LinkedIn the Professionals’ Network
LinkedIn is currently the largest professional networking site on the web with currently 100 million members on their network. If you aren’t on LinkedIn yet, or you haven’t done much work on your profile, this is what you need to be working on. Using social media tools to locate or be recruited into a new job is now happening and you need to be on board or be left behind.
Here is how to build a complete profile on LinkedIn and use your profile to find a new position:
Your profile should read like your resume, and should contain all of the same information you have listed on your resume. List your current and past positions, any achievements (such as Employee of the Year), education, and professional associations you belong to. You should create a professional summary to display in the Summary section which sums up who you are, what you do, and what value you bring to an employer.
- Network building
Once you have a complete profile, you need to next add to your network. More connections means more opportunities whether it is networking, jobs or publishing. Start by looking up current or former co-workers and any professional members you know of through your professional associations. The one rule to follow is only add those people that you actually know.
Once you have added your connections, now you need to focus on getting recommendations for your current or past work. Recommendations bring life to your profile and make you more “real” to someone who is viewing your profile, whether a possible employer or a former co-worker.
You need to join groups on LinkedIn which are related to your profession, industry, expertise, etc. Groups help you networking with others on LinkedIn, share or gain ideas, or learn about job opportunities.
- Follow companies
Follow companies that you are interested in on LinkedIn as they typically post company news or new job openings on their company profile page. In addition, you can see who is on LinkedIn that works for that particular company (and how you are connected), and the company’s hiring/employment statistics.
- Continue logging in
After creating a complete profile, building your network, getting recommendations, joining groups and following companies, you still need to do some work. You should be logging into your LinkedIn profile at least once a week or checking the emails sent to you by LinkedIn and the groups you belong to on LinkedIn.