Friday, March 30, 2012

Quick Fixes to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile


When you first joined LinkedIn, it made sense to fill out quick facts to get the profile up and running, just to start connecting with others.
However, if it’s been a few months and you still have a bare-bones profile, the less likely it will generate any results for your job search, and even if it does attract visitors, they’ll quickly leave to find someone more interesting.
The reality about LinkedIn is this: it’s an amazing job search tool that brings you new leads, impresses your network, and entices recruiters to call—but only if you use it in a way that promotes your professional image.
Look at these types of problems to see if you recognize yours – and take action to improve your LinkedIn profile before it brings your job search to a halt:

Problem #1: The Minimal-Effort Profile

Here it is—your name, college education, and current job. Wait – where’s the rest?
If you haven’t added specifics (such as your full work history for the last 10 years, certifications, or skills), your hit rate among competing candidates will drop substantially. This is because your profile, just like a website, is findable based on the keywords sprinkled throughout the text.
Employers and recruiters scouring LinkedIn for talent also look for context that demonstrates your ability to perform at a particular career level. To satisfy them, you’ll need to add competencies, success stories, and metrics, with detail that resembles (but doesn’t replace) your full resume.
Even in the tight space allowed on the site, readers will then be able to identify your likely next career target and suitability for promotion – which not only improves your LinkedIn profile, but encourages others to network with you.

Problem #2: The Default Headline - Read the rest of the Careerealism article to see the problems and solutions

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Social Media Drives Small Biz Growth

Small businesses are increasingly using social media channels to connect with customers and grow their businesses, according to a Citibank survey.

Sixty-five percent of the 749 small business owners surveyed nationwide cited increasing marketing activities as a key step in growing their business. While the overwhelming majority (70%) used their company Web site as a marketing channel, 41% said they have used social media channels, such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, in the last year.
Notably, 62% have not used email for marketing purposes -- a figure that remains the same from when Citibank first surveyed small business leaders about social media and online marketing in April 2010. However, 38% report planning to use email marketing tactics to drive awareness and sales of products and services.

As small business owners are moving online, and relying more heavily on their company Web site, online channels represent an emerging opportunity to help grow their businesses. In fact, many small businesses plan to use digital and social media tools in the coming year.
Forty percent intend to use social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter for marketing or expanding their business -- up 10 points from 2010 – and 60% plan to increase activity on their Web site for marketing purposes.

"Although small business owners have been slower to adopt online marketing channels, they are clearly warming up to using these tools to target customers," said Maria Veltre, managing director, small business marketing & customer experience at Citi, in a release. "They are seeing that social media platforms can be an efficient and cost effective means to increase awareness of their business, engage with customers and, ultimately, to drive growth."

The use of social media tools, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, is up six percentage points since 2010. The survey also revealed that nearly three-quarters of small business owners who have a Web site find it very or somewhat effective in generating more business for their company. 

The demographics of the business owner influence their interest in using digital and social media, with small business owners under the age of 45 more likely to use those technologies to address their marketing needs. In the past 12 months, 54% of small business executives under the age of 45 used social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, compared to only 36% of their peers ages 45 and over. 

Younger small business owners were also more likely to use a company Web site (72% versus 68% of older respondents) and search engine optimization (44% versus 33%).  

Read the rest of the article:

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Stop Lying! And The Nine Other Mistakes You're Making On LinkedIn

Meghan Casserly, Forbes Staff
I cover the juggle of work, life and play for smart, ambitious women.

