There are certain things that job hunters should be doing today that weren’t even around just a year or two ago. If you are a college graduate or a college student looking for a job, now is the time you should start learning about all the online tools that will help you get a good job.
Many of you have probably heard of or are using MySpace, FaceBook, or Twitter to connect with family, friends, and so on. Those sites are mostly for fun. In the working world though, people use a professional networking site called LinkedIn. If you are currently employed or looking for jobs for college students, this is a great tool to get you connected to others so you can exchange information, ideas, and find job opportunities.
There is a saying, “It’s all about who you know” when looking for a job. Well there is great truth to this; especially now days when jobs are limited and so much competition is out there even for entry level positions. Companies are much more likely to hire someone is who referred by an employee of the company versus someone no one knows. Networking plays a big role in getting any job.
How Do You Sign Up?
Just like in any other social networking site, you first create a personal profile on the LinkedIn site. The basic membership and profile is free and is all I have ever needed. Once you have a profile you can build your networking contact list. I would start out and see if any of your friends, family, neighbors, etc or a part of linked in. If they are, request to become connected to them. As your connections build, so do your contacts. You gain first, second, and third level connections. It works much like the 7 points of separation idea.
How Does It Work?
So, let’s say I have a friend who works at Target. (We are 1st level connections) I look up their profile and see that they have connections to family and friends. One of the friends works at HomeDepot where I am interested in working. I send a request to the HomeDepot worker asking to be connected. The request will say that we have a friend in common (Target worker). If the HomeDepot workers accepts the request, they become one of your 2nd level connections. Now that you are connected, you can contact them via email to discuss what work is like at HomeDepot and hopefully get connected to a hiring manager at a store.
Since LinkedIn is a PROFESSIONAL networking site, it is important that your communications are workplace appropriate. This may be the place where you make a first impression and you want to make sure that impression is a positive one.
If you create a linked in profile, I would suggest that you look over your other networking sites (MySpace, FaceBook, etc and either make them private or make sure you do not have any pictures, videos, or written info that would cause someone to question whether or not to hire you. Hiring managers and recruiters look at the social networking sites when they are verify employee information and to find information about the character of a person. Always make sure your sites represent you in a positive way.