Monday, June 25, 2012

Tips to Successfully Advertise on LinkedIn

Established as “social network for professionals”, LinkedIn is where people network with other professionals in their industry. That’s why you have to keep two things in mind when you decide to advertize your offer on LinkedIn: first, the ads that will do well are B2B offers – actually, LinkedIn is THE place for B2B advertising; second, those people aren’t there primarily for shopping, so you have to make a killer ad to get their attention – and here are some basic rules to help you start the right way.

Tips to Successfully Advertise on LinkedIn

Creating an ad

LinkedIn ads are very short – 25 characters for headline and 75 characters for copy, and the picture is only 50×50 pixels, so make the best use of each element. Before you start, ask yourself: what is it in my offer that could attract a professional? How can it make his or hers life easier?
  • Headline: don’t put in your company name, it’s not effective – rather clearly lay out what you’re offering. A strategy that is proven to be effective is to call out your target audience by title (“Are you a CEO?”).
  • Copy: include a free offering and a strong call to action: “download now”, “get your coupon”, “request a demo”. People on LinkedIn don’t have time to guess what you’re offering them, so make your message clear. It’s wise to specify the end date, or that the offer has a limited supply – this will significantly increase the click through rate of your ad.
  • Picture: since it’s very small, best practice is to use a photo of a person’s face, or something else relevant to your offer that is visible in smaller size, and make sure it’s in bright colors to match LinkedIn white background.
  • URL: you can choose to send visitors to your LinkedIn group, or to your website. Make sure that the landing page is relevant to the ad, and in some cases you may want to create a special landing page for traffic from LinkedIn to provide great user experience for visitors.
You will want to make many different ads (LinkedIn suggest at least three, but they allow 15 per ad campaign) and to test them; the one that performs better than others will be shown more often, and then you can turn off the others and try out the new ones.
Besides that, it might be useful to check LinkedIn today to find out which news and stories are being shared the most, so that you can modify your offer according to the latest trends.

Targeting the right audience

You can target the audience by industry, job title, geography, company, age or LinkedIn group. That makes it easy to display your ad to the right people (you will not target CEOs if you’re selling office supplies). However, if you choose to select your audience by their job title, keep in mind that different companies have different titles for the similar roles (secretary, office assistant, office manager).

Budgeting - Find out more about budgeting and the complete article here

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Oversharing on LinkedIn? You Could Be Hurting Your Job Search


LinkedIn—that all-purpose gathering place for professionals, recruiters, and employers—allows you to converse with like-minded experts in your field, learn about industry-specific topics and events, post resume information, and send private messages to employers in hopes of securing that perfect job.
However, if you’re divulging too-personal details, or letting others have uncomfortably close insight into your job search, it can take longer to find a suitable job, or you can be blacklisted entirely by recruiters.
If you’ve started to confuse LinkedIn connections for your Facebook friends, it’s time to take a step back and consider whether you’re harming your job search.
Here are signs that you’re wading too deep into personal territory on LinkedIn:
Posting negative comments about your job search in a LinkedIn Group.
While it’s perfectly normal to be frustrated with a job search that’s taking too long, LinkedIn is not the place to blow off steam about prospective employers, HR contacts, or recruiters.
Yet, you can peruse Groups forums and find this type of activity nearly every day, with disgruntled professionals posting information about negative exchanges with employers, and the occasional rant against a particular hiring manager.
It may seem as if Group communities are locked down, but the reality is different: many Group leaders allow their forums to be visible to all LinkedIn users.
In other words, nearly everyone on LinkedIn (and that means practically anyone interested in hiring you!), can read what you’ve said… and use it against you in a job search.
Therefore, you’ll benefit from limiting your Group Q&A to either lively feedback on professional concerns facing your industry (a great way to become well-known), or innocuous feedback on most other issues.
Issuing Status Updates that are unrelated to your professional image.
One of the best ways to “promote” your professional standing, LinkedIn Status Updates are a great opportunity to publicize professional achievements.
However, this stream of activity is sometimes mistaken for Twitter, where notices are constantly posted that are of minimal news value to readers (such as weather updates or notes on what restaurant to frequent).
What you may not realize is that a Status Update stays on your Profile in a semi-permanent fashion – making last week’s comment on the Presidential race this week’s advertisement of your political affiliation.
Here’s how it works: Updates are shown in a headline fashion to viewers of your Profile, scrolling through in what looks like a transient fashion  for about a week, or until another update has been issued. They are then relegated to a news feed shown in another area of your Profile.
So, how should you use Status Updates in a job search? Instead of viewing them as the equivalent of a conversation, think of this feature as a way to make a proclamation related to your professional life.
Your Updates could include comments on a book you’ve read related to your industry, a note on a professional conference you plan to attend, or information on your latest career win (such as a promotion).
The overall idea with a Status Update is to enhance others’ perceptions of what interests you professionally… with the advantage of displaying it on your Profile for visitors to see.
Using LinkedIn Answers for confidential job search, popular media, or other personal queries. - More advice and complete CareerRocketeer article

