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Linkedin - How to use it for job-hunting.

  • 04-02-2010 10:43am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 24,140 ✭✭✭✭Sleepy


    Every second thread I reply to I've ended up recommending LinkedIn so I thought a guide to it might be useful on this forum. I've no association with them btw, just found it extremely useful for job-hunting.

    So, what is linkedin?
    It's a social networking site that's focused on the professional world. So, it's like a Facebook for your career.

    Why use it?
    If you go to a recruitment consultant at the moment, the first thing they'll do with your CV is check their existing database of jobs, after that they'll check their linkedin contacts to see if they can find someone who your skills might be of interest to. In a recessionary market, recruitment consultants are only of so much use to you. Why would a company bother hiring one when there's plenty of candidates out there already who they can get to apply directly?

    As millionaire pointed out in his posts (here and here, the best way of finding a job is to contact a hiring manager directly. HR departments will only know if a vacancy exists, they won't know that a senior manager may be prepared to create a position for someone of the right skillset!

    How do I get started?
    Well, open an account and build your profile. A good profile should be based on your CV, show your education, your job history, interests etc.

    Next, you need to build your network. Your starting point should be to try and connect to anyone you've ever worked with. This lets their contacts see you and vice versa. Next look for old clients who you got on well with / could recommend you. Finally, add friends, family etc. Even if they work in totally different areas than you, it's likely they have other contacts within your area or their contacts may have contacts who do. The more people you have in your extended network, the more you'll appear in search results and the more people you'll be able to find. Ireland's a small place and with only 3/4 degrees of separation it's not hard to find a link to someone you might want to contact.

    Don't be afraid to ask for recommendations, these are what get you noticed. Ask former colleagues or clients for recommendations and write short recommendations from those you'd either like to get reommended back by or those you'd simply like to do a favour for. Both raise your profile on the site.

    Finally, join groups that are relevant to your career, your college's alumni group or your interests. For example, here's the boards.ie group on linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=1386797. You can choose not to display a group's logo on your profile if you want to build your network with it but not to have it obvious that you spend half your work-day on boards for example!

    So, I've got a profile and build a network, what now?
    First off, keep building your network. It's the key to any form of networking and that's exactly what this site lets you do. I didn't think I'd much in the way of industry contacts until I started building my profile and now I'm finding opportunities through it left, right and centre. Not very many of them suit me but it's better to be hearing of them and getting the ego boost that someone's interested in you than just firing off cv after cv to recruitment agencies on job sites and hearing nothing back.

    Irish people seem very open to networking opportunities so don't be afraid to contact anyone you even half know. Build your network and use it.

    Now, the important bit, and a point that dove-tails nicely with what millionaire pointed out in his posts on the recruitment agencies thread that I linked to. If you've worked with a company that sold services, your skills may well be of interest to their clients. So, find them and see who shows up as a first, second or third level contact for that firm. If you can't contact them directly, find someone that has a direct link to them in your network and ask for an 'introduction'.

    If you developed or installed a system somewhere, aren't you an ideal candidate to support that system for them? or to extend it's capabilities for them? So contact a senior manager in that organisation via linked in and ask if they might be interested in your skillset as a former employee of their supplier.

    Summary
    Essentially, linkedin can get you access to the people with the power to hire you. They may be interested, they may not. But if you've made contact, the odds are they'll remember you if they do need someone in the future.

    If you're out of work, the worst you stand to lose by putting the effort in is a bit of time and that shouldn't be a worry. If you already have a job, what harm is there in putting yourself out there for a headhunter to find you?

    Another benefit I've discovered from creating my profile there was that it got me access to how a lot of former colleagues describe their roles in their CV. This has helped me improve my own, spotting things about old jobs that I hadn't seen as selling points before etc.

    Hope this is of some use to those who haven't tried it out, or who've just registered and left their profile half-empty with only a contact or two and wondered why everyone else seemed so enthusiastic about it. If anyone has tips I've left out please add them to this thread so that we can all benefit from it. If you've a question post it here and I'll try my best to answer it, though I'm unlikely to be more than a page or two ahead of you, I'm new to this myself but have found it so useful I felt I had to share it!


