How to Make Your LinkedIn Profile Stand Out, with Marc Miller

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Transcript

Mac Prichard: 

Hi. This is Mac from Mac’s List. Before we start the show, I want to let you know about my new book, Land Your Dream Job Anywhere. I’ve been helping job seekers find meaningful, well-paying work since 2001, and now, I’ve put all my best advice into one easy-to-use guide. My book shows you how to make your resume standout in a stack of applications, where you can find the hidden jobs that never get posted, and what you need to do to ace your next job interview. Get the first chapter now for free. Visit Macslist.org/anywhere.

This is Find Your Dream Job, a podcast that helps you get hired, have the career you want, and make a difference in life. I’m Mac Prichard, your host and publisher of Mac’s List. I’m joined by my co-host, Ben Forstag, our managing director, and Jenna Forstrom, our community manager. This week, we’re talking about how you can make your LinkedIn profile stand out in an online search.

When hiring managers look for job candidates, they turn to social media, especially LinkedIn. According to one national survey, 87% of recruiters say they use LinkedIn to find applicants. Our guest expert this week is Marc Miller. He says you can take simple steps to make your LinkedIn profile rise to the top of the list in an online search. Marc and I talk later in the show.

Now, your LinkedIn profile isn’t a resume; it has a much more informal tone. In fact, on many LinkedIn accounts, people use first person language – I, we or us – the kind of language not found on resumes. Ben Forstag shares an article later in the show that describes the advantages and disadvantages of this approach.

Some day, you may get fired or laid off from your job. It’s happened to me not once, but twice. What do you say about your dismissal? That’s our listener question of the week. It comes from Gregory Rouse in Portland, Oregon. Jenna Forstrom offers her advice shortly.

First, as always, let’s check in with the Mac’s List team, here in the Mac’s List studio. We’re talking about LinkedIn this week. It’s a favorite topic of the team – right up there with one versus two-page resumes. We all have passionate views on that. I’m curious, Jenna, maybe you want to kick off for us and Ben as well. What’s your number one tip to make your LinkedIn profile rank high when employers do online searches?

Jenna Forstrom:

My number one tip is to always try to achieve that all-star level. LinkedIn has a pretty good program where it walks you through as you’re setting up, so it’ll say you’re at 60%, so you’re like a beginner and you can move up, and then a hundred percent is the all-star level. That ties into my second one which is always give recommendations for co-workers and bosses and superiors and teammates before you request information, so give them a reason to write a recommendation, but getting recommendations is part of hitting the 100% all-star level.

Mac Prichard:

Tell us about the benefits of doing that. I mean, you know me, Jenna because we work together; I love completing things, but by filling out your profile and getting that all-star ranking and particularly adding profiles, how does that help you with online searches?

Jenna Forstrom:

I think it just walks you through all the different ways you can maximize LinkedIn, so it tells you to join some groups and it makes recommendations like, we see you work at Nike or Standard Insurance, connect with other co-workers that way or add your languages or add professional development things or photos. I think just walking you through that, you’ll learn more and more about LinkedIn and you get connected to people and you naturally find more opportunities, and then your news feed fills up with different opportunities as well. It just gets you out there, gets you connected, and that gives you that hacker insider trail to finding new jobs.

Mac Prichard: 

Yeah. It’s a great advice because it’s like getting an online tutorial and getting shown all the LinkedIn secrets.

Jenna Forstrom:

Correct. Yeah.

Mac Prichard:  

Terrific. Ben, what are your thoughts? You had a super hack you want to share?

Ben Forstag:  

I’ve got a real simple one, which is you have to think like a search engine, and search engines are all built around keywords, and so when you’re crafting your LinkedIn profile, especially that summary section, think through the important keywords that are relevant to the career you have or the career you want. I think sometimes, people try to get too artsy with their summaries, and they’re beautifully written and they’re lovely to read, but they don’t include the right keywords for LinkedIn’s own search engine to really ping and find you when someone types in certain words, so if you’re avoiding certain phrases that are common in your industry, you’re really losing out.

Mac Prichard:

Now, I know there are online tools you can use to find keywords for a blog post that are particularly popular on social media accounts like Twitter or Instagram. Are there tools like that that can help people figure out which, say, one or three or four common words might be used for a skill that would have greater standing on LinkedIn?

