Best Ways to Be Seen

“America’s recruiting leaders say their top priority this year is finding and hiring highly-skilled workers.”*   Emphasis added.

That is great news if you are considering making a move in your career. Many of us have made the best of things because we realize how few opportunities have been available in the last few years. But now we are hearing that things are changing and companies are looking to fill new position or positions they have been holding off from filling. If you have been reading any of my earlier posts, you know that I strongly suggest you do you use this opportunity to reach out and take ownership of your career. So that begs the question, how do I set myself up to be found by the companies? Well, thank you for asking.

LinkedIn did a survey of the “Top Ten Most Important Places to Find Quality Hires” by recruiters. And, yes, it being done by LinkedIn makes me skeptical too, but their answers go along with what I have seen in reading and talking to Hiring Managers.

 

The importance of this list is that we can use it to help us prioritize our time and efforts in finding ways to locate your next position. When I speak to people they seem to always say that they are looking for jobs on the job boards; CareerBuilder, Monster and the like. And there is a time to use them, but rarely; and never as a substitute for more productive methods of job searching.

Prioritize Your Efforts

(And I just realized I do not like the term “job searching”. I am not looking for a job. I/You are looking for careers. This could be a job or a business or a calling, but not just any job. If you are looking for just any job, a paycheck, you are doing yourself a giant disservice. There are times when you need an any-job, but that should be temporary while you prepare for the real job/business/career/calling that you have really targeted.)

Tied for second is Company Career Websites. No surprise here. When I want information on a company or their positions, I will start with that company’s website. I am going to discuss about having a company target list in the near future.

Also second on the list of Important Places to Find Quality Hires is Social Professional Websites. When I think of Social Professional Websites, the only one I can think of is LinkedIn. (I am attaching a list of twenty here.) And from what I am hearing, though not exactly correct, it is very close. Many companies look at LinkedIn profiles for both active and passive potentials. (A potential is when they are looking before they tell anyone. Hint, hint.) Recruiters and Human Resource’s use of LinkedIn is why I instruct anyone who is thinking about getting a new position, or just increasing your reputation among your colleagues, to get a profile on LinkedIn, and put in it at least the effort you did in your resume.

I spoke to a lady this week who realizes that it is time for her to think about taking the next step, so we discussed her resume. When I brought up her LinkedIn profile, she was like, “Yea, I haven’t got around to that. But my friends keep sending me invites.” (Insert Gibb’s slap on the head.)

The number one, top place to find quality hires…drum roll please…Employee Referral Programs. Did you know they still do that? This is why I stress that you top duty in your career search is to find someone, or someones, who work where you want to. Hopefully in the same department, if possible. LinkedIn has a great tool for that.

So you have a friend or family member who works in a company you are interested in. They sorta know you, and you see each other once a year or so, so they are not strangers. And they will get a bonus if they recommend you. Why are you hesitating to meet with them?

I grew up in Spartanburg county and when peach season comes, I get very nostalgic. Why do you think they set up tents on Woodruff Road and Wade Hampton? (Very traffic heavy roads around here) The same goes for the worker. We have to learn how to best get our reputations noticed, whether online or in person. If you have any questions, or tips, please leave me a comment. You can also reach me at timingreenville@gmail.com. The downturn in our national economy has already robbed many of us of several years to promote ourselves, now is the time to get back on the Monkey Bars.

*John Zappe, U.S. Companies Expect to Step Up Perm hires and See Social Media As A Prime Source, Fordyce Letter Website, June 27, 2013.

Marketing Your Business on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is celebrating its tenth year and has really caught on. It has over 200 million members in countries all over the world. LinkedIn is best known as a tool for individuals to connect and help with their career development.

LinkedIn should also be seen as a great tool to market your business or services. I am attaching a link of ten ways to use LinkedIn to market your company and broadcast what you do. Did I say that LinkedIn has 200 million members? All there with a business focus.

Please see the post here.

