How to Connect with Others on LinkedIn

Building your network is most important.  People join LinkedIn to help each other so it’s time to reach out for help and help others too.

Start easily with people who you already know (and who know you).  These people then become your ‘first-degree connections’.  LinkedIn has tools to help you by asking if it can link with your gmail/outlook account etc.  It will use your email addresses to find matches with their members and help you connect.  People connected to your first degree connections become second degree connections, if you connect through them.  These members can also be useful as you can get introduced through your contact.

LinkedIn uses the information in your profile to check against it’s database and then presents to you people it thinks you may know – i.e. school/uni classmates, ex-colleagues etc.  This is why having your profile 100% up to date is crucial.  The more information the better – it can match you for your past, present and future!

You can always use the ‘Advanced Search’ options to narrow down the search for yourself of suitable people to connect to.  I.e. perhaps you just want UK contacts, or people within a 50 mile radius of you, or people in your own sector.

Obviously if any of these connections can endorse your skills/talents that goes a long way to proving your credibility and integrity and builds trust.

And that’s what LinkedIn is all about – building relationships and establishing trust.  Without which, LinkedIn doesn’t work.

As always, if you have a specific question you’d like me to answer, please don’t hesitate to email me on christine@graduatecareerdoctor.com 

Get Noticed by Recruiters on LinkedIn

Recruiters harness the power of the internet to search for and attract, the best candidates for job roles.

LinkedIn is a powerful platform where candidates ‘congregate’, so it makes sense that recruiters will ‘fish where the fish are’!!

In order to become a potential candidate and be found, your LI profile needs to stand out.  A killer profile needs to highlight your knowledge, skills, accomplishments and potential.

You wouldn’t want a potential employer not to see your full potential, so do ensure your profile is completed 100%.  This gives you up to a 40% greater chance of being spotted.

Top 10 Tips:

1. Publish a professional-looking photograph of yourself.  Just head and shoulders works best.  Not you on holiday or at a wedding – just you in your business attire.

2. Your headline should shout out what you do.  You only have 120 characters here so make sure it zings!  Make it clear, concise and compelling.  Think about what words recruiters would use to find candidates and base it around that.

3. Complete your job experience section.  You don’t need to write everything going back years, but have at least your last 2-3 jobs on there.  Write a mixture of what you did and your accomplishments in here.  Even if that is just p/t work whilst you were studying – it is all relevant.

4. The summary section is crucial – this normally gets read by potential employers.  It’s the equivalent of your Professional Profile on your CV.  Get lots of key words in there too, so the search engines can find you.  Write it in 1st person.

5. Adding volunteer positions and interests shows a lot about you too, so don’t leave this section out.  Show them the whole you!

6. Recommendations are worth their weight in gold.  Who could endorse your skills, talents and accomplishments?  About three would be a good number to start with.

7. Contact details – I highly recommend you customise your LI url.  The one they generically give you will not have much meaning and may well look like a series of numbers.  Click on the pencil icon and see if you can get just your name.  This URL will then be useful added to your CV (as a clickable link) and possibly your business/contact cards too.

8. If it’s useful to your target audience, you can also list your website address (if you have one) and social media links.  But don’t add them if not relevant.  Don’t detract from your core ‘personal brand’.

9. Tenses.  I recommend you write your CV in 3rd person and your LI profile in 1st person.  This makes you more personable.  Current work duties/accomplishments should be written in current tense and past ones written in past tense (psychologically this makes the recruiter feel you have that experience already under your belt, rather than currently just learning it)!

10. Personal branding – think of yourself as a personal brand.  Does this profile reflect you well?  Does it encapsulate you perfectly?  If this was a sales brochure selling YOU, would it entice someone to want to know more, or buy?

Lastly, to get ‘found’ on LI you need to get visible.  So remember to turn your setting from ‘invisible to non-one’ to ‘invisible to everyone’.  You can show some bits and not others, but get brave and show everything!

If you have a specific questions, please don’t hesitate to email me

christine@graduatecareerdoctor.com – I don’t bite!

7 ‘Alternative’ Uses for LinkedIn

linkedin_circle_color-128Whether you love or hate LinkedIn, it has many uses and it’s ideal for introverts too!  Did you know you can use it all sorts of ways to aid your career?

Here are a few ‘alternative’ things you might like to try:

  1. Detective work – use it to aid your job search efforts, and look at company profiles and find out exactly what they do, what their values are, who works there and whether or not they have current vacancies.
  2. Giant CV Bank – no wonder recruitment agencies love it! All the best talent gathered together with their CV profiles laid out for people to read (including you)!  Want to follow in someone’s footsteps?  Then look how they did it, by reading their profile on LinkedIn!
  3. Six Degrees of Separation – Discover just how close you are to the people you want to meet. Type in their name and then LinkedIn will show you in the right hand margin, who you know who is connected to them.  Then it’s just the case of following and connecting with those people to get you to the end person.  And if you find a job you like, then LinkedIn can show you how you are connected to the person who placed the ad – cool eh?
  4. See What’s Trending – what are the hot topics in your sector? What’s exciting people and what’s getting them hot under the collar?  What are people’s pain points?  Have you got a solution to offer?
  5. Dive Deeper with Groups – groups are like having a worldwide conference in your front room. You can join in at any point (even in your pyjamas)!  Again you can be passive or active – the choice is yours!  But no-one notices you if you are passive.
  6. Fish Where the Fish Are! – A go-to one-stop shop. Don’t waste time elsewhere.  It’s a catch-all, a hub, a place where the doors are always open, where people will share knowledge and help each other grow.
  7. Search for Jobs – use the job search facilities to find vacancies for you.  You can refine your search right down – have a play and see what comes up.  Some companies will allow you to apply direct from LinkedIn by using your profile as a CV.  So make sure it is up to date and your profile details are full.

