Use Them, They’re Free

During my LinkedIn profile audits, one of the first questions I answer is whether the job seeker uses a LinkedIn Application or not.

The applications on Linkedin are probably one of the best personal branding tools you have. Without the colors of your most recent book, or the wisdom of  your most recent blog post, your profile looks awfully similar to about 50 million others.

What’s even better is that you don’t need a premium account to use these.

Your application shows up just below that blue box with your basic information, when viewed by others.

The question is: Which applications will best help my job search?

LinkedIn Applications

  • Polls
  • Amazon Reading List
  • Box Files
  • Blog Link
  • Company Buzz
  • My Travel
  • Google Presentations
  • Slideshare Presentations
  • Events
  • Huddle Workspaces
  • WordPress
  • SAP
  • Tweets

The Framework

For those of you who have watched my videos, trainings or presentations, you know that I tend to refer to frameworks when making strategic decisions.

If we use the framework of “The Three Questions,” we can make a strategic decision about which applications to use.

For those of you unfamiliar with “The Three Questions,” you should sign up for my free video. But just to line them up briefly, the idea is that hiring managers on LinkedIn really need only three questions answered before hiring you. Those questions are:

  1. Who are you?
  2. What motivates you?
  3. Can you do the job:

Using this lens, let’s figure out what applications you should be using on LinkedIn.

The Choice

First off, we know that “Can you do the job” is answered by your experiences and your education (perhaps your recommendations). We also know, from the video, that this question isn’t really the most important.

“Who are you” can be answered by things such as what you do in your spare time, your hobbies, your values and your passions. The answer to this question is often very subtle:  colors chosen, punctuality, tone or voice in your writing.

“What motivates you” can be answered by things like what books you are reading, what articles are you writing, what places you are visiting, what events you are attending and what presentations you are creating.

Catching on yet?

LinkedIn applications answer the question of “what motivates you.” Simple.

So my pick of the top 3 applications every job seeker MUST use are:

  1. Amazon Reading list: not only does the cover of the book add color to your profile, it does a great job of communicating your true motivations and passions. Every job seeker NEEDS to use this application.
  2. Slideshare presentations: Slideshare presentations actually get indexed by Google, and the links are active. This means that you are adding flair as well as active links to your profile. If you’ve ever developed a presentation, you should put it here.
  3. Events: not every event you go to will be promoted on LinkedIn. However, nothing stops you from creating the event and then RSVPing to it here. Every time you RSVP to an event, it will show up. So make sure you are attending industry-relevant activities.

3.5: Alternatively, if you are a blogger, you might consider integrating your blog with the WordPress or Blog Link application. Nothing creates the image of an expert better than having something to say, and sharing what you have to say.