‘Tis the Season to Find a Job on LinkedIn

Lindsey Pollak

One of the old fashioned myths about job hunting is that you’ll never get hired in December. “People slow down for the holidays,” the thinking went. “Everything is on hold until the new year.”
Thankfully I ignored that advice back in 1999, when I interviewed for and was offered my dream job at a career-focused Internet start-up just a few short weeks before Christmas.

The same can happen for you. Here are five tips for job hunting during the holiday season, with help from LinkedIn:

Get back in touch. The holidays are the perfect time to reach out and get back in touch with people you haven’t spoken to in a while, such as former colleagues, former classmates, long-lost friends and members of professional associations you used to belong to. The key with this type of outreach is to make every communication personal.
Rather than sending a blast “Happy Holidays” message or a generic e-card, write a customized note to each person (using a LinkedIn connection request if you still have the person’s email address or InMail if you are a Job Seeker Premium account holder) to show that your desire to connect is genuine. And, save the news of your job hunt for a phone or in-person conversation. Your message should look something like this:
Hi Steve,
Happy Holidays! I know it’s been a long time and I hope you’ve been doing well. I saw on your LinkedIn profile that you’ve moved on to a higher level position – congratulations! I’d love to reconnect in the New Year since we are still working in the same field. Can I give you a call or take you out for a coffee? Thanks so much and enjoy the season.
All the best,
Lindsey

Mix business with pleasure. In addition to reconnecting with older contacts, you’ll likely spend time over the holidays with people you see on a regular basis — friends, family and current business connections. To add a touch of professional networking to the holiday fun, check out people’s profiles on LinkedIn before heading out to a holiday party or family gathering. See what people are working on, which contacts you might have in common and where you might be able to offer them career support.

At holiday events, it’s okay to talk about your job search and be specific about what kind of position you’re looking for. Most people, especially friends and family members, are happy to help or keep an eye out for opportunities. If you do have some great career conversations over eggnog and cookies, remember to send each person a connection request (if you’re not connected already) or a LinkedIn message early in the New Year to follow up on any leads and continue the conversation.

Stand out from the crowd. Remember that myth that no one gets hired in December? Use it to your advantage! If many job seekers still pull back during December, you have a better chance of standing out to employers if you do submit an application. Any recruiter with active job openings is highly likely to check his or her inbox over the holidays, so make sure your application is there.
Go ahead and follow up your application with an additional InMail message to the recruiter as well (you can often find the job poster’s name and a link to his or her LinkedIn profile right on the job posting page). You might say something like, “I wanted to follow up my application to position #12345 with a brief note to express my interest,” and then mention something specific you’ve read about the employer, such as a positive news story, an exciting industry development, a cause they support — all of which you might learn about on the company’s website or on its LinkedIn Company Page. The process may not move forward until the New Year, but you’ll show the employer that you’re ready to hit the ground running.

More Tips and Complete Linkedin Blog Post

How soloists can fire up LinkedIn for their businesses

In conversation with a fellow consultant last week, my work as a reviewer of young adult books for The Australian newspaper came up.

“I didn’t know that! Why isn’t that on your LinkedIn profile?” he demanded.

“Because it’s got nothing to do with my current work /life/profile/brand”, I answered, or words to that effect. Although more likely it sounded like, “Huh?”

“Nonsense”, he replied. “I would be interested, even impressed, to know that your critical remarks had been paid for and published by a national newspaper.”

Seen in that light, it certainly sounded impressive, even to me.

I am always encouraging others not to hide their light under a bushel but now it appears I have been doing it myself. I look anew at my LinkedIn profile and realise it is a bit bare because I have made a judgement about what fits and what doesn’t.

And yet all the disparate and apparently disconnected things I have done over my chequered past are part of what makes me an excellent resource for people. So why not let them know?

So here is a short checklist of things I am going to do to revamp my profile this week. Use it to see if too can develop your online persona so it is more than a silhouette.

1. Check the length

Your summary needs to be just that – a summary not an essay. Read over a few others and notice at which point your eyes glaze over. Readers will only scan over what you do. They are possibly more interested to know what you can do for them.

Choose your words carefully and create a statement that positions you in the centre of the area you wish to influence.

