The days of passing out your resume to perspective companies is over. Welcome to networking 21st century style with a taste of social media added for just the right spice. LinkedIn has found a way to connect 30 million professionals from 150 different industries under one central social media networking site. This isn’t your child’s or college buddy’s Facebook or Myspace, this is the “grown up/real world” social media that professionals have been looking for. From connecting with people in your industry to getting questions answered by the social network, LinkedIn has covered all the bases.
The only question to ask yourself is, “What am I waiting for?”
LinkedIn provides a networking outlet for professionals of all industries. It’s also a way to promote yourself in the business world. The power of LinkedIn has forced a dear friend of mine, and avid user of LinkedIn, Dave Mundt to religiously login and check his account daily! I know LinkedIn has changed Dave’s life, but here’s what LinkedIn can do for you.
This social media networking tool starts with an electronic resume. As you can see from my account, Jesse Liebman, it lays out my current and past work experience along with groups and educational experience.
One key thing to note is that your LinkedIn profile will show up in the search engines results. As can see from the search engine results for Jesse Liebman my LinkedIn profile shows up third! This is extremely powerful since many companies will do a Google search on your name prior to interviewing you. This can, and should, be reciprocated though. Nothing says, “I’m prepared for a job interview,” like knowing the head employees of the company along with some background information on each of them. When I interviewed for EngineWorks I went to the EngineWorks LinkedIn company page and then looked at Sean McMahon & Kent Schnepp to see what background information I could get on them. It helped me tremendously to land the position I have today.
Of course just because you get a job doesn’t mean you should stop making connections. Between past jobs, informational interviews, industry meetings, and more you meet people and get their business card. What better way to keep track of them, and separate your personal friends from your business friends, then to network with them on LinkedIn.
Many people have different approaches to getting connections on LinkedIn. Some only connect with those they physically meet and then there is the approach, similar to the theory of many who use Myspace or Facebook, that you will connect with as many people as possible disreguarding if you’ve met them before in person. The difficulty with connecting with people only via cyberspace is when you actually need to count on your network. When you really do need that job or to make a connection with someone else people who don’t know or trust someone will not be willing to pass along your information. Be cautious of your connecting habits because it is addicting.
Another aspect of LInkedIn is asking and answering questions. This is a great way to make new contacts and show your expertise. People who ask a question have the opportunity to choose the answer they feel was the best. The more times your answers are chosen the more LinkedIn promotes your expertise. Your expertise will be displayed for all to see on your profile. If you truely are one of the experts, having a high amount of best answers, you will also be displayed in the categories showing that you have answered “x best answers”. What could be a better personal marketing tool than showing the world you’ve made 20 best answers on LinkedIn?
Maybe I have not looked into finding other similar services, but I have used LInkedIn for years and found it to be very successful. It is my 21st century Rolodex to keep track of my business contacts. Please let me know if you’ve found other professional services you find beneficial and look me up on LinkedIn. I always enjoy a great new contact. LinkedIn Account: Jesse Liebman
I give LinkedIn a: