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‘Networking Experiences’ Category

  1. Top 8 Ways to Maximize LinkedIn and Gain More Exposure

    April 10, 2013 by Lady Unemployed

    You may recall my post a few weeks ago about why I thought LinkedIn didn’t work. Well, someone called me out on that and let me know that LinkedIn did work! And I invited her to write a post for me about that – and I love being proved wrong. Thank you Kesha for the amazing advice!

    After 7500+ connections, having been on the first page in the Search Results for my keyword, and receiving calls out of the blue from people wanting to do business with me, I have to say LinkedIn is worth its weight in gold! 

    I remember when I first learned of LinkedIn. I didn’t put too much stock in it because I thought it was just for people looking for a job. 

    After a bit of searching around and learning more – even attending webinars and reading books about LinkedIn, I quickly found it to be an awesome resource for cultivating a career.

    So I’d like to provide my 2, 3, heck even 10 cents on how I’ve benefited from THE largest professional network online today! 

    What’s Your Goal?

    LinkedIn can be used in a number of ways so the very first thing you want to do is understand your goals for using the network in the first place. Looking for a job? Looking to boost your business presence? Simply looking for connections?

     Your goals will determine how you use the many elements and features of the service.

     Note: I’ve used it to maximize my web design business presence so my experience is from that perspective.

    Maximizing Your LinkedIn Presence

    I don’t claim to know the algorithm LinkedIn uses but the following elements can surely help you gain more connections, more leads, and more opportunities.

    1. Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

     First and foremost, you need to capture attention. Your headline is the first thing people see so you may as well make it good. In addition, a good headline can help give you a better position in the LinkedIn search engine and gain the attention of visitors to your profile.

     Tracy Gold advises to not just put your job title by itself in your headline. “If you’re a job seeker, use ‘Talented [Your Profession] Seeking New Opportunity’ not ‘Unemployed.’ Students, use ‘Aspiring [Your Profession] Seeking Internship’ not ‘Student at [Your University],” Tracy shares.

     Ultimately, just make sure it’s concise and says what you want to portray. Remember, this is your first impression! 

     I decided to just add a few titles in the headline field. 

     

    In addition, I added a tagline after my name with a keyword. This helps me stand out a bit further in the search results as can be seen here. 

     

    LI search results

    2. Say Cheese

     Did you know that adding a profile picture makes your profile 7 times more likely to be found in searches?

    If your headline is your first impression, your photo is a close second. People connect with people and this is true on any of the online networks, including Facebook and Twitter. 

    You want to have a professional headshot (or something close to it). The goal is for people to be able to clearly see your shining smile and lovable face. Don’t use your company logo or a picture of your beloved cat. Mr. Bigglesworth may be cute and all but he probably won’t help land you the job or opportunity you’re looking for. J

     3. Long story, well, long…

    Next, fill out your summary until you can’t fill it out anymore. Okay, you don’t have to go that far. However, you do have ample space to write a very rich one. Show your true awesomeness here and describe how you help people, what you’ve done to enrich others in your field, how you’ve helped your last employer land a million dollar contract, how you leapt tall buildings in a single bound, etc.

    Even further, describe your personality, talk about the types of people you help, and much more. You can pretty much do anything in your summary to hopefully keep visitors to your profile wanting to read more.

     4. The More The Merrier

    I’m sure you understand the value of a large network, both professionally and personally. Well, it’s no different on LinkedIn. Connect with as many people as you can. I know some people keep their profiles private or only connect with people they know. However, that limits your ability to really expand your presence and connect with new people, which is one of the main purposes of using the service.

     More connections equals more eyeballs on your profile, which in turn could lead to more opportunities for you in the long run.

     5. The SEO Game

     Whether you’ve heard of SEO – Search Engine Optimization –or not, let me tell you that it will do you a world of good to learn more about it and use it to your advantage.

     One of the ways I’ve “SEO’d” my profile is to take a handful of keywords that pertain to my business AND those which I think people would type into a search engine to find me and made sure I sprinkled them throughout my profile. Now, pay attention – I said sprinkle, not drench.

