LinkedIn – Professional Networking

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Recently I’ve become more aware of the advantages of LinkedIn and would like to share some insight about why you should use it and how it can be beneficial to your career. If you’ve never visited it before, LinkedIn is a professional networking website. Users set up their profiles that consist of location, education and work history, skills, website links and other details – a digital resume. Once your profile is set up you’ll want to start expanding your network. The concept of this is like the six degrees of Kevin Bacon game, except that your LinkedIn network can actually be useful. Here’s why this is important…

Employers
Employers are utilizing the internet in ways outside of just posting job listings on Craigslist or Monster.com. It is commonplace for someone to look up your MySpace or Facebook profiles after you’ve applied for a position. It may not be in your best interest for them to see how much partying you have done in the past or present. The best practice is to keep your profiles private or free from any incriminating content. The advantage to the LinkedIn profile is that you can feel confident when someone is searching your name that they will see your professional credentials. It also works to your benefit when you have connections in common with potential employers. You are more likely to be hired when you have some type of relation to the people you want to work for.

Jobs/Recommendations
LinkedIn has its own job listing section where users can post positions, some of which are exclusive to the site. Unlike other job sites, these posts contain the details of the person who posted the job. So you can view their profile and see if you are connected to anyone in their network. If you are, but maybe a few connections away – you can always find your mutual connection and request an introduction. In this way you will find connections to people that you would have never known before. You can also give and receive recommendations that are viewable on your profile. When people view your profile the two things they’ll notice first are 1) how many connections you have, 2) how many recommendations you have. Getting recommendations from colleagues and former employers can really make a great impression, especially when they are connected to future employers.

Networking
You never know when you will cross paths with former employers or colleagues in the business world so it is always best to stay friendly with contacts. LinkedIn gives you the ability to take advantage of contacts in a way never before – instead of asking around if anyone knows a graphic design company looking to hire in the Greater NYC area, you can browse your network by location and industry and contact them directly. Every one of the Fortune 500 companies has at least one executive on the LinkedIn network.

Get Started Today!
If you haven’t signed up already – get on it by visiting LinkedIn. You can start by importing contacts from Gmail, Hotmail, AOL or searching for people by name, college or company. Here are some contact details for the Go Media crew to start building your network:

Chris – chris {at} gomedia {dot} us
Jeff – jeff {at} gomedia {dot} us
Haley – haley {at} gomedia {dot} us
Nicole – nicole {at} gomedia {dot} us

About the Author, Go Media

Go Media is a creative agency based in Cleveland, OH that specializes in print design, branding, and web development. We are also behind WMC Fest, GoMediaZine, the Arsenal, Mockup Everything and others.

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