September 17, 2011

Tips for using LinkedIn well

LinkedIn is a useful tool when looking for jobs or helping friends look for jobs. If you don't have a full profile on LinkedIn, I encourage you to set one up now. Here's why:

Many of us work as knowledge workers. It's harder to show evidence of what we've done or what our accomplishments are, since many of them seem intangible. So, we need to find a way to show more evidence of our experience and accomplishments.

LinkedIn allows you to describe your full career history and to focus on your accomplishments. You have space to tell stories about your achievements. You can include links to your writing. You can go into detail about the sales you've closed, the money you've saved, and the lives you've changed.

The other important piece of evidence you can show is a recommendation. Each person you've worked with matters when you're looking for a job, because their testimony means something to the people in their network. And the testimony you give about your colleagues says something about you: you are the type of person who is confident enough to share praise about other people and will vouch for others.

Finally, you can keep tabs on your high school and college friends and see what it is they're doing for a living and a career. Catching up is now easy!