LinkedIn Job Searching Tips

Posted on August 3, 2010. Filed under: Job Search Tips | Tags: , , , , , , |

Tips for the Job Seeker

Yes, you gotta do it.  I can’t tell you how many candidates I’ve passed up because they were either non-existent on LinkedIn, or they were sloppy.  LinkedIn has become the de facto personal billboard.  If you’re not there, I assume you were either in prison or living in a time warp.

Here are my tips best utilizing LinkedIn to search for that next career move.

  • Fill out your profile– People search profiles for keywords, so make sure the words you hope people are seeking when they think of you exist inside your profile. Use engaging language, less formal than a resume, more like a billboard for you, because that’s what LinkedIn is! 

 

  • Add a picture- Get over it.  This is standard.  We are so distributed that this helps people put a face on the relationship.  Make sure it’s a picture of your FACE…not a picture of your family or you in front of a Mayan ruin.  People build trust when they can see your eyes.

 

  • Add your email address to your last name– For someone to contact you via LinkedIn, they must know your email address.  If a recruiter is trying to contact you about a position, but they are not connected directly to you, this poses a problem.  Simplify by turning the last name field of your profile into your last name and then your email address (example: Montgomery- jmontgomery@plexent.com).

 

  • Add specialties. People search on these. Use the conventional words and phrases used to describe what you do.

 

  • Add all your positions. On a resume, maybe you only need to go back ten years or so if you’ve held several positions. Here, though, keep in mind that everywhere you worked is an opportunity to reconnect with those old friends and colleagues.

 

  • Add depth to your positions. Title, company and dates isn’t enough, any more than it would be on your resume. Describe what you did – what did you accomplish there?   What problems did you solve and for whom?

 

  • Add your voice. The biggest difference between a LinkedIn profile and a resume is that your LinkedIn profile is intended to help you build and maintain interpersonal relationships. It’s not a dating profile, but it should still be in your personal voice, not the abstract third person. Be yourself.

 

  • Connect with old colleagues. The #1 way to build your LinkedIn network with real, trusted relationships is by uploading your contacts, finding and connecting the ones that are already in LinkedIn and sending invites to the ones who aren’t who you have strong relationships with. Doing it initially isn’t enough, because new people join all the time (over 400,000 a month at last count). You have to make at least a monthly practice of doing this so you pick up the new ones who have recently joined.

 

  • Write and Get recommendations. This is a powerful way for you to be of service to your network. Write some and don’t be afraid to ask for some.  Make sure you’re sincere and don’t oversell somebody you are not passionate about.  This one can get ya!   

Authentic references from people you have actually worked with speak volumes about you. Don’t be afraid to ask, but only ask those who can give good specific ones and who can actually WRITE something meaningful.  Asking for something specific, like, “Bob, I’m hoping you can write a reference about how I managed a group of dotted-line reports” gives more colorful stores and examples. 

Don’t be shy to ask.  Be specific.  Thank them afterwards.   

Part 2 next week!

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