Social networking is great for catching up with friends and family, especially if you live away at college or are bogged down with an unsightly amount of work and other time commitments. But now social networking sites are useful for professional connections too. Thanks to all of the exceptional features LinkedIn has to offer, you can use the internet to find job and internship opportunities, make professional connections, and build your resume’. Here are some other features of the site you may or may not know about.
1. Connections and Recommendations
Let’s face it: having a connection for the job that you’re applying for is going to put you way ahead of the game. Hiring can be a gamble, and employers feel much better about hiring someone whose character can be vouched for. LinkedIn is all about adding the professionals you have already interacted with, or making new “connections.” Not only might this give you an in to your dream job through association, but this site has a great feature where you can also ask your connections to give a general “recommendation,” or their stamp of approval, on how great you are. When an employer sees on your profile that several people have recommended you, that is a very promising sight!
2. The Inside Scoop on Companies
Another great feature of LinkedIn is the information they provide about companies. Employers are able to post everything from job listings, to employee experiences, history, benefits, and even internship availabilities. Some even have links to YouTube videos or press releases about the job, a great tool for learning more about the organization. When you find a place that you like, you can “follow” them and know exactly when there are new positions open, giving you an edge on competitors.
3. Group Membership
Did you know you can join groups on LinkedIn related to your professional interests? You can then follow discussions about topics related to that group, or start your own discussion. This can help to brand you as an expert in your field, able to contribute to important discourse about relevant issues. Potential employers see those that actively participate in these kinds of discussions as passionate and informed about their chosen industry. You can even see which professionals are most “influential” in your group, and follow them for an impressive connection.
4. Representative Profile
LinkedIn allows employers to see your profile and view your resumé at their leisure- sometimes before you even express an interest in their company. You can even build yourself an online portfolio, and employers can follow links to blog posts, pictures, or news articles.
5. Reading List
This feature is very unique, allowing you to see what those in your industry and networks are reading so that you can keep up with the leading professionals. You can also post what you are reading yourself, showing employers your commitment to remaining informed about your field.
Show the world what you’ve got! Get started on your LinkedIn profile today!
Do you have a LinkedIn account? Has it helped you find any opportunities? Do you think it’s worth it to join?