People often ask me if LinkedIn is worthwhile for a job search.
It can be very useful, if you put some work into it to make it effective. I found in my own case that once I passed a threshhold of around 100 direct connections, it made a huge difference in the results I saw.
I would suggest:
- Make sure your profile is complete, and marketing-oriented. By that, I mean focus on what you can do for others, what sorts of results you can provide, problems you can solve, rather than just a recitation of roles you’ve held. Many people post a detailed bio, but unless it’s engaging, why would that make me excited about contacting you to connect?
- See if you can get a few endorsements from people. You should plan to have a conversation with any who might do so, and to interview them on what they might think of your work. Offer to draft the endorsement yourself – this not only saves them a lot of work, but makes sure the endorsement covers the most critical points you want to communicate, and in a way that markets you well. Of course you are going to let the other person re-write it any way they see fit, though most will make few changes.
- Participate in some on-line discussions. Post an interesting article or observation, comment on others’ postings, look for an active LinkedIn group where you might get involved in the conversation.
- Focus on building a strong set of direct connections, not just anyone who invites you, but people to whom you have a real connection.
LinkedIn can be a great tool to uncover connections or potential connections to people in companies, roles, areas, etc. you are interested in. It is especially strong as a research tool for your search.
What ways have you found it most helpful to you? Leave a comment…