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June 6, 2011

It seems the focus on LikedIn’s usefulness has intensified since the company recently went public. I read somewhere that 1,000,000 professionals join LinkedIn daily. All this to say that LinkedIn continues to be a very powerful social media tool for professionals from avid job seeker to happily employed.

Now that LinkedIn has received an infusion of capital, it continues to increase its reach and functionality. It is hard to keep on top of the new features and how best to maximize them.

Here are two excellent entries I want to refer you to with a combined 15 timely tips on how best to use LinkedIn:

1) Fast Company’s 5 LinkedIn Tips You Didn’t Know by Amber Mac

2) 10 Things to Immediately Do on LinkedIn by John Heckers

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You may hear people talk about the importance of having a LinkedIn profile.  Many folks add people to their list of contacts when convenient or the mood strikes. Sometimes I will search LinkedIn for a person I meet at an event (whether its business or social) to get a better idea of their work background and interests. It helps flesh them out.

There are many ways to strategically use LinkedIn as an important career development tool. Whether you are actively seeking work, or just trying to maintain your network and stay on top of the curve, I recommend you read this excellent blog post by Guy Kawasaki (co-founder of Alltop.com, founding partner at Garage Technology Ventures and well known author), entitled,  10 Ways to Use LinkedIn. It will give you great insight into more sophisticated ways to use this popular social media tool.

It seems everyone is talking about social media these days, and the number of resources online is quite overwhelming. However, as a job seeker you will want to be aware of at least some of these to maximize your job search efforts.

Whether its Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, SimplyHired, or YouTube, the main thing is to determine what you’re comfortable with using. Then figure out how much time a day  you want to dedicate to participating in social media.

Toward that end, here’s an incredibly useful post from NewGradLife:  Job Hunting with Social Media 101. Please keep in mind the intended audience is new grads so be a little forgiving about the section that talks about party photos on Facebook. But read it in its entirety as there are a number of interesting resources detailed here.

While the nonprofit sector may be a bit slower to adapt to harnessing the power of social media, as a job seeker in the sector you would do well to maximize at least your LinkedIn profile. Increasingly both nonprofits and foundations search online to find additional information when hiring a new employee.

It will serve you well if your LinkedIn profile is robust and adds positively to your employment history. Most importantly, do not jeopardize your chances of getting hired by neglecting to create a LinkedIn profile.

Still not convinced that a LinkedIn profile is important?  Please read this excellent link, Stop Being Lost in the Crowd, by Jessica Herandez from  www.ilostmyjob.com‘s CareeRx Doctor blog to learn more.

One’s online identity is becoming increasingly important in today’s technological world. LinkedIn is one of the single most important social media tools a jobseeker can use to present his or her qualifications and cultivate brand you. I found  the following entry by Laura Smilth Proux on CareeRealism‘s website, “Are You Making the Top 3 LinkedIn Profile Errors?” very helpful. I hope you do too.