26 May, 2010

Why Jessi Hempel Called Linkedin "The Only Social Site That Really Matters"

For about 2 years now I’ve been describing Linkedin as “Facebook for grownups” and, in her April 12 Fortune magazine article, so did Jessi Hempel. But she didn’t stop there. Hempel went on to say that “If you don’t have a profile on Linkedin, you’re nowhere” and “ If you’re serious about managing your career, the only social site that really matters is Linkedin.”

As Jessi Hempel explains in her article and as I explained to folks at a March 23 symposium, the key to Linkedin’s career-promoting power is the way employers and headhunters can use it. Let’s say you’re about to open an office in, say, Southern Illinois, and you need to hire a branch manager with mining sales experience. In Linkedin you can put in a few geographical parameters and some key words and, voila, in moments you have a list of people in your network who live in Southern Illinois and have mining sales experience.

You can’t do that in Facebook.

Further, once you have actually hired that new branch manager, he or she can use Linkedin to identify and connect to all the appropriate prospects in Southern Illinois. Your new branch manager can use Linkedin to find and join local business groups, local mining industry groups or any other local groups where he or she might find the kind of people who can buy mining supplies.

You can’t do that in Facebook, either.

To use Linkedin to advance your career, you have to exercise a trait few people have, you have to do something they don’t teach you in college unless you majored in a mental health or sociological field: you have to exercise empathy. That is, you have to be able to imagine the needs of others. If you have the empathy to imagine how a recruiter, a headhunter or a hiring manager might use Linkedin to identify and find talent then you can use Linkedin to become the talent they seek.

When a headhunter needs to identify and find a person with a particular skill set in a specific city, he doesn’t go to MySpace or Facebook, he starts with Linkedin because Linkedin is wired for business and because Linkedin allows the user to find people by job title, by industry, by geography, etc.

Use Linkedin to make yourself easy to find and easy to contact. Put your phone number or your email address in one of the public parts of your Linkedin profile. Put it in your “headline” or in the “summary” section where people outside your immediate network can see it. As Jessi Hempel said in her Fortune article, “it’s no longer advantageous to refrain from broadcasting personal information.” She obviously wasn’t referring to Social Security number, your home address or the whereabouts of your kids. No, she simply means make it easy for employers to find you.

Join Linkedin groups. Join local groups, industry groups.

Make sure you have enabled messaging between group members. I'll never understand why some people join a group but disable their group messaging. What's the point of belonging to a group when group members can't contact you?

Invite people you like and respect to join your Linkedin network. Some of those people will get calls from headhunters asking “who do you know who might be a good candidate?”

Don't join the networks of people you know to be jerks or incompetents. As Scott Bedbury said in his book, It's A New Brand World, brands absorb the ambient smells of other brands near them. Don't let a stinker's brand stink up your brand.

There’s no need for me to repeat everything I said in my March 23 symposium appearance when I can simply link you to what Jessi Hempel said in her April 12 Fortune article. Read Ms. Hempel’s article at ::


No comments:

Post a Comment

Only identified commentators will be published. No pseudonymous or anonymous comments will be published. "Handles" and "screen names" are pseudonyms. If you wish to comment, you need to identify yourself or your comment will not be published.