In this article I describe how I used LinkedIn in 2009 to bump up my salary from $9,000 a month to get a better paying job earning $15,000 a month. Resulting in a 67 % increase in income and a benefit over a year of $72,000 directly due to LinkedIn.
Rick Itzkowich and Ernesto Verdugo are launching a new course which will help you to become an expert on LinkedIn if you visit the site before 10-10-10 (10 Oct 2010) you can get a few really good videos for FREE or you can buy the course Linked In Power (note: affiliate link!).
Like many internet tools LinkedIn is a free tool – you can remain like most of the world and not really know how to use it to get a better income for yourself or invest in Rick & Ernesto’s course to learn some short cuts that could also result in a boost in your income.
Below are some tips on how I specifically used LinkedIn to bump up my earnings significantly during the worst recession in living history.
What is LinkedIn?
Here is a short video on what is LinkedIn:
In case you can’t see the video above visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzT3JVUGUzM&feature=related
Pre-Interview Look up
Once you have a job interview look up the person that is going to interview you. Almost every interview or major sales meeting I look up people on LinkedIn before the meeting. I see who we know in common and also knowing something about them before the meeting makes me feel more confident about the interview as I feel like I already know the interviewer rather than meeting a complete stranger and trying to get them to like me within an hour.
In my case I had the headhunter tell me who was interviewing me. I looked them both up and found out that one had worked at the same company as me in the past (Accenture) and the other interviewer had gone to a similar business school as I had.
Immediately I know before going into the interview some characteristics about these people and my confidence was up so I was more comfortable for the interview. If I don’t know the name of the person that is interviewing me, I look up my network to see if I know anyone that works there by searching the company name. I can then ask them the “inside scoop” on the company so I am prepared for the interview and can even have them put in a good word for me if appropriate.
At the interview I mentioned the people and companies we had in common – people like people who are similar to them and most interviewers are essentially hiring to see if they like you or not. My “likeability” factor went up as we had people and interests in common and if it wasn’t for LinkedIn, I wouldn’t have known to bring up these points. Figuring out what you have in common with someone can take weeks or months – LinkedIn speeds up the “getting to know you” process.
I also usually look up the person on Facebook by simply entering their email address “e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org” in the search box as most people are on Facebook and a lot don’t have their privacy settings set to “secure” so you can see a few personal pictures and “get to know them” further before meeting up.
I don’t send a connection request until after we have met as I’m at an advantage for the meeting and not everyone wants to connect with people they don’t know.
In this case the interviewers were not on Facebook but the LinkedIn connections helped me stand out from the other interviewing chumps.
I have been a LinkedIn user for a few years and on my LinkedIn page I have a few testimonials from people I had worked with in the past.
For instance, I had developed an innovative application for Amazon in 2005. The guy I had worked with at Amazon wrote me a testimonial:
“During my time working for Amazon I had the pleasure of working with many leaders in Web Services. Amir is one of the most innovative people I’ve worked with. His Txtfo platform for social mobile marketing is ahead of his time.” August 6, 2007
Don Young, Product Marketing (Developer Relations – WebServices ), Amazon.com
Other testimonials also reinforced trust:
“Amir is an inspiring speaker who knows how to influence his audience. He is keen to teach and learn. Amir is very innovative and a person who always thinks out of the box, he always does it in different way. Amir is an original thinker and I think that Amir is a plus for any organization seeking to be different.”
Badih Matar, Head of Organizational Development, Knowledge & Human Development Authority
worked directly with Amir at Knowledge and Human Development Authority – Government of Dubai
“Amir is a leader that adds value by serving others.He exhibits great competence,connection and character.I highly appreciate Amir,s great insight into the needs of people around him.He has a great way to stimulate personal and group excellence by focusing on strengths of the people.He is a professional and an entrepreneur with a vision.”
Mohammad Waseem, HR Planning and Resourcing Manager, Knowledge and Human Development Authority worked with Amir at Knowledge and Human Development Authority – Government of Dubai
“Amir is a real visionary and is never satisfied that he has created the “ultimate” solution. He is always innovating and looking for ways to improve. His TXTFO product has won an innovation award and it’s going places.
If you want to incorporate free SMS keyword advertising into your marketing mix then TXTFO is a good place to start.” June 1, 2006
Scott Blatchley, Owner, Toothbone
If you had to make a decision about hiring someone after spending less than an hour with them – would reading the above testimonials not make me more “hirable” than someone that you simply spent an hour with? It de-risks your hiring decision as you see other people recommended me.
People like to see social proof and marketers have used testimonials for decades – hence you have Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods endorsing Nike.
In the same way that Nike and other brands use testimonials, people are simply brands so having testimonials helps to convince others about your skills. Essentially to get a job, you just have to be a better marketer than your competition so using the marketing techniques of the large brands can help you. The interviewers checked out my LinkedIn profile after I mentioned that I was also on LinkedIn (and hence how I knew so much about them).
Further Tips from the LinkedIn Expert Rick Itzkowich
I had the pleasure of interviewing Rick, the world’s leading authority on LinkedIn, at an event last year and he gave some further tips:
In case you can’t see the video above: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0irACmCgK5Q
Basic Tips on Using LinkedIn
1. Before meeting a sales/interview prospect check them on LinkedIn to see who/what you have in common
2. Complete your profile including a picture of yourself
3. Update your profile every few months – I find “how I want to sell myself to the world” goes out of date within a few months.
4. Give and ask for a few testimonials of people that you have worked with – yes you can visit my page and write me a testimonial – I will send you good karma and perhaps even a testimonial in return – the law of reciprocality usually works on LinkedIn :).
How To Become Top 2 % User of LinkedIn
The internet opens up so many possibilities of improving where you are in life – yet most people are unaware of the opportunities available to them. You can invest in a course like that from Rick and Ernesto to take your knowledge on LinkedIn to the next level and to stand out from the crowd. Remember that most people don’t know about even basic techniques like I talked about above – so at the moment you can differentiate yourself from your competitors by simply applying some simple techniques.
Rick and Ernesto are launching Linked In Power and going through this course will make you an expert. For me LinkedIn has literally resulted in tens of thousands of dollars in direct benefit in a job – and if I include how I have used it in sales over the years, it results in over six figures of benefit.
Hopefully you learned a few strategies above on using LinkedIn and if you want further strategies do check out Linked In Power from Rick & Ernesto.
Don’t be a chump on your next job interview or sales call.