Promoting Yourself on LinkedIn

Promoting Yourself on LinkedIn
One way to do this is to use LinkedIn's "professional headline" to establish your identity. LinkedIn also gives you the opportunity to fill in a status box.

You'll Need to Grow Your Network
When Being Laid Off
Promoting Yourself on Linkedin

By Elizabeth Garone

Promoting Yourself on LinkedIn
Q: As a LinkedIn user, I am seeing many people stating, "looking for a job opportunity" and other similar statements in their profile or status. If you are unemployed, is it good to announce that you are looking for a job this way, or does it potentially damage your image?

A: In the past, it was common to try to hide the fact that you'd lost your job. But that has changed in the current economy. "The stigma of being unemployed in this economy is almost non-existent," says Terry Karp, career counselor and co-founder of the Bay Area Career Center in San Francisco. "It is commonly understood that many
talented people have been laid off completely due to a business
decision by the company, not their performance."
Promoting Yourself on LinkedIn

While it's acceptable to let people know that you are looking for a position, it's important to approach it professionally and to be specific about your needs. One way to do this is to use LinkedIn's "professional headline" to establish your identity. Ms. Karp recommends adding the words "in transition" or "seeking a new challenge" to your title. LinkedIn also gives you the opportunity to fill in a status box. "Use this area to describe contract or consulting gigs you have as well as any volunteer work you are doing,"suggests Ms. Karp. "This approach enables you to reinforce your brand through the headline as well as highlight current relevant projects."
Promoting Yourself on LinkedIn

Dan Schawbel, author of "Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success," also believes in getting the word out. "If your network is unaware that you're job searching, then how are they supposed to support your search?" he asks. "Visibility creates opportunities, both in marketing products and with people."

When crafting your profile, you need to be honest, says LinkedIn spokeswoman Krista Canfield. "Don't list on your profile or résumé that you're doing free-lance work if you really aren't," she says. "Hiring managers may ask you about that free-lance work or consulting gig during the interview and if you don't have the references to back that work up, it could count against you."

If you aren't doing any contract or other work, then you'll want to at least list a position that reflects the type of role you're seeking. For example, you could include something along the lines of: "open to free-lance and consulting work in the graphic design industry" or "seeking a challenging sales position in the real-estate sector," suggests Ms. Canfield.

You'll also want to update your status regularly. "Status updates remind your network that you're looking for a position and what types of jobs you're looking for," she says. "Plus, you never know. Someone in your network might know someone that works at the company you're researching."

Andrew Ravens, assistant vice president for corporate communications at Eastern Bank in Boston, credits LinkedIn status updates for helping two friends land jobs. One friend mentioned in her update that she was moving back to the Washington, D.C., area. Mr. Ravens saw the update and immediately put her in touch with an old college roommate who works in the same field. Through the connection, the friend eventually landed a job. In the other case, a friend posted an update that she was looking for broadcast journalism work. Again, Mr. Ravens was able to connect her with someone in the field. "It made me feel really good to help them out, especially with things so tough out there," says Mr. Ravens. "If it weren't for their status updates, I wouldn't have even known they were looking."

In order to have your status updates seen, you'll need to grow your network, say the experts. "The larger your LinkedIn network is, both in volume and in real relationships, the better your chances are at finding a job," says Mr. Schawbel. "Most jobs come from second- and third-degree contacts anyway, so it's not just who you know but who they know and who knows you."

Promoting Yourself on LinkedIn - By Elizabeth Garone. Write to ELIZABETH GARONE at

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