Using LinkedIn in your Job Search 5th Edition, July 2011 www.lapinegroup.com
LinkedIn: Introduction LinkedIn has become the definitive professional social networking site, with over 100 million members in over 200 countries. It includes executives from every Fortune 500 company.* LinkedIn can support your job search:
Networking: Your personal network is the single best asset for finding a job – LinkedIn helps you maintain and expand your contacts.
Job Listings: Recruiters and hiring managers now regularly use LinkedIn to list jobs and find qualified candidates.
Company Information: You can find vital company information like recent hires, promotions, common job titles, etc. More importantly, LinkedIn can help you find personal connections at your target companies.
Showcase your Expertise: Use Groups and the “Answers” section to show your expertise in a given area, and in turn to gather information or feedback on questions you might have.
Visibility: More and more both internal and paid-placement recruiters are using LinkedIn to find hiring candidates.
“Connecting talent with opportunity at massive scale” Age 35-4938% Age 50+ 32% Income $100k+39% Male52% LinkedIn has an engaged audience:
Over 500 million page views per month in the US
Over 2 million professionals visit LinkedIn on a typical day
Managing Your Profile Your profile is the interactive version of your resume. Use it to tell a story that highlights your accomplishments and use online tools to bring it to life. Unlike a conventional resume, including a photo on your profile is a good idea. Use status updates to letpeople know what you are working on or to share interesting info . You can link your Twitter account to make updates faster and and easier. Having 3 or more recommendations will increase your chances of coming up in a recruiter’s search for candidates. Recommending others helps your colleagues, and it will drive others to your profile Use as many keywords as possible in your profile, these are how recruiters and others may find you via search. Update your profile every few days with a status update or additional information. The update is broadcasted to your connections and will help you stay “top of mind”.
Search for anyone and everyone you know who might be on LinkedIn.
Don’t limit yourself to people in your industry or field of work – but do limit yourself to people who you have met at some time and who are likely to remember you and be willing to introduce you to others.
As you invite people to connect, personalize the invitation if you think they might need a reminder of who you are and how you met. Personalized invitations are a smart courtesy, especially when asking to connect to senior professionals.
Once you have started your network, use the “People You May Know” feature. LinkedIn will suggest additional people you may know based on your network as well as your background information
Repeat! At least once a week, spend some time re-doing these steps to discover new connections over time.
“Build up your contacts, and then communicate with them… …it doesn't do you any good to have 500 contacts and then ignore them. You need to communicate with them. And I mean communicate, not pester. One of the things that scare people away from LinkedIn is the thought of someone inviting them into their network and then harassing them for business or to make an introduction to a contact.” Source: http://www.imediaconnection.com/content/21944.asp Building Your Network The key to unlocking the power of LinkedIn is a well developed personal network. LinkedIn offers multiple ways to find people:
Finding Jobs on LinkedIn LinkedIn provides a robust searchable job bank – with the added benefit of providing information about connections you may have to a given job. In addition to submitting your resume, your LinkedIn profile will be included with your application – yet another reason to ensure it represents you well. If this position isn’t of interest, but you want to keep up-to-date with opportunities at the company, you can “follow” the firm and you’ll see updates on your LinkedIn homepage. Try using LinkedIn to connect directly to the hiring manager. If that is not possible, see if there is someone else at the company who could take your resume to the department that’s hiring. A personal handoff of a resume increases the chances that it’ll be read. Points of caution:
Some headhunters only link to people to scour their contacts and spam them
Many people in sales will not expose their contacts
People who have thousands of connections tend to be less helpful since their networks are not true personal relationships.
Targeting Specific Companies LinkedIn can help you find links to current and past employees of a specific company you are targeting. This can help you prepare for interviews or arrange for personal introductions. Company Profile Page LinkedIn provides numerous ways to search including by Company – Once on the company page, you are able to see who works at the company and how you are connected. Use the “Get Introduced” function if you know someone with ties to the company you are pursuing. All of these contacts are useful in your job search If you’re feeling brave, you can ask new hires at a target company how they got their job.
Marketing Yourself In addition to seeking specific jobs and connections, you should use LinkedIn and other venues to build your personal brand and create “news” to share with your network LinkedIn tools to help you demonstrate thought leadership include:
Groups: There are a wide range of groups on a large array of topics. Joining and participating in an active group will help build your reputation and also lead to new connections for your network.
Answers: The answers area gives you a chance to show off what you know by answering questions asked by other LinkedIn users.
Twitter: You can now link a Twitter profile to your LinkedIn page. This is powerful if you currently use Twitter in your professional life. However, remember that LinkedIn is a professional network, if your Twitter activity is not appropriate in that context, leave it out.
Also, you can simply forward your profile to select people in your network when something changes or when you’ve recently accomplished something “big” – this will help keep you top of mind.
If you’re not working, look for volunteer opportunities in your field of work. This can be especially powerful if you’re looking to change roles – get some experience and tell everyone about it!
If you don’t already have a blog related to your work, consider maintaining one. Your content does not need to be bleeding edge, just original and practical. Announce your blog and share new posts via LinkedIn.
LinkedIn Applications LinkedIn is constantly adding new applications that enhance your ability to connect with your contactsand to share knowledge and information. Sampling of General Use Applications Amazon: Share books you’re reading and see the books your connections and people in your field recommend. Financial Times: Business and career centric insights. Fee for content. Slideshare: Upload & display your own presentations, check out presentations from your colleagues, and find experts within your network. Events: See professional events such as conferences and local meet-ups, and see what events your connections are attending. TripIt: See where your LinkedIn network is traveling and share your upcoming trips details with your network. Company Buzz: Displays Twitter activity associated with your company Polls: Collect information/data from your connections and professional contacts. Signal According to Fast Company, Signal “lets you easily monitor updates within your network, but more importantly you can filter information so you can also see what people in your extended circle (2nd and 3rd connections) are posting. You can also do the same filtering by industry or location, so you can weed through the noise.”
Resources In addition to the suggestions that are outlined here, use various sources to keep up to date on the latest tips and advice. Linked Into Business: http://www.linkedin.com/in/linkedinexpert Guy Kawasaki (How to Change the World): http://blog.guykawasaki.com/2009/02/10-ways-to-use.html#ixzz06pI69nMh Larry Weintraub: http://www.imediaconnection.com/content/21944.asp http://www.imediaconnection.com/content/21951.asp Other LinkedIn Advice: http://learn.linkedin.com/job-seekers/ http://jobsearch.about.com/od/networking/a/linkedin.htm http://mashable.com/2010/12/15/optimize-linkedin-profile/ www.lapinegroup.com