Great News! Two New LinkedIn Features that Increase Your Visibility
Whether you are a job seeker or a business owner, LinkedIn can be a powerful platform to showcase your expertise, establish and nurture relationships, leverage your network for key introductions and most importantly be found by recruiters or customers. Recently LinkedIn introduced two new features that increase your visibility if you are in the job search and increase your chances of being found for your service if you are a business owner.
That is great news! We’ll start with the new feature for the job seekers. It is called Job Preference. It allows you to let recruiters know you are open to hearing about opportunities WITHOUT signaling your boss, colleagues or the rest of your network. Sounds good, right? Even better LinkedIn contends that if you choose the “Let recruiters know you’re open” option from the Career Interests page, the likelihood users (recruiters) of LinkedIn Recruiter will look at your profile will DOUBLE. You will show up in recruiter searches for your skill set, stand out in recruiter searches and your profile will be marked with “Open to new opportunities” next to it when you show up in searches.
Where is This Magic Button?
From any LinkedIn page, click on the “Jobs” icon. You’ll be taken to the job search page. Underneath the phrase, “Jobs You May Be Interested In,” you will see the phrase “Update your career interests.” Clicking on that hyperlink will take you to the aforementioned “Career Interests” page. You will see the option to “Let recruiters know you are open.” Once you turn it on, you have the option to let recruiters know even more specifically (within 300 characters) about what you’re looking for. This is optional.
There are several other options you can select to be even clearer with recruiters so you avoid unnecessary calls including.
- Job Titles – The job titles self-populate when you start typing from a preset list. You can delete the job titles at any time and add a different one.
- Ideal Location – Again there is a preset list so once you start typing locations will pop up from which you can choose. You can choose several locations.
- Ideal Industries – Same as the other two. There is a preset list. And you can choose more than one. It seems you can list several industries here.
- Type of employment, i.e. full-time, part-time, contract, freelance, etc.
- Size of the company.
Defining your preferences is limitless as I listed up to 10 different preferences for each section and was still offered the opportunity to add another.
When you choose this option, LinkedIn sends you an email stating they will share this info with recruiters for 90 days. That means you will have to revisit this feature to ensure your preferences remain visible every 90 days. It is important to note that this feature is free and does not require a premium membership. Thanks LinkedIn!
Possible Down Side
LinkedIn does not guarantee that you won’t show up in recruiter searches done by your current employer. Although they do have several safe guards in place to keep this from happening, they cannot guarantee 100% success. You can help LinkedIn out by linking your current job to your company’s LinkedIn page. This is an additional layer that should keep you out of recruiter searches for your company. You will know you were successful doing this if your current employer’s logo shows up on your profile next to your current work experience.
Tool #2 – LinkedIn ProFinder – A Way to Generate Business for the Service Provider
LinkedIn ProFinder launched this year. It helps business owners by putting them in a searchable database or marketplace of service professionals. It is only available in the United States and only select services are offered.
If you are a business owner, you must opt in to be part of the searchable database of service providers. Similar to Thumbtack or other freelance websites, the person needing the service enters in his/her project requirements and LinkedIn will send that person 5 responses from “highly qualified” professionals from which the potential customer can choose.
Once the potential customer submits their requirements, LinkedIn identifies professionals whose expertise match the needs of the potential customer. As a service provider, you will receive notification from LinkedIn of the person’s request. You can choose to reply with your price, phone number and why you’re the best person for the job. LinkedIn calls this the proposal. You’ll know you won the bidding process when the customer reaches out to get started.
Some keys to being successful in the process are 1) having a well-written profile including your personal brand and the value you bring and skill sets that back up your area of expertise; 2) responding timely and professionally; 3) publishing on LinkedIn to demonstrate your expertise. (Any articles you publish will show up in your ProFinder profile); and 4) get recommendations. (These two will be viewable in your Profinder profile.)
Is there a fee?
If you are a service provider, yes. If you are seeking a service provider, no. As a service provider, your first 10 proposals are free so you can get a better feel for how ProFinder works. After that you will need to upgrade to a LinkedIn Premium Business account which costs $60/month. This is the only way to guarantee unlimited responses to project requests. If you are a LinkedIn user, you know that InMail is limited unless you have a paid subscription. If you aren’t a 1st or 2nd connection to the person making the request, you will not be able to message them through LinkedIn.So upgrading to LinkedIn Premium is the next best option to be able to continue to submit proposals for work via LinkedIn ProFinder.
Whether you’re in the job search or a business owner, LinkedIn remains a great tool to expand your influence and develop relationships that could open new doors.
The best is yet to come,