Most people want to make more money. A big part of that is successfully managing one’s career. It could mean getting started with your first job, switching industries or fields, or advancing to better job somewhere else. Or, it could simply mean building a network for the future.
One strategy, as I posted about before, is to directly search for a job online. In that prior post, one commenter asked for some tips regarding Linkedin - and I mentioned that it might be a topic for a future post. So here it is!
Here are tips on using Linkedin to help your career grow:
1) Realize that this has become a big way job recruiters find people
When people are looking for somebody for a certain type of job, what’s a quick way to find candidates? You guessed it, Linkedin. You can search across metropolitan areas, companies, titles….you name it. I’ve been contacted by a number of recruiters over the years by having a profile on Linkedin, so I can attest to this being an important thing to keep in mind.
2) Think of your profile as your resume for the world to see
We all realize that it’s important to put together an excellent resume, right? This has historically been really important when applying for jobs and interviewing. In the case of Linkedin, I think that this opens the door for companies to use this as a way to screen people without ever having gotten any formal applications or resumes emailed to them.
3) Make your profile more concise than a traditional resume
Your profile doesn’t need to be as in-depth as a traditional resume, in my opinion. Sticking to a an accurate job title, along concise description of what you did at each position, should be what you’re aiming for.
4) Speak in terms of accomplishments
When discussing what you did at each role should be oriented toward accomplishments. Saying “responsible for sales team” isn’t as impressive as “Led sales team to (fill in the blank)”. Keep in this in mind for your writing of the “Summary” section.
5) Use searchable keywords
If people tend to use search engines by finding by keyword, it might be a good idea to keep this mind when constructing your profile. After all, if someone is looking for a specific type of experience, having the right keywords strategically included in your profile just might help. You never know.
6) Connect with People You Know
So, you have a profile. If you’re not reaching out and connecting with people, you’re missing out on a number of things:
- Keeping in touch. This is good personally and professionally, but for the latter, it can help with mutually helping one another.
- Obtaining access to your contacts’ contacts. That might sound a bit convoluted, but the idea is that once you connect with someone, you’re one step closer to their contacts.
- Having a robust number of connections. Personally, I find this to be ridiculous in reality, but perceptions matter. If one person has 300 connections, but the other has 35, who could be more likely to be viewed as more of the “connected” go-getter?
7) Network Beyond Your 1st Degree Connections
Admittedly, I have had some mixed success this way. But I’ve heard of people getting their own contacts to introduce them to others, in order to network. I mentioned this above, but the key is taking action judiciously with genuinely good intentions.
8) View Profiles of People You’re Interviewing With
If you’re intereviewing with someone, it might be a good to get an idea of who you’ll be talking to. It’s kind of like having some background, including an online resume, of that person. Wouldn’t there be a potential benefit to knowing that person’s work experience and education, before you talk to them. If nothing else, it can help you be a bit more prepared.
9) See Who is Viewing Your Profile
You can actually see who is viewing your profile, which can be interesting to check out. Just remember that they too might be able to see your profile! Check out your setting to make sure you’re comfortable with how this works.
10) Join Groups
There are plenty of groups in Linkedin that can be good ways to network with people who have a specific interest of yours. This can even extend to blogging! It just might be a way that you can connect with people, but also stay up to date on different issues, advances, and developments in your areas of interest. There are even blogging-related groups!
11) Start a Group
This is something I haven’t actually done. However, I’ve noticed one group started by someone I once knew, and can find it plausible how he could be seen as a thought leader based on this role. This is one opportunity to take a shot at being seen as a leader in an area of interest, which might eventually raise your visibility.
12) Search for Jobs Directly
I’ve done this as well, and have scored intereviews in the process. Sure, it’s one of a number of sources, but I tend to think it has value. As you apply to a job, you can quickly search on the company’s employees. By this, I mean get a sense of who works there, what the qualifications of people are who hold the type of job you’re applying for, and so on.
Bottom Line: I hope this helps with getting some insight into how some people use Linkedin to help with their career. It sure January not be the only thing we do, obviously. But as a component of today’s career management, I think it has it’s place, and has value.
My Questions for You
Do you use Linkedin? Why or why not?
If yes, what has been the main value that you have obtained from it? This could be information that can help other readers!
What would you want to get out of Linkedin?