10 LinkedIn graduate tips – LinkedIn (3)

We’ve come a long way from a worker having just two channels (a resume and a few references) to having the choice of a dozen or more significant ways to spread her ideas. Choose or lose.

Seth Godin


One of the many possibilities Seth Godin may have in mind is building a social media presence over time, starting today. Now you master the basics of LinkedIn (possibly thanks to the two previous posts I devoted to professional networking platform), it may prove useful to get more out of it, to use its full potential and meet your students’ needs. Here are 10  hints to get you started. As soon as you realize there is a lot you can get out of LinkedIn, you’ll discover more by yourselves.job application form

  1. Grow your network of professional connections over time, using the “Add connections” feature to its full potential; do this progressively: colleagues, classmates, suggestions of people you may know. I would personally **not** use my contact list or address book to expand my network, due to privacy issues involved. Read this  research entitled “How social networks are using your email address book data” from the Journalism.co.uk organisation if you’re wondering what the problem with Address Book Importing may be.
  2. Use the “Jobs” section and explore its many possibilities to prepare applying for a job in a more personally targeted way.
  3. Explore your own network from the “Network Statistics” to get a springboard to enrich your existing network.
  4. Get specific tips for young graduates in the “Job Seekers” help page on how to improve your online presence.
  5. Use your LinkedIn profile as a live online CV/resume **and** link to/from it from/to your online property  Google Profile page. Do you think you do not have any site to link to/from? Wrong: use the following if you feel they are / if you have managed to make them relevant –  or create one right now: delicious profile, flickr account, twitter feed/bio, Myspace profile, … My hunch is that the webpage era is over; we have landed in the webpresence period and have to build our online reputation with all possible bits and pieced that are relevant.
  6. Get hints on how to present yourself successfully to your professional peers by reading profiles from successful colleagues, business actors, field experts, …
  7. Look for contact and insider information about companies and organisations that may interest you in searching for jobs or internships in the “Companies” section of the site; there you may find contact people you can contact through your LinkedIn network. Actually, this section of the platform helps you dive into corporations you’re interested in, so: keep tab on this!
  8. Use Job search engines such as Simply Hired (they have local sites for many countries) and its connection to LinkedIn to immediately see who you know in companies that have job opportunities for you. This may make a difference between you and other applicants.
  9. Provide proof of your interest: add apps to your profile – use Slideshare to display  topical and interesting Powerpoint presentations (as a student you are bound to have something nifty on your computer) – provide a reading list improved with some clever reading comments – add your Twitter timeline, or your WordPress blog … You’ll find these apps in the Application Directory.
  10. Start today. Social media’s main cost is time. Time starts today. Building your online reputation is a slow, gradual, progressive process. You cannot grow a network overnight. This is because you cannot buy online reputation. Online reputation is social capital; it is build on trust, on relationship, on non-money currency. Some call it “whuffie”. All these need time to build. That’s why you’d better start today.

I’d really appreciate getting further ideas as comment. One question I have myself is whether you’d recommend LinkedIn as the professional platform of choice, or go Facebook for whatever use, professional or personal. A colleague of mine (thank you Bertrand) had this to say about this: Linkedin (and other professional social networks such as Viadéo) are a MUST for “personal branding”. As consultant, I got quite a lot of requests thanks to it. This is much more efficient than “gossip’s networks” such as Twitter and Facebook)- I use Facebook for my friends but I refuse systematically any professional contact on it. Thank you for commenting.

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great post as usual!

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