Ben Forstag: 

Yeah, there are, and actually I think I talked about one of them on one of our earlier podcasts. Right now, Mac, you’re showing that our show is not scripted because I actually don’t remember what the name of that tool was, but we will make sure to get that in the show notes.

Mac Prichard: 

Okay.

Ben Forstag: 

Essentially, it showed you, for example, if you’re in marketing, there’s a thousand different terms you could use, and so these are the terms that are most common in job descriptions around marketing, and so that gave you some baseline for how employers think and the kind of things they’re looking for so that you can craft your own profile around those words, and when you have the right keywords, it’s just easier for employers to find you when they type those words into LinkedIn.

Mac Prichard:  

Yeah, and it’s striking to me when I do social media posts for Mac’s List, crafting what I say on Instagram, it’ll pop up. You might type in ‘Career’, and you’ll see that ‘Careers’ gets tens of thousands of more uses than ‘Career’, the plural versus the singular, and so you’ll get in front of more people just by choosing a word that’s spelled slightly differently.

Ben Forstag:      

Yeah.

Mac Prichard: 

You can see the same thing happen on LinkedIn too. My suggestion would be … It goes back to Jenna’s advice which is be complete and above all, complete your network. Make a list of all the people you worked with at your different jobs or that you got to know at university or even in high school, and make sure you send them Linkedin invitations. That will push you up higher, the more first degree connections you have in LinkedIn searches, and it also taps into a very powerful principle which is people hire people they know or are known to people they trust, and so the bigger you can make your network – and it has to be an authentic network – the more success you’re likely to have in those LinkedIn searches.

Thank you both. Let’s turn to you, Ben. Every week, you’re out there searching the internet, poking around those nooks and crannies, looking for websites, books, and tools our listeners can use in their job search or managing their career. What have you uncovered for us this week?

Ben Forstag: 

Within the space of career management, there are certain questions that generate a lot of discord among the experts. You mentioned one of them: the length of resume. Some people are insistent that it must be one. Other people are in the two-page camp. Another one of those topics is whether your LinkedIn profile should be in the first person or the third person. Now, a little grammar lesson –

Mac Prichard: 

I know you have strong views on this one too.

Ben Forstag:   

I do. Yes.

Mac Prichard:   

Just like Jenna and I have about resume lengths.

Ben Forstag: 

That’s right. A quick grammar lesson here. We’re talking about the first person. We’re talking about when you speak about yourself using the terms, ‘I’, ‘Me’, and ‘My’. When we’re talking about the third person, that’s when you’re talking about yourself as if you’re talking about some other person, so you’d use terms like ‘He’, ‘Him’, ‘His’, or ‘She’, ‘Her’, ‘Hers’, or ‘They’, ‘Their’, and ‘Them’.

The question here is: when you’re writing that summary statement and filling out your profile in general, do you talk about yourself using the word ‘I’ or do you talk about yourself using the word ‘He’, ‘She’, ‘They’, and so forth? The research this week is an article all about this topic. It’s called ‘LinkedIn Profile: First Person or Third Person?.’ It was actually posted on LinkedIn, and it’s by Judy Schramm who’s a social media consultant for business executives. She lays out the pros and cons for both approaches, so her support for the third person argument is that this is how resumes are generally structured.

You must never see a resume written in the first person. Also, it avoids using the word ‘I’ which can sometimes sound egotistical. If every sentence starts with “I did this,” “I did that,” some people think that’s a bit narcissistic. On the other hand, she also says there’s arguments for using the first person which is that it’s more personable and relatable and it’s better for networking. Let me ask you guys. What’s your thought on this?

Jenna Forstrom: 

I’m now reconsidering my LinkedIn profile because I’m pretty sure it’s in a third person, but I feel like maybe it should be in the first person. Mac?

Mac Prichard:

Mine is in the first person and this was a journey for me because I have worked as a writer and communicator in my career, and I was used to the formality of the resume. You’re also talking to a guy who finally stopped wearing starched shirts about a year ago, but I think in the end what matters and I imagine what the question that’s in our listener’s mind, Ben, is this: which is going to be more effective in my search? Which is going to help me get an interview or get in front of employers?

