Friday, January 23, 2015

5 People You Should Ask For LinkedIn Recommendations

Jessica Holbrook Hernandez

LinkedIn recommendations are a tremendous asset to your job search. You can quickly and easily point a potential employer to your LinkedIn profile and they’ll be able to see verifiable references and recommendations of the quality of your work and the results you deliver. Positive words can be powerful motivators.


So, how do you choose the right people to request a recommendation from? And how do you know if they’ll give you a good recommendation?


2. The Team Player

When you work in a team on a specific project and the collaboration is a success, that’s the time to ask your teammates to write a recommendation for you based on the outcome and collaboration of that specific project. You can also return the favor; since you worked together you’ll be able to easily attest to their work ethic, problem solving, communication, teamwork, fresh ideas, motivation—the list goes on…


5. The Board Or Volunteer Head

Are you an active member of a nonprofit or involved in volunteering for a great cause? Ask someone who oversees the organization to recommend you for the work you’ve been doing. Not only is this more positive PR for your profile, but it shows your interests and desire to help others.


Have some additional ideas for great LinkedIn recommendation requests? Share them here; I’d love to hear them! And while LinkedIn is on your mind I’d love to connect so feel free to send me an invitation here.


See all 5 people and the complete Careerealism article

Thursday, January 22, 2015

6 tips on How to Be a Successful LinkedIn Groupie

Jeff Lipschultz

Having a LinkedIn profile is a good start to connecting with recruiters and hiring managers, but you must do more than just create an account and list a few jobs in your profile.

A few of my previous articles highlight some of the key tasks to getting noticed on LinkedIn: How to Be LinkedIn to Recruiters and How to Add Recruiters to Your LinkedIn Network. Included in these articles are mentions on being part of Groups. Beyond what is suggested in those articles, I’d like to share some more ideas on Group participation.

No Spam


Although this should be obvious, Group leaders are looking for relevant posts to attract and keep Group members. They will block you if you continually just submit generic links, mundane information that has little to do with the intent of the Group, and worse yet, promotions of your services (there is a separate section for this called Promotions).

Connectivity

Groups allow for recruiters to connect with you with some common bond - instead of just sending you a generic InMail message. When recruiters leverage LinkedIn to find candidates, they use key words (which should be in your profile) to find the right candidates.

When you show up in a Group, you two already have something in common (the Group), and you have moved towards the top of the list for getting reviewed and possibly contacted. Simply put, you’re easier to interact with - even more than a third-level connection.


Feel free to connect with any recruiter in a Group that looks to be working within your field. They have selected this Group for a reason - they too, want to be found. If they are in a Java Programming Group, generally, it is not because they want to learn more about coding in Java. They want to network with Java experts.

See all 6 tips and the complete article

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

7 Essential LinkedIn Stats: When To Post, What To Post, How To Improve



A quick glance at a chart of the Internet’s fastest-growing social networks reveals what you likely already knew (Instagram is growing like mad) and what might be a surprise: LinkedIn is the third-fastest-growing social network.

We at the Buffer blog can vouch for LinkedIn’s growth as our blog has experienced a swell in LinkedIn referral traffic over the past year, up 4,000 percent from last year at this time. Part of that has to do with our emphasis on updates and sharing at LinkedIn, another part has to do with the popularity of LinkedIn contributing a larger audience and more eyes to our content. Together, these factors have made LinkedIn a great source of visitors for our blog, and I’d imagine you might see a similar impact on your own site.

So the question becomes: How best to take advantage of this expanding interest in LinkedIn? Though the network isn’t analyzed in quite the same detail as Facebook and Twitter, there still exist several stats and tidbits that can help you improve your LinkedIn marketing and engage with your followers.

1. LinkedIn sends nearly four times more people to your homepage than Twitter and Facebook

Twitter and Facebook may reign when it comes to social sharing of stories, blog posts, and visual media, but when it comes to direct traffic to your main site, LinkedIn is far and away the No. 1 social referral source.
Econsultancy reported this gap based on a two-year research study involving 2 million monthly visits to 60 corporate websites. LinkedIn’s referrals, which accounted for nearly two-thirds of all social referrals to corporate homepages, nearly quadrupled the second-place Facebook.

  • LinkedIn: 64% of social referrals to corporate homepage
  • Facebook: 17%
  • Twitter: 14%


3. Avoid evenings, late afternoons, and weekends

If you want to reach the largest number of users with your content, it makes sense to publish when people are around. LinkedIn has found their busiest times to be morning and midday, Monday through Friday. Business hours, in general, have the largest maximum reach, so you don’t have to be too particular about specific times. Test what performs best for you.
Time of day LinkedIn
What this means:
Be sure your posting schedule matches up with the rhythms of the LinkedIn audience. If you happen to curate your content in the evenings, you can use Buffer to schedule your posts to go live the following day at the time you choose.

See all 7 stats and the complete buffersocial article

Monday, January 19, 2015

3 Ways To Supercharge Your LinkedIn Recommendations

Cheryl Simpson

Just how important are LinkedIn recommendations? No one outside of LinkedIn’s leadership can answer that question definitively, but since this function continues to exist long after other features have gone the way of the dodo bird, I think it’s safe to assume that LinkedIn and its clients (namely recruiters and hiring companies) find them helpful.

