April 18, 2011
LinkedIn tips from a 'LinkedIn Rockstar'
This Thursday and Friday, April 21-22, Mike O'Neil and Lori Ruff, co-authors of "Rock the World with your Online Presence," are presenting a "Rock The World!" with LinkedIn Intensive Workshop at the Langley Center for New Media on Whidbey Island.
I had a chance to speak with Mike, a Minneapolis/St. Paul-based LinkedIn expert (and rock music enthusiast who also brands himself as "The LinkedIn Rockstar"), on tips he could share with Hire Ground readers that could help them with a better job-search process.
The first tip he shared is to understand how people search LinkedIn. Some might use keywords to search, and the goal is to make sure your profile intersects with what they're searching for. For example, Mike, who is a trainer, uses these word variations in his profile to maximize the chances he will be found in a search: teacher, taught, training, educator, educating and student.
Having the right keywords is step one; having a large enough network is step two. When someone is searching for keywords, LinkedIn will only show results limited to that person's first-, second- and third-degree and group members. If your network is small, chances are high you're not being pulled up in the search results.
Profile and headline
Once you are listed in the search results, remember you are on a page with nine other people and the recruiter can click the next set of ten results and so on. To get someone to click on your profile, Mike says there are two areas you need to optimize on your profile: your photo and your headline.
Your photo should be a professional headshot. Your headline is limited to 120 characters that are crucial to enticing someone to click on you. You should focus on the most important keywords and avoid wasting space with words such as "the" and "and."
Once someone clicks on you, Mike says that most people get to see, at most, the first three paragraphs of your profile. If you bore them to death at this point, they've already moved on. Make sure you represent your industry knowledge well and have strong selling points in the top of your profile. This is key to a recruiter or hiring manager wanting to read more and ultimately contacting you.
The last tip Mike offers for being found in search results relates to the "Interests" section of your profile. This is an area where you can strategically connect to other professionals with similar interests. To do this properly, list your interests separated by commas, such as, "Skiing, basketball, golf." Similar to Facebook, LinkedIn will create clickable links between you and other professionals.
Meet Mike and Lori
While this weekend's workshop is geared toward small-business owners, any professional can benefit from this course. Cost is $548, but Mike and Lori will award one scholarship to the person who contributes the best, most original tip for using LinkedIn. Can't make it to this weekend's retreat? You can also meet Mike and Lori at the upcoming Linked:Seattle meetup in Renton, on Wednesday, April 20.
Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl, a career guide based on her 59 jobs over 40 years in 22 cities.
Kristen Fife is a senior recruiter, career mentor, blogger and resume consultant based in the Seattle area.
Lisa Quast is a certified career coach, mentor, business consultant, former corporate executive and author based in the Seattle area.
Randy Woods writes about job-search tools, networking techniques and other tips to help you land your dream job.
Matt Youngquist is the president of Career Horizons, a career counseling firm.
Natalie Singer is a Seattle writer, editor and small-business owner.
Michelle Goodman is the author of "My So-Called Freelance Life" and "The Anti 9-to-5 Guide."
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