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Fishers, Indiana, United States
Brenda gained career expertise as a human resources leader at a global company before becoming an HR consultant. Her functional experience includes a variety of sales roles in the health care industry achieving success for over 30 years. She is currently in Consulting & Analytics Business Development for a health care firm. Her passion is participating in, writing about and observing the evolving workforce. For the first time in history four generations work together. It keeps things interesting. Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) are redefining retirement and what it means to age in the workforce. It is not just about money. Okay it plays a role! At 76.4 million members strong, Boomers are leveraging technology to continue their careers and the personal fulfillment working brings. Managing a late-stage career requires a strategy. There is no roadmap or one size fits all answer. This blog is about sharing, networking & finding your own right answer to working later, managing your career, redefining retirement, looking for work in your 50s & 60s and reinventing yourself.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Powering a Mid-Life Career with LinkedIn

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 Brenda's Interview with Dave Meeker

LinkedIn is a valuable resource for everyone from recent graduates, the employed, entrepreneurs, job seekers, companies and everyone in between. Dave Meeker, LinkedIn and Technology Consultant, has helped all of the above and more through his workshops and one-on-one consulting sessions. Meeker began working with the LinkedIn social networking service in 2008 and continues to help professionals maximize the "Power of Their LinkedIn Profile."

“For the recent graduate, LinkedIn is important to develop a network,” says Meeker. He described how students at Butler University created LinkedIn accounts as part of a marketing class project. “For the employed LinkedIn is an important tool to create and develop a network while being open to new opportunities or career advancements." LinkedIn is mission critical to the job seeker, "it is urgent and important,” explained Meeker. Job seekers and others benefit from LinkedIn’s mobile capabilities with up to six mobile Apps by using the ability to quickly seize opportunities and identify key contacts according to Meeker.

One of the tools Meeker teaches in his workshops is how to use keywords, otherwise known, as his unique phrase, "the language of LinkedIn." He describes the language of LinkedIn as a series of keyword phrases that leads recruiters to their profile. A proprietary algorithm adds to the profile ranking process. Meeker believes he has figured out this algorithm.

Why is LinkedIn constantly changing?

"What a lot of people don’t understand about LinkedIn is that it is constantly changing. As the growth of mobile devices and their Apps increase, it appears new Apps and updates to existing Apps will feed this exponential growth of the mobile market." As LinkedIn continues to change and push out rolling updates, Meeker believes he recognizes these patterns before the documentation appears on line.

How important is a photo on a LinkedIn profile? “Since there are fake accounts that generate spam and data mine contact's information, a photo shows you are a real person. The photo is part of your LinkedIn brand that includes your headline, location, current occupation and industry,” said Meeker.

Other expert LinkedIn tips from Meeker include the importance of recommendations from former co-workers. “Recommendations are a lot more important than endorsements on LinkedIn” according to Meeker.  These recommendations provide opportunity to share a STAR (Situation Task Action Response) story or other accomplishments.

To realize the value proposition as a LinkedIn user, Meeker focuses his audience on what he calls, VCR. “Value, Content and Relevance are what users should consider when creating their 360 degree view of their skill, knowledge and experience. Their overall profile should answer the answer the question, "what can you do for me?” says Meeker. The VCR concept is also an imperative part of making posts and making comments, especially with groups.

Currently LinkedIn boasts more than 300 million users and according to Bloomberg business, the company will attempt to expand its user base in China to combat slower growth in the United States. While users are focused on professional networking, LinkedIn generates revenue from advertising, upgrading users to premium accounts and fees charged to recruiters and staffing companies.

While LinkedIn is a space most professionals want to participate in, beware of spam or fake accounts and learn to manage emails and notifications by adjusting your settings under Privacy and Settings.. When in doubt about how to leverage LinkedIn as a resource to grow a business or expand a career, there are experts like Dave Meeker to the rescue! If you’d like to connect with Dave Meeker, you can find him easily on LinkedIn, of course!


  1. I think recruiters judge people on their looks using LinkedIn and that works against older workers or overweight job seekers. That's why I think having a photo on my profile will work against me.

  2. My research has shown that the recruiter is looking for the 360 degree view of the candidate to see if they're able to do the work required for the position. The picture is part of the candidate's brand. They need to make sure the profile represents a real person before they move forward with their search.

    Recruiters are very particular where they spend their time. If they're not convinced that you're a potential candidate with a 5-20 second glance at your profile, they'll move on to the next candidate in their search list.

    Please bear in mind that many recruiters have just a basic LinkedIn account and search for candidates based on key words. One sample phrase might be "Seeking Employment" with the geographical locator and 2-3 words for the job description.

    The photo is an essential part of your brand. Without it, you're just another profile without an identity.

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