Friday, February 27, 2015

Alina is LinkedIn

I had a wrong perception of LinkedIn for a long time but once I learned about it and its benefits from use, I finally got sold and signed up effective Friday 2/20/2015.  

Let me share you a personal experience as to why you need LinkedIn and how to use it the right way.

When I was searching for a nanny, I used (for childcare jobs).

I posted a job description and people applied.   To my utter shock and horror, many candidates did not meet the criteria we needed for the position, were not a good fit for us or were looking for more pay than what we could offer.  So here I am, awake late at night, getting a bit desperate to find someone before my start date at my new job in a couple of days.  What do I do next?  

I began setting my search criteria, hit "Run" and reviewed a list of candidates that popped up from my search. Because phone numbers and messages were disabled for contact for free subscribers, I paid a year subscription so that I could message the nannies I had a vested interest in contacting for an interview.  Both of the nannies that I hired to date were from me finding them first.  

Well it just so happens that corporate recruiters on LinkedIn think the same way when needing to find someone for a job. 

Here's some suggestions that will benefit you with LinkedIn:

Sign Up Now for a LinkedIn Profile if You Don't Have One.       
Not having a LinkedIn account for what it can do for you is your #1 mistake.  

Even if you are not planning to work, you still need one in the event you need a job or know someone that needs one.  You need to complete it as much as possible, keep it active and stay connected with former colleagues, friends with professions, and recruiters that may and will post information of job leads.   

Corporate recruiters are the money makers for LinkedIn and probably 90% of recruiters use LinkedIn exclusively to source talent.  Going back to the nanny experience, I do not find nannies any other way now other than through so I am more convinced than ever that companies from all types of industries are going the LinkedIn route.  

But having the account isn't enough.  You need to do some things with it:

Have a picture.    
It didn't help me at all when I was reviewing profiles on  It honestly felt like the person was trying to hide something.  Corporate recruiters and hiring mangers feel just the same way on LinkedIn.  

It is important to put up a photo for the job you want and make sure the photo gets that message across to the recruiter.  You want to be executive? Then dress like an executive.  A fitness instructor?  Look motivated and active. A brilliant startup entrepreneur with a rebellious personality?  Have an edgy picture and don't mention your MBA degree.  

As a frantic mom desperate to find someone for my baby it was a relief to see nannies with pictures of herself holding babies. Pictures of the nanny being near LDS temples helped because it gave me and Dave the impression that the nanny did not smoke or drink and would respect our standards should she choose to live in our home.  It did not help me if I saw a profile picture of a nanny's eyes rolling or something blurry or greyish skin tone.  And definitely not an emo-esque selfie because the only impression I got from that was "She probably will hurt my baby.  Next"

Bottom line: If you have the wrong picture on LinkedIn, recruiters will think you're ghetto and call you only about ghetto jobs working with ghetto co-workers.  A wise senior leader said this to her group: "People's perception of you is people's reality of you" 

Set Your Profile to Public.
The truth is that it's not who you know, it's who knows you.  If a recruiter can't find you, they won't know who you are.  Please take the risk by putting your best self out there and make yourself searchable. The added connections in the LinkedIn network do help in the search but they take time to build up.  

Complete Everything in Your Profile
LinkedIn is not a resume but still needs to be professional.  The resume is crafted for a specific job you are formally applying for; you only list relevant information that ties to the job description and don't list everything you've done to date.  The best thing about LinkedIn is that you get to tell the story of your career, how it all started, and everything you've done.  The more complete your profile is, the more searchable you'll appear to recruiters.  There is a feature that measures your profile strength but what it really measures is your profile's ability to be noticed by recruiters.   

Put Yourself in Shoes of Employer by Using Generous Amounts of Key Words.
In my nanny search I paid attention to key words such as "I can provide references" or glance quickly  in a nanny's profile summary of how many families the nanny worked for, how long and ages of children in care, and how far away she lived from our house.  If I liked what I read from her profile, I  contacted her right away about the job.  

A corporate recruiter does the same thing on LinkedIn when finding a specific candidate for a specific position.  Key words help in your job search so please take the time to write your summary, your experience, a compelling headline and use up all 50 skill set words in the skill set option.  Recruiters pay a subscription to search profiles and set criteria using key words from various job descriptions you're interested in.   

Consider a Paid Subscription if You're Looking for Work.  
If you are actively looking for a job and need one quickly, it does help to have a paid subscription.  The benefit is that you will always show up near the top of the long as you have the right key words.  I know this because does the same thing.  Free subscribers will get pushed down the list as new subscribers enter the system and employers/recruiters won't scroll down and view the entire list if the search result is too long.  Seasoned recruiters can still find good candidates without a paid subscription but it will take a bit longer and play with the search criteria to get different search results.  

I can't speak for all recruiters but to me, a paid subscription signals that you are serious in looking for a job, especially if you are unemployed.  Depending on the budget the employer has set, recruiters are more likely to contact a candidate over candidates that aren't actively as looking because it would mean having to offer more money to make a candidate quit their current job.  

Keep in mind that a recruiter's first priority is for the employer and the job seeker second.  Their job is to get superstar talent for the least possible amount of money for the employer.  

Which brings me to another good reason to join LinkedIn...if you are happy at your current job and have the necessary skill set another employer needs, you get the opportunity to be poached with a lucrative compensation package to make you dance with the consideration of leaving your current job.  This enables you to negotiate higher raises at your current job or make more money at a new one.  

Connect with Recruiters and Follow Companies
On LinkedIn, you need to connect with recruiters and it is easy to do.  Select "People", type the companies you're interested in, and type "recruiter"   A list will populate. Just send an invite request to be added and more likely than not, a recruiter will add you in their circle for something in the future.  If you are looking for work, make a recruiter's job easier by letting them know you're looking in your headline and personally messaging them. 

You also need to follow companies so that you can identity employees or recruiters in places you are interested in working in.  

So there you have it, the benefits of LinkedIn from a different perspective.  Sign up and put your best self out there.  Add me to your connections if you haven't already.   I will be more than happy to add you!