Last week I received a personalized congratulatory email from LinkedIn’s Senior Vice President of User Experience that said “You have one of the top 1% most viewed LinkedIn Profiles for 2012”. LinkedIn now has 200 million users, so by the time I worked out the math (1 in 2,000,000), the message didn’t have as much meaning, unless I was going to assess and quantify how many connections or clients I received as a result of these views.
Anyway, for it was worth, I googled the sender’s name to make sure it was legitimate, then tweeted the news. What algorithm LinkedIn used to arrive at this percentage is anyone’s guess, but it has certainly garnered a lot of discussion among some of my career practitioner colleagues – from humour to an attitude of ‘What will they come with next?’
While we ponder this, however, I am reminded of the many job seekers who are not aware of, or are still not taking advantage of LinkedIn as a job search and networking tool. One woman called me aside at church the other day and said, “Someone sent me an invitation to join LinkedIn. I don’t understand what it is, but I know you would, so I joined, and now am asking you to explain.” I gave her a brief description of LinkedIn and told her it is often referred to as ‘having one’s resume on steroids’ so she is to make sure she completes her profile.
It might be presumptuous to say that LinkedIn is fast becoming somewhat of a ‘recruiter of choice’ for some employers, but many of them are using LinkedIn to conduct ‘stealth hiring’. This is where they quietly target, recruit, interview and hire employees without advertising job vacancies. They are able to view profiles, see who is connected to whom, what skills and expertise they have, and reach out to them even when these individuals are not looking for job opportunities. On the flip side, they can view profiles and if they are incomplete or do not have the right keywords to appeal to them, they can disqualify them right there.
So, whether or not you are among LinkedIn’s 1%, 5% or 10% most viewed profiles, here are six quick tips that could bring your profile up to speed and have you on the radar of potential employers:
- Complete your profile. This means writing an attention-getting summary and adding skills that will show up in searches and help to attract recruiters and hiring managers.
- Upload a professional head-shot. First impressions count, even for your profile, so replace that ‘egg head’ blank square with a professional photo if you want to impress a recruiter or hiring manager, or connect with someone.
- Customize your LinkedIn invitation. People are more apt to connect with you if you put a bit of effort into crafting a customized invitation. Let them feel special! Remind them where you met or how you are connected.
- Join industry and professional groups. LinkedIn allows you to join up to 50 groups, so search for groups by industry, alumni, former companies and career or job search groups, and join them. Once you have joined, PARTICIPATE!
- Follow your target companies. During your research you would’ve identified companies with which you would like to work. Monitor their company pages to learn more about them, their products and services, as well as who has recently been hired.
- Ask and Answer Questions. LinkedIn is made up of a community of learners, so don’t be afraid to showcase your expertise by answering questions posed by other users or to pose questions of your own.
While this article primarily pertains to job seekers, entrepreneurs and solopreneurs should harness the power of LinkedIn to build relationships and visibility, and increase business opportunities.
Let us know how you are using LinkedIn and if you have been counted among their most viewed profile.