Nowadays it’s extremely important to update your social media accounts, especially if you’re on the job hunt. As of September 30, 2012, LinkedIn was noted as the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with 187 million members in more than 200 countries and territories. According to the Cnet article, 93 percent of job recruiters tap into LinkedIn to find qualified candidates. Overall 92 percent of employers and recruiters already use or plan to use social media to find job candidates this year.
If you are looking for a job and you play your cards right, you’ve got a very good chance of finding a job or making a connection leading to a job on LinkedIn. In fact, I know that it can be done as I found a previous internship through a LinkedIn group.
Now, how do you make yourself stand out from the other 187 million users? There are five important things to remember when updating your profile:
1. Spice up your headline- The headline is the most overlooked LinkedIn profile section. If you look at your headline right now, I guarantee 99 percent of you still have the default headline: current company name and title. What you may not know is that you have 120 characters to make your headline your own. Keys to a great headline: showcase your specialty or your “so what,” speak directly to the audience you want to attract, be specific but creative and use key words!
2. Create a “Here’s what I can do for you” summary- After you draw in recruiters or potential employers, clients or customers with your headline, you have to have something to make it worth their while. This is where the summary section comes into play. You have 2,000 characters to tell who you are and what you can do. Think of this section as your “elevator pitch,” as it needs to be memorable but descriptive. Make sure you write this section in first person, highlight your success, tell a story and always include your contact info.
3. Spaell Chekk: Were you able to decipher that to read- Spell Check? There’s nothing more important than correct grammar and spelling. Most recruiters will immediately “next” your page if you have a simple spelling or grammar error. Bad grammar or spelling makes your page hard to read and detracts attention from your ability to sell your skills and experience.
4. Picture perfect- My suggestion is to use a professional headshot. If you don’t have one, get one made. It shows professionalism, and first impressions are always important. Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words.
5. Call to action- Whether you’re selling yourself or your company, always include a call to action. Give guidance on what site to visit to view more about your company or product, indicate the best way to contact you and remind them why they should want to contact you or your company.
Whether you’re on the job hunt or happy at your current employer, an updated and sophisticated LinkedIn profile will get you far in the professional world. Have you had success in the past after updating your LinkedIn profile? If so, how’d you make your profile standout?
I have to admit, I’m fairly fond of Facebook. I’m your average mid-40s, working Mom who’s really enjoyed rekindling friendships with friends from childhood and college.
I’ve also enjoyed staying in touch – on a personal level – with colleagues and even clients from other parts of the country. We post photos of our families, share the occasional recipe or one-liner, and celebrate those rare nights when we get out on the town with girlfriends or go off on a well-deserved vacation. Innocent stuff, really.
But for professionals in other lines of business, particularly in the field of healthcare, the need to be discrete and thoughtful about what you post and with whom you connect on social media is much greater.
Many professional organizations for clinicians and other allied health professionals offer social media guidelines to help members discern what is and is not considered appropriate social media content. Those same organizations often advise their members to steer clear of boundary violations and “dual relationships” – situations in which the relationship between a provider (physician, counselor, therapist, social worker, etc.) and a patient may be impacted by a second relationship, such as a business or financial relationship, romantic involvement, employment arrangement, blood or marital relatedness, etc.
But does the act of connecting with a patient online – even just with the acceptance of a LinkedIn request or an invitation to become friends on Facebook – constitute a dual relationship in and of itself?
Think about what you share on social media: your personal likes and dislikes, photos of loved ones, information about places you’ve been and things you’ve done, indications of who your friends are, insights into your political and religious preferences, etc. Through our posts, comments, likes and group memberships, even low-activity Facebook users reveal a lot about themselves.
When we accept a friend request, we effectively volunteer to share a lot of that kind of information. Unless we’re in the tiny minority of Facebook users who carefully manicure privacy settings according to relationship, we effectively invite “friends” into our virtual home, we pull out all our photo albums (some of which contain 20+ year old photos that our college roommates thought were funny to share), we talk about our most recent vacations and major life experiences, and we introduce them to most everyone we know.
Though the healthcare provider – or educator, or social worker, or anyone from whom dual relationships pose a professional risk – may not intend it, “friending” someone on social media clearly extends a relationship beyond the clinic or classroom and into the homes of both parties.
Is it damaging to the therapeutic relationship? Maybe.
Could it be damaging? Absolutely.
Could it appear to be damaging? You bet – perhaps 100% of the time. And that appearance could be plainly evident to anyone with a computer or smart phone – including not just patients, but potential patients, employers, referrers, regulators and licensing organizations.
