Tag Archives: social media

8 reasons why LinkedIn probably isn’t for you

For a long time I’ve considered it my mission to recruit people to join LinkedIn, like a college recruiter goes after blue chip basketball players. But after having a discussion a few days ago with someone in my workshop, it finally dawned on me that my persuasive style of exciting people to join LinkedIn might be too strong for some people.

Curious

After a workshop, where I spoke about LinkedIn like it’s the solution to finding a job, a very nice woman approached me and said she just wasn’t ready for LinkedIn. She cited many reasons for this, including not understanding a word I said (not my fault, she said), not sure if she can master the mechanics of LinkedIn, being more of an oral communicator, etc.

As she spoke, nearly in tears, I remembered some of the statements I made, “To increase your chances of getting a job, you must be on LinkedIn.

Oh my gosh, I thought, as this woman was pouring out her soul to me, I created despair in this poor woman. It occurred to me that a few people like her are not ready to be on LinkedIn, never will be. Because I am active—to a fault—on LinkedIn, doesn’t mean everyone must be active or even a member.

I can’t tell people they must be on LinkedIn. In fact, in a moment of honesty, I have told my customers in other workshops that, “LinkedIn isn’t for everyone. If you’re not ready for LinkedIn, you will only be frustrated.” Perhaps I need to lay off the hard sell, because LinkedIn isn’t for everyone for the following reasons:

You’re afraid of being on the Internet

End the discussion right here. If you’re afraid of being on the Internet, concerned your personal identity will be violated, your financial information will be at risk; there’s no convincing you that you’re safe on LinkedIn. No one is completely safe.

As long as I’ve been on LinkedIn, I’ve known of one breach. It was minor, required me to change my password. LinkedIn even suggests you provide your telephone number for added security. Still, if you’re afraid of being on the Internet. This is a moot point.

You want to socialize with friends

Guess what I’m going to say. That’s right, take your socializing to Facebook. Earlier I said I had no time for Facebook and no interest. Well recently I joined Facebook, and I love it. Facebook is where I can post photos of a snowstorm in April. Proudly post photos of my family and bobbleheads.

Bobbleheads2

LinkedIn is no place for politics, religion, or women clad in bikinis. There have been many shared updates that were inappropriate for LinkedIn, and they continue to come. If you feel the need to post garbage like this, open Facebook or Twitter accounts.

You’re  satisfied with a poor profile

The one and done attitude just ain’t gonna cut it. It’s not enough to simply copy and paste your résumé to your profile and leave it at that. People who are content doing this will hurt themselves not only by displaying a poor profile that fails to brand them, but also reducing the number of keywords necessary to be found.

Your LinkedIn profile is a networking document; it is proactive. Your résumé is a document you send in response to an job posting. Your résumé is reactive.

You don’t want to connect with others

This is a show stopper. If you’re unwilling to connect with people you don’t know on LinkedIn, this is akin to going to a networking event and not speaking to a single soul. “Oh, but I connect to the people I know, like my former supervisor.

That’s a pretty limited list of connections. Very carefully chose quality connections. If you’re not embracing meeting and learning about new people on LinkedIn, you are wasting your time  For a better understanding of who you should connect with, read my article.

You’re not willing to put in the time

My advice to LinkedIn members is that they have to dedicate at least four days (4) a week to LinkedIn; and spend half an hour a day posting updates, commenting on updates, and, if willing, write LinkedIn long posts.

lazypaintint

Ideally one will spend an average of once a day a week. If you’re not willing to put in the time, your excellent profile and healthy number of connections will all be for naught. Many of my workshop attendees balk at this, but I tell them this is the time to who your grit.

You don’t understand its purpose

For those of you who are thinking, Bob, aren’t you being a little judgmental? Aren’t you being a little harsh? I don’t think I am. Too many people have opened accounts many years ago, simply to have never visited them until they need it…when they’re unemployed.

LinkedIn is a networking application for when you’re employed and unemployed. In other words, it was developed to help businesses create partnerships, developed soft leads, reach a broader channel. These are the people who are using it correctly.

Job seekers who use it only when they need a job are missing the boat. Their opportunity to network is when they’re networking. It’s a full-time endeavor until you retire, or until something better comes along. What more can be said.

You’re not embracing change

LinkedIn is going through constant change. It’s akin to keeping up with the plot of Game of Thrones. With the new user interface (UI), people are at their wits end understanding the new look and finding features which were once easily found.

