Are You Linking in Properly on LinkedIn? Are you sure?
There aren’t very many people who still haven’t heard about the professional applicability of LinkedIn.
Students seeking internship opportunities, professionals looking to revaluate their career trajectories and even recruiters from all industries have taken to LinkedIn as the evolutionary next step from traditional networking.
And along with this hype comes a whole slew of guides that look to help these aspirants spruce up their LinkedIn profiles.
However, the problem arrives when most of these guides are mainly a rehashing of generic points that do little to really address the more specific needs of the various job seeker profiles.
Following these guides to get noticed might actually obscure one’s chances of standing out, especially when the profiles are based upon templated models.
So rather than focusing on the generics that other profile guides seem to be fond of dispensing, my little column will dispense a little more practical advice catered towards the fresh graduates.
Define Your Traget Readership
Be clear about who your target readership is…
Much like writing professionally, it is critical to be clear who you’d want to chance upon your profile.
The easiest way to do this would be via the headline, location and industry titles located at the very beginning of your profile.
The search algorithm at LinkedIn and most major search engines utilize these titles to throw up the best searches for its users, who are, more often than not, recruiters.
Be concise and precise there. Many users often make the mistake of leaving that portion blank, preferring instead to concentrate their energies on updating the “Experience” component of the profile.
Honesty Is Your Best Policy
This is a short point but its importance cannot be overemphasized.
Our digital footprints and shared contacts can give away skeletons in your closet.
Try to not overly play up your previous experience because experienced recruiters who know the industry well would roughly have an idea on what the job scope entails.
The majority of fresh graduates will have internship experience at most which probably isn’t very extensive either.
Also, there remains the possibility that the recruiter has a contact with your previous employer that they can tap on to verify non-sensitive information.
Groups and Discussions
Be active in Groups and Discussion Boards…
Most of the generic guides would also encourage the same.
However, their main purpose would be to get you noticed by other regular visitors to the group.
I would classify these regular visitors to the group into 3 categories: recruiters, people with genuine issues to discuss and people like yourself who are looking to catch the eye of someone who could land them a job.
I would say that this is generally ineffective because recruiters can get a better pool of candidates with the click of a button in their premium accounts, rather than having to scroll through multiple discussion threads through a multitude of groups.
The probability that the latter two groups can help you with your job hunt is very much lower, relative to the recruiter.
Instead, I’d recommend group participation because it shows up nicely on your own profile under the activity segment.
Once your profile is viewed, this activity can help the recruiter understand 2 things – your thought processes and the amount of effort you spend on keeping up to date with the latest corporate
Both are pluses and even probable differentiators when helping recruiters make hiring decisions. Of course there is still the bonus that comes when a recruiter who happened to be browsing a discussion board chances upon your thoughtful replies.
Skill set endorsements are more important than recommendations…
Bearing in mind that this is catered for fresh graduates, I’d say that skill set endorsements are more important than recommendations for 2 reasons.
Firstly, your network as a fresh graduate would probably be fairly limited.
I am aware that some graduates collude and get their friends to recommend them to maintain a semblance of corporate credibility.
This is naïve because recommendations should only come from 2 sources to carry any weight at all… 1) past bosses or colleagues and 2) former clients.
Friends do not count and might even work in your disfavour because a seasoned recruiter will take familiar bias into account.
Secondly, skill sets are transferable from previous experience and they are a more credible means to showcase your competencies.
This can reinforce what was written in the experience segment of the profile as well.
There is no bias in terms of skill sets – you either got it or you don’t.
Also, when I say skill sets, I am referring to relevant skill sets.
Listing your proficiency with Microsoft word does not value add to your profile.
Rather, relevant skill sets can include knowledge of ERP software, HRIS or certain technical knowledge that are key requisites for the industry which you are seeking to enter.
That said, these are tips which have worked quite nicely for myself and it has certainly helped with my open networking endeavours.The bottom line is this – there is no right or wrong way to format your LinkedIn account.There always will be a better way and better in this instance is a relative term.
Just work at what you are doing, keep up a positive attitude and engage in constructive discussion whilst updating your profile regularly where relevant.
I am sure that the offers will come in soon.
What Are Your Thoughts??
✔ Shi Chen brings up some very good points that will make a big difference in your LinkedIn profile — what is the biggest change you need to make?
✔ There are many ways that don’t work, in building your profile — those provided here are excellent recommendations. What other recommendations can you provide?
✔ Let us know if any of these changes made a difference — the changes to a profile are almost instantaneous, which means how your profile will be seen changes just as quickly. What worked for you?
Please share your thoughts with us and our audience in the comments section below! Or you can reach us directly from our contact page.
Are you getting the results that you want from your LinkedIn profile?
If not, this book is for you.
Every single employer or client who considers hiring you will Google you, click on your LinkedIn profile, and assess it. Whether you are a job seeker, company owner or other professional, your profile must impress your audience if you want results from this social media treasure chest.
In this best-selling e-book, Brenda Bernstein provides 18 detailed strategies and writing tips — plus 7 Bonus tips — that will help you get found on LinkedIn, and keep people reading after they find you.
By following the advice in How to Write a KILLER LinkedIn Profile, you will avoid the most common errors on LinkedIn and create a frequently visited AND highly effective profile.
Use this book to create a POWERFUL profile – and show your target audience you’re serious about your online presence. The results?
A new job…
An unexpected partnership…
A lucrative account…
YOU get to choose.
Alternate formats are available on the Amazon site (choose before final purchase).
Canada, China, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom, USA.
We are waiting on Amazon.com for localization to Brazil.
Problems with localization? Click Here to contact us
Product prices and availability are subject to change.
Any price and availablility information displayed on Amazon.com at the time of purchase
will apply to the purchase of any products.
From the Author of the Book
Writing a book about LinkedIn is a constantly evolving process. As LinkedIn changes its game, I am constantly being called on to change mine. If you read the book and find there is something not updated to the current version of LinkedIn, rest assured that a new edition is in the works!
I wish there could be a print version of this book, but with the frequency of updates to LinkedIn any version is only valid for a couple of months. If the changes ever slow down I promise I’ll go to print.
More Recommendations from Our Store
More articles by Wee Shi Chen...
- Breaking The Myths of Networking - 6-March-2013
Our ISP Has Many Services to Fit Your Needs...
With 15,000+ videos on our 220+ combined playlists, we're bound to have something for you!
Click below to see how our daily additions can help you!