So you 've set up your LinkedIn profile and it is looking great. You've filled everything in, added your skills, experience and uploaded a great picture of yourself ... now what do you do? Utilizing the networking possibilities of LinkedIn and converting your online connections into real life relationships is where the true value lies. Career Development manager Julie Doherty talks about how you can bridge this gap.
LinkedIn is a great way to search various organizations to identify key decision-makers who can help open the door to your new career. From there track down these key people on Twitter or LinkedIn and offer a courteous introduction . While you’re at it, ask them something that will allow them to share their knowledge with you. The fact that you’re engaging with them on a deeper level than simply asking for a job will help you develop an authentic relationship.
Then take the next step ...
Build on those connections and ask if they would be interested in having a chat on the phone. Most people will be interested in extending the connection through a phone conversation. Note, you are not being pushy, you are simply asking someone to extend a conversation. Social media is where the conversation starts but the next level is talking to your connections.
Tempting though it may be to blurt “I am really, really keen to find work. Can you help me?” That is probably not the best way to open a conversation. Ask them what is happening in their world, lives and work. It won’t be long before they bounce the ball back and ask what is happening in your life.
Present yourself well to them
If you are looking to break into a professional field, it’s time to present yourself in a professional way. Check your Facebook photo (is it you at the beach with a bunch of friends?) Make sure your Linked In profile picture is a good head and shoulders shot of a groomed, poised you. Change your email from Ilovechocs@hotmail.com to something more professional.
Despite the extraordinary power of social media, you are still going to have more impact in person. Try and attend company presentations, Careers Fairs and networking events all run by the Careers Centre. Ask relevant questions and seek out key people after the session to talk to. Refer to their LinkedIn profile and build the connection further. Utilizing social media in your job search is one step, but a increasingly vital step, in building your brilliant career.