As I mentioned in my last post, I have a friend who is a networking machine. He is reaching out to every Dallas area recruiter he can find on LinkedIn. Then he meets with them face-to-face. It is paying off for him. He is getting interviews. He also spent considerable time with one of the most knowledgeable experts on LinkedIn, this side of the Rockies. I thought I knew a lot about LinkedIn, but I learned a lot of new stuff in a short amount of time.
The first thing is your name. This is a trick that a lot of people are catching on to. Go to your settings (it is a drop down menu that you access by going to your name in the upper right hand corner). Go down the right side of the screen to “Helpful Links” and select “Edit your name, location & industry.” You are going to want to change your last name. You want to make this a branding statement. Don’t just be Frank Torbin. If you are a CPA, change your last name to “Torbin, CPA.” My last name, according to LinkedIn, is “Snider, MBA Marketing.”
The next thing you might want to change is your Professional “Headline.” I had my headline as “Business Development Director” because that is my current job title. Wrong! This should be your dream job title. For me, that is “Director of Marketing” or “Marketing Director.” It makes a difference which one you choose. This is where you are going to need to do a little quick research. Go to the People search in the upper right hand corner and test out the different job titles for the job you want. For me, I tried “Director of Marketing” and “Marketing Director.” When I did the search, I included the parenthesis. I do this because you want LinkedIn to see that job title as one keyword. If you just enter Marketing Director, then LinkedIn will find every occurrence of Marketing or Director. I am not really interested in people who were Band Directors and Marketing Coordinators.I want to find all Marketing Directors.
As it turns out, there are 218,923 “Director of Marketing” and 278,439 “Marketing Director.” You want to use the job title which gets the largest number of search results. You may think that is counter intuitive. You want to stand out, so why bury yourself in the largest group of results? The reason is, hiring mangers and recruiters fish in the pond with the most fish. Get yourself into that pond.
My friend recommends that you update your profile every day, once, between 8:00 AM and 10:00 AM. You do this from the Home page (the page that LinkedIn shows you first when you log on). There is a field right next to your photograph called “Share an update.” You might post a hot news story related to your field. For me, that is easy. I am in marketing. Social media marketing is a hot topic and there is plenty of news to share each day. For you, that might not be so easy. I hope you belong to some groups on LinkedIn related to your profession. You can see what is being discussed on those groups and pick a topic or article to share. You are doing this for two reasons: you want people to know you stay current and you want people to be reminded that you exist. Out of sight, out of mind. If I want to hire a PMP, it helps if every morning when I get to work and pull up LinkedIn, I see Larry Schmidt, PMP sharing some hot topic gleaned from the Master Black Belt group. I might want to take a look at Larry’s LinkedIn profile.
My friend also blew everything I know about recommendations. He told me that I must get two recommendations for every job (or at least the jobs from the past 15 years). I’d been told that one recommendation bestows a little extra juice for the keywords found in a particular job profile. My friend said, “Two recommendations, twice as much juice.” The best way to do this is to reach out to a former boss and say, “Would you mind giving me a recommendation on LinkedIn? I have written something you might find useful as a starting point…” then you write your own recommendation. 9 times out of 10, they will post what you wrote with few or no changes…unless you went crazy and stated things that just were not at all true.
The last thing I want to mention is your volunteer work. Edit your profile and right below the gray box that gives a quick overview of your history, there is a blue section called “Add sections.” Click on that and find “Volunteer Experience & Causes.” Select that and enter any volunteer work you do. According to an article in Fast Company, people who volunteer, get hired faster. I won’t go into the details from the article, but you should add uncontroversial volunteer work you do. I would shy away from mentioning any work you do for political candidates (as an example).
This is also a place where you can enter your “causes.” Once again, proceed with caution. Habitat for Humanity is a pretty safe cause. Occupy Wallstreet….you might not get invited in for an interview.
Good Luck and Godspeed.
Business Development Director