Washington - Want to use LinkedIn to find a job or boost your career, but not sure where to start?
Brendan Browne, LinkedIn’s director of global acquisition, and Nicole Williams, a career expert for LinkedIn, share some ways to get the most out of the professional networking site:
lDon’t settle for a bare-bones profile. “A good profile is a complete profile,” Browne says.
In other words, a simple list of your past employers and job titles probably won’t entice a recruiter. A comprehensive profile includes your educational background and detailed descriptions of all of your work experiences and skills.
Depending on your field, you could also provide examples of your work in the form of video, slide shows or other multimedia files.
“Unlike a resumé where you want to be really succinct, you can actually broaden your profile,” Williams said.
lInclude a profile photo. LinkedIn has found that profiles containing a photo are seven times more likely to be viewed.
“It’s kind of like shopping for a house online,” Williams says, meaning that you might ignore a property listing on the web if it didn’t include photographs.
lShare regularly and wisely. Much like Facebook, LinkedIn allows users to post updates. These can be simple messages, such as “I’m off to a global health conference in New York” or “Congratulations to my team for beating its monthly sales goal”. Updates can also include links to articles and other content from around the web.
Williams says that if you share something just once a week, LinkedIn has found you are 10 times more likely to have your profile viewed by a hiring manager.
“The biggest thing I look for when people share articles is not necessarily someone who’s sort of bragging about their company or saying ‘come and work at my company’,” Browne says.
“But just really sharing and commenting in an insightful way about really interesting topics. Those things stand out in a massive way.”
lBe professional, but don’t be staid. In a LinkedIn profile, “I really look for someone’s personality to come screaming through”, says Browne.
Updates, he says, can be a powerful way to show who you are.
Your profile can also be used to highlight unique hobbies or activities that illuminate what kind of worker you are.
Williams offers an example of a friend who works in the publishing industry and was weighing two equally qualified candidates for a job. On LinkedIn, she learned that one of the candidates did volunteer work with an animal rescue organisation. The hirer was an animal lover, so that candidate ultimately got the job.
lPersonalise your invitation to connect. When you invite someone to connect on LinkedIn, your request is accompanied by a brief note. You have the option of selecting a boilerplate message that reads, “I’d like to add you to my professional network”. But Browne advises taking the time to craft something more tailored.
“Find some degree of connection, and a warm connection,” says Browne.
For example, you could point out that you share an alma mater, or you could mention a mutual friend or colleague.
lMine mutual connections. Browne advises paying attention to shared acquaintances as a way to understand the background of someone you want to meet.
For example, if you are looking for more information on a potential employee or employer, you can check out your mutual connections.
“A couple of different things happen from that,” says Browne. “One, you probably will give me some directional (information), which is really helpful when it comes to recruiting talent. And second, you might actually be able to help me… in terms of getting in touch with him.”
lFocus on fit, not volume. Browne says it’s a turn-off if job seekers appear to be using LinkedIn indiscriminately, meaning they are deluging recruiters with too many messages or are going after jobs for which they are not qualified.
“I would encourage people to not do that, to be a bit more patient and thoughtful,” Browne says. – The Washington Post