Thursday, January 31, 2013

How Many Facebook or LinkedIn Friends Do You Really Need?

Haydn Shaughnessy

Anybody who has spent more than a minute sweating over their online social networks needs an answer to this question. In fact when I began thinking about it I came across some pretty sad literature of young people shamed by their lack ofFacebook friends.
Friends are important but I was thinking more about professional friends, colleagues, contacts. And asking myself: Is the emphasis on growing our network of connections blinding us to the value that people can bring to our careers?
If you are in a profession that requires distribution (journalism, marketing, sales) then the more contacts the merrier. When I look at my 800+ LinkedIn connections though, I start to feel uneasy. What is this thing called connections? The best definition I can come up with is contingency list – in case they might be useful.
A couple of years back I gave up my smartphone so that I could become more focused. This year I want to focus my list of connections down to those that matter, the ones I can help and who can help me, people who are good at paying forward and who have some wisdom to impart.
I got talking about these issues last week with Jason Womack who provides companies and individuals with advice on productivity improvement and is theauthor of Your Best Just Got Better.
Jason contends that, yes you really do need friends and they really should be influencers, so some of the concepts of online social media are useful for how we see our broader professional circle. But they should be your personal influencers. And we need to be quite clear about their role. Your social network is there to help you to make good decisions.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

How NOT to Contact Recruiters on LinkedIn

Lots of us in the recruiting world are very active on LinkedIn, doing what we can to be accessible to jobseekers. We love networking, meeting new people and finding great candidates to fill our openings. Many of us also like to give back to our networks, helping out in any way we can. While we may not be able to help with every jobsearch request that comes our way, many of us help jobseekers by passing along introduction requests, answering questions, sharing jobsearch tips, giving networking advice, volunteering our time to moderate networking groups, etc. LinkedIn is a great tool for helping others and I love to do my part.

That said, there are some requests that cross the line, in my opinion, and I think that jobseekers should be careful to leverage their network without taking advantage of it. Most have the purest intentions in mind and aren’t even aware that their request may not be received in the best light, so this list is written to help jobseekers make the best possible impression when networking with recruiters on LinkedIn. I hope it is helpful to you!
Here are ten of the mistakes I see most often:

1. Can you help me find a job?

This is the most common request in my LinkedIn inbox, but one where I’m least able to help. An agency recruiter or headhunter might be able to “shop” your resume around to a few of their clients, but at the end of the day, a recruiter is someone who finds candidates to fill jobs, not someone who finds jobs to employ candidates. This is a key mistake that many people make. Most recruiters are happy to share their advice for jobseekers, but a recruiter is not a professional “job finder”… Those really don’t exist!

2. Do you have any job openings that fit my profile?

Agency recruiters or headhunters might be a bit more open to this type of request, but before approaching an in-house / corporate recruiter with such an open-ended question, be sure to do a little legwork ahead of time. First off, remember that recruiters aren’t “job finders” (see #1 above). Secondly, companies often have dozens or even hundreds of openings at any given time. These openings are spread across a team of recruiters who only have real visibility to the openings they are personally handling. Thirdly, you are the best one to pinpoint positions that fit your interests, talents and career path. Be sure to first look online, find positions of interest, apply via the careers page and then approach a recruiter at that company with some specific positions of interest in mind. Most will do what they can to put you in touch with the appropriate decision-makers. Having done some homework on your end will not only speed up the process, it will also put less of a burden on the person you’re asking for help.

3. Can you review my resume and send me your edits / feedback / suggestions?

As much as we’d love to help, resume critiques would take up a full 40-hour workweek (or more!) if recruiters complied with every such request. Resume writing is a very time-intensive process that requires two-way discussion, in-depth knowledge of your past experience / career goals, extensive editing / rewriting, etc. Professional Resume Writers often charge big bucks for their services because it’s no easy task or quick process. Recruiters may be able to recommend a professional to you (or help you network to find a good one), but this type of request is something that recruiters simply don’t have the bandwidth to accommodate.

4. Can you please send me John Doe’s email address / phone number?

If a LinkedIn member wants their contact information to be public knowledge, they’ll be sure to post it on their profile (and many of them do, so be sure to check). If not, then it’s really not appropriate for their network contacts to give it out to others. (You wouldn’t want your network contacts giving out your email address and phone number, would you?) Instead, use the “Introduction Request” feature on LinkedIn. It’s a great feature that enables you to message your target contact without revealing either party’s email address. Most recruiters will gladly pass along introduction requests on your behalf and then your target contact can decide how he or she would like to follow up with you. (Or, if you prefer to go the direct route, you can do a little Google research, as explained in this previous blog post, and easily figure out that person’s email address.)