    Some LinkedIn “experts” will tell you to litter your profile with keywords so much so that your profile looks like a bunch of garbage. This is usually called stuffing, which could negatively impact your visibility and perceived value.

    Here is an example of what I mean:

    LI keyword stuffing

    Really? Please don’t do this! Use your keywords in such a way that your profile is readable and clear by your visitors but still packs a punch with your chosen keywords. 

    6. We’re Better In Groups 

    LinkedIn Groups feature is great! Not only can you find like minded people to connect with but you can also share your expertise in these groups by answering questions, helping others, and posting some of your great content from your website or blog when relevant. As you bring value to the group’s community, more people will want to know who you are and/or connect with you further. 

    There are thousands of groups on LinkedIn so just do some digging around. I have no doubt you’ll find a group that matches your interests.

    Can’t find the exact group you’re looking for? Hey, you can even start your own group and create your own rules!

     7. Get a A+! 

    Who doesn’t want an A? Well, on LinkedIn, it’s pretty simple. All you have to do is complete your profile 100%.  Now, they’ve changed the criteria for a 100% complete profile since I started but here’s what I’ve found.

    LinkedIn itself has shared that users with complete profiles are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities through their network. 

    Big deal? Heck yeah! 

    So to get to 100% (at the time of this writing):

    • Add your skills – you need at least 5 but you can add up to 50. Go for the gamut here! Whatever you think you are skilled at, add it.
    • Add at least 50 connections  – the quickest way is to find people you know using the Search feature or import your contacts from your email account.
    • Add your current and previous positions and give thorough descriptions of your roles –  Unemployed? Well, you won’t have a current position but here is a post with tips on what you can do instead. Add a picture
    • Add your Industry and postal code
    • Add your education

    Basically, don’t leave empty fields!

    8. Endorsements 

    Now, I will tell you that I’m still pretty much new on the Endorsements feature. It’s one of the newer features on LinkedIn supposedly to give credit to your connections and, likewise, they to you. 

    You can pretty much think of it as a “Like” for a connection’s skills. However, it’s been crazy because it’s way too easy to endorse someone which means you get all types of people who don’t even know you endorsing you for skills. 

    At this point, if it’s a skill I want to be ranked for, I’ll accept the endorsement and have it added to my profile. 

    In turn, LinkedIn provides you the opportunity to endorse your connections. 

    LI endorsements

    As you can see, it’s very easy to simply click Endorse all when I don’t know them well enough to do so. How do I know that Raven is great at Copywriting??? 

    Others have stated that endorsing people is like giving them a compliment but to me they aren’t as credible as the Recommendations feature because you can’t really vouch for every single connection unless you’ve directly worked with them.

    I’m a bit torn on this feature because I’ve heard through the grapevine that using Endorsements helps you rank higher in LinkedIn’s search engine (I’m sure this feature is calculated in LinkedIn’s search algorithm somehow!) and increases the Skills part of your profile so I definitely want to use it more. 

    So I’m looking to understand Endorsements a bit better myself. In the meantime, I thank some of my Endorsers (strategically starting conversations with new people) for the love!

    Your Turn! 

    Regardless of your goals, most of these items will apply. So pop over to LinkedIn and spruce up your profile to expand your presence. You never know who’s watching and how someone could ultimately benefit you in the long run!

    How do you use LinkedIn? 

    ======

     kesha brown photo

    Kesha is a Personal Excellence Adviser and Web Designer who believes we should be a Fruit Loop in a world full of Cheerios and life is more interesting when you dare to be YOU. She also writes, speaks, and can easily be bribed with Oreos. Connect with her over at UncommonChick.com or on Twitter and don’t forget LinkedIn!


  2. The Worst Networking Advice I Ever Received

    July 12, 2012 by Lady Unemployed

    I’ve reached a point of my unemployment where I feel like I am really pulling out all the stops.

