Tag Archives: LinkedIn Ninja

New Changes at LinkedIn:The LinkedIn Innovation Monster At Work

LinkedIn LogoThe innovation monsters at LinkedIn have been hard at work announcing new features and services at a dizzying pace.  Let’s catch our breath for a moment to recap the changes before the innovations monster strikes again.



Introducing LinkedIn Channels

LinkedIn Today, the section of the social network that pulls in relevant news articles and original content from LinkedIn contributors, got a major redesign with the introduction of a new tool called LinkedIn Channels. The new Channels feature is designed to make it easier for LinkedIn users to access content that’s most relevant to them. Instead of simply being shown a collection of articles based on your particular industry, you will now be able to subscribe to specific topics and receive updates right in your homepage feed.

LinkedIn users will also notice that in addition to articles, SlideShare content will also have a more prominent role in the newly designed LinkedIn Today.

Summary: In addition to being a valuable network to help small business and nonprofit professionals build relationships and attract new customers, clients, donors, and volunteers, LinkedIn has also become a powerful tool for accessing the information that’s most important to you online.

LinkedIn Goes To College

LinkedIn says that more than 30 million of its 225 million members are students and recent graduates. They now represent the site’s fastest growing demographic group building profiles. With that kind of growth LinkedIn now is trying to bring its nonstop efficiency to the chaos of campus job fairs.

If you’ve ever been to one of those giant, messy gatherings of recruiters and freshly scrubbed students, you know the current system needs fixing. There’s plenty of good intention on both sides. There might even be good opportunities to get careers rolling. But there’s too long a bucket-brigade between the onsite recruiters and the people who actually do the hiring — and too little follow-up.

The innovation monsters have just announced CheckIn, a new service that makes it much easier for companies and candidates to connect in a simple, durable way. When students come to a job fair, they stop by a recruiter’s both and enter their names, emails and phone numbers. Presto! The company gains access to their LinkedIn profile.

Summary: As a veteran recruiter at these cattle calls pretending to be career fairs this innovation radically simplifies how recruiters collect and manage candidate information.  And I predict if Checklin proves successful on campus look for the tool to start taming non campus cattle calls.

LinkedIn: The Place For Must Read Content

Visit your LinkedIn home page these days, and you’ll be in for a fresh surprise every week or two. The social network’s somber old layout is gone. Instead, LinkedIn is popping forth with, links to click, updates about how many of your business contacts clicked “Like” for your latest status update and articles to read.

Many of those articles are written by people like me; business people establishing themselves as thought leaders to create word of mouth and click forward buzz for their efforts.  However, the real game changer is the arrival of 150 influencers on LinkedIn, who write essays about business strategy, the path to success and other topics.  LinkedIn members can chose to read the musing of luminaires like Richard Branson, CEO Virgin Group; Daniel Goldberg, author of the bestselling book Emotional Inelegance and President Obama.  The post which you can read in about the time it takes to wait in a typical Starbucks line during the morning are both timely and eternal.

Summary: LinkedIn is fast become more than a profile site. It has quickly morphed into true a hub for compelling intellectual content making an essay on  LinkedIn a must read, must like and must share event.  (P.S.  Please share and like of my posts with your friends and colleagues.)

The Bottom Line

While the innovations at LinkedIn continue sometimes at a dizzying pace the basic purpose of the site remains a hub for networking.   Don’t worry about incorporating the changes at the expense of being of service to others because before you know it the LinkedIn Innovation Monster will be at it again. 

Becoming A LinkedIn Ninja │ Your Professional Headline

The headline of a LinkedIn profile is your online calling card telling the world at least 3 things about you:

  • Who You Are
  • What You Have to Offer
  • What You Are After

Marben Profile






Along with your profile picture, your professional headline is the single most important part of the LinkedIn profile.  It is your headline that shows up when your name is found in search engines searches.  It is your headline that is in the most visible places on your profile and is showcased in all the actions you do on LinkedIn.  And it is your headline that recruiters and others who you would like to influence often remember most from your profile.

Crafting a clear, concise and correct professional headline is vital to the overall success of your efforts on LinkedIn.   It is no easy feat particularly when you have only 120 characters to do it in.

Kristin Johnson, CEO of the career and headhunting firm Profession Direction  has explored the challenges and opportunities of producing a quality LinkedIn headline.  She offers these tips to help you build a headline designed to get you noticed in searchers and to move people to take the actions you would like on your profile.

1. Decide if you want Search Engine Optimized – or a Human-Friendly Headline.

LinkedIn is a dichotomous beast. There is the side that requires specific keywords to play well with LinkedIn’s algorithm, but there’s also the human element. There no clear-cut preference. Some LinkedIn experts recommend focusing solely on the search engine optimization (SEO), since that will make your profile more likely to appear higher in the rankings by LinkedIn’s search engine.  However, the pursuit of SEO rankings could leave your headline unreadable by humans.

Note from Ninja Marben: Writing a headline with a mixture of both SEO and human friendly words is the option used by most LinkedIn Ninjas.

