The Happy Engineer Podcast

089: Q&A #5 with Zach White | 6 LinkedIn Profile Improvements to Stand Out | My Opinion on Layoffs in Tech and How to Respond

In this episode, you asked me how to optimize your LinkedIn profile (and stand out from the crowd of talent), and what I think about recent layoffs (including how to respond if you were impacted).

Thank you to Parul, Software Engineering Manager, and the dozens of leaders on LinkedIn who have asked my opinion on layoffs, for sending me your questions! 

So press play and let’s chat… it’s time to get some answers.

Join us in a live webinar for deeper training, career Q&A, and FREE stuff!  HAPPY HOUR! Live with Zach

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The Happy Engineer Podcast





Previous Episode 088: Jim Cathcart | Top 5 Most Award-Winning Speaker in the World | the Pathway to Maximum Potential for True Professionals




Question #1 – I’m looking for a new opportunity in my industry. What are the most important things to update on my LinkedIn Profile?

From Parul, a Software Engineer Manager.

I’ll address the heart of the question, which is, what do I need to do to stand out and get a new opportunity to be recognized, seen, noticed, or be given a chance? 

I think it’s important to remember first you’re not going to get a job because of your LinkedIn profile. Your LinkedIn profile will potentially prevent you from getting an interview if it’s not good.

#1 – Profile picture: this is a no-brainer. Don’t mess around with low res, bad lighting, out of context, full body profile pictures.

#2 – Title under your name: the first few words under your name are the most important because that’s all that shows when somebody sees your name pop up in the newsfeed.

#3 – Banner image: Don’t waste that real estate. If you haven’t even loaded one up. It’s like, oh my goodness. You haven’t even taken the time to finish your profile.

#4 – About section: Don’t waste that about section by repeating all of the things that you’ve done, because there’s a whole section called experience

#5 – Experience section: go back to your previous experiences and tailor what you’ve written to the opportunity that you want next.

#6 – Recommendations: They’re at the bottom of your profile page. If they’ve scrolled that far, you’ve kept their attention that long, why not finish on a high note.

Question #2 – My opinion on the current layoffs happening in the Engineering Tech Industry?

Life is going to be unfair in ways that you could easily complain about, but my belief fundamentally as a coach is that that doesn’t matter. 

In fact, that’s expected. 

I’ve never met someone where life didn’t present what we would call a failure or a setback, or an unfair, unjust problem. 

It’s like that’s a part of the story.

So for me, the question is not like, why did that happen to me?

The first question is, okay, I didn’t ask for this, but it’s here. So what will I do? How do I want to show up to this challenge?

Embrace that spirit of radical responsibility

It creates outcomes instead of being a victim to outcomes.





Zach White is known around the world for changing the game in career coaching for engineering leaders.  He has worked with hundreds of leaders at all levels from top technology companies worldwide including Facebook (Meta), Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google, to industry leaders like General Motors, Nike, Lockheed Martin, Whirlpool, and many more to escape burnout and achieve breakthrough results.

Zach is the Founder and CEO of Oasis of Courage, known as OACO, a fast-growing company with unique and proven coaching programs exclusively for engineers.  He also hosts a top rated show, The Happy Engineer Podcast, where listeners discover the steps to engineering success through expert interviews and Zach’s own transformational framework, the Lifestyle Engineering Blueprint.  

As a coach for engineering leaders, Zach understands the journey first hand, holding a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University, and a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan.  With over a decade of experience and top performance in a $20B organization, he is now a sought-after coach by engineering leaders around the world.  

Zach is affectionately known as the World’s Best Lifestyle Engineer, and your coach. 

Connect with him online and schedule a call to build your career, balance your life, and BE HAPPY!



Please note the full transcript is 90-95% accuracy. Reference the podcast audio to confirm exact quotations.

[00:00:00] Zach White: All right. Happy engineer. You know, I’m excited about today because it’s Q&A time, which means my good buddy and the man behind the magic of how good the Happy Engineer podcast sounds. Daniel Powell is back in the house. Daniel, what’s up man? 

[00:00:17] Daniel Powell: It’s good to be back again. Zach, Q&A number five. Here we go. 

Expand to Read Full Transcript

[00:00:21] Zach White: You ready? Woo. I’m loving this number five and, and these episodes have been super fun. I love the questions. I love the energy. So, Daniel, take it away. Where are we going today? 

[00:00:31] Daniel Powell: So at the top of this episode, if I maack, I, I would just like to, to pick up this thread that I’ve been exploring, that we’ve been exploring in the past two q and as, one last time.

[00:00:43] That’s about intentions and affirmations. Can I, can I beat that drum one 

[00:00:48] Zach White: more time? Man, Daniel, you can never beat out the drum of intention and affirmations. Yeah. Bring, take me there. Okay. 

[00:00:55] Daniel Powell: Where are we going? Okay, so I agree. And now full disclosure, I’ve lost a little ground with my intentions and affirmations, but right after we had that, that conversation at q and a four, I had a peak experie.

[00:01:11] So here’s the situation. I’ve been reading the, the four hour work week lately and enjoying a lot of the insights in there.

[00:01:18] Daniel Powell: One of the things that spoke to me so deeply in there is just about, you know, regulat. information that comes into your life and being on a low information diet. So one of the things I hate, is that when I wake up, you know, you, you’ve heard that, uh, that the adage, you know, when you wake up, what’s the first thing you do while you check your phone and then you pee?

[00:01:44] And I’ve just been sick. I’ve been sick checking my phone, you know, first thing I, when I get up and just letting information invade that, that quiet thought space. I get that. So inspired by that book, one of the affirmations I came up with was I maintain a low information diet. Nice. . And for about a week, Zach, I woke up and I fed myself that affirmation I could not believe how easy it was just to go and sit and have my meditation time just right off the bat.

