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Optimizing LinkedIn for Technical Communication Job Searching and Network Building
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Optimizing LinkedIn for Technical Communication Job Searching and Network Building

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Barrie Byron

Barrie Byron

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  • 1. STC Philadelphia Metro ChapterOptimizing LinkedIn for technical communication job searching and network buildingImprove your profile on the world’s largest business network1 Founded in December 2002 and launched in May 2003 Primarily used for professional networking LinkedIn reports more than 135 million registered users in more than 200countries and territories (as of 3 November 2011) The world’s largest business network Are you in?Barrie ByronApril 2012 STC Philadelphia Metro Chapter
  • 2. STC Philadelphia Metro ChapterOptimizing LinkedIn for technical communication job searching and network buildingNetworking: having conversations Networking is simply having conversations with people you know As job seekers, networking becomes defined as looking for a job Networking, and using the social media tools to network, is absolutelymore than “looking for a job” LinkedIn, and all networking, is a two-way conversationRespond and reactInitiate and customizePersonalize your communication, always use a person’s name and addresstheir interests and mention your common interests2
  • 3. STC Philadelphia Metro ChapterOptimizing LinkedIn for technical communication job searching and network building3My favorite things that LinkedIn lets us do Connect with former colleagues, even when contact information andemail addresses change Communicate with relevant LinkedIn members who are not yetconnections Track our relationship with our connections Document our growing skill base (the stuff we know and are good at) Verify our track record (completing key projects successfully) Validate our reputationRecommendations and testimonials about our contributionsClients, colleagues, presentations, publications, etc. Illustrate our character: LinkedIn sells the Essence-of-You
  • 4. STC Philadelphia Metro ChapterOptimizing LinkedIn for technical communication job searching and network building410 reasons to get “in” on LinkedIn1) Participate in networks that might otherwise be unavailable2) Access to thought leaders, find experts and ideas3) Connect us to employment opportunities4) Build and maintain a professional network5) Build and promote our personal brand6) Do something nice for others (endorse your connections)7) Become a thought leader in our area of expertise8) Be heard, if we are willing to take time to listen to others9) Access information faster, easier, and in real time10) Share information with our network
  • 5. STC Philadelphia Metro ChapterOptimizing LinkedIn for technical communication job searching and network buildingLinkedIn: it’s more than our connections You (your LinkedIn profile) Contacts (your LinkedIn connections, and their connections) Companies (and their employees, history, statistics, news, job postings) Groups (connecting with folks with common interests) Job (posting, searching, and applying) Events (finding, posting, and sharing) Questions Discussions News, blogs, answers, applications… and more!5
  • 6. STC Philadelphia Metro ChapterOptimizing LinkedIn for technical communication job searching and network buildingCompanies on LinkedIn Follow companies Advanced searchGeography, industry, hiring, size, connection relationships Review careers section, statistics, connections Perform blind, "reverse," and company reference checks Where did employees come from? Where did former employees go to? Check your prospective managers references Research the company (news, departures) Find the person who used to have the job that youre interviewing forPeople who held the position can provide the insidescoop on the job, manager, and growth potential6
  • 7. STC Philadelphia Metro ChapterOptimizing LinkedIn for technical communication job searching and network building7Enhance your search engine results Google yourself; then optimize your profile to improve search results Add your website, blog, twitter, and other links to your LinkedIn profile Add your volunteer leadership roles to current positions Include your name or descriptive terms in the linkWebsites barriebyron.wordpress.comnot blognot Personal websiteYour descriptive link creates instant search-engine optimization for your site Ensure that your public profile setting is set to “Full View” Use LinkedIn applications to share more informationMy LinkedIn profile includes the blog application to feed my blog directly to myprofile
  • 8. STC Philadelphia Metro ChapterOptimizing LinkedIn for technical communication job searching and network building8Increase the relevancy of your job search Jobs > Find JobsSign up for email alerts Look for jobs by company Make your interview go smootherFind out about the people that you are meeting Gauge the health of a company View company statistics See who is viewing your profile Read and participate in LinkedIn Job Search questions and answers
