You see Missy is a professional meeting planner, LOVES the Meeting Planning industry, knows a ton of people across the country, and is well respected in the meeting planning community.
“You need to work on building your online professional network!” I bellowed at her.
“I know, I know” she said with the enthusiasm of a child being told to brush his or her teeth before bed.
Now let me give you a little more background here. I LOVE social media…LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it. And I LOVE Missy…LOVE, LOVE, LOVE her. But the LOVE, LOVE, LOVE OF MY LIFE doesn’t share my LOVE, LOVE, LOVE of social media. She has a Facebook account and never uses it. She’s not on Twitter. She humors me by occasionally reading blog articles I write. And, as I mentioned, she wasn’t on LinkedIn.
So because I wasn’t convinced that Missy would ever actually go out and create a LinkedIn profile, I created one for her. I started with her resume and copy-and-pasted much of the information over. I was also sure to personalize it a bit more as resumes, as we all know, are generally stuffy and boring. I also put in a few things I know that she’s passionate about (gourmet cooking as one example! She’s an AWESOME cook!) after being married to her for nearly 14 years. After about an hour, I had put together a pretty serviceable profile.
Take a look for yourself at Missy’s LinkedIn Profile. She still has some work to do (she hasn’t written a SUMMARY yet, for example), but she’s come a long way since our initial conversation. As of this blog article, she has 166 connections and she even took my advice and personalized her professional headline!
How did LinkedIn help Missy get a new job?
Three months ago, Missy received a message in her LinkedIn inbox from a recruiter at Lockton informing her that they were creating a new meeting planning position in the organization. After getting a few more details, we did a little research on LinkedIn and found out that a woman I used to work with, Julie Bartels Smith (she now has her own professional communications business), knew the hiring manager. I reached out to her and she so very kindly passed on a few nice words on Missy’s behalf. Missy then went through the interview process and now is the Sr. Manager, Meetings and Events at Lockton Companies!
Needless to say, being the kind, gentle and yes, humble, husband that I am, I never said “I told you so” to her. (Ok, that’s a lie.)
What are some quick takeaways from Missy’s story that can help you, either in a career search or in using LinkedIn to help grow your professional network and business?
1. You have to BE THERE. If a recruiter, customer or prospect is looking for you on LinkedIn and you aren’t there, you aren’t giving opportunity a chance.
2. If you are going to BE THERE, you need to make a consistent effort to interact with your professional network on a regular basis. Don’t say “I don’t have the time”…MAKE the time.
3. Connect to people you know, trust and respect and grow your professional network.
4. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is complete. You wouldn’t apply for a job with a 30% complete resume, would you? You wouldn’t give your customer or prospect 30% of the information they asked for, would you? Then why would you have a LinkedIn profile that isn’t complete? Your LinkedIn profile is, for better or for worse, a part of your professional brand.
5. Always listen to anyone named Mic. (grin)
Have you gotten a job or new client through your efforts on LinkedIn? Tell us about it in our comments section!