89: How to use LinkedIn effectively to job search plus new features you need to be aware of with Mark Williams
This episode's guest, Mark Williams, is known as “Mr LinkedIn” because he’s an expert on how to get the most from the platform. Whether you are promoting your business or seeking a change in career, Mark knows what you should be doing and what you should never do in order to make the most of what LinkedIn has to offer.In this episode he shares with me a few of his hints and tips on using LinkedIn in a job search.
First off, we talked about some of the mistakes Mark sees people making on LinkedIn. The biggest mistake Mark sees is when people use LinkedIn as some sort of a job board, which it isn’t. Most people on LinkedIn are not actively recruiting.
Instead, LinkedIn is a live, active business network which should be approached as if you were attending a networking event.
Keep in mind how you would behave at a networking event and adopt a similar strategy--you are networking, not job-seeking. In other words, your goal is to become better known and more visible, and ultimately to build useful relationships.
Another mistake Mark sees is often in the ways people issue invitations to connect. How to do this effectively? An invitation should be customised every time which means you need to make it personal. A “canned” pseudo-customised invitation is sometimes worse than no customization at all, so don’t be tempted to try an automated short-cut. Do some research and provide a context.
If a connection could be an important one, you might want to try following them first. That way when you issue your invitation you will know something about that person and you can be recognized enough that your invitation is more likely to be accepted. And when they do accept, your follow-up needs to make it clear that you’re not asking them for something. Now you have a connection you can engage with.
According to Mark, engagement builds relationships, very important when you are job seeking or looking at career change. Engagement comes from your activities on LinkedIn: liking, commenting, @Mentioning (sparingly), and setting out your expertise in written articles.
Mark’s recommendations are that articles are important but don’t need to be done too often. His view is 4-5 per year are sufficient. When you’ve sparked some interest in your profile so someone checks it out, your latest article will be visible and they can read the others as well.
Relationship building comes more from commenting and liking posts, and occasionally tagging (@Mentioning) appropriate connections when doing so helps them in some way.
Another tip from Mark is to curate your feed. In other words, hone it down to relevant topics of interest. Be a little ruthless. If someone is constantly posting things you’re not interested in, unfollow or click “I don’t want to see this again.” Make your feed interesting.
Mark’s focus is always about how to get noticed on LinkedIn. “Without visibility, it is really hard to develop the credibility and authority that you need to win more business.” By following his suggestions, you can take advantage of the opportunities available.
Are Premium Accounts Worth it?
A final bit of good news is that Mark doesn’t think it’s necessary for job-seekers to upgrade to a Premium account. If you do decide to upgrade for whatever reason, don’t accept the default position to pay for a full year up front. Chances are if you’ve followed Mark’s advice, you won’t still be looking for a job in a year’s time.
To hear more from Mark, subscribe to his podcast:
LinkedInformed @ LinkedInformed.com
Or email him at [email protected]
About the Grow Your Own Podcast
The Grow Your Own Podcast is sponsored by Career Maximiser, an online course I have developed to help you take charge of your career. The course takes you step by step through the process of deciding on your next career move and how to successfully market yourself to employers. No more confusion, no more guessing, it’s based on 18 years of tried and tested careers advice which will give you the clarity and the confidence you need to stand out to recruiters. If you'd like to find out more, head over to careermaximiser.com