[00:02:23] And it was so good. I felt like a freaking superhero, Zack. It was like I’m, I’m freaking Batman with his utility belt affirmations and I was just like throwing these out and. I can actually do what I want and not like maybe my brain like drives me to do, you know, I’m just fighting against those subconscious things.

[00:02:43] With the, that affirmation in my utility belt, it was just like, wow. You know, I, I, I really just couldn’t believe that it could be that easy 

[00:02:52] Zach White: to change. I love this. I love this Daniel’s pressing the easy button. You know, this is a great situation. To recap, Daniel. This is what we want to do with our conscious mind.

[00:03:05] Why an affirmation and setting intention works is we’re taking that 5% of the horsepower of our mind, the conscious, and we’re using our will. We’re using an intention and a proactive, an action to take the five. And influence the 95%, the automatic systems, the subconscious, the patterns, the habits, the behaviors that are holding us back.

[00:03:30] So when you wake up and you choose to speak that out, that I maintain a low information diet, the 95%, your subconscious is always paying attention. And so it’s hearing that signal and saying, oh, . Is that true? Is that right? What would that look like? How do we show up to life in a low information diet way and make it easy for Daniel to perform in that way, and you experienced it.

[00:03:56] Let’s really quick talk about that feeling of coming off the bandwagon though, because I know everybody can relate to this. I’ve had, oh, Zach, I went a whole month and then I went a week and I got a little off the train. And like, how do you get back on it? Or we beat ourselves up a little bit or in many cases we never get back on the train.

[00:04:15] So I’m curious, Daniel, what, what’s, where are you at in that journey? Do you feel like you’re on the down slope? You’re gotta be honest with coming back. 

[00:04:22] Daniel Powell: When I, when I came up with this theme, this was, uh, when I was waking up that one week that I really did it. that was probably three or four weeks ago.

[00:04:29] Right. And then you had Christmas and all that. it’s just been, you know, not very intentional living since then, maybe I should say, or intentions in different places. here’s what I want you to do off bandwagon. I’ve been off for a while,

[00:04:40] Zach White: Okay. Okay. Thanks for being honest, man. And we can all relate to this. Yeah. Whether it’s exercise or affirmations or any habit that you’re seeking to build to better your life. We can all relate. I can relate. So, . Here’s what I want you to do. First thing, make sure you forgive yourself for falling off the bandwagon.

[00:04:56] It’s okay, right? It doesn’t make you a bad person. It doesn’t make you a person who lacks willpower or anything like that. you’re human. You fell off the wagon. It’s all good. So forgive yourself. Number two is reflect back on the experience. Go relive that peak. Go relive that easy button, week of low information diet, and remind yourself consciously how good it was for you to speak that affirmation out to execute on that morning routine the way you wanted to.

[00:05:27] Let’s bring that emotion back. your psychology. Let’s relive it. you’ve tasted it, you’ve seen we want to go back and taste it again. And we do that just in our mind’s eye, right? Let’s relive it a bit and then make one small commitment. It’s not about I’m gonna do this for the next 90 days perfectly, and I must do that.

[00:05:48] Like I’m gonna bite off this big chunk of change, just the smallest possible commitment. So tomorrow morning, one. , let’s just get tomorrow, right? And then from there, if it works again, if you’re enjoying it, you could go one more day. You can go one more Tiny habits, you know? That’s great advice. Cuz, cuz 

[00:06:05] Daniel Powell: I’m like, I want that back in my life, you know?

[00:06:07] But it’s like, oh man, I, I gotta start doing that every day. But yeah, just the choice for day tomorrow. I think I can do that. 

[00:06:14] Zach White: I think I can do that. Daniel, is that a commitment you wanna make, uh, on the air commitment? Are you gonna do that tomorrow? I’m 

[00:06:19] Daniel Powell: gonna do that tomorrow, 

[00:06:20] Zach White: Zack. Okay. Tomorrow. Perfect. a little coaching me.

[00:06:23] I can’t help myself. I gotta get some accountability in the house for Daniel Powell. . Well, I 

[00:06:28] Daniel Powell: was just so impressed about just what we talked about in our previous Q and a, how making that change you think I wanna stay, stay away from my phone. So it’s like, well, let’s focus on the phone, let’s focus on the behavior that we don’t wanna do, but not focusing on the behavior or even the object that I’m trying to stay away from, but really zoom.

[00:06:46] and just making a positive focus that’s great on the result that I actually wanna see in my life. And it was just like, wh how is that easy? How is it that 

[00:06:55] Zach White: easy? So yes, . Yeah, good point. It’s not, you know, the affirmation is not, I don’t look at my phone in the morning. Yeah. That’s, that’s not an affirmation, that’s a, that, 

[00:07:04] Daniel Powell: that is never what you don’t.

[00:07:05] I’ve told myself that so many times. Never once 

[00:07:08] video1689840591: exactly 

[00:07:08] Zach White: never works. You’re focusing on exactly the thing that you don’t want when you do that. So when you’ve switched that around to say, well, what do I want? I want to live alone for. So it’s a great example, man. I love it. 

[00:07:20] Daniel Powell: All right, Zach, what we got some great questions to dive into today, but first, as always, hit me with some win.

[00:07:29] Zach White: Oh man. We’ve got so many amazing stories I could tell today, but I’ll highlight three people who really have stood out in terms of their willingness to get out of their comfort zone and go after something that when we met, Felt unachievable to them and that lights me up. That gets me outta bed in the morning, Daniel.

[00:07:50] So I wanna shout out Frank. Frank has been leaning into that next level of leadership, taking his ability to, speak in public, to connect with strangers to. take those little actions that are not related to the technical skillsets, but the soft skills, the relationship and social intelligence, the emotional intelligence.

