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  • Diana Schneidman

LinkedIn: New stuff I didn’t know about LinkedIn

I’ve been on LinkedIn for a few years now and experimenting with ways to use it. However, some of my time on it has not been very productive. Now I want to refine my participation to profit from it (both literally and figuratively) without wasting time on groups of little interest. Towards that end I am gradually dropping groups from my past set of 50 to reduce the clutter in my inbox and simply ignoring others.

By the way, did you know LinkedIn was launched almost a decade ago and has 161 million members around the world? Yeah, it sounds like a lot of members, but it’s a minor player –statistically speaking—compared to Facebook’s 900 million users.

I’m also studying advice on how LinkedIn functions and how to use it more effectively. Here goes some of my recent discoveries:

  1. If you are laid off and looking for a new job, you should say so in your headline and profile, according to Deborah L. Jacobs in Forbes. I have heard many a time that employers want to hire individuals who already are working, but Jacobs claims the opposite. She says headhunters and HR personnel who look for new hires favor the unemployed because they don’t have to be convinced to change jobs. The solution, per Jacobs, is a headline or statement in the profile with words like “Currently seeking . . . .”

That may be your best move. However, when I was looking for jobs, I freelanced and consulted during my search. I’d think this is preferable on a LinkedIn profile. (Of course, this solution assumes you really want freelancing and consulting assignments.)

  1. Improve your profile to help people find you in their searches. Brett Nelson in Forbes reveals how to game LinkedIn’s search algorithm by improving the key-word usage of your profile, especially the professional description, current position and past position. Searchable keywords are more important than past job titles, adds Nelson.

I just added some more terms to my “skills and expertise,” the bricks following the experience section. (My own LinkedIn profile is a work in progress. I’ve improved it many times. It’s not perfect but I keep a’keepin’ on.)

By the way, the expert Nelson cites is Erica Levy Klein, a LinkedIn coach in New York City. Nelson told Forbes she charges $750 to review a profile and spend 45 minutes making suggestions for its improvement, but you can get a full new write-up for $1,500. She bills in the low- to mid-six figures annually. (There’s a career to consider.)

  1. Find out how LinkedIn makes its money. In short, it sells pricy subscriptions to headhunters. The service is called Recruiter, and corporate talent scouts pay as much as $8,200 per account. So the business is not about our clicking on links, it’s about recruiters conducted sophisticated searches of our data, even when we are not online.

This in itself isn’t exactly a how-to hint, but it stimulates our productive activity. In other words, if you are looking for a job, see hint number 2 above.

If you’re looking for freelance and consulting assignments rather than a full-time job, test out these same hints. Plus I’m going to experiment with my LinkedIn freelance ad. I’ll report back if I get some meaningful results to report.

Originally posted 8-27-12

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