GET STARTED WITH LINKEDIN. A Guide by ConsultingFact.com. An Insider s Guide

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1 GET STARTED WITH LINKEDIN A Guide by ConsultingFact.com An Insider s Guide

2 Why Is LinkedIn Popular? With the advent of technology and social media, LinkedIn has become one outstanding tool for finding job opportunities. Founded in 2002 by Reid Hoffman, it is the most popular networking site for professionals from over 200 countries. In just 10 years, it has attracted millions of unique visitors per month, a clear indicator that many people enjoy the following benefits: Access a wider network of friends, professionals and recruiters Being assessed for positions to fill unadvertised vacancies The opportunity to develop your own online brand with a credible trademark Access to a well-structured job board Getting answers and advice from experts Participation in group discussions and activities Additional information on consulting firms events High search engine visibility LinkedIn isn t just the typical networking site that steals your time updating people about your whereabouts. It provides you knowledge, an encouraging network, and most of all, the chance of landing a consulting job. However, these benefits won t just knock on your door; you also have to do your share by building a quality profile. This isn t a strenuous task, though. LinkedIn s user-friendly interface lets you figure out the mechanics at the drop of a hat. In this guide, we will help you make sure your LinkedIn profile is relevant and follows important best practices. You should look at each question below, open your LinkedIn profile, and try to improve it. This is a good investment of your time, and might give you opportunities that you haven t thought of. Regardless if these are in management consulting or in some other career direction. 2

3 Is your profile informative and interesting enough for the consulting recruiters to assess you further? The quality of information on your profile significantly determines the number of recruiters who ll contact you for an opportunity. Management consulting is a very in-demand profession. Though there s a little probability of being hired, many qualified applicants still work their fingers to the bone for the most anticipated break. If you apply for a consulting position, you can be sure that recruiters will also check your LinkedIn profile. Hence, if you re serious in pursuing this career then consider these guidelines: 1. Display your real name. This will help recruiters, colleagues and friends recognize you easily. 2. A clear, well-lit head shot photo adds more value to your identity because hiring managers would love to get a glimpse on who they ll possibly work with. 3. Your headline must include a micro-summary of your field, niche, position, level, names of big clients (if applicable), educational attainment and achievements. 4. In the summary, highlight your relevant experience and accomplishments in your previous jobs or at school. Mention something about your personality, so the recruiters can readily assess if you can adjust well with their work culture. Don t forget to name drop famous people or companies you ve worked for since it tells something about the training you ve undergone. 5. Your experience must include a short summary of your responsibilities and results since the job title doesn t encapsulate everything. This will give recruiters an idea on how you ve developed your competencies. 6. Pertinent details on your educational attainment indicate your foundation. Aside from the basic information, include your accomplishments, awards, honors, high GPA, extracurricular activities, and other milestones. 7. Add your skills and expertise because they also serve as keywords that make your profile more visible on search engines. 8. State your website, interests, associations and other information that are useful for your application and interesting for your contacts. 9. Use keywords. Insert words or phrases that are related to your field a few times. They should be used naturally, though, for readers to get rid of reading redundant information. 3

4 Do you have recommendations that prove you can be an asset to their firm? A recommendation is a powerful feedback on your performance from one of your contacts. Though recruiters don t merely evaluate your competencies based on the recommendations you get, it adds value to your profile. Recruiters are also spared from contacting your previous employers to conduct a background check of your work performance. With this feature, all they need to do is click and read. How and Who to Ask Remember that writing a recommendation takes time and effort on your contact s part. Hence, make sure that you send the request in a polite and professional way. Mention your purpose and add a line that if there is too much on his/her plate, you would understand. Further, ask only those people who can provide quality feedback about your performance in the workplace. They will be able to write a recommendation wholeheartedly since they know you on a deeper level. How and Whom to Give Recommendation Having the initiative to give a recommendation to someone you ve worked with is a great way of helping your contacts increase their market value. If you do this, chances are these people will return the favor and come up with their own recommendation for you. Write something specific about his/her qualities, values, output, and overall performance. A well-thought, wellcomposed recommendation gains the attention of other LinkedIn users. Hence, if recruiters happen to read it, they might also certainly check you out. 4

