A surprising benefit of LinkedIn

Reaching For A HomeA friend of mine recently moved from Seattle to San Diego. It was a big move. She left her job, her friends and her house to start a new life. Before she left, she looked for houses to rent online, and had a friend who lives in San Diego look at the more promising homes. She then submitted her application with a nice email.

Even in this landlord’s market, my friend got many responses to her applications. The reason she received so many replies is because she invited the landlords to visit her LinkedIn profile and included a link to it. She impressed property owners as a responsible renter because her profile is fully updated with a professional looking photo, complete job history and a summary that explains her strengths, job experience and specialties.

I thought this was a brilliant way to stand out in this competitive rental market. Landlords can see your work history, how long you’ve worked in each job, your recommendations and education. If your profile shows a history of having stable employment they will be more likely to rent to you. And in this landlord’s market you need every advantage to stand out from other applicants.

Of course, having a comprehensive LinkedIn profile will also make you more employable if you’re looking for work. Recruiters and headhunters search by keywords. If your profile includes the keywords for the type of work you are looking for you will be found more easily.

When setting up and updating your LinkedIn profile, make sure you practice good etiquette.

  • Have a professional head-shot, not one you might post on Facebook or a photo of you and other people.
  • Make sure you don’t have grammar or spelling errors in your profile.
  • Avoid mentioning anything controversial, such as your political or religious beliefs unless that is an area you work in. This rule also applies to updates, group discussions and comments you post.
  • It should go without saying, but never lie about your work history or education. This will come back to bite you.
  • Be sure to personalize your connection requests rather than using the LinkedIn connection default message. Do this by going to the person’s profile and clicking on “Connect” which allows you to over write the default message.
  • Don’t complain or attack anyone in your comments.
  • Thank people for giving you recommendations and introductions.

Have you used LinkedIn to find a place to rent? Was it helpful? Have you ever been contacted by a recruiter through LinkedIn? What other etiquette tips would you add for using LinkedIn?

 

2 thoughts on “A surprising benefit of LinkedIn

  1. BethBuelow

    Smart! What a great technique for differentiating yourself. I’ve not used LI that way, nor have I been recruited through it (unless you count speaking engagements or coaching clients). 
    As for etiquette issues, I see the Endorsements function being used indiscriminately. Connections who haven’t worked with me before are endorsing me for things that they have no direct experience with! I also find I have to un-endorse things that people have endorsed me for inappropriately, such as “career coaching” or “project management,” neither of which are mentioned in my profile. I will only give an endorsement if I’ve had personal experience with a connection in their area of expertise.

    A few months ago, I received a request for a recommendation from someone I’d never personally met, let alone worked with. That’s only happened once, thank goodness!

  2. ArdenClise

    BethBuelow Great points about the Endorsements function. I know it stymies many people. It is really strange to be endorsed by people who have never worked with me. I personally think the whole function should go away.

    And while I never cease to be amazed by things, I do have to say I’m in disbelief that someone you’ve never met asked for a recommendation. That’s crazy.

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