Episode 46 - Have a LinkedIn presence that's punchy and interesting
In August 2020, I delivered a presentation for over 100 senior executives on using LinkedIn more efficiently. The goal was to give these busy corporate leaders a set of ideas and tools to spend a minimal amount of time on the platform and still have a LinkedIn presence that's punchy and interesting. So if that is you - that is if you also want to have that visibility, but you don't want, or don't have the time, to spend a lot of time on LinkedIn - Then this podcast episode is for you.
The idea is to maximize opportunities and visibility: your LinkedIn profile and activity should position you to be perceived professionally in the job market. This should be the ultimate goal.
The organizers received more questions that day than we had the time to answer. So I'm using this podcast episode to address all the questions that we received and answer them to the best of my ability, considering I'm not a big fan of the "one size fits all approach" and believe we should all be looking at finding what is distinctive about our capabilities and skills, and not copy what everyone else is doing on LinkedIn.
If you are relatively new to LinkedIn, I would recommend that you start our LinkedIn journey together by first listening to The Job Hunting Podcast Episode No. 34: How to make your LinkedIn profile stand out in 2020. Then come back to this episode and listen to the LinkedIn Q&A. However, if you are familiar with LinkedIn and an active user of the platform, you can go ahead and listen to the Q&A, no problem!
I also recommend that you download my LinkedIn Checklist, it will help you get started on LinkedIn or do a quick review on your profile.
I'd also love to hear your feedback and opinions. As I mentioned above, I'm not a big fan of the 'one size fits all approach to LinkedIn", so I'd love to hear what has been working for you on LinkedIn. When I'm doing LinkedIn Audits or working one-on-one with my coaching clients, I can tailor my recommendations to suit their needs. I love doing this; it's inspiring to position professionals for success. And I see it works for them!
And if you are listening to this episode a few months down the track, a few things may likely have changed on the platform. So keep that in mind, be wise, and adapt to make sure you are on top of the new trends and tools on LinkedIn. If you want my advice ongoing, join my The Job Hunting Podcast Private Group on Facebook and ask me a question here. That's where I hang out the most and do my Live Coaching Sessions regularly.
Resources mentioned in this episode
Timestamps to guide your listening (LinkedIn questions answered)
8:55 - Do you recommend posting your mobile on your profile as I am now finding that I am being contacted by sales teams flogging?
12:15 - I am using LinkedIn to re-brand and promote my consultancy side-gig. I am publishing original content, sharing relevant content, and commenting on areas of interest. Is this to be discouraged?
14:30 - Do you recommend a role-specific headline or a value proposition specific headline?
16:18 - Should the "about" section be in the first person or 3rd person?
17:48 - Should the approach on LinkedIn be different for those looking for new full-time employment versus a portfolio career person?
21:01 – Should the "About" section be kept short, or is it okay to make it longer?
22:19 - What are the main sections you should use keywords to describe yourself for the LinkedIn algorithm?
26:02 - LinkedIn has introduced an open-work banner recently - do you think this is advantageous to use, or does it have downsides? If one does not wish to use the big green frame around one's face to show open to work that LinkedIn introduced recently, is it okay to show OPEN TO OPPORTUNITIES at the beginning of one's "About" section?
30:34 - You often see headlines with words such as "Seeking employment" or "Seeking engagement" is the term "seeking" perceived as negative to the reader?
31:52 - When is the work experience section too long?
33:02 - How often do you feel one should post articles/share/comment?
35:24 - Would you recommend replicating your CV in the experience section?
37:15 - I'm not picking up the best jobs on my job alerts. Why is that?
38:33 - Does the algorithm pick up content in messages?
39:42 - How important are endorsements, and can you have too many?
41:36 - Do you recommend LinkedIn Premium, what are the benefits vs. standard membership?
43:02 - If you have recently left your last role, when should you update LinkedIn to show you have left, and how best to indicate your current situation?
45:16 - What's your view on opening your connections to all? I keep my connections private despite having 750+
46:11 - Do you have any guide on how long you should retain links on our profile? How regularly would you recommend 'refreshing' with more current links?
47:20 - I don't understand the "Search Appearances" function on LI. It lists a number (e.g., 500), but only four companies are listed when you click in. Why aren't all the companies listed?
