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Career: New Year’s Resolution – Get a New Job with LinkedIn

Submitted by on 2012-01-02 – 8:05 AM 5 Comments

LinkedIn for SAS Professionals – Part 1

Linked In is fast becoming a great place for SAS recruiters and SAS candidates to meet. If you are looking for a job, here are some tips to spiff up your Linked In profile to get the SAS programming job of your dreams. What you don’t have a Linked In profile?  <faints>

Why is Linked In Important for SAS Users?

Linked In is a professional site – so your attitude toward what is posted about you should be different from Facebook (or similar sites) that are more social in nature. Your Linked In profile is the first thing a visitor sees when they click on your name – it really needs to grab attention and provide a good summary for who you are as a SAS professional. I read several articles (listed below) that describe some of traits of great profiles. After updating my profile, the contacts from SAS recruiters and potential SAS employers changed because my profile started appearing in their searches. In the following figure, here is the Trends chart from my Linked In Profile – can you figure out when I updated my profile?

Note: To update my profile, I reorganized and enhanced the information that was already there so the right words would show up in the searches.  

SAS BI Careers

Your Initial Interview

I like to think of my LinkedIn profile as my initial interview with a perspective company. Here are some of my best tips to help you get your profile “interview ready”. The first thing you need to do is not be shy. This is your time to shine and LinkedIn is giving you a platform. I know it’s hard – but you are so incredible you can’t keep that a secret! 

SAS BI Careers

1

You need a good picture of yourself looking straight into the camera with a smile on your mug. This picture should be how the new employer would expect to show up the first day.

 So avoid pictures of:

  • You at a distance- even with scenic background; they want to hire you not the Grand Canyon.
  • You showing too much of yourself – wear a professional outfit suited to the office environment. Ladies – avoid looking like you are next contestant on “Single-Girl-Needs-Husband” show.
     
  • You showing too little of yourself (i.e. wearing sunglasses) Are you trying to pick up a date? Rob a bank? Work for mob? Don’t cover your eyes – it makes you seem like you are hiding something or worse someone who doesn’t understand how to be professional.
     
  • You in a group scene with family or with pets (Which one is you? Oh, is that your mommy holding a glass of milk for you? )
     
  • You in Convict Mode –yeah – probably your inmate photo isn’t your best advertisement.  

Remember, you are trying to get a job and show case your professional image. Select the picture carefully. It’s worth it to have a professional picture taken – that’s right get out the collared shirt.

 

2

Use your full name and mixed case letters.

 Avoid “tricia aanderud”, “SAS Progmr Gurl” and “MAX SASINATOR”.

 

3

You should consider a tagline that explains who you are – your elevator pitch. Avoid using your job title since it may not be clear outside of your current organization. Many people use their HR title (i.e. SAS Programmer 5), which causes confusion because it is not clear if a Programmer 5 is senior level or beginner level.

 It is not wrong to list a title that matches your job in the industry terms, so you can say SAS Programmer, Senior Analyst even if HR said you were Engineer IV. Don’t get too crazy with your title, for instance Manager of SAS Code in Subdirectory DEV, may be a little too much glitter.

Check out Jorgen Sundberg’s article: How to Write Your Killer LinkedIn Headline

 

4

Make sure you get some recommendations. The further some is along in her career, the more I would expect to see. For those starting out, aim for a least three good and genuine references.

Here’s some tips:

  • Needs to be relevant to your work.

    So, maybe your Mom thinks you always kept your room clean and stayed out of trouble, but that doesn’t really help someone know if you can program SAS.

  • Needs to be specific. A non-specific review can be deadly … consider the following reviews. Which one would you call for an interview?

    Reference 1
    <your name> is a nice person, who is polite, kind, and bathes. I have never seen <your name> trip while walking. <your name> likes cookies and can spell SAS accurately.

    Reference 2
    I enjoyed working with <your name> on two SAS projects. < your name> is thoroughly familiar with the SAS programming language and consistently delivers programs ahead of schedule that have all passed the testing phrase with minimal errors. < your name> rewrote the programs for a big project, such that the processing time was reduced from 3 hours to 20 minutes and quality was improved by 75%. I highly recommend < your name> .

You may need to let your references know some traits that you want highlighted and that you know are true. If you are a particularly good troubleshooter, then maybe your references can point to a time they recall you doing just that!

 

5

Connections

Here is the bottom-line, the more connections you have, the more people (i.e. recruiters) will be able to find you. It helps to be social on a social networking site. Also, if you are targeting a company where you want to work – maybe one of your connections has a friend who works there. Suddenly – you have an inside track!

Sean Nelson offers some strategies Four LinkedIn Connection Strategies and Jessica Pierce tells you how to Ask for a LinkedIn Connection.

 

6

List alternate ways to contact you or websites where you have a presence.  You want all your connections to know where to send you an email so they can find out if you want to get hired.

 

7

Get your own Linked In URL (it’s free!)

So instead of: http://www.linkedin.com/blah/39XX5/en/89032
How about this: http://www.linkedin.com/in/triciaaanderud

Wendy Lugo-Santiago has step-by-step instructions: Set Up a Vanity URL

 

One Last Thing!

If you would prefer that others (i.e. your employer) not know you are making changes, turn on your Privacy Settings so the updates do not display on the main feed.  
  1. Click on your name on your LinkedIn homepage (upper right corner). On the drop-down menu, select “Settings”.
  2. From the “Settings” page, select “Account”.
  3. In the column next to “Account”, click “Privacy Controls” .
  4. Review the settings for item to make sure it’s set the way you want.

Read Part II to learn how to update your LinkedIn Summary and Skills.

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Tricia Aanderud

Director of Data Visualization at Zencos Consulting
Tricia Aanderud is a SAS Business Intelligence and Visual Analytics consultant based in Raleigh, NC who works for Zencos Consulting. She has written several books about SAS, presented papers at many SAS conferences, and has been using SAS since 2001. Contact her for assistance with your next project.

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