Ben Forstag:  

I don’t think there’s actually any data on which one is empirically the best, and actually Judy Schramm’s suggestion here is in the absence of real strong data either way: you just pick one approach and stick with it, so if you’re starting a third person, stay in the person the entire time. If you’re going to start in the first person, stay in the first person. Personally, I think that the first person is much more approachable, and there is one comment on this article that I thought was really good, and so I’m just going to read it here. This pretty much sums up what I think about the topic. This person said, “In my opinion, using the third person narrative on LinkedIn is completely out of the question. You don’t use the third person on any other social network or at networking events, so why would you do it on LinkedIn?”

The point here is that LinkedIn is about networking and about making connections, and it’s not your resume. It’s not the formal bio that’s going to show up on a website, so you want to have the most approachable profile that you can and a little bit of personality is okay there because I think that’s important for making that initial connection with lots of other folks on LinkedIn.

Mac Prichard:    

That’s great advice. For me, it was the point you made about approachability that caused me to switch from the more formal approach to being more approachable by using the first person.

Ben Forstag:  

Frankly, formal professional bios can be pretty boring most of the time, so if you can find a way to jazz it up with some personality and using the first person, I say go for it. This resource again, is an article posted on Linkedin. I’ll have a link to it in the show notes. If you have a strong feeling about first person versus third person on Linkedin, let us know. I’d be curious to hear what you think.

Jenna Forstrom: 

2017 debate of Mac’s List. 2016 was two-page versus one-page resumes; 2017 is first person versus third person.

Mac Prichard: 

Yeah. Good. There’ll be lots of good advice about that and I do hope we hear from listeners because it’s always useful. Now, if you have a suggestion for Ben, please write him. You can reach him easily at his address. It is Ben@Macslist.org. We would love to hear from you and we’d love to share one of your ideas on the show. Now, let’s turn to you, our listeners and also to Jenna Forstrom, our community manager who’s here to answer one of your questions. Jenna, what’s in the Mac’s List Mailbag this week?

Jenna Forstrom:

Today’s question comes from Gregory Rouse, who asks …

Gregory Rouse:

Hi, Ben, Jenna, and Mac. First of all, I just want to say thank you very much for all of the work that you do with the podcast. It has been a fantastic resource. The podcast are lively, and upbeat, and motivating, and you have intelligent or respectable guests on the show who just bring a wealth of knowledge and really sound advice to the podcast, so it’s really enjoyable. My name is Gregory Rouse.

I was calling in to report a question that hopefully you can answer on the air, and that is this. Recently, I was unfortunately fired from my previous position, but it’s also a blessing because I was fairly unhappy with that job. However, discussing being fired is often a difficult and tricky situation to navigate with potential employers, so I was hoping you could provide some guidance on maybe best practices for discussing this, both in the casual and networking style meetings, but also in the formal interview setting as those can be two very different styles of conversation. Thank you very much for any guidance you can provide. Thank you again. Have a great day.

Jenna Forstrom:  

Thank you, Gregory for calling in and asking your question and sharing a more vulnerable question. I think regardless of if it’s an informational interview or an informal setting or a professional setting being interviewed, my advice is going to be the same either way. First of all, process being fired, and if you haven’t done that yet, we have a really great podcast with Marsha Warner about how to cope with job loss and just taking the time to breathe more and get angry, get upset, move past that, and look at the silver lining – which, you’ve already admitted that it’s a blessing that you’ve gotten out of a bad work environment, so that’s good that you started that journey. Then, she goes on to give advice about owning the story, so I was doing job X, Y happened.

That could be getting laid off, that could be the economy changing, that could be the company relocating headquarters and you having kids in school and you didn’t want to move to another location. It could be whatever, and you lost the job. And then just being really, really honest, but also providing hope. “Because of this incident, I have learned”, blah, blah, blah. I mean, I have a personal example. I was laid off after working at an agency for six months and I just came in and had a meeting with my boss and HR was there, and they were like, “Today is your last day. This isn’t working out very well.”