Transcript of this episode
Renata: Hello, everyone. Welcome back to The Job Hunting Podcast. I'm Renata Bernarde and I'm here today to answer a lot of LinkedIn questions. So this is what happened, in August 2020, I delivered a presentation for over 100 senior executives on how to use LinkedIn more efficiently. The goal of that presentation was to give this busy corporate leaders, a set of ideas and tools so that they can use LinkedIn and have a LinkedIn presence that's punchy and interesting, but that required minimal work from them because these are busy people and they want to have that visibility, but they don't want, or don't have the time to spend a lot of time on LinkedIn. So the idea was to really maximise opportunities, visibility, and most importantly, that their LinkedIn positioned them as they wanted to be perceived in the corporate world and in the job market. This was the goal for that presentation.
Renata: With Melbourne currently under stage four of business lockdown to control the COVID outbreak. And in Australia, our States and international borders are shut down worldwide. We are, of course readjusting to how we do business and how we do recruitment and, you know, LinkedIn and the visibility on that platform for executives is really paramount in 2020, more so than ever before. So the session was very well attended. As I said, over a hundred people came and the organisers received way more questions that day. Then we had time to answer. So I'm using this podcast episode to address all the questions that we received that day, and they are excellent questions. Many of you will benefit from listening to this episode. If you are fairly new to LinkedIn, however, I would recommend that you start our LinkedIn journey together by listening to the episode, number 34 - How to Make your LinkedIn profile stand out in 2020.
Renata: So that episode is from a few months back. You should also download my LinkedIn checklist to help you set up your profile. You can find the links to both that episode 34 and my LinkedIn checklist on the episode show notes for this episode, its number 46, this one, and wherever you found this podcast, there are episode show notes. So search for the show notes, download those two links and listen to them and download the checklist. Also, if you go to my website, https://www.renatabernarde.com , I have a blog page with all the podcast episodes there, and you can search for episodes 34 and 46, and find the episode show notes, find the link to the checklist. And so on. There are several other LinkedIn episodes on The Job Hunting Podcast. So if you go to my website and you go to the search box on that blog page and you type LinkedIn, you'll find lots of episodes where, and talking to guests with discussed LinkedIn.
Renata: And, you know, if you listen, you might get even more ideas for your profile and your activity and how you position yourself on LinkedIn. I also do LinkedIn Audits. It is, as we record this podcast, my entry level service, and it has been extremely well received. I have priced at a $97, much to the shock and horror of some of my colleagues who believe I should be asking more for that service, but I really do feel like I need in my portfolio to have services that are accessible and less expensive than the traditional coaching programmes. I'm keen to keep it that way for now. But when I am too busy, there's a waiting list for that service. So when you reach the booking page for the LinkedIn audit, at times, you may find that you need to register your interest.
Renata: In which case I will get back to you first, before I open it again to the public, I really enjoy doing LinkedIn audits. And I'd like to read to you some of the feedbacks that I have received from clients. So here we go. Here's one, ‘Thank you so much for doing my LinkedIn audit and sharing some amazing suggestions and recommendations. I have made changes to my profile as mentioned.’ And then a week later, the same client wrote, ‘I am writing to inform you. I have got a three month contract with I redacted, you know, the name of the organisation and the title of the role.’ And, you know, the client goes on to thank me again and nothing warms my heart more than to see quick results like that. Another one, ‘Thank you for your audit. You were spot on with much of your analysis and I spent a bit of time fine tuning my profile based on your suggestions yesterday, the short version. Thank you. I like your style.
Renata: To learn more about the LinkedIn audit service that I do to read more reviews and testimonials and book your own. You will find the link to that website on the episode show notes, like I said before, and you can just go to my website, https://www.renatabernarde.com and find out more about it. Now, before we answer the questions, a note about them and a disclaimer, because my ideas, advice, tips about LinkedIn are, you know, very conservative because I don't know you that well, I know you well enough because you follow this podcast. This podcast is called The Job Hunting Podcast. I know that you're interested in your career, that you're clearly aware that you need to be on LinkedIn professionally, but you will need to adapt and reflect on my responses and my ideas to your personal style, where you are based, you know, in terms of region, country, culture, to your profession.
Renata: And so on. I am not a big fan of one size fits all approach to LinkedIn, but there are rules in the game of professional visibility, career advancement, recruitment, and selection, and so on. And even though I may adapt and bend some of these rules to my individual clients, I play more conservatively when I am providing my ideas here on this podcast, because my goal is for you to succeed. To get from A to B faster in a way that's simpler, that's easier for you. And I'm here to make sure that you don't burn any bridges professionally, and, you know, LinkedIn can be a double edged sword. You can do some very dumb kind of mistakes there. I have done dumb mistakes on LinkedIn as well, and learned from those. And I'm here too, as somebody who believes, have learned quite a lot on LinkedIn, both personally, and for my clients to give you the best possible advice for this time for 2020.