[00:08:10] And Frank just scored a huge opportunity to be a project manager on the entire program for a new award new. project that was bid by his company. And what’s cool is he took the initiative to go build the relationship, to create the project scope, to put the bid together for his company to go win this business.

[00:08:31] And he told his leadership that if we win this, I’d like to ask for the opportunity to be the lead project manager, even though that’s a big stretch and role from what he’s doing today. And they won the business and the leadership said, Hey, you took the initiative you asked for. You got it. So huge. Shout out to Frank.

[00:08:51] Amazing. What he’s doing. Uh, Mallory, she was unhappy. She was disappointed with her career, didn’t know what direction she wanted to go, and in just 60 days, found her purpose, created a new vision, went out, found a new role, had the courage to walk away from her previous gig and start something brand new.

[00:09:10] She just began her new role. So Mallory, go get ’em. You are gonna crush this. I’m so proud of you. It’s not just about big titles, big paychecks and career. Daniel, I wanna shout out John. John, you know, which John I’m talking about. There’s a lot of Johns out there, but John just left us a video testimonial that’s gonna go on the website soon where he shared that he had an internal shift, a transformation from the inside out, from this work that he’s been doing with our, team and our clients here at o Waco.

[00:09:41] He is happy for the first time in a long time. He feels that energy, that surge of life. what’s so cool is nothing changed on the outside. He’s working at the same company, married to the same beautiful woman, has his firstborn son in his life, but he has changed and that is inspiring and it’s just as hard as getting a new job is to transform yourself from the inside out.

[00:10:03] Zach White: So John, thanks for leading the way it’s amazing to be your. 

[00:10:07] Daniel Powell: I know. I gotta follow up on that and say because the inside has changed. The outside will, you know, you’re 

[00:10:14] Zach White: so right. You’re so right, . 

[00:10:16] Daniel Powell: let’s get into our questions here, Zach. question number one comes from her and she is a software engineering manager, and here’s her question.

[00:10:31] I am looking for a new opportunity in my industry. What are the most important things you recommend that I update on my LinkedIn profile? So that I stand out from the crowd, especially given the number of recently laid off engineers 

[00:10:47] Zach White: Really?

[00:10:48] Important asterisk on this question. Always an important question, but at the time of this recording, so Daniel, what, it’s uh, late January, 2023 and yeah, there’s been significant announcements around layoffs and challenges for a lot of people. So, Paul, great question and. Really quick before I address that, it’s a really tactical question, which is probably good.

[00:11:12] Daniel. You know how I like to play in the, in the more theoretical and philosophical topics sometimes, which is, is useful, but, uh, we tell all of our clients at Oaco, you don’t change your life in the general, we change our lives in the specific, really getting into the details and being clear. But, um, before I answer the question about a LinkedIn profile, I do wanna zoom out for just one moment.

[00:11:34] Address the heart of the question, which is, what do I need to do to stand out and get a new opportunity to be recognized, seen, noticed, given a chance, well, what do I need to do there? And I think it’s important to remember first that your LinkedIn profile, which is in essence a, a digital resume, an online footprint of yourself, um, but also your written resume, these two, you know, pieces of.

[00:12:02] Job search toolkit, you’re not going to get a job because of your LinkedIn profile. All right? Your LinkedIn profile will not land you a job. Your LinkedIn profile will potentially prevent you from getting an interview if it’s not good. So sometimes we can over-index. Wanting a perfect profile or a perfect resume and invest way too much stress and time and energy into nitpicking every little detail because we want our LinkedIn profile to do all the hard work of landing us a new role.

[00:12:41] And the truth is, That’s not what’s gonna happen, but at the same time, I respect the question and we need to address it, because if your LinkedIn profile or your resume is below average, if it’s below par and someone sees it, that can absolutely block you from getting to that next step in landing the conversation or the interview.

[00:13:01] So with that context, our profile needs to be good, but it’s not about perfect. Because you’re not, you’re not gonna get a job because somebody said, wow, did you read her about section on LinkedIn? We have got to hire this person. It was just the best written about section I’ve ever seen. Like I have never met the hiring manager on the planet who has told me that was their decision criteria.

[00:13:25] So that’s set Daniel I’ll. Maybe go top to bottom. What comes to mind first for me and the things that I’ve seen work, I’ll be quick and tactical. Maybe you can interrupt me if I’m moving too fast, but there’s five or six things that come to mind right away when I think about a great LinkedIn profile and, and the first one is number one, and it’s the highest importance in my mind by a.

[00:13:52] I’m curious, actually, Daniel, if you could guess what I’m thinking, because to me this is a no-brainer, most important thing on your profile. What do you think it’s gonna be? Profile? Picture. Picture. Daniel, you and I are cut from the same cloth, man, a hundred percent. So don’t mess around with low res, bad lighting.

[00:14:12] Out of context, full body profile pictures. , your face needs to consume the majority of that frame, you know, shoulders and up, so it’s not a full body photo, so that it really is zoomed in and they feel like they’re an arms distance from you. You know, imagine somebody’s just standing right there looking at you, look right at the camera, so there’s eye contact with that person who’s opening up that image.

[00:14:38] Great light. You at your best. Do your hair shave, whatever you need to do. , get a professional photo and in a professional context. So I, I know you love fishing. I know you love hiking. I know you love playing video games. Whatever it is, don’t put a photo of you fly fishing in Montana. Which is super fun, and you may love to do if the career that you’re in pursuit of is software development at Amazon.

[00:15:08] It doesn’t make sense contextually and subconsciously. It breaks some of the belief and rapport that we wanna create immediately with that photo. So please, please, please take that seriously. And it doesn’t mean you have to hire a professional photographer. I mean an iPhone or an Android phone.

