LinkedIn: A 5 Step Guide

I’m a big fan of repurposing content.  You might notice that I often link one blog post to another.  Call it lazy; I call it smart 🙂

So when one of my fantastic clients recently asked me to come up with a step-by-step LinkedIn guide for her, I noticed, as I was hitting “send,” that this is a topic I get asked about quite often.  My father’s mastered the art of utilizing the social media site for our other business, The Best Medical Business Solutions, and I’ve even taken a few tips from him.  We’ve used LinkedIn to meet conference organizers, share bits of wisdom and, at times, the tool has even landed us new clients.

Looking to get started… or better utilize your static profile?  Keep reading.

#1- Build out your profile.  First, before looking to connect with other groups and individuals, build out your profile.  Include all relevant information, just as you would a resume.  Past jobs and bullet points about what you did, awards you’ve won, information under “Interests,” and your education.  Include information under “Background” to whatever degree you’d like as well.  (If you need an example, take a look at my page: www.linkedin.com/in/marashorr)

#2- Connect with all of your contacts.  This will continue to build your profile, and help with the next step… http://help.linkedin.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/118
#3- Ask those connections for recommendations.  Once you’ve built a rockin’ page, ask people for recommendations through LinkedIn.  Basically, allow others to brag for you, and use this as an easy reference page when people find you online, whether those people be potential new employers or clients. http://help.linkedin.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/96 
#4- Connect with new contacts. Now that the people who you know and love have supported you online, it’s time to get together with others and connect.  I would suggest two different types of groups: one for others in your industry nationwide, your peers, so that you can see who’s doing what, where, when and how, and the other of your potential clients in your geographic region. There’s a wide, wide variety, but better instructions on how to do that here: http://help.linkedin.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/186
#5- Posting to those groups.  For about a week or so, sit back and watch the feeds, looking at what the members in each of the groups do.  Are they asking for advice?  Are they posting about brag-worthy things?  How often are they posting?  I’d say no more than twice a week, but follow the lead of the others.
Have additional questions or tips?  Feel free to post them in the comments section below!
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5 Resume Tips (Obvious or Not!)

A few months ago, when I gave my then-employer notice I would be leaving, they posted my position… and received floods of resumes.  I looked on, noticing obvious, glaring advice I wanted to give those who applied.

What makes a resume stand out?

  • Sending your resume in two formats: a Word document as well as a PDF.  Typefaces and spacing may be different on each computer, throwing off the well-balanced look you worked so hard to achieve.  However, do let your potentially future employer know the copy is the same (preventing them from spending time they don’t have looking for the differences), and you’re doing so to save them time.
  • Attaching your cover letter instead of simply embedding it in the body of an e-mail.  Again, spacing in e-mail is much, much different than in a Word document, causing the letter to print in a funky, funky way.
  • Cutting the clip art.  That cheesy graphic of a pen and paper won’t get you hired.  Neither will the fact that you put your name in WingDings, for that matter.
  • Keeping it short.  As in one page, possibly two if you’ve been in business for more than a dozen years.  Sometimes, less is more.
  • Sending the resume through a personal contact if you have them, or even through LinkedIn if you can detect who the hiring manager is.  Don’t be afraid to use the fact that you know someone who knows someone who knows someone to your advantage!