LinkedIn Tips

20
Jan

LinkedIn not just for job search

Many people assume LinkedIn is just for people who are looking for a new job and often miss opportunities and learning. Understanding your purpose for being on LinkedIn and then creating a profile that fits is key to successfully using LinkedIn in a way that benefits you the most. LinkedIn is not Facebook it is an online business-networking source. Here are what you need to think about when creating your LinkedIn or changing the current profile to maximize results.

  • For Entrepreneurs: with a strong profile and actively participating in groups and posting interesting relevant articles you will raise an awareness of your company and will bring business to your firm.
  • For Companies bidding on contracts: sometimes when companies bid on contracts the company look at the LinkedIn profile of key members to see if they have strong skills and to determine the stability of the firm. I have seen this with engineering firms and social service firms.
  • LinkedIn as a learning tool: LinkedIn is a great source of up to date information in your industry and can connect you with people around the world to share knowledge and see what is going on in other parts for the world. LinkedIn has further strengthened the educational source with the purchase of Lynda.com and online learning source.
  • Stealth Jobseeker: you may currently be happy at your job but thinking you might be ready for a new challenge. With the right profile, you can create an interest that draws in recruiters but does not tip off your current employer that you are looking.
  • Source of Contacts for family members or friends: who may be looking for work. The challenge for young people looking for work is the lack of contacts and networks. If you have a big network you might be able to connect them with someone who could provide them with information about the industry they are interested in working in.
  • Job seekers: LinkedIn is definitely a great source of information for job seekers. You can gain market intelligence; find jobs not easily found in other places, connect with old colleagues who may be working in an organization that you could potentially apply. By looking at other peoples LinkedIn profiles you can see what your competition is in your industry and will help you understand where you fit into today’s labour market.

LinkedIn-ecosystem

About Dorothy Keenan of FutureWorks

Dorothy is a professional resume writer and career advisor with over 25 years’ experience in helping people find fulfilling work at all levels of the labour market. If you think your LinkedIn profile needs a tune up or you are unsure how to even start contact Dorothy at dorothyk@fwt.bc.ca or go to www.fwt.bc.ca. Changing your profile can lead to some great opportunities for growth or career change.

12
Jan

LinkedIn a Rolodex on steroids

Having worked in the employment industry for over twenty-five years, I have seen and used every trick there is in looking for work. When I first started helping people look for work –you went door to door and dropped off resumes. Despite being right in the office you will be asked to send your resume by email or apply online and they will refuse to take the resumes!

Then we had it where you contacted the receptionist and tried to break through to the hiring person and there job was to block everyone and protect the hiring person privacy at all costs.

Next we had the voice mail and email vacuum –you left a message and no one ever returns your call and the email you sent with the resume, and cover letter is never acknowledged and you did not know if your resume every made it into the hands of the person hiring.

Today we have the Applicant Tracking System or (ATS) with over 200 different systems and more and more companies either buying them or using third party systems. The applicant tracking system is one more roadblock for the job searcher. The ATS systems are used to screen applicants resumes for key skills and then hiring manager views those resumes that make it through the system.

So how do you break through all these roadblocks?

LinkedIn is the jobseekers dreams come true! If used correctly you can find out who the hiring person is, what their background is, what type of people they currently have on board and can determine where you skills could help them and if your skills are weak where else you could potentially be hired based on where the current staff previously worked. LinkedIn is a massive rolodex that enables your to connect with people in the organizations and gain a further understanding of what the firm requires.