Renata: Because if you're listening to this podcast two, three years from now, there's a very big chance that some of the content, tips and advice that I'm giving you now may be out of date. This is the case with every social media platform. You know, they change all the time. And so there's the recruitment and selection market, the corporate market, professional market, and so on. So keep that in mind. And if you listen to something and it sounds odd, well, it's 2020. If you are now in 2023, be careful. And also that's a very good advice if you're Googling things, be sure not to get advice that is about LinkedIn in 2014, 2015, for example, it's possibly too old. You need to find some advice for 2020. Okay. All right. Let's get going.
Renata: Okay. First question. Do you recommend posting your mobile on your profile as I am now finding that I am being contacted by sales teams flogging? Okay. Let's start by talking about how people can contact you quickly on LinkedIn. Let's start by recommending that you add your email to your contact information. A lot of people have not added their email to their contact information, and I would recommend that you do, if you are a job Hunter, if you're in between jobs, you're looking for work, you're looking for contract work, full time work, consulting work, make it easy for people to get in touch with you. So in the contact information, have your best email. Now, if you're currently happily employed in a full time employment, you've been with an organisation for a long time. Your role requires you to build connections on LinkedIn. Let's say you’re an account manager, relationship management, sales manager, then that email should be your corporate email account. If you are in between jobs or if you are a contractor, if you are going to be looking for work, then it should be your personal email account.
Renata: I also recommend that you add your email to the bottom of your about section. You will see if you go to my profile on LinkedIn and you can connect with me or follow me on LinkedIn. On the bottom of my about section, there is my email account there. And if you download my LinkedIn checklist, you will see that there's a little template for the about section. And I recommend that call to action there. Okay. Now, once you're comfortable with having your email account, then the phone number, it really depends on how much exposure you want to have, how much you really need to have people getting in touch with you and making it easier. Because as this question points out, there is a price that you will pay. People may contact you and call you for other things. Now, on and off, I've had my mobile number on my LinkedIn page, my profile, and frankly, I have had very few problems with it.
Renata: I mean, I think I get as some spam on my mobile and on my email, but if I remove it from LinkedIn, I don't think there's any correlation, frankly. So there you go. So that's my personal experience and you might want to test it out, test it for a week and see what happens. You know, if it makes a head-hunter reach out the phone and get in touch with you, a recruiter, you know, just give you a call, click in and say, ‘I just called. I just saw your LinkedIn profile, I’d like to talk to have a talk to you about a job that I have.’ It's worth it. If you get that one call, right, it might be worth it. So consider that. And it's something that I'm not comfortable doing like this, one size fits all approach, but I do recommend the email being on your LinkedIn profile.
Renata: Okay. Let's look at another question. I am using LinkedIn to rebrand and promote my consultancy side gig. I am publishing original content, sharing relevant content, and commenting on areas of interest. Is this to be discouraged? No, if you are building a consultancy as a side gig, I am assuming that you are here and therefore, from this point onwards interested in a portfolio career. What does that mean? It means that you will have a consultancy side gig and potentially another contract work, part time work, a job that you can do alongside your consultancy. So you have to be clear about that on your LinkedIn, positioning yourself as a go to person to fix problems. Somebody that can hold the Fort or be called in to help with a specific problem. I don't know what your consultancy is, but if you want to have that portfolio career, a career that has many channels and earns money and earns a living by having a couple of opportunities happening at the same time, you need to position yourself on LinkedIn as a thought leader in your field so that the consultancy can flourish.
Renata: The consultancy may start by you tapping into your own network, your lower hanging fruit, former colleagues, former employers of yours, former clients if you've done consultancy before, but you can expand it on LinkedIn by publishing original content as you mentioned, and keeping that content relevant and really strategically positioning yourself as a consultant in that specific area of yours. But then I wouldn't recommend that you start applying for full time jobs, for example, because the hiring manager or recruiter will be confused about the message that you're trying to send. You need to find a path and then stick to it.
Renata: Do you recommend a role specific headline or a value proposition specific headline? So this question relates to the choice between having in the headline something like project manager at KPMG, or consultant at KPMG, or having something like change agent, agile expert, and not have the position or the name of the organisation on your headline.