5. Do you know anyone at Acme Company?

Probably! A well-connected recruiter likely knows multiple contacts at your target company. Rather than asking that person to run a search of their network to find a list of all possible contacts at a company, you should instead run a LinkedIn search yourself and sort through the results. You can easily identify an appropriate target or two (recruiters, hiring managers, peers) and then send an introduction request. After all, no one knows better than you why you want to reach out, which departments fit your career goals and who the best contacts at that company might be.

Tips 6-10 and Complete Article

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Avoid These 5 LinkedIn Dont’s

One of the primary benefits of joining LinkedIn as a social network is its focus on career-related connections. This can take off some of the pressure that may exist on other platforms (e.g., Twitter, Facebook) to be witty, clever, or even somewhat controversial. You do, however, need to be professional as you make connections and build a profile that represents you online.

Over time, LinkedIn members have developed preferred ways to communicate with each other via the system’s features and functions. It’s a powerful resource – with potential for networking, career development, and job search success for online students and instructors alike – but as the platform has evolved, some techniques have become more effective than others.

How can you make the best of your LinkedIn account? Here are a few tips as you proceed with your next profile update:
  1. Don’t just send the default invitation to connect. “I’d like to add you to my professional network” is the standard text you’ll find when you decide to send an invitation to another LinkedIn user. Leaving this as-is doesn’t say much about who you are and why you want to connect. And it’s easy to add a sentence or two to personalize a message for each recipient. Public relations expert Sakita Holley provides six scenarios (e.g., former boss, prospective employer) and invitation examples.
  2. Don’t connect as a “friend” if you’re not a friend. Unless … this is the only way you have to make the connection and you can explain why you want to connect per item #1 above. Can you find an email address for the person online? Are you members of the same LinkedIn Groups? Social media consultant Jeff Bullas notes that connecting as a friend “is a major pet peeve for many professionals on LinkedIn.” Exhaust the other available options before selecting “friend” when you send out an invitation.
  3. Don’t describe yourself with overused or effusive terms. “Creative” and “motivated” are just two professional buzzwords recently identified by LinkedIn. Used on their own, they don’t really convey much about your qualifications and potential. Are they in your profile headline? Jeff Haden recommends an alternative approach: consider how you introduce yourself to someone you meet in person. Would you say: “I’m a passionate, innovative, dynamic provider of services”? Probably not. In a way, your LinkedIn profile is speaking for you – how are you being introduced?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Break Your Job Search Slump with LinkedIn

I was recently interviewed about LinkedIn and Social Recruiting in the Australian version of Men’s Health and as most of our readers live outside Oz (including myself) I thought I’d republish a little bit of the article here. Please note that I only endorse my blog and LinkedIn, the other tips are from Men’s Health.

Nick Broughall writes:

Cyber Adviser

Career guidance counsellors are rife – and most of them charge like medieval knights. If you’d rather keep your cash for pleasure, hit the groundbreaking blog The Undercover Recruiter to reboot your working life.

Typical of its more conventional content are tips on getting headhunted and nailing job interviews. But founder Jorgen Sundberg, a social media trainer and consultant specialising in recruiting and branding, also leads the site with guidance on using Facebook and Twitter.

“You can even use Pinterest as a snapshot of your personal brand, so a recruiter can get a good, quick insight into who you are and what you can do”, says Sundberg. (Free;

Smooth Operator

If you want to shift your career from idle to overdrive, you have to get organised. A cloud-based project management tool like Wunderkit makes the process simple, syncing between your PC and iPhone app seamlessly.

But to make the software work for you, you’re going to need a system to track your progress. “List twenty companies you want to work for then systematically trawl through LinkedIn and Twitter to map out the people who can hire you”, says Sundberg. “Start relationships with them somewhere online with a view to meeting up.” From there, simply tick off your goals in Wunderkit’s task management app and wait for the job offers to pour in.

Sharp-Dressed Man

First impressions count. So rocking up to a job interview in some ill-fitting suit that makes you look like Sir Les Patterson is a no-no. Enter InStitchu, an online store where you can order suits and shirts tailored to your exact measurements.

At a fraction of the cost of traditional tailors, InStitchu puts a touch of Clooney in your clobber. “A well-fitting suit makes you feel more confident and demonstrates that you mean business”, says InStitchu co-founder Robin McGowan.

When building your office wardrobe start out with navy and charcoal suits. “Both are hugely versatile and will work with almost any shirt and tie combination”, adds McGowan.

More Tips and Complete Article

Friday, January 25, 2013

10 Tips For Effectively Using Your LinkedIn Status Update


One of the features of LinkedIn that tends to be underutilized is the “LinkedIn Status Update” (also called your “Network Update”) in your LinkedIn Profile. Your status update “block” is a white box located just below your picture on your “View My Profile” page. If you don’t see such a block, then you’ve not posted a status update.

