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Monday, November 16, 2009

Job Hunter's Guide to Networking on LinkedIn

Now that I am a little more comfortable with LinkedIn, I thought I would share some of my personal tips and advice on how to maximize the experience and what it brings you. Here are the first 10 things you should do after joining Linkedin.

1. Experience is Key: Similar to a resume, the experience section of your LinkedIn profile is the first thing people look at when encountering your profile. Now, there is the famous chicken and egg question of employment, i.e you cannot get hired without experience and you cannot get experience without being hired. The solution is maximizing the experience that you DO have. Everyone, by the time they are looking for employment, have done something they are proud of. In the same way you write your resume, make sure your experience, whatever it may be, appears impressive to whoever is reading it. I am not saying to lie in any way, but there is a way of presenting things, and if you are not good at marketing yourself, get someone who is, to help you out. This is a key factor, show you have experience, emphasize the tasks you have done, and how you excelled at them.

2. Post a Picture: This is a controversial one, I know. Not only that, but many people, who use LinkedIn daily, do not have a picture. In my humble opinion, this is a mistake. At the end of the day, business is business, but people want to see who they are talking to. I am not saying you will definitely not benefit from LinkedIn if you don’t have a picture, but I do believe it can only help you and not hurt you. People do not like communicating and interacting with Content Managers or Programmers, they like talking to people, and specifically ones that are smiling.

3. Get Yourself Recommended: This is one of the, if not the, most important part of your profile. LinkedIn allows you to easily ask people who know you professionally to recommend you based on their impressions. At first, I was hesitant to do this, as I felt like it was a little bit like fishing for compliments. It is not. It is a totally acceptable practice on LinkedIn and makes the greatest impression on anyone who visits your profile. Now, here is the thing, when you choose who to ask for recommendations, be very selective. Ask people who know how to write well and whose opinion matters. What I mean to say is if someone has their current job as “unemployed”, not sure they are your best choice for a recommendation. As I have said about twitter on many occasions, social media is all about reciprocity. This is no different. For starters, if you get a request to recommend someone, understand that you were asked because that person has a high opinion of you. Write a serious and thorough recommendation, and make it as genuine as possible.

4. Recommend Others: On the flip side, if someone recommends you, you should spend the time recommending them back (I know I need to do this, so if you wrote me one and are reading this, I have not forgotten). It is all about give and take in social media. If you are only a taker, within a short period of time, you will find there is nothing left to take as no one wants to give you anymore.

Click here to read part 2 of this article

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