Hashtags Matter

As a thought leader on LinkedIn, you can publish articles on LinkedIn as well as posts, not to mention liking, commenting, or sharing other people’s content. Commenting is always preferred by LinkedIn to likes and shares.   

However, when you write and publish an article, LinkedIn notes that you can edit the article, but you cannot edit, remove, or add hashtags you included in the article. So, make sure you have your hashtags confirmed and spelled correctly before you hit the publish button.

Companies can manage trending employee content hashtags if they are logged on as an administrator on the company page.

Hashtags can also be added to create Linkedin Page Communities.

But here is the latest on hashtags. If you happen to follow the #NewLinkedInFeature hashtag on LinkedIn, you would have noticed new posts last week that have people wondering if there is an algorithm change that LinkedIn has not notified us about. 

Previously, I mentioned that you should only have three (3) hashtags in your posts and LinkedIn expert, Kevin D. Turner, has noted that these first three hashtags used in your LinkedIn post are now part of the post’s URL. So, there is speculation that this may be picked up by Google for search, indexing, findability, and rankings. 

I tried a post with the three hashtags and … sure enough … the three hashtags became part of the URL as you can see below.  

https://www.linkedin.com/posts/lynnewilliams_greatcareersphl-networking-linkedinprofile-activity-6611148065124474880-BBgQ 

I tried another post with four hashtags, but only the first three became part of the URL.

https://www.linkedin.com/posts/lynnewilliams_greatcareersphl-personalbranding-keywords-activity-6611150379591757824-0AXi 

The bottom line is that #hashtagsmatter so choose wisely!

LinkedIn Ladies

One cannot deny the fact that a lot of women like to get together with other women and just talk. Perhaps that is why there are so many women’s groups that exist. It’s a bonding thing and LinkedIn can help keep it going. 

LinkedIn can be the online connector to help build relationships with know, like, trust. It can bring people together to connect for even more introductions

For example, on Wed December 6th, I attended the Montgomery County Foundation Women and Leadership Forum for the first time (a sold out event of 300), which I will absolutely make an annual event. Not only did I get to hear and meet fabulous speakers, but also got to meet Tamala Edwards from 6ABC and she was awarded the Women of Distinction Award. In addition, I met some lovely ladies at my table and we connected on LinkedIn on the apps on our phones using the Scan and QR Code feature. That’s especially helpful at networking events when you run out of or don’t have business cards.

Every May, the Tri-County and Montgomery County SCORE chapters put on a Women’s Symposium and I have been on that planning committee for the past two years. That is another terrific women’s event.

Since I have been on the speaker’s bureau of Chester and Delaware County SCORE for 6-½ years, I also attend their Women’s Entrepreneurship Event. As I am the LinkedIn presenter for this SCORE chapter,I was able to bring this community of women together using the Find Nearby feature on the LinkedIn app. 

Bucks County SCORE also runs an annual women’s event at Parx Casino – yet another not to miss annual event.

Another fabulous annual Women’s event in Delaware County is called Womenomics and the next one is scheduled for March 7, 2020 and is hosted by the Friends of the Delaware County Women’s Commission and the Delaware County BPW. 

I am also a lifetime member of FemCity but there are still so many more ladies’ groups. 

There are just not enough hours in the day to attend them all, but attend something. Don’t think you cannot attend as a man, because you certainly can.

LinkedIn for Nonprofits

#GivingTuesday was on Dec 3, 2019 and a chance for nonprofit organizations to bring awareness to their missions on LinkedIn.

If the organization has a company page or LinkedIn group, those would be great places to post a reminder about #GivingTuesday or the organization’s mission or stories of impact. 

Members of the Board of Directors, volunteers, donors, potential donors, or friends of the organization can share any of the organization’s post(s) by clicking on the 3 dots at the top right of the post and then clicking on “copy link to post”. People can add their own commentary and hashtags to that URL. 

If you need to learn more about how to use LinkedIn for Nonprofits, you could sign up to attend the annual nonprofit conference at princetoncommunityworks.org on Monday January 27, 2020. Having attended the past two years, I can tell you I got a lot out of it and am returning again. 

