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I'm on LinkedIn... Now What?!


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On 1/15/13, I presented about the power of LinkedIn to 80 young alumni at Syracuse University's Lubin House in New York City. The presentation was followed by a stellar discussion about the art of …

On 1/15/13, I presented about the power of LinkedIn to 80 young alumni at Syracuse University's Lubin House in New York City. The presentation was followed by a stellar discussion about the art of networking with alumni panelists Agatha Lutoborski, Jason Horowitz, Fern Langham, Victoria Chan, Chris Lee, and Lea Marino.

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  • There are numerous benefits to being active on LinkedIn, the main ones outlined here.One of the key benefits is taking control of what hiring managers and potential colleagues see when they Google you. If you had to guess, what percentage of hiring managers do you think actually go to the effort of Google searching a candidate’s name before calling him in for an interview? It’s up to 75%-80%.So, chances are… if you’re applying for jobs or applying for promotions within your company, someone may be looking you up online. And when they do… chances are they will find your LinkedIn profile. It appears in the top 3 Google search results for most people.In addition to that, LinkedIn is a great way to maintain relationships with people you’ve worked with in the past, as well as to build new connections. Both of these relationship types (the existing ones and the newly built ones) have the potential to help you in the future.Finally, LinkedIn can be a great way to find job opportunities… as well as to let jobs find you. If you have a really strong profile with the right keywords and impressive experience, recruiters WILL reach out to you – in fact, that happened to one of our panelists here tonight; she’ll share more on that later.
  • I’m a big believer in taking a strategic approach to your career, meaning: it’s up to you to take control of the story that you tell about your career, and to market yourself in an intentional way.It’s about asking yourself, what are you good at? What differentiates you from everyone else? And ultimately, what direction do you want to take in the next step of your career? From there, craft your LinkedIn profile so that your unique strengths and career goals come through.A strong LinkedIn profile is much more than a static list of the jobs that you’ve had. It’s a showcase of your best skills, the value that you could bring to a potential new employer, and - most importantly - the career direction you want to go in.What I’ll talk about throughout the presentation tonight is framing your LinkedIn profile based on what you want to do next, not what jobs you’ve had in the past or what you studied at school. Your lifetime career doesn’t need to be tied to your college major – or your first job, or second job, or third job – and LinkedIn gives you the perfect platform to take control of the career story that you tell.
  • It starts with your headline. This is the line of text that sits right under your name on your profile.This is a powerful way to define yourself on LinkedIn; it’s just a few words, but these words go with your name whenever someone views your profile, whenever you send a message, whenever you contribute to a group discussion.Standard headlines – which I’ll show examples of – are your current job title, OR a values-based statement which focuses on your skills.The most important thing is that your headline aligns with where you want your career to go, and if you’re unemployed or looking for a change, that it clearly indicates the type of work you want to do.
  • Agatha Lutoborski,one of our panelists. This is a pretty common type of headline on LinkedIn – Agatha just lists her job title. This works because her company is recognizable (American Express) and her job title is fairly clear.Assuming that she wants to stay in corporate advertising and marketing, this headline makes sense for her.
  • Here’s another example – slightly more complex – Kevin Grubb:“Providing powerful career and social media strategies to individuals and organizations.”Kevin is unique in that he has two careers, sort of. He is a career services professional at Villanova University; and he runs a business where he counsels organizations on social media management.So for him, it wouldn’t make sense to just list one of his job titles. He wanted a more comprehensive statement which focuses on his value and the skills that he brings to ALL possible viewers of his profile.
  • Now if you’re in transition or seeking new jobs, that’s when it’s a little tricky and that’s when you want to put a little more thought into how you portray yourself.Here are a few examples of effective headlines.In these examples, you’ll notice that these people are very clear about what they want, where they want to work, and what value they bring.
