LinkedIn for dummies

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Usually, in this blog I wrote about landscape, environmental stuff and a lot of landscape research trends. But today, a very best friend of mine, ask me to write about LinkedIn, and more specifically, LinkedIn for dummies. She saw my profile and she liked it very much, but it was a real job with a lot of personal work. However, I believed that job may open a lot of professional doors. I followed the advice of a very good coach life website 50waystogetajob.com. Every f*** day, I set in front of my computer and I really try to did every challenge that the website gave to me. The second day I was in front of the LinkedIn challenge, and I followed the advice that gave to me:

Your LinkedIn profile is one of the first things that a potential employer sees. Your job search should start by refreshing your profile. In order to update your LinkedIN profile as your ideal future self (want to know what your ‘future self’ means? Visit MyOccupation.org) do these four simple tasks right now:

  1. Change your picture. The act of changing your picture signals that you are ready for something new. Don’t know what to change it to? Read this article in the Wall Street Journal about how to pick the right photo.
  2. Change the description of what you did in your last position in a way that sets you up as the perfect person for what you want to do next. Not sure what that is yet? Start by mapping your current career path

  3. Get one or two friends to endorse skills that you are beginning to build so they appear closer to the top of your proficiencies list.

  4. Take an hour to add everyone you know from Facebook or your Gmail contacts on LinkedIn.com

 

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That was the first challenge: If you want to get what you want, first you need to know what is what you want. The second challenge is the visualization of that dream. Again 50waystogetajob.com came to our rescue:

The value of creating a portfolio is that it will help you speak more succinctly about your experiences. It will also enable you to provide the right story to the right person at the right time, in both interviews and casual conversations.

  1. Break down your previous work into individual projects and list them. Think as laterally as possible and come up with as many diverse projects as possible, regardless of whether or not they tell a linear story of what you want to be doing. Even they are

  2. For each project, find an image that captures or symbolizes the work that you did. Match that image with the project name.

  3. Write an artist’s statement or short piece of narrative prose about each project.

  4. Combine all of these projects to create your portfolio. You can use a website like Cargo, create a PowerPoint presentation, or more simply, turn it into a PDF. If you feel comfortable, send your portfolio to five friends.

  5. Change it every times! The LinkedIn webpage and other websites related also has the same option to create your own portfolio with your experience and professional skills. Also, you could change the cover image with and image that represents you or your work.

  6. Please don’t do mistakes with the photos! The photos tells more about you than the words. Your drunken photos or your free time photos doesn’t count. The idea is to show your skills and abilities, not your social life. In a study conducted by TheLadders, an eye tracking heat map shows that recruiters spend 19 percent of the total time they spend on your profile looking at your picture. Then, your current job position and education are glanced at, but not so much time is spent on your skills, specialties or older work experiences.

The third, and the most difficult part is the application process for a job. The excellent column of Erika Sales at The Huffington post may help you in that process:

  1. Create a list of five to ten (no more than ten!) companies you’d like to work for in a certain industry. Can only think of one or two? Check out the companies that your connections with similar interests follow or check out the suggested companies listed next to a company of interest that you’re following on LinkedIn. This should appear on the side of the company’s LinkedIn page. Research these companies, follow the ones of interest, and proceed to step two. Alternative: If you already have a job in mind at a certain company, skip to number 3.
  2. Look at the open positions that fit your area of expertise at each company. Also look at the experience of the individuals currently holding this position or similar positions at each company. This will give you insight as to how competitive your resume will match up with their posting and their current standard for hiring in your area of interest.
  3. Connect with recruiters and human resource members at each company you would like to apply to. Start by opening up an advanced search, key in the name of the company, and set the tab to “current.” Then key in the words “recruiter” or “human resources” or “hr” into the “Title” section and set the tab to “current.” You may run two or three searches with this combination of both Title and Company filled in, and it will likely pull up two to three contacts that you can connect with as outlined in the rules of step four.
  4. Now that you have (let’s just say…) two recruiters you’re eyeing in one company, see if you’re able to connect with them directly. If not (if they’re out of your network), see what groups they follow that might be of interest to you. Being members of the same groups on LinkedIn is an automatic way to connect and a way to get around someone that is out of your network. If they accept mail, you can also send them a three sentence (no more, no less) introduction stating who you are, your experience (make it “sticky”+memorable), the position you’re interested in, and if they would like to see your resume. Before doing this, make sure to closely scope out their LinkedIn page because sometimes their email is tucked in discreetly. An alternative for creative positions would be to see who the creative directors are at the company and include a link to your portfolio in this introductory message or visit their blog/portfolio (as listed in their profile) and send them a message.
  5. Follow formalities. Visit the company’s career page and apply for the job.
  6. Keep on working. This means do whatever you want to do full-time on your own time NOW whether it be writing (start your own blog if your haven’t already or join an online publication), recruiting (volunteer with a charity that helps veterans or others in need with basic job skills), etc. Keep your skills fresh by volunteering and committing yourself in a reasonable and exciting way to your passion. There is nothing as powerful and rewarding as paying it forward and remembering what you love and do best.
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