It took me a while to get around to type up my notes.
Jason Alba, author of I'm on LinkedIn, Now What?, was the guest speaker for the Utah County Job Club on Wednesday, September 15th. It lasted almost double the originally scheduled one hour, but it was time well spent. Here are my notes.
LinkedIn is a place to find and to be found. It should be viewed as one of the tools in a comprehensive social marketing strategy. There are three goals LinkedIn helps me to accomplish: 1. establish and share my brand; 2. grow my network; 3. nurturing individual relationships.
Things I do can become part of my personal brand, whether intentionally or not. Every professional is a subject matter expert, and could be a thought leader.
Alba defines "my space" as my profession, geography, and/or industry. The relevance of the network is more important than just the size. If I connect with a person in "my space", they and their networks are relevant to me.
The best please to place keyword in the LinkedIn profile for SEO is the current title. Use a clean name, don't add noise such as degrees (MBA) or certifications, put them elsewhere. A profile picture helps to be more personable. It should be a close up headshot. The headline is your value proposition/brand, think bumper sticker, not title and company. Three available links for websites should all be used. Name them descriptively.
The number one choice should be a blog. Blog should be the the anchor of a social marketing strategy. It should be professional. Second one should be a published article, preferably in a professional journel. If not willing to go that distance, consider using online services such as Ezine. The third should link to an online resume (use emurse.com or jobspice.com).
The summary in the profile has a character limitation of 2,000, use them all. Read Brag!: The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn without Blowing It by Peggy Klaus. Engage the reader by telling stories: Problem, Action and Results (PAR). Fit 6 PAR's in 2,000 characters.
Groups Look to join groups in my space. Groups enables me to make contact on the first degree even if the person is not in my network. Be concise and make that connection relavent, use "I'm also..." Use group discussions to help me to become the subject expert and/or thought leader.
Answers Write down 12 questions to help establish me as the subject expert and/or thought leader. Ask one per month, not to get answers, but to establish and share your personal brand.
Companies When investigating a target company, contact former employees, who would tell the truth or tell you what problems need to be solved. Contact recent hires/promotions who have gone through the process. Get informational interviews, 10 minutes on the phone to ask questions, don't provide resume unless requested.
Email (people check email more often than log into LinkedIn) a concise job search newsletter to help people understand what you do and what you are after. Include companies applied/interviewed for, job titles considered and three target companies need to get introductions into. When people ask about the job search, always give three target companies. If they don't have connection in those three, they may have in similar companies.
Personal branding secret weapon - email signature - name, bumper sticker/brand/value proposition. Reduce noise such as the fax number. When people have a problem to solve, my email signature may help me to surface in their minds in terms they would understand.