Careers Archives - LinkedIn In 30 Minutes

How to leverage LinkedIn endorsements and recommendations

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It’s one thing to say you have a certain skill, such as cat wrangling, or press release writing. But it’s another thing entirely to have proof that you can do it. For this reason, LinkedIn includes a function that periodically asks your connections to endorse (or virtually recognize) the skills you have listed on your profile. When they do so, they are lending credibility to your claims and helping you enhance your professional reputation. You will receive an email notification whenever you receive LinkedIn endorsements.

LinkedIn endorsements new

LinkedIn will ask you to endorse your connections’ skills as well. You can scroll through and react to these suggestions when they pop up. Or, go directly to a profile and scroll down to the Skills and Endorsements section and click the plus sign next to the skill you would like to endorse. Because LinkedIn will notify them when you do so, it’s a great way to keep yourself top of mind. I’ve actually received emails from previous clients offering new projects after endorsing them for a skill.

The Importance of Recommendations

When a potential employer is considering you for a job, they’ll usually ask you for references. These are people who can confirm your previous work experience and vouch for your abilities and accomplishments. In a battle between two or more qualified applicants, good references can give you the leg up you need to secure an offer.

LinkedIn recommendations are kind of like references. Much like skill endorsements, recommendations add credibility to your claims and enhance your reputation. But because your connections must do more than click a single box to provide one, recommendations often mean more to recruiters considering you for a job or potential clients vetting your services.

In most cases, you will probably have to request a recommendation from a connection. Consider approaching people who value your work and services, such as previous/current managers and supervisors, previous/current coworkers, industry colleagues, and clients. Doing so is simple:

  1. Choose Privacy and Settings from the dropdown menu beneath your tiny photo in the LinkedIn toolbar.
  2. Look for the link to Manage your recommendations.
  3. Click the “Ask for recommendations” link at the top of the page.
  4. Follow the prompts to complete your request.

Protip: When asking for a recommendation, do not use the generic message LinkedIn generates for you. Instead, enter a custom message for each connection you approach. In the past, I’ve found customized messages more effective. Not only are they more personal, but they also give you the opportunity to remind your connection about shared experiences. If you are comfortable doing so, you can offer to reciprocate by recommending your connection as well.

This excerpt is from LinkedIn In 30 Minutes, 2nd Edition, by Angela Rose. Learn more about the book or purchase a copy here.

5 reasons LinkedIn recruiters don’t click on your profile

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5 Reasons Linkedin Recruiters Don’t Click On Your Profile

So you are in the midst of a job hunt. You may wonder why LinkedIn recruiters and employers aren’t reaching out. Your LinkedIn profile may be to blame.

Melanie Pinola, the author of the 1st edition of LinkedIn In 30 Minutes, and career expert Donna Svei have put together a list of 5 reasons recruiters don’t click through to your LinkedIn profile. It not only highlights some common mistakes people make with their profiles, but also illustrates how dominant LinkedIn has become among recruiters:

This is an infographic depicting the 5 reasons linkedin recruiters don't click on your profile.

Updated stats for LinkedIn Recruiters

Since this infographic was first published, LinkedIn has become even more ubiquitous:

  • According to a recent LinkedIn report, the network hosts more than 3 million active job listings. Advertised positions are in dozens of industries. They range from agriculture and construction to finance and healthcare.
  • LinkedIn has approximately 400 million members. They live in practically every country in the world. Whether you want to connect with a former supervisor, a colleague you met at a conference, the recruiter at your dream company, or even your old high school track coach (go Warriors!), you are likely to find them on LinkedIn.
  • A 2014 Jobvite Social Recruiting Survey found that 93% of recruiters use or plan to use social media platforms to fill jobs. Among these recruiters, 94% use LinkedIn. Whether you are actively searching for a new job or are a passive candidate—defined as interested in opportunities though not active in the job search—joining LinkedIn will make it easier for employers to find you.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to optimize your LinkedIn profile for job searches or networking purposes, be sure to check out LinkedIn In 30 Minutes: How to create a rock-solid LinkedIn profile and build connections that matter. Whether you want to find a new job or advance your career, this guide can be the blueprint for a supercharged LinkedIn strategy. The contents are listed here. You can buy the paperback or ebook editions here.

How to use LinkedIn to research companies

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One of the best things you can do as a job hunter — on LinkedIn or elsewhere — is learn as much as possible about your potential next employer. You can use LinkedIn to research individual companies and the people who work there, just like they use LinkedIn to research candidates like yourself.

Not all companies have a LinkedIn profile, but for those that do, visit their LinkedIn pages to discover:

  • How you’re connected to the company: potential contacts who might be a “foot in the door” there.
  • Who the company’s competitors are, under the “People also viewed” and “Where Employees Came From” sections. This suggests other places to also consider applying at (or at least ones that would be good to understand before you interview at this company).
  • Company positioning and latest developments, posted on the company summary page and in status updates. This tells you the image the company is trying to project (where their strengths are, how they’re different from competitors, what they do best). It’s good to know all of this so you can answer dreaded questions like, “Why do you think you’d be a good fit for this company?”
  • Newly hired or promoted employees, under the “Insights” tab of the company page. This shows you the kinds of people the company is hiring right now. Read the profiles of these employees; if they have many common keywords or skills, be sure to add them to your profile. (Yes, I said “keywords” again!)
  • Available job openings, under the Careers tab, if available.

You can also click the “Follow” button on a company page to stay abreast of their job openings and new product or service developments via email alerts and updates on your LinkedIn homepage.

Insider tip: If you have the names of people interviewing you, read their LinkedIn profiles to get a better understanding of what their interview style might be like (for example, if they’re more conversational or by-the-book), common connections you might have, common interests or recent trends they might be interested in, and so on. Okay, so this might feel like cyber-stalking, but it’s not that bad–as long as you don’t seem like you’re trying too hard in your interview. Just use your research as preparation for the interview.

For more of Melanie’s advice and insights, download “LinkedIn In 30 Minutes”, available for the Kindle, iPad, and Nook, and also as a PDF and paperback.