From your LinkedIn home page or your “Edit My Profile” page, you can change your status update as frequently as you desire. EVERY time you update your status, the home page of ALL of your network connections is “pinged” with your status update. Status updates are also distributed to your network via email when LinkedIn sends you your weekly “Network Update.” Your latest status update is always displayed on your LinkedIn profile.

Your status updated is limited to 140 characters – just like Twitter – so keep that in mind, particularly when cutting and pasting information into your status update “window.”

Updating your LinkedIn status is a great way to communicate to your network on a frequent and ongoing basis. I update my status at least once each day with different types of information. 10 tips for effectively using your status update to distribute useful information are presented below:

1. Insert the title and a “shortened” URL link to one of your recent blog articles. is a great resource for shortening URL’s.

2. Insert the title and a “shortened” URL to a blog article you read and really liked. Particularly one that is timely, informative and relates to your “brand” or area of specialty in some way.

3. A link to a newsworthy web posting or news item. Include the title and a shortened URL. Alignment with you brand “voice” or area of specialty makes it more powerful. I like to focus on POSITIVE news as opposed to negative news.

4. A great “quote of the day.” A great source of quotes of to search the #quote “hashtag” on Twitter. Since Twitter updates are limited to 140 characters, you’ll find quotes that fit the LinkedIn status update window.

5. A brief piece of advice relevant to your brand or area of specialty.

Tips 6-10 and Complete Careerealism Article

Thursday, January 24, 2013

101 Linkedin Tips

101 LinkedIn Tips, Tricks and Strategies For Success (via
101 LinkedIn Tips If you want to build your business and your career then these 101 LinkedIn tips must be part of the mix! With more than 170 million professionals worldwide and 3 million in London alone LinkedIn is the best place to start! Recent design changes have hidden many of the features that…

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The 5 Things Jobseekers NEED to KNOW about LinkedIn

What You NEED to KNOW about LinkedIn

Okay, you’ve created your LinkedIn profile, updated all of your past experience and education, so you’re all set to go, right? Wrong. If you don’t actually DO something with your LinkedIn account and make the most of it, then you’re missing out. Here’s what you REALLY need to know about LinkedIn to land that dream job.

1. You never know who your friends know.

-That college kid who cuts your grass? His dad is the CEO of XYZ, your dream company.
-Your frat brother from college? His sister works in HR at XYZ.

-Your neighbor? He was the best man in the wedding of that hiring manager at XYZ.
-Your poker buddy? He used to work at XYZ and knows hundreds of employees there.
A business card can’t tell you any of this, but LinkedIn can. At the end of the day, this difference is what makes LinkedIn the most important tool in your job search strategy.

To do: Start connecting and build your network. How? See #2 on this list.

2. A small, limited network is an ineffective network.

“It’s not WHAT you know… it’s WHO you know.” Never has this saying been more true than in a bad economy and job market. People feel safer hiring a known quantity so the wider your network, the better your chances. Each first-level connection links you to everyone THEY know and everyone that THOSE people know. Powerful, huh?

To do:  Really grow your network. Connect with friends, family members, past & present coworkers / clients, neighbors, classmates, professors, recruiters and maybe even a handful super-connectors (to really give your network a boost). Then network with those connections to land that dream job. Your buddy putting in a good word for you could be the tipping point that landed YOU the interview instead of some other guy/gal.

3. If you don’t think about keywords, you’ll miss the bus.

LinkedIn is the biggest, best resume database ever created (plus a ton more, obviously – see #5 below – but the resume database part is key to my point here).  93% of recruiters used LinkedIn to hire last year and that number is only growing. We do searches to find candidates who meet the requirements for our openings. We use long, elaborate “search strings” to sift through the 200 million user profiles in LinkedIn. Yes, 200 MILLION. (Did anyone else just hear Austin Powers’ Dr. Evil in their head? :) ) We search for specific keywords and only look at resumes that contain the right combinations of those keywords. If your resume doesn’t contain those specific terms, recruiters aren’t even looking at your resume. And you can’t win the prize if you’re not even running in the race.

To do: Look at job descriptions for your dream job. What skills are listed as requirements? What job titles are they using? What specific terms are listed in these descriptions? Is the same concept listed three different ways by three different companies? Make sure your resume is varied and diverse in its language to incorporate each possible way of saying the same thing. (For me, it might be “recruiter” v. “talent acquisition” v. “staffing” v. “sourcer”…) Use keywords to be found.