If you have any questions, or other suggestions on using LinkedIn, please leave me a comment. If you want additional information on LinkedIn, you can look here for some great information from Brenda Bernstein.

And thanks for stopping by.

How LinkedIn Can Help Your Business

Previously, we discussed how LinkedIn is not just for job seekers, it is a very powerful tool for anyone to use to advance their career and showcase their expertise.  I was caught off guard when I spoke to a friend who has a professional position of influence with a nonprofit and she was not on LinkedIn. How can she mentor others without doing what she teaches? Also, where else can someone learn how she feels about or sees the role of the nonprofit than promoting it on her LinkedIn account? Many of us are accustomed to looking someone up when we meet them or are looking at doing business with them. At my last event, I met two people who I exchanged business cards with, the one with the complete LinkedIn profile and picture was the one I connected with. I felt she was more serious and engaged in her work.

This time I want to discuss the power and benefits of LinkedIn for businesses and services. Any company, no matter what size or industry can find ways to benefit from what LinkedIn can offer them. I will focus on the free membership level so your only cost is time, whether you do it yourself or designate someone else, either an employee or contract it out.

The LinkedIn profile is a great place to either start making your web presence or to intensify it. There are over 2 million companies presently on LinkedIn. These could be your competition, your venders, your customers, or your potential customers.  With over 187 million members … well find me a newspaper with that kind of readership. And all of them seeking to reach out, that is why they are on there.

Now if I was doing the profile, I would first want to identify what my goal is: is it to increase sales; connect with customers, clients, or other companies; promote my brand, etc.? The good thing is it doesn’t have to be just one. Unlike an advertisement, I can use the profile to reach a diverse audience and not be so constrained by word limits. I can see using it as a platform to tell what I do and why I do it. You can personalize it some to give your background or story. Or keep it more formal. This is like art; there is no one way to do it. How do you see using it to connect with your specific target the best? You can try different profiles and then check your viewing numbers to see which one works the best. There is no limit to how often you are able to change or edit your profile.

LinkedIn allows you to promote products and services that your company provides. Think about the power of having a new product that you promote by sending it out as an update, linking it to a YouTube video that you have done, and then having them to get more information or order from your connected website. All without them dealing with a salesperson from their home at 2 in the morning.

But I would want to go further with the services. Tell me about your community initiatives or community involvement. Are you doing any within your industry such as promoting new safety methods or developing apprenticeships or helping the unemployed get job skills or participating in local events like 5K’s or mud-runs? (Mud-runs are just one of those activities that make me shake my head. They have to be a hoot to do, but I am not driving that car pool.)

Clients are becoming more eager to do business with companies who are community involved and this is a way to get that information out there in a proper manner. It will also help to keep you employees more motivated and positive.

One of the biggest pluses of LinkedIn has to be its ability to get you connected to your clients, actual or potential. This is done in a couple of ways: making direct connections, through groups, and by followers. Following, not stalking, is great because you don’t commit but you get to see the company’s updates and activities. These are people who I definitely want to try to engage or communicate with.

Groups are a great asset that that LinkedIn provides us. You can inform clients of products or services in a more trusting atmosphere. You can show your expertise and knowledge. And by properly answering questions, you have an audience that is open to you without questioning your motive; in other words you are informing, not selling. These can be groups that you either join, started yourself, or for your employees. What a great way to help your different departments stay in touch and allow open access to clients so they can get information that YOU want them to have.

When you look at someone’s LinkedIn profile, you are able to leave recommendations. Think about how powerful that is. Your targeted potential client looks you up and there are several recommendations (a positive vibe) and there is one form someone using the service or product they are considering (making them feel more confident that you ar ethe one) and then they see a recommendation form someone they know. (Ka-ching) Once again an organic, and free, way to make the public more comfortable with doing business with you.

LinkedIn is not for everyone. I know companies who are using Twitter or FaceBook to connect with the public. I do suggest you looking into one of these. Just having a website out there is not a big help if no one looks for it. Which of these tools do you think will hit your target client and present business in the way that you want it to be presented?