Making LinkedIn work for you…
In-spite of being touted as the biggest professional network, LinkedIn seems to still remain quite low in terms of social network engagement – especially within the younger base of professionals who are recent graduates or just starting out.
A quick sample research with a few friends and social circle shows classic signs of the LinkedIn brand not being an inherent fabric of existence for most people. Arguably, Facebook leads in that space – followed by Twitter. Now that’s a strange thought – considering most of us will describe ourselves as workaholics and spend 8-16 hours in an office environment – depending on which country and culture we come from. I recently had a bbm update from a friend returning home from work at 5am! But we still prefer to say what’s on our mind and tweet about the state of affairs in the country more often than sharing the most exciting piece of our professional achievements with our LinkedIn colleagues?
So why is it that many of us still use our LinkedIn Profile more as an online CV tool than a platform to engage and connect with colleagues and opinion leaders from around the world?
From the perspective of a recent graduate – I personally see a pool of opportunity not just to showcase their talent and connect with potential employers – but to seek guidance from alumnis, to research and receive more information on your industry, trends and expectations and generally being seen as an active member of the industry/professional world you operate in.
Join relevant groups and actively participate in them, upload great work on slideshare to share and showcase your strengths on a specialised subject, connect with companies and keep up to date not just with job postings and recruitment news – but who’s joined, who is leaving – what’s new about them! Next time a potential employer does a google – or bing search on you – let them find a few slides on your distinction holding dissertation project, or a group conversation with the CEO of X company on a subject of professional interest better still updates on your profile about the latest deal you cracked. Trust me – any HR finds that more relevant than smiling pictures of you with friends – social as you may come across with that!
Quick tips for Recent Graduates:
- Get a LinkedIn account – if you don’t have one already – add a picture, a short, sharp engaging summary
- Talk about your achievements in first person
- Connect with groups, participate and initiate interesting and relevant discussions
- Follow companies you want to work with – read up on people you want to connect with, then try finding them in a
group of mutual interest.
- Don’t send “friend” requests on LinkedIn if there is no professional relevance. Getting introduced through common contact is a great way to connect with someone who might be of professional interest to you!
Find more quicktips on BusinessWeek
Find me on LinkedIN and share interests @ http://www.linkedin.com/pub/priyanki-ahluwalia/4/334/2b3