Friday, January 2, 2015

LinkedIn, Your Second-Best Friend.

Author:  Ed Han
              Wordsmith, Recruiter, LinkedIn Advocate, JobSeeker Ally
              Translating business objectives into strategies & tactics

Any job seeker’s best friend is himself or herself: nobody will ever be better positioned to 
advocate for you as the best candidate for a job opportunity. But as far as tools go for 
propagating your personal brand and your unique value proposition as a candidate, you cannot beat LinkedIn. And this is for several reasons. 


Networking is how 70% of positions are filled (courtesy of the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics JOLTS report). LinkedIn offers an incredible wealth of opportunities to network professionally, which empowers job seekers to get maximum return on investment (ROI) for staying in touch with professional contacts. But far beyond merely keeping the lines of communication with existing connections, LinkedIn users can prospect new connections. In group discussions, job seekers can raise their visibility among thought leaders and prospective hiring managers. By adding value in this way, a job seeker can win mindshare from professional peers. You can do so by sending invitations to connect to others solely on the basis of contributions to groups in which you are active. 

Personal Branding

Although the networking opportunities in LinkedIn are of obvious relevance to a job seeker, the prospect of establishing and controlling one’s personal brand is less obvious—but potentially more important. A lot of people have been talking about personal branding in the past year: Google shows 7.8 million hits on that search phrase. Personal branding is simple: it’s a job seeker’s unique value proposition—a combination of experience, training, skills, and aptitudes no one else has. Identifying your unique value proposition can be a challenge, but it pays great dividends. It provides a theme for elevator speeches, LinkedIn summaries, and any other content a candidate develops to raise personal visibility. And the best way to leverage your unique value proposition on LinkedIn is to incorporate it into your LinkedIn headline. The headline always appears with your name anytime your name appears on LinkedIn, a fantastic branding opportunity! Many job seekers have as their headline: “[industry/job function] professional.” However, in today’s job market, the odds of someone having an identical headline are high—the very opposite of a unique value proposition.


Investing the time it takes to learn where LinkedIn empowers your job search the most will help you stay focused on the Big Picture: landing your next opportunity.

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