If you take the time to play with LinkedIn’s UI, you’ll find it’s not too difficult to understand. LI’s goal was to streamline the platform, make it lighter and quicker to use. Yes, it as done away with features that were once on the basic plan. Yes, we now have to pay for advance search and tagging and unlimited searches, but so be it.

You must also download the LinkedIn phone app to better understand it. This will help you to better understand the new UI; as they are almost identical. Embrace change, people.

One more

Another reason I hear from people who resist LinkedIn is their lack of desire to be an exhibitionist. While I find this a bit silly, I also wonder if by exposing my thoughts and feelings, I’m a bit of an exhibitionist.

Perhaps the word, “exhibitionist” is a strong word, but I sometimes wonder why I spend so much time on LinkedIn. Why do I share updates so often? Why do I distribute my and others’ posts? Why do I read posts to gather information. Shall we call it networking?

Photo: Flickr, Murel Merivee

Photo: Flickr, Brenda Valmont

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Dear College Students, please read the following 10 LinkedIn tips

Increasingly more college students are joining LinkedIn, and that’s a good thing. I only ask that they keep these ten tips in mind. 

happy african american college student leaning against campus wa

Dear College Students,

If I could offer you some advice, it would be this: take a serious look at an application called LinkedIn. I suggest this because your demographic is still unrepresented on this platform. Facebook? You are well represented on this social medium. Twitter seems to be on the rise with you, as well as with younger folks. Heck, even my teenage kids are on Twitter.

I sincerely believe that LinkedIn will help you in the future. And if you think about it, there’s no time better than now to prepare yourself for the future. Isn’t that what you’re being taught in school, prepare for the future? If it were up to me, LinkedIn would be a required course. Maybe it will become part of the curriculum, but probably not for a while. Until then here are some strong suggestions:

  1. Get on LinkedIn immediately. Don’t think immediate gratification and forget about accumulating tons of “friends” and “followers.” It’s about making connections. LinkedIn ain’t sexy.
  2. Make an immediate impact with your branding title. “Seeking Employment” or “College Student at X college” is not going to do it. At least “Finance Major at X College | Aspiring CFO | Captain of Lacrosse Team | Dorm Advisor” would foreshadow greatness.
  3. Perception is half the battle, which means you will be judged on your photo. You’ll want a photo that will elicit confidence from potential networkers and employers; not one of you taken at Arizona State during a fraternity initiation with beer bong in plain sight.
  4. Some college-age profiles I’ve seen fail to tell a compelling story in the Summary section; rather they talk about enjoying their socialization process before going “Big Time,” not their aspirations of learning lean procedures or their philosophy of management.
  5. It’s hard to support a work history when students haven’t interned at Ernst and Young or Raytheon, but even working summers for the DPW demonstrates the hard work of toiling under the oppressive sun, removing roadkill from the road, and installing sewage pipes. Bottom line, show some type of work history in your Employment section.
  6. There’s no rule stating that you need to stick to the default setting of the profile sections. You might want to move the Education section to the top, below the Summary. There you can highlight Activities and Societies and Additional notes.
  7. This goes without saying; the world will be unforgiving of sloppiness. I recently saw a profile from a grad student who had approximately 10 spelling errors or typos in his Summary. I brought this to his attention and haven’t heard from him since. Oh well.
  8. Your LinkedIn profile now complete, it’s time to connect with quality people. Friends are nice, as are family members, but think future. Alumni, college professors (if they will), people who are currently working in your desired industry/ies, career professionals like me, etc. Check out the Find Alumni feature.
  9. Create a presence. I know many college students who are blogging on their topic of study and, hence, their future occupations. If you have great PowerPoint, Prezi, or YouTube presentations, post them on your Profile. Remember that it’s all about professionalism.
  10. This is my last bit of advice: be professional in everything you do with LinkedIn. No one on this application wants to know about your partying habits or fashion statements or see your photos of Spring Break. Sorry, it’s not about that.

My oldest daughter is off to college next year, so I hope she heeds my advice. Pinterest is fine, I tell her, communicating on Twitter is even better, but it’s LinkedIn that will help her network online. I haven’t seen LinkedIn offered as a core course at her school, but maybe I’ll make a strong suggestion.

Now read the follow-up to this article.

