It’s a simple fact, these days, some hiring managers don’t consider you if you’re not on LinkedIn.
That is a statement I heard from one hiring manager who checked to see if I was on the networking site, if I wasn’t he was going to put me in the “no” pile.
I have written a lot about the different social networks out there, but if you are in a position where you are looking for a job then I have no sympathy for you if you’re not on LinkedIn. It’s not just an easy way to network with potential employers but also a way to reconnect with past colleagues who can then help you out. Plus, and this may not be true, I feel like I get a hell of a lot further than other potential candidates when I apply through LinkedIn and can write directly to the person who has posted the job.
So, here are some basic tips for setting up a good account.
***Not looking for basic tips? Scroll to the bottom of this post for some great LinkedIn information, such as the top 20 groups you, as a job seeker, must join. Also, check out step 10 in my list, perhaps it will help you as well!***
1. Upload a professional picture. It may be illegal for employers to ask about age and your marital status but we are a curious species and in my eyes there is absolutely nothing wrong with figuring out who you are, and if that means doing it by looking at a photo then so be it. (If you were to go to a country such as Spain you would be required to attach a photo to your resume.)
Having said this, make sure your other social networks are also cleaned up. Are you on Facebook? Don’t have your profile picture show that you enjoy “a great time by drinking.” That’s just stupid.
2. Draft up a professional headline. This is what recruiters will be able to see if they aren’t connected to you. It is also what will show up at the top of the resume they print of LinkedIn. So, the blurb should just be about who you are and what you’re looking for. Be concise and specific!
Here is mine: “Seeking My Next Opportunity in Marketing Communications, Social Media or Product Marketing”
3. Attach an e-mail address. Pretty basic step, but please make this a professional e-mail address. Just like you wouldn’t want a recruiter calling and leaving a message after hearing you say “Hey, you know what to do…beeep.” You don’t want a recruiter or hiring manager to send an e-mail to, firstname.lastname@example.org. P.S. They will NOT send an e-mail there!
4. Upload your resume. You already have a resume, so just upload it to the site and give recruiters and hiring managers the ability to find you and scope out your work. This step couldn’t be easier. Just make sure your dates and titles match up once the upload has taken place.
5. Make some connections! Go into the Companies section on LinkedIn and type in the names of the companies you have worked at. Here you will be able to find all of your colleagues and link in with them.
6. Give and ask for recommendations! This is one of the most important steps. In my opinion, once you have gotten comfortable with your peers you should ask for a recommendation right away. There is no sense in waiting until you move on to another company or have been laid off. This is just another thing to keep on top of while you are employed. However, the easiest way to receive is to give a recommendation first and then ask for one back. Don’t be shy, this will only improve your profile on LinkedIn!
7. Toot your own horn. The last step in the above process is to make sure you check off that you want people to see the recommendations once they search for you, so make sure to check the appropriate box when you receive the confirmation e-mail from your reference. Why wouldn’t you want hiring managers to read about the great work you’ve done. Sometimes this will be just as good as them calling someone for a recommendation!
8. Make sure your Specialties/Key Words section reflects the key words you are most wanting to show off!
9. Go job searching! You can either define your search by job category and then narrow in on the location you’d like to search in, by putting a zip code which you’d like to be “located in or near.” Or, you can simply click on “Companies,” then put in the zip code again and at the bottom of the page click “Only companies with jobs posted on LinkedIn.”
10. Go the extra mile. This is my favorite step. Sometimes you can’t see all of the people who work at a company because they are too far from your connections web, you can usually only see those in your first, second and group categories. What I do once I’ve figured out who may be of interest to me is, I click on their profile and then see who else has been viewed within the company by scrolling to the “Viewers of this profile also viewed…” section. This way you can expand your reach and search!
For reference, here is what my profile may look like to some who want to link in with me:
What did you do today?
P.S. Are you looking for more information about LinkedIn? Check out these sites: