Monday, August 31, 2009

Using LinkedIn

The biggest networking buzz on the career front right now is LinkedIn. Associated Content provides this article on the subject.

How to Use LinkedIn with your Job Search
August 17, 2009 by Jeremy Ross

LinkedIn is a social networking site similar to Facebook. A good way to think about LinkedIn is calling it Facebook for business people. Like other social networking sites, LinkedIn can greatly help with your job search process. This article will detail fundamental steps to help increase the chance of landing that ideal job.

First, you need to create an account. Create a profile and fill out as much information as possible. Your profile will look better when it is as detailed as possible. If you have a professional looking picture, it would be helpful to upload it too. Now that you have a profile or an account, you need to make contacts. Contacts can be friends from school, parents, or people you have worked with during internships or summer jobs.

You can ask people for recommendations. A recommendation is similar to reference letters, but much less is written. Only ask people you believe will write positive things about you. Your profile is searchable by many people. This should be professional at all times to help you land that perfect job.

Join groups that deal with companies you would like to work for or companies you have worked for and job groups that revolve around specific areas such as finance. The benefit of joining groups is it helps grow your network. You are no longer just connected to friends and friends of friends, but now people in groups and friends of those people.

Now you have a network. The next step is to search for jobs. LinkedIn has a built in job page. Companies post positions that they are looking to fill. These postings are usually better than the flaky postings on some on job board sites. You can search by location, level, or position type. Play around to see what works best.

You need to use your network to the fullest potential. Contact everyone you can and let them know your situation. Explain what you are seeking and if they can help. If the contact works in an industry or for a particular company, you can ask more detailed information such as "is there anyone you can put me in touch with regarding
employment at company xyz." It is amazing how willing people are to help. I guarantee that you will be surprised by this too.

LinkedIn is a fantastic website that can help anyone of any career level find future employment. The keys are to have a great profile with a big network that you can contact for help. Good luck with your job search. It will pay off in the end.