You did what “they” told you to do.
You spent your lunch hour (or two) creating a LinkedIn Profile so you could start networking for a new job. This was going to be the ticket.
You sent and accepted invitations.
Why, you even have over 50 contacts. But the party never got started. You might as well be “LockedOut” for all the good LinkedIn is doing you.
With over 100 million subscribers worldwide, LinkedIn is a very powerful networking tool, but if your profile is gathering dust, it’s just another one of those things you “should” be doing.
Here are some basic tips on ways you can use LinkedIn in your career search.
1. Create your LinkedIn Profile if you don’t already have one.
Much of this information will come from your resume. Build up
contacts by inviting those you know and joining relevant groups.
If you are connected to someone with 500 contacts, you have potential
access to all of these people.
2. SEARCH your area of interest by INDUSTRIES, JOBS, COMPANIES or GROUPS. By clicking on Advanced in the search box; you will be able to target your search.
In an Advanced Job Search you can specify:
3. Research a specific company by searching under COMPANIES. Here you can view recent hires, as well as current and former employees, job postings and company statistics. You can also “follow” a company to keep up with the latest information.
4. Study profiles of employees with jobs of interest to you. Note the experience level and career progression. This will give you an idea of what kind of background you need to obtain this type of position.
5. Check for a LinkedIn GROUP in your area of interest. For example, if want to learn more about being a Medical Science Liaison, search for this under GROUPS. Some groups are restricted while others have open membership. These groups can be for networking, job postings, recruiting, and information sharing.
6. Find potential contacts. Now that you have some background information, you are in a better position to connect with someone. To contact a LinkedIn member, you need one of the following:
- To have their email address
- To be a friend
- To be a former colleague
- T be a business partner
- To be a member in one of their LinkedIn groups
If none of these are true, you can:
Check your 1st degree contacts and ask for an introduction to the potential contact.
Warning: If 5 people you contact report to LinkedIn that they don’t know you, your account will be restricted. If this happens, contact LinkedIn and promise to obey the rules.
7. Reach out. Send a personalized message to a chosen contact on LinkedIn. Briefly describe yourself and inquire if they would be willing to follow-up via email or a short phone conversation. Let them know what kind of information you are seeking.
Recently I contacted several recruiters, a medical science liaison, and a medical writer through LinkedIn. I sent customized messages and was able to speak with each person directly. One recruiter even called me back from the ICU!
8. Networking Etiquette
- Be considerate and appreciative of the person’s time.
- Follow-up with a thank you email within 24 hours.
- Consider how you may be able to return the favor.
- Help those who seek you out.
And most of all have fun and enjoy the power of social networking!
For additional tips on using LinkedIn click here .