I hope that’s given you some food for thought and will make you want to engage.  Dive in – I’ve used LI for years now and find it an invaluable resource.

If you have any questions – please email me and I’ll reply directly.

 

7 FREE Ways LinkedIn can Help You Find a Job

BlueNetwork123RFLinkedIn is a marvellous resource and you can get a lot of value out of the free version.  Use these 7 ways to help you find a job on there too.

  1.  Complete Your Profile

You wouldn’t send in a half finished CV would you?  So why put something online that only tells half the story?  One of the more crucial bits is your LinkedIn Summary section.  But this is the bit that people tend to skip.  Without it you are less likely to be highlighted in searches as the algorithms/SEO have nothing to tag you for.  Completing your profile also means including a photograph.  Don’t leave it blank. You wouldn’t go networking with a bag on your head, so you don’t get recognized, would you?  So why do it online?

  1. Inject Personality

Even though your photo is you in your business attire (not in your beach shorts please), your profile should not read like a CV.  Write it in 1st person (using ‘I’) and write about your passion and interests and what makes your heart sing in business.  Inject your personality into your writing.

  1. Use Your LinkedIn URL

Customise and shorten it from the long generic string you get when you set up your account, to something others would recognize (i.e. your name).  I chose ChristineWare1 and now add this to all my social media links.  Another reason why your profile needs to be complete.  Don’t send people to an unfinished page!

  1. Network (Small to Large)

Start building your network with people you really know and then move outwards.  Friends and colleagues are a good place to start.  If you are a student, start with your classmates and your academics.  Think long term here.  Your fellow students may be just classmates and social friends now, but given 5-10 years where will they be?  If you are doing an internship, it is crucial to make great contacts whilst you are there.  Face to face networking always beats online and again, where will those people be in 5 years time? And more importantly, where will you be?!?  Network face-to-face first and then add them to your LinkedIn contacts.  That way, you’ll always be up to date with them (providing they, and you, keep your profiles up to date of course).

  1. Join Groups

How fabulous to be able to join the world’s largest networking group and then be able to talk with ‘like-minded’ people, all together in one place!  This is rather like being at a conference and then having separate meetings for different topics.  This can be where the magic happens.  Just like at a f2f networking event, you can observe, comment or start a conversation.  You can also use it for detective work!  Who are these people?  Where do they work?  How did they get to where they are now?  Who do they know?  Who do they know, who knows who you want to know?  It’s a mine of information!  Don’t always be passive though.  Grow your confidence.  ‘Like’ articles, make comments on them with your own views or start your own thread!  Get known.  Get people curious about who you are, and will look at your profile to find out more about you 🙂

  1. Use the Search Facilities for Jobs

Did you know you can search for jobs with quite a wide brief or get really specific?  You can search by title, area, sector, country etc.  And then LI can show you who you know who is connected to that company or person who placed the ad.  You may be closer than you think to that role!  Leverage those introductions – after all, that’s what networking is all about.

  1. Don’t Stay Anonymous

You know you are looking for a new role, but how many other people do?  If you are already in a job, I wouldn’t advocate telling LI publically that you are looking, but how about messaging your network, just to let them know that you are open for a new opportunity and if they hear of anything …  But if you are out of work, then tell everyone!  A job is not going to come and knock on your front door.  Get proactive and get out there.

 

If you have any burning questions about networking, don’t keep them to yourself.  Please do ask me:  Email – christine@graduatecareerdoctor.com   I’ll be happy to help 🙂

 

 

Graduated? Now Get Visible!

LinkedInFREECongratulations if you have recently graduated. What a fantastic feeling to know your hard work and determination has paid off and you are about to embark on a fantastic future!

I bet you’ve shared your news with your parents, grandparents and the wider family. You’ve been out with your fellow finalists and had celebratory drinks and well-deserved fun. And now the reality is looming. Who else needs to know?

You’ve got yourself a decent degree but the people who really need to know about it are the business world. So what’s the biggest platform for getting your success out there?  Well, you can’t go far wrong then announcing it on LinkedIn.  You could be quiet about it and just update your profile.  Or you could be mega-bold and put it in the news section, tell the members what degree you’ve studied, what degree classification you have got and where you want to go next!

You never know who is reading your profile and who might just be needing someone like you in their company.

What have you got to loose?  Nothing.  Or you can stay quiet and end up in a dead end job.  Choice is yours …

5 Surefire Ways to Boost Your Visibility on LinkedIn

linkedin_circle_color-128If you want to stand out from the crowd you have to be visible.  Use these surefire ways to get yourself noticed.

  1. Your Title

This is hugely important and determines how you are found on LI searches.  Make sure you have your degree subject in there if you are an undergraduate or graduate.

I.e. Marketing Undergraduate, Marketing Graduate

  1. Photograph

Dress how you would dress in business or how you would turn up for an interview.  Holiday shorts or you at a wedding with a drink in your hand do not portrait you as a serious business prospect.  Head and shoulder shots are fine.  Full body not required!  Think passport as a clue.

  1. Summary Section

This section again is hugely important and is normally the one that gets left blank.  Again the wording is important for the search engines, so have key words in there too.  Not too stuffed full though!  Think who you are, what you do, and who you do it for.  Add your contact details into that section too.

  1. First Person

I advocate that CV’s are always written in 3rd person, but LI profiles can be written in 1st.  This gives you an opportunity to inject your personality into the profile.  Make it sound engaging for the reader with a conversational style.

  1. Achievements

Ensure your profile is ‘achievement-led’ – no one is looking for Mr/Ms Ordinary.  When listing your experience it shouldn’t read like a job description.  Show the reader how you have excelled (even at the p/t work you did to supplement your studies).