In these similar shoes, I was pretty miserable but I hadn’t really realized it. I knew something was off but I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I just spent a lot of time thinking about it, reaching out to friends, talking about the situation, got a lot of feedback from friends that I trusted in the same industry as me and just was able to work through that and got employment a couple of months after that whole little situation, so it’s almost like a blip on my radar and my resume now. Like, “Oh yeah. I spent six months there, and no big deal. Move on.” Mac and Ben, do you guys have any more advice?

Ben Forstag:   

I think you need to be honest about the situation, but the details, I think, when you’re talking to people in a networking setting or an informational interview, I think it’s enough to say, “I was in a situation that wasn’t working out for me,” and just leave it at that because the threshold of how detailed you need to get about your work history is not that high in that kind of setting. When we’re talking about an interview, clearly you need to be upfront with the employer and tell them the details of why you’re no longer at that job. My suggestion would be to get in front of the story, so instead of having the employer come and say, “So why aren’t you at this job anymore or why were you only there for six months,” have a good, truthful story that you tell ahead of time to frame that experience, and I think you can include things like, “It wasn’t a happy experience for me. It wasn’t a good fit. In the end, it was them firing me that helped me realized that,” but put that out there ahead of time so that the employer is, A, not asking the questions, or more importantly, B, that they’re not asking questions and just creating a narrative in their own mind about why you weren’t there.

Mac Prichard: 

Ideally, I think in a perfect world, you want to have a conversation with the employer about the reasons for your departure, and managers are often open to descriptions like … Often, there are no hard feelings, it was just not a good fit. And there’s an opportunity particularly if you initiate the conversation and say, “Let’s come to a parting of the ways”. Now, how should we talk about this? One way that it’s done in a political way that is true but doesn’t make it a firing is say, “There were budget cuts or there’s a change in leadership. The agency went in a different direction, and I decided I wanted to do something else instead.

There are two benefits you get from having that conversation with your supervisor before you walk out of the office. One is, it brings some closure about what happened and why, and in a way that, I think, reinforces your dignity – but it also gets sets you up for the possibility of a reference check down the line, and there may be a call. The possibility of that call happening diminishes, obviously, as the years go by. Many employers don’t go back more than two or three jobs, but you won’t lose any sleep about what your manager might say when she or he gets that call. The final thing I would say, and I think Jenna and Ben, you’re both offering excellent advice here, is: as much as possible, talk about the future, not the past, so when you see people at networking events and they ask what you do, you can say something like, “I’m in transition or I’m looking for new opportunities in blank, and I recently left this organization, and now I’m focusing on this.” Most people just want to hear where you work or if you’re not working somewhere, what you want to do instead, and as getting out in front of that will serve you well.

Ben Forstag:

Yeah. One thing I found is that a lot of people overestimate the negative impact of firing at some point in their career. I mean, everyone or most people have had at least one work experience in which they were let go, and oftentimes, that’s a culture fit issue or a budget issue or something like that.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah.

Ben Forstag:     

The one exception, here, where I think you’d have to be really worried would be if you did some nefarious thing, like you’re stealing from the organization, but short of that, I mean, I think it’s probably okay to have being fired at one point in your career.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah. Again, it’s happened to me twice. I’ve been through layoffs and it’s not fun, so I appreciate you sharing the question, Gregory. I also just want to reinforce your advice, Jenna about paying attention to the emotional parts of it. Sometimes, people want to hurry to get onto the next thing.

Great. Thank you, Gregory for sharing that question and thank you too for the kind words about the podcast. We’re glad it’s helpful to you.

If you have a question for Jenna, please email her. Her address is Jenna@Macslist.org, but even better, call our listener line. That number is 716-562-8255. That’s 716-JOB-TALK. If we use your question on the show, we’ll send you a free copy of ‘Land Your Dream Job Anywhere’, our new book or a Mac’s List coffee mug. It’s your choice. One of those is on its way to Gregory even as we speak, so please let us hear from you soon.

Most people struggle with job hunting. The reason is simple. Most of us learn the nuts and bolts of looking for work by trial and error. That’s why I produced this podcast to help you master the skills you need to find a great job. It’s also why I wrote my new book, Land Your Dream Job Anywhere.

