Monday, January 9, 2012


Written by Laura McGehee, Marketing Intern

            Searching for a way to promote your accomplishments, network with potential employers, or find a job? LinkedIn is a social media tool that gives young adults and job seekers the professional platform they need to expand their network and search for future careers.
            With more than 120 million registered users, LinkedIn allows you to connect with career- minded individuals all over the globe. Users of this site can “connect” with past coworkers, current colleagues, or search for connections at other places of employment.  Finding individuals from high school and college can also help grow your connections and offer a networking tool free of the clutter and unprofessionalism of Facebook and Twitter.
            Another great aspect of LinkedIn is that employers can list jobs and contact you through your page.  By using the summary section of your profile to list your accomplishments, skills, and resume, employers can search for individuals who meet their qualifications.  Job recruiting companies such as Brooksource, KForce, etc. use these websites often to search for hardworking individuals who match current job openings.
            On LinkedIn, you can follow certain companies to get information about new job postings or updates on the company.  There is also a live running feed of the activity of all your connections.  Users can also bookmark jobs that they wish to apply for and search directly for employment from their page.
            You can also join groups on LinkedIn to meet individuals with common backgrounds or interests.  For example, UK has a “UK alumni” group which allows users to connect with UK graduates who may have advice for you in your career endeavors.  Joining groups may make it easier for hiring companies to find you and also for you to connect with individuals who work for companies of interest.
            An important aspect of your page is the recommendations section.  You can recommend past employers or colleagues and others can recommend you as well.  For instance, a past employer could write a recommendation saying that you worked hard and were a pleasure to work with at a certain company.  Hiring companies or individuals looking at your page can see that you have succeeded in the past, therefore increasing your chances of obtaining a job.
            While the basic LinkedIn site is free to use, an affordable upgrade of your page is also available.  This upgrade includes features that allow you to see who is looking at your profile, how you have shown up in the search engine, and a graph of the activity on your page over a few weeks period.  These added bonuses can give you an idea of what kind of people and companies are interested in you and also what you may need to change in your profile to get more action on your page.
            There is also a mobile version of the website that puts networking and job searching at your finger tips.  For recent graduates and those graduating in May, this could be the breakthrough you need to find the company you want to work for.  As a current user of this site, I joined to inform companies of when I am graduating, what I have accomplished, and that I would be an asset in specific fields.  LinkedIn provides me a way to show who I am as a young professional and connect with other driven individuals. So, join LinkedIn today; create a profile, connect with others, and find the job you have always wanted.

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