With those kinds of odds, does it make sense to connect with a patient on social media? I’m not a healthcare provider and I’m not professionally licensed, so I don’t have skin in the game. But I know what my advice would be if I was asked.
By now many of you have probably received email notifications of a new feature offered by LinkedIn called “Endorsements.” With one simple click, the new feature makes it easier for you to acknowledge your connections for their skills and expertise in the business realm instead of writing a formal recommendation. This allows people in your network to quickly distinguish where your strengths and expertise lie.
According to the LinkedIn Help Center, the difference between an endorsement and recommendation is, “An endorsement is a one-click way for your connections to endorse the Skills & Expertise listed on your profile. There is not an automatic way to request an endorsement.
A recommendation is a written statement of recommendation from a connection. You may request recommendations from your connections, as well as proactively recommend your connections.”
Here’s how you can endorse your connections:
At the top of a connection’s profile, you’ll see recommended endorsements for them. You can suggest additional skills as well.
You can also endorse them from the new Skills & Expertise section that now showcases these endorsements. You can find this section after your connection’s professional experience .
The value of an endorsement from a connection or client highlights the skills you have listed for yourself. It shows clients, employers and colleagues the hard work and dedication you have put into making yourself the well respected professional that you are.
To endorse or not to endorse… That is the question. Users do not have to endorse each and every skill you have listed on your profile. They can endorse those they have personally “seen in action,” or even add other skills you may have not considered when listing your skills. You can either accept or decline any new skill a connection has suggested.
Once you have been endorsed by a connection, LinkedIn will notify you via email and on your LinkedIn newsfeed. You can scroll to the bottom of your profile page under “Skills and Expertise” to see the faces of people who think you’re great at what you do. As in all things “social,” it is always polite to respond in kind – IF you feel an endorsement is merited.
Let the endorsement games begin. Remember; be honest with yourself and your connections. One does not excel with false admiration for a skill they do not posses.
Have you ever been endorsed? Are you an endorser? Is this new feature worthwhile – or just another social media task to check off the list?
It seems impossible to think there is anyone left on the face of the planet who is not connected by some type of social media- LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, or any of the other social networks we have grown so accustomed to using. We love it because it is a free way of staying connected. Whether your involvement in social media is casual or habitual, professional or purely for fun, have you ever taken a moment to consider the impact your social media use is having on your life? I don’t mean time wise, or how many friends you’ve reconnected with from your 4th grade class, but what effect it’s having on your wallet?
Yep, that’s right. Social media applications may be free to download and install, but they do come with a price. For instance, according to AAA News Room data, the cost of owning and operating a midsize sedan vehicle in 2012 is, on average, $8,946. This number has steadily grown over the last few years at a 2% rate. Sure, some of that is due to the increase of fuel and other factors, but did you know that AAA explains that one of the largest components in the rise of operating costs is due to significant increases in insurance.
At this point you’re probably wondering where I’m going with this. AAA attributes at least some of the increase in insurance costs as a side effect of social media. How? Here’s one that might throw you for a loop: insurance companies are using your social media accounts to assess your risk level when evaluating you for a policy. And this crosses over to life insurance, home owners insurance, and even health insurance in some cases.
Insurance underwriters are reading your Twitter posts to see if you enjoy high-risk activities like drag racing or sky diving, and notice posts that indicate if you travel frequently. Sadly, many have fallen victim to posting about their out-of-town weekend plans only to return to a ransacked house with no electronics. Insurance companies are aware and watching what you share in social media. It’s not hard to imagine how a health insurance underwriter might respond to posts that indicate an insured (or potential insured) smokes cigarettes, enjoys snuff, “likes” bacon more than 4,7 million Facebook users do) and tweets that “cholesterol over 200 means you’re really living.”
So word to the wise, beware of how much information you’re giving out, especially in open forums like Foursquare that automatically imply that you’re not at home. As one of the top 25 web celebs and Time Magazine’s 100 in 2010, Pete Cashmore, CEO and Founder of Mashable, said “Privacy is dead, and social media holds the smoking gun.”
With football season right around the corner, I reflect back on the off-season and realize I haven’t missed a developing news story, or a controversial decision dealing with my favorite teams or athletes across the country. Whether it was the New Orleans Saints bounty gate controversy or Dez Bryant allegedly committing domestic violence against his mother, I have the latest and most up-to-date story right at my fingertips. Social media is not only providing us with the quickest source of news, but as by-standers we feel like we are a part of that person’s life (even if we are total strangers).
The sporting industry has taken full advantage of every outlet of social media. Twitter, Instagram and Facebook are the three main sources athletes allow followers a chance to peek inside their everyday lives. Online engagement has had a major impact on how fans interact with athletes, sporting organizations, and franchises everywhere. Athletes are engaging fans by doing multiple Q&A’s on various sites all while branding themselves and their profession.
