Linked In Invite Research And Other Tips

Get daves attention?

I’ve been reading some well intended posts recently from Linked In experts Neil Schaeffer and Tim Tyrell-Smith on how important it is that you tailor your Linked In connection invites. This is something I have advocated in the past, believing the theory to be correct. It certainly sounds like it should be. You should read their post as it prompted me to write-up this post on some research I completed recently on this very subject.

. The actual results of the test and follow-up were far from what I expected, showing something to the contrary of what I believed and is the expert advice given in these and similar posts. (including some of my own!)

I sent out 50 invites to connect to people I was not connected with anywhere else. I got 31 acceptances in total. Bear in mind that some of the 50 may not yet be opened. It’s not uncommon for some people to either follow you for a while and accept or archive later or those that have profiles they rarely visit, choosing to either ignore or turn-off e-mail alerts.

The results of the 50 invites were:

The Standard Linked In Invite: 23 out of 25 accepted.

The Tailored Linked In Invite: (This introduced me and stated my objective in networking.): 7 out of 25 acceptances.

I took this further by sending out a further 20 invites, 10 using the standard Linked In Invite and another 10 using tailored invites. These were sent as introductions via connections.

I received 6 acceptances. 5 for the standard invite and 1 from the tailored invite. Of the 20 invites, 14 were forwarded to the second level connections.

To complete the experiment, I sent out a further 20 invites to members I shared a group with. At this stage, all of the invites were the standard Linked In Invite.

Of the 20 I sent out, I got 19 acceptances. By far in a way the most succesful.

To understand this better, I mailed all of the people I had invited for feedback regardless of if they had accepted or declined my invite.

Of the 90 e-mails I sent asking for feedback, I got 32 responses, interestingly, 19 from those who had not responded.

Feedback included:

The tailored invite with a stated objective was seen as too direct in an invite. It was felt that there should have been more engagement prior to the invite. With so much spam flying around on linked In, for everything from internet brides to S.E.O., a longer message with any more than the standard RECOGNISABLE invite, then it got dumped without acceptance.

People were comfortable to accept or investigate the standard invite because they knew what it was.

Most people who received the invite chose to either:

  • Ignore, Archive or Delete immediately for the reasons outlined above.
  • Of those receiving the standard invite, most reported that they viewed my profile first before accepting, hence the reason for making sure that your profile is a real advert for you. Having looked at my profile they accepted the invite.
  • Of those that didn’t respond, most had chosen to “follow” me and wait and see. They stated that they may review this status to a full acceptance in the future.
  • Of those who accepted my invite who shared a group, most did so on receipt. They felt that if we shared a group, we must have something in common, and as the group had accepted me already I was “pre-vetted.” This emphasises the importance of belonging to groups.

Of those who replied and were willing to take a call to discuss in detail, (20), I got the following feedback:

In order: they would be most likely to invite people to connect if:

  1. They already communicated on another social channel, particularly twitter.
  2. They read a post they liked in a group or noticed someone on the new “most influential” list.
  3. People who are suggested via linked In on “People You May Know” lists. (The more connections you have and the more groups you belong to, the higher the likelihood of appearing on these lists.) Displaying relevent information from the top line of your profile is key here. You have 140 characters and this shows below your name in the “people you might know.” tab.
  4. People that come up on key-word searches. That means getting your key-words right and separating them with commas.
  5. People who answered their questions.
  6. Via e-mails received with a Linked In connect button.
  7. Via “connect with” buttons or invites on blogs and other places.