For 15 years at Mac’s List, I’ve helped people in Portland, Oregon find meaningful, well-paying and rewarding jobs that they love. Now, I put all of my job hunting secrets in one book that can help you no matter where you live. You’ll learn how to get clear about your career goals, find hidden jobs that never get posted, and ace your next job interview. For more information and to download the first chapter for free, visit Macslist.org/anywhere.

Now, let’s turn to this week’s guest expert, Marc Miller.

Marc Miller has worked at IBM, taught high school math, and had a near fatal bicycle accident that changed his perspective forever. Marc credits his varied career with teaching him a vital lesson. Most people don’t know what makes them happy. Marc now helps others, especially baby boomers, find careers that they can grow into for the decades that lie ahead. He joins us today from Austin, Texas.

Marc, thanks for being on the show.

Marc Miller: 

It’s great to be here, Mac.

Mac Prichard: 

It’s a pleasure to have you on the program. Now, our topic this week as you know, Marc, is LinkedIn. Our listeners, most of them of course have LinkedIn profiles, and one of the challenges they tell us that they struggle with is: how can they make their LinkedIn profile stand out in an online search? Can you tell us a little bit, Marc, how employers use LinkedIn when they’re looking for candidates for jobs?

Marc Miller:

Sure. One of the things that has changed over the last 20 years is they are now out looking online, primarily on LinkedIn, to find talent. It used to be: you wait for things to get posted online, you apply, then they’d look to who applied, but now, they’re actually looking for talent and they don’t care whether you’re looking for a job, and they’re using certain keyword strategies to essentially search the web, primarily LinkedIn, to find you.

Mac Prichard: 

I can hear some of our listeners saying right now, “Gosh, I’ve been on LinkedIn for a number of years, and I’ve never been contacted by an employer.” Why is that so, Marc? Is there a reason why they’re perhaps not popping up in an online search?

Marc Miller:

There are a couple of different things. Number one, they aren’t connected to the right people, so they’re not close enough network-wise to the people who are hiring, and two, you’re not using the right job titles and keywords in your profile to be found. This is all about making yourself attractive, and the key piece is not using … The words you use aren’t important. It’s the words they use. This is everything from …

I’ll use an example. I had a client here recently. He worked for a major semiconductor firm. He was interviewing with another company, another major semiconductor firm, and they used the same terminology for different things or they’re using different terminologies for the same thing, and they went right past each other.

Mac Prichard: 

How does a candidate find out the words that an employer is going to use to search for jobs that they’d like to fill?

Marc Miller:   

Sure. The first thing, if you’re just looking at keywords, go use one of the major word cloud tools like TagCrowd or Wordle. One of the easy ways is take a job description. Plug it into the word cloud, and what it’ll do is it’ll pop up with the most common phrases or more important, the most common words. Then, what you can do is then go back into the job description and see how those words are being used.

I’ve got a video on my site. If you search on ‘Keywords,’ you’ll find the post where I search on a … It’s a training manager’s job, and the most common word that popped up was ‘Management.’ When you go back into the actual job description, what pops up is ‘Product management’ or ‘Project management,’ and ‘Learning management system.’ I now have two keyword phrases that someone who is hiring for that job would be looking for.

Mac Prichard: 

We can include links to these tools that you mentioned in the show notes, Marc, and let’s say you go through that process, you test these keywords using those tools that you found in a job posting for a position that interests you. What’s the next step? How do you incorporate those keywords into your LinkedIn profile?

Marc Miller:  

Okay. The key thing, here, is in each section of your LinkedIn profile, you should have a keyword section. Like at the end of this summary, it should say, “Keywords: Keyword|keyword|.” Now, only use the keywords that are applicable. In other words, don’t lie, and this is particularly true of those of us who have been in the job market for many years like me.

I’ve been working for 40 years. The idea here is plug them every place it belongs. The other place is you should put them in in your headline. The headline is 120 characters. Use all of it, and you should either put keywords in there or branding statements in there, things that people would be searching for, so things like “Looking for a new opportunity” in your headline doesn’t really do you a whole lot of good. No one is searching on that keyword, on that phrase, so you want to place them as many places as you can. Again, don’t lie and don’t repeat.

Mac Prichard: 

How many words, keywords would you recommend placing at the end of the section?

