Amazing timing! I just received the April 12th issue of Fortune Magazine where the cover story is on job seekers using LinkedIn as a “secret” weapon This is a must read. If I find the link, I will post it later.
The key for all of us is to remember that although LinkedIn is an incredible tool – a must use part of your strategy, it is only a tool. The principles of personal development, developing yourself as a product, learning how to market yourself, and learning how to sell and network are still required skills. The great news is that these are all teachable skills!
The caution is that using any networking without first being sure that you are ready for the public exposure could actually harm you more than help you. Use of the internet multiplies who you are faster than any other medium in history. You just want to be sure that what they see is the image that fits the job that you are trying to find, is easy for others to want to refer you, and shows the value that you can bring to the party.
Have a wonderful holiday weekend!
Searching for a job?
First, check out the LinkedIn Job board. Many companies are beginning to post and use LinkedIn. Members are usually more professional than typical social groups. Also, LinkedIn appears to have aggregation capability from other boards.
Second, your groups might also have job postings. Here there is already some similarities with members, so the risk is less than a general population.
Third, after you have gone through Jobprenurshipä training, use your value proposition, brand, and communication message to focus on your targeted companies by searching through LinkedIn via company searches to find influencers, trusted advisors, and decision makers who might be interested in you. Also, look for those who recently worked in the company to obtain insights and connections that could be invaluable. This is invaluable when researching companies.
While you are networking and participating in groups, “pay it forward” by helping others. That will continue improving your brand and extend your network as someone who might be trustworthy.
One final word about LinkedIn, this is an incredible tool but only a tool. The ultimate purpose is not to replace face-to-face meetings. It is to help increase your productivity in getting face-to-face meetings where you can utilize the Jobpreneurshipä methodology of developing trusted networks, extending your brand in your community, and obtaining referrals.
Hiring decisions and larger cost buying decisions don’t happen merely through the internet. The risks are too high. You will need to still meet and greet, interview, and get friends to help you. You will need to get involved in associations or networking groups. You will need to pay it forward to help others. But intelligently using LinkedIn is a competitive advantage.
Next, take a look at those in your network who you really know and who know you. If you can give a positive testimonial to others, do so and ask them to return the favor.
Having solid testimonials has multiple benefits.
First, LinkedIn will give you higher rankings in searches.
Second, as people look you up, others view of you will improve.
Third, as potential HR or hiring managers check you out, these testimonials become references and sources for them to contact to know more about you. Which is why I recommend that all testimonials are genuine and valid. If you get caught with fluff, that probably won’t be good!
Next, there is a Twitter like function – which also can be connected to your Twitter account. Again, I encourage you to post mini-blogs that communicate what you are professionally doing. A good example might be a speech in Hong Kong. An example of what you may not want to mention is that you are leaving your house to go to a ball game during office hours. Burglars might love you and your boss might not be as thrilled!
Are there others suggestions that you have?
After your profile is published and you are increasing your network through your contacts, I recommend that you begin joining groups where you are already affiliated.
If you are looking for a job – and are employed, you may want to be very careful what is in your profile and what you say!
Otherwise, your company, prior companies, colleges, associations, church, societies, etc. will probably have one or more groups that would recognize you as an eligible member. I encourage you to join. This will expand your network geometrically with people outside your network but associated to you by a group. You can then selectively invite those within the group to join your network or just contact them through the group.
Now, you can begin participating on these groups discussion boards or blogs. This begins to let others know you and your brand. My recommendation is to keep your comments professional. This is not Facebook. Potential decision makers, hiring managers, influencers, and trusted advisors may be turned off if you are not careful. Manage your brand.
Any other suggestions for group memberships?
Start by completing your entire profile. The more you input, the easier it will be for others to find you. LinkedIn will also rank you higher.
There are many secrets to optimizing your profile. You may wish to take a look at how top users do theirs.
I strongly encourage you to use your value proposition as a major branding technique and key words in the specialties section of your summary profile.
Be sure what you write is correct, without grammatical mistakes, and is what you want the world to see. LinkedIn will create a special link which will be your profile. In other words, this IS what the world will see.
Next, begin inviting others to join your network. In my case, I only allow those to join my network whom I feel I either know or would benefit those already in my network. However, many others believe that anyone should be able to join their network. These people care called “open networkers.” Both views have strengths and weaknesses. You have to decide which direction you want. If you are selling to masses, are a recruiter, or trying to help others access your network to find the maximum number of contacts. If you are an executive or professional, you might be more concerned with quality over quantity.
One caution. When inviting someone, ask them to select “archive” if they don’t remember you or want to connect. If they select “I don’t know them”, LinkedIn will punish you after five such responses. This is intentional with the LinkedIn philosophy of developing trusted networks.
Let me know what you think and why!
The first step to using LinkedIn is to join! Go to LinkedIn.com and follow the directions. There are different levels. The first level is free – I recommend starting at this level. The other levels cost money but may be worth reviewing.
What are the benefits?
- Allows you to begin building a long term network. When people change jobs, they usually update their LinkedIn profile. Not true with most other memberships.
- Provides discussion groups, blogs, and links to personal websites.
- Expands to allowing access to groups, where you may belong, and their respective membership
- Hundreds of millions of contacts are available either by directly connecting or by referrals.
- Encourages online testimonials that others can see when they look you up.
- Includes your resume that others can see
- Builds your online network and brand 24 / 7.
