What’s the best way to get a job right now? Networking. That’s what 80% of HR execs said in a recent survey by Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
The best (and easiest) way to nurture your online network is through LinkedIn, the one social networking site you can’t ignore if you’re a professional. Think of it as a worldwide business mixer where everyone displays their critical information on their nametags.
Here’s how to best use the web site, according to a recent report in The New York Times:
1. Bulk up your LinkedIn profile. More content, rather than less, will make your profile more likely to come up in searches. List major positions and skills. Relax your privacy settings, so anyone can find you.
2. Recommend people you know and they’ll be inclined to return the favor.
3. Network like crazy. Regular users of LinkedIn say a common newcomer mistake is to limit his or her network. Krista Canfield, a LinkedIn spokeswoman, says that to reap the social networking benefits of the site, you need at least 35 connections. (Just make sure those 35 connections don’t drag down your reputation.)
Tip: When you don’t want to accept a person’s connection invitation, deflect the unwanted invite with the Archive button. That way, he doesn’t know you rejected him.
4. Answer questions with authority and post helpful status updates. Such efforts show your expertise on a topic. Example: Joe Rosenberg, a CPA, recently posted a status update telling people about the deadline for quarterly taxes. By answering questions about tax matters, he estimates he’s received $10,000 to $15,000 in new business.
5. Join groups to hear about pertinent events for your industry or profession. Example: The owner of a small handbag business joined a dozen groups related to her field and participated in discussions on them. She says the connections allowed others in the industry to discover her and invite her to events in Europe, North America and Asia.
Online resource: Find more ways HR professionals can use LinkedIn to their advantage at www.theHRSpecialist.com/linkedin.