Mario Sundar

LinkedIn's 2nd PR hire. These are my thoughts on products, public relations, and startups.

3 actions that could either save you from a layoff or after one!

Well, sorry for being so dramatic, but I couldn’t help it. I just read this gem of a post from financial productivity blog, Get Rich Slowly. Wait till you hear the title of their blog post – 10 Essential steps to take BEFORE you’re laid off. I told you I wasn’t being so dramatic!

Some of the 10 steps, outlined by Kevin Merritt, echoed some of the oft-repeated themes on this blog. In particular ways to use social media to find your dream job! You know where I’m going with this. So, here are three essential steps you can should carry out whether you’re looking for a job or looking to keep one.

Rest assured, these three steps will help position your online professional brand in as little as 10 minutes. Here goes.

Step 1: For Pete’s sake, get yourself a LinkedIn profile

If you’re not on LinkedIn in this day and age, you’re probably reading the wrong blog. Well, don’t worry, if you don’t have one – just go get yourself one. It’d take all of 5 minutes to get yourself all set up.

Your LinkedIn profile is a marketing tool. Be honest, genuine and show some humility, but also make yourself stand out in a crowd. Optimize your profile for the five-line preview that comes up when someone conducts a search.

And, as Kevin recommends, optimize your profile. Guy’s post on a LinkedIn extreme makeover edition is still the gold standard when it comes to tips on hacking your LinkedIn profile in the shortest time. Take a read. If you’re from Marketing/PR/Sales/Business Development, feel free to use my LinkedIn profile as an example.

Step 2: Learn to use LinkedIn the right way

Now that you have that shiny new LinkedIn profile, all set to shine when someone searches for that elusive marketing consultant, you may want to proactively enhance your professional brand. You know, give LinkedIn a real workout. And, that’s where I jump in to provide an unsolicited pitch for the LinkedIn Blog (OK, I manage/edit the blog) and I’m proud of the content that over 50 of my colleagues have helped create on topics that range from examples of users sharing tips on winning that million dollar client – thanks to LinkedIn (I, kid you not!) to breaking news on product functionality such as LinkedIn’s next-gen search.

But, I digress. Before you get all professional on LinkedIn, there are simple steps you can take to add to your professional street-cred. For e.g.: let your online network resemble your real-world network

Future employers aren’t dumb. They’ll detect that you only decided to invest in updating your profile and expanding your network and references after you lost your job. Do it now. Like physical networking, developing your virtual network takes time too. Set goals. For example: “I want to have 100 contacts by the end of the year and 250 contacts by this time next year.”

Here’s the best part. This simple task of importing your existing email contacts to LinkedIn shouldn’t take you a whole year, rather a few minutes. Ready. Set. Import.

Step 3: Get a blog

I know this would go against the other commandment – “get a life” but rest assured if you learn this valuable skill you’ll be able to distinguish yourself from among millions of other talented individuals. As I’ve said before, think of a blog as your competitive advantage. An insurance package that you break into, in case of an emergency. And, guess what, this may be just the right time for you to spend an hour a day (even once a week would suffice) sharing your thoughts on professional stuff.

Your blog is your living resume. It shows how you think. It shows how you write. It shows what’s important to you. While it is fine to blog about personal topics, devote half of your posts to professional content. What is that you do by trade? Mentor us through your blog. We employers love hiring mentors — they raise everybody’s performance.

Readers of this blog, may recall the blog discussion I had with Adam Darowski on exactly this topic almost 20 months ago – Your blog is your resume. So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead. Prove your professional mettle on your career blog. It just may save your job or find you one!

Questions? Tips? Leave a comment.

Filed under: Linkedin

13 Responses

  1. Mario: Great post. Although I’m a huge LinkedIn fan I didn’t discover your personal blog until WordPress’s “Possibly related posts” feature slapped a link to one of my blog posts about LinkedIn at the end of this one. Cool. I blog about freelancing the the online news biz and have written about LinkedIn a lot. Here’s one of my favorites:

    http://michellerafter.wordpress.com/2008/11/06/reposting-the-secret-to-my-linkedin-success/

    Michelle Rafter
    WordCount – Freelancing in the Digital Age
    http://michellerafter.wordpress.com

    Like

    • Mario Sundar says:

      @Michelle,

      Thanks for commenting and for sharing your LinkedIn experience. I wish I did a better job marketing my personal blog but it’s a matter of finding time for it 🙂 As more and more folks such as yourself find this blog interesting, I’m sure you’ll pass on the good word to your friends.

      Also, don’t forget to subscribe to the LinkedIn blog or Learning Center to find out new ways to leverage the power of LinkedIn.

      Like

  2. […] “Your blog is your living resume. It shows how you think. It shows how you write. It shows what’s important to you. . . Mentor us through your blog. We employers love hiring mentors–they raise everyone’s performance.” Kevin Merritt as told to Linkedin Social Media Strategist Mario Sundar […]

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    • Mario Sundar says:

      Just a clarification to the author of the post (above pingback) I wasn’t the one who interviewed Kevin Merrit. I was just re-quoting an article on the Lifehack blog.

      Like

  3. paul merrill says:

    Thanks for bringing this to the forefront, Mario. For those who don’t have a profile yet, it’s a good wakeup call. For those who do, you have given some great tips for tweaking theirs.

    FYI, I came to you via Liz Strauss.

    Like

  4. […] noticing an increase in the # of articles that describe how to cope with such a situation. Besides my recent post, here are five other must-read articles on dealing with layoffs (hat tip: Lifehacker for the first […]

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  5. Good stuff. I would hope that most professionals realize how valuable LinkedIn is at enhancing your personal brand.

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    • Mario Sundar says:

      Thanks, man! I just keep repeating myself (on LinkedIn’s effectiveness) and hopefully it will help convert more users. However, I think LinkedIn is more valuable in enhancing your professional brand online.

      Like

  6. Carl says:

    Glad to have discovered you as a ‘related to’ link at the bottom of my blog. Great posts.

    Like

  7. […] my good friend, Tamar Weinberg, on what’s the easiest way to control your online reputation. How that can save you from a layoff or after one. And, why it’s important that you keep your […]

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  8. […] said it before and I’ll repeat it with Dave this time — every professional MUST-HAVE a LinkedIn […]

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