I took advantage of a recent lunch with fellow MENG member Jan Wallen, an expert on selling online who literally wrote the book on using LinkedIn, to ask her LinkedIn job search questions relating to how executives should use this social networking site.
Following are Jan’s answers to the LinkedIn job search questions I’ve been asked most often following my “How to Write an Effective Resume” webinar.
Today’s Seven LinkedIn Job Search Questions–with More Tomorrow
1. Can you quickly give me a few key thoughts about using LinkedIn in my job search?
About 80% of companies look on LinkedIn first to find candidates. It’s critical to have your LinkedIn profile up-to-date and optimized and to be sure it represents you well.
When you’re conducting a job search, you’re selling yourself, and your profile is your marketing brochure. It’s not meant to be your life story or a long, chronological list of accomplishments. When it’s optimized with keywords, it’s more likely to come up when companies and recruiters search on LinkedIn. There’s SEO and now there’s LinkedIn profile optimization.
It’s very important that your profile is written to showcase your expertise because a junior person in a company may be looking on LinkedIn first to do the initial screening. They’re making a short-list of candidates to be interviewed, and they may not have the business depth to grasp that your profile fits the job description they’ve been given.
2. Under my name, should I focus on SEO or positioning myself?
This LinkedIn job search question relates to your Professional Headline which is below your name on your LinkedIn profile. Many people put a job title there. It’s much better to position yourself with a tagline or headline that shows your expertise and what you’re known for.
LinkedIn has a search algorithm which they change periodically, the same as the search engines. All sections of your profile are searched. When companies and recruiters search LinkedIn and your profile comes up in a list, it sets you apart in a positive way when your Professional Headline stands out from all the rest. Therefore, it’s best if you can position yourself and also have keywords in your headline.
3. Is a premium package worth the cost?
The premium accounts are getting a lot of attention now. And LinkedIn is encouraging members to upgrade to the premium levels. The recent changes that LinkedIn has made mean that premium account members receive more information and more detail than those who haven’t upgraded.
LinkedIn has recently made changes to the features that are available in the free basic account and those available in the premium level accounts. It doesn’t make sense to pay for something if it doesn’t give you value. The best way to decide whether one of the premium accounts is best for you is to check their Comparison Matrix. You’ll see line-by-line the features that each premium level gives you.
To see the Comparison Matrix, go to the black menu bar in LinkedIn and click on Upgrade. You’ll see the matrix and can compare each account level.
Some of the differences that may make it worth it for you to upgrade include:
InMails—Are LinkedIn’s special messages, and they’re available when you have a premium level account. Of course, you can always send a message to your connections. If you’re not connected, premium accounts allow you to send InMails. My guideline is that if you look up profiles and they say Send InMail 50% of the time or more, it may make sense to upgrade.
Who’s Viewed My Profile—You’ll see more details if you have the premium level accounts.
Advanced Searches—You’ll be able to search based on more criteria with the premium level accounts. For example, you can specify a list of companies by size and if they’re a part of Fortune 500 when you have the premium level accounts, which could be important to a LinkedIn job search.
Questions 4-7 and the complete article