There’s no denying that social networking sites like LinkedIn can prove extremely beneficial to job searches today. The problem is that few people are actually utilizing this incredible resource in a way that can have a positive impact on their job searches. There is a right and a wrong way to use LinkedIn and any social networking sites to further your job search efforts. Here are a few mistakes you’ll want to avoid as you make the most of the tools technology has to offer today.
Don’t Dive Headfirst into the Job Search
You shouldn’t just dive right in and start spamming the site with requests to help you in your job search. It might seem like your most desperate hour but that’s not the face you want to present to potential allies in your efforts to land a new job. Social networking is all about developing relationships and making connections. Take the time to get to know people or to reconnect with the people you already know.
You’ll gain a lot more respect by showing a little restraint and have much better results. LinkedIn, at its heart, is still a social network. While it is one that has a more professional and business-like atmosphere there is still a certain protocol or system of etiquette that is expected.
Do Take Advantage of LinkedIn Groups
Becoming an active and contributing member of the right groups can help you share your knowledge and gain a reputation as a leader in your field. However, joining the wrong groups or using the groups for blatant self-promotion is likely to backfire. It’s a fine balance and one that needs to be carefully walked.
You’ll gain a much better reputation and build more good will by acting as your own good will ambassador and using your knowledge, skills, and talents to help others than by trying to promote yourself or asking for jobs.
You should also make an effort to join groups that reflect well on you and your intentions to gain employment and not those they may not show you in a favorable light to potential employers.
Do Venture Off the World Wide Web
LinkedIn is a great tool for making contacts. But, you’re going to need to take those contacts off line in order to build stronger relationships. The “Know, Like, Trust” ideology is one that is heavily promoted at LinkedIn and many groups host events offline in their communities in order to connect with people who work in specific employment fields, live in certain communities, and/or who share common interests.
It’s attendance at these meetings that makes all the difference in the world. Join. Contribute. Attend. Get to know the people in your network and who may have job openings you qualify for or be connected with someone who does. It’s the “five handshake” rule in action.
It’s easy to feel all alone when you’re in the market for a new job. It’s definitely hard to be patient. But, if you take your time and go about networking with sites like LinkedIn the right way from the beginning you’ll enjoy a much greater reward for your efforts in the end.
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