Most of the recruiters and employers have quit traditional methods of searching for a perfect candidate. No longer do they spend all their time going through job portals but they also search for interesting candidates on social media sites, blogs, forums and professional networking sites.
Linkedin is one of many such sites that help you reach out to employers and gain useful information to make you better informed when applying for a job. With more than 6 million registered users in the UK, and a new member joining Linkedin approximately every second, Linkedin represents a bank of potential employer contacts and information.
Here are some top tips to make Linkedin a vital component to your job search, reproduced with kind permission from ‘onlineastevens’:
Step 1 – Complete your profile and make it relevant
Use the progress bar. It’s simple, 100% is the target. As you are completing your profile add context to every element of your work experience. This gives the viewer an insight as to whether you’re worth connecting with. What will you be using your Linkedin profile for? Networking? Job hunting? Business development? As an example, if you work for an advertising agency and you’re trying to attract more clients, write about your success stories and large campaigns, not about your transferable skills.
Step 2 – Seek recommendations
Do not be afraid to ask for recommendations, they qualify you as a useful contact
“90% of people trust online recommendations from people they know”
Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey of over 25,000 Internet consumers from 50 countries
This behaviour applies to online consumers and online networkers. Request recommendations from colleagues, customers, graduates, suppliers, basically anybody that you have had a professional relationship with. It will feel weird the first time you do it, but more often than not people are more than happy to obligue. Like products on Amazon, people with recommendations are a more attractive prospect.
Step 3 – Link up with LinkedIn
Link your Twitter, Facebook, blog and website to your LinkedIn profile. If you’re a WordPress blogger, then add the WordPress application which will automatically send out updates of your latest posts. Another plugin you can use is the SlideShare application to share any presentations you would like to share.
Whilst on the subject of social media accounts, Google yourself and make sure your online presence, across all networks, is of a professional standard. Delete or protect anything that isn’t.
Step 4 – <This is an easy one> Personalise your profile link
This is easily done. Best case scenario is making your personalised profile link the same as your Twitter name.
Step 5 – Search for and add groups
The first and most natural approach here is to add groups that match your skills profile, and it is useful to do this. However you should also add groups that are used by your target market, even if they are not directly relevant to you. Also, don’t just use these groups as a platform to push your wares – this will turn people off you straight away. Offer advice and useful opinions, position yourself as an expert of your field.
Step 6 – Add EVERYONE!
Whenever you speak to contacts via email, add a line that states you would like to link up on LinkedIn. Don’t wait for a response to your email – invite them to connect on LinkedIn straight away. 9 times out of 10 your invite will be accepted. This is a great way to grow you connection numbers quickly and make the most out of every professional interaction.
Step 7 – Promote your Linkedin profile
Add your Linkedin profile to your email signature and if possible your business cards. Give people every opportunity to connect with you.
Step 8 – Use Linkedin Answers
This is the section of LinkedIn (first option under the ‘More’ menu) that is used to ask industry-specific questions to the Linkedin population. Try to answer 2 or 3 questions a week and you’ll be surprised at how benefitial this can be.
Step 9 – Use Linkedin regularly
Anything that is worth doing takes time and with Linkedin, the more effort you put in the greater the return. This doesn’t mean spending hours on the site. Once you have steps 1 to 8 in place, you can expect a useful return on the following:
- a status update each day
- one or two comments on groups each week
- adding all new business contacts on a day-to-day basis
If you want to make a start, connect with me here, you may also want to connect with the University of Stirling Alumni Group by searching Linkedin Groups. There, that’s two contacts already!!