  • In contrast, here are some headlines that you’ll want to avoid.Just a plain title – Associate or Account Manager – you could work in advertising, in sales, in the travel industry, or even healthcare. You have no sense of what this person does from a Headline like this. This is true sometimes even when they list their company affiliation, if the company is relatively unknown.2012 SU Grad – you could do a lot better than this. You have more defining characteristics related to your skills and your interests. Recent SU grad aspiring to work in TV in NYC; New SU grad seeking PR role in Boston.Starbucks Barista – this is not at all a slam on Starbucks workers, or waiters or waitresses or bartenders; many of us had or currently have jobs like this. But you have to ask yourself, do you want to be known as a Starbucks barista, or as a digital marketer? If you walked into a business networking event, would you say “Hi, I’m Dan Klamm, Starbucks Barista” or “Hi, I’m Dan Klamm, aspiring digital marketer?” For some people – if you’re planning a career in hospitality or restaurants – it may make total sense, but for many people, food service-type jobs are temporary (not career positions) and so they don’t need to be displayed so prominently on LinkedIn.Unemployed – By definition, this sounds negative and dreary. It sounds like you’re lacking something. Instead, talk about the value that you can bring and what type of positions you’re looking for (as we showed in the last slide).
  • Really… pretty straightforward. You want to keep it professional, yet approachable.No pets, no boyfriends or girlfriends or husbands or wives, no nudity, no selfies with a toilet in the background (doesn’t send the greatest message about your career)…Just you, dressed professionally, and looking like you’d be a pleasant and engaged person to work with.
  • A few examples.
  • After the headline, the next most important part of your profile is your summary. This is your career story. This is your chance to explain not just what jobs you’ve held or what you studied in school, but what motivates you and what type of person you are. I always tell people to focus your summary (like the rest of your LinkedIn profile) with an eye toward what you’d like to do, not necessarily what you’ve done in the past. You’re the author of your story.
  • My summary: this is really long and could be edited down – I normally recommend having a summary that’s shorter than this.But if you take the time to read it, you get a good sense of my work history, why I enjoy the work that I do, and what drives me to excel professionally.
  • Another example: Katelyn Remington.  I love this one…Great for someone in career transition.This is a perfect example of a situation where one’s job history doesn’t necessarily speak to one’s career ambitions, so Katelyn frames her past experience with an eye toward the future.
  • Another example: Claire Zillman – I like this because it’s succinct and it successfully blends her professional identity with a couple fun facts, so you get a sense of who she is as a person. “From Chicago, she’s reported internationally, she’s traveled to 46 of 50 states…” These are the kind of details that make people curious and make them begin to form a connection with you and want to talk to you.
  • Keywords are very important, but when your career summary is just a string of keywords, it’s a little odd. People hire people, not skill sets – so try to let your humanity come through. This is especially true if you’re in a very techy field where programming and coding and all those things are important – talk about your team-building skills, or even your outside interests – something so that you come alive as an individual.Third person:this is a personal peeve; some people disagree with me. But I view your LinkedIn summary as achance to explain who you are and what drives you. It’s a chance to seem accessible. Writing an ultra-formal summary in the third person seems the opposite of accessible.- Be current! Sometimes people don’t update their summary when they change jobs and leave companies.
  • Like the rest of your LinkedIn profile, your work experience tells a story. How you narrate this story matters. I always tell people to focus on accomplishments; tell a short story of how you impacted the organization you were with.
  • Example: Adam Britten –Newsle– increased Twitter following by 400%. Generated mentions in several popular tech blogs through media outreach.Really strong – it’s clear what impact he had. He didn’t just write “update the Twitter account,” he showed the RESULTS that he had in the position. This is key if you want to stand out.
  • Also, focus job descriptions based on where you want to go in the future. This is especially true if you’re in a very junior role, or in a role outside of your desired industry.If you were an office coordinator for two years, and that job consisted of 70% answering phones and clerical work, and 30% running social media… there’s nothing saying that you need to include all of the phones, filing, and administrative work in your LinkedIn profile. Play up the elements that are most relevant for where you want to go. If you want to work in social media, play up everything you did to grow a community of engaged fans of Twitter and Facebook, and leave the clerical stuff to a minimum.
