LinkedIn – What is your Currency Value?by James Hamilton on 2012-08-28 00:27:28
I joined LinkedIn on April 30th 2006 and have watched as it has grown from a typical business networking website to the 15th most popular site on the web,
Why is it so popular?
For me there are several reasons;
1. It has replaced the rolodex, now all your contacts are a click away.
2. Meeting preparation allows you to know who you are meeting what they have done and that they like scuba diving!
3. It allows you to check a company’s details in addition to who works there.
4. Have an interest? for sure there will be a group that matches your requirement.
5. Let’s not forget job opportunities, employers are now coming to the realization that if they have the time they do not need recruiters they can find candidates themselves.
I recently had coffee with a client with over 30 years of shipping experience as the meeting developed I learnt his role was getting made redundant and did I know of any open positions, obviously I asked if he was on LinkedIn he felt it wasn’t his thing and he preferred to go through more conventional modes of “word of mouth" methods, I held my tongue but felt sad for him that he had not realized the potential of this media and he might as well get those gardening gloves out as it is now retirement time.
So going back to my heading – What is your currency Value?
LinkedIn asks you to put your life in a snapshot that allows others to view and from this a value will be given as a colleague, candidate or future employee, so do it right spend some time and continually monitor for improvement your profile is always a work in progress.
Use your profile like your elevator speech, try it with a colleague how do you sum yourself up in 30 seconds…it’s harder than you think.
So Profile Time – Here are some tips I have picked up which will pull your summary out from the rest:
1. Get a Good Photo – Business Attire, Head and Shoulders professionally done, I have seen some shockers, from the guy sitting on a chair so far from the camera you don’t see him to the fisherman showing off his catch to the professional rugby player with blood streaming down his face, unfortunately what you think is neat others may see as a person more interested in leisure than work.
2. Spell Check- Spell Check, Spell Check, I don’t know about you but would you hire a Sales Manger.
3. Summary – Now it gets tough, my suggestion for this is spend some time and look at how other people have done theirs and get some ideas, generally eyes will move from photo to job title to summary, so you want people to take notice so make it interesting it is very easy to get the big recruitment words in there like communication, team player, strategy, innovation etc, Boring!…..try something new that will take the attention.
4. Experience – Congratulations, if you still have the viewer now don’t lose them with long drawn out stories of your day to day work life, cut to the chase, bullet points and wins, we all like winners.
5. Work History – I’m sorry to break it to you but most people don’t care you worked a summer at “ Als Diner “, so keep your work history to three or four roles also you don’t want to be labeled as a job jumper this will work against you as well.
6. Education – Always include a brief summary
7. Recommendations –, I certainly think recommendations are good, as it shows people like and respect your work don’t be afraid to ask close associates for a recommendation but don’t, as has happened to be on a number of occasions be ask for a recommendation for someone you hardly know more than like you will end up looking silly.
So you are now happy with your profile and you want some contacts, you can do this a number of ways:
1. Through Connections you can add your Gmail, Yahoo or AOL account, this is a great way to see of your friends are on line.
2. Check on People you may know, from this you can filter down to your current and past companies another great way to find contacts.
3. Occasionally you may come across people you want to join who may not know you that well, may sure you write an introduction in the personal note, if you don’t you may get a “I do know this person “ in return, several of these and your account will be locked so that you require email addresses for all people you want to join with so tread carefully.
Groups are a great tool and if you are a person who likes discussion this is the place for you, I have started several groups which now have 3000 members plus,
In Summary LinkedIn is a great tool which can turn into an open browser on your desktop, it is not facebook so don’t expect social gossip, that’s what makes it good.
I look forward to seeing you on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jameshamilton
Please feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions.