How much do you know about LinkedIn? Most of us are aware of its status as the premier social network for professional development and corporate outreach—the “Facebook for work,” as some call it. Certainly, for those seeking to land new employment, knowing the ins and outs of LinkedIn can make a world of difference.
That’s a slightly more complicated task than you might think, though: Like most social networks, it is possible to spend a great deal of time on LinkedIn and still have only a surface understanding of its true power and usefulness.
The truth is, when you really know your way around LinkedIn, it can prove a powerful tool for researching and preparing for job interviews—and more. Consider these not-so-well-known LinkedIn strategies:
Research the Recommendations
Generally speaking, people write recommendations for other people and companies based on their own values—on the things that really matter to them. If you find someone who has written a number of recommendations based on strong customer service ability, for instance, it probably means that this recommendation writer is truly passionate about customer service. Before going in for a job interview, try to find the LinkedIn page of the person you’ll be interviewing with; check his or her recommendations for some insights into the person’s true values and priorities.
Check the Status
On a related note, some business and personal LinkedIn pages will include some regular status updates. Not all LinkedIn users post statuses, of course, but for the ones who do, make sure you do a little research—especially when preparing for an interview. Again, this is simply a good way of discovering the values of the company you’re about to interview with. (You can “follow” companies you’re interested in, by the way, to really keep up to date with them.)
Look for Power Networkers
What do we mean when we refer to a power networker? We mean anyone with more than 200 LinkedIn connections. Typically, these folks love to help others, and they live for networking. If you have any kind of an established relationship with these folks, it is highly advantageous to reach out to them and ask if they could introduce you to some potential employers.
Stand Out—in the Right Way
Finally, note that your LinkedIn profile needs to be accurate and up to date, but it also needs to be appealing to employers. First impressions are everything, so while you do need to stand out from the rest of the pack, you don’t want to do so in a way that immediately causes employers to lose interest. The photo, headline, and job titles are especially important. Don’t include anything weird or annoying after your name—you just need your name, not a catchphrase or a phone number—and make sure your job titles are all ones that will be non-threatening to employers. For example, you may have owned your own company in the past, but an employer does not want to risk butting heads with another strong-willed entrepreneur—so you might call yourself General Manager, instead.
None of these tips are guaranteed to win you a job, but they can help you to go into interviews fully prepared—and also to ensure that, when employers follow up with you on LinkedIn, they like what they see.
Grammar Chic is more than happy to offer professional LinkedIn profile building and other career services; to learn more, visit www.grammarchic.net or call 803-831-7444803-831-7444.