It’s that time of year again—when we release our LinkedIn Top Experts list! Each year, we compile a list of job searching experts who generously share their insight and advice on LinkedIn. We sift through countless profiles, searching for quality advice that is actionable, insightful, and engaging.
With COVID-19 derailing the plans of many in 2020, LinkedIn stepped up as a hub for connection and guidance during what can feel like a grueling process. With the pandemic driving up the unemployment rate, the competition for jobs is that much more fierce. LinkedIn provides the opportunity for job searchers to learn from the experts, connect with recruiters and hiring managers, and brand themselves in a way that will make them stand out from the competition.
This year, our top 25 experts were generous enough to answer several questions for us—many even on video! They share advice on virtual networking, navigating the “hidden job market,” staying positive during the job searching process, and even securing referrals.
So, without further ado…
1. Nii Ato Bentsi-Enchill | Founder and Head Coach of Avenir Careers
Nii Ato’s holistic approach to job seeking is prevalent in his LinkedIn posts. His content focuses on providing advice for the more tenuous parts of job searching such as creating resumes. However, he also focuses on job seekers’ mindsets—sharing real, authentic advice on how to navigate the search with your mental health and values intact.
Nii Ato on what he’d advise job searchers to prioritize in 2021:
“I’d really encourage job seekers to prioritize their values in their job search and also check in with themselves about what stories they’re telling about themselves to themselves—especially if they had a really hard 2020.
The reason why I’m focused on those two things is because…job seekers forget to check in on themselves when it comes to launching a new job search. I want to make sure they are internally calibrated and aligned before launching themselves out there.
When it comes to values, in 2020, we really had to take a step back and figure out what was important to us—whether it’s having the flexibility to spend more time with our families, realizing we want work that’s more meaningful, perhaps that means being with a more mission-driven organization, or working for a product or service you really believe in…There are so many values out there, and they’re really important drivers in terms of how we orient ourselves to the world and what makes us feel fulfilled.”
You can find Nii Ato’s full interview here.
2. Rosie McCarthy | Career Coach and Founder of Badass Careers
Rosie will not only give you helpful advice in her posts—she will share the tools you need to pursue her advice. Her LinkedIn is filled with colorful graphics and videos with helpful advice. She focuses on helping Generation Z and Millennials secure their next step through her slides, videos, and written posts.
Advice she’d give to jobseekers in 2021:
“We’re in an ultra-competitive, quickly evolving job market that shows no signs of slowing down. It’s crucial that job seekers are following advice that is modern and keeping up with the rapid pace of change. It’s not enough to follow old-school advice that was relevant in a totally different environment, from people who have been out of the game for 20 years. A modern job search means:
- Starting with getting crystal clear on who you are—your purpose, values, natural strengths, and superpowers—and creating a career vision based on this
- Next, test drive this compelling vision for your next step by having informational interviews with people doing your dream job or role
- Articulating a powerful and consistent personal brand through your cover letter, resume, and LinkedIn profile
- Getting in front of recruiters, decision-makers, and would-be peers through precision networking (land those internal referrals!)
- Tailoring your application for each and every role you go for (ALWAYS quality over quantity)
- Create content and engage on LinkedIn, to attract the attention of influential people in your niche
- Find ways to go above and beyond in your application through things like video pitches and “I know my shit” projects”
3. Jessica Sweet | Career Coach and Owner of Wishingwell Coaching
Jessica meticulously constructs stories to illustrate her advice on LinkedIn. In fact, it’s her storytelling that really sets her apart from others on the platform. She ties in trends and newsworthy events to educate her audience and help them really understand the job searching advice and perspective she is sharing.
Jessica on advice she’d share with job seekers in 2021:
“Be persistent, and not to get discouraged. People are still getting hired, but it may take a bit longer. And getting discouraged and giving up is really a mistake. I mean, it’s hard to hang in there, but that’s what you have to do.
And I think finding ways to hang in there is really important. So sometimes that means finding a friend that is supportive. Sometimes that means getting a system. Sometimes that means taking a break for a couple days. Whatever that means to you, that you can hang in there, that’s what you have to do.
