Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Do You Really Need LinkedIn To Get A Job?

Do You Really Need LinkedIn To Get A Job? Experts Weigh In
Everybody feels they SHOULD have a profile, but do companies actually care if you do? We investigate.
by Madeline Roth 10/2/2014

It’s a universal truth that job searching is the worst. If you’ve been through the process already, you’ve likely had to sit through stuffy interviews, make smalltalk at career fairs, and maybe even print a batch of snazzy business cards. If you have yet to apply for your first real job, then you have all that — plus the agony of trying to craft the perfect cover letter — to look forward to.

At some point, you’ll probably create a LinkedIn profile to make the process easier. For the unacquainted, LinkedIn is a business-focused social media site all about networking, and basically lets you build a professional version of yourself online. LinkedIn has 330 million users, but — even though it’s technically a social network — millennials aren’t exactly flocking to it the way they are to Vine and Snapchat.

“Young people are not on LinkedIn,” Viveca von Rosen, author of “LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour A Day,” told us. “People get Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, but LinkedIn is like that one that their fathers and grandfathers are on. It’s not that much fun.”

But, as our grandfathers like to say, work isn’t supposed to be fun; that’s why it’s called “work.” So, do you need a profile? We asked hiring experts to break it down and find out if LinkedIn really matters for young job-seekers today.

What (and who) is LinkedIn good for?

LinkedIn’s manager of corporate communications, Crystal Braswell, says that recent graduates make up the fastest growing demographic on the site — there are nearly 40 million with a profile now. The consensus among experts is that younger people are more and more familiar with the site’s name, but they’re not sure why they need to be on it.

“The majority of students are confused about it and don’t see it as a place for them,” UCLA counseling manager Stacy Harriman told us. “Most of them say, ‘I have it because someone told me to set one up.’”

People with certain career focuses may need to use LinkedIn more than others. For example, professionals going into marketing or finance will probably get more out of it than, say, scientists or engineers.

“I think it depends on what they’re going into,” von Rosen said. “If they’re going to work at McDonald’s, it’s probably not so useful. Professional athletes or musicians on MTV, they probably don’t need it either. But pretty much everyone else does, especially if they’re going into the corporate or business world.”

Having a profile never hurts. Which brings us to the question…

Are employers looking at your profile?

According to von Rosen, a whopping 98% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find candidates, and 85% of hiring managers look at applicants’ LinkedIn profiles. Those stats alone prove that having a profile — and making sure it’s up-to-date — is crucial.

(Even after you get hired, experts recommend that you regularly maintain your profile if you want a better job. “LinkedIn actually tracks how active your account is,” said Jennifer Rhodes, career services specialist at Arizona State University. “Showing that you’re active is important, because when someone is searching for you to recruit you, it’ll get your name at the top of that list.”)

Ashley Fejes, a recruiter for Ultimate Staffing Services in Los Angeles — who recruits administrative and executive assistants — says that she looks at applicants’ profiles mostly to make sure their resumes are legit.

“The number one thing I’m looking for is whether or not their resume matches up to their LinkedIn profile,” Fejes said. “People aren’t always honest about their resumes, so I compare the two to make sure they match up.”

Fejes says she also likes to see that people have connections, a professional photo and endorsements from former coworkers. And UCLA’s Harriman says that recruiters at campus career fairs often emphasize the need for LinkedIn as well.

“For some employers, it’s actually a red flag if an applicant doesn’t have a LinkedIn profile,” Harriman said.

What are LinkedIn’s strengths?

Rhodes says she thinks the site’s biggest advantage is that it’s “a one-stop shop for letters of recommendation, examples of your work, and showing clubs and organizations you belong to,” she said.

Even people who aren’t sure what they want to do with their lives can put their master creeping skills to good use by checking out people whose jobs they may want to steal one day. “My best piece of advice is to search for someone like you, who has the job that you want, so you can see how they got there,” von Rosen said.

Another advantage is that LinkedIn can teach you just how big your network is. On Facebook, it’s practically nightmarish to befriend your old, creepy relatives or family friends — who are bound to leave embarrassing comments on all your prof pics — but on LinkedIn, those people can actually be assets.

“Sometimes you just see people as your uncles or your dad’s friends, and you don’t realize their professional backgrounds,” Harriman said. “So LinkedIn is a place for you to check out their backgrounds and reach out to them for job referrals.”

What are LinkedIn’s weaknesses?

For one thing, not everyone is on board with LinkedIn Premium, which is a paid version of the site that boasts features like expanded profiles and better search options.

“[LinkedIn] is getting harder to use unless you have a paid account,” von Rosen said. “Otherwise, you really have to have a decent-sized network to see and be seen. It’s a little restrictive.”

Rhodes also points to people’s widespread misunderstanding of the site’s utility as another weakness. “There’s a misconception that people can find jobs right away from the jobs board,” she said. “I think LinkedIn has to do better at getting people to understand its value as a networking site, and not just as a place to find jobs.”