Renata: So look, it doesn't really, there is no one size fits all. It's important for you to have a look at what others are doing in your sector in your industry and your level of leadership. So what are other people opting to do in your sector, in your country? Have a look at other profiles similar to yours, or if you’re advancing your careers, the ones that are just above yours that you might be aiming to reach in the next few months or year or two ahead of now, and focus on what they're doing. It's important to do that. Benchmark and do some market intelligence before you make a decision and swap around and see what attracts more people to your profile. Okay. So if you go to my profile, you will see that I have a list of words instead of, you know, managing director at Pantala and host of a podcast, you know, I don't have the job titles. I have a list of words that I think better suit what I do for my clients.
Renata: Okay. Let's do another one. Okay. Another question. Should the about section be in the first person or third person? So again, if you go to LinkedIn and you do a bit of research, you will see that there are two styles. Some people write in the first person and some in the third, I have a preference for the first person. If you do a LinkedIn Audit with me, I will try to convince you to do first person. And once in a while, I am working with a coaching client and we will do third person. And that has to do with that specific client's position, and the sector that they're in, it might be a more conservative sector where none of their peers have it in the third person. They are not necessarily sorry, have it in the first person.
Renata: And they're not necessarily looking for work. They're just positioning themselves as leaders and sort of crystallising their reputation as leader in that, that sector. So I want to play by the rules of that sector more, but my sort of advice to you would be to use the about section to tell a story about your career, not a long story please. One that’s short and sharp and writing it into first person makes it more interesting for the reader.
Renata: Should the approach on LinkedIn be different for those looking for a full time employment versus a portfolio career person? Absolutely it should. So if you're looking for full time employment, your LinkedIn follows a certain flow. If you're a portfolio career person, it follows a very different flow. The LinkedIn for a portfolio career professional is a way of capturing leads, capturing opportunities for client catch-ups and potential contract work and consulting work, right?
Renata: So showcasing thought leadership, as we mentioned in the other question about the consultancy side gig, that that person was trying to build by using LinkedIn and publishing original content there, is something that you would do a lot on LinkedIn. Now, if all you're trying to do is use LinkedIn to call the attention of hiring managers and recruiters to find a full time job, you don't necessarily need to be publishing original content and commenting too much. You need to position your profile very well, it needs to be a very interesting read, very complete and exciting read, but one that sends a clear message of where you can fit in into another role. So it's not really so much looking backwards in your career as your resume might be, but looking forward as to where you want to go. That's kind of where people sometimes get confused with LinkedIn versus a resume and that full time employment, you can also maximise it by connecting with the right people.
Renata: You know, where do you want to work? What are your aspirations for job opportunities on and on LinkedIn you can find individuals there and connect with them, do a lot of market intelligence before applying for roles on LinkedIn as well. So you use LinkedIn very differently.
Renata: So another question here. We were looking at about sections. And one of the about sections that I showed on the webinar had only three lines. It was a very sharp, punchy pitch really, from a very senior chief technology officer, and another about section was much longer and had a lot of detail. Now they were both excellent in my view, and that's why I use them as examples. And it showed that you can, you know, if you're a minimalist and you can convey a message with few words, you will do well with three lines and it's fine, you know, but if you are also somebody who has a specific area of expertise where you may need to use LinkedIn to even educate the reader about what you do.
Renata: The about section can do that for you, right? The difference also between the person that had three lines and the person that had 25 lines in the about section is that, the person that had three lines was happily employed, full time employment, senior role, not looking for a job, right? Her LinkedIn was really well written, very well developed as a profile, but you know, it would suit her, I mean, it was a LinkedIn that was good enough for a head Hunter to come to her if they had an opportunity that would suit her. But she was not and is not actively looking for work. Whereas the other person was a portfolio career person, and she needs to expand on her breadth of expertise a little bit more, give examples of how she can come to your company to support you. And she used that about section to give, to dot point, you know, several ideas to bring about synergies between her expertise and the reader. So that's what needs to be done. Even though it's called about section, it's not all about you section, it's about how can I connect with you. These are the things that I can do for you. So that's what's important about the about section.
Renata: Another question. What are the main sections you should use keywords to describe yourself for the LinkedIn algorithm? It's very important to use keywords to be found on LinkedIn. Sometimes you come out of a sector and you have such great transferable skills, but because you are kind of stuck in the jargon of that sector, you haven't really found the commonalities or the common keywords that on LinkedIn will make you more searchable. It may take you a while, you know, a few weeks of using LinkedIn to find the words on LinkedIn that are being more used that convey exactly the same message as the one that you were using maybe in a different country or in a different sector, but they all mean the same thing.