2. Incorporate the job title you are hoping to get hired for next.

Determine what you want to be found for, and emphasize those terms. Your headline should be future-focused, which will allow you to move toward your career goal.
The following headline for a former dentist transitioning into sales shows that he is clearly moving from his previous career and looking for a position in sales:
Kirk Profile 1







Note from Ninja Marben: Ninja’s use this symbol to separate terms in your headline. To use the symbol and other separators compose your headline in MS Word then copy and paste in the headline space in LinkedIn

3. Use metrics when you can.

Numbers catch the eye and give the reader an accurate picture of your contributions at work. Example:
Susan Hall Profile2




Professional Headline Tips for Job Seekers

1. If you are looking while unemployed, touch on that lightly in your headline. (But, only if you want to!)

There’s no rule that you MUST state you are seeking your next gig if you are unemployed. If you’re not comfortable with that, don’t.
seeking job





Just know that many career experts feel that in the current job market, advertising that you are looking doesn’t carry much of a stigma… IF you do it tactfully.
Looking at the example above, the simple mention of “Seeking:…” states the point succinctly. A headline of “Unemployed and looking” might as well say “Twiddling my thumbs.” Don’t make it the sole focus of your headline or waste too many precious characters on it. Touch on it, and then move on to emphasizing brand elements or keywords that will help you to be found.

Note from Ninja Marben: Consider including your company’s name. If
talent from your company is highly sought-after by recruiters, you may want to
include your company’s name in your headline. You’ll improve your chances of
being found by a headhunter who is conducting a search with your company name.

Kelly Walter Profile4






2. Include different words that mean the same thing.

Outstanding Bio Tech Sales Representative/Account Manager │With a deep & active 12K customer database

The example contains both “Sales Representative” and “Account Manager.” The same job can have a different title at different companies and recruiters may search for either. It may seem repetitive, but it will appease the SEO gods.

Note from Ninja Marben: Use a Testimonial. Are you known for something special? Include it in your headline for an extra punch.
Ralph Kine Profile5





3. Answer the “What’s in it for Me” question.

The person reading your profile will want to know “What’s in it for me?” Use your headline to clearly show how your expertise will  benefit a potential employer.

Formal Head of  Surgery for Mass General │ Board Chairman for General Biotech │President of the New England Chapter of the American Medical Association

The headline above draws attention to the job seeker’s experience as a former medical professional, offering knowledge, skills, and connections useful in the medical, and biotech fields.

Note from Ninja Marben: Don’t waste space with overused buzzwords. Before you include a word in your headline, ask yourself whether it will hold meaning for the reader. In my next LinkedIn Ninja post I will explore the use of power words in your profile. 

4. Include Contact Information in Your Headline

What is the use of writing a great headline if the headhunter has to do anther search to find your contact information?  Headhunters are all about speed and efficiency, help them by providing an accurate means to connect with you via email, website or by phone.   Worried about privacy?  Set up a Google Voice account for your business or job search, tying all of your phones to one number that you can make public while keeping your personal numbers private.  Google can provide similar solutions to keep your email and websites private.

Mark Miller





The Bottom Line: Headline T.L.C.    

Teddy BearYour professional headline is critical to your success on LinkedIn; give it the tender loving care it deserves.  Revise your headline regularly to reflect changes in your procession or to promote something you want your contacts and the world to know about.




NinjaMarben Bland is The LinkedIn Ninja; He works with business, job seekers and others on tactics to master the power of LinkedIn.  Comment to Marben about this blog post and other matters via email marben@marbenbland.com 

How to become a LinkedIn Ninja

Teenage TurtlesYou’ve seen them in movies and television series such as Dragon Ball and my personal favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  But what exactly are ninjas?   A
true ninja is not just someone who wears black, drops down from the ceiling and slices everything into pieces.  A ninja represents someone who has mastered the art of doing something.  Taking that liberal definition anyone with an interest, drive and conviction can become a ninja –  mastering something.

Why Become A LinkedIn Ninja? 

This is the first in a number posts I will be doing over the next several months on how to become a LinkedIn Ninja.  So why become a LinkedIn Ninja – Why is gaining mastery of LinkedIn so important?   Let me suggest 3 reasons:

jeffweiner1. LinkedIn is now the business profile of record

That is how LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner describes his site and he has the numbers to back up his claim. With over 200 million profiles worldwide LinkedIn active membership rose 50% from a year earlier. What is truly remarkable page views (people looking at profiles) climbed more than 60%, with much of the growth coming from views on mobile devices like cell phones or tablets.   All of this activity has made LinkedIn the destination site for job seekers, sales professionals and thought leaders.  Plus the company has become the darlings of Wall Street posting an 81% growth in revenue in last year’s fourth quarter with and even faster earnings growth expansion expected in 2013.

2. LinkedIn is critical for an effective networking strategy

LinkedIn puts your networking on hype drive. The importance of LinkedIn is best viewed through the eyes of the effective business to business networking tools of years gone by such as the Rolodexes and the notorious little black address books.  Using those tools your network is only comprised of the people listed on the paper that powered the tool.  LinkedIn allows you to multiply your connections simply by connecting to the connections of your connections or joining groups or by reaching out directly to people you don’t know but would like to get to know.  Things that was simply impossible with those old school technologies.