5 Do you utilize LinkedIn s job board to your advantage? LinkedIn s job board allows you to see who among your contacts are working for the consulting firm that released the advertisement. This unique feature is quite useful because you can: Ask your contact for more information about the firm; Ask your contact to introduce you to the firm s recruiter; and If you have worked with such contact in the past, you can ask for a written recommendation. Just like other online job boards, you will be able to read the job advertisement of a particular vacancy. Hence, you can go through the job requirements and assess yourself for the position carefully. If you want your friends to be aware of the job vacancy, you can share it on your LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter networks. You also have the option of forwarding the vacancy to individual addresses. By disseminating the job advertisement, you are also sharing the advantages of being a LinkedIn member. 5

6 Do you exert effort to get to know people and extend your LinkedIn network? Networking plays a big role in management consulting. Some candidates even land interviews because a key person can vouch for their values and competencies. Fortunately, LinkedIn provides a number of opportunities to contact your colleagues, consulting firm s recruiters, and other professionals. If you don t maximize the features listed below, you might be missing a lot. 1. contacts: this lets you search who among your contacts already have an account. 2. Previous Colleagues and School Mates: LinkedIn can identify the users who have worked in your previous companies or who went to your university. Simply identify those you know and invite them to be your contact. 3. Search Box: you can simply type the name of the person in the search box, go through the results, verify the profile, and connect with them. 4. Referral System: you can message your contacts and ask them to introduce you to a recruiter or a professional you want to contact. One member can only refer a person five times a month, so make sure each one counts. 5. Group Participation: join groups where the recruiter or a professional you want to connect with are active members. If you are accepted, you will have a chance to message them free. Another effective strategy is to participate in discussions and share valuable ideas about different topics. This way, recruiters will notice your analytical skills. 6

7 Do you regularly update your network about your activities? Your updates on LinkedIn let your contacts know what you re doing. You have probably used this feature on other social networking sites. The only difference with LinkedIn is the type of information you should share. It has to be useful and insightful because each update creates an impact on your contacts. To maintain your professionalism, below is a list of good ideas worth sharing. 1. Expertise: have you written a blog post about your industry? Has your name been quoted in a publication because of your expertise? Do you have any work accomplishments worth mentioning? These must be shared on LinkedIn, as they are indicators of your competencies. 2. Information: have you read an insightful web posting or a news article about a controversial issue? Have you stumbled upon a job opportunity or a YouTube video that might be helpful to many of your contacts? Go on and send them the link. 3. Inspiration: do you know a quote that will lighten up stressed employees? How about a story of success, teamwork, or passion at the workplace? Don t hesitate to post them on LinkedIn. Who knows some of your contacts badly crave for inspiration? 7

8 Do you ensure that you strengthen your network by focusing on relationships? Networking doesn t necessarily mean begging for a job from a contact. This misconception has been one of the reasons why many people are hesitant to expand their network to find a job. The givers gain philosophy must be the main rationale for this activity. It says that the more you help other people, the more goodness you get. This may come in the form of fulfillment, opportunity to inspire other people or realizations from helping other people. Below are some guidelines on how to strengthen your network: 1. Maintain the quality of interaction by regularly sending your contacts a message or responding to their status. 2. Keep track of the questions that your contacts raise and if you know the answer, share what you have in mind. 3. Even after you are employed, keep in touch with your contacts. This signifies your gratitude to their assistance. The people behind LinkedIn have conceptualized the site in a way that is beneficial for the companies, recruiters and most of all, professionals like you. All of them win big deals by registering on the site and by being active there. The companies get to establish their brand, the recruiters are able to fill in job vacancies, and the members can scout for jobs in a proactive manner. It has revolutionized networking in a positive, efficient way. 8

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