LinkedIn can be a great tool for job seekers. Articles and job-seeking strategies that leverage LinkedIn are constantly popping up. But what about those who are generally happy with their job? What’s in it for them?
I’ve been on LinkedIn for a few years, yet I’ve never used it to find a job. I have a decent network of people from and have fully filled out my profile. So now what? What’s in it for me?
The other day, I made an update to my status letting everyone know what I’m working on (a campaign about the federal stimulus funding). Out of the blue, I received a message from a previous manager, along with a recommendation. How cool is that? It got me to thinking about what LinkedIn is all about.
It’s about building your personal brand: This is all about you, but professionally. Sure you may be on Twitter or Facebook, but this page is all about your professional life. It’s you resume that goes along with the personality and insights you provide through all of your other mediums.
It’s about staying networked with people you’ve come in contact with: I just got back from a conference with a pile of business cards. I debated what to do with them – should I write descriptive notes on the back of the cards with what they do, what they look like, what we talked about? Seemed like a lot of work – then I got the bright idea of adding them on LinkedIn! Problem solved. All but one of the contacts were on LinkedIn.
It’s about joining groups: Keep the conversation going. You can get a lot of information from being a part of the LinkedIn groups, and provide a lot of information too! By responding to requests for advice and weighing in on subjects, you’re building your network even further. Even if you aren’t directly connected, you are getting in front of people with the same interests as you. Plus, when you need advice you’ll have a group of people who will return the favor.
It gives you an excuse to ASK for recommendations: Who thought asking for recommendations was ever going to be easy? And once you received one, be it for admission to college or for a new job, you never got use out of it again. With the LinkedIn recommendations, they’re there for the long haul. Next time someone thanks you and says they owe you one, simply ask for a LinkedIn recommendation to go with that beer!
It gives you a chance to give kudos to those that deserve it: If you work with someone great, tell everyone about it. Wouldn’t you want them to do it for you?
It gives you a network, ‘just in case’: You never know when you will need to tap into your networking resources on LinkedIn. With the economy down and the unemployment rate up, LinkedIn and other social media networking strategies are critical.
I decided to check myself out on the Internet. Now that I’m on all these networks, I decided I should see what ‘Strangers’ can see about me. I’ve been pretty careful in the past, and in recent times have done a decent job of monitoring the things I post… but after my Tweet showing up for my director, and getting a notification that my exboyfriend was ‘following’ me on Twitter, I think I better re-examine!
When I Googled my Full Name, the first 3 results that came up were for Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
1) Facebook didn’t have my picture, but it did have the groups I’m in and what I’m a fan of, which includes my school and organizations I’m in.I went into my account settings and changed everything so that JUST my friends could see everything, and in ‘Search result content’, unchecked ‘My friends list’ and ‘Pages I am a fan of’. Now you really can’t see anything personal about me at all, just that I’m on Facebook. Switching into ‘Image’ search, there was an image of me attributed to facebook, so hopefully that has been changed now that I fixed my settings.
2) LinkedIn had my current workplace and school, but since it’s for professional networking, I think that’s ok. Just for the heck of it, I decided to check out the account settings and see what my options are. There are a few options to limit what is shown, but off the company you currently work for shown at the top of the screen is not possible. Little Scary…
3) Twitter was the freakiest – it showed a message I sent someone telling them where I work. Creepy. More account settings… ‘Protect My Updates’ needed to be checked.
Other things that showed up were my school records and running times, messages I had posted to my school’s blog using my full name, and a whole bunch of information that wasn’t me (nothing compromising, PHEW)
So the moral of the story is: I thought I was being careful, but it’s still pretty easy to find personal things out about ya, so be cautious!
Update 1: Unprotected my Twitter account updates after a coworker told me he felt creepy having to ask to follow me. Hopefully they will enable more variations to their security in the future.
Update 2: Removed the screen shot images on this post after I was told it was a little hypocritical to post about security then show my information on the shots… point taken!
Recommended a former coworker on LinkedIn, and got in touch with someone from high school on Twitter! All before noon on a Saturday… pretty good! Hopefully I will do some things today that I can Yelp about!
So as I write, I am installing Twhirl at the recommendation of a friend. Apparently no one updates Twitter from the web anymore… So it’s a program that shows updates from your desktop. I can have it show my facebook updates too (I just can’t quite figure that part out yet).
I’m really starting to think I should build a website with my iWeb 09. It’s so cool and looks like it could be fairly easy/fun. Something to start thinking about…
So I forgot a few ‘networks’ I’m on. LinkedIn. And I guess I could consider Nike+ a social network as well, especially after running 3.8 miles over lunch! I logged in today and set a goal: 12 runs over the next 4 weeks. I think that’s attainable, since I’m supposed to be running 3 days per week over lunch, so that right there should push me over my goal.
As I spend my first official ‘hour-only’ foray into keeping up on being totally networked, I am feeling optimistic. I can’t lie, I cheated a little and looked at Twitter and Facebook during work today, but that’s ok, right?
To become ever more efficient in my social networking ways, I have created a favorites list and added it to my bookmarks bar in Safari as an autoclick – so one click, and it launches all my sites in tabs. AWESOME!
My biggest questions still lie with twitter – hashtags? Anyone? I don’t rightly understand them quite yet. Here is what I found:
1) You follow ‘hashtags’, they in turn follow you.
2) You go to their website, http://hashtags.org and can see what’s going on in the corresponding hashtag area.
That’s all – once I get there, I am lost – how do I easily search for subject matter? I will work on this.
I’m also coming along on this blog. I added tags to this post! Now there is a step in the right direction. Any tips? Guilty Pleasure: Celebrity Gossip: Have you seen Robert Pattinson on the cover of GQ? Here are the outtakes. Love. It.
Well, my friends, I do. And I’m going to do it in only an hour per night. Sounds crazy, right? Yep, I agree.
After being a member of Facebook and Myspace for about 5 years now, I want to see what all the hype is about these other sites. I joined Twitter last night (brandiheinz, follow me!) and Yelp today (not sure how you can add me yet, I’ll get back to ya on that one). I never saw the point of wasting all my time on these sites; so, my goal is to spend 1 hour total each night making updates in addition to this blog. Seems pretty impossible, but I’m confident. I’ll keep you updated!
Oh yeah, any suggestions for other sites I should be joining?