3. LinkedIn is the best social media tool for generating sales leads

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image482983According to the sales marketing site Hubspot, LinkedIn is 277% more effective in sales leads generations than   Facebook or Twitter.



Your 5 Step LinkedIn Ninja Starter Plan

Mastering anything starts with the basics so today we will start our Ninja training with five basic things you need to do get the most out of LinkedIn.

❶ Understand your purpose for being on LinkedIn

The thinking manOne of the biggest mistakes that can be made on LinkedIn or any social networking site is nothaving a purpose for doing it.  When developing a LinkedIn strategy with clients at the The Marben Bland Group we ask a single multiple choice questions to help to determine a client’s purpose for being on LinkedIn.  Based on our
years of working with clients these are the top 4 purposes for      being on LinkedIn.

Once you know why you are on LinkedIn you can pursue a strategy that will allow youWhy Are You On LinkedIn to achieve your objectives

❷ Establish a strategy for handling networking, contacts and endorsing /recommendations

LinkedIn is a site for establishing contacts along with building networks.  So it is important that you have a LinkedIn Networking Strategy. The strategy will determine how fast you build your network, the size of your network as well as the quality of the network. Ultimately it will answer the following question for you – How useful or valuable is your LinkedIn network?   In his blog the Undercover Recruiter Jorgen Sundberg details the 3 most popular LinkedIn Networking Strategies


Successful diverse business team laughing togetherStands for LinkedIn Open Networkers, or just open networkers. These users are totally open and will accept any invitation. The idea here is to connect to as many people as possible in order to reach out to more people. A larger network is particularly useful when prospecting for leads and doing research on people and companies

Professional Networker

FellowshipThis is what I believe LinkedIn was intended for, professionals connecting up to further each other’s’ careers. This would be the most typical LinkedIn user. A
salesperson would connect to his or her clients, the client would connect to their suppliers etc. You don’t actually have to have met the other person but  you will have dealt with them and deem there is a value being connected for
both your careers. Professional networkers will normally have anything from 200 to one thousand connections.

Exclusive Networker

CompmiseThis category of people will only ever connect to people they know well, trust and respect. This type of networker is likely to be very selective and can be drawn upon for passing on introductions and recommendations. You could say that the exclusive networker is actually not increasing their connections, merely storing them digitally on LinkedIn. There can be several reasons for wanting to be an exclusive networker, keeping your connections and activities confidential are certainly a major one. Exclusive networkers will rarely have more than 200 connections; remember that these are tight relationships formed over the years.

I have written extensively about networking please see the following posts for more of my take on the subject.

5 Ways to Power-Up Your Networking in 2013

How Strong Are Your LinkedIn Contacts?

3 Smart Job Search Tips for the Class of 2012

❸ Complete your LinkedIn profile to 100%

Linkedin-icon-300x247Before you start “tinkering” with your LinkedIn profile (or hiring a professional to enhance your profile), please take a minute to do the following:



  • From the drop-down menu next to your name on the right side of the Home page, choose Settings.
  • On the bottom left of the Settings page is a column titled Privacy Controls. Immediately under that heading is a hyperlink that reads “Turn on/off your activity broadcasts.”
  • Click on the activity broadcasts link and a dialog box will open giving you an option to choose who will see your activity updates. This will allow you make changes without the world know what you are doing.
  • If the box is checked to “Let people know when you change your profile, make recommendations, or follow companies,” uncheck it.   Again this is to keep the changes secrete until you are finished will all the changes.
  • Add a good quality professional picture
  • Use the headline to deliver a basic sales pitch about yourself

❹ Endorsement Mondays │ Recommendation Weekly

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image14048091Every Monday, take 10 minutes out of your morning to pay-it-forward by endorsing 10 people in your LinkedIn network. Imagine how you would feel if in your inbox on a Monday (a.k.a the day of the week when even the most cheerful people struggle to get going), you found endorsements of your skill sets from your peers.


Recommendations are essential to you. Seek them proactively and seek them passively. Proactive recommendation seeking involves reaching out and asking someone to recommend you. Passive recommendation seeking involves recommending someone, at which point LinkedIn asks them to recommend you back. The latter is actually a bit more effective.

Ninja❺ The Five Things LinkedIn Ninjas Should Do Every Day

1. Check your updates – particularly for your contacts’ profile changes and new connections.

2. Check your groups’ digests – look for new members and for opportunities to engage constructively.

3. Reach out with connection requests to anyone you’ve met in the last 24 hours.

4. Look at who’s visited your profile – visit them back and request a connection from anyone who looks interesting.

5. Check your saved searches when the reports come in for new opportunities.

The Bottom Line: Becoming a LinkedIn Ninja’s takes Work

Becoming a LinkedIn Ninja and gaining mastery over the tool takes work.  However, with the growth of LinkedIn as the online business tool of choice I can promise you all the work will have a big payoff.  I am honored to be your online coach helping you to achieving Ninja status.  So stay tune to this blog for more posts on how to become a LinkedIn Ninja.