My Medical Device Sales Career
OK, I am getting paid 0 to post this LinkedIn piece, but I still get a number of calls from professionals saying they do not know how to really use Linkedin or how it works. First of all just trust me on this, YOU NEED a free Linkedin account! I will go one step further, once you get your free account, you need to know how to set it up FULLY...yes 100%. Linkedin will become part of your Job Insurance Plan for the future; if anything happens to your company or your job you need to have an immediate resource to go to find another one! Build your network now, think of it as you would any other insurance plan that you wouldn't think of going without, like car or home insurance; you may never need it, but it makes you feel safe knowing you have it! This insurance plan can even be free and cost you maybe an hour a month of your time to build little by little! How strongly do I feel about this? Read on! See the entire Linkedin Training Series.
There are only two types of people who do NOT need an account; dead people and those that are maybe 65 or 70 years old who are NEVER going to work again and probably don't care about staying in contact with their professional network, let alone growing it. So if you are in one of those two Groups..you can skip this Blog, I am assuming if you are in the first Group you are not reading this Blog or any other Blog for that matter (rest in peace)!
Why LinkedIn? They just hit the 100 Million Members Mark last month (March, 2011); it is simply growing to be the best place to find and connect with others and it's functionality and possibilities far exceeds any job board, especially a huge Job Board like Career Builder, Monster or Hot Jobs. Has anyone looked at the 30% dive that Monster took to their stock value last week? It isn't just because there are fewer jobs, it is because Job Boards are still needed, but they are old technology. Even The Ladders is finally trying to pitch some new Pipeline Program (It may be a Pipe Dream) to catch up and compete with Linkedin and Facebook....too late! I call it the Block Buster Syndrome (Yes, they were being auctioned off today and as of this morning couldn't find anyone who wanted them). You must think of LinkedIn as where things are headed and straight Job Boards may be ending up where Block Buster is today....5 to 10 years from now. It takes awhile to get slow adapters over, so get ahead and understand the game of the future to preserve and enhance your career ahead of the dead heads (is this getting morbid or what?)!
If you are a real beginner, I will insert their quick summary of the business model below from You Tube (if you know about Linkedin and understand what it is about..then skip this and go beneath the video for more instruction on building out your profile.
Ok, so now on to the living who need to build an insurance plan for the day they may need a job or would get darn excited if someone called them out of the blue with a new job that paid a ton more money than they are currently making! Both of these scenarios are more likely to happen if you open a LinkedIn account AND build out a full profile. I don't want to go any farther in the process in this Blog article..this is Linkedin 101! If you can just register and start the process, I will address later in Linkedin 102 how to build your network safely (inviting people to Link to You and enticing them to request you too!).
As a side note, I am astounded on companies selling programs for big money on how to use LinkedIn; give me a break, you can find most of it FREE. In fact, did you know that Linkedin provides one FREE LINKEDIN WEBINAR per week called the Basics of Linkedin? So don't pay any money for a third party program on how to use LinkedIn unless you don't have the time or just could not be bothered and have money for someone else to do it. I am here to give you the links and free advice on this blog. Again, if you have the time and inclination, I will give you everything in this LinkedIn Series so you can do it yourself! Up to you!
So let's get going! EVEN if you feel you have a great Profile you should read through the tips BELOW on my April 10th Add on piece to this Blog (I found Link Problems on LinkedIn's own site!...wow..surprise; so I corrected it for you and added a second segment below so you can just stay on this Blog to get all the answers!).
As you complete your profile pay attention to the % to completion bar (you want to get to 100% eventually) AND that you are using as many KEY WORDS as possible throughout your profile! Key Words are important because people who may be trying to find a Medical Device Sales Person for an example, will use those key words to find you in the Advanced Search Option available on your Search button (upper right hand side of your profile page). If you don't have the right key words on your profile to match your background experience...you may NEVER be found! You should also be aware that as you are building your profile the information is being saved into a PDF File that resembles a Resume. After you are done building your profile, open the PDF Formatted Profile sheet and see if you need to make some adjustments. Whatever you do, don't send that PDF File out as your resume! It is not that professional to use and a PDF format is just terrible to use for resume purposes anyway (always use a Word Doc. Resume). The PDF file is there if one of your contacts (your Level 1 contacts) want to download something quickly on you. We will get into those little perks in later Blogs within this series.
So what are you waiting for? Get started now and I will bring you along as I write to help you master LinkedIn. Register NOW for a Free Account and begin building your profile COMPLETELY; make sure to upload a professional head shot picture, with a smiling face (assuming you have a full set of teeth and they are not yellow!) with some professional attire (e'm...at least from the waist up!). Not having a picture or an unprofessional picture is a big no no in LinkedIn Land. So put on a smile and don't worry about your pants!
(PLEASE SCROLL BELOW THIS ARTICLE FOR A FOLLOW UP AND MORE INSTRUCTIONS)
By Linda Hertz why not invite me to Linkedin with you today?