That’s what I would recommend—don’t give up.”
You can find Jessica’s full interview here.
4. Hannah Morgan | Founder of Career Sherpa.net and Job Search Strategist
When reading through Hannah’s LinkedIn content, it doesn’t feel as if you are reading a post from a stranger. Instead, it feels as if you are speaking with someone you’ve known for years. Hannah’s talent lies in how she converses with her audience, instead of speaking at them. She shares valuable, quality insight with her followers that you’ll definitely want to read.
Hannah on what advice she’d give job seekers in 2021:
“Twenty twenty-one is an evolving year, and we don’t really know what is going to happen. It’s unlike any other year we’ve seen in the past. But what I do know, looking at what we went through in 2008, -09, -10, The Great Recession, is that job seekers need to be proactive.
I want to see all job seekers take proactive measures by reaching out to companies they’re interested in working with in absence of a job posting and build relationships with people inside of those companies. And just be more outgoing and reaching out to people who you used to work with to find out what’s going on in the business, in your industry, in the world.”
Hannah’s full interview is here.
5. Jasmine Escalera, PH.D. | Confidence Coach and Career Strategist
Jasmine shares tips and advice on how to approach the job search with confidence. She shares stories about how she has experienced much of what job searchers consistently experience—imposter syndrome, self-doubt, a feeling of needing to conform in the workplace, etc. But she also shares written advice, as well as fun videos on how to overcome those feelings and dive into the right job for you.
Jasmine on job searching trends in 2021:
“Virtual is here to stay, and as a self-proclaimed introvert, I’m cool with that. I think virtual networking in the virtual space is just here to stay. We’ve seen it really grow in 2020 especially, and that is going to be an opportunity—a really great opportunity—for job seekers, for professionals to be able to actually connect with individuals in their field in more of a global capacity.
So whereas before, we were really thinking about networking in terms of where you are. You can now network and connect with individuals all over the world. So for me, in 2020, one of the things that really went popping was LinkedIn, because LinkedIn became that space where everybody just sort of gravitated to try to feel connected in a professional space—and also to try to build their own professional brand to do that networking and connecting.”
Check out Jasmine’s full interview here.
6. Andrea Koppel | Founder and CEO of College2Career Academy
Helping college students embark on their first careers is Andrea’s passion. Her posts target primarily college juniors and seniors, as well as their parents. She writes out detailed, actionable advice and also dives in even deeper with her weekly live informational interviews called Time4CoffeeTV with Andrea Koppel.
Andrea’s advice for recent grads who keep seeing requirements for three to five years “professional experience” for entry-level job descriptions:
“What I try to tell college students is that they are not giving themselves the benefit of the doubt. They need to learn how to translate experiences that they have had—whether it’s having scooped ice cream, worked as a server, dog walker, as somebody who has worked in a parking garage parking cars—all of these experiences are fantastic.
And you can translate them and put them into a language that hiring managers and prospective employers will resonate with. So you just have to learn how to tease out what you’ve learned—the hard skills that you’ve learned, and the soft skills that you’ve learned—into a language that those hiring managers will resonate with. And then…be able to share some stories about the experiences you’ve had using that language.”
Want to hear more? Head over here for Andrea’s full interview.
7. Rhona Barnett-Pierce | Founder of How To Level Up
Rhona is another job search expert who loves video—and she’s very good at it. Her videos are concise and share detailed, actionable advice. She covers topics such as personal branding, salary negotiations, and using video for your job search.
Rhona on advice she’d give 2021 job seekers:
“Really focus on growing their personal brand and their online presence and their visibility online. Because with jobs going remote, your competition is not only now people in your city. It’s really people anywhere. So the more visible you are, and the more personable of a brand that people can connect with you have, the higher your odds of getting interviews and ultimately getting hired.”
Find Rhona’s full interview here.