Things 4,5, and Complete Article

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

7 LinkedIn Tools Job Seekers Should Be Using

LinkedIn is recognized as the most professional media network for those looking to maximize their employment opportunities over the Internet.
Just as you wouldn’t barge into a corporate environment, or office space, dressed inaptly and spewing forth your resume to everyone you walk past, there are a couple of protocols worth taking note of, as well as tools worth using.
Below are 5 such tools for job seekers to make the most of LinkedIn.
This tool can be used to search for various job opportunities in your area of expertise and beyond. Like other job search engines, all you need to do is to enter the keyword “hiring” with your target locations and industry in mind. Signal will then sort through all contacts, in a particular industry, with recruiters looking to fill a job opening. Compared to other job sites, this app gives you a further leg up in finding a suitable job position.
Apply with LinkedIn is a new plug–in that is really making the rounds among LinkedIn users, even numerous multinationals, including; Netflix, Photobucket and TripIt, have already installed the plug–in on their job listings pages. How does this tool work? Once you, as an applicant, click on the “Apply with LinkedIn” button, the company will receive your LinkedIn details in lieu of a resume. This tool is also free to download for hiring managers.
This is another essential tool online job seekers should use, especially those with a keen eye for creative jobs. It is designed to support unlimited multimedia content, whilst too allowing you to choose the portfolio content to be displayed on your profile. Built to function like an online resume, “Creative Portfolio Display” is ideally suited to freelancers who want to showcase their creative work, build their personal brand, and ultimately to increase their chances of getting more job opportunities.
Resume Builder among other tools is an easy–to–use app that lets you turn your LinkedIn profile into a PDF and/or Word resume. It is as easy as choosing a template, editing, arranging the necessary information, printing or exporting or even sharing through email or digital networks, including; LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

Monday, January 21, 2013

10 Steps to Create a LinkedIn Company Page

Susan Gunelius

A LinkedIn Company Page gives a business a fantastic opportunity to promote its products and services, recruit top talent, and share important, interesting, and useful updates.

Anyone with a company name and company email address can create a LinkedIn Company Page within minutes. The best part is that it’s free and easy.

LinkedIn has 200 million members. It’s the leading social networking site for professionals, so business-to-business companies should absolutely create Company Pages as soon as possible.

While Facebook is generally considered the best social network for business-to-consumer companies to interact with consumers (learn how to create a Facebook Company Page), the millions of professionals are consumers, too. That means there is certainly success to be found for business-to-consumer companies on LinkedIn as well.

Following are 10 simple steps that you can take to create a great LinkedIn Company Page that motivates people to click the “follow” button.

1. Write a compelling summary.

The home page on a LinkedIn Company Page includes a cover photo, company updates, links to products and services, links to careers, and more. A brief description of the company is included near the bottom of the page.

Even though the “About Us” section of your LinkedIn Company Page is way down at the bottom of your home page, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take time to write a great description of your business. If someone makes the effort to scroll down and find your description, they’ve already demonstrated that they’re interested in your business. Don’t disappoint them by not providing the information they want. Furthermore, be sure to use keywords, so people can find your LinkedIn Company Page through relevant searches.

2. Add products and services.

Your LinkedIn Company Page includes a Products and Services tab where you can share images of your products, descriptions, links to purchase them, and more. This is the “sales” section of your LinkedIn Company Page, so go ahead and try to sell the benefits of your products and services.

3. Make sure your most important product is listed first.

The first product or service listed on your Products and Services page is also displayed as featured content in sidebar of your home page. That means more people will see it. With that in mind, make sure the first product on your Products and Services page is the one that you want to promote on your home page.

4. Capture attention with a fantastic cover image.

The cover photo appears at the top of the home page of your LinkedIn Company Page. Choose a cover photo that is visually dynamic, capture’s people’s attention, and lures them in to take a closer look at your Page content. Don’t forget that your company summary is hidden at the bottom of your home page, so it’s a good idea to include a message in your cover image that describes what your company does in a few words.

Tips 6-10 and Complete Formes Article

Friday, January 18, 2013

7 Tips For Writing A Great LinkedIn Invitation


Whether you’re new to LinkedIn or you’re a seasoned user, connecting with new people can be a challenge, especially when you’re not sure what to write in your LinkedIn invitation.

You might be tempted to use the generic “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” template, but beware! By not personalizing your message, you could lose a precious opportunity to network.

How To Write A LinkedIn Invitation

Here are seven great tips on writing LinkedIn invitations from our approved career experts:

1. Be Honest

“Explain why you want to connect with the person,” says Amanda Haddaway, author of Destination Real World: Success After Graduation For New And Soon-To-Be College Graduates. ”Just say something. There’s nothing worse than receiving a LinkedIn request with the standard, generic format and not having any earthly idea who the person is or why he/she wants to connect with you.”
Dorothy Tannahill-Moran of Next Chapter New Life says honesty is the best policy when trying to connect with someone, especially if you’re looking to do some serious networking.

“If you want to work for their company,” Tannahill-Moran says, “don’t be shy about admitting that they are working for your targeted company and are looking for insights about that company. Open communication is always best.”

2. Tell Them How You Know Them

“I get a lot of requests and I always appreciate a brief mention of why the person wants to connect,” says Jenny Yerrick Martin of Your Industry Insider. ”Whether they saw my post on a LinkedIn group, found me through my website, or know someone who knows me in real life, that extra step usually gets me to accept the invitation.”