  • Perhaps the most powerful element of a LinkedIn profile, recommendations offer a level of credibility for you (depending on who you have writing them).Advice for asking for a recommendation:Ask people who know your work well – direct managers or close colleagues, partners on projects, etc. Having a recommendation from an EVP doesn’t matter so much if he/she can’t come up with anything to say other than “Bill is a pleasure to have in the office.”Ask people who write well – this is a big one. The quality of the recommendation impacts your brand. If there are typos or terrible grammar, it looks bad for the person recommending and for you. - Give them some guidance. You don’t want to write the recommendation for them, but you want to give them an idea what you’re hoping to get. “I’m trying to make a career switch from journalism into sales; it would be really helpful if you could talk about my strong interpersonal skills and my ability to speak persuasively.” That way the recommender has some direction and isn’t going into it blindly – and you’re more likely going to be satisfied with the outcome of the recommendation.
  • Here’s an example of a note you could send to request a recommendation…
  • Skills/Endorsements section: Easy way to showcase what you’re good at and to have your network offer support behind certain skills. This is a fairly new feature; the weight behind these endorsements is currently debatable.Publications/presentations/files: If you’ve published, can showcase articles in profile. Same goes for PowerPoint presentations (via SlideShare), as well as portfolio work. Volunteering and causes:employers like to see someone engaged in the world, committed to things beyond work.
  • The first step in building your network on LinkedIn is requesting to connect with people you already know.Simply search for their names, see their profiles, click “Connect” – the blue button, and write a brief and personalized note.The benefit of adding these people is that they will then be able to introduce you to their connections, which is the real beauty of networking.
  • The next step in expanding your circle is to join groups: alumni groups, industry/career groups, geographic groups, etc.The benefit to being in a LinkedIn group is that you can participate in group discussions, see any jobs posted to that group exclusively for members (as we do in ‘CuseConnect), and most importantly – you can message any other group member. So when you’re a member of the SU Alumni Network, all of a sudden that opens doors to 30,000 other SU alumni who are in the group. Pretty powerful!
  • Now once you have your basic network established, it’s time to start reaching out further. You can do this via the Advanced Search function.Go off powerpoint to internet.Show:- SU Alumni at MTV – 56 results.Looking to break into a new industry?- SU Alumni in PR/Communications in NYC – 947 results  then, on the left side, you can see popular companies (Edelman, Weber Shandwick, etc.)Relocating?SU Alumni in Houston – 77002 postal code – 647 resultsFind someone you want to connect with? You have three main options:can request to add the person to your network directly (which I don’t recommend – some people consider it too forward) get introduced through one of your mutual connections (listed on the right side of the profile) - OR, go to a group in common (such as the SU Alumni Network), search for the person’s name in the membership roster, and message him/her directly (FOR FREE, no InMail needed – no character limit!)
  • Sample outreach via LinkedIn message
  • We’ll talk more with the panel about the do’s and don’ts -- the etiquette of reaching out and networking -- but here are six basic tips.
  • Can search for jobs by location, industry, etc.Can go directly to Company pages to find connections in common, demographic information, as well as job listings.Can go to the ‘CuseConnect jobs board, which exclusively lists jobs BY alumni FOR alumni.
  • Transcript

    • 1. I‟M ON LINKEDIN … NOW WHAT?!With Dan Klamm ‘08, Director of Young Alumni Engagement – Lubin House And special guests: Victoria Chan ‘09, Jason Horowitz ‘05, Fern Langham ‘08, Chris Lee ‘08, Agatha Lutoborski ‘09 & Lea Marino ‘08
    • 2. BENEFITS OF BEING ON _____ Take control of what hiring managers find when they Google you • LinkedIn comes up in the top 1 to 3 Google results for most people Keep track of your existing network Make new connections that are relevant to your career Find job opportunities Let job opportunities find YOU
    • 3. THE BIG PICTURE Craft your LinkedIn profile based on what you want to do next, not what you’ve done in the past.