  1. The reality is networking is key. People hire people who they know or someone else knows. The majority of people are referred for jobs. If you are new to the city and don’t have a lot of connections -LinkedIn can help you identify people who work at the place you are interested in. I have had clients who have been successful in connecting with the person in the hiring role through LinkedIn and some have been able to connect with manager in departments that they wanted to work and set up an informational interview .
  1. In order for LinkedIn to be useful, you ideally need at least 100 people in your network. As soon as I say this, I can immediately hear a number of you saying –I do not know one hundred people-think again. For the young people it may be the parents of your friends, your professors, your neighbours, your teachers, your classmates or your soccer coach I think you get the idea. For those who have been in the workforce for a number of years it is a great way to reconnect with people you use to work with. I had one client who connected with an employee they had not connected with in ten years. He connected on LinkedIn with the person who had just started a new company and they had been discussing hiring someone with my client’s exact skills. He was in the biotech industry (which has been a challenging field in BC lately) and from when one job ended and he was hired, it was six weeks! this was in late November and he was working by mid January. They hired him and the position was never posted.
  1. On LinkedIn you can search for people who went to the university you went to and I have found that often people will connect with people that went to the same university as you.
  1. Join groups on LinkedIn and find out if they have events that you can attend. You will meet others in the industry as often people are aware of positions that are available either within their own company or at another company. Sometimes at these events you can find out about new positions companies are proposing before they have even posted them and you can get a jump on the job.

LinkedIn is only one piece of the job search puzzle, having a professional resume, a network and the confidence to reach out and let people know you are working you will be surprised the response and where help in your job search comes from.

About Dorothy Keenan of FutureWorks

Dorothy is a professional resume writer and career advisor with over 25 years’ experience in helping people find fulfilling work at all levels of the labour market. If you think your LinkedIn profile needs a tune up or you are unsure how to even start contact Dorothy at dorothyk@fwt.bc.ca or go to www.fwt.bc.ca. Changing your profile can lead to some great opportunities for growth or career change.

3
Jan

So you are on linkedIn. Now what?

LinkedIn-Now-what

So you finally bit the bullet and got yourself on LinkedIn. You have created a great profile. You have heard how many people have found great jobs, companies have found business partners, learned new ways of doing business and you are on and NOTHING HAPPENS! So why is that? You need to be active on LinkedIn for it to be of value. If you put up your LinkedIn profile and never go on again it won’t be very useful. Here are some quick tips that I have used and so have my clients and been very happy with the results.

What to do to generate results and understand the value of LinkedIn.
  • Increase your connections to over 100 but make sure you actually know the person. this increases your exposure to a wider range of people.
  • Remove connections of people that you do not wish to be connected to –ie that old boss that you really didn’t like and never want to talk to again. Removing connections is simple and they do not know you have done it!
  • Connect with people both in your industry and in others industries as you never know who they know. Sometimes the brother of your friend is working in a company that you are interested in learning more and you were not aware of that until you connected with your friend on LinkedIn.
  • Join groups that are in the field you are interested in learning more about. Once you have joined make sure to respond or comment on postings. Make short comments that show you understand or add value to the discussion. It is not a matter of just “liking”. By doing this, you are starting to create a presence to your network on LinkedIn and could capture the eye of a recruiter. You can also learn some of the latest trends in your industry.
  • Have recommendations on your LinkedIn that highlight your skills. When getting recommendations make sure that you spread them out so they do not all happen on the same day. The reason for this is each time you add a recommendation it will go out to your connections if you have the alert button turned on. If looking for work and do not want your employer to know then keep your alerts turned off or make sure you don’t have a flood of recommendations coming in on the same day.
  • If a recruiter contacts you and your are not looking for work at the moment –do respond back and let them know if you are not looking but keep the name for the future as you never know when you will be looking.
  • Check out jobs on LinkedIn and when you look at the job look also at the other ones recommended. This will generate more jobs coming to your LinkedIn site.
  • Use LinkedIn for research on companies to understand the skills they need by reviewing the staff who currently work there. You can analyze your skills and see if you could improve our chances of working at your ideal firm by taking a course or some additional training.

About Dorothy Keenan of FutureWorks

Dorothy is a professional resume writer and career advisor with over 25 years’ experience in helping people find fulfilling work at all levels of the labour market. If you think your LinkedIn profile needs a tune up or you are unsure how to even start contact Dorothy at dorothyk@fwt.bc.ca or go to www.fwt.bc.ca.  Changing your profile can lead to some great opportunities for growth or career change.