Be precise, cogent and concrete. And remember that the words you write under your name will appear in every post and connection you make – so craft them for impact.

2. Check your CV

What have you achieved or done that you are not talking about? As you can see from the example at the beginning of this article, there are aspects to your past work that may not immediately spring to mind as relevant, but you can extract some of the key skills from them.

My current work involves writing non-fiction and the publications I have worked on previously have elements of that within them, so I can now see how to emphasise that facet in my profile.

More Tips and Complete Article

13 Mistakes Your Business Might Be Making on LinkedIn


LinkedIn isn’t just a good resource for professionals.

When used the right way, it can be a powerful tool for businesses too—and not just for recruiting, the way most managers think of using the site.
Businesses that navigate LinkedIn properly engage customers, generate sales leads, and swap internal information among employees.
We got in touch with Krista Canfield, LinkedIn’s senior manager of corporate communications. True, it’s her job to get people to use LinkedIn, but we think she has a perspective worth sharing, since she trains companies on nontraditional uses of LinkedIn. She knows the platform like the back of her hand, having joined LinkedIn when it only had 18 million members and 200 people on staff (now it has 187 million members and 3,177 employees). Her team has also trained more than 13,000 journalists to better navigate LinkedIn.
Canfield told us the most common mistakes she sees businesses make on LinkedIn, and how all companies can use the professional social network better.

1. Your company isn’t even listed on LinkedIn

“More than 2.6 million companies already have a LinkedIn Company Page,” Canfield says.
So why is it a big deal to add yours?
LinkedIn shows companies statistics about their followers for free. Companies with pages can also share news and information with their followers to keep people engaged and attract new clients or employees.
Canfield recommends checking out LinkedIn’s own company page (which has a hidden joke for hackers), as well as CNBC, Dell, and Philips for some good examples.

2. Your company doesn’t follow competitors on LinkedIn

LinkedIn company pages can be a good way to keep tabs on the competition.
“When you follow a competitor’s LinkedIn Company Page, you can find out what talent is joining, and leaving, those companies,” Canfield says. “You’ll also get updates from the companies (when they share recent news articles or discussions with their followers) and you’ll be the first to know when they post jobs on
LinkedIn. This information can help clue you in to the direction those companies might be heading in.”
Canfield also recommends following company pages for partners, potential customers and acquisition targets on LinkedIn.

3. Your employees haven’t spent much time on their LinkedIn profiles

Employees are an extension of your brand on LinkedIn, so it’s important to make sure their profile pages are a good representation of your company.
“LinkedIn Profiles (which appear in Google search results not just for names, but also in Web searches for skills and areas of expertise) may be the first encounter a potential customer or business partner has with your company,” says Canfield. “A bare-bones profile on LinkedIn suggests that your employee and your company may not have stellar online networking skills, so encourage your people to fill out their profiles so they are 100 percent complete.”
Canfield suggests even little touches, like making sure employees have uploaded profile pictures. A LinkedIn profile is 7 times more likely to be viewed if it has a photo.

4. Your company isn’t sharing the right kind of information at the right time on LinkedIn

“Whether you’re sharing media hits about your company via your LinkedIn Company Page or sharing articles with your LinkedIn network, there are a few useful tips you should keep in mind,” says Canfield.
“Post in the morning for best reach, add links when possible, share videos to drive amazing viral engagement, and tell people what action you want them to take on your update (so specifically call out that you’d want viewers to like, share and/or comment on your discussion).”
Managers of your LinkedIn Company Page can also target messages and updates to specific people. They don’t have to send it to every follower of that page.

5. Your employees aren’t connecting with each other or swapping information on LinkedIn

“By connecting your employee base, you’ll be opening up a whole new world of second-degree
connections outside your company,” says Canfield.
“Joe the receptionist could have a best friend that works over at Nike, which just happens to be the dream client that Sarah in sales is trying to land. Trusted introductions from colleagues are a great way for any business to locate the experts they need quickly and cost effectively.”
Employers can follow what their employees are sharing on LinkedIn too.
Canfield says all updates can be sorted on LinkedIn’s homepage (see photo).
“When you first log into LinkedIn, just below where you can share articles or an update with your network, you should see, ‘All Updates,’ in bold font,” she explains. “If you hover over, “All Updates,” you’ll notice you can sort your updates so you just see what your coworkers are sharing on LinkedIn. This is an easy way to virtually hang out at your company water cooler.”