    • 4. YOUR HEADLINE Your headline travels with you throughout the site Standard headlines: • Current job title OR • Descriptive, skill-focused, value proposition statement
    • 7. YOUR HEADLINE Examples if you‟re in-transition or seeking new opportunities: • Public Relations manager seeking fashion-oriented role in NYC • Aspiring multimedia journalist with a passion for travel • Recent Syracuse Graduate seeking biomedical engineering role in Boston • Proven salesperson with Fortune 500 experience seeking institutional sales position in NYC • Experienced corporate recruiter transitioning into college career counseling sector
    • 8. YOUR HEADLINE Headlines to avoid: • Associate • 2012 Syracuse University Graduate • Starbucks Barista • Unemployed
    • 9. YOUR PHOTO No dogs/cats/birds/other pets No significant others No nudity or partial nudity No selfies in bathrooms … Just YOU in a professional setting.
    • 10. YOUR PHOTO
    • 11. YOUR SUMMARY Tell your career story Give the reader a sense of yourpersonality and what drives you Frame the summary in terms ofyour future, not your past
    • 12. YOUR SUMMARY
    • 13. YOUR SUMMARY
    • 14. YOUR SUMMARY
    • 15. YOUR SUMMARY Avoid: • “Project manager with C++, PHP, SQL capabilities. 5 years experience with HTML. Ability to use Javascript and XML.” • “Dan Klamm is an accomplished alumni relations professional residing in New York, NY.” • “I currently work as a marketing manager for JPMorgan Chase” – forgetting to change employment info upon starting new job
    • 16. YOUR WORK EXPERIENCE Focus oncontributions, accomplishments, andimpact Don‟t simply list job duties
    • 18. YOUR WORK EXPERIENCE Frame your descriptions based on your future aspirations Example (75% administrative; 25% social media role): • Managed social media platforms for X organization, growing a community of engaged users by 300% on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram • Wrote content, interacted with online community members, routed requests to appropriate departments • Developed innovative social media campaigns which led to a 10% increase in sales for Q4 • Performed administrative duties including answering phones and overseeing the reception area
    • 19. YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS Ask people who know your work well Ask people who write well and payattention to detail Give them some guidance
    • 20. YOUR RECOMMENDATIONSEmily –It was such a pleasure working with you last month on the XYZ new business pitch.I am wondering if you‟d be willing to write a brief endorsement of my work onLinkedIn. Since I eventually hope to transition to a full-time role in businessdevelopment, it would be great if you could mention my relationship managementskills and my persuasive communication skills.Thank you in advance for your help – and please let me know if I can return thefavor or help you in any way.– Bob
    • 21. OT HE R SE CT ION S OF YOUR PROFIL E Skills Publications, presentations, files Volunteering & causes
    • 22. GETTING CONNECTED… Request to connect with people you know • Always personalize your request
    • 23. GETTING CONNECTED… Join relevant groups • Alumni networks • Industry-specific groups • Geography-specific groups • Young professional societies
    • 24. GETTING CONNECTED Advanced Search!!! • Search by industry, location, company, job title, school, and more! Find someone of interest? You have a few options to reach out: • Request to add the person to your network (50/50 success rate) • Request an introduction from a mutual connection • Secret strategy: message the person through a group in common
    • 25. REACHING OUTHi Max,I came across your profile on LinkedIn and , as a fellow Syracuse alum, would love the opportunity to learn moreabout your work with Ralph Lauren. After a three-year stint in healthcare PR, I am hoping to transition into thefashion industry in the near future. Ralph Lauren has always been at the top of my list of dream employers.Let me know if you would be willing to share insight into the culture at Ralph Lauren and perhaps offer advice onhow I can break into the fashion industry. Being able to speak on the phone with you – if just for 20 minutes –would be greatly appreciated.Thank you – and Go Orange! –Dan
    • 26. REACHING OUT Tips for networking effectively: • Do your homework! • Make a strong impression. • Show interest in the other person. • Ask for advice, not jobs. • Follow through! • Say “thank you!”
    • 27. FINDING JOBS & R E S E A R C H I N G C O M PA N I E S LinkedIn Jobs tab LinkedIn Companies tab „CuseConnect jobs board – by alumni, for alumni
    • 28. OUR PANELISTS Victoria Chan ‘09 – Values AcademyJason Horowitz ‘05 – Dial Global Radio Sports Network Fern Langham ‘08 – CitiGroup Chris Lee ‘08 – Edelman Agatha Lutoborski ‘09 – American ExpressLea Marino ‘08 – Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center