Success Stories

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Today, I spent a couple of hours looking at LinkedIn profiles of other users. I did not just look at profiles of the average users, but individuals I thought to be successful. I looked C suite users of fortune 500 companies, as well as professors. I did this to get a better idea of how I want to model my own LinkedIn profile during this revamping stage I am in. Sometimes I feel we best learn from observing others. Below is a few screenshots of sections of well-done LinkedIn profiles.

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The above screenshot is from the profile of a recruiter whom I personally know. I thought it would be interesting to see what a recruiter’s LinkedIn page would look like, since I am trying to win the approval of recruiters everywhere.

I just recently learned that LinkedIn has provided a “Publications” heading that can be added to your profile. As you can see this user has added articles and publications she has either written on contributed to. This would be the ideal place to add a link to your professional blog or an article that you have written.

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Above is the screenshot of internship descriptions that were done very well by a young woman. I think the lack excessive bulleting makes for a clean look. She did a very good job at summarizing her experience and duties into a short paragraph. Remember, recruiters spend approximately 5 seconds looking at a resume. The more concise, but still explains adequately, the better.

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I love the cleanliness of the above screenshot. This user has added an appropriate amount of awards and honors that look nice and represents her well. This has made me realize that I need to rack my brain of what awards and honors I have received, so I can add them to my LinkedIn profile.

What Recruiters Want to See on Your LinkedIn

As a soon to be college grad, wouldn’t it be so nice to know exactly what recruiters are looking for? Well, look no further. I have compiled a list of things recruiters want to see on your LinkedIn profile.

Tip: Before you start doing major construction on your LinkedIn profile, it would be helpful to change your visibility settings. Before revamping, deselect “let people know when you change your profile” under privacy settings. This will keep connections from seeing all the back and forth changes that are to occur. Just make sure you turn the setting back on when you have completed.

1. Creativity

  • Recruiters have made a career out of reviewing other people’s resumes. They have seen thousands. In order to make your resume stand out to land that job, you must be different.

2. Proof of Your Work

  • It’s not because they do not believe you have done the work, but they want to see how talented you really are. Because LinkedIn is not constrained by length, you can add links to your work- and you should! This can mean presentations, an article you have written, or research you have conducted. Recruiters should have access to all of your awesome work, and LinkedIn makes that possible.

3. Keywords

  • Not because there are a list of words that resonate in a recruiter’s head (even though there are), because certain words bring your to the top of the recruiter’s applicant list. LinkedIn and other software have taken some of the work out of finding the perfect candidate for recruiters. When a HR person is trying to fill a position there are certain keywords that an ideal candidate would have on their profile. LinkedIn’s premium recruiter package searches for those secret words and brings candidates who have included those words to the top of the list. For example, key words I use are “persuaded,” “increased,” and “strengthened.”

4. Maximize Engagement

  • Make posts and share industry related content regularly (biweekly). If sometimes you don’t have the time to craft the perfect post about what’s currently happening in your industry, that’s fine. Share articles that would be relevant and interesting to the desired target market, like the recruiter of the company whose attention you are desperately trying to win.

LinkedIn: Common Mistakes, Including My Own

LinkedIn is really great about equipping its users with great tools for success and pointing them in the right direction, but somewhere along the way we all make a couple of mistakes. Upon further investigation of what recruiters are looking for on a LinkedIn profile, I found out I was making a few mistakes of my own. I also took a sample of 25 LinkedIn users that are juniors and seniors at my university. I evaluated trends of what my peers are doing right and what they are doing wrong according what my research found.

  1. Not Making Regular Updates
  • Many students, including myself, are not updating our LinkedIn profiles with current experiences and skills. Because LinkedIn is an endless stream of a resume, we should take advantage of that. Updating regularly also keeps the user in the newsfeed of connections.

2.  Neglecting the Recommendation Feature

  • LinkedIn allows professionals to write letters of recommendation that live and breathe on your profile. That is awesome! For every job or internship that you have had there should be a recommendation to accompany it. The way the recommendation feature works is you just send a request to the user that you would like to write it.

3. Inactivity

  • I was very guilty of this common mistake. LinkedIn provides its users with the opportunity to post and share industry related topics that your connections will see. Recruiters agree that it is impressive to see a new grad/college student have professional interactions online.
  • Another way users are inactive is by taking days or even weeks to accept connection requests. Just like Twitter and Facebook, LinkedIn is a social media that should be checked daily.

4. Losing Contact with Connections

  • I don’t know about you, but in college I met many important professionals that I would love to work for. I always collected their business card and then promptly added them to my LinkedIn network. When I always messed it up was with the follow through. I might have a connection at Google, but are they really a connection if I haven’t spoken to them in over a year? No, because they will not remember me. LinkedIn has added this nifty tool under the ‘contact list’ section. It is called           ‘last contacted.’ This feature tells you the last time you interacted with a connection and can even remind you to do so.