Marc Miller:

10, 15. It largely depends on what you’ve done, and … I’ll use an example. I work with a lot of product managers, and unfortunately, product management is a largely keyword-nebulous profession. In other words, if you’re looking for a product manager, the only words you’re going to find are ‘Product’ and ‘Manager,’ but there are other professions that are much more keyword rich.

I was working with a gentleman here recently who wanted to get into pharmacogenomics, the modeling of drugs. There are half a dozen terms that we went looking on, and then we tried to figure out whether it was legit to weave those into his own profile, and we found of the dozen or more, two or three were valid, so we used those.

Mac Prichard:  

What kind of results did you see, Marc?

Marc Miller:  

He’s getting lots of opportunities. The challenge is he lives in the Midwest, and all the jobs are in Boston and San Francisco. He can have a job today if he’s willing to move to Boston.

Mac Prichard: 

Okay. Now, we’ve covered keywords. You mentioned job titles earlier. Tell us why titles matter and how to use them strategically so that you do rise to the top in an online search.

Marc Miller:

Sure. When people are searching for talent, they’re searching on primarily two things, your current job title and keywords. Now, notice I said current job title. If you do not have a job right now, go make a job. I always encourage everyone at some point in time in their career to actually have a business.

It may be just a shell. Maybe you get on LegalZoom and form an LLC. Maybe it’s called just like Mac Prichard LLC or Marc Miller LLC, and in the job title, you want to put in all the job titles that you are interested in. I’ll use the example … Again, I’ve worked with a lot of product managers, and product managers often also do product marketing, so therefore, in the job title of my current job, I put ‘Product Manager’, then I’d put a vertical bar and ‘Product Marketing’. Again, don’t lie, but the idea here is you want to start figuring out the terminology that they are using. Now, you’re going to want to play around with these and see what makes you found.

Mac Prichard:

What I’m hearing is that when you create a job title for basically a consulting practice, you may give it a formal name. You have an opportunity to use not just one, but several titles or several job titles in the title space on LinkedIn, and that increases the likelihood you’ll pop up in these online searches.

Marc Miller: 

Correct. You are … In the job title field, which I believe is 180 characters long, and so use it.

Mac Prichard:

Okay.

Marc Miller:  

Use it to your benefit, but again, be honest and I’ll use another example. If you are a business analyst but you also are a product manager, so you put ‘Business Analyst|Project Manager.’

Mac Prichard: 

Those are two great hacks. First, keywords both at the end of sections and scattered again honestly through descriptions of positions you’ve had. The second one you mentioned was job titles. Let’s move on to a third point. I know that comes up a lot for people who are in transition, and you touched on this, Marc. People when they either in their summary statement or their headline or perhaps in the title for their most recent position might say, “Currently looking for opportunities in blank.” Tell us why you don’t recommend that people do that and what they should do instead?

Marc Miller:  

Because it doesn’t help them … No one is searching on that. Now, I might use that, write that out in my summary, but in the very top of the headline … The headline is the most searched item. The two things you should focus on to make sure to be found, first is your headline, and the second is your picture, but the headline, when people are searching, it is the first thing that is searched so it should be very, very descriptive of you.

Mac Prichard: 

Great. This is excellent advice and I think three great hacks that people can use to again rise to the top in those LinkedIn search rankings. Now, Marc, tell us what’s next for you. What do you have coming up?

Marc Miller:    

I have my next edition of my book Repurpose Your Career, coming out April 15th, and of course supporting that is now my Repurpose Your Career Podcast which comes out every Monday, so we are busy here at Career Pivot.

Mac Prichard:

Great. We’ll be sure to include links in the show notes to your site and this episode should air in March so people can begin to plan and anticipate. Looking forward to your book.

Marc Miller: 

Yeah. We are planning to have it available for pre-order on March 15th on Amazon, so this should be a good timing.

Mac Prichard:  

Great. Again, we’ll include links to that information about your book, as well as your website which is Careerpivot.com. Marc, thanks for coming on the show today.

Marc Miller:  

You’re very welcome.

Mac Prichard:

Take care.

All right. We’re back in the Mac’s List studio with Jenna and Ben. What are some key points that you two heard Marc make in our conversation about how to standout on LinkedIn searches online?

