Social media is a must for you as a job seeker, and LinkedIn is King of social media for white-collar professionals. If you are in the job search, you need to see this short video and find out why LinkedIn is such a necessary resource for you. Click the video to watch.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: LinkedIn is great job search resource. Why? It’s packed with information and potential connections, and it’s entirely business-focused (unlike Facebook, which is socially-focused). Everyone there is interested in making more connections and growing their network to further their careers. That means that you can, too.
On LinkedIn, you can find people, you can message people, you can find people who work at companies you would be interested in working for. There are no limitations.
LinkedIn is efficient, too. Are you familiar with the 80/20 Rule? The 80/20 Rule says that, in general, 20% of your actions get you 80% of your results. Some actions are much more productive and useful for you than others. LinkedIn falls within that 20% of productive activity time. It’s easy to make contacts on LinkedIn. You don’t have to spend an hour driving to a 3-hour event and an hour drive home to get 3 good contacts (which ends up being a 5-hour event for you to get 3 contacts). LinkedIn allows you to maximize your time. In less than 5 minutes, you can meet those 3 cocktail contacts and spend the other 4 hours and change making additional contacts.
It’s also easier to find those like-minded people on LinkedIn rather than at that cocktail party. You can connect with people who have like interests in groups. Find groups that are focused around your career area. Not job seeker groups; career-specific groups. That’s who you need to be talking to. Those are the people in your space who have information and who have the connections you need to get the jobs you want.
As I tell you to do that, I realize that you might be someone who’s uncomfortable with reaching out to make those connections. As insecure and uncomfortable as you might be reaching out to make those contacts on LinkedIn, remember that to some extent, most other people are uncomfortable, too. Not Human Resources people or recruiters….they’re not uncomfortable. But many of the “regular” people on LinkedIn are in the same weird, uncomfortable place that you are. When they get a connection request from you, they are excited that someone wants to connect with them. It’s a positive thing. You can show leadership by initiating these connections and move your job search and career forward.
Don’t be afraid to say on LinkedIn that you’re looking—not in your headline, because that should say who you are and what you do. But your summary is a great place to say that you’re looking for a job doing X, whatever that is.
Here’s a story for you: I just talked to a job seeker who wants to move to a specific town in Texas. She has been looking for about 5 months, and has had 5 interviews. When she applies for jobs through listings she sees, she gets interviews, but she’s not getting the job. So she’s starting to feel like a loser because it’s been 5 months and she can’t find a job. My position is that it’s not her; she is not the problem. The problem is she hasn’t had enough interviews. She’s a great employee, companies are interested in her, but she just hasn’t found the right match. The right match is out there for her somewhere…she’s just not looking hard enough. What she needs is more interviews. What I told her is that her best move going forward is to get on LinkedIn, find hiring managers at companies in the town she wants to be in, and spend time contacting them. That’s how she’s going to get enough interviews in the town she wants to be in.
Use LinkedIn to search for the people you need to be talking to about the job you want.
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Do you realize how important your LinkedIn headline is to your success? It is a big factor in whether or not you show up in the searches that hiring managers and recruiters do to find great candidates. In the video below, I'll give you some tips for writing a great LinkedIn headline.
My LinkedIn Profile Tutorial is packed full of detailed suggestions for making every part of your LinkedIn profile as powerful as it can possibly be so you can attract hiring managers like a magnet.
Did you know that keywords in your LinkedIn profile can help you get the job? If you concentrate on putting the right words in 3 critical spots, you'll boost the number of times you show up in LinkedIn searches and get more job opportunities. Find out where your keywords should go and what kinds of words you should focus on in the video below.
LinkedIn doesn't tell you these kinds of tips because they're mostly concerned with networking. If you want to also use LinkedIn for your job search (because it's a great place to find hiring managers), find out how to create a powerful profile with our LinkedIn Profile Tutorial.
Adding a photo will do a lot to make your LinkedIn experience better...if you want the best experience possible, check out our LinkedIn Profile Tutorial for the best tips on making every section of your profile an opportunity magnet for you.
A 306090 day plan is a simple idea with a powerful impact. Basically, it's an outline of what you intend to do in your first 3 months on the job.
But it's also a goal-setting document that shows you understand the job and you know what it takes to be successful at it. It covers everything from your training to your efforts to help grow the business.
It can be overwhelming to create a 90 day plan, since it must be specific to the company to be the most effective--so where do you find the information you need to write a great 306090 day plan?
Even though there are many sources of information you can tap into for your 306090 day plan, like
the corporate website
the very best one by far is LinkedIn.
If I could only choose one, it would be that one. Why LinkedIn?
The groups, the question-and-answer discussions, the company pages, the people pages, and the ability to reach out and contact actual human beings who can help you with what you need to know are all parts of the very valuable LinkedIn whole.