[00:15:26] These cameras are fantastic. It’s just be intentional about getting something that’s really well cropped and put together you at your best. So I’m gonna say higher professional 

[00:15:36] Daniel Powell: photographer. Cause even when I go out and intentionally try to set up a good photo, me, nor my wife, have that capability.

[00:15:44] Zach White: I, I mean, I agree. Daniel, if somebody has the resources to do it, definitely do it. I mean, my minor professional, most of my clients choose to go get professional photos, but I just wanna let people know if, if you’re concerned about the budget or whatever, you don’t have to, but bring the best game you can and it’s worth investing a couple hundred bucks to go get a single headshot taken by a pro.

[00:16:05] that’s number one by far and away for me. The second most important piece is a toss up for me between the banner image because the visual element of your profile is so gripping, but I’ll also contend with your main headline or the title under your headshot. Those two are both really important, but I’ll, I’ll pick the title because that text is indexed and important for the LinkedIn search algorithm and your relevancy.

[00:16:33] In a sales navigator search by recruiter or how LinkedIn associates your profile to others and, uh, we wanna make sure that we’re optimizing around that. So here’s the thing I would recommend. When you look at that main title, there’s a couple of keys. The first is to remember that the beginning of what you write, Those first, I think it’s maybe eight to 10 words.

[00:16:56] I don’t remember the exact character. Count Daniel, but those first few words are the most important because that’s all that shows when somebody sees your name pop up in the newsfeed. or in their inbox when they see that it’s from you. LinkedIn allows you a lot of characters and you can play a bit with that main title, the first few words are the most important ones because that’s what people will see as you’re engaging on the platform.

[00:17:24] So keep that in mind. The second thing that I’ll highlight here is it’s really useful to match the title that you describe. To the title of what you’re looking for, if that is true. So it’s very common where two companies may have a slightly different way of describing a similar role. You know, there’s a mini industry standards out there for sure.

[00:17:50] But I’ll give you an example, Daniel. One of the roles I held at Whirlpool Corporation as an engineer back in the day was what we called a tech lead, a technical project lead. , but now it’s called a system integrator. which one should I use? Should I put it in as tech lead or put it in as system integrator?

[00:18:08] If I wanna move into an industry or a specific company even where the role and title on the job description that I want to apply for is senior system integration, then I would definitely want to use system integrator as my main title to create an immediate connection there. Now, you may not always have that luxury, cuz you’re not gonna go lie.

[00:18:31] Okay, here, don’t hear me out. Don’t put a title. That’s not true. , but if there’s flexibility for you to match it to your destination, to the target of the role you want, that’s really useful because again, think about the the recruiter or the hiring manager who’s looking at your profile. We don’t want them to have to jump through hoops or connect the dots as to whether or not you are a good fit to interview.

[00:18:57] We want it to be right in their face. Really simple, really easy. So that’s a little tip and. . The other tip I’ll give on this, and Daniel, you’ve probably seen profiles like this, is I like putting something personal fun and maybe even a little bit intriguing or something that catches my attention along with my job type.

[00:19:20] So I’ll just use myself as an example here. You know, I talk on my title about what I do here at O Waco as a coach, and I have c e o and career coach on there, but I also have lover of Happy. Okay, now it’s a play on words for me because I do a free training every month that’s called Happy Hour with Zack, and it actually is related to the business.

[00:19:40] It’s engineering, career coaching, and you know, happy engineer, out there. If you’re listening, you can come join us for some free live training. So please sign up. It’s in the show notes. Do it. . But it’s also kind of a funny thing cuz Happy Hour is going out, getting drinks with friends, right? So when people see that, it’s just like, oh that’s kind of funny.

[00:19:57] You know, what is that? Maybe they don’t even know about the event yet. And they get curious like, why would he put something about going out drinking on his profile? Like that doesn’t match with what I see here and it draws them in. So a little edgy, even for some people. Think about your. , what’s something that you love?

[00:20:13] Maybe a passion or a hobby. Something that you could create a fun little saying about yourself that’s unique and interesting that would catch somebody’s attention. It makes you feel like a human and not just another, you know, engineer signing up for the role and you’re like a line on that spreadsheet of the other a hundred engineers the recruiter has seen that day.

[00:20:35] So, lemme stop there. I don’t know, Dan, is that, uh, am I, am I making sense? . That’s great. 

[00:20:40] Daniel Powell: And it allows you to be a multi-dimensional being rather than just Yeah. You know? Yeah. A number. Exactly. You know, there’s that, that like classic sales thing, right? Of if, uh, if you’re in somebody’s office making a sales call and you notice a fish, a picture of them fishing, talk about fishing, you know?

[00:20:56] That’s right. What little, you know, like mine that information. So that just a hundred percent that opens up that, relational connection, just 

[00:21:02] Zach White: like you. . So let’s walk down that rabbit trail really quick. I know par your questions about LinkedIn, but I, I think everybody needs to hear this. It’s really important in the process of interviewing and job searching and just networking in general, that you get to know the other person and allow the other person to get to know you in more than one dimension of life.

[00:21:29] the hobbies, the passions, the interests. When you can do that, here’s what happens. You know, in your mind, psychologically we categorize everything. The subconscious loves to have these filing folders and label things and, put words and labels on what something is to help us make sense of the world around us.

[00:21:46] Well, you are an engineer applying for a. You fall into one bucket in that person’s mind. An engineer, technical. This is a, a career thing. It’s professional, and I have my filing folder for people who are in that category. But if you and I talk about fishing, Well, who else is in my file folder about fishing?

