When you’re looking for a job, networking can be one of your most effective tools. Networking in today’s technologically advanced world is different than it once was. New tools, like LinkedIn, have been created and more positions are being filled online than ever before. Here’s how you can effectively use LinkedIn for networking:
Once you’ve signed up, create a detailed profile on LinkedIn, including employment, education, industry and websites. You should also be sure to include a photo and all your resume keywords and skills in your profile so your profile will be found. Here are some of About.com’s tips for improving your profile on LinkedIn:
Build Your Network.
Connect with other members and build your network. The more connections you have, the more opportunities you have, with one caveat from Kay Luo, “Connect to people you know and trust or have a business relationship with, no need to go crazy and connect with everyone.”
Recommendations from people you have worked with carry a lot of weight.
Use the job search section to find job listings.
The Answers section of LinkedIn is a good way to increase your visibility. Respond to questions, and ask a question if you need information or assistance.
Use LinkedIn Mobile to view profiles, invite new connections and access to LinkedIn Answers from your phone.
What Not to Do:
Any connection you make on your LinkedIn profile should be personal. According to CareerRealism.com, “An ineffective LinkedIn invitation typically has one or more of the following elements:
- The generic request to connect – 90% of the requests I receive are in this format. Would you connect with someone who walked up on the street and said, “Hi, you don’t know me, but be my friend!”? I don’t think that is likely to happen.
- The “I see you are connected to Ms. X, could you make an introduction?” What would your response be to this if the tables were turned? Likely, it would be something like, “Wait a minute… you’re a complete stranger to me, and you expect me to go out on a limb for you, and do you a favor?”
- The “Mr. X has indicated that you are friends” request but you have never heard of them.
The Anatomy of a Good LinkedIn Recommendation:
A good LinkedIn recommendation should be specific. TheLadders.com suggests avoiding recommendations along the lines of “She/He’s a good person.” Instead, look for these specific things:
- Qualify your relationship with the person: “I’ve known Jane for 5 years, and during this time, we’ve worked on countless projects together.”
- Show that you’ve already taken action to vouch for them: “When I became a manager in the department, I specifically requested that she join my new team.”
- Describe a project they worked on that exemplifies a professional quality such as leadership or initiative: “On a project with ATT, we were in danger of delivering late. Jane stepped up and found three additional resources to share the work. Through her leadership, we saved the project and … ”
- Close the recommendation with a call to action by re-emphasizing those professional qualities: “If you are looking for a super organized, easy to get along with and tenacious project manager, Jane would be my first choice.”
Connecting in our technologically advanced world can be difficult to navigate. Using LinkedIn is a great tool for networking with possible employers.
We have AIRS certified online recruiters who can help you with temporary staffing or direct hire search services! Menlo Partners Staffing, a Peninsula based employment agency (650)752-6193.