Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Social Networking for Career Success - LinkedIn tips from a recruiter

by Miriam Salpeter

I was so excited to learn yesterday that Sheryl Posnick, the editor in charge of my book at Learning Express, LLC, received the first copies back from the printer! I can’t wait to see the final version. It’s perfect timing, as I was just ramping up to share some tips here.

One thing I did when I wrote Social Networking for Career Success is tap my network of friends and colleagues to share advice and insights. While, in most (not all), cases, I could have written those sections myself, it made sense to me to provide an array of opinions — and, if they agreed with me (or I with them), all the better! When I headed up the career area at Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health, one frustrating thing was how students could listen to me tell them something over and over again, but it wasn’t until I invited a hiring manager or recruiter in to say the same thing that they adapted their job search strategies. I figured the same point holds true with readers: having me tell you, “Do this, follow this advice” may be helpful, but backing it up with 100 other insights is even better!

In that spirit, and to start highlighting the terrific colleagues who contributed to the book, today I am happy to have permission to share insights from Craig Fisher (@FishDogs on Twitter) from his post today about LinkedIn. Be sure to read the full post with LinkedIn tips (from a recruiter), but here are some highlights:

- What should you have on your LinkedIn profile if you’re looking for opportunities? A candidate should tell a good story that describes who they are and what they do well. You also need detailed job descriptions in your work history going back at least 10 years. The more relevant detail and specific keywords that you include in your profile, the easier it will be for recruiters and employers to find you when they search for appropriate candidates for their openings.

- What are some LinkedIn tools that you should be using? Use the apps available on your profile page to import content into your page. Apps that automatically import your blog posts, SlideShare presentations, etc. help your profile to rank higher in search results. The idea is to get more eyeballs on your Linkedin profile. Also update your status once or twice per day with something that would be interesting to your targeted employers or prospects.

- Are there any mistakes or misconceptions about this method of job searching? The top misconception is that if you just create a Linkedin profile, then you should get calls from employers or recruiters. Not so. You must optimize your profile with plenty of specific information that relates to your skill set; and participate in Linkedin groups, Q&A, and status updates. You must also grow your network. The more active you are, and the more people you connect with, the more people will see your profile.

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