[00:22:08] My friends, my neighbors, my family, people who I’ve had great memories with. It’s associated with all these other really wonderful memories in my life. So your name and picture, that beautiful profile picture that you had professionally taken. Okay, are now categorized in both places. So I have you down in my engineering folder, but in my mind, you’re also in my fishing folder.

[00:22:31] And the fishing folder is full of all these other people. Guess what? Who I know, like, and trust. And so it’s so important that you get to know and allow other people to get to know you in more than one dimension in all these contexts, because it immediately elevates Call it net trust. in that person’s subconscious mind.

[00:22:52] So it’s really, really powerful to do this. Let’s keep going. I mentioned banner image, so were there three more? I, I’ve only covered two officially. The third was, the third is banner image. Here’s all I’ll say here. Don’t waste that real estate. it kills me when I log into somebody’s profile or click into someone’s profile, Daniel, and it’s the, the blank LinkedIn swirly color thing.

[00:23:14] They haven’t even loaded one up. It’s like, oh my goodness. You haven’t even taken the time to finish your profile. I mean, that’s a big demerit in my mind. So put something up there, but. Make it relevant to your career pursuit. So I’ll, and we’ve talked about Montana and fly fishing. Let’s just keep pulling that thread.

[00:23:32] Don’t put a banner image of a mountain lake with people fly fishing around it, because that doesn’t make sense. You’re, you’re not applying for a job as an expedition guide . Like, that’s not, it’s not relevant. So a lot of people say, oh, Zach, it’s one of my passions I wanna share. So, I get it, but remember, put yourself in the shoes of that hiring manager or recruiter.

[00:23:57] We don’t want them to have any distractions that pulls them away from the point at hand that this person could be great for the job and that real estate is important, that it’s aligned with that primary, so little teaser and little ways to get to know you belong in that headline in your about section, but not in the primary visual real estate of your.

[00:24:20] use words too, by the way. It doesn’t have to just be a picture, have a, a graphic designer. Hire someone on fiber or, you know, someplace and make an image that has some, descriptions about that role or those titles or those things that you wanna accomplish in your career.

[00:24:35] That can be really powerful as well. Three more quick ones, Paul, I know you’re trying to get ready for your, uh, new opportunity. So here’s the last three. I’ll remind you your about. Don’t just repeat your resume there. That is a unique part of your profile where you can actually share what makes you unique.

[00:24:57] Why do I want to talk to you instead of someone else? Your passions can come through. The things you care about can come through your values, can come through, your mindset can come through, maybe even a great little story about something you’ve done or you’re proud of that can help me get a sense of who you are as a person.

[00:25:15] Don’t waste that about section by repeating all of the things that you’ve done, because there’s a whole section called experience, and the person’s gonna ask for your resume soon enough, and they’re gonna get that piece. So really think of that as your opportunity to present who you are as a. In the about section third piece, or sorry, this will be number five now of my next three, I’m out number five.

[00:25:38] I think , I, I was gonna say, I know where, where’d he go back to three? This guy, he can coach, but he can’t count. What do you know? that experience section. This is where I recommend people to bury all those keywords. a lot of times folks put a, like, literally a paragraph at the bottom of their, about section that says, you know, keyword bank, colon, and they just list all the, Not a fan of that personally, because, I’m kind of distracted as somebody looking to say, oh, they’re just trying to win the algorithm. These might not even be true, like , what’s going on here? And they’re out of context. So within the experience section of your profile to me is a great place where you can make sure that you’re hitting all of those key words.

[00:26:21] Of course, you can put them other places, but that’s, that’s an important spot and make sure it’s complete and accurate by. The number of times I see a LinkedIn profile that has an incomplete experience section or they’re just poorly crafted is, is two commons. So, so Paul, make sure that you take the time, put in the most important content, and again, You want to go back to your previous experiences and tailor what you’ve written to the opportunity that you want next.

[00:26:53] Just because you had that role a decade ago doesn’t mean that you leave the description of what you accomplished in that role for all eternity. You can go back today. And rewrite that experience in the context of how that experience has prepared you for where you want to go in your career. So like, go back and look at those again.

[00:27:13] And then last piece, uh, go get recommendations. Go get recommendations. I think it’s a really useful function of the LinkedIn profile where somebody can, if they scrolled that. , this is one of my beefs about LinkedIn. You know, the recommendations are way at the bottom, whereas Amazon’s, you know, customer reviews, five star ratings are right there in your face.

[00:27:36] LinkedIn keeps that recommendation section down at the bottom. But here’s the thing, Daniel, if they’ve scrolled that far, you’ve kept their attention that long, why not finish on a. , we’ve talked before about the peak end rule on this podcast, and I won’t talk in detail about the psychology of that. But if they get all the way to the bottom of your profile and then they see 20 or 30 recommendations from past colleagues and bosses and people you’ve worked with, now they have this exclamation point at the finish line of looking at your profile that says, wow, this person has a lot of folks who respect them and have, have had positive things to say about them.

[00:28:15] Let’s go ahead and get ’em on. So there you go. Top to bottom par. If you knock those out, you’re gonna be way ahead of the crowd. All right, well, 

[00:28:23] Daniel Powell: hey, we spent a lot of time on that. That’s a great place to spend time because that’s, uh, a resource that everybody uses. let’s hit those bullet points again.

[00:28:33] I think there were six maybe. I think so too. Maybe seven or eight with the rabbit trails we take. So, so break it down for us. Uh, number one, photo number two. The about. Make sure those first 

[00:28:46] Zach White: eight words, I would call that one the headline or the title. Okay. Headline. So number two is that headline? Yep.

[00:28:53] Number three. 

[00:28:55] Daniel Powell: banner. 

