Using LinkedIn to Establish your Career

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In this age of social media, LinkedIn has emerged as the clear choice for business networking, just as Facebook has for personal networks. As LinkedIn profiles outline skills and experience, it has become a logical place for employers to search for and check the backgrounds of potential staff, and as such is becoming as important as a CV.
It is therefore essential for people to have a complete LinkedIn profile, with professional looking portrait image. The key is to not only list employment positions held, but also what you learned or developed from each role. From this employers can match the skills you have developed with those needed in the role being recruited for. Browse the profiles of others for inspiration on writing style.

While university graduates may not have any work experience, this does not mean they should not have a LinkedIn presence. Activities such as student associations, clubs or volunteer activities are also relevant, and as per the above point the key thing is to include what skills and abilities were developed as a result. Having a LinkedIn profile also suggests that you are knowledgeable about social media trends (beyond Facebook!) and how to present yourself.
For those soon to graduate you might wish to connect with recruitment professionals, for example six months before graduating. Be sure to personalize the connection request with a brief mention of your targeted job type and key strengths.
LinkedIn can also be a useful educational tool. By joining groups for the desired industry you wish to join and reading conversations, you may pick up tips from experienced industry professionals, and gain knowledge that you can then demonstrate in job interviews. Often LinkedIn posts will sometimes relate to newly released industry reports or insights.

Once you have joined groups and identified industry professionals from your desired industry or employer, it is OK to contact them (ask to connect to your network), however you should always do so with a specific reason. This could be requesting career advice or commenting on a post that the person has made. People will often be happy to offer suggestions on what skills you should be looking to develop and what channels you should use to build industry knowledge. Make sure you ask politely, and appeal to the persons ego by starting with a sentence such as “I understand that you are an experienced and respected professional in the field of…”. If you are lucky you might be handed to the person’s HR department or flagged as a potential employee.

Avoid asking for a job directly. The person you are contacting might not be the decision maker or be currently hiring, and this would appear rude and suggest that you are lacking in judgment. Also choose your targets carefully, and avoid spamming too many people or sending a template connect request without reason or a personal message.

Finding a career

Finding a career

Writer of this article

 

Steve Corry





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