You know the truth. You’re simply not yourself online. As TV journalist Lisa Ling said recently, “Facebook is the life that we want people to believe we lead.”
On social networks we commonly present ourselves to the world with our best faces forward, whether it’s through photos of ourselves smiling atop Machu Pichu on Facebook or being endlessly clever on Twitter. And since we all know we’re guilty ourselves, we commonly cut each other some slack when someone’s vocabulary, say, isn’t as extensive in real life as it is online.
But all social networks are not created equal. There is one where misrepresentation is a far greater sin, where the smallest fib might cost you your career. Yep. LinkedIn. With over 150 million people leveraging the site for job hunting, networking and business connections, it’s the one place online where honesty really is the best policy, from your photo to your college to your sorority affiliation.
With that in mind I set out to look for the biggest mistakes job-seekers are making on the world’s most successful social business network. I tapped Krista Canfield for the inside scoop; corporate communications manager at LinkedIn, she spends hours finding tips and tricks to share with the media, and has found some big mistakes along the way. NextI got Joshua Waldman on the phone. While researching his book Job Searching with Social Media for Dummies, the social media expert spent five years toying with the site, experimenting with his own profile and those of his clients in an attempt to game the system. Last up, Nicole Williams, author ofGirl on Top and, more recently, the Connection Director for LinkedIn. Together, they schooled me on  the 10 biggest LinkedIn mistakes, and how they just might cost you your (next) job.
1. No photo
LinkedIn profiles with photos are viewed seven times more often than profiles with a blank box, meaning the decision to add a photo should be a no-brainer. Unfortunately, many people still chose to keep their faces off the social graph. This, agree all three experts, is a really bad call. “When there isn’t a picture, there’s an immediate element of mistrust,” says Waldman, and Williams agrees. “It’s a lot like when you’re selling a house,” she says. “If there’s no photo, it’s like ‘there must be something wrong with this property.’” Even though recruiters would never admit to hiring based on looks, she says that when they see nothing at all, they fear the worst.
2. An old photo or a glamour shot
While having a photo is important, having the wrong photo is a much more common mistake. “I see it especially in women,” says Williams. “It’s easy to choose a photo of ourselves at our best so it makes sense that a woman might use a photo of herself ten years younger.” You look great, and it might get you an interview, but when you walk in the door it can appear to employers like a deceptive bait-and-switch. Even if you’re not looking for a new job, Waldman says, it’s disconcerting to meet someone in real life that looks vastly different from their online gravatar—think of a blind date gone way wrong. Bottom line: if you’re bald in real life, you should also be bald in LinkedIn.
This isn’t a common one, the experts agree, but it can definitely be problematic. If you bluff on your education information on LinkedIn, be prepared to be outed. You have no way of knowing whether your interviewer’s little sister just to happened to graduate Gettysburg in 2004. If you lied, he will ask and she will know about it. Rule of thumb in professional social networking: it may seem like a vast network of strangers, but the world is truly much smaller than you think.

Monday, March 26, 2012

12 Most Little Known Tricks to Use On LinkedIn

Posted by 

To know me is to know that I love — love — LinkedIn. At 150 million members and growing, LinkedIn is a powerful professional networking tool, and it’s not just for those who are job seeking. Frankly, if you’re in the professional world and not using LinkedIn, I’m not sure what you’re thinking. Our team at V3 uses it for new business development, competitive research and analysis, participating in groups and discussions and engaging with and learning from peers — and, of course, it’s the go-to site for savvy job seekers everywhere.
One of the cool things about LinkedIn is there’s always something new to learn. Sure, the first step is to sign up and create your profile. But once you’ve got the basics covered, there are a number of ways you can customize your experience in order to not only achieve your professional goals, but also to get more personally out of LinkedIn. I do a lot of corporate LinkedIn training and these are some of my favorite tricks and tips. Let’s get started.

1. How to remove a connection

Wanna ditch a connection? Sometimes you need to give someone the boot. Maybe it’s a colleague, a competitor, an ex or just someone you don’t want to be associated with. Getting rid of them is easy as pie. Even better, they won’t know you’ve given them the heave-ho. How to wield this magic? When you’re logged into LinkedIn, Select Contacts in the main navigation bar. At the far right, you’ll see two options: Add connections and Remove connections. Click Remove connections, check the box next to the contact’s name and click OK.

2. Hide your status updates

Sometimes it makes sense to operate in stealth mode. If you’re connecting with new business prospects or making changes to your profile in preparation for job seeking, you may not want to broadcast that activity to your network. Click the drop-down menu under your name in the top right corner of the page, then select Settings. In the profile section, click Turn on/off your activity broadcasts under Privacy Controls. Uncheck the box that appears in the pop-up window and click Save Settings. Easy as can be and now you’re flying below the radar. One tip: remember to turn this setting back on as soon as you’re done, otherwise, you’ll be invisible on LinkedIn and that kind of negates the whole point!

