Should You Connect With Strangers on LinkedIn?

The Croixstone team has long held the belief that you should not make a practice of connecting with strangers on LinkedIn.  In fact, LinkedIn’s terms of service originally prohibited the practice of inviting people you do not know to join your network. But times are changing, and LinkedIn has shifted its thinking.  The site is now asking for all of us to take the “Plus One Pledge” to ensure that equal talent has equal access to opportunity.  

Learn About the Plus One Pledge


First of a Kind Roadmap to the Future Economy

So what can the labor flow of 500 million people on LinkedIn tell us about the structure of the global economy?  Quite a bit according to a first of a kind study conducted by researchers at Indiana University and LinkedIn.   One example:  there are strong ties in the flow of labor between the credit card and airline industries.  Learn more here.


LinkedIn’s June Workforce Report

LinkedIn publishes a monthly report on employment trends in the U.S. workforce. The report provides helpful insights into hiring, skills gaps, and migration trends across the country,  From a migration perspective, LinkedIn captures insights tied to members who change their locations on their profiles.  In the June 2019 report, Charlotte was among the top three USA cities (behind Austin and Denver) that gained the most workers.  Read LinkedIn’s June 2019 Workforce Report here.


Write a Winning LinkedIn Headline

Ever wonder how to write a LinkedIn headline that will get you noticed?  The following are key messages and tips on how to use your LinkedIn headline to advance your personal branding objectives.

  • The headline is the section on LinkedIn that gets searched the most.
  • Your job title is not necessarily the right, or best, headline.  You have the ability to change your headline beyond the default that LinkedIn uses (your title).  Be purposeful in choosing the right headline.
  • The headline has a limit of 120 characters so plan your text wisely.
  • For consulting, consider spotlighting what you do and who you help.

Read Forbes magazine’s full article here for more details and examples.


Customize Your LinkedIn Background Photo

In follow-up to previous blog posts, we are highlighting another topic in the ongoing series of articles in Forbes entitled “The Baby Boomers Guide to LinkedIn.”  

The third topic in the series shifts focus to your LinkedIn Background Photo.

Rule #1 – Customize Your Background Photo/Banner
Take the time to customize your background photo/banner. You are not a “generic” professional, and it is vital that your presence on LinkedIn sends the right message.  By customizing your background photo/banner, you are also demonstrating that your understanding of tech and social media is “current”.

Rule #2 – Choose the Right Image for Your Personal Brand
Choose a background image that supports your personal brand.

Rule #3 – Choose an Image that Complements Your LinkedIn Headshot
Pick an image that works well with your LinkedIn headshot.  You may need to do some trial and error experiments to get this right.

Rule #4 – Know the Right Size
The size of your background photo/banner should be 1584 wide x 396 high.  Canva is a great tool to use for sizing of photos for social media purposes, and it is free.

Click here for more tips and to learn how Bill Gates has customized his background photo!


Five LinkedIn Tips

Personal branding pioneer William Arruda advises that you work with intentionality to differentiate your LinkedIn profile. 

Here are five personal features that are available on LinkedIn to help you standout from the professional network’s 610 million users.

1.  Specify your industry. 

LinkedIn data shows that profiles of members who include their industry are 9x more likely to be viewed.

2.  Create content. 

Create articles using LinkedIn’s blogging feature.  Here’s a great tip.  Arruda suggests that you commit to writing just one article per quarter.  This will help you to differentiate your profile, keep it fresh and share your thought leadership.

3.  Master multimedia. 

Your LinkedIn summary now allows you to add multimedia including videos, white papers, images and more. A great way to amplify your story while making your profile more visually interesting.

4. Brand your background. 

Do not use LinkedIn’s generic background image.  You need to stand apart from the crowd by customizing your image.  Not sure how to do this?  The Croixstone team would be happy to provide assistance.

5.  Say it with symbols. 

Symbols can be used to add character to your LinkedIn profile.  We agree with Arruda that you must exercise caution with this tip.  The key is to use symbols well and use them sparingly.

Learn more here.


LinkedIn for Baby Boomers

LinkedIn is an essential tool for all business professionals to use. There is both art and science to building and sustaining an impactful LinkedIn profile, and the navigation between these two elements can be tricky – especially for highly experienced professionals.

We love that Forbes magazine has published the first article in a brand new series of articles named “The Baby Boomer’s Guide to LinkedIn.” Read the first article in the series that presents strategies baby boomers can deploy to fight age discrimination on LinkedIn.