Monday, May 2, 2011

Are you LinkedIn?

Using social media to locate or be recruited into your next job is no longer science fiction. LinkedIn is impossible to ignore and has become an essential tool in the 21st Century job search. If you are asking yourself “What is LinkedIn?”, then you need to get in touch with the new job searching tools!

LinkedIn is the largest professional networking site on the web and quickly becoming the number one place to turn for career development. As of January 2011, LinkedIn reports over 90 million members with executives from all Fortune 500 companies represented. LinkedIn also reports that, as of the New Year, 69% of all Fortune 100 companies use LinkedIn’s hiring solutions to source new employees.

Companies such as Microsoft, Ebay, Netflix, and Target are all using LinkedIn to recruit for candidates for employment. Kay Luo, Director of Corporate Communications at LinkedIn, explains why, "The main reason that companies are using LinkedIn is to find passive job candidates. Another reason why companies are using LinkedIn, is because referrals from their employees are highly valued because they typically have a higher success rate (hence the popular "employee referral bonuses"). LinkedIn helps companies leverage the networks of their employees."

Here are some tips on how you can go about finding your next job using LinkedIn:
·         Create a complete profile
Your profile should read like your resume, showing your current and past positions, your achievements, education, professional associations, etc. Your first step should be to write a professional summary and add it to the “Summary” section. Next, make a list of your specialties and fill them in with keywords recruiters would be looking for.  
·         Consider adding a photo to your profile
It will help complete your profile and show to recruiters or on-lookers you go the extra step.
·         Build your network
Once you have completed your profile, you should begin adding to your network. The more connections you have, the more opportunities you will also have. Start by adding current or former co-workers, professional members you know. Also look at who your connections are linked to, as you might know some of those people as well. The key is to make sure you know the people or are somehow linked business-wise to the people you are adding.
·         Ask for recommendations
Once you have added connections, you should be asking your network for recommendations of your current or past work. These recommendations help bring life to your profile, and help when recruiters are reading your profile as it gives them additional information before they contact you. Word to wise: if you ask for someone’s recommendation, make sure it will be positive, and it is also nice to write him or her a recommendation in return.
·         Join groups
Join groups on LinkedIn that are related to your current profession, ones you want to explore, or an industry you want to break into. Groups are a good way to start networking with others on LinkedIn and start discussing job opportunities. They are also a good way to connect with fellow profilers using group discussions.
·         Follow companies
Follow companies that you are interested in on LinkedIn. You are able to see who is on LinkedIn that works for that particular company, the company’s hiring/employment statistics, and some companies even post job posting on their LinkedIn company pages.
·         Lastly, stay connected
After all of your hard work with creating a complete profile, building your network, getting recommendations, joining groups and following companies, you want to make sure that you log onto LinkedIn on a constant basis. As new people join LinkedIn every day, you can continue building your network and prospects, and bring you closer to possibly finding your next job on LinkedIn.

Are you on LinkedIn? Do you use it on a regular basis, or find it an important tool for job searching? Have you be contacted by recruiters about job positions or found your job thanks to LinkedIn?

Until next time, wishing you continued career success!!

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