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

How To Launch Your Career (Or Just Land A Summer Job) With Social Media

J. Maureen Henderson

Whether you’re a recent grad or a student looking for a summer internship, the stats on youth employment are disheartening. While there’s no silver bullet that guarantees a smooth transition from classroom to career, there are tools that can help you stand out from the crowd of your job seeking peers and social media is chief among them – if you know how to apply it to your advantage.
“Lacking a web presence or a digital footprint is probably the biggest mistake I see college students and recent grads making when it comes to social media and job hunting. We take it for granted that Gen Y or Millennials grew up on social media, so they instantly know how to use it for professional purposes. I think that’s a common misconception. They primarily use social media to keep up with their friends, or maybe some brands or bands they like, but they still need a lot of teaching and guidance on how to build their own professional brand online,” says Will Staney, Director of Recruiting and Strategic Programs at SuccessFactors.
College students and new grads may be at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to competing with more experienced job candidates for highly sought-after positions, but the digital world offers plenty of opportunities for young job seekers to  level the playing field by establishing a track record of credibility and engagement in their chosen industry – whether that’s through building an online portfolio of projects, blogging about trends in their field or using a platform such as Twitter to start conversations with (and get their name in front of) potential mentors and opinion leaders. A strong social media presence can serve to supplement or even supplant a resume that’s short on real-world experience. As Abine analyst Sarah Downey advises, savvy young job seekers should use the inevitability of their digital footprint being scrutinized to serve up the most flattering and useful information to potential employers. “Use social media and commenting as a means of branding yourself and selling your best qualities. If you’re prepared for a little self-censorship, posting under your real name can be a smart strategy. Knowing that anything you say online may show up when someone Googles you, use your postings to your advantage. Post intelligent, grammatically-correct, spell-checked, well-reasoned content. Express yourself in the field in which you want to become established.”
For students and new grads looking for work, it may pay to stick close to their social media home base – Facebook. According to Staney, LinkedIn benefits those with longer corporate track records, while Facebook allows inexperienced job seekers to tap into their well-established networks and more easily access personal referrals. “Facebook is really where you have those close-knit connections. Think about it this way, if you’re asking for someone to refer you to a company, who’s going to go more out of their way and really fight for you, that person you met at a conference three months ago and connected with on LinkedIn or your uncle in the banking industry who’s well-connected?”
By contrast, Jobvite CEO Dan Finnigan says that limiting your focus to one networking site puts you at a disadvantage compared to more well-rounded peers. “No one should ever limit themselves to one social network because they’re constantly in flux. If you tie yourself to only one network, you’re basically giving yourself an expiration date.”

Monday, June 18, 2012

6 Things You Need to Know About LinkedIn Recommendations


Did you know two new members join LinkedIn every second? As a result, more people are using it for intelligence, recruitment, and networking. But how does an individual best leverage this vibrant network?

I suggest to people that they gather a few great recommendations to display on their LinkedIn profile. Great recommendations can be the difference between getting a position or project offer over someone else. But as you go about giving or getting recommendations, there are a few things you should consider. Here are some guidelines about what to do and what not to do.

1. Ask For Specific Recommendations

Don’t wait for someone to send you a recommendation. You could be waiting a long time. Instead, feel free to ask someone, but make the request personal and polite. By default, LinkedIn will autofill the recommendation request box with some text. Take that out. Then, ask the person to recommend you for something specific that you worked on together, like a big project. Otherwise you could end up with a “she’s a great lady” type of recommendation, when what you want is something that sounds distinct.
You should also ask that they include what happened as a result of working together. Did sales increase or debts go down? Specific information that shows how your expertise was put to use reflects very well on you.

2. Don’t Ask Everyone

Don’t send out a blanket request to all of your connections because you may not have worked with all of those people close enough. I saw a recommendation recently where someone recommended a person as a good landlord. The person wasn’t looking for a job in that space and the comment stood out like a sore thumb. “He’s a nice guy and kept the place clean” is not really what you are looking to add to your business profile.

3. Don’t Ignore a Request

If you receive a recommendation request from someone that you really don’t know too well, don’t ignore it. I suggest you go back to that person and say something along the lines of, “Thanks for the recommendation request, but at this time I don’t feel that I can endorse your work, as we really don’t know each other well enough. Feel free to contact me at a later date if that changes”. That way, you are not leaving it hanging, and you have turned them down gently because you really are unable to recommend them at this time. It’s important you don’t write something just for the sake of being polite.

