Common LinkedIn Mistakes (And How to Fix Them!)
According to Visual.ly, LinkedIn boasts 238 million users and 3 million LinkedIn business pages as of September, 2013. With such steep competition on this professional networking site, it is vital to make sure your LinkedIn profile outshines all the rest.
So you have created your profile, uploaded a snazzy (yet professional) photo of yourself and added your resume. So what now? It’s time to fine-tune your profile and make sure you are not making one of these common LinkedIn mistakes.
1. You lack a custom URL: A sure sign that you are new to LinkedIn, or at least not LinkedIn savvy, is that you lack a custom URL for your LinkedIn profile. How can you tell? First off, check directly under your photo. If the URL you see there is your name with a series of numbers and/or symbols you can be certain that your URL is not custom. To change your LinkedIn URL, navigate to the Privacy & Settings portion of your profile, edit your profile and click the ‘edit’ feature next to the URL below your photo. Rather than the random URL assigned to you and your profile, change it to your name or an easily distinguishable combination of your name. So why does a custom URL matter? Simple answer: it makes finding you easier! Be sure to include your new, customized URL on your business cards and resumes so that after your meet someone or have an interview they can locate you quickly and easily on LinkedIn.
2. You aren’t following companies: LinkedIn isn’t just about you being found, it is about finding others as well! If you aren’t following companies and businesses on LinkedIn you are missing out on a huge opportunity to scope out potential job openings. Even if you aren’t interested in a particular company or business, follow that company if they are in the field you are pursuing! Doing so will keep you updated on industry trends and happenings. Following companies may also put you a step ahead of the competition when it comes time to nabbing a new job, as companies may post their openings on LinkedIn before other online job boards; meaning you may have first dibs on an interview! Following companies also shows other LinkedIn users that you are active and interested in staying updated on the career landscape.
3. Your profile is incomplete: Although it is tempting to think you are good to go by simply setting up a profile, adding a picture and adding some info…this is not the best way to utilize LinkedIn. The more complete your profile the more ‘searchable’ you are by other users, and more the searchable you are, the more easily you have of landing an interview. LinkedIn offers a feature on your profile page titled ‘Improve Your Profile’ and this easily takes you step by step through the missing pieces of your profile. Any sections that are not filled out (or filled out with great detail) LinkedIn will prompt you to expound upon. The more information you can offer on your profile the better shot you have at impressing a recruiter or potential employer. Tip: optimize your profile for the job you want, not the job you have! LinkedIn is a great way of telling people about your professional history, but it also serves as a springboard into the future. Craft your profile so that it will get the attention of a professional in the industry you are vying for.
Job searching can be tricky! Need assistance with your resume or interview? Contact WTI today!
Happy job searching WTI students!
Job Searching and YOU: How to Use Facebook’s New Graph Search
Move over LinkedIn, Facebook has joined the job search arena! How? Facebook has rolled out a new tool: graph search!
So what is graph search? Think of it in terms of an in-depth search feature. Previously on Facebook you were simply able to search for information by name, and now that graph search has rolled out you are allowed to search for things by “relational” theme. For example you can now search “friends who work for XYZ Company” or “people with connections to John Doe.” Below are three ways Facebook’s graph search can help you in your job search:
1. Search like never before! As you likely know, making connections is vital in your job search. Facebook’s graph search makes it super easy to search by your connections. For example, if you are re-locating to a new city and are wondering if you have any friends of friends who live close by, graph search can be a perfect tool. Are you looking for an “in” with a certain company you are interviewing with? Great! Use Facebook to narrow your search! Now you can search for “friends who work at XYZ Company” or “friends of friends who work at XYZ Company.” Looking to make a new business connection? Graph search is perfect for searching for shared interests! Simply search “friends interested in HVAC” and see all your connections (and friends of connections) who have ties to professions in the field.
2. Your Privacy Settings MATTER: Graph search is intuitive, however many Facebook users have insisted that it infringes upon their privacy. Graph search allows other Facebook users to search for content that involves YOU. This is good news if you are job searching, but BAD news if you have liked any inappropriate material and are job searching. Why? Because it shows up, and things like that matter to potential employers. During your job search it is vital to overhaul your privacy settings to protect you and your online persona. So who can see your stuff? The important part to remember here is that YOU control who sees what and who can find what. The selection “only me” prevents any one else from finding it in a search. The selection “friends” means that it is only public to YOUR friends, while “public” means anyone can find that info if they search for it. The good news is that graph searches allow you to search for information like never before, and makes the whole Facebook community a great deal more relevant to you. The bad news is, if you haven’t reviewed your privacy policies, posts, photos and pages you have in time past, will show up.
3. Review your likes and other content: What you like and what you are connected to online matters to a potential employer. Why? Because what is tied to you may inevitably be tied to that employer should they make the decision to hire you. That being said, it is time to review your ‘likes’ on your Facebook page! It is understandable that what you ‘like’ now is undoubtedly different than what you ‘liked’ two years ago. However, these likes will still show up! A potential employer can see any questionable items that you may have liked, no matter when it was. How do you edit your likes? Easy! Click on the “About” section of your profile and edit the pages or topics you have liked. Be choosy here! If it seems iffy, unlike it.