Tuesday, June 12, 2007

How to improve my Linkedin results?






As a headhunter, one of the professional networks I use on a regular basis is Linkedin. Probably this has to do with them being the first social network I registered on, and secondly with the fact that they keep innovating.


I regularly receive questions from people who are on Linkedin or who want to join, but who are unsure on how to proceed in order to be successful.



Here goes my FAQ list to kickstart your career:




  • Situation 1: You would like to be found by headhunters (or other contacts) whenever an interesting opportunity arises.



- To indicate your willingness to connect, use one of the following: list your email address, mention your number of connections (a high number will lead to more people wanting to connect) or put "Open Networker" in your profile.

- If your first name carries a hyphen, e.g. Jean-François, it is more difficult for people to guess your correct email address. The same goes for last names with different words such as "Van der Meeren". Avoid guesswork and emails that never arrive by simply adding your address somewhere on your profile. Don't forget, your headhunter has probably just looked at a zillion resumes online; why would he pick you if he can reach your colleague more easily?



  • Situation 2: You always get the wrong job offers (they do not match your ambitions)

- Obviously you only attract stupid headhunters. Or maybe not? Take a look at the keywords you have put on your profile. Does it still list "Cobol" as one of your skills when in reality you stopped developing in Cobol since you left college? Best to take it out then. Linkedin offers two ways of searching for candidates: through full-text search (hence my Cobol example) and through fixed categories. Choose your categorie wisely. If you are an Asset Management specialist don't put your profile under the more general (but much too vague) "Banking" category- you'll end up getting offers to work at the counter...


  • Situation 3: You are hardly ever contacted by headhunters or people who can advance your career

- Don't forget that people cannot be aware of your awesome talent if you don't write it down! Creating an account on Linkedin without filling out your profile will not get you noticed. Take the time to write some information about your job, the project you are working on etc so people get a feel for who you are. Also make sure you have a decent number of connections behind your name. Linkedin offers the possibility to connect directly with old colleagues and old classmates (without the need to have their current email!). You don't necessarily need to be a supernetworker, but five connections are really not enough to land you the job of your dreams...



Good luck! Hope this helps to maximize your social networking efforts :-)

2 comments:

headhunterblog said...

Dear An,

thanks for your clear explanation. I will as a headhunter too refer to your blog as well.

All the best

Peter Wiersinga
HUNTaHEAD

Eric Mariacher said...

An,

I read your blog, that is very job finding oriented, with interest. That's what people are usually looking for when using LinkedIn.

I also give some networking advices that are directed towards longer term goals, not only find a new job.

GROW YOUR NETWORK WHILE YOU DON'T NEED IT!