6. You tell employees office gossip is off limits.

That doesn’t mean employees should be able to leak company secrets on LinkedIn. But they should feel like they can share interesting news about their industries.
“Industry information is power,” says Canfield. “Encourage employees to check out their industry-specific LinkedIn Today news feed to help you prioritize and sort through the news that’s making the rounds. Make sure that they connect to clients so that they catch important profile updates in regards to promotions or job changes at those companies too.”

35 Tips To Master LinkedIn

by Pamela Vaughan

With more than 175 million users, LinkedIn is the most popular social network for professionals as well as one of the top social networks overall. Are you using it to its fullest potential? While Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest have been monopolizing the buzz in the social media marketing world lately, LinkedIn is a powerful platform that often gets underutilized or put on the back burner.

But the truth is, LinkedIn can be extremely useful — especially when you’re aware of all the little hidden tricks that don’t get nearly enough exposure as they deserve. To help you master LinkedIn, below is our ultimate list of 35 awesome tricks you may have been overlooking.

We’ve divided these tips into three main categories — optimizing your LinkedIn presence, using LinkedIn for professional networking, and using LinkedIn for business and marketing.

Optimizing Your LinkedIn Presence

1) Claim your vanity URL.
Make your profile look more professional and easier to share by claiming your LinkedIn vanity URL. Instead of a URL with a million confusing numbers at the end, it will look nice and clean like this: http://www.linkedin.com/in/pamelavaughan. Do so by going here and clicking “customize your public profile URL” down on the right-hand side.

2) Create a profile badge for your personal website.
If you have your own personal website or blog, you can promote your personal LinkedIn presence and help grow your professional network by adding a Profile Badge that links to your public LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn has a few different badge designs to select from, and you can configure your own here.

3) Make your blog/website links sexier.
Instead of using the default “My Website”-type anchor text links in your LinkedIn profile, you can change the anchor text to make those links more appealing to people who view your profile. So if you want to increase clicks on the website links you can display on your profile, change the link’s anchor text to something more attention-grabbing than the standard options LinkedIn provides. For example, if you want to include a link to your blog, rather than choosing LinkedIn’s standard “Blog” anchor text, customize it to include keywords that indicate what your blog is about, like “Internet Marketing Blog.” Each profile can display up to 3 website links like this, and they can be customized by editing your profile, clicking edit on your website links, and selecting “Other” in the drop-down menu to customize the anchor text.

4) Search engine optimize your profile.
You can also optimize your profile to get found by people searching LinkedIn for key terms with which you want to be associated. Add these keywords to various sections of your profile such as your headline or summary.

5) Install applications.
Did you know that LinkedIn provides a variety of different applications you can use to improve your LinkedIn profile? Browse the Application Directory, and consider adding the SlideShare application or linking your blog to showcase your presentations and blog articles on your profile. The Events application is also a great way to see what events your connections are attending and find other popular industry events to attend.

6) Rearrange your profile.
LinkedIn enables users to reorder the sections of their profile in any way they prefer. When in edit mode on your profile, simply hover your mouse over the title of each section. Your mouse will turn into a four-arrowed icon, at which point you can click then drag and drop to another position on your profile.

7) Take advantage of “Saved Searches.”
LinkedIn allows users to create up to 3 saved searches. After conducting a search, clicking the “Save This Search” option allows you to save a search and easily run it again later. You can also choose to receive weekly or monthly reminders via email once new members in the network match your saved search criteria. Just click on the “Saved Searches” tab on the Advanced Search options page and select one of your saved searches to run again.

8) Extend the life of your questions.
Perhaps you’re using the LinkedIn Answers feature to grow your knowledge of industry-related topics. If so, you may have noticed that, after a period of time, the opportunity closes for users to answer questions that are posed in the Answers feature of LinkedIn. To extend the life of the questions you ask and enable more time for users to provide answers, click on the “My Q&A” tab within Answers, click on the question you’d like to revive, and click “re-open this question to answers,” which will open it up again for 7 more days.

