How many recommendations do you need on LinkedIn?

Zero is NOT the correct answer to “How many recommendations should you have on LinkedIn?” If you are a jobseeker, hiring managers might set their own minimum thresholds of the “right” number. 

If you are a small business owner or entrepreneur, hopefully you have some “testimonials” or recommendations from previous satisfied clients. 

If you are employed, make sure you get written validation from your supervisor or colleagues while you are “in between transitions”. One never knows when a reorg or downsizing might happen, so … MANAGE YOUR CAREER and keep all your career documents up to date. If you are a supervisor, why not show some gratitude to the people who work for you and make you look good. Take the time to show your appreciation. 

If you know of someone who volunteers with you or for a cause that is meaningful to you, give a shout out via a recommendation, instead of sending them a thank you in an email or inmail. That way it’s public for others to see. 

You must be a 1st level connection with someone in order to give or receive a recommendation. When you write, try to make the opening line have a little pizzazz to make it interesting for the reader. 

You cannot reorder the recommendations in order of importance to you as they are listed in chronological order. The section is at the bottom of one’s LinkedIn profile, which cannot be moved either. 

If you want a recommendation from someone, you might offer to draft the verbiage and tell them to tweak as they see fit. This allows you to highlight the points you want to be included. 

Not everyone knows LinkedIn well enough to navigate the recommendations section, so you can even share these HOW TO links as follows:

Recommendations Overview

Recommending Someone on Linkedin 

Requesting a Recommendation

Accepting and Displaying Recommendations

Revising a Recommendation You Have Given

Deleting a Recommendation You Sent

Hiding and Unhiding Recommendations

Declining a Requested Recommendation

Here’s hoping YOU, the reader, become the writer to make someone’s day! #gratitude

How many skills and endorsements do you need?

Industry Knowledge, Tools & Technologies, Interpersonal Skills, Languages, or Other Skills are the categories for Skills and Endorsements on LinkedIn, in addition to your top 3 skills. 

The maximum number of skills you can have is 50, so should you have 50? 

Well … it depends on your strategy.  

If you request that people endorse you for skills and you have fewer than 50 skills, you might reach the 99+ category of endorsements for each skill faster.

However, if you want to include as many of your keywords as possible, then you will want to take advantage of having the 50 that you are allowed, as skills can strengthen your profile

Just make sure you pin your top three skills at the top by clicking the pin on or off.

Here are Linkedin’s instructions to add and remove skills on your profile.

If you were not aware, you can reorder your skills by simply dragging and dropping. Just make sure you click SAVE before you close the window. 

The only way people can endorse you for your skills or you endorse them is to be first level connections. Note that you can manage your settings for receiving or giving endorsements also. 

If, for some reason, you wanted to hide (or unhide) a skill endorsement, you can do that too.

Something new to endorsements is the level of how qualified the person is – good, very good, highly skilled and whether you worked directly or indirectly with that individual. Although LinkedIn would like you to get specific, you don’t have to. 

Here’s to wishing you many “thumbs up” endorsements from your first level connections, whether it is reciprocating from your endorsing them or them just wanting to give you kudos! 

Remember it is better to give than to receive … well maybe not when it’s your own profile! It’s always better to receive!


Originally published at Vista.Today

How to Create & Follow Hashtags on LinkedIn

Hashtag usage on social media may be well understood by some, mysterious to others, or somewhere inbetween. The hash sign (#) is utilized before a word or string of words so others can find specific content or a theme indexed on social networks, including LinkedIn. The hashtags can become discoverable or searchable by others as a category, per se. People can find, follow, or contribute to conversations with this method of organization.

For example, if there was a social event with the hashtag #bettyboopssocial and lots of people at the event took pictures and posted them on social media using that hashtag, everyone at the social would be able to see each other’s pictures. This is an example of creating your own hashtag and you can even do this for yourself personally or for your business. 

Check out #GreatCareersPHL on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and you will see posts by either @GreatCareersPHL or, perhaps, posted by others who have taken pictures at various events. 

You can also follow hashtags in your personal interest area to see what others are posting. 

