4 Tips to Leverage LinkedIn

LinkedInI’m on LinkedIn, now what? That’s a question I hear from time to time. Or, I’ve filled out my profile on LinkedIn and nothing is happening. Those are comments from passive job seekers, those that are sitting back and waiting to be “discovered.”

LinkedIn is a powerful tool for job seekers, but like any tool, it takes more than just having it in your toolbox, you have to use it. First, you should optimize your LinkedIn profile with your most marketable attributes and skill sets. Include quantifiable successes, key words, a professional picture, recommendations and make sure your profile is 100% complete. For some people, with skills that are in high demand, just having a great profile on LinkedIn can be enough because recruiters do use LinkedIn to mine for candidates.

However, if you’re truly interested in making a career move and doing so in a timely manner it takes time and effort. Spending quality time on LinkedIn can lead to a rewarding position. The following are four tips your competitors who are waiting to be “discovered” are not doing:

1. Build your professional network.

Once you’ve perfected your profile now’s the time to show it off. Reach out to friends, colleagues, alumni, and acquaintances. It’s not necessarily about the quantity of your connections, it’s more about the quality. True, having a lot of connections will give you more information when you run searches on LinkedIn, but having quality connections who you can reach out to for introductions is more effective when you’re trying to network into a company.

2. Use the Advanced Searches.

When you see a job posting anywhere, your first step should be to run an advanced search on LinkedIn and see if your connected to someone at that company. It is about who you know to get your foot in the door. But more importantly, LinkedIn is best if utilized to target the unpublished market by networking. If you’re serious about finding a job, you should be using LinkedIn to build your network and target the unpublished job market.

3. Target and follow companies for whom you’d like to work.

Use the advanced search to target companies and identify people at those companies to connect with. Also, if you follow companies where you’d like to work you’ll see their posted activities including job openings or updates about their business that may inspire you to reach out to them regardless of whether they have an opening. Yes, companies will create positions for the right candidate.

4. Participate in Groups.

You can expand your network on LinkedIn by joining groups in your area of interest and asking to connect to other group members. Additionally, by participating in group discussions you can show off your expertise and become recognized in your industry.

Remember, just having a hammer and some nails won’t get that house built, like everything worthwhile, it takes applying yourself thoughtfully and intentionally to build a solid career.

Linda Lupatkin – The Imagemakers, Ink! LLC – Resumes, Bios, Career Coaching and Consulting


Job Search: Google+ As A Complement To LinkedIn

When it comes to social media and job hunting, everyone immediately thinks of LinkedIn and rightly so. A great LinkedIn profile (which we can accomplish for you here at The Imagemakers, Ink!)  can go a very long way towards giving a prospective employer a good overview of your skill sets and abilities. So while we can all agree that LinkedIn is a must, you should also be aware that there’s an up and comer that can help you in more ways than you may have thought of  when it comes to conducting a job search. Who’s the new guy? Well it’s Google+ and here’s how it can complement your LinkedIn Profile.

 In a word, “personality”, which when you think about it, is the one aspect that LinkedIn lacks with it’s Dragnet like “just the facts mam” way of doing things. I’m not saying that’s necessarily a bad thing, it’s just not a complete picture of who you are and what you bring to the table.

I would argue that a well manicured Google+ profile (with smartly placed public posts and photos) can act as an complement to LinkedIn that can shine a little light on your fun side, intelligence and interests that LinkedIn has a hard time with because of it’s obvious “business” mission. Of course when I say “well manicured” I’m talking about a public profile and posts that stay away from controversy and nonsense (save those posts for your “close friends” circle) and that paint a positive picture of you to anyone on the outside looking in.

In the case of job hunting that would be any HR professional or decision maker who Googles you (and yes, they do Google you) looking to find out more about you other than just what’s contained in your LinkedIn profile. Add to that the fact that Google+ is tightly integrated into the rest of the Google ecosystem (Google docs and other business tools as well as it’s own cool features) and I believe that it can be a very real complement to LinkedIn when “they” go searching…and trust me…”they” will. So give them some fun stuff! Give them some intelligent stuff! Give them some interesting stuff!

Who knows, it may be just the right “stuff” that gets you the job!


How Executive Networking is Different


Networking is now and has always been THE most effective job search strategy. But it certainly has changed with the advent of new technologies. That said, it is also true that “the more things change, the more they stay the same.”

For all job seekers, whether you’re fresh out of college or direct from the board room, networking is an important tool that has been highly impacted by websites like LinkedIn and Facebook. When it comes to networking for a job, LinkedIn is your better bet. But both of these online resources help you expand your network exponentially.

Even with these new technologies, the important thing to remember and the thought that prompted the above proverb is that while you can vastly expand your network online, to really be successful and develop quality relationships with people who will help you, you have to take the discussion “off line.”

This means a blend of old and new school. New school is using these online networking tools to build your network, old school is actually picking up the phone or sending an email and suggesting a face-to-face meeting. Your connections are more likely to want to help you if you’ve met in person, established a rapport and are building a relationship.

Often times clients will tell me they’re on LinkedIn but nothing is happening. That’s because you have to make it happen. To be a successful job seeker you have to do more than post your profile and add connections, you have to step away from the computer and actually meet with people.

This brings me to your message when you’re suggesting a meeting and requires a different approach depending on whether you’re an executive or someone in the beginning stages of their career.

When you’re first starting out, your message can be about exploring different industries or different occupations and wanting to tap into your connection’s knowledge base. When you’re an executive, you’re bringing a lot of experience to the table and should be thinking about the person with whom you’re interested in networking and “what’s in it for them.”

A lot of executives I work with are initially reluctant to network because they tell me they don’t want to appear like they’re begging for a job. I frequently have to coach them through this reluctance which requires a sea change in their thought process.

The thing to remember when you’re an executive networking is that you bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table. Your networking meeting is a peer to peer meeting that can be mutually beneficial. The bottom line is, rather than asking for a favor, you may actually be doing the person with whom you’re networking a favor (but don’t let that go to your head).