My grandfather, a very successful businessman, always used to say, "It's not what you know, kid, it's who you know." In today's competitive job market, who you know can make all the difference. After all, statistics show that most people find jobs through their personal contacts. Online social networking connects you with who you know, and sometimes more importantly, with who they know.
Each social networking site offers something different. If you are looking for a new job, Linkedin.com is a must. Think of it this way: chances are you're only one or two degrees away from a new job. Linkedin connects you with those degrees.
You're probably already aware that Linkedin is a business networking site as opposed to some of the more social sites like Facebook.
On Linkedin, you can add a summary of your professional experience, list your education and training, feature recommendations from former colleagues and join groups of like-minded professionals. But most of all, you can create a profile that highlights your skills and experience to set yourself up for your next position. Since the summary is not a formal resume, there's a huge advantage to framing it as the position you are looking for rather than just listing past positions.
Linkedin Tip to Set Yourself Apart from the Competition
A colleague of mine, Alan Hellard, gave me this tip for using Linkedin. Before any interview, ask who'll be in the room during the appointment. Then check Linkedin to see if the attendees are registered on the site. If so, email them through Linkedin to tell them that you are looking forward to the meeting and offer them the opportunity to review your profile.
This does several things: 1) it shows you're doing your due diligence on them; 2) it gives you the advantage of letting them read your profile before you arrive rather than having them read your resume while you're in the room, which splits their attention; 3) it gives the interviewer the opportunity to read recommendations, see what groups you're involved in and provide a fuller picture than a traditional resume or CV; 4) it gives both of you the opportunity to find commonalities.
Chances are your competition is not taking this extra step, which only sets you further apart from the herd.
If you're not on Linkedin, sign up now by clicking here. Because just as you are searching for employers' profiles, they are looking for your's. Complete and update all details along with a professional photo. This is a great opportunity to brand yourself, so perhaps you'll want an objective friend to give their opinion before posting.
As opposed to Twitter and Facebook, Linkedin is a site that does not require much attention once you've uploaded your information. Until it's time to update by listing your new position, that it!
And the best part? It's all FREE.