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Can LinkedIn Help You Land a New Job?

Social networking is here to stay, but can LinkedIn really help you get hired?

Yes, it definitely can “help.” I work closely with my clients, writing resumes and advising them on how to use this social media more effectively in their job search.

LinkedIn is widely used by internal staffing departments in many healthcare, hi-tech, and in many Fortune 1000 companies. You may hear more about Twitter or Facebook, but if you seek a promotion or new job, LinkedIn is the right network to use.

Why? Two reasons:

1. There are more than 100 million users on LinkedIn. It’s becoming more social, easier to use, and a recruiting resource employers are using.

2. 65% of all jobs are found through networking, according to the Department of Labor. Expanding your network of contacts is essential. LinkedIn is an ideal tool for job hunters to add to their job search arsenals. Just going online and signing up for LinkedIn won’t do it. Utilizing this resource takes time, effort and some savvy direction. The benefits of networking are well-documented. Someone may tell you about a job opening or new company that may need your skills. Another connection may send your resume on through internal channels to reach the decision maker. Expanding your on-line rolodex is essential for career success in today’s job market.

LinkedIn may seem overwhelming at first. Here are some tips on how to more effectively use this tool in your job search:

Have an objective. Know what your purpose is for creating a LinkedIn account. If you think you can create a simple profile, add your resume and wait for employers to call you, it’s going to be an eternity of a wait. Just opening an account will not help you get more than a handful of connections.

You must work at it. Ask your friends. Search for their names and invite people you know to join your network. Actively begin to invite friends and colleagues to connect to you. Be sure to write a quick note to personalize your request. If you need a boost, go to http://www.linkedin.com/NancyDube and in the search area, and invite me to connect with you. I’ll accept, and you’ll instantly have hundreds of connections – many of whom will be HR professionals and recruiters, such as myself.

Remember who your audience is. You don’t just paste your resume on LinkedIn. This is a social medium, which means you need to summarize your background. You wouldn’t hand out your résumé before introducing yourself, so don’t do it here. Instead, describe your experience and abilities, as you would to someone you just met. Also, write in short blocks of copy, with visual or text drawing a roadmap of your expereince.

Create an Enticing Profile and Brand. This is the key to your success on LinkedIn. Everyone can see the profile you make of yourself. It is your self-promotion, but it’s not all business. In fact, it needs to be inviting, with a genuine personal touch. Carefully fill out the data fields, college, past employers, etc…these are how other people find you, so be sure to create a complete picture. Take time to develop what you say, so that you convey your experience and work strengths and also the personality traits that make you unique. Think short fragments, action verbs, and be sure to include many of your accomplishments. Picture yourself at a business meeting. Think about how you introduce yourself to strangers. That’s what you are doing on LinkedIn, so do try to be genuine in the tone you use to write your profile.

Upload a recent picture of yourself — smiling, of course, and looking friendly. People want to see you now. A head shot of a smiling you is most appealing.

— Nancy Dube

Nancy Dube is the President of Dube Consulting and brings twently five years of Human Resource expertise to her clients. Nancy provides resume writing services, as well as job placement assistance. Nancy also works with small businesses to improve their Human Resources processes and procedures and is known for her work improving employee relationships. Nancy is available to speak to businesses and organizations.

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