Tonight, while sitting at the kitchen table with a few friends, my friend Dan and I were conversing about upcoming opportunities in our professional lives. We talked about the importance of social media, edited each other’s resumes and spent a great deal of time talking about LinkedIn. Our other friend, Kait, had barely heard of LinkedIn and had no idea how to use it. After a few minutes of blank stares, we finally convinced her to create an account.
If you are a college student and you don’t have a LinkedIn account, please don’t read any further until you do! Seriously, though. Did you go register? Good. Moving on then…
LinkedIn is undeniably good for connecting with individuals. But there are plenty of other perks as well! First of all, by providing future employers with your account information you are proving that you are dedicated to branding yourself in a professional manner and that you are well versed in different social media platforms.
Following companies you are interested in, or interviewing for, is also great. A recent article on GreatResumesFast.com explains how valuable this can be during your job search.
In addition to giving you a sense of whether the company is hiring at all, it allows you to see the backgrounds of the candidates who are landing jobs there. Although it may be frustrating—or even painful—to see who’s beating you out for particular positions, having that information is also priceless for knowing how to position yourself as a stronger candidate going forward. One more bonus: you can tell when someone was hired for a position even if the company doesn’t directly contact or notify you.
Have you had a great experience with your job hunt using LinkedIn? Let me know! I’d love to hear your story.
(This post also appears on Emily’s blog here)