I’ve noticed a few changes and bits of news about LinkedIn and apparently, we are not too far away from a LinkedIn redesign. You can’t so easily share tweets to your LinkedIn profile now, which is a change I like as this has given it a more professional focus and taken some of the clutter out of the updates. In Facebook world, following the IPO, they are seemingly moving in to LinkedIn territory with Facebook Jobs. This has made me think about LinkedIn and how it fits in with the social networks I use.
LinkedIn is probably third or fourth in terms of social network usage for me, behind Twitter and Facebook and about even with YouTube. The way I use all of these sites is very different and I for one like the way that each network fulfils a different niche; Facebook for keeping up with friends and family and what is going on at the rugby club, Twitter for following and sharing mostly work related content and YouTube for finding content about subjects I am interested in. With all of these different networks to sign in and out of (not to mention my occasional visits to instagram, foursquare and pinterest) I can see why people often say ‘I wish there was one place that did it all’, however, I like the differences between these sites and the different aspects of my life that they apply to.
Having recently changed jobs and been in the job market, I can vouch for the fact that prospective employers do look at your LinkedIn profile (love the ‘who’s viewed your profile’ feature!!) and as more companies and individuals get on board, I can only see LinkedIn profiles being more important when looking for work or in the process of hiring that new team member.
- Don’t post things you don’t want your professional network to see! i.e. ‘I’m looking for new opportunities’ might not go down too well with your existing employer.
- Get your profile completed and up to date; skills, specialities, previous roles, job title and job description can all help your profile become more visible in searches and are an opportunity to impress potential new employers.
- Join some (relevant) groups. There are lots of different groups on LinkedIn, many of them are full of spammy links, but if you can find a good group where people are talking about subjects relating to your industry, this can be a great networking opportunity.
- Explore the features, I personally really like the events feature under ‘more’ on the menu tab, as it’s a good way to look for events near you in your industry.
- Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that LinkedIn can replace actual face to face networking! The value of networking is well documented and LinkedIn can add another layer to this, with a good presence adding to your credibility, but nothing beats actually getting out there and meeting people face to face!
Please share some of your experiences on LinkedIn, are you selective about who you connect with, or are you happy to connect with anyone just to get your numbers up? What tips would you share with people on using LinkedIn? Any work related nightmares on Facebook?