3. Privacy matter to you? Opt out of ads

There was a big brouhaha about LinkedIn and privacy a few months back when it was discovered that a default setting called “social sharing” allows LinkedIn to pair an advertiser’s message with the social content from a LinkedIn user’s network. This allows them to tailor ads more closely to the audience. Bottom line, if you don’t want your info showing up in random ads, opt out. Click Settings under your name, then click Account. Under Privacy Controls, select Manage Advertising Preferences. If you don’t want to see ads, uncheck the box that appears in the pop-up window and click Save Settings. You can also read more about each type of advertising, if you want to learn more.

4. Get a custom URL

It’s much easier to publicize your LinkedIn profile with a customized URL, rather than the clunky combination of numbers that LinkedIn automatically assigns when you sign up. Plus, if you use a consistent name across all of your social networks (and you should), this is a great way to boost your own “brand awareness.” Laugh if you will, but it’s an important part of networking. And when it comes to networking, do you really want anything less than a custom URL on your business card? We think not. How to get your own custom URL? Log in click Profile > Edit Profile in the main nav bar. At the bottom of the gray window that shows your basic information, you’ll see a Public Profile URL. Click “Edit” next to the URL and specify what you’d like your address to be. When you’re finished, click Set Custom URL.

Friday, March 16, 2012

How to find a new job using LinkedIn Video

LinkedIn is one of the best tools to help you find a new job. However, not many people know how to really tap into its power. This movie explains how you can use your LinkedIn network to search for a new job.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

4 Tips for Creating Your LinkedIn Company Page


Does your business have a LinkedIn company page?
Keep reading for tips to create and grow a following for your LinkedIn company page.

Why LinkedIn Pages?

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network. The network has 150 million members worldwide, and is adding 10 new members every 5 seconds!
LinkedIn is a publicly traded company now (symbol LNKD), which means that information about their revenues, operations and earnings are publicly available.
You can gain a lot of insight about a public company by following their investor relations communications to better understand how the business is growing, and what the areas of focus are for the company.
For example, 50% of LinkedIn’s revenues come from hiring solutions, and 30% are derived from marketing solutions. This means that a total of 80% of revenues for LinkedIn come from brands, corporations and businesses. The remaining 20% of revenues come from premium member subscriptions. All areas of the business are growing very rapidly (triple-digit growth).
Also, keep in mind that LinkedIn has a more educated and affluent audience than some of the other popular social media sites for business.
Given that the majority of LinkedIn’s revenues are derived from companies and brands, LinkedIn company pages are going to continue to grow in importanceand relevance for the network.
Jonathan Lister, LinkedIn’s VP of North American sales for marketing solutions, was recently interviewed on Business Insider and had the following to say about LinkedIn company pages:
“The product we are most bullish on is a product that allows members to follow companies, and companies to message members.”
Also referring to LinkedIn company pages, Lister says,
“We’re seeing some of our highest engagement rates across the board on status updates to members.”
Bottom line? Build a LinkedIn company page for your business now! Invest your time and resources where LinkedIn is investing their time and resources.

Building Your Company Page

To build your LinkedIn company page and take advantage of all of the features offered, review this article: 5 Tips for Using the New LinkedIn Company Pages.
The newest feature of company pages is the ability to post a status update. That status update can be viewed in the streams of your followers. If you don’t have followers for your company page, your status updates won’t get any visibility outside of your company page itself.
In order to build followers for your LinkedIn company page, you will have to run some campaigns such as:
  • notify your employees to follow your page,
  • send out an email to your existing contact database to follow your page,
  • place a Follow button on your website or blog, and
  • cross-promote your page on other social channels, including LinkedIn Groups.
For the purposes of this article, I pulled together a few examples of best practices on companies that are using LinkedIn company pages to grow their visibility on the network and engage followers.

Best Practices for LinkedIn Company Pages

#1: Maximize the Overview Tab on your LinkedIn Company Page - see all 4 tips and complete article

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

LinkedIn: Why your profile never gets views, and how you can fix it (case study)


Summary: Do you ever wonder why your finely-crafted LinkedIn profile never yields results or views? In this post, I explain exactly why this happens and what you can do to start seeing real results on LinkedIn.

