Using LinkedIn to Manage Your Career Effectively
By Dan Fisher
This week we’re excited to host our guest Dan Fisher, Founder and Managing Director of Menemsha Group, a training and solutions firm specializing in IT recruitment. We spoke to Dan about how a technology candidate can best leverage their LinkedIn profile to manage their career and get noticed by hiring managers.
Keep reading to find out how to manage your career successfully on this professional social platform, in Dan’s insightful words.
How Hiring Managers Evaluate Candidate LinkedIn Pages
When I look to hire a new candidate, I value many aspects of their LinkedIn profile. The first thing I look for is their list of tangible accomplishments. The truth is, most people don’t immediately list their achievements, and they treat their LinkedIn profile as an online resume. This isn’t the best way to maximize the power of the platform.
Another thing that is commonly misused on LinkedIn is the excessive use of industry jargon or buzzwords. It’s essential to choose your keywords carefully, or they won’t grab the attention of recruiters and hiring managers. As a technology candidate, it’s necessary to understand what hiring managers are looking for and tailor your keywords and accomplishments towards that goal.
Whether you’re an engineer, a salesperson, or work in marketing or finance, it’s essential to highlight your greatest accomplishments in each position listed on your profile. If you are a technical candidate, for instance, you should describe how you helped your employer get a product to market quickly and efficiently. If you are a QA engineer, you might discuss how you wrote the QA test plans and conducted automated testing for a project. Often, candidates leave out specific achievements from prior roles. Make sure you list these achievements in your profile and even include metrics or statistics that show how great the accomplishment is. The act of doing this sets you apart from other candidates’ LinkedIn profiles.
Areas to Focus On
The About Me section is one of the most important yet underutilized areas of a LinkedIn profile. Think of the About Me section as your personal bullhorn. This is your chance to write your own
headline and capture the attention of the people you most want to reach. For example, if I am a sales trainer trying to appeal to a particular segment, I might write a headline like, “Attention all
IT recruitment sales leaders!” followed by a statement about what I do and how I help organizations. So, if you’re a data architect, your About Me statement could be along the lines of, “Attention all data architects, CIOs and big data leaders! I help organizations…” This is where you state your value proposition and describe how you can make an impact on companies and teams.
It is very important to not only receive recommendations from others but to give them out as well. The more recommendations you have on your profile, the better. You want to receive recommendations from a variety of people in different positions so that they all provide positive feedback about working with you. A LinkedIn recommendation should read like a book recommendation. When you look at the back of a best-selling book, you see a list of recommendations and quotes from other authors and critics that are endorsing the book. You want your LinkedIn recommendations to coincide with this by also pointing out your greatest attributes and accomplishments in the workplace.
Become a LinkedIn All-Star!
After you’ve updated your list of accomplishments and enhanced your “About Me” and “Recommendations” sections, there are still many ways to stand out on LinkedIn. Did you know there is a LinkedIn rating and that you can become a LinkedIn All-Star? To achieve this status, you must take the time to fill out everything on your profile. This includes education, certifications, experience, recommendations, etc. This also includes regularly posting on your profile as well as engaging with other member’s posts. You want to successfully build out your LinkedIn profile and actively engage with other members and groups to help you stand out to hiring managers.
LinkedIn also offers great opportunities to join different groups across the platform. You should be actively joining and participating in several groups that are related to you and your industry.
It’s also important to consider the specific companies and employers you are targeting, and what groups they are associated with.
Simply signing up and joining these virtual groups is not enough to make you stand out. You need to actively engage with other members and the discussions within it. A good rule of thumb is to be active in six (6) or more groups and to post within them, as well as on your profile, a couple of times a week. Along with this, upon joining a new group, you should reach out to the leader and connect with them. This is how you build a brand for yourself, create a professional and reputable following, and meet new people.
Posting, sharing, liking, and commenting are also essential when making your LinkedIn profile stand out from the crowd. Although it is important to maintain consistent activity, it should always remain genuine and sincere. Many users on this platform post and comment just to have their name out there, but this won’t necessarily help your professional brand. This also applies to connection requests. Creating connections on LinkedIn is not sincere unless you put some meaning behind it. If you want to connect with someone, send them a personal note along with the request stating who you are, why you want to connect, and how you could be of benefit. The top profiles on LinkedIn belong to people that are posting questions as well as responding to others, starting conversations, and sharing resources that benefit others regularly. This makes for a successful profile and allows you to stand out among other candidates.
Employers are looking at your LinkedIn, and they are trying to evaluate how you interact. Interacting on this social platform gives greater insight into how you are as a technology candidate as well as allows you to become part of the social commentary among other professionals. Evaluate your LinkedIn profile, and pinpoint what you need to do to stand out and be an exceptional technology candidate. Good luck out there!
About Benchmark IT –Technology Talent
Benchmark IT –Technology Talent offers IT consulting, executive search, and direct hire recruitment and staffing services throughout the metro New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut area. Established in 2007, its proprietary recruitment process and dedication to precision, ethics, and personalized service have made them a trusted partner among Fortune-ranked companies,
mid-market, start-up, and growth-phase firms in the Tri-State area. For additional information, visit www.bmarkits.com