Written by Susan Lamphiear
Just as you wouldn’t even dream of applying for jobs without a resume or a proper suit of interview clothing, or your most updated hairdo or eye glasses, then why would you start your job hunt without maximum use of LinkedIn? These days all the experts tell us it’s a given.
And as our keynote speaker and LinkedIn guru stressed today, nearly all employers will seek and find your online presence, starting with LinkedIn. So, be there or be square, or continue to wear your nerd eye glasses and bouffant hairdo.
When Kevin Dumcum left a successful marketing career in 2009 for his current work with Arizona@Work, Maricopa County, LinkedIn helped him with that transition. In fact, he was already connected with people from his team by the time he arrived at the new job. Among other evidences of his expertise, Kevin teaches LinkedIn classes and came today to share LinkedIn Tips.
LinkedIn continues to be more and more important to employers, so for anyone in career transition, and anyone seeking to build their network and develop their career, LinkedIn is a must. Assume that your next position isn’t going to be your last position. With that in mind, LinkedIn is not just for the job hunt. It’s a tool to help you in your continuing career.
If you have any doubt about the importance of your involvement on LinkedIn, check out the numbers. If your total connections equal 470, and each of your connections is connected to 470 people, the total size of your network is, drum roll, 220,900.
LinkedIn TIPS from Kevin
- Be careful what you post on social media because employers do check you out. Anything offensive or even political you may want to avoid or delete. As Thumper in Bambi said, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say nothin’ at all.”
- Alongside your profile you can turn off notifications. This means when you make a change to your profile, it won’t be broadcast to everyone. Kevin suggests leaving this feature off unless you receive a new job or a promotion. Then, leave it on long enough to receive all the congratulations, and then turn it off again.
- Kevin has switched his blog link from LinkedIn to his wordpress site. He now posts his blog on LinkedIn first and after that he redirects a link to his website. He recommends this if you have a blog.
- Make sure you have a professional head shot as part of your profile. No disembodied arms. No spouses since the employer is hiring you, not a couple. Some people want to avoid a head shot because “I’m not 25 years old any longer.” If you’re in the running for the job, the employer will meet you anyway. If they’re going to discriminate, you might as well know. Besides, people want to know who you are. And if you meet someone during networking, new connections can more easily identify you on LinkedIn.
- Your profile headline defaults to your most recent job. But you can change that to a headline that better describes what you do. Take a look at what other people have for their headline and design your own.
- Customize your URL. Simplify it to match your name as much as possible.
- Check out Skillful.com — especially if are underemployed or lack a college degree (like 70% of the American population).
- Don’t connect with everyone. But strategically build your numbers to 50 and then to 500. After 500, LinkedIn doesn’t post the number, but there’s something validating about having at least 500 connections. LinkedIn used to tell us not to connect with someone we don’t know. But, now that LinkedIn realizes how people are really using the feature, you can strategically select people you would like to know. He recommends never selecting “I don’t know John Doe.” But he’s never seen LinkedIn telling anyone whether you selected “friend’ or “did business with” the person you want to meet. Oh, and always personalize your invitation to connect.
- Ways to connect include joining LinkedIn Groups to create a commonality, sending a Get Introduced request to mutual connection, crafting a carefully worded request, pointing out some commonalities from their profile, or going Old School by picking up the phone and calling a mutual connection, asking to be introduced.
- Avoid one of the biggest mistakes people make by taking full advantage of the space you have for your summary. You can use up to 2000 characters, which is 300 words. What jazzes you up? Why should anyone care? It’s not an essay, though. Look at other people’s summaries. Don’t copy them, but study them and write your own. Use Tagcrawd.com to see what words pop up when you cut and paste a sample summary. Then carefully craft your own summary.
- In your profile summary it’s quite appropriate to use first person “I” because it reads better. Just don’t use first person “I” on your resume.
- Remember that you can re-order your skills and endorsements, calling attention to your most important skills first.
- If you think endorsements and recommendations are not important, think again. LinkedIn places high value on the number and type of endorsements and recommendations you have. The best way to get endorsements and recommendations is to offer to give them. Aim to build your numbers.
- Consider adding videos to your profile.
- Rule of thumb on LinkedIn is to go back as far as possible in your job history. But with your resume just go back 10 years.
- Groups. Join strategically but then be involved. If you post on a group it gets posted to your timeline and that’s a great way to show what you know.
As Kevin reminded us, a whopping 90% of employers review a candidate’s online profile, and 70% have based a hiring decision on what they find, or don’t find, online. You really need to pay attention to your LinkedIn tool. You really have no choice in today’s job market.
