Meaningful Connections LinkedIn for Job Search
By Risë Kasmirski, Career Strategist, Meaningful Connections
If you are a job seeker pursuing your next opportunity you know things have changed dramatically in what you must now do to find and land your next job. Employers also face challenges with a dwindling pool of qualified candidates, a need to attract and retain good workers, and technology advances that require more sophisticated worker skills.
Seven major trends have evolved in the past few years that dramatically impact how individuals seek out jobs, and how employers find great candidates. Understanding these trends can greatly enhance your job search savvy and potentially shorten your search.
1 – BALANCED EMPLOYEE & ORGANIZATION NEEDS
Younger generations in the workplace have a strong desire for development and growth opportunities and for social learning. Employers desire workers who are ready to jump right in to the next assignment or project, allowing them to create a lean, skilled pool of workers.
The Opportunity: Know your skills, strengths and the learning and growth opportunities you desire. Then you can pursue employers with the right development opportunities. You will gain needed skills for future career growth, and your employer will benefit from an engaged worker with current skills.
2 – GLOBALIZATION AND SHIFTING WORKFORCE DEMOGRAPHICS
With five generations in the workplace by 2020, global work teams, and a projection of up to 50% contingency workers (contractors, part-timers) by 2020, you are going to encounter great diversity in attitudes, ideas, and worker styles.
The opportunity: Be ready to describe your own style and the skills, knowledge, and personal attributes you can contribute to the organization. Prepare to discuss the ways in which you are flexible and adaptable.
3 – INNOVATION – CREATE AND LEARN AS YOU GO
With virtually anything we want to learn available 24 / 7 through technology, we all need to be ready to learn and apply our learnings as needs arise. It is the resourceful worker that keeps current who is the most valuable to the organization.
The opportunity: Close the gap between the skills and knowledge you have today, and what is currently needed in your profession. Do you need to adapt to some new technology, understand industry trends, learn a new process or procedure? Be ready to share how you keep yourself current with your new employer.
4 – PERSONAL BRANDING – REPUTATION MANAGEMENT
Everyone has a personal brand. You might think of it as how others experience knowing you, the impact you have on others, and your desired impact. Personal Brand Strategist Kathy Crandall defines it as “What Happens Because of You”™. The massive attention to personal branding is aligned with the rapidly changing workplace where workers move from company to company and often shift careers several times throughout their lives.
The Opportunity: Understand your personal brand and communicate your brand consistently so that employers understand who you are in addition to the skills and knowledge you have.
5 – SOCIAL MEDIA REVOLUTION
We live in a digital world that emerged so rapidly we all need to keep current on how technology affects job search. These days a computer will read your resume via electronic resume scanning long before a human will ever lay eyes on it. The messages you transmit via social media (Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, etc) all tell a story about you.
The Opportunity: Update your resume for electronic scanning including focus, keywords, branding). Google yourself and find out what others see when they search for you. Make sure the messages you are giving leave the impression you want your potential employer to see.
6 – LINKEDIN – NUMBER ONE RECRUITING TOOL
There are 300+ million users on LinkedIn worldwide, and more than 96% of recruiters inside and outside of organizations use LinkedIn to find candidates. It is possible that LinkedIn may replace the need for resumes in the future.
The Opportunity: Develop a robust LinkedIn profile that brings your personal brand to life, highlights your skills and accomplishments, and helps others find you for job opportunities and meaningful connections. Understand the powerful job search tool that LinkedIn has proven to be and develop a LinkedIn job search strategy.
CULTURAL MEGATRENDS ARE CHANGING OUR WORLD
As society becomes more socially and environmentally conscious, workers are more attracted to organizations that promote these ideals. The work practices and ethics of organizations have become increasingly transparent due to instant broadcast capability via the internet. Attitudes are shifting to more emphasis on personal values rather than what the workplace demands.
The Opportunity: Get in touch with what you value so that you can approach each opportunity through the lens of what is important to you and what type of contribution you would like to make.
Individuals who understand and embrace these workplace trends are more likely to feel focused and clear on what they are seeking, with consistent messages aligned throughout their resume, LinkedIn profile, and other social media avenues.
How LinkedIn Helped My Client Find the Perfect New Job and Change Industries! Case Study by Anne Pryor
How do you know if you have the right skills for that new position? LinkedIn Skills and Groups helped my client change career paths and get a perfect job!
The big idea is that LinkedIn is creating an ‘economic grid’; gathering data to make it easy to help connect people with the right skills with the right job openings.
Let me share a quick story how my client used my strategic approach: Look Good, Be Found, Make Meaningful Connections, to change careers, secure new skills and get her idea job.
PROBLEM: My client wanted to transition from a pharmaceutical sales representative position to a project management position in healthcare.