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Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 12,401 ✭✭✭✭Anti


    Good post.


  • Registered Users Posts: 68 ✭✭Blonde27


    Can I just say that I work in Recruitment for a company and I use Linked In all the time for approaching people and hiring them. It is a fantastic resource.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,140 ✭✭✭✭Sleepy


    If anyone else has any tips for it, please add them. I'm far from an expert on it!


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,987 ✭✭✭✭zAbbo


    My advice is to always send a custom invitation to people, rather than the generic one.

    Also if you receive an invitation to connect, but don't know the person - archive it rather than delete it, that way you can come back to it later.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13 OneStop


    Any other tips on using likedin? I am one of those people who created an account aaaages ago but never bothered since. Does it really work in Ireland?

    On another note, is putting a picture up advisable or not? It all seems a bit too "facebooky" to me.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 856 ✭✭✭miec


    Thanks a million Sleepy for an amazing post and the brilliant tips. It seems to me that maybe the face of job seeking is rapidly changing from the old style.


  • Registered Users Posts: 150 ✭✭KarlDrake




  • Registered Users Posts: 24,140 ✭✭✭✭Sleepy


    OneStop wrote: »
    Any other tips on using likedin? I am one of those people who created an account aaaages ago but never bothered since. Does it really work in Ireland?

    On another note, is putting a picture up advisable or not? It all seems a bit too "facebooky" to me.
    I put up a picture though I notice a lot of my contacts don't have them up.

    I think it's worth putting some work into tbh. Lots of people I know have been contacted by recruiters both internal and agency through it about job prospects and I've uncovered a few worthwhile leads through it myself.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,717 ✭✭✭Nehaxak


    I still have hangups about Linkedin, to use it to it's fullest you really need to fill it with a lot of what can be personal information about your life and past work.
    Not that I've anything to hide or otherwise but just have problems posting my whole lifes worth up for the whole internets to look at so easily.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13 OneStop


    Nehaxak wrote: »
    I still have hangups about Linkedin, to use it to it's fullest you really need to fill it with a lot of what can be personal information about your life and past work.
    Not that I've anything to hide or otherwise but just have problems posting my whole lifes worth up for the whole internets to look at so easily.

    Yeah, my sentiments exactly. While I feel it may give me some leads for potential employment, I don't like the idea of telling the world of my life experiences and other private information!

    What to do, what to do :confused:


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  • Registered Users Posts: 150 ✭✭KarlDrake


    OneStop wrote: »
    Yeah, my sentiments exactly. While I feel it may give me some leads for potential employment, I don't like the idea of telling the world of my life experiences and other private information!

    What to do, what to do :confused:

    A career snapshot is all you need to do really, I'm a huge fan of it and I don't see any issues in terms of getting your career up there. What private information do you mean?
    Regarding the photograph issue, it's almost expected in my experience. Of course, who ever heard of a good passport photograph but I think a professional looking headshot rather than you skiing is the ticket.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,936 ✭✭✭3DataModem


    KarlDrake wrote: »
    A career snapshot is all you need to do really, I'm a huge fan of it and I don't see any issues in terms of getting your career up there. What private information do you mean?
    Regarding the photograph issue, it's almost expected in my experience. Of course, who ever heard of a good passport photograph but I think a professional looking headshot rather than you skiing is the ticket.

    LinkedIn is fantastic - very useful to me in my recent job hunt. It seems that everyone in my industry is on LinkedIn... I was "known" in the industry as a result of LinkedIn.

    Can't recommend it highly enough. Here's an example of the type of profile information I think is appropriate;

    http://uk.linkedin.com/in/davidlyons1974


  • Registered Users Posts: 856 ✭✭✭miec


    I still have hangups about Linkedin, to use it to it's fullest you really need to fill it with a lot of what can be personal information about your life and past work.