5
Nov

Does Your LinkedIn Profile Portray the Right Message?

We live in a visual world and LinkedIn, the professional social network, is no exception.

Research has shown that LinkedIn profiles with photographs are 10 times more likely to be viewed than profiles without. Why? First, a profile without a photograph looks incomplete and busy recruiters are not going to spend their valuable time looking at profiles with information missing. Secondly, and probably most importantly, we are a visual species with over 50% of communication being conducted through body language and appearance. We like to know what people look like in order to judge them in our normal manner, and believe us when we tell you that people are judging your LinkedIn profile photograph.

Your LinkedIn profile needs to convey your personal brand and the photograph that you use is an essential part of this. What does your photograph say about you? Does it position you as the competent, influential professional that you are? Here are our top ten tips to use your LinkedIn photograph to convey your professional personal brand.

Dress for the Job that you Want

Your LinkedIn profile should position you as a professional in the industry that you want to work in. Make it easy for people to envisage you working in that industry by using a photograph that shows you dressed as you would for an interview. Depending on the industry, this is likely to be business formal or business casual, avoiding any distracting accessories (i.e. glitzy earrings) or revealing/low-cut/sheer clothing. If you are not sure whether business formal or business casual applies to your industry, check out the ‘Meet our Team’ website section of relevant organizations website to determine what the dress code is…and copy it.

Smile

The purpose of social networking is connecting, and body language is just as important in online networking as it is in face-to-face interactions. For people to want to reach out to you, you should look approachable and likeable. The easiest way to do this is to smile and look at the camera.

Leave the Selfie Stick at Home

We are all guilty of taking the occasional selfie. When we take a selfie, we position our head in a certain way that screams “this is a selfie!” While this is ok for Facebook vacation photographs, it is not perceived as professional enough for LinkedIn. Put the selfie stick down and ask someone to take the photograph for you.

Who is that?

You want people to be able to recognize you from your LinkedIn photograph. They will not be able to do this if your face is covered up with sunglasses or you upload a work team photograph or, even worse, a family photo with everyone including the pet dog in it. Your image should be a head and shoulders shot of you and only you, no matter how great your colleagues are.

What’s that behind you?

The focus of your photograph should be you, so avoid any distracting backgrounds that draw attention away from you. This doesn’t mean standing in front of a plain white wall with the risk of creating a mugshot style image! Coloured or outdoor backgrounds can create a more flattering image, but avoid including distracting items such as cluttered rooms, Christmas trees or other people!

Showcase your Tech Skills

LinkedIn photographs should be 200 by 200 pixels. Uploading a photograph that doesn’t meet these requirements can result in a fuzzy image that causes people to doubt your technology skills. Additionally, avoid uploading a file that you need to zoom-in on repeatedly, as this will likely result in a pixelated image that doesn’t showcase you as the professional that you are.

Hire a Professional

Sometimes, only a professional will do and the financial investment is worth it. If you work in a particularly image conscious industry or simply want to show the best version of yourself, invest in a professional photographer to take your headshot.

Keep it Current

You might have preferred the way that you looked 5 or 10 years ago, many of us do! However, you don’t want to be known as that person who uses an out-of-date photograph. Make sure that you are recognizable by using a current photograph that represents your current appearance.

Make Use of the Background Photograph

A relatively recent addition to the LinkedIn profile is the background photograph (the same idea as your wallpaper on your Facebook account). This can be used to support your personal brand, by showcasing the company logo of the organization that you own/operate or uploading an image that relates to your industry. If you don’t have an image of your own, websites such as Free LinkedIn Backgrounds offer free images in the correct size for uploading.

Get Opinions

While you have to be satisfied that the image that you upload accurately presents your personal brand, it is ultimately the opinions of others that count. You can, of course, ask trustworthy friends and colleagues for their opinion but there is now also an online alternative option. PhotoFeeler provides unbiased feedback on your Linkedin profile photograph with anonymous users assessing how competent, likable and influential you appear.