I recently had a discussion with a fellow Career Coach about the use of LinkedIn. While we both thought that is was probably the best job search tool out there, we also felt people set up LI accounts, with very little thought to what they were going to do once they did. I can truly understand the issue. When I set up my account x years ago, I had no clue what it was, or how it might serve my purposes. I read two books on LinkedIn and while it did guide me on profile set up, I was still left with scratching my head about how to use it.
I’ve now stopped wondering and can see opportunities abound for job seeker and growth careerist. There are benefits to businesses and business owners too but will save that for another article.
Let’s divide this into two parts:
1- Objectives for being on LinkedIn
2- Objectives for your LI profile
Objectives/Reasons for being on LinkedIn
Reconnecting – As life and work goes on, so goes many of the people we once knew. With LinkedIn, you can find many people you worked with and may have known in a variety of capacities. This is a great way to build and maintain your network.
Expanding your network – The most successful people in work and life are those who are connected to others. By being an active participant in groups on LI, you can come in contact with people who have some commonality to you.
Nurturing your network – It’s not enough to say you know people; you have to communicate and nurture that relationship. On LI, you have multiple ways of communicating, sharing and staying in touch.
Expand/establish your personal brand – While the primary place to establish your brand is at work, you have multiple ways in LI to extend your personal brand and expertise. You can communicate your brand in your profile and also demonstrate your expertise through discussions in groups you join.
Marketing you – If you are looking for a job LI allows you to focus on companies, see who you know that is connected to that company and seek internal referrals. You can contact recruiters, apply for posted positions and even make new connections in targeted companies.
Learn important things – There are people constantly posting great webinars of all sorts and kinds in LinkedIn and most of them are free. Check promotions in the groups you are a member of and see new entries posted almost daily. In your local groups, many of them meet in person giving you another way to meet people.
Objectives you want to achieve with your profile:
You want it to attract hiring managers and recruiters
- Which will happen by the use of inclusion of your keyword list, and skills
- Which will continue to happen because you will refresh your information and cause it to show up on search results
You want it to sell those same people on you
- Which will happen not only because of your skills and results but because you have the best opportunity to lay out your personal brand like nothing else you have in your job search other than yourself
You want to reinforce and supplement your resume
- While it can and should have many of the same things as your resume, it has other things that can further sell you
LinkedIn is a great tool for so many reasons but it’s important for you think through what you hope to accomplish by your participation and membership. Hopefully, this outline will help you think through what your objectives are and then you will know what to do to really optimize the tool.
For more career tips and advice – FREE newsletter and eworkbook: http://CareerMakeoverToolKitShouldIstayorShouldIGo.com/ From Dorothy Tannahill-Moran – Your Career Change Agent from www.nextchapternewlife.com and www.mbahighway.com