When LinkedIn went public and the Analysts referred to LinkedIn as a “job board,” it dawned on me that so many people, even the smart ones, just don’t understand what LinkedIn is, let alone its secret superpowers.
Sure, it’s a social media/networking platform, but it is far more complicated than any of the other social media platforms. There is so much to know about LinkedIn to harness its massive power that my LinkedIn workshops range from 90 minutes to a full day. In this article, I figured I would just highlight the lesser known capabilities or the “secret powers,” as I call them.
Here are the top 5 secret powers of LinkedIn
1. Getting Found. LinkedIn core users are employers, job seekers, consumers, potential clients and professionals from most all industries from staff to C-Level. They are searching all the time for what they want. Also, LinkedIn’s SEO is FULLY, organically optimized on the major search engines. They have done the hard work for you. If you understand how to be found and optimize your profile as such, business will actually come to you!
2. Branding. Your LinkedIn profile is your own website. You control the message, the activity, and the audience. This gives you the ultimate landscape to develop powerful branding.
3. Building a Fan Base. When it comes to fans and followers, most people think only of Facebook and Twitter but semantics aside, LinkedIn has its own super power. People are looking for professional subject matter experts on LinkedIn. When you learn how to engage your target audience and put out good quality content in your activity, you will situate yourself as the “go-to” in your field of expertise.
4. Business Development. LinkedIn has amazing search functionality, even with the free membership. You can use filters such as location, industry and company to find your target market. Reaching out through LinkedIn is so much more effective than a blind email, because the recipient of your message can learn so much about what you have to offer and your credibility with just one click.
5. Education. In this day and age, it’s more important than ever to stay on the cutting edge of our industry knowledge. As in building your own fan base, LinkedIn provides an ideal platform for subject matter experts to share their knowledge. This gives all of us the opportunity to learn from all the subject matter experts. The “Questions” tool is a fantastic way to research, engage your audience and learn all at the same time.
The day after I wrote this article, LinkedIn posted 13 Things You Never Knew You Could Do On LinkedIn but keep in mind almost everything you want to do on LinkedIn, you can do for free, if you know how.
If you really want to harness the massive power of this amazing social media platform, get the workshops alert for my next LinkedIn Workshop near you or inquire about hosting a LinkedIn workshop at your company or organization.
Posted by:Saundra LeeCEO, Dubin & Lee
Some job interview questions are very straightforward and others are a bit of a trap. It is very common to encounter a few land mines, because the whole job interview process is one of elimination. Traps are almost a necessity.
The “strengths and weaknesses” question seems to be straightforward, but yet this is where most job seekers blow it, because it is actually laced with opportunities to say something that will knock you out of contention.
Here is a fool-proof method for answering the “strengths and weaknesses” question in a job interview.
This is what the “strengths” question might sound like:
- Straightforward: What are your biggest strengths?
- Sneaky: What do you enjoy about your job?
- Behavioral: Give me an example of a time when you set a goal and were able to meet or achieve it.
However you are asked the question, make sure you recognize that this is a “strength” question and use these 3 rules to answer the question:
- Don’t talk about all of your strengths, just the ones that are important the interviewer. Talking about all the stuff you are good at but not pertinent to the job or company will either be a distraction or lead the interviewer to assume this job will not make you happy since you will not get to utilize your perceived strongest skills sets.
- Use examples from past work scenarios. Make sure you rehearse this so you do not spend too much time setting up the scenario or going off on a tangent. A 30-60 second response (about the same time as a TV commercial) is about right but prepare to go deeper into detail if the interviewer should have questions. Btw, if they have questions, that is not only a good sign but starts to create nice ebb and flow to the conversation.
- Be cognoscente of non-verbal reaction. This will allow you to change the focus of your answer if you need to. If this does not come naturally to you, we can help you with that.
This is what the “weaknesses” question might sound like:
- Straightforward: What are your biggest weaknesses?
- Sneaky: What do you dislike most about your job?
- Behavioral: Give me an example of a time when you tried to accomplish something and failed.
However you are asked the question, make sure you recognize that this is a “weakness” question and use these 3 rules to answer the question:
1. Weaknesses are strengths phrased like weaknesses.
Make sure you have at least 3 “strengths as weaknesses” prepared. If you say, “I don’t have weaknesses,” you are going to look arrogant, deceptive or insane.2. Don’t be cliché.
“I work too hard” or “I have trouble saying ‘no’” will not work. Put some thought into it and be truthful. If you do your interview preparation correctly, you will know the company or job hot buttons. A liability to one company might be an asset to another. Do your homework.3. Finish the answer with how you have recognized this weakness
and what you have done to work on it.
About the only other job interview question that is laced with more land mines that the “strength and weakness” question is the “money” question.
Get the 3 minute video that gives a quick rundown on how to answer the “money question” in a job interview.
Posted by:Saundra LeeCEO/PresidentDubin & Lee
The U.S. House of Representatives shot down legislation that would have stopped employers from demanding your Facebook password. (full article)
So now what?
