IF you are a young man, just out of college, and on the lookout for suitable employment, you should start your quest by joining LinkedIn. Chances are that you are already a member. More than 175 million people around the world are connected through LinkedIn. Facebook might seem like much more fun, with its photos, games and fan pages, even Twitter with its pithy posts might appear cool, but it is at LinkedIn that you can develop a better set of professional contacts.
When you speak to HR executives from top companies and the campus recruiters, you will come to know that now LinkedIn has become an essential job search tool for corporate houses. A LinkedIn network enables you to instantly broadcast the news of your latest accomplishments, ambitions and changes in employment status to thousands or more colleagues, bosses and potential employers.
Quick and Easy
A properly created LinkedIn profile can serve as a passive job magnet, as recruiters and hiring managers in top companies in India use LinkedIn to recruit candidates for employment. Getting started on LinkedIn is quick and easy. The sign up process is as simple as opening a new email account; it takes only a few minutes and after that you can go on to create your personal profile.
Your profile is the most important part of your LinkedIn page. It contains information about your qualification, skills and experience. It is through your profile that you connect with people in your network. Your profile is how you get found on LinkedIn. It is important that your profile page should have the right keywords to ensure that your resume will come up during searches. The right keywords serve the purpose of improving your visibility.
To further personalise your page, and drive your profile higher in Google searches, you can also change the URL of LinkedIn profile. Changing the URL might not be that easy if you have a common name, but you can still find something distinctive to put, right after the words “linkedin.com/in/.” The photo that you add to your LinkedIn page should be a headshot and it cannot be larger than 80X80 pixels. You can also add websites that have published your work. But this is probably far easier for writers and journalists. If you are business manager or a sales person, you can link to your most prominent customers.
What should you include in your LinkedIn profile when you are looking for your first job or are currently unemployed, this is a major question that you might face. You have to ensure that you are presenting yourself in a positive light; your objective is to impress your employers and networking contacts. LinkedIn has good resume building facilities that you can use to create an impressive profile.
Networking with Companies
These days most of the major companies are present on the social networks, including LinkedIn. If there is any particular company where you would like to work, you can start by going through that company’s profile page. At a glance, you will be able to find lot of useful information. You will also be able to see information like – your connections at the company, new hires, promotions and most importantly the vacancies that exist. While you are going through this company’s profile, you might also be able to discover some other related companies where you can apply for a job.
In fact, you can use LinkedIn to find out the entire career path of people with your kind of qualification. You can find out where they go once they leave the job in any particular company. How often do they switch jobs? How do their designations change every time they switch their job? Such information can be of great help when you are engaged in doing a career planning for yourself. You can learn about the companies where people with your qualification work for least amount of time – this information can be used to figure out which companies to avoid.
It is important for you to tell your network that you arelooking for a new position. The larger the number of people who know what you are looking for, the better the chances of your landing up with a job of your choice. You can take advantage of the feature that LinkedIn has recently added. It is called the “Status updates feature,” and it allows you to let your network know about whatever is in your mind at any given point of time.
The positive things that people say about you can spread virally through the LinkedIn space. If your current boss writes a recommendation for you, it will be seen by each one of your connections. However, the recommendations will only have a good impact, if you have large number of connections. You can improve the size of your connections by connecting your email IDs to your LinkedIn account. You can also use LinkedIn to make local searches and connect with people who you know.
All the new connections that you have on LinkedIn can potentially help you grow your career and find a new job. In addition, they can also be a good source of employment references, as well as reference checking.