Recently, I’ve set my sights on LinkedIn to study a little more in-depth how their search algorithm works, and what I’ve found so far is a bit disappointing: it’s simply not enough to have a well-put-together profile. If you hope to come up in someone’s search for keywords related to your profile, you either need to essentially spam your profile with those keywords, be in a LinkedIn group related to those keywords, or you had better be connected with someone the person searching is connected to. Long story short, LinkedIn appears to favor networks of connected people, LinkedIn groups, and profiles chock-full of the same keyword(s). If you’re not engaging in one or more of those facets, then you can count on your profile almost never being seen in LinkedIn searches, no matter how qualified you are.
First and foremost, what I’ve found thus far has convinced me to start being proactive with adding anyone and everyone I can — even if they’re people in completely unrelated industries to me who I would have no reason to otherwise connect with. Also, I will soon be revising my profile (again) and seeking out (over the course of time; not immediately) as many LinkedIn groups as I can to join.
On one hand, favoritism of networked people is a great thing. I mean, if someone you know happens to know someone else that fits the bill for what you’re searching for in a job candidate, then you can inquire about the candidate with the person you’re directly connected to who knows them. On the other hand, what if they don’t know them at all? What if there are other FAR more qualified candidates who are connected to no one you know? The problem there is that LinkedIn (like any custom-built search solution) uses an algorithm to determine relevance, but how does an algorithm determine who is “better” than someone else in the same market? The answer to that for LinkedIn is simple: it doesn’t. Sure, initial search results are filtered by something they call “relevance,” but there is simply no accounting for human logic, deduction, and reasoning — especially with something like searching for the right candidate for a job (be it an employee or employer you’re seeking).
Instead of using crazy parameters and algorithmic magic to produce the “most qualified” candidate(s), LinkedIn favors networks of people. That is a completely logical thing to do for the type of site they are, but it’s not the most evenhanded or apparent. On top of that, LinkedIn favors high keyword density (keyword stuffing, basically). That means that currently, it’s REALLY EASY to game LinkedIn by stuffing your profile full of the same keyword(s) you want to show up in search results for. If you want a prime example of this working, fire up LinkedIn right now, log in to your profile, then do a search for “sports” (without the quotes). Most likely, you’re going to see this guy on the first page of results — if not right at the top.
As it happens, that guy has a whole course about how to take advantage of LinkedIn and rank at the top of keyword searches. The proof is painfully obvious by the fact that he ranks as high as he does for all the people I’ve had search for “sports.” But what are his qualifications? Why is he the best result for “sports?”

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Benefits of Power Networking – Be a LinkedIn Connector!

by Deb Rooney

LinkedIn is a powerful tool for networking and connecting.

As a business owner, I use LinkedIn to meet and offer my assistance to job seekers across the world. As a career coach, I teach new grads and adults in career transition, how to effectively market their skills to attract the attention of hiring employers via LinkedIn. In my role as a Connector, I introduce job hunters to caring people in my network who are willing to offer guidance… through LinkedIn.

Have you considered how you can best serve as a Connector to someone in your network needing a helping hand?  

Here are two real-world examples that took place this week when I connected new friends with generous LinkedIn colleagues:
  • Through my participation in Linked N Chicago, an exploding group with over 53,000 members, I met a French citizen whose fiancĂ©e is accepting a job teaching at the French Institute in the Chicagoland suburbs. Not wanting to be left behind, he’s searching for a marketing management job here and will need an H1B Visa. I reached out for help from a Linkedin colleague who’s also French and an international marketing professional. She quickly agreed to connect with my new French friend and offer him advice on job hunting and immigration issues.
  • During a LinkedIn coaching session with a sharp Valparaiso University grad, we improved his profile content, which included the creation of a career goal statement that he easily articulated with a green venture capitalism/private equity firm. I realized that I have a colleague in my network, a seasoned business developer and advisor in the venture capital/private equity industry, who currently mentors entrepreneurs. On the spot, my well-connected business colleague agreed to help!