From my perspective, it looks as though Facebook, and all social media for that matter, is not only going to be a part of your job searches in the future but also your career.
The issue of controversy seems to be the “expectation of privacy.” I just don’t know if that is what social media is all about or wants to be all about. Since social media became a part of mainstream society after I had already learned a lot of life lessons, I never had any expectations of privacy with social media.
If you don’t want everyone to know, don’t put it on the internet. Yes, it is ALL internet!
Guess who is going to come out triumphant in all of this?
Those that see the opportunity in the massive power of social media and use it to their advantage are going to be the ones that get the jobs when the competition is steep.
Let’s face the facts. In the survey done by Reppler.com, they found that 91% of employers use social media throughout the entire talent acquisition process. There is no sense spending a bunch of time figuring out how to say no to your potential new employer seeing your Facebook page. If you do refuse, it sends a red flag that you have something to hide, no matter how you phrase it.
69% of companies have used social media to screen people out.
Interviewers are under the assumption that people will say anything to get the job and that they are always on their best behavior. Reference checking is futile most of the time, because no one would hand over a bad reference.
While an employer is not looking at your Facebook page to see you in professional attire, they are looking for red flags like:
- Complaining about your last job/boss
- Comments that if you said them at work, they would risk a law suit
- Tone: General outlook on life and overall attitude
How can you use this conundrum to your advantage?
“Use the force!”
According to the same study, 68% of those surveyed have used Social Media to HIRE!!!
Under the assumption that people will say anything to get the job, Facebook allows your potential boss to separate “fact” from fiction.
A friend of mine was applying for a Development role for a Non-Profit that is involved with those that have been diagnosed with cancer. She explained to them that the mission is near and dear to her.
When they checked her Facebook page, amongst a bunch of irrelevant postings, they saw a posting of her with a group of her friends in their pink hats at the Breast Cancer Walk.
The Non-Profit explained to her, once she was working there, that her competition had much more experience, but they felt her motivation for wanting to work there was more sincere.
I see more of these types of job search scenarios in the future. If you utilize the massive power of Facebook for good vs. evil you will end up edging out competition with more experience.
I will follow up with more on the topic as the news comes out.
You know where...
Posted by:Saundra LeeCEO, Dubin & Lee
In the almost 15 years I have been in the Staffing industry, I find myself having two conversations quite frequently.
1. Explaining why a person is not as marketable that is not working as they would be if they were employed.
2. Begging a person still employed not to quit their job before they find a new one.
Here are 3 reasons why are you more marketable while employed?
There is a stereotype to blame here. Like all stereotypes, they do not hold true at times but nevertheless, here it is….the inside scoop…don’t tell them I told you.
1. The good ones are still working. If a company had to do a reduction in workforce, they would not let go of the best workers. “Best” could also mean employees that were the best ROI, meaning that if they were paying a premium salary they would be looking for super, premium productivity. That is why there is so much danger in staying in one job too long (getting cost of living raises over the years) and not adding to your responsibilities and skill set. No more LIFO these days!
Even if a company went out of business, the thought is, a Headhunter would call them up right away and place them within the industry or a competitor.
2. Too much time out of the workforce and skills get stale. I place Corporate Accounting & Finance professionals and accounting compliances are changing all the time. Part of the fall out of our most recent financial / economic disaster was that all publicly traded companies are going to have to convert from US GAAP to IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards). Most CPA s, before this announcement, did not even learn much IFRS. The same thing happened with Sarbanes Oxley in 2002
If you are a Marketing Professional but have been out of work long enough to have no experience with Social Media Marketing, the odds are pretty stacked against you getting back to that profession.
3. Unemployed people will say anything to get the job. Well, they are seen as more desperate and more likely to take any job, even if it is not the right fit. Once they are employed and more marketable, they will want to jump ship. Then the employer will be trying to fill the role again when there are not as many people to choose from given that the job market is trending up. Most employers like to make hires with good long term potential and mutual enthusiasm.
It’s like the sales person that can’t make a sale when he really needs too (some potential customers are scared away by the “commission breath”) and when he is not under the gun, sales seem to happen without a problem.
So, if you are working now but want a new job, DON’T QUIT YET!
There is no such thing as a full time job search! Everything you need to do for a job search CAN be done while you are still working. You might have a bad boss, want a better quality of life or just an environment that fosters growth but just hold on until you find it.
NOTE: If you have issues with your boss, it will be close to impossible to land a new job without the new employer wanting to speak to your old boss if you are no longer working there.
The first step is to update your resume and we have made this as easy as possible by putting together a “Quick and Easy Resume Updater Guide.”
This easy step by step guide includes:
- Quick method to develop current job content.
- Easy “2012 Resume Facelift” check list.
The “Quick and Easy Resume Updater Guide” is designed to get you through the resume updating process in under 30 minutes...most do it in less than 20 minutes.
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Posted by:Saundra LeePresident, Dubin & Lee