Social media is a way of life in the modern world.
Some of you are thinking, duh. Of course it is.
Some of you are getting dragged kicking and screaming into the social media world saying loudly, “that is stupid”. Be that as it may, social media is a fixture. We must all get used to it and use social media as a tool for personal growth and development.
I had four workshops this week focused on job search or talent acquisition and development. In every case social media figured prominently. In every case some or many of the participants resisted.
The fact is that recruiters are using LinkedIn and other social media to find talent. Job seekers resist social media to their own detriment. You have to put yourself in the path of your target in order to get what you want, whether you are a candidate or a company. Yet I am amazed at the number of people I meet, candidates and companies that persist or insist on using out of date tactics in the talent arena.
I received an email from someone we will call Jim who missed the workshop offering basic LinkedIn guidance. Naturally before responding to Jim’s email I looked him up on LinkedIn. Naturally he had no LinkedIn profile but his email indicates a strong desire to learn. That is a great starting place. I suggested that in preparation for attending the advanced LinkedIn workshop in November he do some catchup.
Perhaps you are someone who has resisted the pull of social media in talent related situations, either as a job seeker or as an employer seeking talent. You need to jump right in NOW.
Other people draw conclusions about you or your company on the basis of your social media footprint. You want them to think you are tech savvy and can get along with other generations currently in the workforce.
If you are a company you want to attract people who already use social media. If you don’t participate in LinkedIn at least you are sending a message that you are not a tech friendly company and are not interested in attracting talent that likes social media like younger people. Do you really want to exclude an entire segment of the population from your talent pool? I suspect not. So it is time to join the real world.
LinkedIn is the perfect business related social media tool to start with. To get started you need to have a profile. Here are a few things you can do right away:
- Set up a personal account in LinkedIn. LinkedIn will help you. Use your personal email, not your business email even if you plan to use LinkedIn for business purposes.
- Once you have an account, start looking around. Look around at other people’s profiles in LinkedIn – for example friends and family who use LinkedIn pretty frequently or co-workers at your company. See what you think good and bad profiles look like. Good profiles are friendly and inviting and make you want to talk to the person to learn more about their experience. Good profiles present support from other people to boost reputation through recommendations and endorsements in the skills section. By looking at lots of other profiles you will gain insight into what you want from your own profile.
- Start filling out your profile. Enter all your jobs showing the company, job title and dates for each job. Enter your education – all colleges you attended and degrees you have
- Find a good picture of you. Ideally you should get a professional photo from a professional photographer. Upload the picture following the instructions from LinkedIn.
- Add skills and expertise. You can have up to 50 so start entering keywords that describe your experience and skills.
Taking these basic steps will at least get you in the game and put you in position to communicate with the rest of the business world.
If you want more information, check out other Interview Doctor blogs about using LInkedIn for job search and talent acquisition at our blog. Towards the bottom at the right side is a search box. You can enter the word “LinkedIn” to see some of the many articles I’ve written about LinkedIn. I also have a white paper on the subject. You can also get information about setting up your LinkedIn profile in my second book, Resumes 3.0, available on Amazon.