APPROACH: Create a strategy to reach hiring managers, find out the issues that were having, find and be retrained on the right skills, showcase my client’s ability to solve the problem ; show the hiring manager that she could do it now, and the way the hiring manager wanted.
1) Search Project Managers in Healthcare. Check out their Skills. Make a list of those skills. Hold ‘advice sharing / informational interviews with those people.
2) Research Alumni (Network, Find Alumni)
3) Click on the Program and Project Management skill; see the companies where most of the Alumni with that job work. Put those companies on target list. Set up informational meetings.
4) Click the arrow on the top right and see what skills those employees hold.
Once my client saw the skills she needed, she asked her Dislocated Worker Counselor if there was funding to allow her to secure those skills and complete her PMP certification. Funding was approved. After completing her certification we launched our Group Marketing Communication strategy for her to Look Good.
5) She joined Groups where the hiring managers and recruiters were participating. She found connections to connect with and keywords to add to her profile, Summary, Interests, Projects and Current ‘placeholder’ position.
GROUP MARCOMM STRATEGY: We developed a series of targeted questions to uncover problems that these hiring managers were facing. One question she posted in a Group Discussion: “What 3 initiatives do you have to implement to comply with the new Affordable Healthcare Act by January 2014?”
6) Hiring managers began sharing their issues, problems and concerns. My client asked additional follow up questions. She then Replied Privately to some of the responders and held deeper dialog.
7) From the learnings, she edited her Summary and included Projects that she could assist with; based on the projects she learned needed help from the Discussions.
GREAT RESULT: My client is now working in a medical manufacturing company where the hiring manager found her in a Group. She is thrilled.
NEW: Recently, LinkedIn added a new feature to the Jobs area called Insights. For paid Job Seeker Members, when applying for a position on LinkedIn, the candidate can see how many people have applied for that job, where you would stack up, what skills are most important and what skills you have along with additional insights.
What do you desire? Anything is possible. Begin using LinkedIn strategically to get to that perfect job and make meaningful connections.
If you would like to learn more about how Anne Pryor, Kathleen Crandall or Rise Kasmirski please visit our website at www.meaningfulconnections.net.
Wishing you great success, my friends, Anne Pryor
6 Strategies To Getting That Great Job in 2013 Using LinkedIn
By Anne Pryor, Meaningful Connections, Online Brand Strategist, Career Coach
Over 94% of recruiters and HR professionals report that they use LinkedIn as their tool for finding talent. Anne Pryor, Meaningful Connections, Online Brand Strategist, Career Coach and LinkedIn Trainer, has provided her proven tips to ensure the job seekers look good and be found™ online for the great job in 2013.
1) Look Good | Be Found™
- Set the Settings before you begin. Start by rolling over your name at the top right and click on Settings. Be sure to turn on/off your Activity broadcast so that all of your changes don’t blast to your network. Also, reserve your URL. Click on Edit Your Public Profile and reserve you public profile URL. Add this new website to your resume, cover letters, business cards, email signature. I will look like this: www.linkedin.com/in/annepryor. Check the others settings to make sure that you don’t let people see that you’re peeking at them if you’re not ready. (Note, as soon as you apply for that job the HR people, recruiter or hiring manager is looking at your profile – I guarantee it.)
- Get your profile to 100% – it’s important to complete all of the sections of your LinkedIn profile. This ensures that your profile will come up higher in searches. This includes posting a great, professional photo, smiling and looking at the camera. Be sure that you feel good about your photo. It’s the first thing that people see and they’ll remember you.
- Know your industry key words – create a list of key words that your companies you’re targeting use in their website and job descriptions. Add these key words in the Specialties and Interests section in your profile. (Use www.wordle.net to create a word cloud of the key words)
- Get Recommendations – Give Recommendations and then get the Recommendations. The first 6 words are the most important – these show up on your home page and everyone in your network’s home page. This is where you need to leverage your brand, skills, and projects with quantitative numbers, if possible. New – Add Skills and Endorse your connection’s skills. People appreciate it and they will reach back and thank you. I give 10 legitimate Endorsements each morning.
2) Make Meaningful Connections
- Invite the right Connections – connect with influencers and relevant contacts that you can help and that can help you. Please you know, like, trust and can add value to each other. Always personalize the invitations. Get to at least 150 connections. This will increase the results that you can see.
3) Create a Meaningful Marketing Communications Strategy – Be Resourceful, Add Value
- Use the new RICH MEDIA (old applications) – leverage the Media in the Gallery (under each Job) showcase your portfolio. Upload your PowerPoint presentation to your Profile page by using Slideshare (it’s free). Upload your writing samples, white papers, videos or recommendations that former bosses have given you, using Box.net files. Get these by clicking on Edit Profile then click on the box like icon between the pencil and the up / down arrow. Note, all uploads need to be saved in a URL format. (I like to use www.photobucket.com to save pictures and www.ezinearticles.com for papers.)
