Thursday April 25, 2013
By Richard McMunn
The emergence of social networking sites as arguably the primary method of communication has caused countless changes to the way people interact. LinkedIn is not a social network as such, this mainly down to its much more astutely business appeal. Nevertheless it did pioneer many of the now commonplace functionalities of other networking sites and so making the most of the job seeker benefits it offers, lies in capitalizing on what is now regarded as the social networking model of growth.
In spite of the comparisons that can be made between LinkedIn and social networks such as Facebook, it is important to remember that this is a professional site and as such it should be treated accordingly.
The utmost importance to attention to detail in filling in a profile should be afforded in the same way that one would approach typing out a written CV. After all, this public record will hopefully be seen by many prospective employers. Equally, the need for crystal clear honesty should be of paramount importance, exaggeration is only a step away from fabrication.
Interactive and Up-to-Date
An online profile on LinkedIn can offer an up to date snapshot of someone's working life. The places one has worked, the people one has worked with, and most importantly, the reputation one holds. Personal recommendations are a great function that allows prospective employers to see not only a view from a direct manager, but also from immediate colleagues, peers in other departments and even external supplier contacts. Maximizing on every possible shining recommendation will add real gravitas to a LinkedIn profile. New functions such as endorsements are another feather in this bow and it seems the pattern is that the more some endorses their contacts, the more endorsements they get. So get endorsing!
LinkedIn has managed to seamlessly adjoin the idea of a networking site to a job site. For the job seeker this means that word choice is very important. In the CV and profile parts, it will maximize the number of times a profile appears in a candidate search, and in the saved search function it will prevent potential opportunities from being missed even before applying.
The saved search option is not new to the world of online job hunting, but as LinkedIn has weaved the social network model with the job site model, the added element of being able to see which jobs colleagues and peers are applying for means that proverbial net can be widened much further than when searching on a standard job site.
Specialist interest groups are not only great forums to make contact with similar professionals to discuss industry hot topics, they also offer the chance to connect with people who may well be able to point job seekers in the right direction for job vacancies. There are several success stories of people making contacts through groups who end up being on the other side of the interview table later on down the line. It might not have the same strength of connection as having graduated with someone but prior introductions have a long standing, proven track record of aiding the success of interviewees.
The whole ethos of LinkedIn is to allow users to create a real-time professional record that is as interactive as it is inclusive. The more it is utilized to its full potential, the more reward job seekers will reap from their efforts.
Richard McMunn, is the founder and director of the leading career website How2become.com. His aim is to help as many people as possible pass the recruitment process they are applying for to secure the job they really want. The website offers a wide range of books, dvds and courses for those who want to ensure they have every stage of the process covered. You can also connect with Richard and How2become on YouTube.