LinkedIn Tips for Job-Seekers

You know that among all the social media platforms, LinkedIn is the most business-oriented, right? You put your professional info into your profile, gather more connections, ask for introductions to people you’d like to know, and so on. You can do a lot with LinkedIn. But as I look at job-seekers’ profiles, I’m betting many are using it only 10% effectively to get recruiters and employers interested in them.

Got one?

What are you saying in your LI profile that will catch the right people’s attention? Unless you know, you’re likely to waste lots of words and get nowhere with your job search. Here are some of the mistakes I see on LinkedIn profiles:

• Too much (irrelevant) information
It’s nice that you like doggies and kitties. But unless you’re looking for a vet tech job, that’s irrelevant. And posting irrelevant content makes you seem clueless or unfocused.

• Too little (relevant) information
Some LinkedIn profiles show no photo and only the barest outlines of educational and professional accomplishments. If you’re just getting started on LI, okay, you can always fill in more later. But be sure to do it. Give employers enough info to see if you are a fit for a position they’re looking to fill.

• Too much information altogether
One person’s LI profile listed every job she’d had since high school, with a five-line paragraph after each job title. And the verbiage simply told what her duties had been at each job. If your duties don’t relate to a position you’re looking for now, either try to make them relate or forget all the exposition. If I have to scroll twice to see all of your employment history, you’ve got three times too much content.

Summary: Keep it brief and relevant to the job you’re seeking.

More tips to come…

What’s the point of social media?

There’s no one answer to that question. Depends who you are.

To a Twitter user, it’s a place to post brief comments and see what other people are talking about.

To a Facebook user, it’s where you share what you’re up to, post photos, and keep in touch with family and friends.

To a LinkedIn user, it’s the place to show their professional qualifications to potential employers and find people they want to link with to find a job or a helpful connection.

To a blogger, it’s a way to establish expertise in a particular field and get to the top of search engine pages.

To a marketer, the whole idea of social media may be confusing: “I know everybody’s talking about social media marketing,” but I don’t really know how to use it to sell my products and services.”

Well, you can’t exactly sell stuff via social media. Social media is social, obviously. And your experience at a social event could be ruined by people who come to the party just to sell you something. You back away when you feel “sold to.”

Social media is not a sales floor. It’s a backyard barbecue.

Social media is about engaging you in a relationship of mutual trust and sharing with a brand. A company offers you useful information, coupons, tips, a chance to participate in fun events online or otherwise. In exchange, you offer them your positive tweets, links on Facebook, and perhaps, because you like the brand, a purchase.

It’s like this: you don’t go to a cocktail party or barbecue, press your business card into a stranger’s hand, and start reciting selling points.

R.I.P. Billy Mays

Just imagine meeting Billy Mays, the late, high-volume pitchman, cornering you at a casual cookout and screaming “Oxy-Clean!” in your face. Yikes.

On the other hand, if you meet someone at a party, and you find they share your interests or is interested in your product or service, you have the green light to get better acquainted. Depending on the price of your product, you’ll have to invest more or less time establishing enough trust to do business with your new friend. TRUST is vital. And sincerity.

Compared to advertising, social media is almost Buddhist in its focus on being in the moment and not being attached to results. Try Zen sitting meditation sometime, and you’ll know what I mean. (Actually, don’t try it unless you enjoy mental and physical torture.)

Sure, you can give a stranger your “elevator speech” at a business networking event, aka “card exchange.” But whoever you meet will remember and like you better if you express an interest in their interests and see if there’s some way you can help them — maybe not even in a way that’s related to your business. Find someone a good dog groomer or personal trainer, or a great caterer for their daughter’s wedding, and they’ll remember you fondly. If you do enough good for enough people, “What goes around comes around,” right?

Now, what are your thoughts? How have you used social media effectively — or otherwise? What social media campaigns do you admire? The Burger King Facebook De-Friend for a Whopper thing? How do you judge if social media has been effective?

10 Shocking Secrets About Advertising

The Ad Contrarian brings you shocking information about advertising, TV viewing and buying habits.

Okay, I’ll give you one of them: banner ads DON’T WORK. (Oh, man, I must have written a thousand banner ads for Hallmark.)

But you knew that already, right? Because you never click on banner ads. Not even if there’s a half-dressed girl gyrating above a mortgage outfit’s sell message. What are those guys (You know they must be guys.) selling, anyhow, half-dressed girls or mortgages?

There’s more, lots more. So click the link, already.

Meet TED (Talks) re: Assumption

Derek Sivers: Weird, or just different?

“There’s a flip side to everything,” the saying goes, and in two minutes, Derek Sivers shows this is true in a few ways you might not expect.

Social media marketing isn’t everything.

Well, social media marketing certainly is something. Something that’s gotten very big, very quickly. Just look at the avalanche of Web articles about it, blogs and Webinars about it. And the strips of marketing messages you see on the nearly every blog or website you visit.

But I’m hearing lately from some quarters that although social media marketing is part of many marketing plans, it’s not necessarily the whole plan. Not for all products and services. And not for all audiences.

Is social media marketing all there is?

The headline on an article asks, “Can Marketers Catch Up With Millennials?” But my question is, “How many marketers are wrongly using social media marketing to promote products and services to the so-called
“millennials” (ages 18-34) and ignoring their natural target audiences, who also use social media?”

Millennials get almost all their info and social interaction from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other Web vehicles. But take a look at the article and bar charts here indicating who uses social media, by age group.

Notice that a whopping 71% of users aged 35-44 in this study also use social media. Even among the doddering 45-54 group, a 59% majority use social media. Over 55, the number drops to a still respectable 43%, and the overall total is impressive: 64% of Internet users of all ages in the study use social media.

So why are so many marketers so hot to use social media marketing to reach 18-34-year-olds?

May I suggest that this age group is a great target audience for hip new electronic toys and phones, but not a very good target audience for plumbing supplies, industrial machinery, construction materials, architectural designs, group health insurance, senior mobility products, hospitals, CPA firms, and so on. Customers for these products and services tend to rely less on Internet sources for information and more on print media, radio and TV, and of course, peer recommendations (number one trusted information resource across the board).

So what I’m hearing more and more lately are whispers of, “Advertising is coming back.” And I’ve seen this article just today, advising B2B marketers to keep an open mind to media other than social media for marketing. Heresy? Not to those who want to spend their budgets most effectively to reach their target customers.

The fact is, advertising has never gone away. But because of the “real and honest” tone of successful social media marketing programs, it’s had to change its tone. The era of “yell, tell and sell” is long over. Today, whether marketing messages are delivered online, on paper, on TV, on radio or on billboards, they need to engage users with relevant content and try to start a conversation that leads to a customer relationship.

So I’m glad to discuss social media marketing with a client, and I may also suggest other media that can reach their target audience. Especially in B2B, you can’t count on a C-level decision-maker to keep up with Twitter, Facebook, or even LinkedIn. Yes, they may read online business articles, but they also read printed magazines, and they watch TV at home, don’t they?

In summary, not every potential customer is a millennial. We need to keep open minds social media marketing AND other media to reach those who fall into other age brackets, psychographics and demographics.

Nielsen provides an annual survey on “Trust and Advertising,” rating various media on their ability to earn trust from consumers. Here’s a SlideShare of the global report from 2009. You’ll have to tease out the info for America, but there are some facts that apply globally.

What do you think? Are some marketers are mistakenly running after millennials and marketing via social media their audiences may never see? Or are some marketers stuck in the past and ignoring the potential of social media AND other media to reach their target audiences?