3. Find Something In Common

When trying to to find something in common with your potential connection, Haddaway suggests asking yourself these questions:
  • Is it a mutual career field or interest?
  • Do you have connections in common?
  • Are you connected through LinkedIn Groups?
Here’s a request example offered by Debra Wheatman of Careers Done Write:
Example: Dear Jane: I see that you are a member of xxx group. I am also engaged with this group and would like to share some ideas with you. Please accept my invitation to connect.
This example is short and sweet, but it gets the point across effectively.

4. Make It Personal

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Building Your Tribe - 6 LinkedIn Success Studies part 2

I hope that you have thought of or already found some ways to put last week's list of LinkedIn Strategies for Small Business to good use.
We covered the first of the 6 LinkedIn Strategies that I'll share with you:
  • Building a live community
  • Business development
  • Promoting a blog/branding/building traffic
  • Getting work as a freelancer or consultant
  • Promoting a product
  • Strategies for everyone
Business Development
A piece of advice that I will never forget receiving from an older, wiser mentor of mine who started and ran 2 successful businesses including a luxury goods marketing firm — he has a rolodex of more than 1,000 people who he keeps in touch with on a regular basis. How does he do this? For him it's a simple phone call that usually lasts no more than 5-10 minutes and if appropriate leads to a follow up email and possible work. This very simple technique kept him busy.

One of the simplest ways of using LinkedIn is just as a "modern Rolodex" a list of the people you want to communicate with on a regular basis so that they remember you're out there, what you have to offer, and why they like you. The only tools you need for this is your LinkedIn profile, sending LinkedIn invitations to people you know and an hour per day to make phone calls. One of the biggest challenges for a freelancer or consultant is just making sure people remember you when they need something you offer. These quick check-in calls (with an appropriate time lapse in between) are a great way to just stay on your prospect's radar.

Of course LinkedIn search is also a great tool for this — whether you are searching within your networking or outside of it, using keyword searches on LinkedIn to find people who match your target audience is a great way to "mine the network".

NileGuide, a trip planning website, used LinkedIn to help with a variety of successful "business development" campaigns.

The primary tools? LinkedIn Search & LinkedIn InMail. Here are the 3 ways they used it:
  • Fundraising - to identify relevant venture capital firms during their fundraising process
  • PR - to identify a target list of publications to build awareness of their product, they searched on the publication names, and proactively contacted journalists with whom they had at least a "friend of a friend" connection.
  • Strategic Partnerships - to contact people in the right departments at target companies with whom they wanted to explore business partnerships in selected industries. Their goal was to find partners who were interested in providing personalized travel guide functionality to their users.
Let's look more closely at how they leveraged LinkedIn for strategic partnerships'�

How NileGuide used LinkedIn to build Strategic Partnerships
  1. Identify Companies they identified the top 20 companies to partner with in each of several target sectors within the travel and online media space.
  2. Identify Contacts they laid out a process to search for people with specific job descriptions in these organizations that aligned with who they believed would either be the key decision maker for a business development partnership, or one rung up or down the ladder.
  3. Filter Contacts - given the effort invested per contact, the contact list was filtered for both relevance and "closeness" to improve response rates. Contacts had to be at least 3rd level (i.e. a "friend of a friend of a friend"), and they carefully decided whether to reach out to the contact directly using LinkedIn's InMail tool (which requires a paid subscription), or to request an introduction through a mutual contact when the relationship with that mutual contact was strong.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Are You Being Found on LinkedIn for Your Ideal Search Terms?

Des Walsh

On LinkedIn, make it easier to be found for the services you offer
One of the most basic considerations for creating and editing our Professional Profile on LinkedIn is to ensure it is well stocked with the words and phrases we want to be found for – our ideal search terms.
By the way, for the benefit of anyone who hasn’t so far delved into this area much, the jargon term is “keywords”. I have to admit it took me quite a while to figure out that the term “key words and phrases” is more accurate and might be more quickly understood by people who are not search experts. “Coach” can be a keyword: so can “business coach” “sales and marketing coach”, “Chicago business coach”, and so on.
There are a couple of ways we can test for what we might call the “keyword effectiveness” of what we’ve done in setting up our LinkedIn profile.
One process I always recommend in my LinkedIn coaching is to set aside some time to do some searching on LinkedIn ourselves, using those search terms (keywords) we want to be found for, and seeing where our profiles come up in the results. The process is similar to what we might do with Google or other search engines – first page has top ten results etc – but with the difference that if we tweak the words in the profile the differences in ranking can come up pretty well immediately.
This can take some time and I find that it’s more efficient when you don’t have to stop in mid course to do something else. Which is why I suggest that it is something to do on the weekend if you can.
Turn off notifications
To save annoying our network with multiple notifications of changes we make while experimenting, it is a good idea to switch off those notifications before starting – Settings -> Privacy Controls – and then on again when we finish.
Turn off LinkedIn activity notifications

