Why use LinkedIn? It's simple, online networking (as we have discussed here many times!) has become an important tool for any job seeker. There are currently hundreds of millions of active users of online networking sites so, despite some sites hyping themselves up as being the total answer to your job seeking problems, it should be a vital part of your overall strategy.
Ten steps to LinkedIn success.
- Let's start with the obvious - create an account!
- You need a comprehensive profile. Tips include: publish your 30-second commercial, upload information about your skills and experiences, add key words to grab attention, change the public profile URL to your name so that you appear in Google searches, add a photo (but not one of you with your mates on a night out! Keep it professional) and remember that privacy is still important so be careful not to divulge too much personal information, except maybe for a business phone number.
- Invite people to join your network - think more along the lines of building professional contacts, this should not be an extension of your Facebook profile.
- Ask for recommendations - this is valuable as it can help validate your authenticity.
- Search LinkedIn's job postings.
- Join groups - this can range from professional associations or past (or future) employers.
- Be proactive - approach potential networking contacts by using the search facility to find people in your area of work who you may need to know!
- Check out applications, accounts and settings - you can add a blog to your profile, connect your Twitter feed and even share presentations... Just make sure it is all interesting and relevant.
- Use LinkedIn for company research.
To summarise, make online networking part of your overall strategy and don't forget that whilst this along with other's is a fabulous tool, it can never replace going out and talking to people - face to face!
Get networking, enjoy and good luck!
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