Today it was announced that Facebook is partnering “with the U.S. Department of Labor and three employment-related agencies in an attempt to decrease the country’s 9.1% unemployment rate using social media — a project that may eventually include a Facebook jobs posting system.” 99.9% of the people reading this use Facebook and would most likely welcome Facebook serving as a job posting system, but until that comes to fruition, you are going to have to look elsewhere. I’m not talking about the outdated help wanted ads. I’m talking about LinkedIn. Maybe you think LinkedIn is just for smug business types. Not anymore (I never thought it was, but some honestly did). If you are looking for a job, kind of tinkering with the idea of going to a new job, want to sit on a board or join a club, or want a promotion, you should have a profile on LinkedIn. Why?
That’s where your bosses, influential colleagues, experts in your field, people in the know about social media, and recruiters are. That’s where people go to see what you are doing professionally. Sure, that can be shared on Facebook, but more than likely it will be glanced at and forgotten because the newest video of a really cute cat doing something really cute will take away the reader’s attention (who is probably your friend anyway and would have probably told you if he/she thought they knew of a job that would be great for you).
So, what is LinkedIn for? It’s for networking in a professional manner. It’s for finding experts, sharing and discussing ideas and learning more about a topic. It’s for finding jobs, connecting with colleagues, exploring opportunities and more. LinkedIn is a tool that can help you grow your career, meet clients, gain clout and in the end, make more money.
Maybe you already have a profile on LinkedIn. You have your name, email, and current job, but have you included keywords and skills that will allow you to easily come up in a search? Do you have recommendations for all your recent positions? Have you recommended those you have worked with who impressed you? These are all things that will make your LinkedIn profile better, more likely to be viewed and will lead people to contact you with opportunities that could change your life.
Just yesterday I received a message in my Inmail (LinkedIn’s email) asking if we could connect. The person explained that they had an opportunity they thought I may be interested in. I am always happy to share my profile, so I accepted their request. Shortly thereafter I received a phone call wanting to discuss a job opportunity. This was followed by me sending my resume`, having another phone conversation and scheduling a phone interview with a potential employer.
Why did this business’ recruiter contact me? Because when searching for people in the Boston area with a specific skill-set, I came up. You never know how you will connect with someone and how that connection can impact your life. So, set aside some time to update your LinkedIn profile, connect with friends and colleagues there and search all the tools that are there to make you a smarter and more efficient at whatever it is you do.
I would love to talk with you about ways you can improve your profile and ways you can use it to connect with people and possibly find a job. Feel free to check out my profile.