LinkedIn Checklist: 10 Tweaks for Control Freaks (Part 1)

Writing Control Your LinkedIn Presencean executive résumé is baffling for many of the folks I speak to every day.

Too often the résumé becomes a bloated version of one written straight out of college, and by mid-career there’s so much information that it’s tough to be objective about what stays and what goes.

Then comes LinkedIn, posing as a résumé, but not really being a résumé because of its public nature, norms, and new boundary-pushing ways.

To be absent from LinkedIn is to marginalize opportunity. To be on LinkedIn without understanding it, however, is to potentially invite career gaffes and public blunders in a new age.

The result of all this confusion is a shell of a LinkedIn profile that looks like its owner doesn’t care.

Happily, LinkedIn offers a variety of settings and controls so we can sleep at night, and perhaps instill more confidence to meaningfully build out those profiles so LinkedIn can actually start working for us.

Here are five I’ve prepared for you to tackle this weekend. I’ll post the next five in seven short days.  Continue reading

What the BLEEP are LinkedIn Endorsements?

What are LinkedIn EndorsementsAnd more importantly, does LinkedIn risk losing credibility in the long term by unwittingly opening its users up to legal problems in their careers?

A close friend recently asked, “What are LinkedIn endorsements, and do you condone them?”

As management within a public retail giant, he is not authorized to give references or recommendations about employees in his everyday life.

Indeed, reference checks are funneled along to HR, which offers scant details limited to “yes that was their title” and “yes, those were the dates.”

So his wise instinct is not participate in LinkedIn endorsements.

“What are LinkedIn endorsements, and do you condone them?”  Continue reading

Missed the Memo? Don’t Put Negative Stuff in Writing

Recently, a friend — let’s call her Sue — wrote a pretty funny Facebook rant. Don't Share Negative News

Witty marketing is her gig, after all, and she’s smart-as-a-whip, so we all enjoy reading her creative take on life.

Unfortunately, the post involved blasting a sponsor, and she then proceeded to copy and paste the would-be sponsor’s rejection letter on her Facebook wall.

Yes, on her wall.

I inboxed her right away and suggested that she remove it ASAP.

While perhaps humorous behind closed doors — yes, there’s probably a time and a place to blow off steam — social media has become a bull pen of possible career-blunting blunders. For some, “trying not to step in it” has become a full-time affair.

If you’re prone to what my mother used to call, “popping off at the mouth,” consider the possible implications of my friend’s post: Continue reading

How to Hide Your LinkedIn Contacts From the General Public

Select #4 under “Privacy Controls”

Did you know you can hide your LinkedIn connections? 

“But why,” you say? “Why hide the connections I’ve so diligently tended?”

For professionals whose connections basically represent their client list, it may be smart to keep that list within your control.

Here’s how:

  1. Login to your Linked profile
  2. Hover over your name in the upper right corner
  3. Click “Settings”
  4. Click “Select who can see your connections” under “Privacy Controls” (in the “Profile” tab near the bottom of the page, fourth on the list in the picture I’ve uploaded with this post)
  5. Choose “Only You” in the drop down menu

While you’re there, check out all the other behind-the-scenes controls LinkedIn offers.

Related post: How to Hide a Contact’s Activity on Your LinkedIn Newsfeed

A word of caution: I’ve been told that your connections will still see your mutual connections, but I’ve not been able to clear this up. Also, LinkedIn will still display your contact count.

Only you will know if it’s best to hide your list of contacts, but knowing you have the option gives a lot more control over your professional Rolodex.

Until next time!

Jared Redick
Visit: The Resume
Follow: @TheResumeStudio
Call: 415-397-6640

Are You Innovative? Think Twice About That Keyword

I live in a world dripping with keywords and phrases.

Actually, we all do. Think the billboard you drive by every morning isn’t precisely written? That Google search you just performed isn’t engineered within an inch of its life?

Everyone knows that advertising and marketing has been turned on its ear in little more than a decade.

Bye bye subscription rates, content is king.

