My introduction to social media several years ago was not through Facebook; it was via an invitation from a former colleague to connect on LinkedIn. I ignored the invitation for several weeks until I buckled under the pressure of the recurring (and super-annoying) reminders LinkedIn continued to send. Now over four years later, LinkedIn has literally changed my life and the direction it has taken. While this may sound like an exaggeration, it’s not.
LinkedIn has presented me with opportunities for professional connections that I would not have otherwise made. It’s also likely one of the best vehicles around for shameless self-promotion, which is increasingly valuable during challenging times. In a former professional life, I used LinkedIn to promote my employer’s mission and events. And the direction that my career has now taken – a very happy and rewarding one indeed – is due in large part to LinkedIn.
Still reluctant to get started? Here are some not-so-well known facts about LinkedIn:
- Many recruiters and HR professionals scour LinkedIn looking for prospective job candidates whom they might not find through traditional channels. I know folks who have been approached by recruiters as a result of their LinkedIn profiles.
- Looking for a new job? Download the web browser-integrated free JobInsider toolbar (http://learn.linkedin.com/job-seekers/). The toolbar identifies contacts within the external job website you’re perusing and matches them with connections in your network. Network and get your foot in the door ahead of the competition!
- Hiring? LinkedIn has some really robust recruiting tools around (http://talent.linkedin.com/?pin=tr02).
- If you’re in sales and are looking for leads, LinkedIn integrates with Salesforce (a monthly fee applies).
- To build your network and stay in touch with your connections, download the free Outlook Social Connector app (http://www.linkedin.com/static?key=tools&trk=hb_ft_tools).
- Look to the LinkedIn blog for tips on how to get the most out of the platform (http://blog.linkedin.com/).
- New to LinkedIn and not sure where to begin? Start here (http://learn.linkedin.com/).
Not feeling warm and fuzzy? Read more of LinkedIn’s success stories on their website (http://press.linkedin.com/success-stories).
How does LinkedIn work for you? Stay tuned to this blog for additional LinkedIn tips! In the meantime, please share your tips with other readers here!