Blog number 2 – COM0011
LinkedIn – Social Networking for Business
Many of you are familiar with LinkedIn (LI), a professional networking site. Last week, Algonquin College hosted a speaker from LI, who delivered a presentation about it. The presenter, Donna Alexander, works for the company and so naturally has a favourable bias toward it. Still, points from her presentation entitled “The Power of LinkedIn” about building your profile, developing your network, and marketing yourself resonated with me. I’ve summarized key ones below.
The speaker cited a number of statistics: some 48% of traffic on LI is on mobile. 13 per cent of LI members are students and recent grads, and 49 per cent of LI users are in North and South America.
According to Ms. Anderson, some 10 million of members out of 19 million professionals in Canada are on LI, as are over 200,000 students and recent graduates in Canada, and more than 200 post-secondary institutions in Canada.
First of all, she noted it is important to get your profile right. This starts with having a good, professional photograph. According to Ms. Alexander recruiters are much more receptive to hiring those who have an appropriate, business-like photo of themselves.
Next, choose an appropriate, engaging headline as part of your profile. This is a key part of marketing yourself in a professional light. Don’t forget, she says, to play up your education and experience in your profile, including volunteer work which can be used to help flesh out a resume that may be short of actual paid work experience. Try for a 100% completion of your profile, she says, to maximize the effectiveness of your brand.
Other ideas for enhancing your presence on LI include using your inbox (messages you receive from other LI members) to comment. This will help bolster your credentials as an influencer or thought leader on LI. You can also join various professional online groups – there may be one related to your educational program – that will help boost your networking and personal marketing potential.
Through LI you can provide and accept “endorsements”. These are essentially testimonials from others about your skills and expertise. Receiving these testimonials from others — and offering to return the favour to others as appropriate – is a good way of strengthening your network.
Ms. Alexander did sound a few cautionary notes. LI is not the place, she advises, to get into “TMI” – too much information. Whether it’s politics or religion, or other controversial topics (including your last blowout party in residence), LI is not the place. Save them for your “latest and greatest” post on a personal social media site.
How do you see LI as a recruiting tool in your job search?