Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Melanie Feldman – co-author of BOLD: Get Noticed, Get Hired. When she’s not writing job-search books, Melanie works at an advertising firm in New York City and can be found playing volleyball, doing crossfit and exploring the city.
1. SEO your linkedin Profile
Whether you're currently in the market for a job, or plan to secure a new one in the future, one of the biggest long-term investments you can make is in your LinkedIn profile. A recent survey from Jobvite, found that more than 93% of recruiters are turning to LinkedIn to discover qualified candidates for vacant roles. That was back in 2012 and this practice has grown to not only find the candidates but to evaluate them too.
Similar to how Google matches content to search, LinkedIn has it's own way of ranking people when recruiters search. So applying the same search engine optimization (SEO) principles from Google to LinkedIn, can help your profile appear more than ever before. This is a MUST for any professional who plans on being employed in the future should do this.
In order to prep for the "SEO," find either a specific job description that you are applying for or find a job description in the industry you would like to work in and make a list of all unique key words that appear. For example: You can find the full step-by-step instructions in our book, but to get started by doing the first three steps below.
a) Get on LinkedIn.com and go to "Edit My Profile" and clean up your "Public Profile Link". If you haven't set up your link yet, click "edit"" and change Linkedin's default URL to a URL with your personal name.
b) Optimize your "Website Links". You can have up to 3 links, and you want to use all of them! They appear in your public profile, and they pass SEO authority.
c) Next, click the "edit" button by "Summary." Use your "Summary" section to input keywords from the job description in a way that flows naturally. Find a company you would like to work for and then use Linkedin to connect with employers from that company
2. Find a company you would like to work for and then use Linkedin to connect with employers from the company
My co-authors and myself always tell people, find the companies you are interested in and then connect with the right people from that company, with the right people being in a position of power or capacity to hire/make a recommendation. Once you connect with one, you can potentially connect with them all. From there, it is all about them. Any employer that is willing to connect with you, you'll want to send them a short message focused completely on them, just asking if they can get on the phone for a short five minute call to talk about what they do. Learn from them and understand how they got to where they are which inevitably is somewhere where you’d want to be. Following that, many doors will begin to open for you.
3. Utilize your Alumni Network
Taking advantage of your alumni network is a great way connect with people who you share a common interest. People are always willing to go to bat for one of their own which is why this channel is so important! This is an easy to establish bond to so don't overlook this! There are many ways to connect with your alumni network; two specifically would be through your college career center or your alumni group on LinkedIn.
4. Focus on creating value for others
Focus on creating value for others before asking for help. People always want to pay you back when they have been helped. Think, “What can I do to help someone I’m trying to connect with?” Deliver for them, and your foot is in the door. Using an example from Justin Mares (Director of Revenue at Airbrake), who was featured in our book, he had just taken a course on Mixergy.com and noticed a lot of opportunity to improve how the company was engaging with its users. Recognizing this as an opportunity to sync up with Andrew Warner (CEO of Mixergy.com), he simply dropped him an email. Free help and a plan to deliver results: what could be better? Not surprisingly, Andrew gladly connected with Justin on the phone for several calls and eventually reaped the benefits.
5. Be BOLD!
Stop caring about what someone may think or whether or not you’re good enough. You may have to email someone 10 times to finally get a hold of him or her! That is fine. People are busy and they appreciate the persistence. Unless someone tells you to stop, then keep trying! If you really want the job of your dreams you have to put yourself out there. If a door slams in your face and you are rejected, then brush it off and move on.
All 23 people that my team and I have interviewed put themselves out there, didn’t focus on small details like whether they would come off as “annoying,” instead focusing on results; look where they are now, certainly not unemployed.