So my question is; why aren’t businesses doing the exact same thing? Why not update your status’ frequently to make your clients/potential clients feel like they have complete knowledge of what the company represents? Sure, some businesses have dedicated social media teams that constantly update their feeds, but what about the companies who need name recognition on a smaller budget.
There is one beautiful thing about social media that a lot of people take for granted………….. It’s FREE.
Businesses have the opportunity to create a sense of awareness with their customers. Social media has the ability to provide insight that a potential client will not find simply browsing their website. According to thesocialskinny.com, 65 percent of the world’s top companies have an active Twitter profile.
The trick of the trade is to interact with your clients; frequently updating your status’ that have relevancy to the company and its clients will get you the most traffic on your social media pages, which in turn means more views to your website. Studies show that 71 percent of the millions of tweets each day attract no reaction. Focus on accomplishments your company has made over the years and events the company has personally been involved with around your city, state or region.
Athletes are well known for their statistics on the field, businesses should be too. Here are five statistics that will give you knowledge on how to reach more clients effectively using social media.
Social networking is the most popular online activity, with 22 percent of time online spent on channels like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Google+ is the second-most used social network for sharing multimedia content from a mobile device (10%).
91 percent of experienced social marketers see improved website traffic due to social media campaigns and 79 percent are generating more quality leads.
47 percent of customers are somewhat likely to purchase from a brand that they follow or like.
Social media users are willing to pay a 21 percent premium for brands that deliver great service through social media.
What are some ways that your business can interact with clients/potential clients via social media? Let us know some ways of improving your business’ social media presence in the comment box.
I was sitting at my computer changing my LinkedIn password because of the data breach that affected more than 6.5 million LinkedIn users this week, and started to wonder if there was a better way to create a more secure password. I found an article from Forbes Magazine that contains valuable information.
In 2010, a security company conducted some research after the social gaming site RockYou was hacked, and found that more than half a million people chose passwords containing consecutive numbers like 123456. It is a no-brainer that people should choose more clever passwords, but to prove the importance, in this particular case if a hacker logged into all RockYou accounts with the password 123456, he would gain access to an account every hundred or so attempts…in the hacker world, dozens of attempts can be attempted every second.
If you don’t have a LinkedIn account and think “this does not apply to me” you may not be aware that just last month Facebook announced that hackers are breaking into hundreds of thousands of accounts every day. To decrease your risk there are a few password management applications you can use to help ensure you create the most secure password possible. A few popular ones are LastPass and KeePass.
Data breaches are becoming more common, and this issue has been a hot topic for our blog posts for quite some time. Here are some interesting data breach articles that we have posted in the past.
Earlier this month on the blog, we wrote about the launch of LinkedIn’s new iPad application. Today, I’d like to offer some tips professionals can use to help expand their LinkedIn networks. With more than 161 million professionals in 200 countries currently using the site, there is surely room for everyone’s network to grow.
#1 Stay Active and Engaged: Unlike Facebook or Twitter, most people don’t log in to LinkedIn on a daily basis. Unfortunately, infrequent visits to the page can seriously hurt your visibility on the site. You’ve probably logged in and noticed that you often see the same couple of connections in your feed. Chances are that those same people are also showing up in their other connection’s feeds as well. That is because they are consistently active and engaged on the site. Think of it as LinkedIn SEO. Whether it’s updating your status, sharing an article or commenting in a group, regular activity on the site is the key to getting your name in front of your connections.
#2 Join Groups of Interest: Search for groups that are focused on industry topics of interest to you. By joining and participating in these groups, you are unlocking a door to a whole group of professional connections with likeminded interests. Once you have a joined the groups, send out personalized invitations to members you have had interactions with within the group. Hopefully other group members will do the same.
*One thing to remember about joining groups is that only a small percentage of LinkedIn’s million groups are active. Check on their size and activity before joining. Groups that are the most active and worthwhile, typically have more than 1,000 members.
#3 Keep on Connecting: In March, LinkedIn rolled out an enhanced version of their “People You May Know” search feature. This will pull potential connections, based on who you are already connected with, as well as the content on your profile (make sure you are always freshening up your profile with updated information!). Another great feature for finding potential connections is through their “Alumni” search feature. This will pull potential connections within your educational networks and allow you to narrow the list by industry, company and location. Of course, you don’t want tosend out invitations without a personal note about your interest in connecting.
Are you active on LinkedIn? What tips have you used to build up your network?