Ben Forstag:

I think the big point that I took from it was the importance of job titles and making sure that you’re weaving in those keywords into job titles, and I think sometimes that means that you’re not putting the formal, official title that you had there, but you’re putting a title that is still truthful, still representative of what you actually did, but incorporate some more appropriate keywords into it.

Mac Prichard:     

Yeah. I think keywords can make a huge difference in your LinkedIn profile and in the work that you do online in general. Jenna?

Jenna Forstrom:    

I thought he had an interesting point about if you’re unemployed, starting your own business, and I don’t know if I necessarily agree with his idea of going out and becoming like an LLC or spending because I think in the State of Oregon, it’s a hundred bucks and when you’re unemployed, that’s a hundred bucks, but I do think he has something to say there about the act of being active, so not being passive in your unemployment wallowing, watching Netflix, that kind of thing. Maybe building up a personal website with your portfolio and having that on your LinkedIn with work examples if that’s something that you’re doing like if you’re a designer, a developer, or a project manager, talk about those kind of projects or I think volunteering and getting on aboard and those types of things. I was just thinking that that was a good point to have like to always be doing something. I just don’t know if I agree with creating an LLC as someone who’s done it for a side project. It’s a lot of work.

Mac Prichard:  

Yeah. I agree. I think if you do set up a LLC, in short, you’re creating a kind of consulting practice and you probably … Certainly, I think we’ve all done this the three of us. I have taken part-time gigs during transitional periods, periods of unemployment or done what you just suggested, Jenna, which is to volunteer and to use that volunteer position basically and describing it on LinkedIn, and you’re seeing there’s a resume gap filler, but I think both are similar approaches, but probably easier than going out and filing some paperwork with the Secretary of State.

Jenna Forstrom: 

Yeah.

Mac Prichard: 

Good. I just liked Marc’s emphasis on the strategy behind choosing the words. Again, think about the job you want, look at those job postings, identify what you think are the most important words, and then test that assumption by using these online tools that he mentioned that will show you how popular words rank on Linkedin. I think it’s also important to remember that a LinkedIn profile can’t substitute for informational interviews or networking or getting out and talking to people and applying for jobs, but it could be a valuable way to get in front of employers and recruiters and you’re going to do the profile anyway, so why not do it smart? Why not do it strategically?

Thank you both and thank you, Marc, for joining us on the show, and thank you, our listeners, for joining us for today’s episode of Find Your Dream Job. If you like what you hear, please sign up for our free weekly newsletter. In every issue, we give you the key points of that week’s show. We also include links to all the resources mentioned and you get a transcript of the full episode. If you subscribe to the newsletter now, we’ll send you our job secret checklist. In one easy-to-use file, we show you all the steps you need to take to find a great job. Get your free newsletter and checklist today. Go to Macslist.org/podcast.

Join us next Wednesday when our special guest will be Jeff Altman. We’ll talk about the single best question you can ask in any job interview. Until next time, thanks for letting us help you find your dream job.

What do the best LinkedIn profiles all have in common? They contain the right mix of searchable keywords and marketable job titles that make it easy for employers to find.

If you’ve never been contacted by an employer on LinkedIn, it might be because they simply can’t find you with a LinkedIn search.

This week’s guest, Marc Miller, argues that you’ve got to optimize your LinkedIn profile to make it easy for employers to find you. He explains how to use keywords in your job title, summary, and headline that an employer would use is key.

Marc shares how to use tools like Tag Cloud or Wordle to identify the keywords that most resonate with prospective employers. Then he identifies explains exactly where to use these keywords in your LinkedIn profile.

His most important point: take advantage of all the available space in your 120-character headline and the 180-character job title. These are the most searched fields on LinkedIn. If you’re leaving white space in those areas, you’re missing a huge opportunity!

This Week’s Guest

Marc Miller has worked at IBM, taught high school math, and had a near fatal bicycle accident that changed his perspective forever. Marc credits his varied career with teaching him a vital lesson: most people don’t know what makes them happy. Marc now helps others — especially Baby Boomers — find careers that they can grow into for the decades that lie ahead on his website, Career Pivot.

Marc has recently updated his book, Repurpose Your Career, and his Repurpose Your Career Podcast episodes are released every Monday.

Resources from this Episode