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 But more importantly, LinkedIn is best if utilized to target the unpublished market by networking. If you’re serious about finding a job, you should be using LinkedIn to build your network and target the unpublished job market.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


Quick Tip: Keep In Touch

The Career Coach Quick TipWe live in an amazing time where we can communicate literally at the touch of a finger. Not only can we text, tweet, buzz, IM, and email, we can still even call each other from our mobile phones and yes, even from landlines. Oh, and of course there’s also snail mail. But, the sad truth is, we don’t.

Time and time again, I hear from frustrated clients who’ve reached out to people in their network, never to hear back. In our communication age it seems we’ve lost touch with common courtesy. While we may feel inundated with information and bombarded by status updates, we should still make an effort at etiquette. Not only because it’s the right thing to do, but in this age of constant career moves you never know when that connection you snubbed just might come in handy.


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).