Renata: So, spend time looking at your counterparts in organisations that you want to work for. People like, if you're moving countries, I have clients like that. You know, they might be Australians, but they've been working overseas for quite some time. They're now back in the country, and one of the things that we do is look at some of the individuals that work here in Australia, in the jobs that they could be doing as well. So we look at the profiles and we'd look at the keywords that they are using. And we kind of identify that some of the words that they have used in different countries may not be suitable for the Australian job markets. And we change that. So this is really important, and then for the LinkedIn algorithm, it's really important to be searchable using hashtags as well. So let's say you are a change manager.
Renata: Have a look at how other leaders in your area of expertise that say change management. What are the hashtags that those influencers on LinkedIn are using? Follow those hashtags. And then whenever you have original content or you're posting an excellent article you found on the Harvard business review about change management, you use those keywords to have that article found, and that will attract a whole number of people within your community of expertise, to look at your article and comment and find you and connect with you. And there could be opportunities there for you to harvest just in the future. So that some of these things take months, if not years, to come about. So you have to be patient, and there are also ways for you to position yourself for quick employment. And that is really making sure that those key words like change management in, you know, using that example in agile project management, some of the certification words that, you know, a hiring manager or recruiter are looking for are sprinkled throughout the about section, maybe the headline, some of the work experience and making sure that those messages that you're sending are consistent and will make an interesting read.
Renata: So worry about the algorithm, but also worry about the humans reading, and the readability and how fun it is to read your LinkedIn profile. Don't make it too long and don't make it a jumble of keywords because it's not fun to read. And sometime it's nonsensical, many times I do LinkedIn audits where people have just put a lot of keywords together and the sentences make no sense.
Renata: LinkedIn has introduced an open work banner recently. Do you think it is advantageous to use, or does it have downsides? If one does not wish to use the big green frame around one’s face to show open to work at LinkedIn, is it okay to show ‘open to opportunities’ written in the headline or in the beginning of the about section? So this is what I said to this group. Now I was talking to, C level and heads of function individuals, so those are senior professionals.
Renata: I have found that now, if you compare now with maybe two, three months ago, when those green banners came about, we're now in the beginning of September, when I'm recording, there's not as many people are using those green banners as they were, let's say in June. And I think people have come to realise it's not for everybody. It will depend on your sector. It will depend on your age. It will depend on your personality. How comfortable do you feel, or you are with your frictional unemployment. Right. So when it first came about, I remember I saw a very young professional, really brilliant guy, and he had that green banner and he was really confidently positioning himself as somebody who is ready to work has a green banner. These are my skills. This is where I graduated. This is all the certifications that I have, my internships, my experiences in blah, blah, blah.
Renata: And it all looked really good and very exciting for a recruiter or a hiring manager to read. And then I saw that green banner on a very senior person, and I just felt that that green banner didn't sort of suit that person so much. If I was advising that very brilliant senior executive, I would probably position him in a more like a seasoned guide that can come in and hold the Fort. And, you know, I have a lot of experience and I can help you, whether the storm. I've seen other storms, we're talking here about covid, of course. So I felt that there was a better way to position that more senior executive for employment, instead of just adapting a much younger narrative into his LinkedIn profile. I just thought it didn't suit him. So I really, really, really love most of my clients are over 40 half of them are over 50.
Renata: And because of, you know, the seniority of the career coaching that I do, and I really help them find work. So, there are ways of doing it without having to play young. I think that that's really important. You can play with your experience, your capabilities, your tool sets your skills that you're bringing to the job. And that confidence, really feeling confident about bringing all of that to your next role. So in sum, I would not recommend those big open to opportunity lines in the about section, but I do recommend a call to action at the end. So it's really about, I find that lazy, you know, that's the sort of the summary of it, I'd much rather you spend time saying, ‘this is how I can help you’, right? So dot pointing for things that you know you can hit the ground running if people hire you.
Renata: Okay. And these are the sectors that I can safely say I can help. And then add those and, you know, whatever you can dot point and make it really easy, sharp, a great read. Remember, people are time poor. They don't have time to read several paragraphs, right. And then at the end of that about section, call me on this number if you want to have a mobile phone, but definitely email me for a call for a chat or to continue this conversation. You know, if there's anything I can do to help you email me on blah, blah, blah. So, you know, I think that that's really important and more important than, than writing open to opportunities at the top.