Examples of Veterans Hashtags

#military #veterans #miltaryveterans #militaryspouse #vets #milspouse #milspouses

Examples of Jobseeker Hashtags

#jobsearch #jobsearching #careertransition #jobseeker #careermanagement #resume

Example of IP Hashtags

#intellectualproperty #ip #copyright #patent #trademark #brandprotection #litigation

On LinkedIn, you might not find #ineedajob being used, as it’s a more professional platform, but you will certainly see that hashtag on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Social Media Examiner has a great synopsis on the use of hashtags on LinkedIn, as does Hootsuite. Linkedin also provides guidance in their help section.

#ihopeyouhavefunwithusinghashtags (though use more serious ones on LinkedIn) and try to hone in on the hashtags of your target audience with relevant content where you can create engagement or search for hashtags in your area of interest. 

This article was originally published in Vista.Today

How To Construct a Boolean Search for LinkedIn on Google

Have you ever received a “Commercial Use Limit” notification when you have exceeded the 300 searches you have done in a month? LinkedIn will warn you when you have reached 90% of your 300 limit. If you exceed the limit, LinkedIn will do a reset on the 1st of the month, but will suggest that in order to increase your profile views, you should purchase Premium Business, Recruiter, or Sales Navigator.

If you are a hiring manager or recruiter without a premium account and are looking for talent, your search may stop dead in its tracks when you exceed the limit. If you are a jobseeker trying to search for networking connections who can make introductions for you, you may also exceed the limit. 

Here is the good news. There is a LinkedIn hack you can perform on Google so it doesn’t count as part of your LinkedIn search. If you have not seen “How to Do a Boolean Search on LinkedIn”, start by reading this article to refresh yourself with the operator signs of AND, OR, and NOT. 

Last week, I had the pleasure of finally meeting Ed Han in person in Princeton when he presented LinkedIn and he refreshed my memory on this nifty little trick.

On Google, enter the following search string of words, as an example: (“greater philadelphia area”) AND (“northwestern mutual” OR “merrill lynch” OR “valley creek advisors” OR blackrock)

People’s names and LinkedIn URLs will pop up in your Google search. Note when you do this, you will see that so many people still have not taken 30 seconds to customize their URL. If you are one of those people, here is how to get rid of the gobbledygook.

Do you remember PEMDAS (Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally) from your elementary or middle school math classes for the order of operations? AND, OR, () and “” are the order of operations you see in the example above. 

When there is one word like blackrock, it does not have any quotation marks. When you want to keep a set of words together like “northwestern mutual” or “merrill lynch” or “valley creek advisors”, the quotation marks need to be used. 

Here is another example so you get the gist of what you need to do: (“greater philadelphia area” OR “greater new york city area”) AND (R&D AND VP OR “vice president” AND “johnson & johnson” OR “johnson and johnson” OR “j and j” OR “j & j” OR j&j)

Happy searching … beyond 300!

This article was originally published in Vista.Today

How To Do a Boolean Search on LinkedIn

Happy National Small Business Week! Wouldn’t you love to support local small businesses? What if they were so small you didn’t know they even existed because they have no storefront? 

What if they worked virtually from home? Freelanced? Were a solopreneur? What if you REALLY needed their services?

Wait! There is LinkedIn and it’s an amazing database and treasure trove of information! 

If these small business owners used the right keywords to be found and you were looking for them by using the same keywords, this could lead to a matchy matchy and a win win!

In order to tap into the LinkedIn database, you can do a Boolean search using the words (in caps) AND, OR, or NOT along with the keywords. George Boole was a 19th century logician, mathematician, and philosopher who developed this form of logic, so it is a tool that can now be used in modern times for searches on the Internet, including LinkedIn.

Here are a few examples:

“Graphic designer” AND “Website”

“Graphic Designer” AND “Website Developer”

Website AND Developer OR Designer

Website AND Host NOT Designer

The bottom line is you need to use keywords in your profile in order to be found. In a previous article, I shared that you can embellish job titles on LinkedIn with keywords. Keywords in your headline are the MOST CRITICAL! 

Just think of what people are going to type into Google – certainly not your exact title and company name because they don’t even know you exist. They are going to type in keywords of what they are looking for. 

You really need to research these keywords before you publish. For example, when you click on the Jobs tab and enter Project Manager and Greater Philadelphia area, you get about 3000 jobs. But, if you change it to be Project Management, you get about 9000 jobs. 

So logic suggests that you would be much better off using the keywords that are the most popular. Have fun researching your keywords on LinkedIn and note that you will also find similarities with keywords in Google Trends

This article was originally published in Vista.Today.

