LinkedIn – an introduction for employers
Social media has changed the way we engage with each other.
At the touch of a button we can make a connection or become a fan of the latest craze – day or night, 365 days of the year.
And with Google+ already making a big impact – despite being an invite-only application at present – it is inevitable that much of your day will soon be occupied by online activity.
This is a debate that has recently shaken up the recruitment industry – forcing it through yet another transformation.
This new way to engage with communities has made employers sit up and take notice of social media’s presence, resulting in a new interactive tool to complement their hiring strategies.
So, what is it?
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network on the internet. With more than 100 million members across the world, it offers a powerful tool to connect with like-minded professionals, network, and search for jobs.
To really capitalise on what it offers, your first step should be setting up a profile.
Structured in a way not to dissimilar from a CV, the profile function allows users to put in their experience, education, links to blogs and websites and implement functions such as company presentations. But there’s no point in dabbling – make sure to fill in every section to give a viewer a broader picture of your skill set.
Tip: ensure your profile is keyword-rich. For example, if you’re seeking to network with other sales professionals or get your business’ name out there as a telemarketing specialist, ensure to use synonyms, such as business development, telesales or appointment making, to ensure it can be found in searches.
Next, the groups tab.
At the time of writing, the LinkedIn group directory was reached 1,044,621 groups – each with active threads, jobs tabs and portals to make new connections. That’s a lot of unlocked potential for your job search.
Because it is so simple to create a group, finding ones to join that suit your interests and search for networking opportunities – or candidates – should be straight forward.
Tip: When requesting to join a group, make sure to check your email preferences (found in the settings part of your profile). Depending on the group, you may be on the receiving end of frequent digest emails that may be too much to look through, so adjust your settings accordingly.
Latest figures show more than 2 million companies have LinkedIn Company Pages – so finding a company you’d like to network with should be straight forward.
On the Company page, you will find information on their employees, services and products, not to mention any recent activity. Any status updates will appear within the feed on your home page, so keep an eye out for projects they could be working on, and offer your expertise.
As you become more comfortable, exploit the unique features LinkedIn offers. One of which is the ‘Who’s Viewed My Profile’ on your profile. Clicking through will show you who has been looking at your details, and if they’re of interest – why not contact them to see if you can offer further insight into your skills?
Tip: The current basic account only lets you view the last five visitors. If you upgrade your account to ‘Premier account status’, in addition to a host of features, you will be able to see more visitors.
Whilst LinkedIn offers many features, perhaps its most important – and the cornerstone of its success – is the ability to connect.
Connections are listed as first, second or third tier – depending on who you know. Invite colleagues and friends, acquaintances or business contacts to connect, and you’ll quickly see just how powerful the connections functionality is.
Many people are still not leveraging their professional network as well as they could. The key to really capitalising on it is second tier connections.
Think of these users as potential gateways into businesses or online communities, and to access them it’s simple. You just need to ask your first tier connections to introduce you. Contact them directly and you will run the risk of alienating them, ask a connection to introduce you, and it will seem much more personal and non-intrusive.
This article, written by the blog author, was featured in The Market magazine.