Findability and click-through rates (CTR) long ago hijacked the quest for eyeballs.

The same has become true for résumés, particularly résumés that are first taken for a spin through a company’s applicant tracking system (ATS) before ever being seen by a human being.

Without the right mix of keywords, the résumé may never be seen by anyone.

And don’t forget LinkedIn. Without carefully chosen keywords and phrases, you risk being missed in a sea of 150 million users.

But in my practice, I regularly see confusion around keywords.

For example, I regularly ask my clients for the top 8-12 keywords and phrases they think we should build copy around. We use job descriptions to help make the decision, and we revisit the notion throughout the engagement. Clarity comes with revision after revision.

Oddly, no matter the client’s background — no matter his or her skill or seniority — they inevitably come back with first-round words like this:

  • innovative
  • leader
  • experienced
  • seasoned

(The funny thing about using the word “innovative” is that its use is anything but … but that’s a topic for another blog post!) Continue reading

How Many Passwords Are Enough? A Real Life Horror Story

Even before our collective blood pressure shot through the roof this week over LinkedIn’s password breach, I’d been thinking about creating a unique username and password for each online account I own.

Well, this week forced me over the edge, and I took two hours furiously doing just that: dreaming up and inputting a unique password for every … online … account … I … own.

In the words of a client who responded after I sent an alert through my e-newsletter: “A different login for every account? H. E. double hockey sticks!” (I couldn’t have loved her response more if she’d ended it with “Batman.”)

By the way, LinkedIn’s Vicente Silveira published Taking Steps to Protect Our Members on the professional network’s blog. Don’t miss it.

Are Your Passwords Unique?

So a question I’ve been mulling, “How many passwords are enough?” obviously hit home this week.

Here’s what I’ve wanted to share with my friends and clients, but have left sitting in a drawer until now.

A real life horror story, or at least I think so.

“They took control of my email account. Then they eliminated my address book, severing my connection to friends, family, colleagues, and everyone else from as far back as 1997!”

Can you imagine the feeling?


Unable to really do much of anything meaningful to mitigate damage that you’ll never really know the full extent about?

I was as passive as the next guy when it came to password management until my virtual assistant recently shared a horror story from one of her connections.

A tale with far-reaching implications, and we should all be aware.

Here’s what went down. Continue reading

How to Write a Great LinkedIn Recommendation

How to write a great LinkedIn recommendationEver been asked to write a LinkedIn recommendation for a friend or colleague?

It’s flattering, right? Until you realize how much work it can involve. How many questions it elicits when you finally sit down to write “what should be simple.”

As with all writing, developing a strategy before going in is an essential start. For this article I’ve lifted directly from my own LinkedIn profile.

Start With Who They Are

In the screenshot below, you’ll notice that I’ve recommended five people to date. Three show up as teaser lines, prompting you to click for more.

Writing LinkedIn recommendations

From My Own LinkedIn Profile

So what do you notice about the copy? Each leads with what the subject brings to the world, professionally.

Victoria Ekegren Ahlén (CEO of social media agency Awoque) and I went to school together. I’ve since admired her work from afar, but since we went to school together, I can’t speak directly about her work today.

However, I remember Victoria from college as a smart woman who cares deeply about things that matter, she is also a person of immense integrity. Her international perspective helped me see beyond my own backyard all those years ago.

So it took time to develop a strategy for Victoria’s recommendation, but I finally led with “even before she was a branding guru,” which gets who she is out the gate fast. By framing it this way, I acknowledged her now, in a way that lets me speak authentically about Victoria as I know her.

You’ll notice the same approach when I wrote recommendations for my virtual assistant, Kandace Friesen of Friesen Virtual Assistants and my graphic / web designer, Jennifer Quinton of Quinton Design Studio. In each example, the reader knows who the subject is without having to click for more. And perhaps it breathes a bit of life into the reader experience. Professional writing shouldn’t mean stale writing.

Be Honest

There are two ideas under the honesty category.

Continue reading