The testing process

The basic procedure I use for testing is as follows:
First set up a simple system for recording your changes and the results. I use a notepad like a legal pad, or (paper) notebook, and keep a running score, with times. You could use a spreadsheet if you prefer.
Before making any change, search for your preferred term under People (top right corner of your LinkedIn page), leaving the Relevance filter untouched. Search through the results and see where you come up in your network. As for Google, the ideal is to be in the top three, preferably number one, but the top ten is good too. Each page of results, as for Google, has ten results.
On your notepad or spreadsheet record where you come, which may be zero at this stage, and the time.
Then add in the search term you want to be found for. When you start to make changes, at first change one element at a time (later you can make a few changes at a time) and then test the result. I usually start with the Professional Headline (just under your name on your profile).
For example, if you want to be found for the term “Business Strategist”, put that in your Professional Headline (without the quotation marks).
What I do then, having done a global search and recorded the result, is search with a location filter – Advanced Search, left hand sidebar – usually by country first, and sometimes then by a more specific location. (You can of course use other filters with, or besides, the location one.)
And then note those results.
Then make some more changes and test each of those. I usually go from the Professional Headline to the Summary, then to other elements of the profile.

What if you keep getting a zero result? - More Advice and Complete Article

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Four SEO Tips to Help Employers Find You on LinkedIn!

LinkedIn can connect you with large numbers of companies and open positions as long as you cater your profile to the ways employers search for you. By following our SEO tips for improving your profile, you will be able to maximize your ranking within employer searches and land interviews for great jobs!
This year, LinkedIn hit the 187 million member marker and its membership is continuing to rise. With that quantity of potential job seekers in one place, you can bet that employers and recruiters have their eyes on this professional social site! They’re proactively searching for top talent and have taken to sourcing their next hire from the ranks of LinkedIn members. You may ask yourself, “How can I get employers to find me? How can I get my LinkedIn profile to send positive, rippling waves beyond my initial efforts?” The answer is to implement search engine optimization tactics into your profile. Search engine optimization, or SEO for short, is a way to increase your visibility in search engine results by tailoring your content or phrasing to stand out in search parameters. By following the four SEO tactics below, you’ll be able to attract the attention of employers as you continue your own job search.
1.) Keywords: Integrating keywords or buzzwords into the body of your resume is an axiom of resume writing that is equally important to your LinkedIn profile. Most employers and recruiters only skim your profile for about 6 seconds before deciding whether you’re worth more than a perfunctory glance. With that in mind and millions of users, LinkedIn has resorted to a ranking system which hikes or drops down the results page users show up based upon their keyword usage.
To ensure your resume is read by the right people, you need to make sure your profile’s headline, current position, previous position, summary, & skills sections are reasonably seasoned with your chosen keywords. Every sentence should read naturally and employers should never perceive flagrant stacking or bombing of your profile with poorly placed keywords. If they notice a clunky repetition of your magic word, you’ll probably be overlooked as a candidate. Not only that but if you repeat, for example, “search engine optimization” 4,000 times ad nauseam throughout your profile, the good people at LinkedIn will eventually shutdown your profile. So, keep things professional and you’ll still see good results.
2.) List Previous Jobs: When writing a traditional resume the rule of thumb is to limit your list of previous positions to three. Your LinkedIn profile, however, is more SEO friendly when you list around two decades of your professional employment history. There are a few reasons for this. First, if an employer or recruiter is dead set on hiring someone from one of your former companies, you’ll pop up in their search results. Second, by listing a multitude of previous jobs, you can connect with old coworkers, which will broaden your network and increase your outreach ability. That way, even if none of your primary connections are looking to hire, chances are good that someone in your secondary or tertiary list of connections will be on the hunt for someone like you. Best of all, you don’t even have to know about these people for them to find out about you!

Monday, January 14, 2013

How To Reach Out To Recruiters Using LinkedIn


Planning to reach out to recruiters during your job search, but don’t know how to approach them?
You’re in luck. It’s easier than ever to find recruiters who specialize in your field by using LinkedIn—and even better, they’re often receptive to your queries from the site.

Here are some tips for finding potential recruiter contacts on LinkedIn, as well as the results of an informal recruiter survey conducted on LinkedIn that sheds some light on best practices for approaching these new contacts.

Locating Recruiters In Your Field

The Advanced People Search function, accessible from the Search bar at the top right of most LinkedIn pages, is one of the best tools for job seekers trying to find key contacts. To use the search capability, select People from the dropdown next to the Search box, then click on Advanced.

From the Advanced People Search menu, here’s where you’ll want to perform a simple query on Keywords. For example, a search on “recruiter technology” turned up thousands of names for IT recruiters.