Renata: Another question you often see headlines with words such as ‘seeking employment’, ‘seeking engagements’, ‘seeking this’, ‘seeking that’, yeah, same, same here. Same answer apply. It's really about how you position yourself in the about section and also your network, how you connect with head hunters and recruiters, you know, are you sending your resume to the right recruiters as you find them, you know, the experts in your field? I have an email template just for that. It's one of my free resources that I offer you guys. And I did a podcast about this. I will add both that email template and the podcast, I can't remember the number, but I made that template for a specific podcast very early on. I think what must have been, you know what, my first few podcasts last year 2019.
Renata: Um, so I think it's more important for you to do that personalised, tailored approach to hiring managers, than to write open to opportunities at the top of your LinkedIn, and just wait for people to find you. Not a big fan of that.
Renata: Okay. Another question, let's see another one here. When is the work experience section too long? Well, you will know when it is too long, be really honest with yourself. Ask people to read it, ask the most difficult person within your network to read it and give you feedback, not your best friend, not your lovely partner or mother. And, you know, you need the really good criticism. The positive, and the negative feedback on your LinkedIn profile. People are time poor. Recruiters, head-hunters and hiring managers are receiving hundreds, hundreds of applications. They are looking at so many, so you need to make it easy for them. And many times more is not better. Less is better. Sharp pitches are better. So make sure that you don't go for too long. And if you download my checklist, you will see that I have a little template there for you to use.
Renata: How often do you feel one should post articles, share and comment? It's more about consistency, and being regular on LinkedIn, and finding your own rhythm, than, you know, having a set rule. Okay. So if you are job hunting, LinkedIn is not just for you to come in and post an article. LinkedIn is basically your office. Consider LinkedIn your office space, an office space for job hunting. You go in and you find those individuals that are really qualified leads for you to find work.
Renata: Okay. They might be hiring managers. They may be recruiters, head hunters. They may be, you know, colleagues, past colleagues, people that you admire. Companies that you really want to work for. You find them. And then you start doing your activity around those individuals, right? So you want to call their attention without stalking them too much, but also you want to position yourself as an expert in a specific area. So whenever you're posting an article or liking something or commenting on something, it's about your area. So if you are an AI expert, you are posting articles about AR, AI, RPA, data analytics. That's what you're posting about and be consistent about what you're posting. So I used an example on the webinar that, you know, let's say you are an AI expert, but you have a brother who has a natural path.
Renata: You shouldn't be liking your brother's posts. Explain to your brother that you shouldn't be liking and commenting on all of that, beause you'll be fed wellbeing information, and you are going to be reaching out to wellbeing people on LinkedIn. And ideally what you want is to reach out to people that are interested in data analytics, AI, RPA, machine learning. So focus on your community and where you are most likely to have results. Your time is limited, you need to find a job fast, and you need to kind of be focused when you're using LinkedIn. It's your office.
Renata: Another question, would you recommend replicating your CV in the experience section? No. You have to use your CV as a due diligence document. Okay. It needs to be complete, not perfect, but complete. It needs to make sure that the employer hiring you needs to make sure that they're hiring the right person and that you're telling the truth and that all the information possible about you and your key achievements and responsibilities in previous jobs are in your CV.
Renata: On your LinkedIn, it is about how you're positioning yourself for a future job. So if you've done a hundred different things in your previous role, you don't have to list them all on LinkedIn. You need to list the ones that are important for you to find that next gig. So let's say again, you are somebody who has done several different things. One of them being AI and data analytics and machine learning. If that's all you want to focus on, then that's the story you're going to consistently tell on LinkedIn, right? So if you've done all the type of research, if you've done other type of projects within that organisation, you may not necessarily need to address those. And if your projects have been very sector specific and you're worried that on LinkedIn that might sort of pigeonhole you, then you write that in a language that is not sector specific. So you have to really use LinkedIn to sell yourself for the next employer, and the language should be a bit more casual or more informal.
Renata: Question. I'm not picking up the best jobs on my job alerts. Why is that? Look, you have to play around with LinkedIn jobs to find the best opportunities in terms of jobs. And it may never really work quite right for you. You know? So you have to, like I said, LinkedIn is your office now, spend time on LinkedIn and understand how it works and also build yourself the best possible alerts. As you click on jobs, it will ask you, you know, if you want to see more jobs like the ones that you've clicked. So by doing that over time, you get better alerts as well. And there are several different ways to search roles on LinkedIn. They've just added a little button for remote work, which I really have been using a lot to search for some opportunities for my clients. But I do have several different alerts for clients and not all of them work quite right. So you have to do searches yourself to make sure that you're not missing out on opportunities that are interesting for you, but LinkedIn is not picking them up because of, you know, the system not being perfect. Quite frankly.
