LinkedIn is arguably the premier business-networking platform on the internet.
It’s also one you should use if you’re seeking another job opportunity in your industry, especially if you’re making a total career transition which already comes with many challenges.
One great thing about Linkedin is that most of its users understand that its primary purpose is networking, so they’re usually open to making new connections provided you follow proper etiquette.
But like any job search networking, you need to have a plan and be prepared before you begin sending out invitation requests or reaching out to existing connections for help. Doing things haphazardly won’t return the kind of results you want.
I’ve listed the top five things you need to keep in mind before you start any networking on Linkedin, but it can apply to networking offline as well.
What’s your target?
Like any sales/marketing process, you must go as niche as possible to deliver the best results. This is marketing 101.
I know it’s counter-intuitive, but casting too-wide a net and applying to a wide variety of jobs in multiple industries is not going to give you better or more results. In fact, the opposite can happen – you’ll get worse and less results.
Before you create a résumé, Linkedin profile, and do any networking, you must nail down your niche and develop everything around that.
One of the first things you must determine is:
What is your target job function/job title?
What is your industry focus?
What companies do you want to work for?
When you’ve drilled down to a very specific type of role in a specific industry/sector and specific employers – that’s your niche!
How will you position yourself?
Once you’ve got your niche figured out, you must decide how you’re going to “position” yourself.
But you can’t do that until you’ve researched the companies, target position, and industry to establish:
What kinds of experience, skills, education, qualities, and other credentials are required in your desired niche?
What kinds of challenges face the industry/companies?
What kinds of solutions are they looking for?
Once you glean the information from your research, you can then develop your unique value proposition based on the key requirements someone in your target position should possess.
Create your unique value proposition
Your unique value proposition (UVP) is also know as a unique selling proposition (USP) – both of which are part of your personal branding strategy.
Whatever term you want to use, they both consist of a clear statement that:
#1: describes the benefit of your “offer” (i.e. your “service”)
#2: communicates how you solve your customer’s needs or problems (i.e. your employer/stakeholders)
#3: demonstrates what distinguishes you from your competitors (i.e. other qualified candidates)
As a jobseeker, your UVP is how you leverage your areas of expertise and other credentials to help organizations (employers/clients) in ways that produce specific, positive results.
The focus is always on your key contributions and accomplishments that are ideally quantifiable in some way. The more you can back up your claims with dollars (%), percentages (%), numbers (#), and even time lines in all of your career marketing tools, the better!
Your UVP should be prominent in all your marketing collateral. It’s also something you should incorporate into the response you give to the question, “So, tell me about yourself”.
Complete branded and targeted career marketing tools
Do NOT apply to any jobs or start any networking online or offline until you’ve finalized your résumé and Linkedin profile.
The second you reach out to anyone through Linkedin (or elsewhere for that matter) what do you think they’re going to look at?
Your Linkedin profile.
If they like your profile, they might request that you send them your résumé.
Since your résumé and Linkedin profile are two critical tools that make up the foundation of your job search, they must be relevant, clear, and compelling to generate the kind of attention you’re looking for.
Don’t settle on “good enough”
Don’t bother sharing anything that’s just “good enough” because that probably won’t get you far. Do you think a company wants to hire a “good enough” employee? No! They’re looking for the perfect fit candidate.
First, you must have a résumé and Linkedin profile that are keyword- rich and address the field you’re targeting so that they come up in database and online searches. This is how you’ll be “found”.
Second, your career marketing collateral has to be written in such a way to deliver a strong UVP that knocks the socks off the hiring manager. That’s how you’ll be contacted for the interview.
Without a strong UVP that makes your target market sit up and take notice, you’re probably not going to get any interviews.
This is why positioning yourself effectively in your target field is an essential first step in any job search networking.
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Hi! I’m Diana.
I draw from over 15 years recruitment, career/job search coaching, and sales/marketing experience to help all kinds of jobseekers stand out, get noticed, and get hired for their dream job.
Need help? That’s what I’m here for!
Are you in the midst of a job search and not getting the results you want? Or, are you employed and not actively looking but want to “get ready” in case your situation changes and you need to launch a job search?
Don’t get caught in the endless cycle of applying to jobs, hearing little to nothing, and becoming more frustrated.
I offer both “Done-For-You” and “DIY” options to help you overcome the obstacles and get you on the right track to accelerate your job landing success. You choose the level of service you feel you need that fits your budget.