This week LinkedIn launched an app for iPad users, essentially adding some seductive features, such as a useful calendar tool that can sync with your existing work calendar, linking to the LinkedIn profiles of the people you’re meeting with. A LinkedIn spokesperson said, “Smart professionals are doing more research on people for meetings, partnerships and other business needs and we want this app to be a valuable tool for them. If you understand a person you’re going to meet with and their perspective on business, you’ll have an edge.”
We all know that LinkedIn is the premier Social Media site for professional networking but if you are out there looking for a new position, are you doing all you can to promote yourself on this platform? According to research by Socialnomics.com, 95% of companies who use Social Media to recruit, do so through LinkedIn. Human Resources Managers and recruiters often promote jobs on LinkedIn and search through it to find ideal candidates but given that there are over 100 million users, ask yourself, does your page stand out? Probably not, but if you are in the market for a new position, read on – we at Digital Qatar have a solution.
According to Social Media Evangelist, Joe Soto of One Social Media, it is important to add value to your page so that a person learns something just from clicking on your name. He suggests you use video to run a short promotion of yourself and your top skills. Or you could have customer testimonials or a few quick tips giving advice on your area of expertise. There are now many free software tools that can help you upload your video. Joe recommends Slideshare.net or Google Presentation to help you spruse up your profile. Here is Joe presenting some top LinkedIn tips.
Avoid these common mistakes:
Your Photo: This is the first impression your potential new employer is likely to get, so no holiday snaps with wildlife or nightlife in the background. Use a professional looking head shot, such as you would use for a passport picture.
Proofread Your Profile: It is astonishing how many people upload their professional credentials littered with spelling or grammatical mistakes. An employer is likely to think if your personal profile is this sloppy, so might your other work be. Carefully read through it and if possible get it checked by another person.
Be Proactive: Most people simply hit accept when a LinkedIn connect request comes in but to get the most out of LinkedIn it is important to be more proactive. Jane Binnion, a Social Media strategist suggests the following, “You will get the best out of LinkedIn by being proactive and having a strategy, this should enable you to decide who you want to connect with, who you want to follow, who you want to build relationships with and who you would like to trade with, now, or at some time in the future.” Jane suggests you start making connections with your plan in mind, write a list of who you want to connect with, and find them via the LinkedIn search bar and, if they’re not there then invite them, maybe they don’t know about LinkedIn.
Don’t Send a Standard Invite: A common error is sending the standard invitation. If I receive one of those it makes me think this person doesn’t know me and I wonder if they are serious about connecting with me or if they are just playing a numbers game or spamming. It takes just 60 seconds to write a little personal note on the invitation to say why you want to connect with them, but it makes a significant difference to how it’s received.
Work at it: Most people just set up their profile, occasionally accept requests and then forget about it. But it’s a good idea to get in the habit of spending an hour a week searching for who you want to connect with, accepting invites, developing things further with those that you are already connected with and doing some tidying up of your profile. You can then even add your blogs and Twitter feeds, advertise your events or promote yourself, your business or your talents.
Join Groups: Many people ignore this great resource for flagging up your expertise. LinkedIn makes suggestions of groups that you might want to join, or you can do a search. If there is nothing there that suits you, you can create your own group and invite people to join. The groups are a great forum for taking part in professional discussions, and you can start a discussion, thus flagging up your expertise.
Ask for Recommendations: Another common mistake is not asking for recommendations from people you’ve worked for or with. However, remember to not just send out the generic request but to ask, in your own words, for a recommendation saying what for and why. Equally it is really positive for other people when you recommend them, especially if they haven’t asked you. When you have a couple of minutes to spare and someone you know has just done a great job, just make a recommendation on their profile.