When looking at profiles to decide if to connect the top influencers in the decision were:

  1. A professional photo or one they recognised from your avatar in another channel. Be consistent with your picture. No picture, no connection.
  2. Your professional top line matching their area of interest.
  3. A recent update in the last 7 days. professional not personal content.
  4. Contact details for follow-up. (put this at the top of your profile.)
  5. A well written summary and objective.
  6. If you have an embedded blog most included this in things they look at on your profile.
  7. Whilst nearly everyone responded that they were impressed to see slide share presentations on the profile (professional image), most did not look at them unless they found the title really interesting and relevent.
  8. Most importantly, no one looked at recommendations at all, and gave them little credence. People with lots of recommendations, (more than 10), were seen as fake.
  9. The whole twitter feed on a profile was seen as irritating or irrelevant. Don’t do it!
  10. Interestingly, most reported that they go back to profiles in more detail once relationships were established, then they go back to profiles and look at the downloads (box.net, blog entries and slide share presentations.) In particular they go back to the profile from group posts, group comments or mails from update notifications.
  11. Most will look for contact details on Linked In first before Google. Make sure yours are prominent.
  12. Most fed back that they found relevent links on updates to be the most likely reason to engage with someone.

Other interesting feedback included:

  • The least popular thing about recruiters using Linked In is random  job approaches without any prior engagement or jobs with no real relevance.
  • Hiring managers in the sample were unlikely to connect with connection requests post interview but would accept them pre-interview, would be more likely to engage and respond to e-mails via Linked In than a standard e-mail. They also admitted peeking on-line for comments post interview on Linked or Facebook. (Always be positive!).
  • Some of the Hiring managers compare the Linked In profile with the resume received. If they differ, you are unlikely to get the job.
  • Most said they couldn’t care less what you have pictures of Facebook, and while they wouldn’t friend you, they would accept a Cow from you or fight you in Mafia wars! (Worth checking for this. I never would have thought of it!)
  • Most are comfortable engaging with you on twitter and are impressed by this, though not about the job or interview in detail, other than “good to have met you. Very interested!” Always check the Linked In profile for twitter profiles and follow. This is the most likely route to engagement!
  • Most stated that they had been made uncomfortable during the interview if the applicant refered to personal detail about them found on-line. (like where they had been on holiday!) Research is impressive, but profesional detail only.

Where I am 100% in agreement with Tim, and he brings this up in the comments section of his blog is that once you’ve connected, you need to get social. collecting names, like collecting stamps won’t get you employed. As always, my best advice is be social in your job search!

Thanks to everyone that replied to my questions, it has been enlightening, and is quite different to a lot of the advice that is flying around. It has taken me about 100 hours to complete but has been well worth while.

Subscribe to this blog for more detail on this research and some interviews with some of the respondents on what they really want to see from Social Job Seekers.

Keep it social in your job search and be lucky!

Bill

Links Mentioned In This Post:

Best Practice In Writing Linked In Invitations By Tim Tyrell-Smith & Neal Schaffer

Get Hired By Word Of Mouse

You might have heard the rumbling around the growing use of “referral” as the favoured source of hire. For a hiring company this has a lot of benefits.
for a start there are no fees involved. (Although some companies will pay a bounty to the referer as a reward.)
Given that an employee has been willing to stake their reputation on the recommendation, there is less risk than unknown candidates.
Given that the both the candidate and the company are known to the referer, the cultural fit is most likely right.
Getting a job through the referral of a friend gives greater commitment through peer pressure.
Given these points, it’s easy to see why hiring companies are so keen to make this route to hire a top priority, and are developing new ways to utilise social media channels like Face Book, linked in and twitter. Getting hired will increasingly be about who you know and are connected with, rather than what you know or where your C.V/resume is on show.

How can you get yourself marketed by word of mouse?

1: Make sure all your profiles and bio’s are up to date and present you in the best light. In particular, remember to complete the professional pages on Facebook and that you have an open, accessable profile.

2: Sign up for the free “Branch Out” application on Facebook.

3: Identify the companies you want to work for and run searches on Linked In, Branch Out and Twitter Search to see who you are connected to in those companies. With Branch out you can also see all the secondary and third level connections with the company.

(Branch Out have just announced $6Mn in funding from Microsoft Bizspark, so i’m expecting a rapid growth in users.)

4: Ask those you know for a referral to your target companies. If you don’t have any close connections, consider targeting them through a facebook ad. These are very cheap, targeted and you pay only per click.