    Stop Sign

    See? There’s one of my stops right there.

    I am doing everything I can to find a secure, full time position for myself. And this includes networking. I have been actively using LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, direct email contacts, etc. You name it. I have tried it.

    Now, what I have learned about networking is this –

    It is a total crap shoot. And I’m not even sure what that expression means. But it’s a crap shoot.

    Let’s first categorize the types of responses I am getting. Oh and by the way, as a warning, this post will be much longer than usual.

    No Response

    i can't hear you!

    This network person will pretend I haven’t written.

    This is a semi-common response. I will just not hear from the person. Straight up, no explanation, not even a brush off. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

    Which is actually not the worst experience with networking I have had so far. I’ll get to that.

    I’ll keep my eye out for you (or some variation of this).

     

    My eye

    This is someone keeping their eye out for me.

     

    This is a one liner response where they tell me that they will keep their eye out for me. This usually means I will never hear from this person again.

    Also, not the worst experience I’ve had so far.

    No Duh Advice Givers

    There ARE Dumb Statements

    Need I say more?

    Now, don’t get me wrong. I do love advice. I love getting the input of other people’s experiences or outlook. I love hearing about what worked for someone else and what didn’t. Really! And I’m not being sarcastic about this – I do mean it. This is everything to a job seeker like me. And a lot of the advice I have received (such as many of you awesome advice givers that leave me comments) I have followed through with and appreciated.

    But recently someone asked me, “Have you tried a placement agency?”

    This is not earth shattering advice people.

    I have tried placement agencies. I didn’t hear back from them. This isn’t to say I will never try again. But I hate advice like this. It isn’t giving me insight. It’s another brush off statement. It’s the same advice along the lines of, “Do you look for jobs on the Internet?”

    Worst. Advice. Ever.

    Today I received the worst advice on networking that I have heard in my entire life.

    So, there was a company I want to work at. This company has a lot of people working there and a LOT of competition for the jobs. I scoured the Internet to find out who I knew that worked at this company or knew someone who did.

    Lo and behold…

    I found someone!  I found a guy that I went to high school with that knows people who work here.

    I contacted him. I explained the situation and told him about the job I applied for. I asked if he could talk to one of the people he knew who worked there to put in a good word for me.

    And here is what he said, “Umm…are you saying you know someone who works there and you want me to talk to them?

    Oh, and we are on Facebook chat by the way. Another note, this is also a guy that I have kept in touch with since we graduated. So he isn’t a total stranger.

    Me: “Oh I wish I knew someone at “that company.” I was hoping someone you knew could put in a good word for me to hr.” (I won’t reveal the company I applied to just to protect their identity.)

    Him: “Then meet someone who works there!”

    Are you kidding me? 

    Me: “Wow. Thanks. I haven’t thought of that.” (Yes, I’m being a smart ass by this point. Obviously this won’t go anywhere.)

    Him: “Really? You should do it! Your cute. Hang out in a bar in the area and be social about it. You’ll meet people!”

    Him again: “Works for me and most of the people in tech industry are men!”

    Wow.

    Okay, so this ends the conversation.

    Let me be clear. Yes, I am single. No, I’m not dating anyone right now. And really that isn’t priority number one right now. Priority is a job. And at any point in the conversation did I even mention dating? Nope. Not at all. And this is not the type of guy I talk about dating with. And aside from the occasional comments on Facebook about guys I think are cute or whatever, I don’t talk about dating on Facebook (I’m private like that).

    And so his advice to me was basically this, “Your skills don’t matter. And since you’re a woman whom I have no respect for, I’m telling you to f*ck your way to the top.”

    Sorry to be crude, but yes I heard it that way.

    And maybe he didn’t mean it quite like that, but it was not good advice. The last thing on most men’s mind when they meet a woman at a bar is, “Oh! How can I help get this bright intelligent woman a job at my company?”

    So, this is it for my friendship with this guy. On an entirely different note, I did have a couple of pretty cool network people come through for me on possible job leads, so I will see how all of that plays out.