Renata: Does the algorithm pick up content in messages? No. No, I'm sure you know those, I mean, it's kind of spooky. Yes, they are looking at your messages. And if you send messages with X-rated content, you might be kicked out of LinkedIn, but they're not looking at your messages to find you work. I don't think, I don't know. That's a question that I wouldn't know how to answer, that's a good one though. It's a bit spooky. I hope not. But be careful with the messages, not for that reason, but because you don't want to annoy people, the messages that I get, you know, from especially people that are selling or just connecting for absolutely no reason on LinkedIn, you know, it's annoying. Just if you want to connect with me on LinkedIn, just say, you've listened to my podcast. I will be so happy. And just say, Renata, I love listening to your podcasts and would like to connect with you. That's it. It's better than not sending anything and it's better than sending something that's completely random. So make sure that you write something that is tailored to the person that you want to connect with. Okay.
Renata: How important are endorsements? And can you have too many? Yes. You can have too many. You can have endorsements that are not aligned with your role whatsoever. Like, you know, I have seen very senior people with things like Excel and Word and you know, things that are not aligned with the jobs that they have. So yes, you can use Excel and you should, everybody should if they are office workers and white collar workers, but you don't need to list them anymore. I think it's important because again, keywords. So they will reinforce the message that you're trying to send the consistent message of your expertise, your superpowers, what is your DNA as an executive, as a professional that you're trying to send out.
Renata: So choosing those top three that will show in your profile is really important. And making them really unique about you. You know, I get really bored when I look at those and they're like leadership and management and project management, you know, they're not as exciting. So try to find also skills and endorsements that fall under the LinkedIn headings of industry knowledge or interpersonal skills. If they appear under other education with a question Mark, avoid them, don't have too many because they are not being picked up as under those two headings that LinkedIn has identified as good headings to have skills and endorsements. Right? So look into that, try to not have too many and try to make the three top ones that you can choose. You can pick and choose the three top ones, try to make them uniquely yours.
Renata: Another question, do you recommend LinkedIn premium? What are the benefits versus standard membership? Now you can go to LinkedIn and find out about that. I have had LinkedIn premium for a long, long time. I don't even know what a standard membership looks like anymore. I'm sorry. If you are on a standard membership and LinkedIn is working you, great, you can still try LinkedIn premium for free. They might offer it for you or months free of premium and make sure that you maximise that month and use it really well so that you can make the most out of that experience and make sure that LinkedIn premium is better than standard. And if it's not, then you know, don't worry. Now, when I speak to LinkedIn employees, I hear from them that LinkedIn premium is designed for job hunters, for people that are seeking employment. So there you go. So that's how they've designed LinkedIn premium.
Renata: So if you are looking for work, in between jobs, or if you are a portfolio career person who is constantly looking for consultancy work, contract work and opportunities, maybe LinkedIn premium is a better solution for you. I think it's about 30 to $40 at the moment. So that's per month. So it is a bit of an investment, but it may be worth it.
Renata: Another question, if you have recently left your last role, when should you update LinkedIn to show you have left, and how best to indicate your current situation? Okay. So up until COVID, we sometimes could take a little bit of time and people would say, and I would say as well, you know, stay like that up until a point where your role has been filled by somebody else, because you don't want to have two people on LinkedIn with the same job. Right? So that would make sense to me. And, you know, people sometimes were still grieving if they had been terminated or maybe made redundant. If they were made redundant, that position cease to exist, but still, you know, wait, wait a bit. You don't, you're not in a hurry. You can wait. Now things are a little bit different during COVID. And my recommendation in 2020 is for you to just terminate your employment as soon as you are done being employed. Why? Because there's a lot of candidates in the job market and you want to make it easy for the head-hunters and recruiters and hiring managers to understand where you sit.
Renata: And if you are looking for work, the best way instead of a green banner or writing in bold font that you are seeking employment, is basically to show that you have terminated your employment. And you're now in frictional unemployment, which means you are not working and you're looking for another job. So write those dates and let that termination do the work for you. You can change your privacy settings on LinkedIn so that you make those changes without that being announced to the, to your contacts. And usually what we announce is when we are employed again. So once you are employed again, you usually make sure that your community and your contacts receive that information and they congratulate you and they know where you are employed now. So usually that's what people do. And I would recommend that you do the same.
Renata: What's your view on opening your connections to all? I keep my connections private despite having over 750 connections. Yes, your connections should be private. I don't recommend you opening connections to all. If people do LinkedIn audits with me and their connections are open, I usually recommend that they close their connections. There is no need for other people to know who you're connected to, but if you are connected with people and I'm looking at your profile, if we have common connections, I will know who those common connections are.
Renata: So let's say, I look at your profile. You and I may have two or three or 50 or a hundred common connections. I can see those common connections, but I can't see the other connections. So there you go. I think that's all that somebody needs to know about your connections.
Renata: Do you have any guide on how long you should retain links on your profile? How regularly would you recommend refreshing with more current links? I didn't really quite understand that question. And I wonder if that question is about the features on LinkedIn. So if you go to my profile, you will see what features are. Not many people have features. I have quite a few. So my features are links to podcasts, links to resources that people can download. I have links to a survey that I'm doing and I keep them up to date, you know, some people have features that are articles that they have written as long as it's still relevant about your career, what you stand for, what your expertise is, then keep them there. The links in your introduction should be links to either your website or your Twitter account or your company's websites. Let's say you're working for a company or you have your own consultancy or business. You would have those links up there. I guess that answers the question.
Renata: I don't understand the search appearances function on LinkedIn. It lists a number, let's say 500, but when I click in only four companies are listed. Why aren't all companies listed? I don't know. I, it may, I believe it could be one of these things. It could be that the companies have opted to being anonymous and you should opt to be anonymous as well. It's my preference. I am anonymous. So when I'm looking at your profile, you won't know at all that I've looked at your profile, it could be that they're looking at you through the other platforms that LinkedIn have, which is the recruitment platform for recruiters and HR personnel and sales navigator, which is the platform that they have for salespeople. And maybe that's what the search is. I can ask LinkedIn people when I see them after lockdown is over. That's a good question. I've noticed that as well. And I seriously don't know what it means, but it, you know, if you’re getting 500 clicks, you know, your good aren't you? It should be a good number for you. Well done.
Renata: That's it folks. We have done all of the questions, all of the questions I am, I really need to drink a full litre of water now. It's been a long episode. I want to thank a few people today. I want to thank Estella, my podcast manager, who's done a great job at editing and promoting my podcast. She's fantastic. With her help we're reaching out more and more job hunters each week, and we've done some very challenging podcasts recently with the live events we've done last week, which I will be posting in the weeks ahead for you to look into those are live events that we've done here in Victoria, as part of the Vic government digital innovation festival. It was really fantastic. I'll tell you more about them next week.
Renata: I also want to thank the team at Watermark Search International, who organised this LinkedIn webinar in August. Donna, Jacinta, and Maddie love you. Thank you. Over 120 I think people attended, all you know, excellent professionals. The questions are great. I really enjoyed doing that webinar with you. To all the professionals who attended that event and ask the great questions, thank you so much such great questions. And I learned a lot from them. You know, it gave me great insight on what gets you guys stuck on LinkedIn and this way I can better serve you. And also thank you my LinkedIn clients, my LinkedIn audit clients who have trusted me with their investments and their profiles. I really enjoyed doing LinkedIn audits and I hope to do many, many more LinkedIn audits in the future. Thank you so much for listening to this podcast and until next week, ciao for now. Bye.
About the Host
Hello, I’m Renata Bernarde, the Host of The Job Hunting Podcast. I’m also an executive coach, job hunting expert, and career strategist. I teach professionals (corporate, non-profit, and public) the steps and frameworks to help them find great jobs, change, and advance their careers with confidence and less stress.
If you are an ambitious professional who is keen to develop a robust career plan, if you are looking to find your next job or promotion, or if you want to keep a finger on the pulse of the job market so that when you are ready, and an opportunity arises, you can hit the ground running, then this podcast is for you.
In addition to The Job Hunting Podcast, on my website, I have developed a range of courses and services for professionals in career or job transition. And, of course, I also coach private clients.
Contact Renata Bernarde
I’m determined to help you! I want you to feel empowered, nail your next job, and have the career you want.
My free resources for job hunters: The Optimized Job Search: Weekly Schedule & Masterclass.
Learn more about my services, courses, and group coaching: RenataBernarde.com