LinkedIn: the website that helps you find the right people and the connections you have with them. It used to be impossible to know who was connected and how, but now with LinkedIn showing 1st, 2nd, and 3rd connections is of tremendous value for networking. In today’s society it is all about who you know if you want to get recommendations and stay top of mind.
There are currently over 347 million LinkedIn users- most of which do not use the site to its greatest potential. It is one of the most popular social networking sites for professionals and businesses, a great way to stay connected or find new job opportunities. Members should remember these key points I have found with LinkedIn: be an active member, strategically connect, follow company pages and join many groups. It may also be a smart idea to customize your public URL, so people can find you easier based on your experiences or keywords.
Before I started looking for internships I updated my personal profile, making sure all jobs and responsibilities were uniform, so my page flowed flawlessly. I had multiple people read it over and take a professional headshot of me for my profile picture. I joined more groups and thought of every service or active group I had been apart of, because employers look for that. They want well-rounded, determined individuals who go above and beyond in everything they do. I started connecting with adults I knew, then searched for companies (Coca Cola, Heinz, UPS) they were connected with, learning more about how to network along the way. Then I connected with managers who had a job I was interested in, mostly in the Marketing or Advertising fields. I would send them a message on LinkedIn, and would get excited with many quick responses back, where these managers would ask for my resume and email. This invigorated me. I felt empowered when they said I was a “go-getter”, impressed by my persistence, and they wanted to keep in touch.
LinkedIn allows you to do an Advanced Search; where you can specify keywords, location, industry, and what company you’re interested in finding. Forbes recently posted an article under Leadership titled, “7 Ways to Make LinkedIn Help Find You A Job” (link below) which outlines ways to make your LinkedIn profile more powerful to possible employees. Learning how to sell yourself and successfully highlight your strengths is a vital part of updating your LinkedIn profile.