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Need some advice on effectively using linkedin

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Need some advice on effectively using linkedin

Postby James Tyler » Tue Jan 22, 2013 3:29 pm

So far, I don’t have a linkedin profile. One of the reasons is because I don’t really understand how to use it and what to do on there once I get one.

Could you guys give me some tips (like basics) on how to effectively use linkedin to help me get a job or make connections (and also give me some links to articles that I can read to get a better idea of how to use it)? I’m more concerned with using it to get a job rather than just using it to expand my network.

I also have some questions. In terms of searching for jobs and applying for jobs, what kinds of things can you do with linkedin that you can’t do through recruiters and searching for jobs on company websites? I had an interview with a recruiter a while back and he said that some companies are only posting jobs on linkedin- is this true?

Also, is it true that recruiters or companies look for potential candidates on linkedin just like recruiters search for potential candidates on monster.com? Can you be contacted for an interview through your linkedin profile?

Thanks.
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Re: Need some advice on effectively using linkedin

Postby Rich Lemert » Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:25 pm

The company I work for has set up an internal "social media" group to monitor what others are saying about us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, and to offer guidance to our employees on how to represent the company in these media. I can't send you the slides they presented to us on LinkedIn because they're for internal use only, but I'll try to paraphrase some of the key comments.

The first thing to do is to set up your profile. You can make it as short or as long as you want, but it's going to become essentially a virtual resume so make sure you include the things a hiring manager is going to be interested in. You could even say something like "Currently seeking a position in drug development" (or whatever) if you like, although if you're changing jobs you might not want your current colleagues to find that statement.

From what I've heard from others, recruiters and hiring managers do use LinkedIn to identify potential candidates. One of my colleagues mentioned once that it seemed like recruiters were the only people who had accessed his profile. It hasn't happened to me, yet, but my account is still fairly young.

The next thing to do is find the groups in LinkedIn that would be relevant to your field (there's a search function that will help). I've seen jobs listed on several of the groups I've joined, and I've even seen a couple of people saying "I'm looking for a job." Make sure the groups are active - I believe the search results will tell you how much activity there's been lately.

Third, find the people you know (there is a 'people' search) and invite them to connect with you. This is where you'll start building your network (you will want to continue this after you find a new job), and you'll gain access to your contact's networks. In fact, LinkedIn will regularly suggest people to add to your network, based on both mutual connections and connections through your contacts. You'll be able to see their profiles, and you'll probably be able to contact them the same way you would using the traditional "off-line" networking approaches. MAINTAIN THE SAME NETWORKING PROFESSIONALISM THAT YOU WOULD USE IN THE DIRECT NETWORKING!

Something that will also help in the long-run is to be an active participant in those groups you've joined so you get your name and reputation out in front of people. Something like "Prof. Big Shot just finished some interesting work on xyz" in the appropriate group. (This is something that I still need to start doing.)

Hope this helps.
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Re: Need some advice on effectively using linkedin

Postby Dave Jensen » Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:33 pm

Great post from Rich.

LinkedIn is unlike any other social media website. It is a professional version of this, not something that you "goof around" on. It's the #1 tool used by recruiters and hiring managers and long ago surpassed Monster.com in that regard. Monster is shrinking, while LinkedIn is growing exponentially.

There's a Tooling Up article about LinkedIn on this webpage: http://sciencecareers.sciencemag.org/career_magazine/previous_issues/articles/2008_10_24/caredit.a0800155

Dave
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Re: Need some advice on effectively using linkedin

Postby Cory » Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:16 pm

Hi,

I'd like to emphasize that the value in LinkedIn is maintaining a high quality list contacts. Since most social networking falls into the "more is better" view of the world it's not surprising to find that LinkedIn will offer to scour your email and Facebook accounts to load you up with connections and contacts. Unfortunately, these approaches quickly dilute the utility and credibility of your connections list.

My rule with LinkedIn is to only add contacts that I have personally spoken with in a manner more substantive than a simple introduction. I get 5-10 link requests a week from people who I have never met or people who are far outside my key area (I'm a scientist and probably won't accept a connection with a consumer goods marketing expert even if I know them). My goal with LinkedIn is to present a top notch and well curated list of connections - and it's been valuable.

Good luck!

Cory
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Re: Need some advice on effectively using linkedin

Postby Dave Jensen » Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:29 am

Cory wrote:Hi,

I'd like to emphasize that the value in LinkedIn is maintaining a high quality list contacts. Since most social networking falls into the "more is better" view of the world it's not surprising to find that LinkedIn will offer to scour your email and Facebook accounts to load you up with connections and contacts. Unfortunately, these approaches quickly dilute the utility and credibility of your connections list.

My rule with LinkedIn is to only add contacts that I have personally spoken with in a manner more substantive than a simple introduction. I get 5-10 link requests a week from people who I have never met or people who are far outside my key area (I'm a scientist and probably won't accept a connection with a consumer goods marketing expert even if I know them). My goal with LinkedIn is to present a top notch and well curated list of connections - and it's been valuable.

Good luck!

Cory


A lot of people feel like Cory, but then again, others find that adding contacts increases the size of the pool of people you can "see," so professional recruiters, H/R people, hiring managers, and so on . . . they love to get their pool of LinkedIn contacts up as high as possible, so their world of visible professionals is much larger. Depends upon how you use LinkedIn.

Dave
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"I know Dad, but why isn't it ever unfair in my favor?”
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Re: Need some advice on effectively using linkedin

Postby James Tyler » Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:34 pm

I opened up my linkedin account last weekend but so far, no one is viewing my profile. So far I only have one connection, though. Do recruiters only view profiles of people who are in the networks of people they know? Or do they also search for people based on skills listed? Or some other criteria?

If employers see that you have very few connections on linkedin, would that make them not want to hire you? Do employers tend to look up potential candidates on linkedin?

Also, when you network with people, do people not want to add someone with very few connections (maybe for reasons like they believe they can’t get anything from this person because they don’t know too many people)?
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Re: Need some advice on effectively using linkedin

Postby Rich Lemert » Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:58 pm

CHILL, MAN! The world does not operate in accordance with your schedule expectations.

Now that I've (hopefully) captured your attention ...

LinkedIn is NOT a quick-fix panacea for all your job hunting woes. It's just another tool in your kit - one that must be developed and nurtured over time. Your original question about the site was only posted eight days ago, and by your own admission your profile was only added may four days ago. Do you really think the world has been waiting with bated breath for your appearance?

(Sorry for the somewhat harsh language, but I think you're over-due for a bit of a reality check based on your latest post.)

How many of my other suggestions have you implemented? Have you joined some relevant groups, and if so, have you contributed to any of their discussions? Have you found people you know and invited them to connect to you? Both of these activities will get your name in front of people and help you establish a reputation, but neither is going to produce results overnight.

You probably haven't seen it yet, but once you start setting up connections LinkedIn will suggest other people that you might want to connect with. When these people are connected to your connections, you'll often see a message that says something like "I'd like to ask for an introduction." It works the same way as it would in "real life" - because it is part of "real life."
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