LinkedIn: The New Resumé

I haven’t written much about LinkedIn. But I have been doing some presentations lately on the influences of social media on the job search process.

LinkedIn is being called by some, the new resumé. So you’ve created a LinkedIn account a while ago, but haven’t touched it since.  Well here are some tips you can do right now to prepare yourself to land your dream job.

  • Fully complete your profile. Make sure you’ve added your education, experience and skills.  Also include a professional photo and links to your other social networks and websites.
  • Grow your network. LinkedIn allows you to import contacts from your mail programs. Start with this to see who you already know that is on LinkedIn. Later on, LinkedIn will make recommendations who might now.  When inviting people to connect with you, always include a personal message – not just the canned invite.
  • Get recommendations. Recommendations are a great way to demonstrate to potential employers that you have what it takes. Don’t be afraid to ask your contact for a recommendation. If they give you one, consider returning the favor.
  • Follow companies. LinkedIn allows you to follow companies.  Company pages let you know who in the company is on LinkedIn, career postings and more.
  • Research career paths. If there are specific positions at a company that you are interested in, consider researching existing employees at the company in that position to what experience and skills they had that led them to that position.
  • Search for jobs. LinkedIn has a robust job board.  One of the great things about the LinkedIn job board is you can see who posted the job and if you have anyone in your network that could refer you or introduce you to the company (see below).

As with any social network, you need to invest in the network before you can expect dividends.  So don’t create your account today and expect to land your dream job tomorrow.