Tips 4-6 and complete Mashable article

Linda Coles, founder of Blue Banana, is a speaker, trainer and author of Learn Marketing With Social Media in 7 Days.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

How Not To Use LinkedIn to Find a Job

By Clifford Mintz 

There is no question that LinkedIn has revolutionized the way in which professional can interact with and network with one another online. In the beginning, LinkedIn was new, fresh and exciting! Sadly, LinkedIn’s usefulness as a networking and job seeking tool is waning as much of the material posted in LinkedIn Groups (the best vehicle to look for jobs) is spam and ads by recruiting searching for qualified job applicants.
Despite its shortcomings, most employers allow their employees to post profiles on LinkedIn and permit them to visit the site during working hours. And, because of this, LinkedIn still has value as a job hunting platform. However, over the past several months I have noticed several troubling trends among jobseekers who are using LinkedIn to search for new career opportunities. To that point, I compiled a short list of things NOT TO DO when using LinkedIn to search for jobs.
Incomplete Personal Profiles
Like it or not, LinkedIn profiles are essentially electronic resumes. Not fully completing your LinkedIn profile is tantamount to providing a hiring manager with an incomplete and poorly prepared resume of CV. And, as most experienced jobseekers will tell you; this is the kiss of death. Also, many LinkedIn profiles do not contain personal photos. This is also a mistake. Prospective employers want to see whether or not potential candidates are professional-looking and are attentive to personal grooming. While posting an icon rather than a personal photo is OK, I highly recommend that serious jobseekers post a professional photo (not one that contains your pet or children).
Responding to Job Listings
There are many job listings and messages from recruiters on LinkedIn looking for qualified job applicants. I frequently see persons publicly responding to these ads and queries with “I am very interested; please check out my LinkedIn profile.” I am not sure what these people are thinking but do they really think that they are special enough for a hiring managers or recruiters (who screen thousands of applicants daily) to take time out from their busy schedules to look at their LinkedIn profiles? Also, publicly responding to a job ad is inappropriate. These responses should be private and not for everyone to see.
Publicly Listing Availability on LinkedIn
If you are unemployed or a recent graduate looking for a job, it is perfectly acceptable to post to LinkedIn that you are looking for a job. However, I seriously question the wisdom of persons who are currently employed and post that they are looking for new opportunities or publicly respond to posted job ads. Allowing your current employer to learn that you are not happy at your current job and actively looking for a new one is a good way to get yourself fired! If you are seriously considering moving on, I suggest that you privately respond to potential new job opportunities. The best way to do this is to send the person who advertised the job a LinkedIn note and ask that more information about the opportunity be sent to a personal e-mail address. It is important to remember that LinkedIn, like Facebook, Twitter and other social networks are searchable and anything posted to the networks can be found by performing a simple Google Search.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

How to Develop Your Executive Brand on LinkedIn


One of the most important aspects of any job search is developing a brand that helps define you as a top professional in your field. At the executive level, it becomes even more pertinent that others are able to quickly identify the level of expertise you can bring to the table by seeing your name or title.
LinkedIn has become an amazing tool for the executive job seeker who wants to build his or her brand. But the site is useful only for those who make the most of the opportunities it presents.
So, what steps should you take to effectively develop your executive brand on LinkedIn?

Give Yourself the Appropriate Professional ‘Headline’

A great first step in branding yourself on LinkedIn is customizing your Professional “Headline.” This headline not only showcases how you define yourself as an executive in your field; it makes you easier to locate when people conduct keyword searches on the site and in search engines.
Headlines can simply define your role (e.g. Chief Financial Officer), but it’s recommended you dig even deeper by describing yourself in your role(s) (e.g. Veteran Chief Financial Officer and Visionary Entrepreneur).

Personalize Your URL

Another important step in developing your executive brand on LinkedIn is to personalize your URL so that it displays your name—or name and title. Changing your URL from the generic one your profile is assigned is as simple as visiting “Edit My Profile” under the Profile header and clicking “edit” next to your URL listed to the right of “Public Profile” in the first large profile block.

Monday, June 11, 2012

LinkedIn Mistakes: 4 Small Things That Will Kill Your Chances

By J.T. O'Donnell 

LinkedIn is fast replacing the traditional resume as the main tool used to impress hiring managers. In fact, recruiters are skipping the job boards and proactively searching on LinkedIn for passive candidates (aka, people who they think would fit the job they need to fill).

