Don’t read this if you’re looking for step-by-step instructions on completing your LinkedIn profile or ways to use LinkedIn to find a job. There are thousands of great articles and videos on the web with that kind of advice (here are a few).
This article, and the two that will follow, give you advice that no one talks about – the shortcuts and workarounds that can help you make LinkedIn a powerful personal branding tool. The tips I share in this series are among dozens of tricks I developed through my work with executives over the past several years. At first glance, this advice may seem counterintuitive, but these tips take advantage of the way LinkedIn works so you can build your brand and expand your success.
- Part 1 – Brand Yourself: We’ll start the series by focusing on branding your profile, making sure it’s relevant and compelling to the people who are making decisions about you.
- Part 2 – Find and Be Found: How much attention have you paid to making sure the right people can find you? We’ll focus on not only how to be found but also how to keep your own research top secret.
- Part 3 – Stand Out and Promote: In this final piece in the series we’ll look at differentiating your profile from the masses and the tools that enable you to maximize the value of your profile by promoting it and syndicating it.
Before getting into any of the tips in this series, there is one seemingly misguided piece of advice that you need to implement before you start mucking around with your profile: Keep Secrets.
When you’re updating your LinkedIn profile you don’t want your contacts to be made aware of every little change. Of course, when you make a big change – like announcing your promotion or appointment to a board, you want your contacts to know. Alerting your contacts to every bit of wordsmithing you do while attempting to make your profile more compelling and more searchable, is not something I would recommend. When you’re in edit mode, turn off activity broadcasts and adjust the setting option for ‘select who can see your activity feed’ to be ‘only you’.
Remember to change the settings back when you have completed your edits. This way, when you do make a change that you want all your contacts to see, your scream won’t be ignored as just another rewording or spelling correction.
Part 1- Brand Yourself
Arrogance is an unsavory trait…except on LinkedIn. Know the top five strengths for which you want to be recognized and use them in your profile – repeatedly.
If your top skill is project management, describe your project management proficiency in your summary as well as in multiple experience descriptions. Personal branding requires steadfast focus and redundancy will bolster your brand around your critical skill.
In addition to influencing others, repeating keywords throughout your profile will help boost your ranking in searches of those keywords. Be sure to use all the different variations for how that skill is described to make sure people who are looking for what you have to offer will be able to find you, regardless of what terms they use in the search box.
By Arnie Fertig
In the prehistoric days before social media, job hunters would typically try to withhold the names and contact information of their references until as late in the hiring process as possible. And, even if they requested them earlier, employers would typically not contact them until just before making a job offer.
Then, along came LinkedIn and its Reference feature. Here, you can write something positive about any of your connections. It is forwarded to the person being recommended for approval, before being posted to his or her profile. If he or she would like you to modify what you’ve written, he or she can suggest alternative language. Anyone can block a reference about him or herself that might be considered unflattering. LinkedIn references count in a job hunt for two key reasons:
1. References are searchable. Recruiters, human resources staffing pros and hiring managers all scour them to find great candidates. Rather than assuring the hiring authority at the end of the process that they are making a good choice, a reference can now bring you to the attention of decision makers at the very beginning. The unspoken message becomes: “You ought to look at this person, because when you do this is what you will find…”
2. References say more than endorsements. In the last several months, the Reference feature has undergone twists and turns, especially since the introduction of the Endorsement feature. You now have the ability to add Skills to your profile, and your first-degree connections can endorse you for any of them with a simple click. Unlike references, there is no need to say anything about a person, or to obtain permission for an endorsement to show up on his or her profile.
LinkedIn actively encourages users to endorse connections, and people often abuse the feature by making unfounded endorsements. Given this behavior, it is no surprise that the value of endorsements is diminished, and many rue the day when they came into being.
Recommendations remain valuable for both giver and receiver. They demonstrate that the person who is making the recommendation cares enough to take the time to actually write one instead of just clicking “Endorse.” A well-written reference can convey so much more about the person being recommended than an endorsement. By giving recommendations you show yourself to be a person interested in others and helping them as a part of their team, a key characteristic of any good hire. When you take the time to recommend someone, they are much more likely to be open to recommending you in return, as well as helping you in other ways in your job hunt. You thereby improve the quality of your own personal brand.
How to create a new reference. – Find out HOW and read the complete USNews article
By Alison Doyle
Grammarly, the online proofreading and grammar checking tool, often uses LinkedIn for recruiting. The company’s hiring managers noticed that making a few tweaks to your LinkedIn profile may help boost your name in the search results and help you find a job.
One caveat before you start tweaking, if you’re employed and updating your activity level be careful whom you share what you’re doing with. You may not want your boss to notice a flurry of LinkedIn activity. Here’s how to turn off LinkedIn activity broadcasts if you need to.
Here are tips for tweaking your LinkedIn profile:
Be passive. Don’t mention that you are actively seeking a job on your Linkedin profile. Many potential employers are looking for passive job seekers who are committed to their current job, but may be a better fit for the hiring company.
Get active. A flurry of profile activity – such as making new connections, commenting in groups, adding keywords to your profile, etc. – helps candidates to show up in more search results. Activity also helps recruiters to judge if someone is thinking about looking for a new position and starting to tweak and improve their resume.
Include specific job titles. Maybe you’re a marketing ninja at your current company – but what does a marketing ninja do, exactly? If you’re looking for a job, include a job title that is transferable to the position you’re looking for.
Tips 4,5, and the complete About.com article
By Melissa Shaw, ITworld
Whether you’re looking for a new job or trying to expand your network, career experts and job hunters agree: You need LinkedIn.
The currency – and power – of the site are connections, especially those second-degree associations, i.e., the friend of a friend, colleague of an acquaintance, etc., that will expand your reach, knowledge and opportunity.
You can forge connections with these second-degree folk via an introduction by someone already in your LinkedIn Network.
LinkedIn offers a canned, generic request, but career coach Carol Ross says there are four steps to writing your own that will greatly improve your chances of it being accepted.
1. Write an eye-catching subject line
“In addition to stirring someone’s curiosity, subject lines should be relevant,” Ross notes. “Make yours personal. Add humor if that fits with your personality.”
Whatever you do, Ross advises avoiding the generic, “Need an introduction.” No one’s going to open that, let alone read it and respond with a “Yes.”
2. Don’t make the recipient guess who you are
If you’re asking someone you don’t know well, clearly state how you crossed paths.