Tips for using Linkedin, Xing etc to find a job in the current market.

I’ve recently been speaking to a number of students that have expressed frustration with regards to their job search.  One in particular told me that he had applied to over 60 advertisements placed by Recruitment Consultants and had received a response from only 5 of them.  Not surprisingly he was still waiting to hear from these recruiters.  In my view relying on recruiters to find a job will prove to be extremely frustrating and more than likely fruitless.  I was speaking to another MBS alum the other day who reached the final cut for a CIO role.  He was told by the recruiter that 360 jobseekers had applied to the advert, the chances of making it to interview stage are remote.  So,  what are the alternative strategies?  I’m using professional networking sites more and more in my job.  Used properly, I believe these are the most powerful tools for building a network that will lead to opportunities in the future.  Also, rather than paying contingent recruiters to place an advert online, more hiring managers are now searching Linkedin for profiles first, if you don’t have a good one, they won’t find you.  Here are some tips for getting the most out of the wide range of networking sites:

  • Make sure your profile looks professional.  The summary needs to clearly articulate your key strengths and what you are looking for.  Professional photograph, not one of you at the pub with friends.  Brief descriptions of where you’ve worked (in the employment sections) and key achievements.  If you do a Google search (e.g Linkedin profile suggestions) there are plenty of websites giving advice on the ideal profile.  Make sure you have plenty of relevant keywords which will come up in a search.
  • Get recommended,  if you have worked or studied with someone, ask them if they would recommend you.  Your profile will move higher up search results and you come across as a credible professional.
  • Personalise the link to your Linkedin profile and use it.  On your profile page, look for the “Public profile” section, click edit and change the number to something more personal eg. a standard link would look like this http://www.linkedin.com/pub/2/167/a43 and a personalised one would look like this http://www.linkedin.com/in/edcook24.  Once you have done this add it to your e-mail signature, when you e-mail someone asking for advice, if they want to know more about you they can have a look at your profile.  This is far more subtle than attaching your CV to every e-mail you send out.  You can see how effective your profile is by how many people view it or how many searches you come up in (home page right hand side).
  • Let other users see that you have looked at their profile.  This is something I have only recently changed, in my view you want people to look at your profile, on the “Home” page you can see who has looked at your profile, most of these are vague i.e “An MBA student from Melbourne Business School” .  If you are searching for possible contacts if you change your privacy settings (Account & Settings > Profile views> Show my name and headline) they can see you have looked at their profile and are more likely to have a look at your profile.  If they are impressed they might make contact.
  • Join groups – If you join relevant groups, you can send messages to other group members for free.  You can also carry out targeted searches of people with similar interests of backgrounds.
  • Consider upgrading your account – Especially if you are actively looking for a job, it costs US$ 25 a month, but means you can contact other Linkedin members directly if they are out of your network (using an Inmail)
  • Use other sites –  Linkedin is great if you are based in the US, UK or Australia.  If you want to build a network in Europe, it would be worth looking at other websites like Xing. Setting up a profile is easy, just copy and paste the information from your Linkedin profile.  Other sites like Ecademy might also be useful, experiment.
  • Give advice as well as ask for it – Make sure you respond to people asking for your advice.  Also, browse the “Answers” section and provide comments and suggestions to people asking questions.  This will help promote your profile.
  • Use tools like Twitter – More recruiters are using Twitter to promote opportunities they have, set up #tag searches so you can identify these opportunities.  I’ve started tweeting any new jobs MBS students from @MBSCareers

Please add any comments to this blog, especially if you have a success story to share or any other suggestions.  I better practice what I preach, here’s a link to my Linkedin profile http://www.linkedin.com/in/edcook24 if I’m not connected to you already and you’d like to connect, please send me an invitation mentioning you’ve read this blog.

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3 Responses to “Tips for using Linkedin, Xing etc to find a job in the current market.”

  1. Good advice, Ed. These are all important networking and personal marketing tools. I’ve been approached twice by recruiters — once via LinkedIn and once via LinkMe — inviting me to apply for a job they hadn’t yet advertised publicly. I also occasionally find out about job openings via Twitter, but for this you have to be listening to the right (i.e. most connected) people in your industry of choice. To figure that out, you need to work backwards: who would you go to if you wanted to hire someone to do your dream job. Once you’ve identified those people, start following them on Twitter.

    Further, most of the hiring managers I’ve interviewed with have, at the very least, visited my blog. For those who don’t have a blog, LinkedIn profiles are the closest equivalent so it’s important to make sure that your profile is properly filled-out and is publicly viewable (so they can find it when the do a Google search on your name).

    Social media also comes in handy when you want to research a company to find out things like who works there and what the culture there is like. For example, I use LinkedIn to find out as much as I can about the people I’m interviewing with and who my potential colleagues could be. It’s a great resource.

  2. Hi Ed, good post!
    One comment regarding CV’s information.
    Financial Review newspaper one month ago advised to do not inform personal information in CVs such as: address, birth date, social security number, driver’s license number.
    There had been cases in the UK and the US were CV’s information had been misused for open bank accounts and credit cards.
    Nowadays this problem is affecting people more often. Due to higher unemployment, a higher number of CVs are circulating in the web, thus more information can reach infriendly hands.
    Regards

  3. Thanks for one’s marvelous posting! I quite enjoyed reading it, you may be a great author.I will make certain to bookmark your blog and may come back very soon. I want to encourage yourself to continue your great job, have a nice day!

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