The world’s leading professional networking site, LinkedIn, has recently launched its first iPad application. With more than 150 million users in 200 countries, the site’s long awaited app creates an easy way to stay linked in with professional connections. For those of us who have only used the LinkedIn website, the new app is a pleasant surprise as it displays simple visuals and quick tools to check updates and messages. The redesign creates a sort of “social news” feel and aims for its users to check in throughout the work day.
The central home screen provides users with three simple options: Updates, Profile, and Inbox. The “Updates” portion of the app is comparative to Flipboard, a social networking aggregation which collects content of social media and other websites and presents it in magazine format allowing users to simply “flip” through their social-networking feeds. LinkedIn users are able to flip through their friends’ stories and updates and even check the local weather.
The “Profile” option on the app is where you can view your own profile, update your status and see who has recently viewed your profile. This section of the app also allows members to send invitations to connect with other LinkedIn users.
Finally, the “Inbox” is where you will find messages sent by connections, along with connection requests. The app’s tools allow for simple follow up messages and initiation of new conversations.
The app’s new calendar feature is also able to pull information from your existing Google Calendar or Exchange calendar and display profile information for the people you’re meeting with.
As mobile devices continue to become more and more prevalent, sites such as LinkedIn will flourish as users move to use apps as a quicker and easier way to check-in on social networking sites. What do you think of the new iPad app? Let us know in the comments section!
I’ve read books on social media ‘til I’m blue in the face. Most of them are a waste of time and have a shelf life of about 15 minutes since everything Internet is moving so swiftly. Wayne Breitbarth’s book The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success is different.
Many people in my age bracket and at my stage in their career (that’s all I’m going to say about that!) are scratching their heads about the real value of LinkedIn. I’ve heard more than a few of our PR firm’s clients say things like, “I’m on LinkedIn, but I don’t know what to do with it,” and I felt the same way. Little did I know.
Breitbarth’s book is chock full of really (and I mean really) useful tips and practical ways to manage your LinkedIn account so that it actually produces for you. Produces what, you ask? Business connections and business leads.
The book explains the value and impact of recommendations (think keyword searchable and rankings) as well as how to politely acquire them. There’s a great chapter on “hyperlinks to hot leads,” and another on how to find your customers. One of my favorite tips is to simply think about the keywords your potential customers would have in their profiles and use the Advanced People Search function, including a geographic radius around your zip code, to find those individuals. Once you find them, Breitbarth tells you how to properly reach out and get connected through, of course, one of your first-level connections.
There are 20 chapters of worthwhile reading in this little book. It’s an eloquently simple guidebook for those of us who used to think LinkedIn would die on the vine. Are you maximizing the power of LinkedIn? Do you have any success stories you can share?
A friend of mine and I were discussing social media the other day over lunch at a local pub. My friend’s name is Bill and he isn’t a fan of any of the new media services. Bill runs a nearby hardware store that is trying to offer better customer service to beat the big name wholesalers. He asked me to join him to discuss some of his marketing options and, of course, I brought up social media.
Bill said, “Scott, I just don’t see the point of it and I don’t have the time or resources unless I can see what the return on investment will be.”
I responded with, “Bill, it’s not the return on investment you should be worried about but the return on ignorance. Your customers are online, they are talking, and if you want to provide the best customer service possible, you should be listening to what they are saying.”
Bill took a sip of his beer and sat back slowly in his chair with his arms crossed. He pondered what I said for a moment before shaking his head and saying, “Nope, I just don’t see the value.”
Just then, a married couple came in talking loudly and took a seat at the table next to us. They were a bit upset as they discussed what seemed to be a bad experience they had just had while searching a hardware store for the right part for a house project. Bill perked up and started listening intently. He smiled at me as he assumed they had gotten lost in one of the big name stores. Then the wife mentioned Bill’s store.
Bill looked stunned. He quickly turned around in his chair and introduced himself as the store’s owner. Bill asked about what happened and listened intently as they discussed their experience. Bill told the couple that if they revisited the store, he would personally help them locate the part and offer them a large discount. Their attitude changed and they immediately looked relieved. They thanked Bill and said they would be happy to return that afternoon.
Bill turned around to me and said, “Wow, lucky we were here or I would have never caught that.”
I said, “Caught what?”
Bill replied, “Caught that couple talking… Those are important customers, if I hadn’t heard what they were saying I wouldn’t have been able to fix their problem.”
I just sat back and smiled.
Bill looked at me puzzled for a moment until his expression changed like the light bulb turned on in his head. He replied, “Ok, so tell me about this Twitter thing.”
(This is a fictional story but hopefully a fun way to show some basic benefits of social media monitoring. If you’d like to learn how to monitor social media for your business, we’ll have an article going out this month in our email newsletter which you can receive by clicking here.)