How to use LinkedIn to research
The first step for you is to establish a LinkedIn profile that stands out. Spend some time on it, detailing your experience, crafting a compelling summary, and posting a professional photo. Begin making contacts and connections, and join groups that will be appropriate for your area.
Once you’re accepted into the groups, you can participate in discussions that you can learn from and help you to become known to others in your field (if you make good comments). Here's an interesting post on facilitating LinkedIn discussions. These become fantastic sources of information for your 90 day plan.
When you’re interested in particular companies, you can research company pages that are often more informative than corporate websites and the personal profiles of people who work there or used to work there. What clues can you get from their background?
LinkedIn isn't your only resource, but it's a good one. It has a rich array of opportunities for you and your job search. If you’re not on LinkedIn yet, get a profile today.
You just can't run a full-scale job search without being on LinkedIn, and your profile is the first key to your success. Give your job seeker the gift that keeps on giving in the form of hiring managers knocking on his (virtual) door by setting him up with a profile that attracts their attention. If you know they're already on LinkedIn, but they're not talking about getting contacted by hiring managers or recruiters, they need a profile makeover. This is the easiest and most effective way to get it.
Chances are, they're already on Facebook (who isn't, these days?) but they are not utilizing it for the job search. Big mistake. Facebook is a great source for job leads. Recruiters search Facebook, too. Plus, your Facebook contacts are almost always a lot more varied than your LinkedIn contacts...which means a wider pool of possibility that someone knows someone who's looking to hire.
If you're not consistently going on interviews, you almost certainly need a better resume. It's the foundation of a great job search, but it's tricky. The Extreme Resume Makeover Kit answers every resume question--from how long it should be to what grabs the attention of hiring managers and makes them call you for an interview. It's a comprehensive kit that walks you through creating a resume that markets you as a candidate.
Having a bad LinkedIn profile is just as scary as any Halloween costume you could come up with.
How do others see you on LinkedIn?
Your LinkedIn profile is the image you project to others in your network, and in your job search. It's very likely the first thing they see--and first impressions count. When you have a bad profile (no profile photo, no descriptive headline, no keyword-filled search-friendly summary) you might as well be like a guy in a mask--they're not seeing the real you. And they might even be a little uncomfortable connecting with you. Neither of those is good news for your job search!
Make sure your LinkedIn profile doesn't hide the real you--polish up your profile so that it shines. (If you need additional help, get Career Confidential's LinkedIn Profile Tutorial. In less than an hour, you'll have a profile that highlights your best qualities--everything you want everyone else to see.)
Recently, someone who saw my presentation on the importance of LinkedIn for the job search asked me this: “If it’s not a good idea to include a photo on your resume, why is it a good idea to include it on LinkedIn? Doesn’t the photo on LinkedIn invite the same potential discrimination issues as including it on the resume does?”
This seems like a tricky issue. We’ve all been told over and over again never to use a photo on the resume, and there are good reasons for that. Anti-discrimination laws in our country have resulted in many Human Resources departments throwing out otherwise great resumes if they include a picture. Companies are so afraid of being sued that they avoid the slightest appearance of bias by eliminating any resume with a photo right off the bat. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing—your skills and accomplishments should be what gets you the interview, not your looks.
On the other hand, what’s the first thing a hiring manager will do after receiving your resume? See if he can find out more about you on LinkedIn. What’s on LinkedIn? Your picture.
You could easily argue exactly that line of reasoning for eliminating your photo from LinkedIn, also. Just like on your resume, you want the focus to be on your accomplishments, not your physical appearance. With that thinking, a LinkedIn profile photo seems questionable.
Here’s where the difference lies:
The resume is always completely and exclusively targeted toward your ability to perform a particular job, and your looks have nothing to do with that (unless you’re an actor!). Anti-discrimination laws are targeted to job applications, which a resume is.
But, LinkedIn is first and foremost a networking site. Even though LinkedIn is an extremely valuable tool for your job search, not everyone on LinkedIn is looking for a job. They’re using LinkedIn to build their contact list, join groups that relate to their current careers, and see what the competition’s up to. When you make networking the focus of your LinkedIn activities, it becomes clear that you need to include a photo, because we (all humans) bond more with a face than with the typed text. LinkedIn users expect to see a photo, and it looks a little odd if you don’t…like you’re trying to hide something. A photo makes other users more comfortable connecting with you, which is one of your primary goals.
So, never include a photo on your resume, because you don’t want to sabotage yourself in the HR screening process—and graphics don’t usually mesh well with Applicant Tracking Systems, anyway. But always include a professional (business-appropriate) photo on your LinkedIn profile. Not only is it expected, it’s a valuable part of your online credibility and networking success.