I recently taught a workshop on using LinkedIn and other forms of social media as job search tools for a re-employment group. Last night I was chatting with an incredibly talented old friend who has found himself between jobs and it reminded me that social media is now an essential part of the job-search process. Human beings can be very helpful problem-solvers so let your network know your goals; you never know where your connections might lead you. Here is my LinkedIn Cheat Sheet:
Getting Started with Linkedin
- Go to http://www.linkedin.com. Be ready with the email address at which you want to be contacted. Select a password. Use your actual name (not a user name). Follow the steps and open your account. Check your email and confirm your account.
- Craft your profile. Take some time to assess your skills, your experience and your goals. Write an “elevator pitch” summary. Use a real photo. Accurately enter your education information so that you can use the classmate search function. Using keywords when you describe your work experience and expertise will increase the likelihood of being found by recruiters and hiring managers. Load your resume. Consider requesting recommendations.
- Establish your privacy and notification settings bearing in mind that your goal is to be found. The best way to address privacy concerns is to never put in digital form anything that you are not comfortable showing to the whole world for the rest of time. No complaining, no negativity, no fabrications.
- Make connections. Use the email connections tool and the classmates tool to find people on LinkedIn that you are already connected to; send them invitations. Run these tools monthly.
- Search for groups based on your existing connections (eg. alumni groups and professional associations), your areas of expertise and your interests. Review the profiles of the group members. Participate on the group discussion boards. Check the group jobs tab.
- Search for jobs on the Jobs tab; don’t forget to use the Advanced search option. Use the Companies tab to learn more about potential employers and relevant connections. Follow companies you hope to work for.
- Post and respond to questions in the Answers section to demonstrate expertise and enrich your connections. Consider an rss feed to follow questions in areas of your expertise.
- Post updates that let your network know what you are doing and what your goals are. Use other forms of social media and keep them interconnected. Download the Linkedin browser toolbar and the Linkedin app for your smart phone.