Why is LinkedIn Important?

By Communications, Social Media

I’m asked often if it’s important to have a LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn can be useful for a number of reasons: it can help you connect to others in your field; it can help you find new business opportunities or a new job; it can help you learn good business practices and social networking technique.

LinkedinimportantWhat you do with your LinkedIn profile says a lot about you as a professional. Other business people will go to LinkedIn to connect with you after meeting. Before that, though, some will Google you. What do people find when they search your name in Google? For me, an admitted high-producing publisher of online content AND the only Marijean Jaggers in existence, it’s surprising, even to me that the third result in a Google search of my name is my LinkedIn profile. It’s important because LinkedIn profiles show up for anyone who has one, in the Google search of their name. If it’s a clearly neglected profile, a nearly blank profile, or otherwise suffering (you have 14 connections? Really?) then THAT leaves a distinct impression on the person searching for you. If you can’t be found online, THAT leaves yet another impression.

What does your online profile look like? Are you happy with it?

Questions from the Field: How to Manage Your LinkedIn Profile

By Communications, Social Media

This just in:Marijean Jaggers

Dear Ms. Jaggers,

I read an article you wrote last year on LinkedIn summaries, with interest.

A question: what advice do you have for those who have perhaps the resume of a job-hopper, many interests, and though they may appear to be on a particular track, are still thinking about what they want to do when they grow up–in their mid-30s? Not that this describes me or anything 🙂

For example, how much should resemble marketing copy vs. an open acknowledgment of the divergent paths you’re thinking about?


J. Hopper

My response:

Dear J.:

What a great question! There’s less concern about having a varied resume as there used to be – Gen X and younger workers don’t stay in one place longer than the job fits. I think open acknowledgement is the right choice – and demonstrates that you have a variety of interests and abilities.


I think the days of worrying about short-term engagements (as long as there’s a variety of career commitments and reasonable explanations and a lack of FIRINGS) are over. The new conventional wisdom says if you’re not fulfilled, satisfied, and rewarded at work, MOVE ON. It’s better for the employer and the employee. I have yet to meet a person who regretted a job change.

What do you think? What would you tell J. Hopper?


How to Create a Good LinkedIn Summary; Four Great Examples

By Communications, Social Media

I get that it’s hard to write a good LinkedIn Summary, but I also know what a difference it makes when someone has a good one. It’s easy to understand where they’re coming from, and the direction they believe their career to be headed. It’s nice to see what someone is about, what they want from connecting with others in business and what drives their ambition as a professional.

I combed my contacts for a few more good examples to share, since this post of other good LinkedIn summaries has gotten so much attention. I like the diversity among the candidates I’ve chosen below, representing engineering, software development, publishing and science-based business.


Brian Geiger uses a short and simple solution to the summary:

Project manager, systems designer, and developer on a variety of technical and creative projects and fields including video games, newspapers, and robotics. Interested primarily in making people the best at what they can be, from art and programming to learning to cook. Always looking for interesting problems to solve.


Finding clever solutions to complex problems in a variety of different realms. Using automation to reduce drudgery in employees work and enable them to do the things they do best. Completing projects.


Michael Prichard takes the third-person approach to the LinkedIn Summary, one which allows for cross-posting on several platforms:

Michael founded WillowTree Apps, Inc., a boutique apps and mobile web development company, in June 2007. WillowTree Apps is based in Charlottesville, VA and currently has an in-house team of 28+ including designers and developers. They have released over 100 apps and currently work with a wide variety of companies including Game Show Network, Johnson & Johnson, and the University of Virginia. WillowTree works with Android, Blackberry and Windows Mobile 7 as well as Mobile Web technologies.

Prior to WillowTree Apps, Michael founded, grew and sold an email archiving software business and worked as a development consultant for many large companies including IBM, State Street, and Adobe. He has the unique ability to understand business needs, communicate effectively with executive management and then guide a group of technical staff to deliver an enterprise solution.

Jennifer Bryerton takes the first-person approach, and summarizes her career and aspirations:

For more than 10 years, I have been a publishing partner in Ivy Publications, best known for our Charlottesville Family Living magazine and website (formerly Albemarle Family). As a small start-up company, everything from editorial to putting magazines out on stands could be part of my day. Now, with a fabulously talented team of employees, my partner Robin Bethke and I are able to specialize more. As art director, Robin keeps our award-winning design strong while I supervise content including the work of our editorial team as well as advertising sales. I am a firm believer, especially with a strong niche like ours, that ads are content and we work for the best fit for readers and businesses alike. The quarterly Charlottesville Welcome Book has led us further into the tourism market with another hot and targeted niche magazine. Locally Charlottesville, a series of directories for Family, Home and Women, focuses on promoting the local businesses that make our area so unique. And our newest publication, the Charlottesville Welcome Book Wedding Directory, is a multi-media planning tool for destination weddings in Charlottesville. My background in education administration, as a teacher and as the owner of a consulting business, helps to give us an edge when we launch new projects, driving the company forward with research and enthusiasm. Robin and I are famous for having new ideas percolating and we look forward to implementing new design, editorial and even new publications and events in the years to come.


Crystal Icenhour takes an approach that blends the purpose of her company and statements about her professional goals:

Phthisis Diagnostics recently launched a novel nucleic acid extraction kit that is fast, easy, and simple. The E-Sphere Simple NA Kit takes the complexity out of extractions. http://phthisisdiagnostics.com

My professional goal is to develop business and scientific skills, bridging the translational gap between these two worlds. In Phthisis Diagnostics, my goal is to make modern, easy, and cost-effective diagnostic tests for a variety of infectious diseases. Long-term, these diagnostic tests will be modified for use in developing countries, resulting in a profound impact on global health.

Each of these provides a good example for you to follow when crafting your own LinkedIn professional summary.

New: Endorse Your Contacts on LinkedIn

By Social Media

As a LinkedIn user, you may have noticed that you’re suddenly racking up endorsements as fast as an Olympic athlete. Since you can’t seem to recall your medal-winning athleticism, you may be wondering, what the heck is going on here?

LinkedIn launched a new feature to allow its users to “endorse” — with one click — the skills people in their network claim to have. Here’s a sample from my own account:

As a bonus, LinkedIn will e-mail you to let you know who endorsed you and for what — extra points if your employees or customers endorse you out of the blue — you’re doing a good job!

I like this feature for a couple of reasons:

  1. It doesn’t require the user to request the endorsement of their contacts.
  2. You list the skills and expertise you have and others select from your list.
  3. It provides a quick and easy way to recognize others for their capabilities — we often get hung up on the crafting of the perfect testimonial recommendation — this takes that cumbersome task out of the picture.

Endorse someone today!