It’s true that if you aren’t willing to spend a certain amount of time on social networking, LinkedIn may not prove efficient for you. It’s not a solution for finding a job tomorrow, but it is a valuable tool in building your brand as a professional.
Firstly you should clearly define what your objective is, in order to build your image accordingly.
1. Have your profile completed (if you haven’t used LinkedIn before, you can check this first):
- Write a summary This not only provides the recruiter with an overview of your expertise and motivation, but it is also helpful for keyword searches.
- Include all relevant experience for your area of expertise. It helps you to get connected with /recommended by your past coworkers, managers, business partners and so on. It also helps me, as a recruiter, to learn more about your career path.
- Include a link for other sources where we can find relevant information about you (professionally speaking) e.g.: online portfolio, twitter etc.
- If you have a professional blog, use “Blog Link” to connect it with your profile. You can also take a look at the other applications.
2. Get connected – to all the people you know in your industry. Having your profile completed helps a lot. Useful advice can be found here.
3. Now your profile provides necessary information about you. The next step is to increase your visibility.
NB: getting noticed is not similar to spamming people
Join groups – it increases your visibility and also allows you to contact the members directly. It’s not the number of groups that makes the difference; it’s their relevance to your objective and the added value you bring in. To this effect, here are some criteria to help you in your choices:
- What is this group based around: professional interest/former employers / alumni associations
- members from your geographical area (or area of interest)
- active groups
Add value to those groups. As I previously mentioned, just being there is not enough. Neither is starting discussions titled such as “I am looking for a career change”. Not only is this not enough, but it is not recommended. If you want to emphasize that you are looking for a career change, try starting a discussion on the request of workforce in your area of interest thus share your experience and expectations.
Remember that the most important thing is to get involved: answer the questions, provide consultancy/advice, argument your opinion on the different issues raised. This is the best way to prove your expertise and get noticed.
Answers: if you haven’t found it yet, LinkedIn also has a Q&A section. You can get noticed by answering questions addressed in your area of expertise. You can also ask a question and start a debate on a specific professional topic.
4. Visit the Jobs section. Job posting on LinkedIn is not frequently used by companies in Romania. Nevertheless you can keep an eye on it. There are a few multinational companies that post openings from time to time. Furthermore, the tool provides a better experience for both job seekers and recruiters than regular job boards do.
5. Be active and respond to your connections requests (introduction, reference, expertise requests etc.). Don’t be selfish. Networking is not only about you and your needs. It’s give and take, it goes both ways.
6. It’s time for you to actually start job hunting. In order to do this, you should aim for getting connected with:
- recruiters working in consultancy companies covering your area of expertise;
- hiring managers and recruiters working in the companies you would like to work for;
- opinion leaders in your industry;
When you arrive at this point it is crucial to comply with the existing etiquette in asking for an introduction. For example, when someone asks me for an introduction and they fail to provide a reason for the recipient to accept it, I don’t forward it. Why? Because I respect the people I am connected with and I don’t want them to waste their time. If, however, you show respect for me and the recipient, by reasoning your request, I would gladly help you.
The main thing you should keep in mind about social networks is that you interact with people. Either online or offline it’s still about building relationships.
LE: useful advice on “6 Top LinkedIn Tools“.
LE 3: Free webinar Recruiters are all over LinkedIn. How to ensure they find you first.