"Concopulo" in Networking with Your Alumni on LinkedIn

How’s your Latin? It’s commencement season, so it might be a good time to brush up! Unless you teach Latin, you might not know that concopulo means to join or associate. Also, you might not remember the difference between alum, alumni, alumna, alumnus, and alumnae, so click here for a refresher.

I am honored to be giving my first commencement speech on Friday, so wanted to share some tidbits about LinkedIn and the power of alumni networking. 

In addition, since I taught three entrepreneurship lessons (with the main focus on nonprofit) at Conestoga High School this week where I am an alumna, I learned that only a couple students had LinkedIn profiles, so I wanted to share the link to my Junior Achievement slide deck in the hopes that other local educators and students (over 16) would utilize all the resources I assembled in the appendix.

For current students or those about to graduate, their alumni network can be used to start building a successful LinkedIn network.

When in your LinkedIn profile, click on the round “ME” on the top to get the pull down menu and click on Open Quick Help. Type “alumni” and head to the overview page and then click on “Alumni Section” which has many links to help guide students on their profile setup, apply for jobs, and find internships. (Speaking of internships, contact me if need an internship for digital marketing and/or video editing!)

For those who have already graduated:

  1. type your school’s name into the search field
  2. select your school
  3. click “Alumni”

You will see the following charts on 1) where they live, 2) where they work, 3) what they do, 4) what they studied, 5) what they are skilled at, and 6) how you are connected. 

You especially want to focus on second degree connections. This might be a great opportunity to reach out to those with whom you have this same collegiate common bond and send them a professional and personalized note:

Dear xxx,

As you are a fellow alum at Penn State University in the field of xxx, I would love to connect and add you to my LinkedIn network.

Once your invitation has been accepted, thank them for accepting and continue the conversation. Perhaps you are seeking an informational interview to learn more about an occupation or company. Maybe you are moving to a new city and need to start meeting locals in that city who graduated from the same school. Maybe you are seeking a long lost friend and want to see if they are on LinkedIn. You can enter the dates attended to narrow down the search.

It’s a journey to build a network, but those with whom you have developed long-lasting relationships will be the key to your future career success. Start building connections and relationships on LinkedIn, so you have an electronic Rolodex. If you are too young to know what that is, click here

Come learn and network with the Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group. There is something of interest for any working adult (or about to be working if you are graduating soon!)


This article was originally published in Vista.Today

How to Embellish Your Job Titles on LinkedIn

Yada yada yada! You are a solopreneur and are into titles and want to call yourself President or CEO.  President or CEO of what? Perhaps you are a VP Sales … but a VP Sales of what? 

Don’t you want to be the first chair of the first violins, otherwise known as the concertmaster? Don’t you want to be that leader? 

Why not embellish your job titles on LinkedIn so you can play the first violinist role on your LinkedIn profile to command the best seat in your own online orchestra to create your own branded song? You have 100 characters to embellish your job title, so why not take advantage of using keywords after your real title? 

Here are three examples of attorneys who have very different skill sets and areas of expertise. I would certainly want to hire the right person to vigorously defend my specific interests as a client. Wouldn’t you?

Attorney | Consultant | Commercial Transactions | Healthcare | Compliance Agreements | Negotiations

Attorney | Family Law | Divorce | Child Custody | Child Support | Separation | Property Settlement 

Attorney | Personal Injury | Car Accident | Medical Malpractice | Wrongful Death | Slip and Fall 

LinkedIn is a database and people can do Boolean searches using AND, OR, or NOT in order to find people. So why not embellish your titles to potentially be found?

Don’t believe me? Listen to a story of the LinkedIn journey of a independent sales representative for promotional products. The day after he optimized his LinkedIn profile with keywords, he got a call for a job … and he wasn’t even looking for a job! In fact, you will learn many additional LinkedIn tips and tricks when you watch Getting Concrete Results from Social Media video starting at 1:27 on this website.

Just know that some HR professionals are purists and don’t believe you should embellish your title on LinkedIn. A recent poll from HR organizations like CCHRA, GVHRA, PSPS, and others resulted in 80% of HR professionals felt it was acceptable to embellish the titles. So now all you Client Happiness Representatives can now better explain what it is that you do! 

This article was originally published in Vista.Today