If you are not busy on Thursday, Dec 5th, you can join our Nonprofit Career Network (NCN) Philly group for breakfast in Lansdale and expand your network of other nonprofit professionals. 

If you are a 501(c)3 charitable nonprofit, hopefully you reminded folks about your Amazon Smile account for Black Friday and Cyber Monday and if not, make sure you do that next year. 

If you need to attend a LinkedIn workshop, you will find the upcoming dates on the meetup under the events tab on our website with the last of 2019 on 12/19 and 12/21.

LinkedIn New Events Feature

LinkedIn has rolled out another new feature. You can now post an event from your desktop or on the app on your mobile device. I just created my first ever event on LinkedIn and am so excited about this, so I had to share. 

Here is how to access it from your mobile device from the app:

  1. Tap on your profile picture at the top left
  2. Tap on the + sign to the right of the word Events
  3. Fill out the info

To use it on the desktop:

  1. Click on the blue and white IN button at the top left so you have 3 columns
  2. Tap on the + sign to the right of the word Events in the far left column
  3. Fill out the info

The event can be set to public or private with the following:

  1. Time zone
  2. Image
  3. Name of Event
  4. Location
  5. Venue Details
  6. Date and Time of start and end
  7. Event description
  8. External URL

To read LinkedIn’s directions, click here.

LinkedIn and Volunteers

“People who volunteer tend to experience fewer aches and pains.” In addition “People 55 and older who volunteer for two or more organizations are significantly less likely to die early, and that’s after sifting out every other contributing factor, including physical health, exercise, gender, habits like smoking, marital status and many more. This is a stronger effect than exercising four times a week.”  These quotes were passed on to me by a TEDx Wilmington speaker who read them on the Random Acts of Kindness website . They were taken from a book called Raising Happiness: In Pursuit of Joyful Kids and Happier Parents by Christine Carter. 

In case you were not aware, you can add the profile section called VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE on your individual LinkedIn profile. It’s a great way to showcase any nonprofit organizations that you are passionate about and might even strike up a conversation with others who may be reviewing your profile.

In addition, you can seek volunteer opportunities or seek volunteers for a nonprofit on the LinkedIn Volunteer Marketplace.

Because it’s that giving time of year, don’t forget to support nonprofits with your time, talent, and treasure … and list your volunteer efforts on your LinkedIn profile.

LinkedIn Tips for Jobseekers

There seems to be a lot of downsizing and reorganizing going on in companies in the region, which has led to the growth of our organization with a lot of new jobseekers, even though we have a mix of employed and self-employed who come to learn and network. Some of our members have outplacement services available to them and others do not. 

For many folks, they are like “deer in headlights” and don’t know what to do, as the job search process has changed so much since they last looked for a position. Resume trends have certainly changed and LinkedIn has evolved since it was launched in 2003. 

If you ask 10 resume and LinkedIn profile writers for their recommendations, you may get 15 different answers and, as a jobseeker, you only care that the advice works. 

Here are some of the suggestions I would like to share if you are in career transition or thinking about making a change.

  1. Before you make edits to your profile, review the sharing edits setting.
  2. Optimize your headline with key titles and keywords (same technique as link in #5 below)
  3. Make sure your have a photo that is friendly and charismatic and you can even see what others think about it by using Photofeeler.
  4. Customize your LinkedIn URL.
  5. Embellish your job titles up to 100 characters.
  6. Make sure you have the right keywords in the Skills and Endorsements section (same technique as link in #5 above and you can also use Google Trends).
  7. If you don’t have over 500 connections, then start connecting. Read more.
  8. Include a bullet pointed list of keywords in the About section and put them in alphabetical order so the reader can logically process the list and see if you have the “must have” requirements for the position. 
  9. Get active on the platform and write articles and also include them in your publications section.
  10. Use Feedly to generate links of articles with relevant content in your areas of interest so you can write some commentary with the article link and share it on your Home page as well as in groups. Make sure you also like, share, and comment on other people’s posts.
  11. It is essential that you have a current position listed (20xx – present) and not one with an end date so the algorithm with help, versus hurt, you. This might be a great reason for you to volunteer for an organization of your interest, as you will both benefit. List your volunteer role as your current job. Read this one article and another. 
  12. Take advantage of the online interview coaching feature that is currently being rolled out.
  13. Explore the Resume Builder LinkedIn is rolling out to premium members. If you have a premium account, here is the link.
  14. Build a custom word cloud banner for free using WordArt or create a banner in Canva or Over or DesignWizard. You can also use WordArt and Jobscan.co to aid your text analyzation of job descriptions. This will help you with keyword searches so you can wordsmith these into your resume and Linkedin profile. 
  15. Your public profile visibility should be open.
  16. Use Boolean searches in LinkedIn or for LinkedIn in Google to find connections in companies. 
  17. Write a variety of introduction requests for different situations.
  18. Check who has viewed your profile and reach out to the people who have looked at your profile.

