Woke up to find myself quoted in an article all about LinkedIn in The News Journal!
Last week I presented to The Community Matters Networking Group on how to craft an amazing LinkedIn profile. Aaron Nathans heard about the presentation and contacted me to learn more. On Friday we arranged a time to talk and on Monday (today) the article was in the paper!
I am really excited! Thank you, Aaron Nathans!!
‘It’s where people find jobs’
Proponents say LinkedIn can be invaluable for your career
BY AARON NATHANS • THE NEWS JOURNAL • NOVEMBER 15, 2010
It’s not as friendly as Facebook, not as hyper as Twitter.
But in a world already saturated with social media, having, and cultivating, a LinkedIn site is the professionally prudent thing to do, said several well-placed observers.
“My perspective out here in techland is that it is still very, very relevant,” Needleman said of LinkedIn. “It’s where people find jobs.” LinkedIn, founded in 2003, has about 80 million members, according to its Web page. The company boasts that a new user joins the service every second. Facebook, meanwhile, passed 500 million users this summer. Twitter, at last count, has 106 million users.
LinkedIn is a free service, but makes money through ads and offering premium services.
The site, at first glance, looks a lot like a person’s online resume, listing where someone works, their past jobs, and where they went to school.
That’s what the outside world usually sees.
But the value of LinkedIn is the connections, people members know through business, education and personal lives — but presented in their professional capacities. A list of connections is only visible to people allowed into a member’s network.
Local business people say LinkedIn is more than a way to find a job. It’s a database of professionals, which also helps businesses cultivate working relationships, said Donna Serdula, a social media consultant and Web designer near Newtown, Pa.
LinkedIn makes visible relationships that were once invisible, Serdula said.
“It’s no longer who you know, but it’s who they know, and how you can access and leverage and use those types of relationships,” she said.
It’s okay, she said, to ask your connections to introduce you to their own connections, either over LinkedIn or by phone. Especially when it comes to helping someone who’s out of work.
“It’s good for business, and the karma comes back to you as well,” she said.
Lee Mikles, CEO of the Archer Group marketing firm in Wilmington, said LinkedIn is a great recruiting tool. But LinkedIn also makes him a little uneasy.
“My value is in my black book,” Mikles said. LinkedIn, he said, asks you to make those relationships public.
He said he’ll accept requests if people are looking for help, but “I don’t want that to be the sole reason for the relationship. LinkedIn sometimes creates that,” Mikles said. “It’s like asking to marry you on the first date.”
It’s better, he said, to cultivate the relationship first, before sending a LinkedIn connection request.
Your profile, meanwhile, can serve as an effective front door for anyone wanting to learn about you for the first time, he said. Those without such a profile are at a disadvantage, whether they’re looking for work or trying to expand the reach of their existing business, he said.
Cynthia Morgan, senior vice president of the Delmarva Broadcasting Co., called the site “an instant backgrounder on a person.”
She said she can also read between the lines on many LinkedIn pages to determine how someone feels about their current job.
“You can tell if they’re feeling good or need a morale boost, by the way they change their profile update,” said Morgan, whose company, north of Wilmington, is a group of 11 radio stations and Web sites.
Anyone who’s being considered for a job is being Googled, Serdula said. LinkedIn allows the job seeker to have control over what people see about them on the Internet, she said.
Serdula offers a service where she’ll design a client’s LinkedIn page, including crafting snappy, sales-pitch text, for $99.
She advises that one of the most important things people can do is create a punchy headline.
Her own is: “Social Media-Web Design-Engaging Public Speaker-Writer-LinkedIn Profile Writer,” each word separated by stars.
Another important step, she said, is to create a conversational, eye-catching summary, she said. She calls it the “elevator pitch,” something that can be recited during a quick, chance meeting in an elevator.
“I always like to give the reader the feeling this person is stepping forward, shaking their hand and introducing themselves,” Serdula said.
LinkedIn is not a resume, she said. It focuses more on the future, to showcase what differentiates you, and what you’re capable of, she said.
Yes, there are places to note your past accomplishments, too, but that’s not the central point, she said.
She advises taking advantage of the full range of services on LinkedIn, including joining groups, the question-and-answer area, and adding in new connections as you make acquaintances.
“It is a long-term sales strategy,” Serdula said. “You have to keep at it.”
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