Last Wednesday afternoon, I achieved a personal best when it comes to job stalking.
Heading into the Loop for an afternoon meeting, I checked e-mail on my smartphone, and found a request for a connection via Linked In, with an urgent request for a phone call. Although yes, I could have used the Android application to connect, I called the person first....and found myself, within 48 hours, working on a possible new business proposal for a non-profit with another potential opportunity where I have experience.
Thankfully, it was all because of a reference from a former co-worker....and a really well-developed Linked In profile.
Ironically, this came after attending a networking session with a presentation that urged everyone to develop their presence on another online channel. However, a recent study found that recruiters are relying more on Linked In than Facebook and Twitter to find qualified candidates. (I would also strongly recommend downloading and reading Bullhorn Reach's full report - it has great insight and is very useful for job seekers).
In my own efforts, I am finding Linked In to be an extremely valuable resource - yes, I am one of those "early adopters". (Joined in 2005 while living in St. Louis, because Linked In allegedly promised to "network while I sleep" - at least, that's what I was told). My primary use for it is as an electronic contact manager - no matter where someone goes professionally, I have a consistent way to contact them. It's also been valuable in employer research (no better way to get inside information on a company), setting informational interviews (you can't say "no" to a mutual contact, can you?), and thanks to consistent efforts over the years, I crossed the 500 contact barrier awhile ago (which moves the profile to the top of internal searches).
Although groups and answers allow me to network within LinkedIn, they also make it extremely easy to optimize a profile. In fact, the official Linked In blog contains a great post with some basic strategies for modifying profiles. There are often various posts that pop up on maximizing impact on the service (like this one from Corn on the Job) which, unlike similar posts for Facebook and Twitter, are often consistent between bloggers. Finally, optimizing Linked In profiles help improve overall SEO on your name (for this and more tips, please check out a recent presentation I gave via Slideshare), as the more views a Linked In profile receives often results in higher placement in search.
Yes, having a great Linked In profile (and great relationships with professional colleagues) can often lead to wonderful things. The opportunity's still up in the air, but quite honestly, even if it doesn't work out....it's one step closer to gainful employment.
But do you have any recommendations for Linked In? Any questions or comments? Please feel free to make them below. You're also more than welcome to connect with me via Linked In - just let me know you're connecting because of the Job Stalker blog.
And as always, thanks for reading!