Why you should be on LinkedIn
- It's the leading social networking site for professionals. Worldwide over 277 million (end of Q1, 2014) professionals use LinkedIn to exchange information, ideas, and opportunities. Over 15M users are based in the UK.
- Facebook is for fun; this is the place for business networking.
- You have an option to join relevant groups – there are more than 500,000 to choose from.
- The possibility to connect with people in your desired industry.
- The option to export your LinkedIn contact list into a file that you can keep and analyse.
- SAB Miller used LinkedIn to find 120 managers around the world saving £1.2M in fees. In March 2010 Accenture publicised that they were going to hire 50,000 people. Instead of concentrating on using head hunters and job sites they sought to recruit at least 40% of people via social media.
- Most people on LinkedIn already have jobs and so are happy to share and help others, such as for researching companies and clients before a sales call and seeking advice from people in a similar role but a different company.
- You can ask questions on a whole range of topics – what are the trends in a particular industry, whether a particular MBA programme is right for you, wondering which university is best for your daughter, ask the question and get some well thought through replies.
- You can search the jobs section of LinkedIn by keyword and location or use Advanced Search to search by specific criteria.
- Because you are nowhere unless you are on LinkedIn! Join people from over 140 different industries, people from all the top companies and potentially be seen by thousands of recruiters. 93% of recruiters will check you out on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is now a job board as much as a social network. They now have LinkedIn Talent Solutions so if you are actively job searching or want to be approached by a recruitment consultant you must be on LinkedIn.
How to get it wrong
- Too many people have an incomplete profile; they don't have a photo and provide very limited details on themselves.
- They contact people using 'select all' from their address book and send out requests to connect using the generic message rather than personalising it.
- Their privacy settings are too high; no one can find them.
- They only start using it properly once they have lost their job.
- They collect connections but don't follow up and create a working relationship with them.
- They have too many Twitter status updates. (If using Twitter, it's certainly not an essential social media tool to use).
- They pretend to answer questions but are really just doing self-promotion.
- They focus too much on what is in it for them rather than how they can help others – you need to network when you don't need help so you have some goodwill in the bank for when you do.
- And it's just downright boring! It’s just a rehash of their CV.
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