8. Michael Quinn | CEO and Founder of HireMilitary
While much of his career advice is universal, Michael’s main focus is on helping those formerly in the military. The advice on his written posts is extremely honest and to-the-point—including some hard truths for job seekers. Make sure to check out his #DayatWork series where he interviews other experts and dives even deeper into job-seeking topics.
On 2021 job searching trends:
“I have a lot of companies asking for help in attracting talent because no one knows to go onto their Careers page [on LinkedIn]. So I’m really starting to see from a job searching standpoint—how do we help companies, their recruiters, [and] hiring managers start to engage more on LinkedIn and other social media platforms so that candidates know why they want to work there and start applying more often to work at their companies?
I think that we see our digital natives—generation Z and millennials—are starting to be a little more focused on the ‘Why’ for working at a company, not just getting a job. They’re much more globally connected because they’re digital. And so, they want to know that ‘Why’ for where they’re going to apply and make sure they’re working at a company that’s more than just money, more than just a job.
And so that’s one of the big trends I see coming in 2021, is companies focusing more on attracting quality talent that way.”
Here’s Michael’s full interview.
9. Amy Miller | Senior Technical Recruiter
Amy’s content is extremely valuable, especially because her career means she’s constantly seeing resumes, cover letters, and the process in general. She breaks down the technical jargon and really shares a glimpse into what is happening on the other side of job searching. Pay special attention to her shirts during her videos—they usually have a message that backs up her advice.
Advice she’d give job seekers in 2021:
“You are your own best advocate! While career coaches and resume writers can be AMAZING resources (if within your budget, and you find a good one) there are a NUMBER of things Job Seekers can do to control their own destiny. Building your networking, asking for CLEAR, SPECIFIC help from recruiters and business leaders, and approaching your job search from a QUALITY perspective and not QUANTITY.”
10. Sweta Regmi | Founder and CEO of Teachndo
Sweta is definitely open about her experiences. Her content weaves her personal story, background, and experience throughout her tips. She knows how to help others with her LinkedIn advice because she’s been there before. This makes her content—her written posts and videos—relatable as well as informative.
Sweta on creating LinkedIn content:
“I post a lot of my personal, authentic stories. And sometimes people do tell me, ‘Why do you get so personal on LinkedIn?’
And it’s all about, to me, being a hiring manager, starting from coming into Canada as a newcomer and getting a degree here and bouncing back from the student to the corporate world…bouncing back from the fast food industry, factories and getting multiple promotions, being a hiring manager—what were the lessons I learned?
…I’m always telling them, listen, no job is small. Be proud of it. There’s no point [in] hiding it. We all start from somewhere, right? And a lot of immigrants I work with, they have insecurities, they have self-doubt. I do work with tenure folks and laid off folks, as well. They have the same thing.
And just because you’re a newcomer, landing in Canada, and just because someone out here, who’s been in [the] industry, even a hiring manager, they would have [the] same emotions and self-doubt. So I try to educate that by targeting my followers in my market, and it feels like they connect well when I share stories of my failures and what I would not do again.”
Sweta’s full interview is here.
11. Kamara Toffolo | Resume Writer, LinkedIn Consultant, Job Search Strategist
Yes—you did see a quote from The Office in Kamara’s post! Kamara’s LinkedIn content includes advice-a-plenty with narratives from America’s favorite workplace comedy weaved throughout it. This makes her content not only actionable but also exciting to read. It also helps readers visualize and memorize her advice, secured with quotes, scenes, and even full episodes of The Office. But Kamara doesn’t stop there. Her LinkedIn feed is a treasure chest of videos, including “Resume Roasts,” Q+As, insight into difficult situations to navigate such as ageism, and, of course, advice.
Kamara on what employers are looking for in their next hire:
“Employers are really interested these days in how job seekers have helped businesses run and operate with minimal disruption, keep service levels high, [and] keep teams engaged during the pandemic. So they’re looking for those types of stories on resumes and interviews.
…How did you contribute and how did you add value and create solutions?”
You can find Kamara’s full interview here.