5: Give your connections something they can share within their connections and employers. This should include your LinkedIn profile, (with a C.V/resume added using the box.net application,) and a clear statement of the type of work you are looking for. You should also consider a blog that will showcase you and a clear, concise statement of what you are looking for in a job. Make sure you are easy to contact by having your contact details on all your profiles, bios and places. (A hire me button really stands out, is easy to create and link.)

6: As I listed in my last post, a video on You Tube is an easy thing for your connections and friends to share. I’ve attached another video that was shared with me by one of my connections, that showcases the skills, experience and personality of Graeme Anthony. (It’s a UK one too!) You can record a short video that is tailored to the company you want to join, what you can offer them and why you want to join them. Taking the time to research the company, your connections and finding out about them will really stand out.

Word of mouse will get you hired. Your friends and connections want to help you, but you need to give them material to share!

Be social in your search,

Bill

Links listed In This Post

Investment In Branch Out

Create Your Own “Hire Me” Button
Box.net Application

I learnt a new Linked In tip today (Thanks to Otis Collier)

Love linked In!

This might be really simple, and the power users of Linked In will laugh at me for not knowing it already, but I learnt a simple trick from a video that was shared with me via Facebook.
The video was about making your contacts settings visible to everyone, whether you are connected with them or not. This is great advice, and i have included the video for you to watch.

The bit I didn’t know, and I love this, is that you can drag and drop the sections of your profile in to any order you want by clicking on the edit button in settings and moving them around.

This means you can position the key details where you want them and make your profile a little different to the others that might have been looked at. Moving the download of your resume and a presentation of the job you are looking for near to the top of your profile seems a great idea.

I will be doing a makeover on my linked In profile this week. Look out for changes!

The advice on being easy to contact is on the money. The easier you are to contact, the more likely you will get a call.

Thanks for sharing the knowledge Otis, and Kay Kellison, for bringing it up on my radar via Facebook. true meaning of friend.

Links In This Post:

Otis Collier

Kay Kellison (Good sharer of info)


Social Media Job Search Model

I’ve been asked to post on how to develop social media networks in the job search. My starting point is to forget about having separate strategies for each social media channel in isolation.
I consider all social media to be one channel, with each place serving a different purpose.

This is my model for what you can use each channel for, and the tone to take in each place.

1; Linked In – This is where you find targets through search, joining and posting in groups and asking questions. Home base and reference point at the start of the search.

2: Twitter – where the conversation starts. Organise your targets through tweetdeck and start replying, commenting, questioning, retweeting and engaging. Gets you on the radar.

3: Facebook – Fan the company and comment or question. Ask for help.

4: Invite to Friend on Facebook for closer conversation, instant messaging, commenting and looking for opportunity. (don’t be disappointed if this is declined.)

5: You Tube – For showing. Great material for sharing in all the channels and promotes your capability.

6: WordPress for telling and sharing. If you are ready to blog in order to showcase your skills and opinions.

This is my model of the stages of building social presence through the channels, to link you with the right targets in your job search.

Good luck in making your job search social.

Bill

Make Linked In Social In Your Job Search

I'm on my Soap Box on this one

This is a quick post as I need to finish editing the videos for #HRCarnival. There is still time to record an entry if you want to put yourself in the shop window, in front of many HR professionals and Recruiters. The link is at the end of the post.

It is also a bit of a soap box subject for me. Why do most job seekers not use Linked In as a social media channel where you can find, connect and engage with hiring managers and recruiters? It is such a waste of a great resource, where targeted connections are so easy to make.

Here are my top 10 tips for making Linked In social in your job search:

1: Join all 50 groups that you can. When you target a new connection, look at the groups they belong to and join them. Makes connecting far more likely.

2: Post in groups related to your job search. not just “I want a job.” Ask for advice, document your experiences and share your views. Comment on other posts and get noticed by members.

3; If you belong to group, check the profiles of the members and connect with them directly. Identify who could be useful in your search.

This is a good video from Linked In Groups Help Page that explains how to get the most out of Groups:

4: Make your profile different by adding video that introduces you and states what you are looking for. All you need to do is record on You Tube and use the Slideshare application to add it to your profile.