Le Nguyen, Talent Acquisition
Aetna is a health care insurance provider, marketing company, consulting organization and information technology enterprise, which employs 50,000 people. The company has won numerous awards for workplace equality, flex jobs and jobs for veterans. Aetna takes pride in its family values. In 2015 Aetna announced plans to improve wages and medical benefits for thousands of their workers. In 2015 the minimum base hourly wage for U.S. employees was raised to $16. Then in 2016 they’ve launched enhanced medical benefits to lower out-of-pocket health care expenses for some of its U.S. employees. Company paid benefits include paid time off (PTO) and holidays, life insurance, disability and more. Current job opportunities include customer service rep, IT project manager, national nurse educator, financial associate and more. To see a complete listing and to apply, visit their site.
Caitlin King, Lead Recruiter and Sara Flynn, Recruitment Relationship Manager
AMEX, American Express, provides customers with products, services and experiences to enrich their lives and make businesses successful. A trusted company for over 160 years, it’s won, among other awards, the J.D. Power Awards for eight consecutive years, as well as Fortune Magazine 100 Best Places To Work. Featured Career Areas include customer care, marketing, finance, risk and information management, technology, digital commerce, consulting, virtual career opportunities and more. Current Phoenix openings include engineer, collections analyst, staff architect, project manager, business analyst, travel counselor/customer service, and many more. Benefits include health, dental, vision and life insurance; AD&D insurance and disability coverage; healthy living benefits, family leave, onsite gym and cafe, and more. For additional information, or to apply, visit their career site.
Education Management Corporation (EDMC)
Kelly Moncada, Talent Acquisition
Education Management Corporation (EDMC) is one of the largest and most diverse providers of proprietary post-secondary education in the United States with over 40 years of history in 110 locations, including 122,990 students. Schools include The Art Institutes, Argosy University (which includes Western State College of Law in California), Brown Mackie College, and South University. Benefits include EDMC Tuition, Paid Time Off, 12 paid holidays, 16 PTO days, 401K and 401K Roth participation, community service policy, life insurance and more. Student success is their first priority in providing an education that builds careers, integrity, innovation, and excellence. Open positions include admissions representatives in Chandler/Phoenix, academic counselors and more, including Argosy Ground. For more information and to apply visit their site.
Freedom Financial Network
Linda Luman,VP HR
Freedom Financial Network helps clients transform their lives by helping them towards financial freedom. The company launched in 2002 by Stanford Classmates Bradford Stroh & Andrew Housser because they had so many college buddies with lots of debt. It started out with an online business and 14 years later they have three locations including two in Phoenix and one in San Mateo, CA. Some of their clients don’t even know how they got into financial difficulties. But the company employs 300 negotiators who work on behalf of their clients to help them become debt free in anywhere from two to four years. Company benefits include medical, dental, vision, 401K, life and LT disability, vacation, paid holidays, paid time for volunteer activities, employee discounts and recognition and four hours off on your birthday. Top career opportunity with the company includes Account Executive. For more information or to apply, visit their website.
Dynamic Worldwide Training Consultants (DWTC)
Rodger Brubacher, Director for Continuing Education
Dynamic Worldwide Training Consultants (DWTC) prepares students to take national exams which make them more competitive in the job market. Programs and certifications include Project Management, Six Sigma, Medical Front Office, Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS), and its newest program, Digital Marketing with Social Media. The award-winning school was recognized in 2015 as the 2015 Juniper Platinum Education Partner of the Year in the Americas, this being the 12th straight year to receive this honor. The state-of-the art facilities include modern computers, dual monitor student stations for each student, plus network, patented real-ILT, Smart Board, and personalized training. Classes are presented in multiple modalities including instructor-led, hybrid instructor-led, plus online training, corporate onsite training and remote training (virtual classroom attendance). Usual student to instructor ratios are 6:1. To learn more about the school and funding available, visit their website.
Executive Director of Career Connectors Jessica Pierce closed the formal part of the meeting before the breakout sessions. Those in attendance were encouraged to stay for the the breakout sessions in order to talk with hiring managers, receive free resume and LinkedIn instruction, and receive free professional head shots by a volunteer professional photographer. Volunteers were thanked along with host of the event, Highlands Church. Click here to take the DISC assessment free through the Career Connectors site.
The very next Career Connectors event takes place Tuesday, July 26, 2016, 9:00 AM in Gilbert, featuring salary negotiation expert Jack Milligan.
For details, including times, addresses and registration, for the next events in Phoenix, Scottsdale and Gilbert, click here.