12. Lezlie Garr | Master Resume Writer, Certified Professional Resume Writer, Certified Career Transition Coach, and Founder of ResumeLezlie.com
Actionable—that’s how to describe Lezlie’s posts. Her content meticulously highlights the details that go into navigating the job-seeking process. These posts include before and after comparisons of actual resumes, LinkedIn Lives, surveys, and much more. What sets her posts apart is how she balances her actionable posts with stories and empathy, which humanize a process that can feel dehumanizing.
Lezlie on why you need to do more than apply online for a job:
“Diversify your job search strategy. I know that that’s not a unique or new thing just for 2021, but at this point, if you are not doing that, you’re really missing out. So if you’re only applying online, that’s not typically going to be the best use of your time. So I would say outside of just applying online, spend some time building relationships, seeking mentorships, or informational interviews. Getting involved more on a personal level in your job search.”
You can find Lezlie’s full interview here.
13. Sonal Bahl | Career Strategist
Videos fill Sonal’s LinkedIn feed. She loves going live on LinkedIn and talking in real-time with other experts and her followers—and it shows. On her LinkedIn Live Super Charge Fridays, she dives in with interviews and insight that will help any job seeker navigate the process.
Sonal on her thoughts on creating LinkedIn content:
“I don’t only look at job seekers, I also see ambitious professionals, like you want to move up, you want to do well—how can this help that person?
Once I click publish, I’m not perfect at it, but I’m training myself [to] surrender. Like, don’t babysit the post. How many likes, how many comments? Surrender. Let it go…
In the past, it was this vanity thing, and if you’ve worked really hard on a post, of course it stings a little bit if it doesn’t get the engagement you want, particularly if you put your heart and soul into it. Surrender.
[The] algorithm is weird, but so is life! Life is unfair, the algorithm is unfair [laughs]. Focus on what you can control.”
You can find more of Sonal’s interview here.
14. Biron Clark | Founder of Career Sidekick
When it comes to actionable advice, Biron Clark is your guy. His content features a mix of articles, polls, and insightful posts sharing his expertise (as well as the occasional meme!). He provides job seekers with hard-hitting truths and concrete advice that they can immediately apply to their search.
Biron on job searching trends in 2021:
“One thing that’s not new, unfortunately, I think there’s going to be a lot of people applying online for each position… So that makes it even more important to keep working and finding ways to do something different.
I always tell people, ‘Just the more you can do things differently than everybody else in your job search, the better.’ So find at least one thing you can do differently: send a video to the company, follow up on LinkedIn after you apply.”
Check out Biron’s full interview here.
15. Claire M. Davis | Owner and Founder of Traction Resume
If there were one word to describe Claire’s posts, it would be “authentic.” While that word may elicit an eye roll (it has basically become a buzzword), her LinkedIn content really does hone in on what it means to be a human—who experiences bad luck, makes mistakes, and learns hard lessons—and shares advice on converting all of the above into strengths for your job search. Her content includes written posts, videos, and graphics highlighting her points.
Claire on creating LinkedIn content:
“When it comes to LinkedIn, the first thing that I consider is how I’m serving my audience. So, over the years with my business, I’ve really incorporated my marketing and my sales training from school and previous positions to make sure that I’m narrowing down to speak directly to my target audience…
My content really focuses on how to give people actionable steps to improve their mindset, how to reach larger goals without being overwhelmed by making things a habit. So when I go to write content on LinkedIn, I’m very strategic and intentional about what value I can provide to help move my clients and my audience forward.”
More of Claire’s interview can be found here.
16. Tejal Wagadia | Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist at MST Solutions, Owner of CoffeeAndTejal Blog
Reading through Tejal’s LinkedIn feed feels like conversing with a wise friend who has been there. Her feed is filled with technical advice that readers can tell comes from years of experience being on the other end of the job search. She also shares advice on tough situations she has gone through that many don’t want to talk about, such as jobs driving people into depression. But on top of sharing her previous experiences, Tejal also includes actionable advice on how to handle situations.
Tejal on why you should focus on applying to a handful of jobs instead of hundreds:
“My advice for job seekers has been consistent over the years. [It] is to…apply and network…and also not send hundreds of applications. When you send hundreds of applications, it’s like going on Tinder and swiping left and right: You’ll get somebody, but swiping that much is not helpful. You’re just easy applying and utilizing that.
Apply to five to 15 of the jobs that you are really passionate about, that really match your skillset. And then go from there. My advice over the years hasn’t changed because job seekers are still doing this—they’re still applying [to] hundreds of places.”
Listen to more of Tejal’s interview here.
17. Junette Caloroso | Career Strategist
Junette’s LinkedIn encourages job seekers to stay positive throughout the process with her written posts, graphics, and videos. As a former recruiter for large tech companies and startups, she provides advice drawing on her experience from the other side of the process. Her videos are where her insight and personality really shine through—and she’ll even share bloopers and dance parties to keep her followers uplifted.
Junette on job searching trends in 2021:
“It’s definitely going to be still very competitive, so that’s why it’s really important for job seekers to really elevate their personal brand [and] stand out amongst the competition. There’s this whole thing with entrepreneurs doing, like, social selling, right? With social media. The same concept goes for job seekers.
Really utilize social platforms like LinkedIn to network with people. For example, I have clients that want to break into tech. I always kind of share advice [to] utilize LinkedIn to connect with the hiring managers, recruiters, or even people that work in the specific industries or departments that you want to work in and start engaging on their content.”
Check out Junette’s full interview here.
18. Loren Greiff | Founder of Portfoliorocket
What sets Loren’s LinkedIn content apart from the rest is how engaging it is. Her feed includes actionable information, but she also takes the time to speak with her audience. She sets up surveys and polls asking important questions to help her followers. This information helps job seekers understand what the majority of professionals in the field advise.
Loren on 2021 being the year of voice notes:
“What I am seeing is a lot of great…bonus ways of connecting. So you build a connection on LinkedIn, for example, you write a great intro or invest in ‘show me you know me.’
And you are now in a place where you have been connected. And then using features such as voice notes to say, ‘Wow! Thanks so much for accepting my invite. I really appreciate that.’ [Or] ‘Here’s what I loved about your profile’ or ‘Here’s a YouTube video that really inspired me…’
And then taking that public conversation to private. So building out that flow from all the conversations on LinkedIn and/or any online forum and taking it offline. So I am seeing more people using voice notes.”
Loren’s full interview is here.
19. Mark Anthony Dyson | Founder of The Voice of Job Seekers
Mark’s content analyzes a myriad of job searching topics through his written posts, Live videos, and even his The Voice of Job Seekers podcast. In his videos and podcasts, he interviews experts on the job-seeking process, touching on topics such as how to jump back into the job search after being fired. If you read carefully, you’ll frequently see a musical reference or lyric in his advice.
Mark on advice he’d give to 2021 job seekers:
“A modern job search really is where you’re pursuing and also being pursued. In the past, you’re hoping just to be the pursuer for the most part, unless you worked with a recruiter or headhunter of some sort. But mostly now, you can create ways where you can be pursued and so that you don’t have to do all the chasing.
A lot of people use the dating analogy—it has merit—where you’ll find people who are interested in you as you find people that you’re interested in. And you hope to find a mutual spot, to where you’re interested in each other. That’s the modern job search of today, and I think that’s where people need to seek.”
Here is Mark’s full interview.
20. Jonathan Javier | CEO of Wonsulting
Jonathan breaks down his advice into easy-to-understand steps. He’s detailed and not afraid to share his past experiences, including his challenges. The success of his clients can also be seen throughout his LinkedIn.
Jonathan on creating LinkedIn content:
“I think a lot of people post just to post, like, just post random things…But the thing is when you are making content, you should always provide value. So what I try to do is, I will share a story, and I will provide value and takeaways that I’ve learned that people can utilize right away. I think that’s very important because the resources that you can provide to someone can make the difference of them getting a job or not.
So whenever I’m making LinkedIn content, I’m thinking about: okay, what have I not talked about this week that is valuable to my audience? (Which is job seekers, new grads, etc.) And how can I provide it?”