5: Add a presentation to your profile on what you can offer to an employer. Short and to the point but punchy enough to hit home. Ask people to share it via all their social channels.

6: Add your resume to your profile using the box.net application. You can also add copies of signed references for simple download. (You can use box.net and slide share in all your social places.)

7: Use the twitter application to find which of your linked In connections you are not following on twitter. Check this every week. Find targets on Linked In, follow them (50% will follow back), and look for opportunities to engage.

8: Set up an RSS feed for questions on subjects related to your targeted market. By answering questions and asking your own you will get noticed.

9: Use the “like” button to share posts from hiring companies you are targeting. This will bring you up on their radar as a fan.

10: Check industry events regularly. you can register as interested and offer to help with logistics and promotion given your status. Most will be willing to accommodate you. Check the other attendees and connect with them now you have something in common. You can do this in groups as well as in the comments section on the event page.

ALL OF THE APPLICATIONS LISTED IN THIS POST ARE FREE IN THE BASIC FORMAT!

That’s my top 10 tips. Please share how you get on, tomorrow I will be sharing a few twitter tips for job seeking and sharing more applications I use to network.

Be social in your search. Good luck!

Bill

Links Listed In This Post:

Record An #H.R.Carnival Video

SlideShare.Com

Box.Net.Com

All The Linked In Applications


Linked In Profiling

Get your picture right! don't be faceless

There has been a lot of talk around what Linked In actually is. Is it a glorified job board, a directory for sourcing or something more.

The reality is, it is what you make it.

Your Linked In profile should be the first thing you get right. It is your reference base, reflects what you are and is the place where you are most likely to be found.

My tips on getting your profile right:

1: Get your picture professional and memorable. I have the pointing arms and hands, but that’s because I’m a speaker and trainer. No Beach shots, cartoons or comedy faces. I advocate using the  same avatar in all of your social places for instant recognition from followers or fans.

2: Your top line leads the way in the search and comes up in the “People you might know” field. It is the first impression. If you are between jobs, (I dislike the term transition”), make it clear the type of role you are looking for by job title. Make it key-word rich. I have included the top 100 words recruiters search for from The Ladders.  Use high-ranking terms where they are relevent, and separate them by full stops or commas. (As in all bio’s)

3; Change your update every 2 – 3 days. This is where Linked In starts to get social, but remember that it is not Facebook, hence not the place for funnies or non-business related stuff. For ease of use I have linked twitter with Tweetdeck. I don’t include all the tweets, only my updates. You can update direct from Tweetdeck by adding the hashtag #in.

CAUTION: If you have set the twitter update option in Linked In, take #in out of  any retweets or they will appear as your update, hence the reason lots of bloggers add them to their tweets!

Your connections will get your updates and will comment on them. In particular, post positive comments about companies you have interviewed with, (don’t say the interviewer was rude and an idiot!). Many larger hiring companies use social media listening tools like Radian6 and will pick up on the positive or negative feedback. (This applies to all channels, not just Linked In.)

4: Use a popular key word in your current job title. Include all your past jobs and job titles. For websites, use all the links to connect with you at Facebook, your blog or other social places. Put your Twitter name in the twitter section.

5: For recommendations, don’t just recommend those that have recommended you. Think who can be authentic and will say more than a few words. If anyone tells you that you have done a good job, ask them to recommend you. Give your own recommendations only where they are deserved, and make your comments personal and original. Remember, your judgment could be weighed up on who you rate!

6: Keep your summary clear and to the point. Again, make it key word rich, and be clear at the top the type of post you are seeking. Get someone to review how well it reads.

Tomorrow I’m going to post on how you can be social on linked In, how to get the best out of groups (you should belong to all that you can, maximum 50), and the applications you should add to get the most from this channel. please post on areas you feel you want help or a viewpoint on, and subscibe to the blog.

Keep being social in your job search,

Bill

Links Listed:

Controlling Settings And Preferences On Your Account – Linked In

Settings For Photos On Linked In

Top 100 Keywords Recruiters Search On From The Ladders

Setting Options for Tweet Applications On Linked In

Tweetdeck.Com

Radian6