Originally published in vista.today and updated

Use LinkedIn to Thank Veterans for Their Service

So exactly what is a veteran? “A veteran – whether active duty, discharged, retired or reserve – is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to the United States of America, for an amount of up to, and including, his/her life.” Thank you to John O’Brien, who shared this quote in a recent article in the Concord Monitor.

I am so very thankful for all the men and women who have served or are serving our country to protect our freedom. So, on Monday, November 11th, I will be giving a shout-out on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and … of course LinkedIn. 

Did you know that LinkedIn gives veterans a premium subscription FREE for one year? This is to help them connect with jobs in their post-deployment and reintegration phase and can result in the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The bad and the ugly are that many vets have taken huge pay cuts in take-home pay, lose their free military healthcare, and have no more housing allowances. They take steps backward in their careers to work in low-paying, lower-status jobs where they are unable to utilize their experience and education. 

George Anders wrote about a vet who stated that “People don’t know what to do with an infantry background.” This is very true that it is sometimes difficult for vets to civilianize their core competencies. It is equally difficult for corporate America to understand that vets truly lead with a mission-driven sense of purpose, thrive in teamwork, and shine with military-honed leadership skills and they should be considered to be viable candidates, sans prior corporate experience. They will adjust. 

The good news is that, according to the US Department of Labor (DOL), 3.2% of veterans are currently unemployed as of September 2019. However, that is not including all six of the measures of unemployment; only the U3.

The DOL reports the U3 monthly, but the truth is that they should really take note of the U6. Shadowstats notes that the reality of unemployment with the U6 more like 21%, which is why the Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group (PAGCG) is growing in membership, as people need more resources and support while in career transition. The good news is that we welcome vets. 

The PAGCG is delighted to have partnered with the Greater Philadelphia Veterans Network (GPVN) and provided a couple cohorts of vets with career education (resumes, LinkedIn, networking, elevator pitches, etc.) through some grant funding. 

Both of our organizations are grateful to Penn State Great Valley along with the PSU alumni society and My Career Transitions for providing the beautiful space and extra volunteers for our last Veterans Career Information Panel and Dinner. We could not have done it without all the support and look forward to a repeat in 2020 at the Navy Yard location. 

You can learn more about the status of the job market for veterans but, it should be no surprise that not all veterans want W-2 jobs, as many take the entrepreneurial route. The GPVN runs an annual Veterans Shark Tank and I got to attend the regional qualifier recently. Also, they also run a Veteran Business Referral Network (VBRN), which I have attended as a patriot and supporter of veterans.  

I am also honored to have been asked to present a LinkedIn overview to three groups of the PA National Guard next month through Higher Ed Assist. They will get to hear why LinkedIn is so important for their career, whether they want to be an employee or pursue entrepreneurship.

If you want to see some LinkedIn profiles of veterans who have translated their core competencies into civilianized keywords (unless they intend to continue in the military), check these out: Andre McCoy, Patrick Montone, Peter Browne, Kenneth D’Aurizio, and Alex Pilkington (and watch his video resume too). A couple have jobs or have just landed jobs and another is seeking a new opportunity. If you want to hire a vet, reach out to me as I might have some referrals.

I will be thanking these vets and many others on Veteran’s Day on LinkedIn, so please feel free to share your gratitude also. There are a lot of regional veterans organizations who are members of the Delaware Valley Veterans Consortium (DVVC) so thank all of them too. 

Originally published in vista.today