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10 Best Tips for Interviews Through Linkedin
Linkedin is fast becoming the most important social media site. Unlike other sites, it is strictly a professional platform. You’ll post one highly professional profile picture and put your best foot forward. Nobody will be able to tag you in unflattering pictures, and this isn’t the place where you share off-color jokes or languish about your relationship woes. Linkedin is all about making a good impression while meeting and networking with key contacts. By effectively utilizing its many features, you will most likely be rewarded with–not just an interview–but an actual job.
Status Update and Headline
Make sure your headline highlights your skills rather than simply stating that you are unemployed. For example: “Experienced Web Developer Seeking New Opportunities” sounds much better than “unemployed.”
Your carefully worded status updates are an opportunity to draw attention to your strengths. One great idea for a post is mentioning what you are currently reading. Reading trade journals and other publications relevant to your field is sure to make a strong first impression.
By using the right keywords in your bio and various posts, employers looking for people with your skill set will have the ability to find you in a search. If you are the one who contacts them, it will still be important that they see the right terminology used when they scan through your information.
Follow Your Target Companies
Follow your target companies via their company pages. This should be part of your research on the company. Knowing something about the company will give you an advantage in the interview. Prior to an interview, you should know include the company’s history and recent happenings that you can easily learn from following them on Linkedin.
Find an Insider
Communicating with someone ahead of time who is in your target position can give you more information about the job description. The actual duties of most jobs are different than what you’ll read in the official job description. This knowledge can help you tailor your answers to interview questions. Connecting with a future coworker can often lead to a recommendation. Work as hard to impress this possible gatekeeper as you would if he or she were the hiring manager. Make every contact with a company count.
Make sure you list your skills, using the skills feature on your profile page. By listing your skills, co-workers and friends can quickly endorse you for these skills. Endorsements will increase the strength and overall value of your profile. Some employers have reported that they will factor the number of endorsements that a candidate possesses in certain skills into their hiring decisions.
Writing well in your bio is about more than just punctuation and grammar. The great thing about communicating through writing is that you have more time to think than you would if you were talking to someone face to face. Choose your phraseology carefully. Be concise, and make sure every word packs a punch. Be sure to use keywords and buzzwords that are relevant to your desired industry and job title. Take your time and choose your words carefully. Just like when you wrote your resume, this is the time to wax eloquent. In your summary section, it’s fine and actually preferable to write this in first person to improve the readability. Check out Kirsten Vernon’s LinkedIn bio for a well-written example. I’ll include a link in today’s show notes.
Choose the Right Photo
Your choice of profile photo is vital to your success on Linkedin. Be sure to smile in the picture and look approachable. Do not take a selfie due to the stigma attached to taking a picture of oneself. Dress for the job you want to have. Be sure the photo is recent. Don’t be that guy or gal that is unrecognizable from social media photos when you actually meet in person.
When it comes to reviewing the pages of other employees, leave no stone unturned. Read the comments on different posts. By doing plenty of research, you’ll be well versed in the responsibilities of each position. Using the knowledge you have gained, you will be better equipped to ask intelligent questions during the interview. This may put the interviewer in a position where he or she will be trying to sell you on the position instead of the other way around.
There are several opportunities on Linkedin to participate. Be active in groups. Post helpful comments and answers in your areas of expertise in these groups. Don’t be only interested in self-promotion. The easiest way to be active is to find ways to help others. Being active in discussions will allow you to showcase your skills to potential employers. Remember what Zig Ziglar always said, ‘You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.’
Wait a Few Weeks
Allow your page to age a little before making your move. By actively participating for a while, it will show that you are actually interested in networking with others in your field. Set up your profile and wait to make your move. Don’t get in a hurry to contact the manager until you’ve first thought things out and found your angle. Doing your homework before you get called in for the actual interview can make the difference in whether or not you land the job. Having a seasoned online presence will give managers and HR people more to research about you.
Time to Get Started
The best thing about Linkedin is that you will be able to do extensive research and ask questions before you are actually under the gun in a face-to-face interview. The hard work of networking to impress the right people will already be done, and it will be uphill from there. The easy part will be when you walk in and smile and give that hiring manager a firm handshake. Now, what are you waiting for? Everyone else is already on Linkedin.