    I know what you mean but I have just joined and to be honest it is worth it as I saw a job there I don't think I would have done otherwise.

    Sleepy your advice was so spot on, I feel like I have a bit more hope now as I got in contact with someone that I knew from years ago who might be a good contact. I feel I only barely tipped it today but likewise I would really recommend it. I am beginning to see that the route of recruitment agencies is dead and gone. Again thanks everyone for the cool advice. The only hang up I have is putting my picture up, I just can't do that.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,140 ✭✭✭✭Sleepy


    Hope the contact comes good for you miec and glad you found the post useful :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 991 ✭✭✭LimeFruitGum


    3DataModem wrote: »
    LinkedIn is fantastic - very useful to me in my recent job hunt. It seems that everyone in my industry is on LinkedIn... I was "known" in the industry as a result of LinkedIn.

    Same here. Everyone knows someone you know in the industry I'm in, so I remember the interviewers in my company arching their brows and nodding in a good way, when I said they could check out my LinkedIn profile.

    Of course, sticking up a random profile is not a guarantee of getting a job. But I definitely think it is worth spending time on creating a suitable LinkedIn profile when you want to cross into a new industry or climb the ladder in your current one.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,002 ✭✭✭nomdeboardie


    OneStop wrote: »
    Yeah, my sentiments exactly. While I feel it may give me some leads for potential employment, I don't like the idea of telling the world of my life experiences and other private information!

    What to do, what to do :confused:

    I have similar reservations about having a CV / bio info online: it's a potential one-stop shop for someone with "ulterior motives" who might see an opportunity to e.g. pretend that they knew you from a job in another location a long time ago. I know that it should be straightforward to just say "sorry, I don't remember you", but throw in a bit of "cold reading" from the would-be contact and things could get a bit less clear cut.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,914 ✭✭✭✭Dempo1


    I'm curious! I have been on linkedin for a number of years, quite a detailed profile and i have never found it useful in terms of recruitment, maybe i am doing something wrong? As for recruitment Consultants? are there any left? i doubt given the fact they rarely respond to either emails or applications that they would task themselves having to check linkedin?

    Is maith an scáthán súil charad.




  • Registered Users Posts: 24,140 ✭✭✭✭Sleepy


    Dempo1, as with any social networking tool it's use is directly related to the strength of your network. The more people you're directly connected to, the more that will show up in your searches and the more likely it is that a hiring manager in a company you wish to work for will be one of the results.

    Recruitment Consultants seem to use it both to find people with relevant skills for a position they've been asked to fill and to contact managers in companies they know may be interested in a candidate they have rather than simply seeing it as another inbox to check.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13 OneStop


    Well, I'm back since my last post to report that I am finding Lindedin absolutely brilliant! I was one of those people who created a profile years ago but never bothered since...boy am I sorry now! After just a couple of days I have some job leads to follow up on, all through networking with some old colleagues, brilliant!

    On another note, can somebody recommend any decent groups to join on linkedin (job seeking ones that is). Thanks!


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,555 ✭✭✭Gillington


    Would Linkedin be used for all types of recruitment and for a broad vareity of jobs or would it be aimed at specific fields?


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 63 ✭✭sparktest


    Same here. Everyone knows someone you know in the industry I'm in, so I remember the interviewers in my company arching their brows and nodding in a good way, when I said they could check out my LinkedIn profile.

    Of course, sticking up a random profile is not a guarantee of getting a job. But I definitely think it is worth spending time on creating a suitable LinkedIn profile when you want to cross into a new industry or climb the ladder in your current one.


    Just wondering about the last point here, How would you recommend someone going about trying to get into a new industry? 'cold calling' on linkedin? Been looking this evening. NOt sure where to begin...


  • Registered Users Posts: 150 ✭✭KarlDrake


    sparktest wrote: »
    Just wondering about the last point here, How would you recommend someone going about trying to get into a new industry? 'cold calling' on linkedin? Been looking this evening. NOt sure where to begin...

