Over 75M people use LinkedIn™ to exchange information, ideas, and opportunities; the "go-to" online professional networking platform.
Take a look at your resume. Does it include your current position? Is it updated with recent volunteer activities, the recent course you have completed, or recent awards you have received?
Instead of keeping your resume as a static document on your computer (or worse, on paper somewhere deep in a drawer), consider using LinkedIn™ as a way to keep your professional experience online and updated. Think of it as a “live” business card.
Putting your profile on LinkedIn™ is a great first start for building your online professional reputation. There is no cost for the basic profile, which is sufficient for most users. Use your resume as a guide and include current and prior positions, organizations you are involved in, education, publications, and awards received. All these items are related to your career.
You may also decide to share information such as the books you have read, interests, and events that you plan to attend. Keep in mind that the purpose of LinkedIn™ is professional networking and is not the same as the social networking tools such as Facebook™ or MySpace™.
There are, however, benefits to adding some personal flair because most of us like to do business with people we like. For example, adding “Interests” in your profile such as writing, reading, gardening and social media allows you to share some personal interests with business contacts because creating relationships is largely what doing business is all about.
LinkedIn™ allows you to search for people that you have met professionally and send them a “nice to meet you” email and connect. You can also search for companies and jobs in the search toolbar. LinkedIn™ allows you to find people in certain positions at companies you may be interested in. You can also “follow” companies and be updated if they have any positions available.
Job hunting requires that you utilize all of the resources and tools available. LinkedIn™ may be the professional networking tool to help you get the job you deserve.