9) Quickly turn your LinkedIn profile into a resume.
Job seeking is one of the most common — and beneficial — uses of LinkedIn. Were you aware that LinkedIn enables you to turn your profile into a resume-friendly format in seconds with its Resume Builder tool? Just choose a resume template, edit it, and export it as a PDF that you can print, email, and share.

10) Find a job with LinkedIn’s job board.
Now that you’ve generated that awesome new resume from LinkedIn’s Resume Builder tool, you can use it — and LinkedIn’s Job board — to help you land an awesome job. LinkedIn allows you to search for jobs by industry and location. It even suggests jobs you might be interested in based on the information in your LinkedIn profile.

With more than 175 million users, LinkedIn is the most popular social network for professionals as well as one of the top social networks overall. Are you using it to its fullest potential? While Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest have been monopolizing the buzz in the social media marketing world lately, LinkedIn is a powerful platform that often gets underutilized or put on the back burner.
But the truth is, LinkedIn can be extremely useful — especially when you’re aware of all the little hidden tricks that don’t get nearly enough exposure as they deserve. To help you master LinkedIn, below is our ultimate list of 35 awesome tricks you may have been overlooking.
We’ve divided these tips into three main categories — optimizing your LinkedIn presence, using LinkedIn for professional networking, and using LinkedIn for business and marketing.

Optimizing Your LinkedIn Presence

1) Claim your vanity URL.

Make your profile look more professional and easier to share by claiming your LinkedIn vanity URL. Instead of a URL with a million confusing numbers at the end, it will look nice and clean like this: http://www.linkedin.com/in/pamelavaughan. Do so by going here and clicking “customize your public profile URL” down on the right-hand side.

Read more: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/23454/The-Ultimate-Cheat-Sheet-for-Mastering-LinkedIn.aspx#ixzz2DR8OVNGx

27 LinkedIn Tips: LinkedIn Best Practices for Entrepreneurs

Ken Krogue

LinkedIn may be the best source of sales intelligence on the planet for finding and reaching out to a prospective customer.

From our perspective in the inside sales industry, we have found LinkedIn has become one of the leading tools inside sales reps use to connect to and meet qualified prospects.

Here is what works:

1- Use CEO clout through LinkedIn to close deals: Dave Elkington, our CEO, just shared a great technique he learned from Josh James, of Omniture/Adobe fame. Often the CEO or sales executive can reach out to prospective clients and resolve last-minute issues holding up signing a sales agreement.  They can push it over the edge. (And I’m writing this on the last day of the quarter. Any of you in sales knows the pressure to finish out a quarter with great results.)
LinkedIn helps reach out quickly.

2- Grab your names: If you haven’t already done this, get on LinkedIn and grab your name and your company name. Edit the URL on your profile so it reads with your actual name like this: http://www.linkedin.com/in/kenkrogue. If you leave what LinkedIn automatically does for you there will be lots of extra numbers and characters which confuse people.

3- Complete your profile: Nothing screams “Rookie” like an unfinished profile. Take the time and get it done, both for yourself and your company. There are a few other essentials to getting started. A new book called The LinkedIn Essentials by Asia Bird is helpful, as is the eBook How to Use LinkedIn for Business by Hubspot.
This article goes beyond essentials to address this week’s theme for Forbes Entrepreneurs: Finding and Pitching to the Customer.

4- Connect to your warm market: If you can’t figure out who to connect with, start with friends, colleagues, and family. The average wedding planner knows that any given person knows about 250 people to invite to a wedding. Make your wedding list. If you are an old timer, make your funeral list.

5- Use LinkedIn to follow up after other communications: Don’t make the mistake of trying to connect with lots people you don’t know. LinkedIn will warn you, and then shut you down if too many people don’t respond to your connection request. Whenever you receive an email, business card, or leave a voicemail; put a “PS” that you are going to also connect by LinkedIn right at the end. Then people make the connection as someone they know and approve your connection request.
I also recommend that you change the standard connection request message that LinkedIn puts in to something you write that is more personal.

6- Select your “Doorway” people: LinkedIn lets you see two levels deep of connections for free (and more with the premium version – highly recommended). I’m a Doorway person in my company because I connect to nearly 3000 sales people, managers, and executives. If all my sales reps are connected to me, when I connect to people in companies, they can see them also.