    That would depend on many factors, and there are companies that will help with social media strategies (ahem) but I'd suggest getting onto twitter, following the movers and shakers in your "new" industry there.
    Joining groups on LinkedIn that serve this industry, getting involved in discussions and getting yourself known in that world. Take discussions offline if you can and before you know it you're in that sector.
    Start thinking like you're there already and you have a perfect right to be involved.
    Feel free to pm me if you want to give specifics on what industry.


  • Registered Users Posts: 856 ✭✭✭miec


    On another note, can somebody recommend any decent groups to join on linkedin (job seeking ones that is). Thanks!

    Hi if you google Paul Mullan he has set up a group called Careers and measurability (I think) he writes articles on recruitireland.com and I joined it, it is a great way of getting noticed, plus you get an idea of who else is looking and connecting with people.


  • Registered Users Posts: 150 ✭✭KarlDrake


    miec wrote: »
    Hi if you google Paul Mullan he has set up a group called Careers and measurability (I think) he writes articles on recruitireland.com and I joined it, it is a great way of getting noticed, plus you get an idea of who else is looking and connecting with people.

    Beat me to it.
    Paul's group is A1


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,145 ✭✭✭SarahSassy


    Hi, when you register do you choose who the invite mail goes to from your email address book? I have some people who I would not like to recieve that mail for obvious reasons ;) I just got one from a colleague who i expect would not want me knowing she is looking round either


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,140 ✭✭✭✭Sleepy


    Yes, if you choose to let it access your address book you can determine which contacts it'll invite to connect.

    If you choose not to invite someone though, they may still see you in a list of people currently working for 'The Murphy Group' or you might be suggested to them as someone they might know.

    Remember, LinkedIn, isn't just for job-hunting though so if someone sees you on it you could say you just signed up because a friend sent you an invite or because you wanted to 'build your network' for sales opportunities etc.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,109 ✭✭✭BlazingSaddler


    Hi all. If you are out of work, what description do you put into current employment? Something along the lines of 'Currently available for employment' or simply 'unemployed'?
    Thanks


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,914 ✭✭✭✭Dempo1


    mattb74 wrote: »
    Hi all. If you are out of work, what description do you put into current employment? Something along the lines of 'Currently available for employment' or simply 'unemployed'?
    Thanks

    Tricky one, I've been on Linkedin for over two years and to be honest all it seems to be useful for is networking and this is not necessarily a good thing as you can get caught up in mundane Bull****. I would not advise stating unemployed as unfortunately there is a stigma attached to this, I would just state "seeking a new challenge". Be warned however, any employers doing a search on you say on goggle will easily find your profile on Linkedin very easily. I would recommend you make your Linkedin profile not search able, there is an option on your account to do this. one final observation i have made, at least 50% of my Linkedin contacts have not updated their current positions of employment and i have to be honest, me included!

    Is maith an scáthán súil charad.




  • Registered Users Posts: 3,936 ✭✭✭3DataModem


    mattb74 wrote: »
    Hi all. If you are out of work, what description do you put into current employment? Something along the lines of 'Currently available for employment' or simply 'unemployed'?
    Thanks

    "Seeking a new challenge in XXX and XXX" is OK.

    Simply add an end date to last job, change current title to something generic like "Payments for Online Gaming Specialist" or whatever.

    I disagree with the above poster - I think you should have a thorough quality profile that is searchable, and ensure it is consistent with your CV.

    I google/facebook/twitter/googleimages seach everyone I interview. Linkedin is very often the top search result.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 26,914 ✭✭✭✭Dempo1


    3DataModem wrote: »
    "Seeking a new challenge in XXX and XXX" is OK.


    I disagree with the above poster - I think you should have a thorough quality profile that is searchable, and ensure it is consistent with your CV.

    I google/facebook/twitter/googleimages seach everyone I interview. Linkedin is very often the top search result.

    Yes but only if your actually looking for a Job, I wondered however why it is numerous people choose not to update their current positions?

    Is maith an scáthán súil charad.




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