Of course, you can expect to refine your keywords, perhaps adding in an area of specialty to help hone in on the recruiters who seek candidates at your career level.

Sending An Introductory Message

After identifying a pool of key recruiter contacts, you’ll need to craft an introduction that is succinct, professional, and related to your area of specialty – keeping in mind that this note should be tuned specifically to each of your new contacts.

As one person noted in a survey from LinkedIn on recruiter queries, many recruiters are “very receptive” to receiving a note from a candidate, especially one whose experience and career level aligns with their particular area of specialty. Be aware, however, that this note must explain the purpose of your query.

Another recruiting manager noted that a “good approach” includes an explanation of your reasons for the contact and what you’re seeking. It’s not enough to ask if the recruiter is seeking candidates with your background!

Here’s a script for reaching out to a recruiter:
“As an IT auditor engaged in a search for new positions within the Chicago area, I am interested in finding out more about the positions you source. I’ve recently completed an assignment with Ernst & Young, and my intent is to build relationships within the banking community. I welcome any suggestions you might have for me, and as I maintain contact with colleagues in the auditing field, I can also help refer candidates to you. Thank you for your time.”

In this contact, you’ll want to be specific about your skills and fitness for your career goal, allowing the recruiter to see how your qualifications apply to this job type. To put it another way, your message needs to resemble a cover letter.

Often, this first note stimulates dialogue that allows the recruiter to point out job listings from a corporate websites, or to add the job seeker to an internal recruiting database. In addition, some recruiters will help you follow their current sourcing requirements by directing you to their primary method of streaming new job postings (such as a Twitter or RSS feed).

Maintaining Contact - More Advice and Complete Careerealism Article

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Here's Something You'll Never Read on LinkedIn: Why Networking Won't Save You

Paul B. Brown

We are convinced that people in the 30s, 40s and early 50s have their heads in the sand, when it comes to whether their jobs—or their very industries—are going to survive.

We aren’t being critical. Just stating a totally understandable reality.

No one wants to face the fact that they could be unemployed, especially if the cause of that unemployment is through no fault of their own. And so they look at the radical changes that have come to industries as diverse as publishing and pay phones and say “those are the exceptions.”

But odds are they are not. You’d be hard pressed to find an industry that is not going through massive change. (Been to a record store lately? Drop off any photos to be processed? Read an afternoon paper [or been able to find a local morning one if you live in a small city]?  Bought a printed map? Placed a call from your hotel room—through the hotel’s phone system? Ordered a set of encyclopedias?  Rented a movie from a stand-alone video store like Blockbuster? Probably not.)

So, what you should do?

Well, we have talk in the past about others options, such as putting in 1,000 hours now to prepare for next job and starting something on the side today that could lead you to your next career.
Here, let us spend a few minutes on what you shouldn’t over-invest in.

There has been a growing school of thought, which probably dates back to the wonderful Harvey MacKay books (Swim with the Sharks; Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty) that if your network is large enough, you’ll be able to rely on it to get out of any situation—including pending unemployment.  Indeed, a full 25% of the recent best seller (and otherwise very good book) the Start Up of You by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha, a work designed to help you navigate your career, is devoted to explaining how networking is vital to your future.

I am here to tell you it ain’t necessarily so. (My co-authors Len and Charlie don’t share my feelings on this. So, direct all the negative comments to me, please.)

Why isn’t networking THE answer? Let me give you four reasons.

1.   You might not be good at it.  I was talking to a 50-something friend about how networking is supposedly the best route to take when you are in search of a job and he gave us a response we love.  “If that is the case, I will retire now. I suck at networking. I hate to do it. And I won’t do it.”

2, The people you know may be gone.  If you haven’t done any networking in a while, you may discover that you know a lot fewer people than you think. People have the bad grace of dying, retiring or moving onto fields where they can’t be of very much help.

More Tips and Complete Forbes Article

Monday, January 7, 2013

Smart Ways to Find Jobs Using LinkedIn

Today jobs are limited and we have to face cut-throat competition to find reasonable jobs. Thanks to social networking website that has made this thing easy and now people can find out their jobs without any difficulty, i.e. LinkedIn. As we know, many fortune 100 companies are using LinkedIn to recruit employees. You can create resumes and connect with professionals around the globe. You should follow a few steps to increase chances of getting a job through LinkedIn.

Unique Profile:
You need to build a profile efficiently and keep it updated with the passage of time. The potential employer always looks and screen out various profiles of professionals. So try to make sure that your profiles look good and comprehensible. LinkedIn allows members to update their profile, create a resume, and connect with their class fellows and colleagues. It provides opportunities to expand the network. You can be a part of various groups over LinkedIn and actively participate in their discussion section. Look forward to know the requirements of an employer and make necessary adjustments accordingly. Add accurate information, experience and achievement and planned contact information. For instance, if you are looking for a job of sales manager, then add your experience of marketing and sales in your profile so that it can be searched easily.