Rhodes adds that young people can — and do — find work on there, but it doesn’t happen overnight: “It is happening, but it’s taking longer than students would like.”

Does LinkedIn matter?

Finally, the million dollar question: Is this thing even worth it? The consensus among the experts is, yes, it is, particularly for younger people.

“It helps people shift the way they think of themselves…and makes them think about their image online and how they want their future selves to look like,” Harriman said.

Fejes agrees, saying that from a recruiter’s perspective, it’s vital. “I can definitely understand why the younger generation isn’t on it yet, but it’s your first impression to a prospective employer,” she said. “I often notice a correlation between how well their LinkedIn profiles are set up and how well they do in interviews.”

Bottom line: You might want to saddle up and get to work building that profile. Because even though LinkedIn is a pain in the butt to get used to (and those “Here’s how many people viewed your profile this week” emails are pesky), you never know when it could save you from the fiery pit of unemployment — and maybe even land you that awesome job you’ve always dreamed of.

There is, however, one last caveat that Harriman points out: “Yes, LinkedIn matters, but with the disclaimer that it’s only as effective as the user.”

Madeline Roth

Article originally posted here.
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Monday, July 27, 2015

The Year 2000 Rollover Management

By Jack Yoest

                                                    The Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia
The world was coming to an end at midnight 31 December 1999. We had planned for it for years. It was, as one techno-wag said, “a disaster with a deadline.”
The Year 2000 rollover was going to be big. Worldwide. No escape. Like Noah and the flood, we knew it was coming. We knew this would be no mere technology challenge to be solved with exceptional American ingenuity. The Year 2000 was problematic with unknown unknowns.
The predictions were dire: The Internet would go down. Cell phones dead. The power grid dark — Armageddon.
In the late 1990s, one-half of the world’s Internet traffic passed through the Commonwealth of Virginia, thanks to America Online — AOL.com. And maybe another Northern Virginia entity in Arlington: the Pentagon.
(I think that was a secret … )
Your business professor had the Y2K responsibility for Health and Human Resources, a $5 billion enterprise in the Virginia government. The boss, Governor Jim Gilmore, a former military intelligence officer, knew what was possible — and not — to combat the Y2K Bug.

Read the full story here on Small Business Trends

Be sure to follow Your Business Professor on Twitter @JackYoest

And yes, class hints are provided on Twitter on #AlertStudent
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Saturday, July 11, 2015

The MSBA Classroom is a Business Meeting

by Jack Yoest

Dear #AlertStudent we will behave as if the class was all-staff business meeting.
This means that,
There is an employment contract (syllabus).
Attendance is mandatory (a condition of employment).
There is an agenda (lesson plan).
Everyone will contribute (empowerment).
Completed Staff Work is expected (on time; on budget).
Staffers will present ideas conformed to the buying habits of the manager (apple polishing).
Your Business Professor’s jokes are always, always so funny (office-political science).
Taking hand-written notes as the boss speaks (good followership).
Typing on any keyboard as the boss speaks (bad form).
Diddling on your hand-held device as the boss speaks is grounds for termination (an F).
Your Business Professor has 185 direct reports (he does not know your name).
It is the enlightened manager’s job to know every staffer’s every need and desire (results may vary).
It is the staffer’s job to ensure that the boss knows the staffer’s name (in a good way).
Your Business Professor has five children at home (he does not need any at work).
If the staffer prefers revealing, comfortable attire, then Your Business Professor will make every accommodation for the staffer’s preference (in another place of employment).
Meetings begin and end on schedule (Vince Lombardi Time).
There is no such thing as asking the boss a stupid question (an academic lie).
Never volunteer (an Army lie). 
And yes, the student/staffers can bring donuts and coffee. The #AlertStudent knows the favorites of the boss (aka Your Business Professor).
This is a cross post with www.Yoest.com.
Be sure to follow Your Business Professor on Twitter
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Friday, July 10, 2015

Wright Brothers and Management

What the Wright Brothers Can Teach You About Management

by Jack Yoest

1902 Wright Brothers' Glider Tests - GPN-2002-000125.jpg
"1902 Wright Brothers' Glider Tests - GPN-2002-000125" by Unknown - Great Images in NASA Description. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

What was the greatest challenge the Wright brothers would face? Wilbur and Orville, from Dayton, Ohio, designed ‘wing-warping’ and gave the world controlled-flight. They were perfectionists who labored as fastidious mechanics.
The Wright brothers were meticulous men who understood tight tolerances with little allowance for error. In-flight failure could be fatal.
The brothers insisted on doing the work themselves. Wilbur would even do the mundane chore of pouring oil into the engine. His nickname was “Old Oilcan.” It was not a compliment. Today, we can almost hear Wilbur saying, “If you want something done right, you must do it yourself …”
Read the story here at Small Business Trends
Be sure to follow Your Business Professor @JackYoest on Twitter.
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