At StartWire, we read every email we get from users. And many of our users have asked us questions about social networking and using StartWire with LinkedIn – especially since we take a slightly different approach to sharing information than other sites do.
You can connect to StartWire and get suggestions on friends who can help you in your job search, but you’ll never see this information posted on your Facebook wall or in a list of LinkedIn status updates.
Why? We’re all about privacy – and think you should get to decide who you want to share with – and where you want to share it. The only messages sent to people you know through StartWire are the messages you have asked us to send.
That said, we love helping our users find great job leads…and want to make it easy for you. So we offer you the option to sign into your StartWire account through LinkedIn or Facebook Connect. And here – this week – are seven of our favorite tips you can use to optimize your presence on LinkedIn.
1. Get Connected with People Who Can Get You the Job
Referrals are the #1 way employers prefer to hire someone they don’t know already.
LinkedIn’s Advanced Search function can help you seek out people and companies you are interested in working with – and get information on how you’re connected.
Want a faster, free way to find contacts?
Sign into your StartWire account through LinkedIn Connect. Search for jobs in StartWire – and you’ll automatically see your connections for each job.
2. Tongue Tied? Get Tips from Others with Similar Experience
Not sure how to write up your most recent job or summarize your work experience? Check out profiles of former colleagues and others with similar work experience. If their results show up in a search, they’ve used the right keywords – and a profile review may give you a few ideas on how to present your own skills and experiences
It’s never okay to copy someone’s work – but it is okay to use it for inspiration and ideas.
3. Make new friends who share your interests.
LinkedIn has thousands of groups; you can search them by interests and location. Try joining at least five groups and participate in discussions where appropriate. It can help you make new connections, showcase your expertise, and keep you in learning mode.
4. Share your skills so that others can find them.
LinkedIn has a relatively new feature that allows you to list your Skills. These skills are searchable by employers and other users – and provide information on how many other LinkedIn users have similar skills. This is a great way to see other people who share your interests – and showcase any unique talents you have.
To add Skills, use LinkedIn’s More Menu.
5. Reserve – and share your own Profile URL. It’s a polite way to network.
LinkedIn gives all users the opportunity to create a public profile URL; you can use this to direct people to your LinkedIn profile. Add this URL to your business card or email signature and people can use it to connect with you later. It’s an elegant solution to share your information without sending a resume when you find yourself asking “should I or shouldn’t I send a resume?”
To get a public profile, use the “Edit Profile” features in LinkedIn and use the option to customize your public profile URL.
The option to customize your profile is at the end of the profile box.
If your name’s not available, use your middle initial, location or profession – example AlexanderHamiltonNY or AlexanderHamiltonCPA.
6. Complete your profile. All of it. It will help you reach employers.
LinkedIn says it’s 40 times more likely that you’ll come up in a search if you complete all of your profile. 86% of employers who use social media for recruiting use LinkedIn as a tool to find potential candidates for jobs.
So fill it all out – unless you don’t want to be contacted! (Worried about what your employer will say? You don’t have to say you are looking for a job, just share your interests and talk about what you like about what you do.)
7. Get remembered with a smile.
Ever been out on a date with someone who only wanted to talk about one person – them? Did you want to go out or connect again?
Don’t make the one mistake thousands of LinkedIn users make every day and send a generic invite to connect on LinkedIn “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.”
Instead, have a conversation. If you know someone, say hi. Ask how they are? If you don’t – explain why you’re reaching out. It will help you build a relationship – and relationships will help you land a great job.
Want more tips like this in the future? Drop us a note on Facebook or Twitter. We’d love to hear from you!