"A philosopher once wrote you need three things to have a good life. One, a meaningful relationship, two, a decent job of work, and three, to make a difference." David Brent

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Get Linkedin!!

This post is all about Linkedin and how it can help you in your job search.

What is it?

First of all, what exactly is Linkedin? To put it quite simply, it is sort of like Facebook only instead of putting up pics of night outs and liking groups such as ‘Cartoons were better in the 90’s’ you give a professional account of yourself.  Linkedin allows you to do this in a number of ways. Firstly, when you fill in your profile, Linkedin encourages you to upload your previous work experience and qualifications as you would on a CV. After that you can fill out any skills you have that set you apart from others, if you have great communication skills for example, say so. One of Linkedin’s best features is that you can gain recommendations from people you have worked with in the past. If your references are good this can really highlight your skills and show that you have been a valued employee and will be again.

Why Would I Want it?

After you have set up your profile you are basically left with a professional looking online CV. Advertise your profile, a good tip is to put a link to your Linkedin profile on any covering letters you write. Doing so allows employers to gain a better picture of you, this means that when they are reviewing your CV you cease to be just another resume and become a real person, always a plus. Even if you decide not to advertise your Linkedin profile when applying for a job, you would be naive to think that prospective employers aren’t using social media to find out more about you. One study showed that over 60% of modern employers admitted to trying to learn more about potential employees from their Facebook profiles. Personally I think this is an invasion of privacy, sadly though, one that happens and cannot be ignored. For this reason I think it is important that every graduate job seeker should think about setting their Facebook to private and setting up Linkedin. This ensures that instead of stumbling across pictures of you on a uni night out, invariably with a traffic cone on your head, you can present the professional image you would like to show to employers.

What can I do with it?

Once you’re on Linkedin, you quickly realise what a powerful networking tool it can be. Providing you can trust them not to slander you like they would on Facebook, begin by adding your friends. After that use Linkedin to connect with people who might help you get ‘an in’ to the industry you are looking at. For example, I went to a few digital marketing training courses before I found employment. After these courses I added a lot of the course organisers on Linkedin and received a lot of industry advice from them that I would otherwise not have been privy to. As well as networking, Linkedin allows you to subscribe to industry discussion groups that will help you keep abreast of the relevant issues in your industry; this information could make all the difference at a job interview. Finally, Linkedin is brilliant for allowing you to search for available jobs, connect with people in charge of hiring or, if you are lucky, get picked up by a company recruiting on Linkedin. I will end this post with a little story I recently heard of how using Linkedin creatively helped a young graduate find work. This graduate, upon hearing of an upcoming graduate jobs fair, researched what companies would be there. After this, she contacted employees of the companies she was interested in using Linkedin and enquired what biscuits they most liked. On the day of the jobs fair she turned up armed with each employer’s favourite biscuits and a copy of her CV, one of these employers, impressed with her dedication gave her a job. Hopefully this little anecdote demonstrates how Linkedin can help remove the barriers that stand between you and were you want to be.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post, I hope it has been helpful.


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