I received an email last month from a local MBA Career Services office. The gist of it: “Could you come and present a workshop on LinkedIn for our graduating MBA students?”
If that email had come in just a couple of months earlier, I would not have been anxious to say “yes!” But I’m singing a different tune now. Here’s why.
The Academies just finished offering a six-week session on using online professional networking for our clients’ careers, emphasizing LinkedIn, led by the singular Jason Alba, author of the DVD found at www.LinkedInForJobSeekers.com. The training was fast-paced and fun, and I learned a ton!
I wanted to share five of my favorite takeaways and insights, in hopes they’ll be of benefit as you work with your clients (or in the event your local university emails you with a request to come and present a workshop on LinkedIn!).
1. LinkedIn is the new “Monster.” It’s where recruiters are spending a lot of time searching, because they can do so for virtually free. If your clients aren’t on LinkedIn, they’re losing out.
A 2010 JobVite survey indicates that recruiters are choosing LinkedIn as the #1 tool recruiters are using to publish jobs free, get referrals, research candidates, and direct-source candidates! Does this mean LinkedIn profiles are (or are becoming) more important than resumes?!
2. Keywords are critical. Jason shared how you can use the Google keyword tool (https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal) to help determine the best keywords to add to your client’s profiles (or your own)!
For example, I changed my title from “Principal” to “Career Coach Certification Trainer”—much meatier and SEO friendly, don’t you think?
3. Groups are the loophole for connecting with out-of-network contacts. If your career clients are trying to connect with contacts outside of their network, tell them to skim through the contact’s groups and join a relevant one (or more). Once in the group, browse discussions, leave a response, and follow discussion updates.
As your client actively participates, tell them to watch for opportunities to comment on the contact’s updates or others who may become new important connections in the job search. And, as with any online networking, jump on the chance to shift those online connections to telephone and face-to-face connections.
4. It’s a treasure hunt. Jason shared one of his favorite insider secrets for expanding his network on LinkedIn, and that’s to pay attention to the section near the bottom right of a contact’s profile, labeled “Viewers of this profile also viewed…”
These connections can give your job seeking clients some great ideas for potential new target companies or new contacts who can aid in the due diligence, research, and networking process.
5. When it comes to apps on LinkedIn, like jewelry, less is more. Many of you know executive branding strategist Deb Dib (creator and teacher of The Academies’ G3 Coach Program). Deb likes to quote her mom’s wisdom when it comes to wearing jewelry: “Take one thing off.” Meaning, if you’re wearing earrings, a necklace, a broach, and a bracelet, you’re got at least one too many things on and will distract your audience.
And so it goes with LinkedIn applications, like SlideShare, BlogLink, Box.net, Amazon Reading List, TripIt, and so on. The temptation is to add lots of bells and whistles. What happens, though, is that it distracts readers.
Instead, go for ONE thing that will really wow potential employers. Oftentimes that will be a SlideShare presentation on a topic that shows off your client’s subject-matter expertise. This presentation is something your client can create (or you can help them create) just for this purpose. (It doesn’t have to be a formal presentation made to a specific group.)
These are just a quick five takeaways. I have about 15 “must-remembers” like this for EACH of the six classes Jason taught … enough that it allowed me to create a presentation on how to leverage LinkedIn in the job search that was very well-received by the MBA Career Services office that emailed me last month.
Am I sharing this just to entice you to register for the next six-week session that Jason will be teaching starting April 26th? In part, yes (because it’s great and I’m proud of it)!
But the rest of the truth is that I’m super excited about how “doable” it is for you and your clients to master this mustn’t-ignore behemoth when it comes to job search!
For more info, click here!