Photo: Flickr, Spanish Virtually

6 reasons why you still need to network after finding a job by using LinkedIn

linkedinCongratulations, you landed a job. You used LinkedIn to get introduced to the hiring manager at one of your target companies. Although no job had been advertised, she called you in for a preliminary discussion.  This was after perusing your LinkedIn profile.

At the meeting she indicated that they needed to fill a marketing position that would require your level of social media experience. She said she’d be in touch. When the company decided to fill the position, you were called for a “formal” interview.

You answered every question they asked to their satisfaction and even demonstrated your understanding of key issues the company had, and how you would solve them. The VP and hiring manager offered you the position on the spot.

LinkedIn played a large role in getting the job. Now you can take a breather from networking on LinkedIn, right? Wrong. Now you need to maintain and even ramp up your activity for six very good reasons.

  1. Don’t abandon your connections. Some of them were instrumental to your job-search success (especially the woman who alerted you to the unadvertised position). Keep your ears to the pavements for those who were also looking while you were. Reciprocate by introducing them to the people who can help them get to the decision makers.
  2. Build on your expertise and strengthen your brand. Continue to  contribute to your groups and join other groups to share your knowledge with industry leaders. You’ve become well-known in LinkedIn circles; you’re respected for your knowledge and are in prime position to further brand yourself as a social media expert.
  3. LinkedIn was part of your routine. You were on LinkedIn on a daily basis, connecting with new people, using the Companies feature to locate and get introduced to decision makers (remember the one who granted you the conversation?) Of course you attended personal networking events, but LinkedIn added to your overall networking in a big way.
  4. LinkedIn became a community. You met some great people who welcomed you to their network, exchanged messages with you, and encouraged you during your job search. Why would you give this up? LinkedIn is a community consisting of professionals with the same goal in mind, sharing information and social capital. You built some outstanding relationships.
  5. Your new company understands the importance of LinkedIn. The VP of marketing wants everyone in your group to be on LinkedIn to connect with potential business partners and customers. He also wants to enhance the image of the company. A company with employees who have great profiles is a company that means business. He’s looking to you to share what you know about using LinkedIn–you’re his expert.
  6. Continue to build your network for a rainy day. You were looking on LinkedIn for a job almost every day for the last three months, attending networking events, and connecting with people on a daily basis. Your online and personal networks are strong and served you well. Now, more than ever, you want to continue to build your networks for future job search activity. How does that saying go? The best time to network is when you’re working.

When you began your profile, struggled with making it strong, increased your activity, and really began to see its benefits; you never thought it would get you this far. You never thought you’d buy into it and be an evangelist of LinkedIn, spreading the word of its great attributes. Even though you landed, you still need to network on LinkedIn.

Anonymous LinkedIn Member, who art thou?

I’ll tell you. You’re one notch below “Someone in the Architectural  & Planning industry” in my “Who’s Viewed Your Profile”  area. That’s akin to being nobody. Why would you want to be “nobody?”

I’m not alone in decrying your secrecy. Firebrand Marketing Director Carolyn Hyams wrote an article called 13 things that really annoy people on LinkedIn , in which she writes, “And whilst I’m on this subject, don’t change your privacy settings to “anonymous” when you’re looking at other people’s profile. It makes them feel like someone is stalking them.” The article is quite good.

To be accused of stalking someone is strong language, but I agree. At least have the decency to tell me what company or industry you’re from. I tell my LinkedIn workshop attendees that not declaring who you are is like spying on people…don’t do it.

Help me figure out why you are secretive. Is it 1) because you think I’m an employer who is about to interview you 2) you don’t want me to read your profile for privacy reasons 3) you’re just naturally distrustful? Here’s the thing: I’m not an employer who is going to interview you. If you’re concerned about privacy, you shouldn’t be on LinkedIn, let alone the Internet. And networking is all about trust and building relationships.

One other thing: I’m delighted when someone looks at my profile. I’m thankful when they declare who they are.

So, who art thou? I’d be happy to meet you via reading your profile, and I might even want to connect with you…if you’ll let me. Until then, please declare your complete name and let me see your photo. I bet you’re a pretty decent person.

 

Why are jobseekers and recruiters/employers disconnected?

disconnectedI have been accused of being disconnected from my family. For example, with Easter approaching, I should’ve known that it’s a gift-giving holiday, when the girls will receive $100 Sperrys and my son a massive amount of candy, which will amount to a large dentist bill. How could I have forgotten?

