Bull Bear Report Aug 19 2010

How to Use LinkedIn to Get Hired

By sindhu sundar

-- Related Article: Five Popular LinkedIn Groups for Finance Pros --

LinkedIn has become a go-to starting point for recruiters scouting out candidates for search assignments.

Finance professionals have been quick to hop on the site. About 3 million financial professionals have posted profiles on the online network, according to the site.

But having a profile alone may not be enough to catch a busy recruiter's eye. What to do? Lindsey Pollak, a spokeswoman for LinkedIn, shares the following tips for getting noticed.

1. Strengthen your profile.

Try to fill out your profile so that it is 100% complete. Users who do are 40% more likely to be contacted for opportunities through the site. Study the profiles of industry professionals in the jobs you want. "Tailor your LinkedIn profile to what seems to be successful," she said.

2. Be selective about sending invitations.

"Too many people think it's about reaching out to strangers," said Pollak, who cautions against inadvertent spamming. Start by connecting with people you already know, such as fellow alumni. "Then you can start to look beyond, at people who work for the company you're interested in."

Not hearing back? Follow up with a personalized email or a phone call. "Finance, like most all professions, are heavily about communication," said Pollak. "So don't neglect that."

3. Don't forget your netiquette.

One of the biggest mistakes that people make is sending out a LinkedIn invite without changing the generic invitation message. "Always, always, always customize that note," said Pollak. "Remember that in-person etiquette needs to translate into online etiquette."

Pollak also cautions against sending out mass emails on LinkedIn to recruiters. "It just reads like those "Dear Occupant" letters. It's junk mail. That doesn't make me feel like helping you." Send customized emails with individuals you are interested in speaking to, Pollak said. "If you use LinkedIn to reconnect with me and then invite me to lunch, then that's something," she said. "Don't use it to substitute for every aspect of the job search."

4. Join LinkedIn groups.

There are more than 100 LinkedIn groups for finance pros. Joining a group allows you access to conversation forums within the group and profiles of its members.

"Be a fly on the wall, and then start to build visibility and credibility," said Pollak. "By posting a thought-provoking question, you can show that you have a voice in the community."

LinkedIn groups are prime scouting grounds for recruiters, said Pollak. "Recruiters join the most active groups," she said. "It's kind of like the real world where you know what organizations the most influential people belong to. And hiring managers go in there to find their ideal recruits."

Write to Sindhu Sundar

Related: Five Popular LinkedIn Groups for Finance Pros

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