Which means your LinkedIn profile needs to make an excellent first impression -- or you could be screened out for a fabulous new job and never even know it.  The following are common mistakes many people make unknowingly. See if you are guilty of one or more of the following:

1. Not using a profile picture.

A recent study of people viewing LinkedIn profiles revealed that the picture gets a lot of attention. In fact, an eye tracking heatmap shows that recruiters spend 19 percent of the total time they spend on your profile looking at your picture. According to career expert, Miriam Salpeter, "not having a photo on your LinkedIn profile will make others assume that you're either "really ugly" or "don't know how to upload a picture."

2. Including a summary that is way too long.

A summary is supposed to be short and relevant. Unfortunately, many novice users of LinkedIn see it as a chance to tell their professional life story in an epic novel format. In dating, it's advised that you keep some information to yourself on the first date to avoid scaring off a new potential partner. Well, the same applies on LinkedIn. Your goal isn't to overwhelm the recruiter with every last detail, but rather, to entice them with a high-impact, quantifiable, and most importantly, condensed overview of your career success highlights. 

Mistakes 3 - 4 and Complete article

Friday, June 8, 2012

Identified is LinkedIn for the cool kids

Sarah Mitroff

While LinkedIn has become the gold standard of resume and career-building sites, the service is too boring and bland for today’s young professionals. So says the co-founder of Identified, a social career site aimed directly at the fresh college graduates and twenty-somethings who’d secretly rather play Call of Duty than build a professional profile. Tuesday, Identified  announced a $21 million funding round.
Identified uses your Facebook data and a dash of gamification to make looking for a job and polishing your professional appearance less boring. Sign in with your Facebook account and Identified knows where you went to school, what job you hold now, and where you’ve worked before. You can then connect with your friends and other young professionals to build a network of people who want to brag about their jobs.
“In the last eight months we’ve been establishing critical mass, which we’ve done with our 10 million users, and we’ve been encouraging our users to input professional information to grow their profiles,” said Brendan Wallace, co-founder of Identified, in an interview with VentureBeat. ”We’ve combined the best learnings of social products and gaming products and applied that to the professional space.”
This summer the company is launching a business-focused side, where companies can actively seek Identified users to hire. Identified job seekers can beef up their profiles to attract companies to hire them.
The problem with LinkedIn is that the people on it are much older and aren’t actively seeking employment, says Wallace. He believes that Identified can be a LinkedIn for the younger generation who get excited about earning points and badges.

Friday, June 1, 2012

6 Savvy Ways to Optimize Your LinkedIn Experience

One of our recent blog posts, 20 Compelling Reasons to Spend Less Time on Facebook and More Time on LinkedIn, inspired me to take a closer look at the LinkedIn system. You can put both Facebook and LinkedIn to work for you and your job search, but LinkedIn has some special features designed specifically for professional networking and career development.

To get the full benefit of this platform's potential, you'll need to do more than just set up your account. Once you have established your profile, there are additional activities you can pursue to further your exploration of career options, advance your professional networking, find employment opportunities, and stay current in your field. Here is a short list of ideas you can put to use right now:
  1. Share your expertise. And learn from the expertise of others. Through LinkedIn Groups and LinkedIn Answers there is the potential for an exchange. Education consultant Tony Bates posted his observations on LinkedIn Groups as communities of practice, which include concerns that discussions could easily turn into marketing platforms. His comments encourage us to find the learning potential: "just linking people together doesn't necessarily lead to a great deal of learning…" however Groups also provide "a chance for new people in the field to test the waters, look for support, and share ideas." LinkedIn Answers provides a forum for users to share knowledge, experience, and opinions in a Q&A format. It's easy to ask and answer in this system. Look for items related to your career field and know that the forums are monitored to remove marketing-focused information.
  2. Expand your network. While you may have started your account by connecting with people you already know through your email contact list, LinkedIn offers additional ways you can search for connections based on your past experience and education. One example is searching by school. Once you have entered your education history into your profile you can search for other users who have attended the same schools. The search capabilities allow you to further filter the results to see where your classmates and fellow alumni live, where they work, and what they do. You may also find that there are alumni LinkedIn Groups for your school. When logged in to your account, use http://www.linkedin/alumni to access the school search dashboard.
  3. Research companies and career fields. LinkedIn's structure and management of all the information users provide in their profiles allow you to do some pretty amazing things. Business Insider presents 13 Things You Never Knew You Could Do on LinkedIn, including searching for your next job based on the skills required. "If you have your eye on a better job or promotion, search for that job title on LinkedIn. You'll get to look at profiles of people who have that position and get a good idea what you need to do to reach that level." You'll also be able to see where they work, and how you may already be connected to them through your existing network.