You have a professional headshot, a complete profile and your summary sings sweetly of your unique talents and abilities. You've followed the companies you have your eye on. You pay attention to the list of who have has viewed your profile and regularly review jobs LinkedIn thinks you might be interested in. What's next?
Make it easy for recruiters (and job listings) to find you
Your LinkedIn headline is your digital calling card. It is the most important thing about your entire profile because they keywords that you use are what will show up in search. Posting links in your status updates to client placements, recent presentations, contributed content and awards will help drive profile views as well, assuming your network likes or shares your news.
Do: Experiment with different keywords and pay attention to how your profile views increase or decrease. Use as many of the 120 characters you have available in your headline. Search for others with similar job titles to find keywords and ideas.
Don't: If you are unemployed - don't say so in your profile. Don't say you are consulting or freelance unless you actually are. Instead, focus on skills, abilities and quantifiable results for previous internships.
“Employers appreciate your connections. They might even hire you because you know people in the industry, and can make things happen.” - Nicole Williams, LinkedIn Career Expert
Do a monthly sweep of new contacts (and their contact's contacts)
Your going to be doing a lot of networking - job fairs, meet-ups and the like. The more contacts you accumulate, the better the odds that you’ll have someone to introduce you to an important industry contact when it matters most. Make it a habit to sweep the bottom of your purse for business cards, your email for exchanges with new partners, vendors and media and send out invitations on LinkedIn.
Do: Take advantage of LinkedIn search to find people currently working at companies you have targeted. Routinely check out the contacts of people you are already connected to and ask for an introduction.
Don't: Using the standard LinkedIn greetings. Instead add in a few personalized lines about why you want to connect and follow up with a thank you or request for a recommendation/introduction/phone call quickly once they accept.
Participate weekly in group discussions
Whether you are responding to queries and therefore demonstrating your expertise, asking questions of other members to gain valuable insight or simply reading through discussions to better understand the questions your higher-ups have about media, technology and PR, make it a habit to engage with a group discussion at least once a week.
Here are a few groups to join:
- Fashion & Lifestyle Industry Professionals Worldwide
- Fashion Marketing and Digital Media Group
- Luxury Fashion Brands
- PR Daily
Do: Sign up for weekly digests to avoid a deluge of emails. Reach out directly to those you have conversations with through the group to make a personal, first-degree connection. Ask questions that strategically allow you to demonstrate your expertise.
Don't: Be overly self-promotional, post needy updates about needing work, or put up with overly promotional groups
Use the Alumni feature
Oh the power of the alma-mater connection. Use the LinkedIn Alumni feature to find former fight-song aficionados who now work places you might want to work. The Alumni feature, located under the "Network" menu bar, is an oft-overlooked but extremely valuable benefit of using LinkedIn.
Do: Search by location and industry and join any related alumni groups.
Don't: Send the same blanket intro pitch to everyone. Take time to review each profile and find places of natural connection. You both played Water Polo, sweet. You both majored in Art History but work in Communication, tie it up into a pretty bow and send.
All in all, LinkedIn is for professional networking, not a set-it-and-forget-it profile. Top brands like L’Oreal, J.Crew, and Nordstroms all use LinkedIn to strategically position themselves as leaders within their niche markets, reach their target communities and attract new interest. Your mission is essentially the same. Through a mix of content sharing, profile tweaks and personalized outreach you will find LinkedIn a supportive partner to help you land that next position. For extra help landing the job, check out Ready to Launch and the new Professional Goods email templates from PR Couture or book a career coaching session with Crosby.
How do you use LinkedIn? Are you gainfully-employed? If so, how did you land your current position?
Photo Credit: C. Eichelberger