Some LinkedIn strategies ...

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by Nan Palmero - http://t.co/oerHKCO

This week we have another post from "co-JobStalker" Gordon Dymowski, with his advice on using LinkedIn.  Hope you find this helpful!

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As the newest addition to the "Job
Stalker" family, I am finding that I'm hitting a relative lull in
my job activities - no recent calls for freelance work, no
impending job interviews, and I have not had the chance to attend as
many networking events as possible.


However, I am finding a definite
increase in people reaching out to me via my
Linked In profile
. One recruiter touched base with me, and
fortunately, that has resulted in an interview. In addition, I
received a note from another (now new) contact who simply felt I was
someone whom she "had to get to know".


I wish I could claim some kind of
excessive activity on Linked In - that I answer tons of questions,
that I spend hours on the service, and that I am a "Linked In
Ninja" (to use the current cliché hyperbole). It wouldn't be too
far from the truth - I joined in 2005 while living in St. Louis,
and was told that it allowed me to "network in my sleep". OK,
that's not quite accurate, but I have learned a few key strategies
that have allowed me to maximize the service, and that help me use
Linked In as not only a contact management system, but also help me
maintain consistency and drive in my job search.


  • Don't create your Linked In
    Profile off of your resume; create your resume from your Linked In
    profile -
    Although it would be tempting to use the new Resume
    Builder
    feature to generate a resume, my strategy is to use my
    Linked In profile as an overall professional site, and then create
    customized resumes specific to job position requirements. I also
    keep mindful of issues such as integrating keywords for search,
    making sure that my professional highlights are accurate and
    up-to-date, and most importantly....

  • Integrate any volunteer and/or
    freelance experience into your profile:
    For many people, the
    "Freelance at Self-Employed" stays empty. My strategy is to
    continually integrate any and all relative work into that category -
    yes, I am looking for something full-time (or, conversely, several
    consistent freelance clients), but it's more important for me to
    demonstrate to an employer that I'm "sharpening the saw", as
    Stephen Covey would say. For example, I'm chairing a marketing
    committee for an upcoming Chicago
    Red Cross
    fundraiser - that can easily become another bullet
    under my "Freelance" category. It is not about providing filler
    - it's demonstrating to a potential employer/client that I can
    provide value.

  • Joining Linked In Groups Has a
    Benefit You May Not Know About -
    I only learned about this by
    accident, but if you and a potential contact share a group, and
    you're not already first degree contacts, you can message that
    person directly - and connect directly - without needing to go
    through a mutual contact or scrambling for an e-mail address. (Plus,
    when it comes to researching companies, it has been a positive boon
    to be able to have a point of connection other than a First Degree
    connection). It has helped me expand my contact base, but within
    reason, because

  • It may not be wise to be a LION
    - Many professionals on Linked In consider themselves "Linked In
    Open Networkers", or LIONs, meaning that they accept any and all
    invitations to connect. Although that helped me build an early base
    of contacts, I am finding that several of those people are not
    always as responsive as more "local" associates. In my profile,
    and when I connect with others, I always ask that they first see if
    I can provide value to them. Although there are some benefits for
    people with more than 500 contacts, it's not a race - networking
    is about relationship building.

  • Send Contacts an Occasional
    Note, Regardless of Work Status
    - although I have to admit I
    need to be more consistent, I am always sending a brief note asking
    "What's up?" whether I'm working or not. At the very least,
    what it allows me to do when I'm working is to share my
    victories....and it also allows me to foster and nurture those
    professional relationships. And finally...

  • Always Be Willing to Pay It
    Forward
    - several months ago, a colleague of mine turned down
    some referrals for some of my fellow job seekers, claiming that an
    influx of consulting clients made it more difficult for them to
    meet. (Ironically, this person promotes themselves as a
    "connector"). For me, networks like Linked In serve a greater
    purpose than just about self-promotion and "building your
    professional brand"; they're ways in which we can build
    communities and foster a greater range of professional
    relationships. Besides, the person I help today might know of leads
    that can help me....and paying it forward always pays off.


But enough of me - do you have any
insights into Linked In? Any questions? Strong disagreements with
what I've said? Then please leave a comment - I'm always open
to learning and hearing more about how others are handling their job
searches.


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