- Start using the Status Bar, ‘post an update’, sharing relevant tips that your connections would be interested in. My three strategies are:1) 1) Humble self-promotion, 2) Promotion of others, 3) Information or education content
- This information can be connected with your Twitter account, so keep the character count to 120 – 140 characters or about 15 words and always add a website for more information and pull a photo, which makes your post more interesting. Keep your post at 120 characters so people can retweet. Note, it’s important to post when your influential connections are on LinkedIn. Timing is critical, watch to see when they are active and post during that time.
- I have found that there are three times when my network is on LinkedIn: 1) Coffee Time – 7:00 AM, 2) Corporate Time – 9-5 (around 12), 3) Couch Time – after kids are in bed (9:00 PM)
- (TIP: I post in the evenings if I choose to talk to executives. I post Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings if I want to talk to dislocated workers. I post and make changes on Sundays if I don’t care if people see my updates.
- Join Groups – the action in happening in Groups. Type in the Group categories that you’re interested in, like HR or Retail Marketing. Join the Groups; watch the Discussions, then like, follow, comment or start a Discussion. This is where you gain expertise, credibility, insights and awareness. Always add value and be resourceful – stay in brand.
4) Target Your Markets | People and Companies
- Start using Advanced Search and use Boolean techniques (AND, OR, NOT) – when searching for potential hiring managers, recruiters or HR people. Type in titles, company and other key words to find employees to connect with or have advice sharing meetings. The Advanced area is located next to the Search box on top right.
- Leverage the Companies tab to find prospects – I encourage my clients to have a list of 20-40 target companies that you want to work for. Follow Companies that you’re targeting. Just click on Company at the top of the page and type in the industry that you want to target. You’ll find a vast amount of relevant data about the company, who you know, revenues, growth, departures, new hires and news and skills.
- (TIP: see skills that are trending up and target those companies. If you have Unemployment Insurance, ask your Dislocated Workers Counselor to fund those classes to gain those skills.)
- Search the Jobs tab. LinkedIn Jobs are powered by SimplyHired and many HR people are posting jobs in the Groups and in the Jobs sections. You’ll see who posted the job, job descriptions and other similar jobs. You can see who you know at that company that can help refer you to that position.
- (TIP: Use www.wordle.net to find the key words prior to applying for the job and add them to your resume and LinkedIn profile.)
5) Measure Your Results
- After creating your profile, adding connections and starting your marketing / communications plan you should see that Who’s Viewed Your Profile should be around 10-20 people per day and your profile should be coming up in searches 25-50 times. Watch who’s looked at your profile. Look back at them and start a conversation.
- It’s important to be online and it’s even more important to connect face to face. So take your meaningful online connections into the local coffee shop, networking events and community functions and meet and greet that person face to face.
6) Keep Making Meaningful Connections | Even After You Land
- Never stop networking. Department of Labor statistics show that people will have 14 jobs by the time they’re 34 yrs. And they will be changing careers every 5 years.
Here’s my secret to generating 4 business leads per day and connecting meaningfully – all in 10 minutes on LinkedIn:
- connect with 2 new people from People You May Know
- give 10 people legitimate Endorsements
- thank the people that Endorsed you today, you can send a personal note by scrolling over their photo
- reach out to people on your Home Page and congratulate them on their new position
- on Home Page Like, Comment or Send Message to 5 people’s posts
- give a recommendation to one person
- introduce 2 people to a relevant connection
- keep in touch, meaningfully,
- LinkedIn Groups: Boolean Search, LinkedIn Strategies, Meaningful Connections
- Classes: MN Workforce Centers Dislocated Workers, HIRED, – Meaningful Connections workshops, see calendar at www.meaningfulconnections.net
- YouTube Videos: How to Use LinkedIn
Other Job Search Websites for Online Branding and Online Resumes:
- Facebook.com, BranchOut (free application on Facebook for job search)
- www.doyoubuzz.com, online resume, free
- https://plus.google.com/, Google+
Job Search Sites I like:
- www.facebook.com / branchout
Mobile Applications I like for Job Search:
- LinkUp (company website jobs)
- Docstoc Inc. Get a Job
- Get A Job
- RobertHalf App
Books I Recommend:
- Brad & Debra Schepp, How to Find a Job on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google +
- Von Rosen, Viveka, LinkedIn Marketing
- Carter, Brian, LinkedIn for Business
- Butow, Eric, How to Succeed in Business Using LinkedIn
- Elad, Joel, LinkedIn for Dummies
- Chris Muccio, 42 Rules for 24 Hour LinkedIn Success
- Jan Vermeiren, How to Really Use LinkedIn