Build Network:
Establish a good network of connections of the familiar people. It may include friends as well as professional managers, where you worked earlier. Additionally, you can search the connections of your friends and colleagues like their company and colleagues. You can send request them as well. This will surely be a valuable add up in your network. Spend some time every day to check any latest update.

Search Employer:
LinkedIn has provided a number of valuable services to its members. One of them is job section. The members of the LinkedIn can search latest jobs posted by the employer through job section. Look for the updates daily because numerous numbers of jobs are posted daily. Read the description of the job whether you qualify for the job or not. If you are meeting the required criteria, then apply for the job without any delay.

More Tips and Complete Article

An article by The Recruitment Guru – Dougles Chan. Author of Financial Success in Recruitment Industry & Job Seekers Power Manual. Creator of C-Marketing, V-Marketing, T-Marketing, Market Tumour, and the exclusive training program Recruitment Apprentice.

Friday, January 4, 2013

The 99 LinkedIn Mistakes Job Seekers Make

I have used LinkedIn since 2004 to help job seekers and grow my own career. In support of my newest book, From Linked Out to LinkedIn: Unlocking the power for career success in 2013, I have seen people make some mistakes in how they are using the site. Here are the 99 that stand out to me:

1.       Signing up and never going back to the site.

2.       Signing up more than once and creating multiple accounts.

3.       Not creating a profile that includes more than a name and an industry.

4.       Not including any work experience.

5.       Not including all of your work experience.

6.       Including your work experience but not including descriptions for every job.

7.       Focusing on job duties as opposed to accomplishments.

8.       Misspelling names of previous employers.

9.       Adding the same company over and over to your profile.

10.   Not listing any education.

11.   Listing only your most recent degree in your profile.

12.   Listing only your Bachelors degree and not including your masters/doctoral degree.

13.   Leaving your profile headline blank.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

LinkedIn Headlines that Entice

by Hannah Morgan

Did you know you can customize your LinkedIn headline? By default LinkedIn places your current job title in there, but it can be so much more! If you want to watch an excellent, quick video on how to change your LinkedIn headline, Laura Roeder has a tutorial for you How to Change Your LinkedIn Profile Headline
Here are some examples of headlines I think are unique and show value.  They are conservative, yet still have impact!
If you are wondering where I found them, I searched a group I belong to on LinkedIn.  Yes, you can search groups you belong to by key word, company, etc without needing a paid subscription to LinkedIn.

Headlines with Impact

And without further delay, here are the eye catching, make me want to learn more headlines

You know who does an amazing job of critiquing headlines?  Jason Alba.  For a while, he was critiquing LinkedIn headlines on his site for free.  He is no longer doing that, BUT, if you read through some of his critiques, you can read his logic and this might help you with your questions! You’ve got to love the title of his post: “LinkedIn Professional Headline: yours probably sucks

Announcing You Are Looking?

And have you wondered how to say you are looking for a new job? Here are some examples:

See the examples and read the complete article

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Linking Out: Why Customization is the Key to the New LinkedIn


When it comes to LinkedIn, customization is what will help you stand out from the pack. LinkedIn rolled out a profile redesign in October that gives you a range of new options for customizing your personal profile. Some of these custom options include individual skill listings, network visualization, section listings, projects, publications, test scores, patents, courses and volunteering. This post will explain how to make the most of these new profile opportunities.

Network Visualization
LinkedIn made all kinds of changes in 2012 as it strove to exert its presence amidst the competitive landscape of social networks. One of these changes was a new look for company pages that allows companies to stand out much as the profile changes allow individuals to stand out.

Personal customization options on the new look LinkedIn can help you unleash new opportunities by showing off your unique skill set. On the right column of your profile (right below the Profile Strength indicator) is what you might call network visualization: a set of circles that shows your digital influence, with each circle representing one company where you have a high number of connections (the circle in the center is likely where you currently work).

See small circles that should be larger? This can give you a sense of where you might want to seek additional connections. Click “See More People You May Know at These Companies” for a list of other people you might know. You can also filter your visualization circles by Company, School, Location or Industry to get a sense at a glance of the composition of your existing connections.

Follow the Leaders (and then become one)
Another cool aspect of the LinkedIn redesign is the ability to follow thought leaders like Richard Branson, Pete Cashmore and T. Boone Pickens in a manner similar to how you can follow thought leaders in Twitter. Thought leader posts have been a big hit with LinkedIn’s 187 million global users in recent months.

But following thought leaders is just the start. Find relevant thought leaders in your industry, follow their posts, learn from their example and then start exploring how their insights apply to your own work. Don’t be afraid to share your own insights with LinkedIn updates, engage in group discussions and discuss interesting posts that you see in LinkedIn or other social networks.