Networking. You see and hear the term frequently, but what it does is actually entail? The definition of the term “networking” has drastically changed over the past decade and social media and on-line recruiting is a major reason for this. Before, the connotation of networking included meeting new people who had connections in the business world or perhaps you knew someone from college who knew someone else that works at ABC Company that might help land you that dream job. Yes, this implication is still true, but the way we network is what has really changed.
LinkedIn– a business oriented professional networking service, founded in 2002 that continues to change the business world. LinkedIn Corporation is now home to future job seekers, college alumni groups, and a one stop shop for employers seeking information from potential employees. Your LinkedIn profile tells a story to employers that your resume is unable to convey. LinkedIn is a valuable resource that allows you to connect with former relationships of which can vouch for your strengths, accomplishments, and personality. Let’s discuss how to best utilize this powerful tool for your next interview:
- Keep it Clean– A picture says a 1000 words, so when choosing an image, select a professional photo that you feel confident about and does not include any distractions—such as drinks, logos, items, other people, etc. Your future employer wants a positive image representing their company.
- Be Open Minded– You do not have to be so selective about who to accept connections from. By being more open to connections, it may result in more opportunities.
- Personalization– While connecting, at all costs, avoid the standard connection request. Yes, this is a social networking site, but the main goal is to strengthen and build professional connections that might potentially lead to future opportunities. Personalize your message as much as possible even if you have not met them yet.
- Completion of Profile– When listing your accomplishments and achievements, provide this in a list format that is easy to read by your target audience. When doing this, continue to rephrase your strengths. This way, when recruiters and employers are trying to find the right person for a project coordinator your name will show up since you have incorporated it in your strengths.
- Get Involved– Join groups geared towards to your target industry or connect and become a part of alumni associations. By engaging in conversation and providing your perspective on various group conversations, you will differentiate from your competition.
- Stay in Touch– Let’s say that you have recently met someone who wants to help you further your career by connecting you to an Account Executive of a well-known company. You have recently connected with her on LinkedIn and sent her your resume. She has let you know she will think of you moving forward but does not have any current open positions. Set yourself a reminder to follow-up in a month or two to check-in and see if any positions have opened up or just reach out to stay on top of mind.