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Everything you want to know about LinkedIn… at a glance! !
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18 January  2009 ~

Help me get Hired The economy is rough and the news from this past week was very discouraging.  Recently my first book on LinkedIn – 42 Rules for 24 Hour Success on LinkedIn  (available on Amazon)  was published and because of that, I have been invited to speak to job seekers about things they can do to help them shorten their career transition.

Simple Perspective
The simplest way to begin to think about Social Networking and LinkedIn is to compare it to fishing.  To have any chance for success in fishing, you need to do two very simple things – bait the hook and put the hook in the water.  Similarly with social networking, to have any chance for success you need to create a strong, well branded profile (i.e. bait your hook) and then find a relevant site to participate in, like LinkedIn (i.e. put your hook in the water).

Applying It
Now that’s just a simple overview.  Let’s begin to apply it to a real world scenario on LinkedIn.  For most people, they are on LinkedIn because they “understand” it can help in some fashion, but they are not clear exactly how.  The first thing to do, is to answer this question by clearly establishing the goal for yourself – determine the type of position you are looking for, the types of companies you want to work and perhaps the location you want to be in.  For job seekers, achieving these goals is your definition for success on LinkedIn.

Keeping these goals in mind, go ahead and perform a self-assessment.  Ask and answer questions like, “what is my expertise”, “how have I demonstrated that in my professional background”, and most importantly, “how do I need to demonstrate that on LinkedIn”?  Remember you are your brand!

Following your “brand assessment” and assuming you’ve got a well-structure resume and then you are ready to set up your LinkedIn Profile.  This is the element that becomes the key differentiator in your job search.  By following this type of strategy, you will begin setting yourself up to interact with the right people to help your career transition.  A simple tip would be to put a crisp 8-10 word description of your expertise in the Professional Description section.  Thus every time your name comes up in LinkedIn, your 3 second advertisement for yourself shows up as well. For instance, which do you like – Bob Doe, Owner, Doe & Associates or John Doe, Business Growth Expert, delivering $100+ million to the bottom line.

The key point is your LinkedIn Profile enables you to have a fuller and richer perspective for letting people know who you are and position yourself in a unique way, a way that brings “you to life”, much more so than just submitting a resume.

Metaphorically speaking, at this point you’ve created a house and now it’s time to invite people to visit you.  Start by targeting specific companies.  Find the right individual within those companies to connect with.  This can be done offline at networking meetings, online via LinkedIn Groups or through showing your expertise with LinkedIn Answers.  Don’t be shy to leverage other social media like Twitter, YouTube or Google to help you find out the right people to connect with.  You are literally building a relationship with this person. Remember when you connect with anyone, they’re going to have an opportunity to look at your profile and if they are decision makers that can make hiring decisions, they’re going to see a far richer and a far fuller profile than just taking a look and seeing somebody’s resume that came across their desk in a five-second review.

A Small Example
(The assumption here is that your LinkedIn Profile has already been maximized).  Let’s say I was interested in ABC Company and began prospecting. In doing my prospecting, I might look through company profiles and find their connections into my own network.  Through my prospecting, I learn that I have someone as my second level connection that’s currently at ABC in a director level position.  My goal would immediately be to figure out ways to get an introduction to them through either my first level connection or through someone else who could facilitate an intro. To increase my opportunity of finding “an intro”, I might also look to see which groups this director participates in and see if that was something I too could join. The key is to identify the company you’re interested in, identify the right people that are on LinkedIn and look for ways to connect. 

I realize we just scratched the surface with this post.  Hopefully it gives you some guidance.  For more insight on LinkedIn and tactics for your job search, feel free to check out my newest blog at www.LinkToProsper.com.

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