name in the Search members box. Next, select the Message button to the right of the person's name.

6.  Search your connections' connections. This is an easy way to look for potential customers, employers, etc. whom your connection can introduce you to. This is like having each of your connection's Rolodex on your computer, phone or tablet, which you can easily filter and search through.

To perform this search, put your cursor in the big, light blue search box in the top toolbar, and select the People button from the list of searches you can do here (Posts, People, Jobs, etc.). Next, select the All Filters button in the white toolbar that appears on the far right.

Then go to the Connections of box and type in your connection’s name. Choose his or her name when it appears in the drop-down menu, and then click the blue Show results button.

Now use any of the other filters to narrow the search to people at the right company, location, school attended, title, etc.

There you have it—six features that would certainly be worth paying for, but they're totally free. Thank you, LinkedIn!|
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SPECIAL OFFER

If you'd like me to demo these LinkedIn features as part of a specially priced $197 one-on-one LinkedIn consultation, you can book your session here. I will share my computer screen with you during the call and send you a marked-up copy of your profile prior to the call.

Whether you’re using LinkedIn to find your next high-impact customer, raise your organization’s profile, or land the job of your dreams, this session is for you.

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

Have You Revisited Your LinkedIn Skills Section?

Posted on February 23, 2021
Wayne Breitbarth

LinkedIn's Skills & Endorsements section has been rather confusing from its inception, but they've been improving it over the years. With the latest feature changes, you now have complete control over the section, which could have a significant impact on your business and career.

Because LinkedIn has made at least six revisions to the Skills & Endorsements section over the nine years of its existence, we can assume this section is fairly important in the overall scheme of how LinkedIn works and, most importantly, in the way the critical search ranking algorithm works. I can't prove it, but I don't think LinkedIn would spend this much time and effort unless it really matters.
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How to optimize your Skills & Endorsements profile section

To help you make the most of your Skills & Endorsements section, I will give you some overall strategies for capitalizing on it, in addition to discussing the exciting new features. Implementing these strategies will help the viewers of your profile better understand how you can help them, and the result will be great new relationships that should lead to improved business and career success.

1.  You can only receive endorsements from first-level connections and for skills you have acknowledged you possess. If you receive a pending endorsement notification from LinkedIn saying, John Jones wants to endorse you for basket weaving, don't say yes if you aren't a good basket weaver or don't want basket weaving listed as a skill in your Skills & Endorsements section.

2.  You can manage them. Scroll down to the Skills & Endorsements section of your profile, and then you can:

Add any skills that show what you're good at from a professional standpoint. If your job duties include sales, add keywords that relate to the products and services you sell. After you click Add a new skill, type a skill in the box. LinkedIn will then suggest other skills based on the words you put in the box. If those skills are part of your skill set, be sure to add them to your list of skills.

Delete a skill. Click the pencil icon in the top right corner. Then click the trash can icon to the right of the skill you want to delete, and it's gone—along with any endorsements of that skill, of course.

Pin and reorder your skills. This feature enables you to pin your three most important skills at the top of your subsection titled Top Skills, providing greater visibility and credibility for you. Simply click the pencil icon next to Add a new skill on the top right of your Skills & Endorsements section, and then click the pin icon next to the three skills you'd like at the top of your list. Viewers will only see these three skills until they click Show more. These should be your three very best keywords.

Next, review the skills in the other new categories (Industry Knowledge, Tools & Technologies, Interpersonal Skills, and Other Skills). Then reorder the entries in each category, from most important to least important, by dragging the four-line icon on the right.

Other than the three entries you've pinned in the Top Skills category, you cannot move skills to a different category. Also, you may not have all four of the categories on your profile if LinkedIn doesn't think you have skills in all four categories.

Because you can now put your best skills at the top of these lists, your connections will be more likely to endorse you for those skills—and soon they'll be the most endorsed skills on your profile. This will help you get closer to the top of the search results when people search for those skills.

Choose (1) whether or not you want to be endorsed, (2) whether you want LinkedIn to suggest endorsements to your connections, and (3) whether you want suggestions for endorsing your connections. Click the words Adjust endorsement settings on the bottom of the page to revise your settings. I recommend choosing Yes for all three settings.

3.  You can be endorsed for up to 50 skills. These skills are essentially keywords, and LinkedIn and other search engines love keywords; so I would use all 50 slots if I were you.

4.  You don't have to endorse everyone who endorses you. If you want to endorse them, go ahead, but don't feel obligated to do so.

5.  I'm pretty sure endorsements and the skills they attach to are part of the LinkedIn search algorithm. LinkedIn doesn't publicize its algorithm, but, as I mentioned previously, my guess is that skills are an important part of it, because LinkedIn doesn't invest this much time and effort into something that isn't going to help their top-line revenue. They are making a lot of money on their Recruiting Solutions product, and they obviously think this feature helps them deliver the "best" candidate for a certain skill ("best" meaning most endorsed).

6.  List skills that are important and consistent with your current or future business strategy. The skills you include, especially the ones you pin and move to the top of the other categories, should be important for you on a moving forward basis—and these may not be the same skills that have been historically important for you.

Also, don't worry about putting new skills in the pinned section or near the top of a category. You may not have any endorsements for them yet, but you'll get them over time.

7.  You might get someone's attention if you endorse him/her. Your face and name may appear on the person's profile, and LinkedIn will also send the person a message saying you just endorsed him or her.

8.  Endorsements may be the differentiator. If two profiles look similar in all respects but one has 120 endorsements for the skill you're looking for and the other has only 20, you will probably be inclined to choose the person with 120.

9.  Endorsements are great, but LinkedIn recommendations are still important. I recommend you get at least two recommendations, because LinkedIn now displays them very prominently and in full on your profile. This is especially important if you're a job seeker. Great recommendations will increase your credibility—and the more the better.

You should now be ready to impress readers of your profile with your specific skills and affirmation of those skills by LinkedIn members—and greater visibility and credibility is sure to lead to increased revenue or a great new job.
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SPECIAL OFFER

If you'd like me to demo this LinkedIn feature as part of a specially priced $197 one-on-one LinkedIn consultation, you can book your session here. I will share my computer screen with you during the call and send you a marked-up copy of your profile prior to the call.

Whether you’re using LinkedIn to find your next high-impact customer, raise your organization’s profile, or land the job of your dreams, this session is for you.

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

 

Here are the Critical LinkedIn Steps to Land a Job in 2021

Posted on February 3, 2021
Wayne Breitbarth

I haven't looked for a job recently. What are the best LinkedIn strategies that I should be executing for my 2021 job search?

In the month of January, this was the number one question I got from people who are looking to upgrade their careers.

In response to this question, I have created a new virtual workshop Leverage LinkedIn for Your Job Search During the Pandemic: Get noticed. Get past the gatekeeper. Get hired. I invite you to attend on Monday, February 15, from noon-2:00PM CT. No worries if you're busy, because all registrants will receive a recording of the session.

In the workshop I'll be presenting five specific strategies you can implement right now. Here is one action step for each of those strategies.
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OPTIMIZE your profile

Improve and expand your profile Headline. You only get one shot at a first impression. Make it a good one. It was expanded recently to 220 characters—so make sure you use all those characters to your benefit.

Keep in mind this section is some of the most fertile ground to plant the most important keywords recruiters and HR professionals will use to search for you.
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LEVERAGE your network

Let the right people in your network know you're looking for a job. Your LinkedIn network probably includes quite a few people who would be willing to help you secure a new position if you simply ask for their help. There are a couple ways LinkedIn can help you accomplish this.

The first way is to download your entire LinkedIn connections database. After you've reviewed and narrowed that list to people you think can help you with your job search, import the targeted list to a contact database you use to communicate with others (Outlook, Mail Chimp, Constant Contact, Gmail, etc.), and send a group email to update them about your job search.

To download your database, go to the Me tab on your top toolbar and select Settings & Privacy.

Next, select Get a copy of your data in the Data Privacy subsection. Then click the Connections box followed by the Request Archive button.

Within ten minutes you will receive a spreadsheet of all your first-degree connections, with each person's name, title, company name, and the date you connected.

Spend a few minutes reviewing and paring down the spreadsheet to the people you think could help you the most in your job search.

Note: The email addresses will not be in the column marked Email Addresses, but you can look them up and cut and paste them into the spreadsheet from their individual Contact info box on their profile.

The second way to leverage your network is to perform a targeted search of just your first-degree connections, and then send direct messages through LinkedIn to people you believe can help you. Learn specifically how to do that here.
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REVIEW your settings

Enable your Open to work setting. Lots of job seekers didn't even notice when this new feature became available early last year. If you're one of those people, you better head to your settings ASAP and get this set up correctly. It won't take more than five minutes.

Start by clicking the pencil in your Open to work box just under your profile photo.

You can choose five specific job titles and locations you're interested in as well as the type of job (full-time, part-time, contract, etc.) and a few more bits of information that recruiters can use to search for you.

Also, this is where you can decide how public you want this information to be—recruiters only or everyone on LinkedIn. If you choose everyone on LinkedIn, you will get the green Open to work swoosh on your profile photo (see screen shot).

Enable this setting by following the steps outlined here.
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BUILD your target company list

Complete a filtered people search using the Alumni tab on the University page. One of the best tools for building out a target company list is the Alumni feature on the University page of a school you've attended. I have outlined how this feature works in detail in this article. Once you use the filters and decide what cities you'd like to work in, what type of job you want, etc., LinkedIn will display the companies that hire the most alumni in that job function.
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IMPROVE your LinkedIn routines and activities

Review profiles of and send connection requests to hiring managers and recruiters. Before we had LinkedIn, it was almost impossible to get a hiring manager or an industry-specific recruiter to look at your resume. But that's all changed now that you have a LinkedIn profile.

By monitoring the Who's Viewed Your Profile feature and sending customized LinkedIn connection requests, it's quite simple to get them to take a look.

To get started, you'll need to use the Advanced People Search feature. Search for people with specific titles at the companies you're targeting or applying to as well as recruiters who specialize in your region, industry, or job function.

To access your Advanced People Search filters, put your cursor in the top search box and click your Return/Enter key. Next, click the People button in the secondary toolbar that just appeared, and then click the All filters button.

If you're considering a career move anytime soon, get busy and execute these simple but highly effective strategies, and you'll be well on your way to landing that great new job in 2021.

If you'd like more winning strategies for finding a terrific new job in these unprecedented times, be sure to register soon for my workshop Leverage LinkedIn for Your Job Search During the Pandemic on February 15 by clicking here.
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