Leverage LinkedIn for career opportunities

I’ve worked at over 10 companies with multiple roles within each and I’ve changed career directions multiple times. Only 3 times did I ever really apply for a role. Most of the time, I had a connection to the company and was able to get an “in” for the role.

It is important to keep an open dialogue with the outside world. You never know when you’ll need to explore a new role – layoffs, bad manager, promotion.

This doesn’t mean to connect with just anyone. It is best to only connect with someone you have interactive with before – meetup, work, vendors, partners. Recruiters should be vetted to make sure you have at least some mutual connections.

So grow your LinkedIn network, keep your profile up to date, and be active.

How to optimize your LinkedIn resume

If you’re looking for a new job or even if you’re happy in your current role, it’s important to keep your LinkedIn resume up to date and findable. 

Here are a few tips to keep your Linkedin profile in tip top shape.

  • Make sure your title and description reflects the role you want. Calling yourself a product manager will get your product manager calls. Focus on the parts of your current role or experience that will help you land the next role you seek. If you want to become a career coach, focus on how you mentored a junior team member.
  • You don’t need to use actual titles. My former titles have been associate, senior manager, director etc. Those are internal titles about reflecting the hierarchy of the organization rather than a reflection upon what I do.
    I recently had a colleague update his title from Lead Consultant, Analytics To Web Analytics and Business Intelligence. It resulted in him getting at least one ping a week about potential roles. 
  • Put buzzwords in your role description. Write out the tools and skills along with your responsibilities. Web analytics and reporting, Google Analytics, Tableau, etc. 

LinkedIn SEO

I’ve asked recruiters about how they use LinkedIn to find candidates and it’s pretty simple – Recruiters use LinkedIn just like you use Google. They search for terms that they need a candidate to have. If there is a hit, they scan by looking at job titles then skills and then tools. 

So structure your LinkedIn profile to reflect how recruiters should find you. 

To test this, I used a fake account. (It is a well established account from when I was testing some LinkedIn functionality. It has several hundred connections and has been on the site for a while.)

I changed the two most recent jobs to SEO related terms and included terms like serp, seo, page rank, link building, disavow etc. The companies were small and non brand name. Over the next 3 days, the profile received 40 views, and 6 emails from recruiters. 

Of course doesn’t mean you’ll get the job. But it’ll start the conversation and that’s the biggest hurdle.

Luck

In my opinion, getting a job is 90% luck and majority of that is timing and network. But you need to work to get that luck.

The luck is connections and timing. Connections are your source of jobs – be it LinkedIn, or colleagues, of classmates or just people you meet at meetups or other functions. 

Connect with them on LinkedIn.

You also need to be active on LinkedIn. You don’t need to write posts, but you should be posting/sharing relevant and interesting links. This way, you’ll show up in people’s feeds and you’ll remain top of mind. 

Timing is out of your control, but that’s basically being ready to jump on a call or take an interview when the time comes. Most of the time, you’ll have to wait for your desired position to open.

It's about time! …Tech sites become more critical of startups and investors

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First off, my hats off to any entrepreneur who is willing to put him/herself out there and take the risk to start a company, sell to customers, and raise money. I wish I could to it myself, but that’s another story.

I came across this article this morning: http://www.businessinsider.com/there-are-too-many-founders-raising-millions-of-dollars-without-any-plans-2013-4

A while ago, when I was a more avid reader of tech sites like BusinessInsider, Techcrunch, PandyDaily, and Betabeat, I noticed majority of stories about startups were rah-rah – everyone will conquer the world and every industry was going to be disrupted.

But over the last few weeks, I’ve noticed that writing has become more critical of both startups, founders, and investors. It’s about time!

It’s a great start to talking about the difficulty of building a sustainable business, how raising money is not success (already been beat to death), and money is too abundant.

Implicit and Explicit Profiles

There are many startups attempting to build content recommendation and curation algorithms. Their approches are varied and range from the simple to the very complex.

I would generally categorize the simple approach as using explicit profiles. Explicit profiles are built by asking directed questions (What are you interests?) and tracking usage (What articles have you read?)

The complex approach is to build implicit profiles. Implicit profiles are based on what you do, but also what you don’t do. This requires a lot more understanding of the content characteristics and mapping them back to the user profile. For example, you have be shown 10 different articles about a specific topic, but you only click on 1 of them. What was the reason you clicked on that specific article? What it the image? author? title? time of day? day of week? device (mobile/tablet/desktop)? What if you already read it from a different source?

Recommendation algorithms are designed to be safe. If you’re on Amazon looking at a book, you won’t be recommend a scooter. It will most likely recommend another book within the same genre and topic. This bodes well for a the explicit profile approach to work without the need a very strong implicit profile.

There are many other issues to overcome with content recommendations and curation, I don’t think implicit profiles will be the main hurdle.