27 May 2014

Five tips on the LinkedIn game

Thomas BreathnachThomas Breathnach

Congratulations!! You’ve just had an endorsement from a person you barely know for a skill you never had. Welcome to another day on LinkedIn!

Despite the chinks of cringe in its professional networking chain however, LinkedIn is no longer the ‘connecting’ turf of Type-A Americans but now a de-facto player on the Irish recruitment scene. But how can you social climb your way to the top? We’ve hit the caffeine and scoured the web and the office for five tips on the LinkedIn game.

1. Photo shop around.
This may seem like LinkedIn for Dummies but considering we’ve all seen a LinkedIn connection who uses a couple image as a profile shot, it’s not. According to LinkedIn’s career expert Nicole Williams, unprofessional and inappropriate photos are hugely common. “Unless you’re a pediatrician, there shouldn’t be a picture of you and your kid,” she says. (Touché, Nicole). The best bet is smiling photo which communicates a sense of energy and enthusiasm. And it needn’t be a professional headshot. Source: New York Post

2. Stalk
By stalking, we don’t necessarily mean parking outside the Apple campus in Cork wearing an oversized hoodie, but rather honing on those cyber spying skills which you worked so well when tracking your ex on Facebook.
The key here, is before you submit a CV or go for a job interview, use LinkedIn’s advanced search option to find the hiring manager behind the position you’re applying for. What are their interests? What articles are they sharing? It might also be no harm to send a LinkedIn invite or follow them on Twitter. Massaging an ego is never a bad idea. Source: mashable.com

3. Avoid buzz words like the plague.
“Passionate”? C’mon, you can do better than that. Often few things say less about a person than the cliché phrases cherry-picked for profile descriptions. But ‘passionate’ has got company. “Driven” and (ironically) “Creative” are just some of the other words which have recruiters hitting the snooze button. Source: themuse.com

4. Don’t sweat the endorsements.
I was recently endorsed by a PR exec I barely know for a skill I never knew I had. Despite the feature’s huge click-bait success, it seems many recruiters have already cottoned on to the quid-pro-quo strategy many LinkedIn users are employing with endorsements.
“It’s cheap and dirty,” says Neil E. Peek, a senior recruiter from San Jose. “It’s no skin in the game for the person making the endorsement.” He adds that it’s “nice to see” on a profile, “but it doesn’t have any substance to it.” With everybody endorsing everybody for everything, it’s all just a race to the middle. Source: forbes.com

5. Do not congratulate work anniversaries.
Don’t even go there. We reckon they’re just plain lame and give Facebook birthday greetings the gravitas of a Shakespearean sonnet.