That was one of the many great questions asked during one of my recent Netshare Ask-a-Coach calls. My response … so critical that it is part of every package I sell and we spend at least one coaching session around how to leverage the power of that Web 2.0 technology. While you are launching a proactive effort, Linked In is an ongoing, powerful, portable, 24/7 strategy.
In order to understand how important Linked In is to my clients’ career management strategy, I talk with recruiters. I have yet to talk with one who does not use Linked In as one of his or her primary tool to source passive candidates. In fact, “A Recruiters Guide to the Universe” ranks Linked In and Linked In Groups as the two primary ways to connect job seekers and recruiters. Networking accounts for 40-70% of all opportunities. Being active on Linked In is networking.
So what’s “most important” about your Linked In profile. I’ve come up with 5 things:
Create a Powerful Branded Summary
This is not your daddy’s boring bio either. This summary, limited by 2,000 characters, is your opportunity to showcase how you do what you do (your brand) that is different and unique from others who do the same or similar things.
More is Better
It is great to have your employers and job titles, past and present, listed as part of your profile. But that is not enough. In the world of key searches, more is better. The amount of information online acts as a pre–qualifier and gives both you and a prospect a framework to begin establishing a relationship.
Create your Vanity URL
Linked In allows you to create vanity URLs, and it is a great way to increase your Google rankings … if you have also made your stellar profile available for public viewing … which I highly recommend.
The big fish, small pond analogy definitely applies here. Joining groups allows you to mingle with like–minded folks and gain access to their contact information … even if the person is not a 1st degree contact in your network. Be sure to set your contact information option to open, so others can contact you as well.
And finally …
Third party recommendations are extremely important on Linked In. These are very powerful endorsements that add credibility to the statements in your profile and employment history, and are critical to your positioning.
4 thoughts on “How Critical is Linked In?”
I agree with all of your points. I have not found the groups as useful as I originally thought, but I must not be using them correctly.
Thanks for continually sharing your insights!
Linked In Groups have, unfortunately, become a forum for self-promotion rather than facilitating discussion. That said, with a compelling profile, the real value of Groups is that you are a much bigger fish in a much smaller pond … it’s much easier for recruiters to find you.
Terrific synopsis of the value of LinkedIn. I have many friends and colleagues that have varying views of its value / worth. Of those supporters (particularly European-based), one common thread is the negative impression associated with recommendations and the fact that they may be too positively skewed. Either too favorable from a subordinate or peer. Lack of specificity or genuity from a superior, especially if no longer employed. How do you respond to such critics? Is this simply a difference between North American and European cultures / management styles?
Hi Allen and thanks for reading my post … and for commenting.
I can’t speak to the differences between European and NA cultures since I work exclusively in North America. But, I can speak to what I am finding works for my clients. Since you may not be the only one asking these questions, I’ll address them in my next blog post. Look for it on Wednesday.