So I’ve spent a lot of time in the past couple weeks helping out larger organizations. . . Now, I’m going to take some time to help out the most important ones, YOU! After all, we’re all in the business of establishing our own self-brand, and here’s some great tips to help us do just that.
LinkedIn is known as the “professional networking site“. It is, obviously, still a social media platform, but without a doubt there are some things you might post on Facebook that you wouldn’t on LinkedIn. I doubt your future employers are interested in what you’re having for dinner or how many episodes of Suits you’ve managed to watch in a row. However, there are some important things that they do want to know about you, and I’ll bet you’re not currently telling them.
To be honest, I wasn’t at first either. As a student, I am looking to establish myself within the media industry, but I am also looking to find the best employees, as a hiring business entrepreneur during the summer months. I discovered that LinkedIn can provide important information for the un-employed, as well as employees and employers, when I had the pleasure of hearing PERRY MONACO speak about a week ago at Western University, London.
As one of two Product Consultants for LinkedIn Canada, he had some great tips as to how everyone should be using LinkedIn in order to best qualify yourself to employers in your intended industry. Some of these tips you might be familiar with, but there are some new ones that could be the difference between landing that perfect interview and sitting on your couch this summer.
90% of employers now use social media during their hiring process. LinkedIn is a key social media tool, as it provides the important information that employers need (resumes, contact info, education, skills, etc.). So it’s important to keep your LinkedIn profile up-to-date as well as utilizing it for your employment needs, too. Here’s how:
[ 1 ] NETWORKS
The more connections you have, the better. Not sure if you knew this, but there are three kinds of connections you can have on LinkedIn:
- 1st Degree
- 2nd Degree
- 3rd Degree
Your 1st degree connections are all the people that you have added to your network, or those who have added you (essentially, a “virtual handshake.” A friend request was sent and accepted). Your 2nd degree connections are all those people who are connected to your 1st degree contacts, and I’m sure you can guess what your 3rd degree connections comprise of. All three degrees of connection make up your network. Don’t be afraid to associate yourself with people who have the largest network. After all, as your network grows, so do your available job opportunities.
[ 2 ] INTRODUCTIONS
Introductions are your way of incorporating other people into your network. Essentially, you can ask a mutual friend on LinkedIn to introduce you and someone you wish to be in contact with. This is a great way for you to easily reach the important people in your industry, and slowly build your ideal career path.
Under each profile, You will see a tab that reads “Send InMail.” Once you pan over that tab, under the profile of the person you wish to be introduced to, you can select ‘Get Introduced’. From there, you can pick the right person for the job! Be sure to pick the person that is most closely connected to your intended contact’s network, in order to make the best impression!
[ 3 ] PROFILE
KEEP THIS UP-TO-DATE! It is much easier to fill-in your experience on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis than it is to do right before your job search. With an updated profile, employers can look at your experience at any time, and you could become a candidate without even trying. Your profile has some important information that employers are looking for in the job market:
- Email (and other contact info)
- Resume (and other relevant experience)
- ‘Profile Summary’
These are all key pieces to building your online brand. Although you may not know it now, your brand is a reflection of you, and employers take it very seriously. Just take a minute and punch your name into Google quickly, THAT’S your online brand. You can manage it by adjusting your activity on different social media sites, and everyone should have some kind of strategy in doing so. For the professional, LinkedIn is a must!
[ 4 ] ENDORSEMENTS
This is my favourite application that LinkedIn offers, and probably one of their most under-valued. Endorsements allows you to build a catalogue of skill-sets under the ‘Skills & Expertise’ section, that are endorsed by the people in your network. It shows employers what you’re capable of, and allows you to see what your employers need from you. This is also a great way to stay connected to your network, as an endorsement is still a way of staying in touch.
As you can see, there are so many different skills that you can have endorsed on LinkedIn that it’s truly difficult not to make yourself look good! Take advantage of this tool, because it will be a difference-maker.
[ 5 ] RECOMMENDATIONS
We’ve all been told not to put “Recommendations upon request” at the bottom of our resumes, because employers never make that request. Yet, we’re all guilty of doing it. With LinkedIn, there’s no need for making a request to see your recommendations, because an employer just has to scroll down to the bottom of your profile.
The best part about LinkedIn recommendations is the hyper-relevant nature of them. Like any social media platform, your experience is tailored to your past activity. For any employer, the ways they see your profile will depend on who comprises their network. That’s why it’s so important to get as many recommendations as you possibly can posted to your LinkedIn profile. The recommendations that you have, by people in your employer’s network, will appear at the top of your profile’s recommendations list. This allows you to not only be established in your employer’s eyes, but be established by the people who your potential employer already knows.
LinkedIn recommendations provides a level of validation that a paper resume simply cannot have.
[ SUMMARY ]
GO! Update that LinkedIn profile of yours. If your’e like me, you created it a few years back when you heard the hype, and haven’t opened it since. It is important to keep your profile up-to-date because it is a reflection of you, and a means of getting your self-brand established within your ideal industry. With over 200 million professionals worldwide using LinkedIn, you cannot afford to be disconnected in today’s interconnected business environment.