[00:28:56] Zach White: Is that right? Yes. Yes. Banner image 

[00:28:58] Daniel Powell: number four about section? Yes. All right. And then, uh, experience and 

[00:29:05] Zach White: recommendations. I love it. Six points. The six keys to LinkedIn success. Hey, we should write a blog post. Daniel, do something. This a, this is a nice little , maybe a 

[00:29:15] Daniel Powell: LinkedIn post 

[00:29:15] Zach White: check, check LinkedIn post.

[00:29:18] Oh, you heard it here first on the Happy Engineer podcast. So 

[00:29:21] Daniel Powell: Zach, we always gotta ask questions on the happy engineer. So, I’m interested to see what she’ll do with this one. What question would you encourage Paru or anybody else wanting? up their game on the LinkedIn profile, what question should they start with?

[00:29:40] Zach White: Hmm.

[00:29:42] I would frame the question in the lens of the person who you want to fall in love with that profile. And what I would be asking is who do. Want on my team. That’s from the perspective of that other person and show up as that person, Because it’s not about what you want Paul. It’s about what the hiring manager wants.

[00:30:13] it’s about what the company wants. When it really boils down to who they’re going to take the time and energy to. . just because you want them to know something about you doesn’t mean that’s what they want to know. And while our vision as individuals is guiding where we take our energy to go land new roles and opportunities, we still take that and then say, how do I frame this from the perspective of that other party?

[00:30:43] Zach White: So who do I want on my team? But asking it from the lens. Of that future amazing leader that you’re going to support and add value to. , something that you said to me a number of times is, I don’t have the exact wording, but it’s not what you know, but it’s who you know or what’s, what’s your verbiage behind that?

[00:31:05] Yeah. We’ve talked, and this is a book title from the Man, amazing Leader Dan Sullivan. It’s about who not. 

[00:31:14] Daniel Powell: That’s it. That’s it? Yes. Okay. So if you know a who, right, somebody that works in that company, that would be a great person to reach out to, to audit your profile?

[00:31:26] Zach White: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. 

[00:31:30] Daniel Powell: Because they know the corporate language and you know, it helps you connect those little synapses in 

[00:31:36] Zach White: the recruiter’s. Daniel, let’s just put an exclamation point on that with this statement. Carl, I know we went tactical on the six keys to LinkedIn profile success today, and I’m glad we did.

[00:31:48] But zooming back out at the beginning, I told you you’re not gonna get a job because of LinkedIn. It might just prevent you from getting interviews. So I’ll give you one other principle about job hunting. For every hour you spend on LinkedIn, challenge yourself to spend an. On the phone with real people as well.

[00:32:08] So those might be interviews, but if they’re not, pick up the phone and dial the people who are in your network because it’s very easy to get trapped in this online universe of looking at resumes on all these different job sites. And you can scrub LinkedIn for ideas and opportunities for days and days and never talk to anybody.

[00:32:29] I’m not saying don’t get on LinkedIn. It’s a great resource, and sending direct messages and connecting with people and posting content is all very valuable. However, I challenge all my clients. This is the same advice I give the people in our, program, the Lifestyle Engineering Blueprint. For every hour on LinkedIn, you spend looking for a role.

[00:32:48] Spend an hour on the phone, even if you’re dialing friends and family and talking to them about your situation and asking for help. Ike, I don’t care where we start, but don’t rely only on the technology. If you wanna accelerate your job search, that’s great. . 

[00:33:05] Daniel Powell: Oh, wow. We, we went around the bush, around the tree, and around the corner with that question.

[00:33:09] Zach White: Didn’t we though? . Oh, it was fun though. Really? That’s a good, that was a good conversation. Yeah. Yeah. No, 

[00:33:14] Daniel Powell: that was a good place to, to spend our time today because our, our next question, it’s more of a collective question Just deals with the, the basic climate that we’re in right now.

[00:33:26] So you’ve gotten a question. , a lot of different engineers on LinkedIn that have reached out to you, and they’re all asking the same question. They’re saying, Zach, what’s your opinion about all these layoffs that are going on, and what advice do you have for those of us looking for a new role?

[00:33:45] So, yeah. Yeah. Everybody out there that’s wondering, oh, what’s going on with these layoffs and, oh, looking for a new role. What do I, what do I do? 

[00:33:55] Zach White: Yeah, it was funny. . Carl’s question ended with that little caveat cuz I knew this was coming and we have been getting a lot of people asking questions and a lot of folks who’ve been laid off are reaching out, asking for help.

[00:34:09] And if that is you happy engineer listening, like please do reach out. We’d love to support you in any way we can. did I hear right? The opening part of that question is just what’s my opinion? What do I think about all this? Yeah. Oh, that’s a tricky. Topic because first of all, I’m a coach and fundamentally, as a coach, I do my best to keep my opinion out of the conversation and help people to determine what’s the best course of action that’s aligned with your values and vision and the things you wanna accomplish in your life.

[00:34:43] And it quite frankly, doesn’t matter what I think. It matters about how I can help you. Reach those goals and reach that vision faster with more happiness and joy along the way. But that said, here’s the first thing that comes to mind when I ask. Like, how do I feel or what do I think about the climate of layoffs?

[00:35:03] First thing is I always check myself in terms of facts. About what I see in the media and how it’s hyped versus, you know, what’s real. So, you know, in this example, uh, how do these layoffs compare to the number and quantity of layoffs in prior down years that cycle through, you know, every 2, 3, 4 years in the United States and around the world?

[00:35:29] this something really unique and different and special, or is it just, it’s been a while since layoffs have been in the news and the media’s hyping it up and making it. worse than it is. I always ask myself those questions before I allow the emotional climate of the media to affect my emotional climate.

[00:35:46] Zach White: Uh, I wanna be an engineer still. I am an engineer. It’s like, what’s the data? And I don’t have those numbers handy. I didn’t come prepared today for that. And I, I, I just encourage anybody if, if you’re feeling a lot of anger or fear or otherwise, just make sure that you understand the picture, that you’ve actually done your own homework and research for yourself what’s going on.

[00:36:07] The other thing for me, Daniel, is I have a hard time casting any judgment on somebody whose shoes I’ve not walked a mile in. Right? It’s like my mom taught me . don’t say something about a situation that that you can’t relate to. And quite frankly, I have no idea what it would be like to be the c e O of Google or Microsoft or one of these giant tech organizations.

[00:36:31] under the kind of pressure from their board of directors and shareholders that they are, and given a, a charter to go protect the profitability of those organizations, uh, but also protect its people. How do you make those decisions? Wow. It, it’s, it’s just hard for me to imagine being in that seat. I’ve never been in that seat, so I, I really do.

[00:36:55] Judgment because I, I don’t know what that’s like. and so I just have deep respect for the work that they do and how hard it must be. And I also remember 12 months ago, Daniel, how happy we all were that they were hiring so many people and how many folks were celebrating that they were hiring and you know, would we rather them never do that?

[00:37:14] It’s like, ah, it’s uh, it’s really tough right now. That said, I don’t want to. Leave out the fact that I have seen some stories from people who I do trust that things have not been handled with high level of care towards some of the folks who really gave a big part of their life to be on the teams in those organizations and the way people were let go and how they found out and some of those things definitely leaves me with a sour taste in my mouth because I care so much about people and.

[00:37:45] don’t, I don’t know the answer on what’s the perfect, most human way to lay off 10,000 plus people at a time. I, I don’t know that there is , if there is a way. but I just, my heart goes out to the folks who are on the receiving end of a really tough, tough situation. So, I’ll just stop there. So, Zach, what I heard you 

[00:38:06] Daniel Powell: say there, I’m gonna, I’m gonna put some words in your mouth with this.

[00:38:09] Uh, I was gonna ask you about the question, but I think that’s very evident here and that is, what does the data say? first and foremost, you know? Yeah. what is actually going on? Is this actually an anomaly, or is it just in the news? That sort of thing. . 

[00:38:26] Zach White: Well, and I’ll ask, I’ll add a question cuz it I agree.

[00:38:29] Cause the questions matter. the question to me in a situation like this is, what do I want to do in response to what’s happening around me? You know, how will I take responsibility for my part life is gonna throw things at you that you did not ask for. Life is gonna give you challenges that you don’t want.

[00:38:55] Life is going to be unfair in ways that you could easily complain about, but my belief fundamentally as a coach is that that doesn’t matter. In fact, that’s expected. I’ve never met someone where life didn’t present what we would call a failure or a setback, or an unfair, unjust. Problem . It’s like that’s a part of the story.

[00:39:20] So for me, the question is not like, why did that happen to me? Or What’s going on about this? Or, or What’s your problem? The first question is, okay, I didn’t ask for this, but it’s here. So what will I do? How do I want to show up to this challenge? That’s the first question for me. I shouldn’t have 

[00:39:45] Daniel Powell: stepped on the coach’s toes.

[00:39:48] You got, you got me lit 

[00:39:49] Zach White: up. Man. I think the data question’s important to the data matters because it helps you to inform. What you wanna do. Yeah. Right. Yeah. Is this a special situation or not? And of course, your unique situation matters. If you’re one of the people who just got laid off, you’re gonna have a different perspective on this than the people who are still employed.

[00:40:05] you know, I, I just embrace that spirit of radical responsibility, Daniel, all through, I mean, through and through. I think it’s such an important way to live, it creates outcomes instead of being a victim to outcomes. Yeah. So I’m 

[00:40:18] Daniel Powell: here, how do I wanna. . 

[00:40:21] Zach White: Yeah. Awesome. Yeah, and what was the second half of the original question, Daniel?

[00:40:26] I forget how you said, what do I think about this? And there was something else. What advice do you 

[00:40:31] Daniel Powell: have for me as I go looking for a new 

[00:40:33] Zach White: role? . Yeah. Yeah. Okay, so here’s, here’s the advice. Let’s apply the knowledge, okay? Remember, knowledge is not power. What you hear on this podcast is not power, Daniel.

[00:40:44] It’s what you do with what we talk about that matters. And so let’s do something with this. If radical responsibility matters, if taking this, uh, into your own heart and mind in making decisions to what matters, here’s what I would encourage you to do first before you go out and start applying for new roles and talking to.

[00:41:03] Hiring managers or recruiters and brushing up your LinkedIn profile with those six tips we just gave. The first thing to do is sit down with a blank journal and I want you to write down just free stream of thought writing. I know it doesn’t matter what it says, it doesn’t have to make sense. We’re not trying to write an essay here, just right as you think everything going on in your head related to these layoff.

[00:41:31] And if you’re mad about it, I want you to write down how mad you are. If you’re pissed off at your employer for le you go, and it was unfair and unjust, I want you to say all the stuff that you, you’re afraid to say or you just can’t say. Cuz your mom would make you wash your mouth out with soap if she heard it.

[00:41:46] ride it all down. I want you to get all that garbage outta your head, all right? And I want you to get all the good stuff outta your head too. It may not all be garbage. Some of it may be really positive, but take a block of time to get everything that you’re think. Out of the subconscious, outta your conscious, onto the page and process all of that emotion.

[00:42:06] Zach White: Let’s just get it out and get to the point where you are ready to go into the workforce, uh, or, or the job market , to enter back into that job market. Not as a victim of layoffs, not as a person who’s pissed off and angry, and, frustrated about something that’s happened to. But to come in as a person who says, Hey, regardless of what this is that’s happened in the past, I am ready now for my next opportunity.

