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IHAVEANIDEA.ORG > articles >  LinkedIn Skeptics, Beware the Boomerang!

LinkedIn Skeptics, Beware the Boomerang!

Posted on January 28, 2013 and read 2,937 times

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sharon cn LinkedIn Skeptics, Beware the Boomerang!Sharon Alderson
Global Recruitment Lead
Creative Niche

Luis Headshot LinkedIn Skeptics, Beware the Boomerang!Luis Oreamuno
Client Services Manager
Creative Niche

The boomerang effect is a strange phenomenon, but it catches the best of us.

That’s when you say or think you’ll never do something, only to have your words or thoughts come back to bite you in the future.  For me, it was allowing my LinkedIn profile to collect cyber dust (whatever that is) just a year ago. Back then, LinkedIn was constantly on my back, reminding me that my profile was only 30% complete. I ignored their pleas to complete it. Now I spend my time reminding the world that LinkedIn is far more valuable than it first seems—and to update their profiles as soon as possible.

I understand what you were doing for me all along, LinkedIn, and I’m sorry for turning my back on you.

LinkedIn isn’t just a social network for people who want to talk business, it’s your online resume, it’s an advertisement for your personal brand, and importantly, it’s a free account that doesn’t close.  Aside from just being an online version of your resume, many recruiters and HR personnel actually use it! Here are some things we look for:

EndorsementsIf someone endorses you, we’ll likely check the source.  If it’s a boss or a co-worker, consider it a cyberspace thumbs-up for your work abilities.  When friends do it, it doesn’t count, so don’t make the classic error of encouraging friends to endorse your awesome skills.  Go to Facebook if you want someone to ‘like’ you.

Profile pictureNot sure why you should post one? Remember that humans are visual creatures, so unless there’s a pretty picture next to a catchy headline advertising your skills, there’s far less chance a recruiter or prospective employer will view your profile.

PortfolioHaving a strong portfolio is a creative professional’s best advertisement.  Failing to post one is a surefire way to fumble a career opportunity. Be proud of your work, show it off, but avoid using passwords to limit access. Doing so will make viewers think you have something to hide—namely, second-rate work.

SummaryTell us all a bit about what you’ve been doing lately, what you’ve learned from recent jobs, and what you’re seeking to achieve in your career.  Unless you’re Brad Pitt and can assume that everyone knows what you do, “Livin’ the good life” is not a great summary of your abilities or work.

InformationThis is the most important point of all.  Give us as much information as possible, without making it boring.  When people search for candidates or top talent in a specific industry, they use keywords—and the more you have that match their search terms, the greater your chances of being seen.  Sometimes we search for professionals that have worked on specific brands, for example. By not providing more information on what you’ve done or what you know, consider yourself invisible.

Joining GroupsYou may not be the type of person who walks into a party and becomes the person everybody wants to meet.  That’s OK. The key is to get to the party in the first place. In this case, joining and participating in groups relevant to your career aspirations.

If someone in your industry tries to add you to their list of connections, let them.  Once they’re in your network, all of their contacts become 2nd Tier contacts for you, which means there’s a greater chance of you showing up in their searches.  Also remember that when reaching out and trying to add others, a personalized invitation message goes a lot further than a generic one.

Skills and ExpertiseThis is incredibly important, particularly in positions that require a lot of technical expertise (i.e. Java, CSS, HTML5).  This gives a great perspective at what you’re good at, particularly if you’re being endorsed by people who have worked with you.  Also, it’s a great way to attract visitors when employers or recruiters search LinkedIn for specific skill sets.

Grammer iz actualy bery importantThis might sound obvious, but when overlooked, spelling and grammatical errors raise red flags for recruiters or prospective employers.  It pays to take the time to research the difference between common grammatical errors such as the misuse of ‘their’ and ‘there’—not to mention taking the time to do a simple proofread of your profile.

In short, the more complete your information, your portfolio and profile, the greater the chances of showing up in searches and being contacted. And, if you’re one of those non-believers who think they’ll never need LinkedIn … watch out for that boomerang!




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