6 of the Best: Tips To Let LinkedIn Push Your Career Forward

LinkedIn is a hugely beneficial tool for positioning yourself to make a leap into the job market. LinkedIn used to be viewed as a pinstripe suit, with Facebook the long-haired rebellious younger brother, but now LinkedIn has lots of ways to connect and update your network. As an experienced Healthcare Recruiter, I keep up an active presence on LinkedIn and below are my six best tips for using this tool.

1. PICTURE

Putting a good, professional, profile picture up on LinkedIn is essential. Without one your LinkedIn profile looks incomplete, almost like you have something to hide. With one, you have added an extra layer to what is effectively your online resume. A LinkedIn profile picture is that cherry on top, don’t forget it.

2. GROUPS

Join Groups. Groups are an excellent way to network, but they are also a wonderful way to add more connections. If you see someone you are interested in speaking with, join a similar group to them. When you want to add them as a connection LinkedIn will ask you how you know that person. The usual options are friend, colleague, schoolmate or someone you have done business with. However, when you are in the same group as that potential contact, and additional option appears and you can choose that group as an option instead. This is a very useful tool for adding to your network.

3. DISCUSS

Don’t just use groups to leverage contacts, posting discussions on groups is a good way of showing that you are an active, lively member of LinkedIn. When people notice you, and view you as a hub for information, they will want to connect with you.

4. NETWORK

The first step to doing this is to become an “Open Networker” – join the open Networking group, and broadcast it on your profile. By becoming an open networker you are telling people on LinkedIn that you will accept any connections. This is an enormously powerful statement which will let it be known you are an open networker. Put simply, you should accept everyone, but invite strategically.

5. RECOMMENDATIONS

Recommendations are an enormously powerful part of LinkedIn – having someone “recommend” your LinkedIn profile is akin to a reference – and the more you get – the more your profile starts to get the glow of success.

6. UPDATE

LinkedIn now has an update feature. However, don’t listen to those counseling to update too regularly. You don’t want your site to flood with information – an update once a week should suffice – but the important thing is that these updates now show that you are an active person in the workplace and only serve to enhance your resume further.

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9 Tips For Job Interview Success.

Michael Scott from the Office - Don't be like him.

1.Body language is important. Just as what you wear is important, how you project yourself is crucial too. Watch your body language and make sure you don’t slouch; and make sure you regularly make eye contact and smile. If an interviewer cracks a joke, definitely laugh, but try and steer clear of one-liners yourself, you will don’t want to come across as the Office’s Michael Scott.

2.Do your research: When it comes to interviews, doing some background research is essential. Knowing details about company culture, and even the interviewers themselves will help ease any nerves, and also help you fashion your answers better.

3.How do you do this? The company website is the perfect place to start. If there is an “about us” section head straight there; if there isn’t look for information on what the company does, things like annual reports or press releases are perfect. Don’t limit yourself to the company website either, try searching on Google for information on the company, or even better, a blog.

4.What to wear: What you wear to an interview can be crucial. Your research into the company should have given you a good idea of how to match your style to that of the organization, but if in doubt – overdress. Wearing a suit to an interview nicely illustrates just how seriously you are treating this opportunity.

5.Remember your questions: The interview process isn’t all about being quizzed, it also gives you an opportunity to ask questions of your possible employers too. It’s often a good idea to jot down the three or four questions you’re planning to ask and have the sheet in front of you. Not only will this help you  remember any pressing questions, it will also help show the interviewer that you’re organized.

6.Take your time. Relax, but not too much, and be wary of the killer question that leaves your mind totally blank. A good idea is to try taking a deep breath and thinking about it for five to ten seconds. This will seem like an age to you, but not to the interviewers. Another option could be to ask them to repeat the question, which will also give you some time.

7.Don’t waffle. If you don’t know how to answer a particularly tricky question, say so. Simply waffling and stumbling through an awkward answer can be far worse than honestly telling them that you don’t know…

8.Be open, but not TOO open…Sometimes being too honest can be a problem. Even if your ex work colleagues were truly horrible to you, don’t say so. You may come across as negative.

9.End it well. As the interview comes to an end have your questions at hand, express thanks to the interviewers for their time and – crucially –  re-affirm the fact that you are very interested in the job.

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