If you are not using LinkedIn, I don’t believe you are serious about trying to get a job or client.
This week I want to share with you how to use the internet to help you get a job or a client. First, which internet tools do you think are best?
I use the phrase internet “tools” deliberately. None of them are a solution – although others will tell you that they are the “secret”. Here is what I personally see as the best tools and uses of them:
- LinkedIn – The best tool on the web. Designed for networking, targeting people and companies, and making your profile plus testimonials available to everyone. Also has groups which can dramatically increase your exposure.
- Plaxo – A good tool. Designed for keeping contact information but can offer other benefits. I would call it LinkedIn lite. I use both but prefer LinkedIn.
- Facebook – A great personal site for social networking. I am told that they now allow a separate “business” site but cannot find it yet. It was just announced that Facebook is getting more hits than Google. Impressive.
- Twitter – A great tool for keeping up or broadcasting what you are doing. Perfect if others want to follow you. For example, you follow a targeted company Twitter for all new job postings.
- Many others…There are many others such as Ecademy, which I use for international presence. In every case you need to review to see if they “fit” what you want to do.
My recommendation is to focus on LinkedIn and use the others on a more focused basis.
Why? LinkedIn is the primary choice of top companies and executives (hiring and buying managers). Go where your customer is going! Plaxo is good but limited. Facebook is scary – often too much personal information that can tarnish your image, but may become the #2 tool to LinkedIn. Twitter is primarily for following companies for job or procurement opportunities. Having others follow you is wonderful but are they the decision makers? Ecademy seems to attract a wide range of people, including many who may be not as “professional” as LinkedIn. This site appears to attract many individuals trying to make money but does offer a rich social experience.
Tomorrow, I will begin a series on how to work with LinkedIn. You can begin to educate me on what you know and how you use any and all of these tools for how to get a job or a customer.
Springtime is when new life blossoms. The cold and dreary change into fresh and brilliant colors. Hope begins anew!
This Spring should be much better than last Spring.
If you are negative, then perhaps we are in a bear market bounce (trap).
If you are positive, then perhaps the worst is over – the sun has come out and tomorrow never looked brighter.
My personal view is that storm clouds are in the future but this Spring should be the best opportunity in the last 18 months and perhaps the next 12 months.
- The overall market is up. The psychology is positive.
- The FED is stating that they will keep rates low.
- Housing has some movement. Condos in Miami are selling fast. Even though pricing is discounted, inventory is moving off the books.
- Investors are looking at discounted and high quality buying opportunities. Activity is picking up as toes are testing the waters.
- There is a pent-up demand for quality people. Companies have worked remaining employees hard and are beginning to ask for help.
Does that mean that the storm clouds are gone? Not at all. The White House suggests that we are in this unemployment trend for at least several years.
Why is this Spring better than Summer, Fall, or Winter?
- Summer usually has hiring doldrums
- This Fall is an election season that will dominate the media – and hiring manager mind-share
- This Winter is usually a holiday season followed by new budgets and renewed uncertainty
So, what are you doing to maximize your hiring chances this Spring?
If you need help, give us a call.
Bloomberg news reported that White house aides suggest that unemployment will remain high for an extended period of time. Their budget forecast is an average of 10% throughout 2010. I also heard that these projections are for the next three years – although I only verbally heard that comment on the radio.
What do I think?
My concern is that if the White House, who claims to be laser focused on jobs, has given up and assumes no change in the employment picture, then we may have at bigger issue. At best case, based upon the typical cheerful political projections, we are looking around 10% on a sustained basis. At worst case, particularly since our national debt and tax picture continues to deteriorate, we are looking at the potential for a much higher number.
But wait! What is the “real” unemployment number? Fox news has suggested that it is currently around 17%. Actually, these numbers are estimates based upon many assumptions. However, even the New York Times admits that there are pools of people beyond the “reported” unemployment number who include those under employed (taking a lower level job just to get money in the door) or who have given up hope and who may return to an active job search later.
So, what is the real number? My guess is that we are somewhere between 17-23% depending upon who you talk to; so I am suggesting that 20% is a fair number to work with. That does not mean that the real number may not be lower or higher from month to month. That is not the issue.
The issue is:
- If 17%, that means 1 out of every 6 people is unemployed or underemployed.
- If 20%, that means 1 out of every 5 people is unemployed or underemployed
- If the White House suggests an “extended period of high unemployment”, then we have a no short term reason to expect otherwise
- If our national debt and taxes continue to go up, the forecast will only get worse. Why? Higher cost of debt reduces capital needed to grow businesses. Higher taxes reduces consumption needed to grow businesses. No business growth leads to more work force reductions.
What do you think?
Next week, I will tell you why I think this Spring is a ray of sunshine!
There is an excellent article you can read on this topic by clicking here. However, I also have some suggestions.
Here is a list that, for the most part, makes a lot of sense. There are a number that you could argue about. There are a number of others that you could add, and add, and add. Is this article helpful? Absolutely! That is why I recommend it. A few of the items might hit home and make a difference in your results.
The concern is that this is so tactical that readers might think these items are all they need to know. That would be a tragic mistake and probably not what the author was suggesting. The bigger help is to recognize that if you are not following the Jobpreneurship™ process then you are missing the larger, strategic process, that will help you compete among the top 5-10% of those looking for a job.
So, I encourage you to read the article, print it out, and put it into your interview tips file.