This is a trivial matter compared to how disconnected jobseekers and recruiters/employers are when it comes to LinkedIn’s role in the hiring process. It makes me wonder if jobseekers are aware of how recruiters/employers value LinkedIn as a tool to find talent. The two parties aren’t on the same page.

An infographic published on The Undercover Recruiter paints a pretty telling picture of the importance recruiters et  al place on LinkedIn in finding candidates, while it also shows that  jobseekers seemingly place little importance on using LinkedIn.

Facts from the infographic show

Recruiters

Jobseekers

  • 48% of recruiters post jobs on LinkedIn and nowhere else on social media
  • 73% of recruiters filled a position using social media in 2012, a 15% increase from 2011

 

  • 50.5%: The percentage of LinkedIn users who have complete profiles

 

  • 89% of recruiters have filled a position using LinkedIn at some point in time

 

  • 0-2 hours: The amount of time per week most users spend on LinkedIn

 

  • 97% of all HR and staffing professionals use LinkedIn in their recruiting efforts

The reasons vary as to why jobseekers fail to utilize the very tool that recruiters/employers are increasingly relying on to find them. It may be that LinkedIn is difficult for some to master. Only 50.5% of LinkedIn users have a complete profile. Some of my customers complain about basic things like downloading a photo, remembering their password, how to connect with other members or the Jobs feature, etc.

Some may find it impinges on the numerous hours they spend on the job boards. Sadly, the average time spent using LinkedIn is a mere two hours a week. Good gosh, I spend two hours a day on LinkedIn. Can they give up half an hour a day? Fifteen minutes?

Others may wonder if LinkedIn actually works. There have been no cold facts on the success rate jobseekers have had at finding work directly or indirectly by using LinkedIn. We have heard that personal networking garners anywhere from 60-80% success if used as the primary job method, but some people will only believe it when they see it.

There are jobseekers I consider to be experimenters–they join LinkedIn because they’ve heard how it will help them get a job, only to abandon the application after a day or two of looking for immediate gratification. To these folks, I tell them to kindly close their account and not muck up the work for the rest of us.

Whatever reasons there are for recruiters and jobseekers being so disconnected, it is obviously clear that the two entities are fishing at different lakes. Recruiters will never reveal where the fish are; and I fear I will never understand that Easter is a gift-giving holiday.

Recent college grads, join LinkedIn Groups and learn from the experts

Are you a recent college grad and wondering if you should join LinkedIn? While you’re wondering, there are many college grads who are making the commitment to engage in a serious online networking campaign. It’s time that you make the commitment.

One of the most respected job search experts in the field, Martin Yate of the Knock em Dead series, discusses one among many good reasons to join LinkedIn–join and participate in LinkedIn groups. Take the time now to read, How recent grads can build useful networking and mentor relationships.

In his article Martin writes about how to utilize the Discussions feature of industry/occupation-specific groups.

“You can make useful contacts at all levels by joining the special interest LinkedIn groups relevant to your profession and becoming a visible part of those groups by contributing to the conversations and adding the contacts you make this way to your network,” he writes.

He suggest that you 1) read group discussion posts and add comments, 2) post discussions of your own, 3) post questions of your own. This is very sound advice, but take it a step further; join LinkedIn before you graduate and get a head start on your competition.

A better solution to a tired question; are résumés obsolete?

I can’t express in words how tired I am of hearing the questions, “Are résumés dead” or “Are résumés obsolete?” I’m almost as tired of hearing this than I am of hearing my daughters arguing over a pair of jeans.

It’s as if people are asking and writing about whether the  résumé is obsolete to create a self-fulfilling  prophesy that will bring on its demise. Personally, I think the  résumé has a good deal of life in it.

So you can imagine my annoyance when I came across a recent article from my much admired LinkedIn connection, Martin Yate, titled Are Résumés Obsolete? Résumés vs. Social Media; and then my pleasure when he states that both are needed. So the LinkedIn profile, as a passive document that requires employers to type keywords to find you; and the résumé, as a tailored document you send to target companies, which will also look for the requisite keywords in order to find you in their databases.

Martin writes: You are going to need both a résumé and a social media profile for your job search, and they are both going to need search engine optimization to be productive.

Bottom line: jobseekers need both the résumé and LinkedIn profile in order to compete in this tight job market; and they need to create strategic documents that succeed in landing them an interview. In other words, there’s no reason to choose between the two. I hope this ends the debate, because I for one am tired of hearing it.