  • 9. STC Philadelphia Metro ChapterOptimizing LinkedIn for technical communication job searching and network buildingSearch for people like you: where do they work? Find people with educational and work experience like yours to seewhere they work People > Advanced searchZip codeKey wordsJob title (current or past)Company (current or past)School9
  • 10. STC Philadelphia Metro ChapterOptimizing LinkedIn for technical communication job searching and network buildingApplying for the job Apply Now buttonUse LinkedIn to applyAdd a personal cover letterReuse the same posted resume Apply on Company Website buttonFollow established company procedure Track your activity and job applicationsSpreadsheet: date, contact, title, what you said in your letter10
  • 11. STC Philadelphia Metro ChapterOptimizing LinkedIn for technical communication job searching and network buildingParticipate! Comment on status updates Send congratulatory messages for new jobs and other status updates Your connections update their status, and these status updates appearon the Home > LinkedIn Home page Your profile settings enable or disable status update notification emails All social media should be a two-way conversation Comments and “like” is a good way to stay in touch with current and pastclientsDont be pushy about promoting your servicesIts more important to let your contacts know youre around and activeMake it about them, you are commenting on their status11
  • 12. STC Philadelphia Metro ChapterOptimizing LinkedIn for technical communication job searching and network building12Model profiles Incomplete profile (my mom)Only a few connectionsAuto-generated URLNo job titleNo job historyNo recommendationsNo groups Complete profile (mine)Connections, recommendations, groups, events, discussions100% completeCurrentFrequent status updates
  • 13. STC Philadelphia Metro ChapterOptimizing LinkedIn for technical communication job searching and network buildingComplete your profile, add custom touches Work to maintain a “100% complete” profile Ask for, and give, recommendations (be specific) Use a quality description in your title (your “personal brand”) Keep status current, post updates Avoid mention of religion, politics, sex Use a business-appropriate photo Stealth mode job searching: Your name > Settings > PRIVACYCONTROLS > Turn on/off your activity broadcasts13
  • 14. STC Philadelphia Metro ChapterOptimizing LinkedIn for technical communication job searching and network buildingInvite and respond with a personal touch Customize each LinkedIn invitationAvoid the generic “canned” messageCraft a custom, personal invitation message“It was great working with you at ABC Company. Since you are a person I trust,I invite you to join my network on LinkedIn.” Mention how you met the person in your invitation to connect After the invitation is accepted, send a personal response “I am pleasedto connect our professional networks on LinkedIn” and offer to help them It’s about THEM, not you Add a note about that person when you add them to your LinkedInnetwork (use the Notes section to keep track of how you met them, whenyou connected with them, shared interests; add Tags)14
  • 15. STC Philadelphia Metro ChapterOptimizing LinkedIn for technical communication job searching and network buildingAction items to improve your profile1. Strive for 100% complete2. Customize your URL www.linkedin.com/in/barriebyron3. Add your custom link to your email signature and your business card4. Craft a qualified “title”5. Use results-oriented job descriptions6. Grow your network: build your connections, communicate7. Ask for recommendations (strive for 25)8. Give detailed, thoughtful recommendations (give 25)9. Join groups: at least 5, and up to 25 College alumni, hobby, past employers, school,technology, industry, professional association,networking, STC, and so on15
  • 16. STC Philadelphia Metro ChapterOptimizing LinkedIn for technical communication job searching and network buildingGetting “in”LinkedIn levels of membership Free is good! Free is great! Job SeekersJob Seeker BasicJob SeekerJob Seeker PlusLinkedIn Learning Centerhttp://learn.linkedin.com/what-is-linkedin/Privacy http://learn.linkedin.com/settings/16
  • 17. STC Philadelphia Metro ChapterOptimizing LinkedIn for technical communication job searching and network buildingNJ job search tip State of New Jersey Jobs4Jersey, a service of the New JerseyDepartment of Labor & Workforce Development jobs4jersey.com/17
  • 18. STC Philadelphia Metro ChapterOptimizing LinkedIn for technical communication job searching and network buildingOther social media tools + keep in touch Google+ Email: create a provider-agnostic, self-describing address (gmail, ymail) Twitter Facebook: ensure your profile is private or keep it G-rated cleanQuestions?Keep in touch. Connect often!www.linkedin.com/in/barriebyron18