Check out Jonathan’s full interview here.
21. Kyle Elliott | Career Coach with CaffeinatedKyle.com
Kyle is who you want to seek out if you are looking to keep your “fabulousness” intact during the job search. His advice is valuable and actionable, but it also focuses on job seeker’s well-being throughout the search. He doesn’t shy away from discussing topics such as mental health and burnout, and his content consistently reminds readers to remember their humanity during what can sometimes feel like a dehumanizing process.
Kyle’s advice for 2021 job seekers:
“You want to get really specific with the companies and positions you’re targeting. A lot of people just apply for everything, and I’m a huge proponent of focusing on quality over quantity. I encourage my clients to send me a handful of jobs they’re targeting before they start writing their resume or cover letter or networking.
And the more specific you can get, the more likely you are to land a job. [That’s] because the recruiter is looking for someone with ABCDE, and you want your documents to say ABCDE on them. And if you’re applying for a bunch of different jobs, you’re just not going to be successful doing that matchup on your resume, your LinkedIn, or cover letter.”
Listen to more of Kyle’s interview here.
22. Brad Minton | Career Coach and Certified Resume Writer
Brad’s career advice spans several platforms. He shares insights through well-written, actionable posts, polls, and articles. However, he also interviews other experts in his podcast, Your Career GPS and has even pioneered his way into TikTok (which he also shares on LinkedIn).
Here’s the advice Brad would give job searchers in 2021:
“It’s going to be tough times ahead, it’s going to be turbulent times ahead. We have a really competitive job market. If you truly just beat yourself up and tell yourself you’re not valuable, that you’re not an asset, that you don’t have enough to offer, you’re doing yourself a real disservice…
It is so imperative that you do that mental check and really, really get a support network around you—people that will build you up. Work with a career coach, work with a therapist if you need to, have other colleagues and other people to support you along the way in this because it’s a team effort. Utilize your network as much as possible.”
Find Brad’s full interview here.
23. Susan P. Joyce | Publisher/Editor of Job-Hunt.org
Susan’s LinkedIn content is extremely helpful for job seekers. She breaks down the job searching process into easily digestible bites. Also, she breaks through any flowery language, so her advice is upfront and straightforward. This empowers job seekers to charge forward with real, actionable advice.
Here is her advice to job searchers in 2021:
“A successful job search today is much more complicated than in the past because of the changes technology has made in the hiring process. Personal SEO (search engine optimization), personal marketing, and personal online reputation management are required today.
Effective personal SEO requires job seekers to be focused on the job they want next (and the employers) because this gives them the keywords they need. Those keywords are the skills, qualifications, and accomplishments relevant to the target job visible. Once they know their keywords, then they need to make them visible to potential employers using sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social networks.
Finally, they need to manage their online visibility to demonstrate their professionalism, ability to communicate effectively, and their understanding of the current online/social media environment. This requires paying attention and being carefully active.”
24. Kristen Fife | Senior Technical Recruiter
Kristen is that friend of yours who you go to when you want the truth about something. You aren’t looking for fluffy, flowery, feel-good advice—you just want straight-to-the-point insight from someone who knows what they’re talking about. It takes about 30 seconds on Kristen’s LinkedIn to know that this is your person if you want to know what it’s really like in the job search. Her advice highlights the do’s and don’ts when it comes to finding a job. And since she’s the one reading many applications, you’d be wise to take her advice.
“A lot more people are looking for remote jobs. And remote jobs are definitely going to be here during COVID-19. I think there’s a lot of belief that every company [is] going to be able to hire everyone remotely from anywhere after COVID-19 is over. And that actually is not necessarily possible unless the company already pays taxes in all of the states or areas where they have offices.
So here’s the reason why: every employer has to pay state income tax. They have to pay into workers’ compensation, and they have to pay unemployment tax in every state [employees work]. They have to have those set up to be able to employ someone in those states. So it’s very, very rare for small companies to be able to shoulder the expense for that.”
Check out Kristen’s full interview here.
25. Adam Karpiak | President of Karpiak Consulting