Seven Sensational LinkedIn Tips to Help You Find a Job
I've been a member of LinkedIn for about six months now. It was at least a year before that, that I kept getting (admittedly somewhat irritating) invites from my friends to join LinkedIn and become a part of their "network". But I really didn't want to join yet another network, and what's more, I couldn't really figure out what LinkedIn was all about.
It's still a bit of a mystery, I'll admit. I have trouble with the site asking me to login over and over again, it's difficult to navigate, and there are lots of forms to fill in. It's not easily understood at a glance, like YouTube or Twitter. But I'm told it's amazing once you get, well, linked in.
Since I'm a newbie still navigating the electrons there myself, I thought I'd share the seven most helpful tips I discovered (ones that actually worked for me). Once you're all set up and have gotten all of your profile info posted, here's what to do...
- Read the FAQ. Seems like a "duh" tip, but I didn't read the FAQ until recently. They actually answered a lot of my questions.
- Join groups. The way to get started is to look on the upper tabs, select Groups, go to the Directory, and start browsing. Join whichever groups look the most helpful for your personal career goals, and start interacting. (For instance, the first group I joined - going though Networking, then entering the keyword "entertainment" - was Media Professionals Worldwide, where I can connect with over 78,000 other group members.)
- Follow discussions. You may be following people in your network, but if you're not following their discussions, you can't interact - and of course, it's crucial that you do interact in order to network effectively.
- Get viral. Did you know that you can update your LinkedIn status with your Facebook and Twitter accounts? Neither did I! It's simple: all you have to do is allow the apps to connect. The only drawback to this that I can see, is if you use Twitter and Facebook for mostly casual purposes. I'm still not sure just how "button-down" LinkedIn is yet.
- Share and share alike. Go to LinkedIn.com/answers/ and start answering questions. Then share your wisdom. After you answer a question, click on the link to the far right that says Share This.
- Don't be a stranger. Find out some fun things about those in your network, such as the books they are reading (hopefully nothing like Internet Stalking for Dummies, but you get the idea). You can also share which page-turners you're enjoying, by using the Amazon app. It's free, and easy to use. I suppose one could fib and say they're reading some lofty tome, but I decided to go the honest route with my first entry: Helen of Troy, by Margaret George. My main source of income is through working as an entertainment reporter, I was able to tie my reading choice into my job by adding the comment, "Since I have been covering so many movies for my job at SyFy about the ancient world (Clash of the Titans) and there's no end in sight (Robin Hood is just around the corner!), I'm in the mood to get immersed in historical fiction."
- Attend events. LinkedIn has a listing of events (such as job fairs, seminars, training events, etc.) categorized by industry and location. This is a great way to get away from the keyboard and get face-to-face with colleagues and potential employers.