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Top 5 Keys to Using LinkedIn

March 6, 2011
by Tim Tolan
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Make the maintenance of your LinkedIn profile a priority

I talk to CIO candidates on a regular basis and I'm always excited to schedule a call with candidates to discuss their career track and plan to find their next gig. While many have a well thought out search plan - others need some guidance and help on exactly what they need to do to present themselves to the marketplace.

As a first step, I usually search LinkedIn for their profile to see if I can offer some advice. I'm not a pro - but this is what I always look for. Make sure your profile is up to speed using these 5 tips to attract recruiters and perhaps your future employer:

GROUPS: How many Groups do you belong to? LinkedIn allows a user to belong to multiple Groups (up to 50). This can include CIO specific Groups, HCIT specific Groups, education related Groups (your college probably has a LinkedIn Group) or Groups that you have a real interest in having as a networking tool. The CHIME and Healthcare Informatics Groups are a must! Adding Groups is easy and painless. By belonging to Groups you can send a direct message to other members of the Group or get connected simply by belonging to a Group. Look at the Groups other CIO’s belong to and start joining more Groups today! Make sure you check the settings!

Recommendations: Make sure you reach out to former employees and/or employers and get them to write a Recommendation on your behalf. It always helps to have someone else tell your story. You don’t want dozens of recommendation but 1-2 per job you’ve had is usually enough. Not having Recommendations on your LinkedIn profile sends a silent message to the reader when they search for your profile. Make sure the Recommendation others are writing for you is short and sweet. You get a chance to approve a Recommendation before the content is posted to your profile. Make sure it helps position you to future employers or business partners.

CONTACT SETTINGS: How do you want people to contact you to talk about an opportunity? That’s what the Profile Settings is all about. You can share ways that people may reach out to you directly or indirectly. This includes new ventures, job inquiries, expertise requests, business deals, reference requests or simply getting back in touch. I suggest you turn them all on unless you simply don’t want to be contacted. If your employment situation changes you might consider reviewing your Contact Settings to make sure others can reach out to you. This also includes your phone number and other contact information. You can also add your contact information in the Personal Information section.

Your Connections: I am probably a real stickler on this one. I generally do not connect with LinkedIn users that are not related to the HCIT world. Your connections are everything in LinkedIn and you need to make sure you are constantly adding connections on a regular basis. Add members of a group you belong to, a former colleague, employee or a thought leader in this space. Whatever you decide to do in adding connections to your profile – keep adding connections to your network. Don’t stop. Ever.

Complete Your Profile: This is the easiest part of adding content to your profile. It’s all about you! According to LinkedIn, users with complete profiles are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn. That’s HUGE! Complete the following information and your phone will start ringing much more:

  • Your current position
  • Two past positions
  • Your education
  • Your profile summary
  • A profile photo
  • Your specialties
  • At least three recommendations

LinkedIn is a great tool for executives like you and you should make a commitment to log-in to your LinkedIn profile today and make sure your profile is everything it could be. Make the maintenance of your LinkedIn profile a priority. You will see a big difference. Promise!

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Tim Tolan

Senior Partner, Sanford Rose Associates Healthcare IT Practice

@@TimTolan

http://sanfordrose.net/thetolangroup/

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