5. Lack of Bio

  • Out of the 25 college student LinkedIn accounts I reviewed, only 3 of them included personal bios. Though most students thoroughly and articulately explained their experiences, almost none of them had described themselves. It is important to include a little bit about who you are as a professional. This should be cohesive with your online brand on other platforms.

LinkedIn: Premium vs. Free

I have had a LinkedIn account for a little over two years and have only used the basic and free version of LinkedIn. With the countdown of 44 days until graduation and still no job, I thought it could be worthwhile to try out the premium account. LinkedIn has broken down its premium accounts into four different categories:

Business- for general business users

Job Seeker- for job seekers

Sales Professional- for sales professionals

Recruiter- for enterprise and individual recruiters

Within those categories, you can select a basic, something in the middle, or a plus version. I chose the job seeker version that is in between basic and plus. Below, is a list of prices for each version of the job seeker premium account.

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After careful calculation and evaluation, I found that the premium job seeker version of LinkedIn is not worth it.

It isn’t that this version doesn’t have valuable tools or neat features, because it definitely does. However, I feel that in comparison to what a user already receives with the free account that $29.95 is not justified with the few whistles and bells that are added.

Here is a complete list of what tools come with the job seeker premium account.

  1. 3 InMail messages to recruiters on LinkedIn with a guaranteed response.
  • In theory this sounds awesome, but typically the responses are generic. Although LinkedIn does guarantee 3 responses a month that does not mean you are receiving the recruiter’s attention or that they will be interested in you.
  1. Receive a full list of who has viewed your profile.
  • I feel that this feature alone would be worth the $29.95, except that you already receive a pretty detailed list of who is viewing your profile on the basic version. The basic version does not always give a name, but it will tell you where that professional is employed.
  1. Featured Applicant
  • This feature moves your name to the top of the recruiter’s list (along with other premium version applicants) after applying for a job through LinkedIn. This would be better if you applied for all jobs directly through LinkedIn. Most job applications on LinkedIn lead you to another form of recruiting software or the company’s website.
  1. Premium Badge
  • This feature just puts a star next to your name so that everyone is aware that you are paying for that star.
  1. Salary Data
  1. Job Seeker Group and Webinar
  • This feature is just the links to the occasional newsletter and video with the dos and don’ts of interviewing. It’s nothing you can’t Google!

    The features that premium accounts offer are nice features to a job seeker, but not worth the monthly bill of $29.95. Especially as college student/new grad, the money could be better spent on something else that would get you more attention.

LinkedIn- What is it and why is it valuable to you?

Do you have a job?

Do you want a job?

Let me rephrase that last question, do you need a job?

 If you answered yes to any of these questions it’s time for you to join LinkedIn. With over 280 million users, LinkedIn has proven relevant to your professional life. Here are a few stats to help present the scope of LinkedIn’s reach and success.

 A new LinkedIn account is created every 2 seconds.

LinkedIn’s user goal is 3 billion.

40% of users check LinkedIn daily.

 LinkedIn is a social media service that acts as a professional Facebook. Users can upload a profile picture, make connections with other professionals, post statuses, and keep up with what other industry leaders are talking about.

I am a personal fan of LinkedIn, and I have taken it upon myself to investigate the ins and outs of the LinkedIn profile. Here are 3 tools that LinkedIn offers its users that are game-changing.

Online Resume

LinkedIn is putting the age-old argument of linen paper versus cardstock for your resume to rest. Although, in my personal opinion crème colored linen is the only way to go. However, LinkedIn has taken the hassle out of printing that physical resume. A LinkedIn profile acts as a living and breathing resume. LinkedIn boasts and projects that they will replace the physical resume entirely in five years.

Users have the opportunity to create a digital resume that is not limited to length. In addition, colleagues and supervisors can write letters of recommendation that live on the user’s profile. “Endorsements” are another feature that enables users to advocate a user’s skill set.

Job Hunt

If you are in the job market, LinkedIn can help. The professional network also acts as an online job board that allows you to search by location and industry. LinkedIn is also a two-way street. It allows a user to be found rather than the individual doing all the finding. Recruiters can search for key words of individuals in certain locations and industries. Let your LinkedIn profile work for you.

Hub of Information

I have found LinkedIn to be a highly valuable resource during interview preparation. This is a great space to find information on people and organizations. I use LinkedIn to educate myself on the company that I am applying for, as well as the person conducting the interview.

Information on LinkedIn can also be valuable when developing your own personal resume or cover letter. When applying for a position, I always LinkedIn search the resume of a successful individual in that role. I compare experiences and the language they are using on their personal resume.

 

Resources: Expanded Ramblings