7- Teach LinkedIn strategy and tactics to your employees: Get your people together and coordinate your efforts and strategies. Years ago, my business partner Dave Elkington, started a company-wide Friday morning meeting where we constantly share new approaches and ideas with each other as part of our culture. We even started a Social Media group of super users who really push the envelope.

8- Expand your LinkedIn reach with Twitter: There is a little checkbox at the bottom of your “Share an update” box that copies everything you share with your Connections to all of your Twitter followers.

Tips 9-27 and Complete Forbes Article



Ten Tips for LinkedIn Novices: Set Up and Connection Helpers for First-Timers

by Kelly Blazek

It’s never too late to join the 150 million networkers, job seekers and business professionals around the globe whose qualifications are being viewed on the #2 most popular social networking site in America:  LinkedIn.  Ready to jump in?  Congrats – you’ll want these helpful tips to avoid newbie mis-steps and create a better LinkedIn experience as you set up your account and add connections.    In my next article, I’ll share pointers about building an effective profile including headlines, summaries, experience descriptions, recommendations and groups.

1.  Sign up using a personal e-mail account, always, for LinkedIn, and save your password!  If you want to use LinkedIn for business development, by all means show a work e-mail but ensure that you have a second, personal e-mail approved and in LinkedIn’s system (add additional e-mails under SETTINGS > ACCOUNT > Add & Change E-Mail Addresses).  If your account is only connected to a work e-mail, you run the risk of losing access to it.  It’s happened before:  someone gets bad news about their job, had their e-mail turned off, and then are left without access to change out their profile to a personal e-mail.  And, too many people take a new job and forget to change their primary contact e-mail on LinkedIn – this means a LOT of people are wondering how to get in touch with you, and their requests to connect are going unanswered.   As for your password, capture it somewhere.  I work with many newer LinkedIn members who are stumped because they can’t remember their password.  These folks keep on making duplicate new profiles, and it’s confusing for others to know which is the active one.  Write that password down and tape it to the inside of a closet, drawer or under furniture – whatever works!

2.  Don’t stress about selecting your Industry, which is a drop down list – there’s no option to customize that field.  Many job seekers are in transition, moving from one type of employer to another – don’t stop filling out your profile because you don’t have the perfect answer, today.  You can edit your Industry as often as you wish (choose Profile>Edit Profile and click EDIT after your name).  Want to be in a new type of job or profession?  Select the Industry in which you wish to land.  After you spend more time looking at others’ profiles, you’ll get a sense if your industry should stay, or be changed.  In LinkedIn, nothing is written in stone!

3.  Make sure your Location says Cleveland/Akron.  One of the first questions LinkedIn asks you is for your zip code.  When you finally see your new profile page, it states you are in North Olmsted or Cuyahoga Falls as your location.  Hmmm – you don’t want that – but it’s easy to change.  You want to be found in searches done in the Cleveland/Akron, Ohio area, and part of that overall candidate pool.  Here’s the fast fix:  at the top navigation bar, choose Profile>Edit Profile and click EDIT after your name.  You’ll see your home zip code, with two options.  Un-select your neighborhood location (i.e., Medina, Lyndhurst) and choose the “Cleveland/Akron, Ohio Area” option.

4.  What profile level do you want?  You want FREE.  You don’t need the Premium account, and very few people ever purchase one.  You will probably receive several tempting offers over the next few months to  “trial” a premium account, and if you do, make certain you actually turn off the auto credit charge feature.  95% of people have a maximum LinkedIn experience at a minimum cost – nothing.  So don’t worry that you’re missing out on some magical secret experience with a free account – you aren’t.

5.  The moment your profile is created, you see a page that says People You May Know – and are shocked that you actually DO know some of these folks.  You wonder, “how did LinkedIn do that?  I’ve been on this for 12 minutes and this system already guessed who I know?”   Remember, you sign in to LinkedIn using an e-mail account.  If it was a work account, of course LinkedIn recognizes other work colleagues with the same e-mail identifier.  And if it’s a personal account, you may be showing up in members’ e-mail contact lists.  Don’t freak out – if any of these are authentic connections, people you know, go ahead and click the CONNECT button to start building links!

Tips 6 – 10 and complete article