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Extreme Job Search Makeover Winner Session 3 LinkedIn

Posted by Kathleen Smith

After job board intelligence, our third session for Mr. Allen was Social Networking with a primary focus on LinkedIn. While Mr. Allen had a LinkedIn profile, it had not been completed or structured to support his job search, so these were some of the first tips that were shared.

We researched Mr. Allen’s background, interests and career goals, to determine which groups he may want to join to expand his professional career network. For example alumni groups, key skill set groups and a few special interest groups. Then we took a quick test drive through some of the features of LinkedIn and how to use the platform for job search, finishing with a brief overview of how to use social media such as Twitter and Facebook in a job search.

It’s a garden. You have to plant it, and tend it, to reap the rewards.

Social media was not one of the first things on Mr. Allen’s list as he was looking into his career search, but he soon realized it should be close to the top of the list; probably right after setting up his job board profile and developing his resume.

Your social media profile allows you to establish a network in a particular field, expand your connections, and establish yourself as a subject matter expert in a particular industry or community. Even in the defense and intelligence communities establishing your social media profile allows you to connect with others in the community, and gives you key training in these collaborative tools which are becoming more prevalent in the workplace.

The common sense guidelines you use offline should be used online.

• Don’t share personal information.
• Don’t share specific location information in status updates.
• Only connect with those individuals that you know.
• Be courteous and professional.

While some may think that social media can be time consuming, the ease of connecting and sharing with your network online allows more efficient networking. As with anything what you put into it determines what you will get out of it. For many of the social platforms, checking in once a day is a good rule to read updates, correspond with others and connect with new people. It is also good to keep expanding your network as recruiters and hiring managers will view your network and profile before meeting you and seeing who you are connected with. This is checking your references before your meetings rather than afterwards.

LinkedIn

The purpose of LinkedIn is to set up a professional online presence that can be used to establish your network not only during your job search but throughout your professional career. LinkedIn helps you build your network by proposing connections to other LinkedIn professionals you may know who have similar profile information, such as education, employment, associations and groups.

Setting Up Your Profile

Provide an overall summary as well as accomplishments and responsibilities for your current and former positions. There are applications that you can set up on your profile beyond the basic outline which help share your expertise, such as a link to work you have posted on SlideShare. 

The profile is also searchable by Google and by the search capabilities within LinkedIn so it’s important — especially during a job search — to include key words in your profile.

Status Updates

This is sharing news with your network and should be posted at least once per day. This can be as simple as an article that you read that you would like to share, or a conference you are attending.

Recommendations

You can write a recommendation for someone you work with, use as a vendor, or collaborate with on a project. Recommendations are very valuable to give and receive, and it’s a good way to boost your network.

Companies

You can search companies in LinkedIn to find background information, but more importantly to know who in the company you are connected to, and who members of your network are connected to.

There is a feature within the Company section to allow you to “follow” a company. This allows you to get status updates on individuals within the company and to research other people to add to your network.

Groups

The Groups feature allows you to expand your network by joining groups that are set up around a particular topic or association such as an alumni group. Groups allow people to share news articles, post announcements and, most importantly, there is typically a jobs section for each group. This is a valuable resource for both recruiter and job seeker.

For more information on other aspects of social media to support your job search, check out this SlideShare on Using Social Media in Your Job Search

This entry was posted on Thursday, September 16, 2010 11:25 am

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