the missing link(edin)

Previous Sememsters

I have always seen Linkedin as a glorified resume-posting site.  As a small business owner, with job security and satisfaction (which I am thankful for daily), I never saw the point in expanding my presence on Linkedin above and beyond the bare minimum.  In fact, I never even log on unless I receive an email that another user “wants to connect”.

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Clearly there is more to Linkedin than just resumes and connections.  From the business perspective of social interaction, Linkedin is the primary tool for business to recruit and interact with potential hires.  Rusli tells us that while Facebook and Groupon shares are down, Linkedin continues to rise – primarily because key corporate players (Pepsi, Starbucks) and heavily investing in Linkedin as a human resources tool.  Using Linkedin to research potential new employees is a valuable resource that I never considered.  At a career crossroads where I am considering opening a second location, using Linkedin to find a qualified professional to run a second store is invaluable.

 Linkedin is also a powerful tool in continuing to build my own brand, and further cement my place as a professional in my field.  However, my bare minumum presence needs to be seriously tweaked.  Both Hines and Howes reinforce the need to create an appealing and informative profile – starting with the headline.  I want to represent myself as more than a boutique owner.  My experience with retail goes well beyond the daily operations of a shop.  Over the past 5 years, it has evolved to an entrepreneurship.    How can I reflect this in my headline?  What are some good suggestions to grab the eyes of industry professionals while accurately reflecting my brand?  Should I include my newly found (or developing) expertise in social media?

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It’s clear that I am making some common mistakes on Linkedin.  Currently, my photo is The Pink Petticoat logo.  Is this the wrong image?  Kane makes a point that not only is it important to be using an image, but it also needs to be the right image.  I should make the change to a current, professional picture of myself.  It is important to put a face with my job experience, as well as with my business.  Because my profile is not at it’s optimum completion, I appear unprofessional and unfinished.  Martinelli suggests connecting with a minimum of 50 people, completing your profile with work experience (I only have my current job), and a headshot.  By taking the time over the next week to revamp my profile, I can increase the validity and authenticity of my own brand.

A comprehensive presence on Linkedin will ultimately be beneficial for me, and The Pink Petticoat.  I need to create a profile that accurately portrays my experience, professional ambitions and passions, accomplishments, and charitable works.  By presenting my professional self as a well-rounded, whole person, I will only present my business in the same way.  By presenting my business as such, I am able to recruit, hire, and employ other professional more efficiently.

Do potential hires research potential employers on Linkedin (on a small business scale)?

By posting articles on my own board, as well as the boards of groups I am in, does that make me more marketable at an employer?

Are you more likely to contact an independent retailer (like The Pink Petticoat) through Linkedin or apply in person?  I can honestly say that no one in the past applied (or even reached out to me) through Linkedin for a job opportunity.  Am I behind the curve?

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6 thoughts on “the missing link(edin)

  1. Lesley,

    I would believe that a small business should take more interest in new employees than a larger business. Since you, or your employees will spend a lot of time together and really be the face of your business it is important to hire the right people. An abrasive personality or any other major character flaw can be detrimental to both moral and the look of a business.

    Janis

    1. This could not be more true. As a small boutique, the atmosphere between the staff is very important. I have had employees in the past that have not been the right fit for our team, and it was immediately reflected in moral and therefore sales.

  2. Personally, I like to get a feel for the company and whether they would be a good fit for me through mediated communication before I go in person. As long as they have a LinkedIn profile, I would try to contact them that way first before applying in person. I know others are different, but that’s the way I would do it.

    1. That is a good point. “Mediated communication” is a good way of phrasing that as well. I think that Linkedin also offers some validity, particularly to a small business.

  3. I think people should always research potential employers because you should want to get a feel for the company and what they stand for before you consider working for them. I think this is even more important fro small business because if you have a small number of people working together, just one person who doesn’t share the same vision or gel well with the others can majorly derail potential progress fro the company. I have never contacted a company I was interested in through LinkedIn before, but I think now that I am learning more about LinkedIn i will be more likely to do so because I am becoming more comfortable with the platform.

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