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LinkedIn’s New Open Candidate Feature: Etiquette for Updating Your Profile

LinkedIn’s New Open Candidate Feature: Etiquette for Updating Your Profile

LinkedIn recently released a new function that allows job seekers to indicate that they are looking for work to recruiters. This function is private – meaning you won’t be advertising to your current employer or any followers that you are looking for a new position. Enabling the feature is fairly simple and this tutorial spells out each step. The ‘Open Candidate’ option is available in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia for now, but will surely be global very soon.

The only thing you have to do is make sure your profile is up-to-date and makes a positive statement about you.

Updating Your LinkedIn Profile

All of your skills are on display through this social media profile, right? Are each of those skills marketable – what employers want to see in a prospective employee? Before making your account open, do a little research into what companies you’d be interested in are looking for, especially if you are trying to change career paths. Take the time to review your profile for any typos, old or irrelevant information, or incorrect dates. The accuracy of your profile actually does make a difference and you also will want it to be as complete as possible – utilizing the percentage indicator on your homepage.
Many of LinkedIn’s features are free but there are membership only options. The new ‘Open Candidate’ feature is free and it was developed to keep your job search confidential – away from the eyes of your current employer. Your profile, for the most part, is public and you should want it to be open. Employers can search for candidates based on the skills or experience they have and having your profile open will put you in those search results. With the new feature, you will actually be able to signal to recruiters that you are looking for a new position. Knowing that, there are some other pieces about LinkedIn that you should keep in mind.

LinkedIn Dos and Don’ts

While LinkedIn can be an incredibly useful resource, it is not like other social media sites. Understand the etiquette surrounding the media – it is a business connectivity website. Including anything you would post on any other social media site would be against your best interest. When thinking about what you should include on your profile, and how to communicate with others, consider the following tips.

DO:

  • Keep your profile up-to-date with new skills and positions, discarding out of date information.
  • Endorse your followers’ skills – they will endorse you back.
  • Build your network by following people that work at a company or industry you are interested in. Cultural etiquette encourages a message to reach out to this person before adding them to your network. The additions will give you an idea of what skills you should strive to gain and add to your repertoire.
  • Comment in the forums and make connections.
  • Use LinkedIn to find and apply for new positions.

DON’T:

  • Post inappropriate pictures for your profile picture or otherwise – if you wouldn’t wear that outfit to an interview or at work, don’t post that picture.
  • Update or blog about your everyday life.
  • Follow people that are outside your network that look like fake profiles. There are fake profiles on LinkedIn – scammers trying to lure you to job opportunities that seem too good to be true or connect you with important people.
  • Send spam-looking messages to contacts.
  • Self promote in the forums or respond negatively to anyone.
  • Use only LinkedIn to find and apply for new positions. Not every employer will post a job through this social media website.

Social media can be tricky. Facebook and Twitter allow for nearly constant updates and pictures about your life, how you’re feeling, and advertisements. Pinterest is an eclectic collective of DIY, art, and life tips. LinkedIn is it’s own kind of social media and the best rule of thumb for this site: If you wouldn’t say it in an interview, it doesn’t belong on LinkedIn. Business, business, and only business should be on display for your profile – nothing personal.

When in doubt, leave it out. You should feel like your LinkedIn profile represents you on a different level than your resume. With everything you are able to do through LinkedIn – forum conversations, messages, and blogging – it is a new experience that can bring elements to your job search you haven’t used before. There is no guarantee that your profile will be any more unique than Sally’s or Joe’s, but the professional presentation of your knowledge and skills is much more important here than photos of your lunch.

Photo attributed to ddpavumba at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
By Kaley Buck, Five Strengths Contributor

Top 10 Social Media Management Tips for Job Seekers

Top 10 Social Media Management Tips for Job Seekers

We all know the conventional wisdom that if you’re a job seeker it’s great to be on social media. But what does that mean for the busy job seeker, particularly the executive, who might not know how to position himself/herself on a social media platform? Does it mean that you have to keep your Twitter account up all the time? Which is the right social media platform for you? Do you need to engage every day? Read on for the top 10 social media management tips for job seekers.

What social media platforms should I be on as a job seeker?

Social media management stylized abbreviation

Social media management is essential for successful job seekers.

  1. Have a presence on social media in a way that suits your job search and personality. You don’t have to engage more than you want to, as long as you’re consistent in your approach.
  2. Choose one or two social media platforms and stick with them. Don’t feel like you have to have a huge presence on every social media platform, so choose the ones on which you will be consistent and develop an engaging brand with those who might seek to hire an executive like you.
  3. Make sure that if you’re an executive job seeker, one of the social media platforms on which you engage is LinkedIn.

How should I present myself on social media as a job seeker?

  1. Be authentic. People want to know that what they see in your profile is who you really are, say, in a phone interview or face-to-face job search. This also means be kind and refrain from flaming.
  2. Demonstrate your expertise by posting essential, perhaps newsworthy industry information.
  3. Determine the position you wish to take on issues relevant to your industry or executive level, then stick with them–or create subtle controversy by explaining why you’re switching sides.

How do I manage to engage on social media, because as a job seeker I’m busy and don’t have time to waste? What tools can I use?

  1. Use the social media tools themselves. By working within, say, LinkedIn, every day, you’ll get a good sense of what others are doing and saying in your space.
  2. Get a HootSuite or SocialOomph account for an efficient, dashboard-like approach.
  3. Remember that the rule of reciprocity matters as much in social media as it does in real life. Repost and comment on others’ posts in greater proportion than you do send original microblog posts. Interestingly, this consistent practice makes engaging with social media simple and efficient.

What’s the single best way to promote myself online?

  1. Write a blog, and write it consistently. WordPress is an easy, free platform for you to use–all you need is a URL and hosting company (your investment is less than $50 annually, typically).

Thanks for reading these top 10 social media management tips for job seekers. I welcome your comments. If you are a job seeker and need solid advice on developing your social media presence, contact Five Strengths Career Transition Experts. We will help you develop the platform and social media presence you need to get ahead in your career.

 

Image courtesy of stock.xchng / svilen001.