LinkedIn is the standard in professional networks at the moment so it would be a miss to not have a series of job hunt posts without it.
Get a LinkedIn account and profile
I didn’t want to make the assumption that you had one since we’re on Medium and I can’t assume you got this through the post I’ll undoubtedly put on LinkedIn. If you have a Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or Twitter account AND are interested in jobs and careers you need a LinkedIn account. Now if you don’t have any of the other accounts nor an interest in jobs and careers then, sure don’t get one. LinkedIn is a great resource for professional development. Will it stay that way? Don’t know. Just like MySpace used to be the social network leader.
LinkedIn profile basics
- Have a professional picture: there’s a difference between a professional looking picture vs a picture taken by a professional. Your smartphone with a plain-ish or business background would be good enough. Be dressed with your next opportunity in mind. WHY? No picture shows that you either don’t feel it’s important or you have something to hide.
- Have a compelling tag line: the tag line is one of the first things people will see when they search. Consider a tag line that says “Customer Service Representative” versus one that says “Delighting and serving customers for the past 5 years”: which are you most likely to click on?
- Have a profile summary with your benefits vs features. Instead of listing out all of the stuff you’ve done, reword and phrase it related to the value you can provide. Similar to the tag line, you want it to be compelling. Perhaps it’s a version of the common “Tell me about yourself” interview question. Or the compelling pets if your cover letter. Doesn’t have to be an essay but have it more than a paragraph.
- Fill in your experience: cut and paste what’s on your resume if you have to. Include the important keywords that you find on the job postings you are applying for. Recruiters will be using the same keywords to find you. WHY? If it doesn’t appear on your profile, it won’t appear in the search results.
Find a profile that you like and use it as a model. Or combine the elements of a few.
More LinkedIn features
- Turn your job search availability on. It supposedly is available only to recruiters to let them know you’re looking without blatantly writing it in your profile for your current boss to see.
- Have endorsements and recommendations WHY? Someone with endorsements and recommendations took some time to set it up and perhaps asking their friends and colleagues to submit. Versus someone who didn’t take the time.
- Have interests: it’ll help your feed and also can be an anchor (something in common) used when making a connection with someone you haven’t previously met.
Like, comment, and share. By interacting with folks you might stay on their radar (those for those with lots of engagement, you might get lost. I make the attempt to reply to comments and thanks people for likes, though am not always successful. People might find you through searches. They might also find you based on your activity.
If you want to start building a brand then créatif original content will help. Write posts. Record videos.
Can’t do it? I didn’t think I could either. I have post series tagged “#CareerAdvice from the #FIInbox”. And I have a fear of being recorded. I can speak in front of a group of 100 people without a problem. Once the blinking red light is on, then some innate fear is triggered inside me. At the same time, all it takes is 2 seconds of courage. One second to push the write/record button. One second to hit the post button.
Connect to be curious, interested and add value
In essence, BMC=Build Meaningful Connections. You can wait to find people or you can seek people out yourself.
Search by keyword. Those working at a particular company. Alumni are often great connections. Find someone “whose job you want” (even if you’re happily employed) and learn more about what they do day-to-day. What they love. What they could do without. How they got there. And see if you could be of help.
When connecting with someone, be sure to include a personalized note. You can find research that the note will increase the likelihood someone will accept by something like 5–10 times. I personally accept everyone, though I make sure to send a message to ask where we may have met. A bit of context goes a long way.
If you have a common connection, ask them to do a warm introduction. Though many don’t know everyone in their network, even me (though I now message everyone who connects with me or I connect with. It’s up to them to reply to me).
An important note is to have zero expectations. If you don’t receive a response, keep in mind that people are busy. You might not be interesting enough. They might not check their LinkedIn that often.
This is more a BMC than a LinkedIn best practice, and challenge yourself to connect with 1 new person and reconnect with someone you previously knew per day. If you can do more, then even better. It only takes a few minutes a day.
Some additions to avoid when on LinkedIn:
- Don’t be entitled: if they aren’t interested in meeting respect their decision. Though you can gain experiences and value and potentially ask again in the future
- Don’t be a “credit card”. Many connect and rack up debt in their social capital bank accounts. Instead, give first.
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