So, You Suck at LinkedIn, There’s no Need to be Embarrassed

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I suck at LinkedIn. There, I said it. Thankfully, there’s no need to be embarrassed anymore. My guest on this podcast is an absolute wizard at LinkedIn and demystifies it for all of us. I reached out to today’s guest because I had absolutely no confidence in my use of LinkedIn. I didn’t know if it was worth my time, whether I really needed to be there, and if so, where on earth to begin.

LinkedIn is only a waste of time when you don’t look at it strategically and take it seriously and create something that speaks not to what you want to say but to what your target audience needs to know about you. When done correctly, there is a lot of opportunity. ~ Donna Serdula

LinkedIn is Not About Job Search?

I thought LinkedIn was a place to post your resume if you were actively looking for a job. And that’s all I did, check in every 4 years or so and make a half-hearted attempt at keeping my resume updated. Usually I would hop on there when I started getting a bunch of email notifications that people were congratulating me on a work anniversary for a company I’d left several years before. So I sucked at LinkedIn just like many of you. 🙂

I’m comfortable not knowing everything and I love finding people who I can tap into for specific expertise. Today’s guest is a LinkedIn rockstar. Donna Serdula started on LinkedIn back in 2005, so she is the perfect person to bring all the LinkedIn knowledge.

In this episode we discussed:

  • The one thing you should never do on LinkedIn
  • Why people love LinkedIn
  • What LinkedIn is really about
  • The top 3 specific reasons that professional women need to be on LinkedIn
  • How it has changed over time
  • What you should do if you struggle to get started
  • The new way people are using LinkedIn more and more
  • How to request recommendations on the platform
  • Things you can do on LinkedIn weekly that will have an on your career impact without making your lose your mind

LinkedIn is really about:

  1. Branding
  2. Networking
  3. Adding value

Your Digital Introduction

Think of your profile as a digital introduction. Whatever you do, do not copy and paste your resume, even if you’re looking for a job. If people are interested in your profile they will request a resume and they don’t want something that’s identical to what they saw on your profile. Your resume should build upon what they have already discovered.

They may not be looking for you specifically, because they don’t know you, but they may want someone LIKE you. People who are searching for candidates on LinkedIn type in pain points and keywords, so if your profile includes relevant keywords and pain points you’re more likely to turn up in their search results.

On your profile tell them a story about you that makes them feel confident in your skills and interested in learning more. Write it in the first person and from the heart, don’t just create a wall of bullets. The profile is a mechanism to help people better understand what you can offer. Always include a good profile picture and select a good background graphic to complete your profile.

Be sure to have a good headline for your LinkedIn profile because it travels all throughout LinkedIn on everything you do, like a tagline introducing you to everyone who looks at it. This headline should include a benefit statement and how you can help your target. The default is your job title and current company but that doesn’t excite people and draw them in.

Increase Your LinkedIn Value

How do you increase your branding value immediately? Connect with people you know and keep connecting. You need to have a strong network to find success on LinkedIn. Often the person who is looking for you is a secondary contact of someone in YOUR network so you may not know them directly. Your search results only contain your 1st, 2nd and 3rd-level connections and group members, so connect with as many people as possible (that make sense) so that you can get access to more 2nd and 3rd-level connections and their search results. A strong network is critical.

Why You Should be on LinkedIn vs. Other Social Media

  1. It’s professional and you may feel ‘safer’
  2. It’s a place to build your brand and network.
  3. It’s a great place to help others

Thank you to our Armed Forces

Donna has a DIY LinkedIn Makeover tool ($100 value) that she provides for FREE to all veterans and active military members.

Meet Donna Serdula

Donna SerdulaDonna Serdula pioneered the concept of LinkedIn profile optimization and started the very first Linkedin profile optimization service. She is the author of LinkedIn Profile Optimization for Dummies and LinkedIn Makeover: Professional Secrets to a POWERFUL LinkedIn Profile.. Through her website, LinkedIn Makeover she and her team help thousands of LinkedIn users strategically write their profiles in order to engage with their audiences and grow their brands.

She speaks all over the country on the topic of LinkedIn and how it relates to personal/professional branding, job search, sales & prospecting, and thought leadership.

Prior to starting her own company, she spent 13 years working in Corporate America and is beyond grateful for having the good fortune to work for some amazing companies and learn from inspiring leaders.


Your profile should make it plain to the people whether or not they should be drawn to you. ~ Donna Serdula Click to Tweet Stop throwing stuff at the wall and praying and seeing what sticks. Be clear about your LinkedIn goal, target audience, etc. ~ Donna Serdula Click to Tweet Don’t underestimate your professional contributions or dismiss what you’ve done. Claim them. Tell a story around them.  ~ Donna Serdula Click to Tweet

Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

LinkedIn Headline Generator

Donna Serdula on LinkedIn:

Donna Serdula on Twitter:

DIY LinkedIn Makeover Kit, free of charge to any US Veteran or active duty Military member:

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  1. Allegra, this article is extremely helpful. I have just subscribed to your podcast. It’s been such a blessing. I am from Ghana. I look forward to learning more from all the resources you put out there. Be blessed.

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