Wednesday, February 29, 2012

What’s the Buzz about LinkedIn?

If you're anything like I was in undergrad, you may have heard of a professional networking site called LinkedIn, where someone in class may have advised you to join the site to utilize its great career resources and connect with professionals. After hearing about it, I went home and created a pretty simple profile. I then let it sit as I came to the realization that hardly anyone I knew was on this site, and my list of people to connect appeared to be pretty short. It was not until years later, when I started my work in a career center that I realized how valuable this site really is.

Reasons Why You Should Join LinkedIn

LinkedIn is your online resume and more
There is a lot more information available on a LinkedIn profile than would be available on a resume. You have your work history, school history, bio, web sites and how much work you have put into networking with other professionals. Which says a lot about who you are and how serious you are about the industry you are in.

LinkedIn is like having a website
For those who don’t have a website or a means to have people locate them on Google, LinkedIn fills that void. I know that I see my personal LinkedIn profile come up in Google near the top of the results. This can help other professionals find you if they have lost your phone number or email address. It can also help other companies locate you if they are interested in hiring you for contract or full time work.

Job Opportunities
Aside from the job postings section, you can join groups and participate in discussions. Many employers will post opportunities within the discussion sections of various groups. Additional job postings for current students or recent grads can be found at:

Joining relevant groups on LinkedIn allows you to extend your personal brand and also reach out to more people as you can contact many group member directly (depending on their privacy setting). Groups are useful for news postings, discussion boards, updates in general, networking, questions and answers and so forth.

Stay in touch with professionals
This site helps you keep in touch with colleagues, or other professionals you may have met, whether they are prior supervisor or a recruiter you recently talked with at a career fair.

Ask for Advice
Get answers to your questions from other professionals using LinkedIn Answers. You can easily ask a question on LinkedIn to find help from other industry professionals. Their answers area is very helpful and there are always quick responses to your questions. It can even be a way for you to further network beyond the normal benefits of getting a quick and reliable answer to your questions. You can also join groups in areas of interest and ask relevant questions for members to respond to.

Get recommended by other professionals
You can easily get recommended by other professionals that you have worked with by just asking. These recommendations add a lot of power to your ability to get hired or your caliber of professionalism within your industry.

Make your interview go smoother
You can use LinkedIn to research companies and also find the people that you’re meeting. Knowing that you went to the same school, plays basketball, or shares acquaintances is a lot better than an awkward silence after, “I’m doing fine, thank you.”

It isn’t Facebook
LinkedIn is strictly professional. You can share what you want on your profile, and do not run the risk of having something inappropriate that your friend decides to post on your wall.

For more information on LinkedIn and building your profile, visit the LinkedIn Learning Center

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