Category Archives: Social Networking

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Ten Ways to Use LinkedIn

If you are not yet a user of LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com) you should be. It can boost your career considerably. Guy Kawasaki VC and successful innovator and author writes about the ten ways to best use LinkedIn:

  1. 1. Increase your visibility.By adding connections, you increase the likelihood that people will see your profile first when they’re searching for someone to hire or do business with. In addition to appearing at the top of search results (which is a major plus if you’re one of the 52,000 product managers on LinkedIn), people would much rather work with people who their friends know and trust.
  2. Improve your connectability.Most new users put only their current company in their profile. By doing so, they severely limit their ability to connect with people. You should fill out your profile like it’s an executive bio, so include past companies, education, affiliations, and activities.

    You can also include a link to your profile as part of an email signature. The added benefit is that the link enables people to see all your credentials, which would be awkward if not downright strange, as an attachment.

  3. Improve your Google PageRank.LinkedIn allows you to make your profile information available for search engines to index. Since LinkedIn profiles receive a fairly high PageRank in Google, this is a good way to influence what people see when they search for you.

    To do this, create a public profile and select “Full View.” Also, instead of using the default URL, customize your public profile’s URL to be your actual name. To strengthen the visibility of this page in search engines, use this link in various places on the web> For example, when you comment in a blog, include a link to your profile in your signature.

  4. Enhance your search engine results.In addition to your name, you can also promote your blog or website to search engines like Google and Yahoo! Your LinkedIn profile allows you to publicize websites. There are a few pre-selected categories like “My Website,” “My Company,” etc.

    If you select “Other” you can modify the name of the link. If you’re linking to your personal blog, include your name or descriptive terms in the link, and voila! instant search-engine optimization for your site. To make this work, be sure your public profile setting is set to “Full View.”

  5. Perform blind, “reverse,” and company reference checks.LinkedIn’s reference check tool to input a company name and the years the person worked at the company to search for references. Your search will find the people who worked at the company during the same time period. Since references provided by a candidate will generally be glowing, this is a good way to get more balanced data.

    Companies will typically check your references before hiring you, but have you ever thought of checking your prospective manager’s references? Most interviewees don’t have the audacity to ask a potential boss for references, but with LinkedIn you have a way to scope her out.

    You can also check up on the company itself by finding the person who used to have the job that you’re interviewing for. Do this by searching for job title and company, but be sure to uncheck “Current titles only.” By contacting people who used to hold the position, you can get the inside scoop on the job, manager and growth potential.

    By the way, if using LinkedIn in these ways becomes a common practice, we’re apt to see more truthful resumes. There’s nothing more amusing than to find out that the candidate who claims to have caused some huge success was a total bozo who was just along for the ride.

  6. Increase the relevancy of your job search.Use LinkedIn’s advanced search to find people with educational and work experience like yours to see where they work. For example, a programmer would use search keywords such as “Ruby on Rails,” “C++,” “Python,” “Java,” and “evangelist” to find out where other programmers with these skills work.
  7. Make your interview go smoother.You can use LinkedIn to find the people that you’re meeting. Knowing that you went to the same school, plays hockey, or shares acquaintances is a lot better than an awkward silence after, “I’m doing fine, thank you.”
  8. Gauge the health of a company.Perform an advanced search for company name and uncheck the “Current Companies Only” box. This will enable you to scrutinize the rate of turnover and whether key people are abandoning ship. Former employees usually give more candid opinions about a company’s prospects than someone who’s still on board.
  9. Gauge the health of an industry.If you’re thinking of investing or working in a sector, use LinkedIn to find people who worked for competitors—or even better, companies who failed. For example, suppose you wanted to build a next generation online pet store, you’d probably learn a lot from speaking with former Pets.com or WebVan employees.
  10. Track startups.You can see people in your network who are initiating new startups by doing an advanced search for a range of keywords such as “stealth” or “new startup.” Apply the “Sort By” filter to “Degrees away from you” in order to see the people closest to you first.
  11. Ask for advice.Linked In’s newest product, LinkedIn Answers, aims to enable this online. The product allows you to broadcast your business-related questions to both your network and the greater LinkedIn network. The premise is that you will get more high-value responses from the people in your network than more open forums.

    For example, here are some questions an entrepreneur might ask when the associates of a venture capital firm come up blank:

    • Who’s a good, fast, and cheap patent lawyer?
    • What should we pay a vp of biz dev?
    • Is going to Demo worth it?
    • How much traffic does a TechCrunch plug generate?

How to Change the World: Ten Ways to Use LinkedIn. [Guy Kawasaki]

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Career Hacker * http://www.careerhacker.com * By Bill Inman * http://www.billinman.com

How Companies Find Candidates to Hire

A CareerXRoads study presents information on how employers are finding candidates to fill their jobs. The chart below shows that Employee Referrals and the Internet make up over 50% of all hires. College hires are gaining momentum as is Direct Sourcing from competitors and other companies.

From this information one can see that networking online (through social networking sites and blogging) and off (through co-workers and friends) is critical to your next career move.

Hiring Sources

CareerXRoads Sources of Hire Survey. [CareerXRoads]

Also see:

Look Within Your Current Company for Job Openings. [Careerhacker – Bill Inman]
Small Talk, Big Career. [Careerhacker – Bill Inman]
Blogs ‘Essential’ to a Good Career. [Careerhacker – Bill Inman]
Workers Not Using Social Networking to Find Jobs but Employers are Looking. [Careerhacker – Bill Inman]

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Career Hacker * www.careerhacker.com * By Bill Inman * www.billinman.com

In Danger of a Layoff? How Ready Are You?