[00:42:36] And I can’t wait to find what it is. And whatever employer hires me next is going to be incredibly glad that they did. Cuz I’m gonna go in there and crush it and I’m gonna be the best decision they ever made. And when you can come in with that kind of, You’re gonna stand out from this crowd, this ocean of people that are flooding into the job market right now, who have a chip on their shoulder, who have something to prove and who have somebody that they’re pissed off at because of how this went down.

[00:43:09] And that energy is gonna come through in the way that they talk and in the way that they type up their profiles and resumes, even when they don’t mean for. So get your heart right, get your head right, and then go full steam. But don’t start until you do. Awesome. 

[00:43:26] Daniel Powell: I love that. Well, Zach, we are now at my favorite part of the episode here.

[00:43:34] So you show up every day. You do this work of helping people through their career blocks, inspiring them, and I love hearing. , what’s inspiring you as you do this work? What are the things that you’re reading or seeing? what’s been speaking to you lately? Man, 

[00:43:52] Zach White: I am really focused on the ideas that support leadership.

[00:44:00] What is leadership? How do we grow as leaders? and it’s directly related to what we just talked about. And you know, this is what an entire category at Barnes and Noble, all its own, right? Leadership is such a big idea, but the reason it’s present is directly related to some of the failures in leadership that have created challenges people are facing, like these mass layoffs right now.

[00:44:25] And I say failures in leadership. Well that’s pretty harsh sack. I thought you said, you haven’t walked by on their shoes, et cetera. It’s like, yeah, but at the same. It is our job as leaders to make great decisions to help our team succeed. And when these things do happen, it may be that no one could have seen it coming.

[00:44:48] It may be that they made the best possible decisions along the way, but the spirit of radical responsibility or as Jocko wiling and leaf Babin would say extreme ownership, which is what I wanna share from today. It doesn’t take them off the. From responsibility that this is what happened. All right, now there’s lessons to be learned and, and new decisions to be made.

[00:45:08] And so I look at that and say, how do we progress as leaders individually? Because all leadership begins with self-leadership. If you want to be a senior manager in engineering, , you need to be able to lead yourself at the senior manager level. If you wanna be a director of engineering, you need to lead yourself at an even higher level.

[00:45:27] If you wanna be a C T O or a C E O or start your own company, you need to be able to lead yourself at an even higher level. And so that said, I’ll just share a couple of quotes directly out of extreme ownership, cuz I pulled it off the shelf this morning. In preparation for our chat here, just two short lines from the, from the beginning and then somewhere closer to two thirds through I, I’ll just share these.

[00:45:51] Leadership is the most important factor on the battlefield, the single greatest reason behind the success of any team. , that’s an impressive state. Like leadership is the most important factor to success on the battlefield, which, I don’t know military, the way these guys do. I’m not in the military, but I’m not sure that I would’ve pegged that before I read this book.

[00:46:16] So you take that first and then add in this as a leader employing extreme ownership, or what I call radical responsibility, if your team isn’t doing what you need them to, You first have to look at yourself. That’s the idea I’ve been working with clients on so much lately. People are asking questions about, you know, this person’s not getting it done, that person’s not getting it done.

[00:46:47] This direct report can’t keep up. This team member has an attitude problem, they always wanna frame it first in the context of what’s wrong with that other person. , and it’s really important as an individual leader within your organization that you first ask yourself, how have I been showing up to that problem and how am I leading myself and leading the situation and leading that other person?

[00:47:20] Because again, leadership is the single most important factor to success. And if the people on your team are not getting it, Especially if it’s direct reports that you are their leader. That’s a reflection on you. And let’s look inward first. Let’s do the hard work on ourselves first before we make assumptions that it’s that person’s problem.

[00:47:44] Because in an environment of powerful leadership, really great leadership, people thrive, people get it done. It’s amazing. So ask yourself some questions today about who am I as a. How am I leveling up in leading myself, and where have I been projecting blame onto other people’s lack of skill or performance in some way where the truth might be that I’m just not leading them well,

[00:48:16] Daniel Powell: it’s fantastic. All right, Zach.

[00:48:21] question and answer number five is in the books. We’ve had some great questions today, some great answers, and then some more great questions in response to those answers, . 

[00:48:33] Zach White: So got deep, man, this is really, really fun. I, I enjoyed these questions and the time relevance of some tough things happening Yeah. In the economy and in our engineering industries these days.

[00:48:43] So yeah, I really appreciate Par and the, the community on LinkedIn for pushing these. . Now, Zach, if, 

[00:48:50] Daniel Powell: if our engineers out there want to send in their own questions, tell ’em how to do it. 

[00:48:55] Zach White: Daniel has said it before, I’ll say it again. We would love to get those questions in audio form so that we can actually feature you directly here on the podcast.

[00:49:06] So if that interests you, jump into the show notes, join the Facebook group. You can post it as a video there, or you can get connected directly with me and send a voice memo over. You can email that to me. There’s a lot of ways to do it, but just jump into our free Facebook group. It’s a great resource for you.

[00:49:25] Anyway, ask the question there and we can grab the audio off of that. And the great news too, if we could start that conversation early, get you some answers right away in the Facebook group, but also you’re. Completely welcome to email me directly, anyone listening, Zach zc h oasis of I’d be honored to field those questions and if I can’t reply to the email, just cuz I got a lot of clients and things on my calendar, we’ll save it back and make sure Daniel and I cover it in the next q and a.

[00:49:55] Alright, 

[00:49:56] Daniel Powell: Zach, well q and a five and the books. 

[00:49:59] Zach White: Until next time, man,