I have repeatedly asked all the recruiters I know what they think of recommendations, and they generally say some version of the same thing: “LinkedIn recommendations won’t make or break someone’s candidacy, but I consistently read them and attest that my opinion of a candidate can be shaped by them.”

If there is any chance at all that recommendations can shape a recruiter’s or hiring executive’s opinion of your candidacy, then they are worth pursuing in a strategic way.
While we don’t know the search algorithm LinkedIn uses to analyze candidate profiles on behalf of recruiters and hiring executives, we do know that keywords play a key role. Keywords are also critical in shaping the perceptions of recruiters and hiring managers.

To see what I’m driving at, try this quick experiment. Select a keyword that you are skilled in – let’s say “B2B sales.” Input that example in the search line at the top of your screen on LinkedIn. Your search will turn up profiles with that keyword highlighted each time it is used. Now, here’s the important thing to notice: LinkedIn also highlights this keyword in the recommendations section of each profile in your search results.


Which brings me to the issue of how supercharge your profile via the recommendations sections. There are three simple steps to take:

1. Weave industry-specific keywords into each recommendation you receive.

  • Select 1-3 (no more) critical keywords for your industry that you already stress throughout your profile.
  • Identify a specific problem, project, challenge, or initiative you worked on which clearly demonstrates these skills.
  • When you request or are offered a recommendation, request that they focus their comments on the 1-3 keywords you selected above and use the problem, project, or initiative you identified as the focal point for their recommendation.
  • Review the recommendation when it’s received. Request text changes if needed to tighten the keyword and achievement content. Make sure specific results are included if at all possible. Ask the recommender to accept the changes and then add the recommendation to your profile.
  • For recommendations you have already received, review them to see where specific key skills or projects can be added to deepen the content’s relevance to your career goals.
  • Why is this step important? Because LinkedIn counts keywords used in recommendations when they rank order your profile in recruiter and company search results. Using your strongest keywords in recommendations is a hidden way to boost your profile ranking and cultivate more career opportunities.

Bonus:
Only accept and give recommendations from people that you actually know or have worked with.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Pain-Free Guide To Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile

Melissa Cooper

Is LinkedIn an active part of your job search? Have you maximized your profile, polishing it until it shines?

If not, there’s a good chance you’re behind the curve — by about a decade.

According to LinkedIn, 5.7 billion job-oriented searches were done on the platform in 2012. This means that recruiters in your industry are hopping on the social media giant any time they need to locate new talent.

So, consider what they’re going to find. One professional has a bare-bones LinkedIn profile that includes his name, title, and a basic summary — more or less a copied-and-pasted resume. Another professional includes the same information, but her tone is conversational and full of powerful keywords. She describes past roles in first person, providing insight into critical duties and how she overcame challenges.

Which professional would you pursue?

More importantly, which professional are you?

Spending time on yet another online profile might seem unnecessary, but you should approach it like every other part of the job search. You get your resume just right. You find the perfect interview outfit. Put the same effort into LinkedIn, and recruiters will flock to you.


Here are four steps to optimizing your LinkedIn profile so it stands out to recruiters:


Capitalize on relevant keywords.

Use your areas of expertise and specialties to trigger keyword searches. Let’s say a recruiter in your area needs a copywriter. She’ll get on LinkedIn and search for those parameters. The more times you incorporate “copywriter,” “advertising content,” “campaign development,” and other industry words into your profile, the more likely you’ll appear in her search results.

Don’t just list words in bullet points, though. Expand on your areas of expertise with compelling prose, and position yourself as a subject-matter expert.

Don’t forget about the extras.

Categories, groups, articles, and awards are all extra areas that should shine on your profile. They’re typically farther down the page, so recruiters scrolling down to see them are likely interested in you as a candidate.

The relative importance of each of these areas varies by industry. For example, in nonprofit industries, participation in LinkedIn and physical community groups is important. But in warehouse management, not so much.

Be selective with the categories and groups you choose. Find five to 10 within your industry that garner the most engagement and attention. Besides looking good on your profile, if you become active in these groups and leave insightful comments, you’ll expand your industry knowledge and position yourself as a thought leader. Don’t hesitate to show off your awards, either. Potential employers want to know anything that differentiates you as a candidate.


LinkedIn has leveled the playing field for in-house recruiters and smaller staffing firms alike —providing a powerful pipeline tool once reserved for deep-pocketed agencies. With such a massive pool of potential candidates out there, you need to stand out any way you can. And with a little effort on LinkedIn, it’s not too difficult.

Tips 3,4, and the complete article


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

How To Use The New LinkedIn Custom Search Engine Video



We’ve had more than 2,000 downloads since we’ve launched our new search engine just 48 hours ago! Now it’s time to see exactly how you can use this awesome tool to uncover some of the best hidden profiles on LinkedIn!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

10 Simple Tips to Double your LinkedIn Connections



Sometimes the simplest tactics are forgotten that can make a big difference over time. With the majority of users having less than 500 connections these tips will provide the guidelines to take it beyond the 1,000 barrier.

  • Update your status daily. This could include  posting your latest blog post, sharing an interesting Slideshare presentation or an article that is of value to your industry and niche
  • Participate in (or start) a LinkedIn group discussion weekly
  • Follow influencers and ask or answer questions on their posts

  • Tips 4-10, a great infographic, and the complete Jeff Bullas article