Layoff Bill Inman Career Hacker careerhacker.comWhy would you be laid off?

 As is stated in the book “Fireproof Your Career,” by Anne Baber and Lynne Waymon there are many scenarios where a layoff at your company could effect your job. 10 of these scenarios include if the company you work for:

1. out-sourced your department overseas and eliminated your job.
2. got new management in a hostile take-over and eliminated your job.
3. merged with a competitor and eliminated your job.
4. bought more productive technology and eliminated your job.
5. hired contractors and eliminated your job.
6. decided to side-track your boss and eliminated your job.
7. changed its product line and eliminated your job.
8. down-sized, lost market-share, shrunk and eliminated your job.
9. consolidated its operations and eliminate your location and your job.
10.went bankrupt through bad management decisions and eliminated all jobs.

 How can you protect yourself from these scenarios?

Accepting that these scenarios could become a reality and taking action on the following five tactics can provide you with insurance against layoffs and open up new opportunities to you.

  1. Become psychologically self-employed. Take control over your career and realize that 100% of the responsibility for it is yours. Acting as a contractor or self-employed professional in your career will empower you in many ways.  First, you will be more likely to keep your skills current and secondly they tend to position themselves as players not observers.
  2. Learn for employability. Constantly expand your skills and seek career education. Keep your skills learning up in three areas: technological tools, job-specific technical skills, and with portable, transferable skills.
  3. Safeguard your financial future by planning ahead. Make financial decisions, on a day-to-day basis, that support your future. Ask yourself, “how can I spend less, earn more, and manage better?”
  4. Develop multiple options. Constantly be on the lookout for new departments, arenas, and ways to apply their skills so they’re ready to change jobs or careers when they want to . . . or have to.  Look for emerging job types, adjacent fields, lateral moves, and special projects. 
  5. Take time to build a safety net(work). Create long-term relationships that you can support and leverage throughout your career. Join your professional or trade association, for starters.

Five Tips or Fostering an “Eager to Stay/Prepared to Go” Mindset. [Anne Baber and Lynne Waymon]

5 Career Posts from Lifehack.org

Lifehack.org is a “daily digest and pointers on productivity, getting things done and lifehacks.”

Here are 5 career posts from Lifehack.org:

Seven Career Killers.
 9 Tips for Career Starters
Move Sideways.
Professional Volunteering: the Killer App!
Secrets of Satisfying Careers.

Lifehack.org.

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Career Hacker * www.careerhacker.com * By Bill Inman * www.billinman.com

How to Raise Your Value to the People You Work For

brand.jpgIn many cases people are stigmatized with the status and role (i.e. brand) the obtain when they get started with a new company. There are several ways to combat this:

(1) find a new job with more responsibility and higher compensation. See the previous post Job Hopping Your Way to Career Success for more information.

(2) constantly improve the impact of your personal brand. David Sandusky of BrandSimple writes, “A [personal] brand is much more than your career – it is about you and what you stand for.  A promise of value in your family and community.  It is an image and perception of you by those around you – physical, emotional and the external experience.”

 Review the following resources to learn more about creating your personal brand.

Your Brand, LLC. [Service]
Your Individual Brand. [Blog]
BrandSimple. [Blog, Book]

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Career Hacker * www.careerhacker.com * By Bill Inman * www.billinman.com

25% of Hiring Managers Use Internet Search Engines to Screen Candidates… 51% Didn’t Hire Because of What They Found

logos.gifAccording to a survey by Careerbuilder, over a quarter of hiring managers have looked at the web before making a decision to hire a candidate for a job opening. Over half of those have made a decision not to hire someone based upon what they saw.

Here are the things that hiring managers are finding about job candidates online:

  • 31% – candidate lied about qualifications
  • 25% – candidate had poor communication skills
  • 24% – candidate was linked to criminal behavior
  • 19% – candidate bad-mouthed their previous company or fellow employee
  • 19% – candidate posted information about them drinking or using drugs
  • 15% – candidate shared confidential information from previous employers
  • 12% – candidate lied about an absence
  • 11% – candidate posted provocative or inappropriate photographs
  • 8% – candidate’s screen name was unprofessional
  • People now more than ever should realize that what they do online may have serious financial consequences for them in the professional world. On the other hand ‘smart’ professionals will use these tools to create a positive personal brand that will be easily referenced. On the positive side hiring managers found the following about job candidates:

  • 64% – candidate’s background information supported their professional qualifications for the job
  • 40% – candidate was well-rounded, showed a wide range of interests
  • 34% – candidate had great communication skills
  • 31% – candidate’s site conveyed a professional image
  • 31% – got a good feel for the candidate’s personality, could see a good fit within the company culture
  • 23% – other people posted great references about the candidate
  • 23% – candidate was creative
  • 19% – candidate received awards and accolades 
  • Read Careerbuilder’s recommendations and the full article at:

    One-in-Four Hiring Managers Have Used Internet Search Engines to Screen Job Candidates. [Careerbuilder]

    Also read:

    Employers Google Job Candidates, Check Social Networking Web Sites. [SmartPros]

    Employers Turn to Blogs to Screen Job Seekers. [Jist]