3 important LinkedIn lessons The Witcher taught me

One of my friends is a huge video game hobbyist. You can tell him about any software or hardware and he’ll tell you its merits and pitfalls, and what games can be played optimally under each. He’s built a computer from scratch while bootstrapping and uses it to play some really cool, state-of-the-art video games.

Recently, he’s been playing this video game called the Witcher. It’s won over 200 awards.

“Go on. Play. You’ll love it.” He told me.

“The voice acting in this sucks!” I told him. “If they had such a huge budget, why couldn’t they just hire some decent people?”

My friend’s smart. When he’s with his other friends, he tells them about the Witcher’s technical features and awards, and that usually convinces them to play so they can all nerd it out together. He knows they care about that kind of thing.

To me, he talks about the storyline, and how he has to rescue Ciri before the Wild Hunt captures her.

“That was just a minor character you talked to earlier. That was the only bad voice actor. Give it a go again, and maybe you’ll like it.”

So I did.

And I love it!

It’s literally the BEST video game I’ve ever played but that’s not what I’m here to talk about. There are a lot of lessons you can learn from this Witcher episode to take your job search to the next level.

  1. Recommendations

My friend’s recommendations for Witcher pretty much guaranteed I’d play.

“This thing is better than watching a movie. The story is better, plus, you get to direct the flow of the action,” he said to me.

Recommendations count for a lot, especially in the hiring process. You can make your LinkedIn profile a lot stronger by asking for recommendations using the guidelines outlined in this article.

By asking for a story, you’re asking your recommender to describe exactly what problem you solved for them instead of asking them to describe your qualities. This might seem like a minor distinction, but it’s really not.

When your recommendation focuses more on the problem you solved or the opportunity you capitalized on, it’s telling a story. And human beings are naturally wired to get caught up in stories.

Take twenty minutes today to get in touch with your favorite connections to ask them for recommendations.

P.S. I have over 60 recommendations on my LinkedIn profile I often get messages that go something like, “Wow, you have so many recommendations! It sounds like you really know your stuff. Do you mind taking a look at my resume?”

Quick side note: Make sure your resume is optimized to its full capacity; it’ll only amp up the impact of any recommendations. To do this, use my two-page, salary-doubling resume cheat sheet that I crafted from my experience with a marketing manager client. It includes exactly how we helped her get her dream job AND double her initial offer. Get your own copy by submitting your information below:

 

  1. Know your audience

You know my friend's "sales pitch" for Witcher. He got his friends to play by focusing on the technical features. But with me, he talked about the storyline. He knew his audience, and he adjusted his "sales pitch" accordingly.

You need to apply the same concept to your LinkedIn profile. I discovered a really cool feature on LinkedIn that lets you check whether the right people are visiting your profile.

To begin, you need to answer these three questions:

  1. What is the job title of the people you want visiting your profile?
  2. What cities do they live in?
  3. What companies do they work for?

Keep your answers near you.

Head over to your LinkedIn messages. Who is messaging you? Do their industries, job titles, and locations match with your responses to my questions?

If you answered "no," you might be doing something incorrectly -- LinkedIn's "thermometer" says that you're getting attention from the wrong sorts of people.

  1. Smart Networking

When my friend recommended Witcher to me, I just wasn't convinced initially. Because we interact with each other on a daily basis, and because he started playing Witcher almost every day, it was almost impossible for the subject not to come up again.

"Give it a go again, and maybe you'll like it."

And I did.

Why?

The main reason is that he's my friend and I trust him. If he recommends something to me, I view it in a favorable light. If a random stranger on the internet recommended the same game to me, I would not be as strongly convinced, even if his pitch was a lot better.

Why?

Well, because my friend and I talk so much, I can very easily explain my hesitance to him, and he can just as easily explain why my logic is flawed.

"That was just a minor character you had talked to earlier. That was the only bad voice actor," he had said to me.

Let me break it down for you.

The first thing mobile users (a majority) see when they land on your LinkedIn profile, is not your summary, experience, or any of the content you've been sharing.

They see your common connections.

And according to LinkedIn, more than 50% of users log in using ONLY their mobile phones! Now suppose you add a random user (let's call him Severus) who stops by your profile. But Severus never interacts with you after adding you.

A year later, a hiring manager (let's call him Draco) at your dream company stops by your profile using his cell phone during his lunch break and sees that you both have Severus as a common connection.

Draco reaches out to Severus and says, "Hey there buddy. Do you know XYZ? Do you think this position would be a good fit?"

Severus says, "No, I have no idea who that person is. Oh, but a buddy of mine would be perfect for that role. Here's his LinkedIn profile."

Draco says, "Wow, thanks man! You're the best!"

Do you see?

Now imagine you hadn't added Severus. Draco would have reached out to a common connection that CAN attest to your skills, who then endorses you in the strongest possible terms, or at least says something like...

"I don't know XYZ personally, but we met in a LinkedIn group. XYZ shares amazing content and really knows your industry well!"

That's not to say you shouldn't be connecting with new people at all. However, you should get to know each other first by either messaging them using your common LinkedIn group or by sending them an InMail. If you get a connection request from someone you don't know, you could say something like:

"Hi, Severus. Thank you so much for sending me a connection request. Do you mind telling me a bit about yourself and your goals? If I can help, I’d love to."

If you found this article helpful, make sure you download our LinkedIn cheat sheet to further assist you in building an effective LinkedIn profile.

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