Job Hunting: Using LinkedIn to Broaden Your View of the World of Work.
If you're job hunting and have not heard of, or used LinkedIn, it might be time to consider joining up and getting connected. LinkedIn is a professional networking phenomenon launched in 2003, which allows people to connect with work colleagues and other professionals to form a network of connections and contacts. The massive success and growth of the site has seen LinkedIn able to boast nearly 240 million members worldwide by October 2013, including executives and professionals from every listed Fortune 500 company.
But how can LinkedIn help you when you're looking for a job? How can you use it to find work opportunities? Through networking and visibility, that's how. It's well known that one of the most powerful methods to help anyone find a job is to use your own personal network of friends, family and work acquaintances. As any recruitment agent or headhunter will tell you, the vast majority of available jobs are never advertised and having a substantial network will always be of benefit when looking for work. LinkedIn allows you to build your professional network, enabling you to see beyond your immediate network to second and third level connections. These are your connections' connections.
One of the great features of LinkedIn is the ability it gives you to find people and companies that may not be part of your immediate network and so may not have occurred to you as potential employers. Whether you have a basic or premium membership, the powerful search facility allows you to seek out individuals in your wider network, your local area or your line of expertise, giving you ideas and potential target companies you can contact about job opportunities.
The key to getting the best view of who is out there, is being able to see as far as possible into other people's networks. The key to being able to see as far as possible into other networks, areas and companies is to have your own professional network established and spread as broadly as possible. You'll be surprised what other companies and professionals start to appear in your second and third level connections when you start to broaden your own network. Take a regular look at the 'People You May Know' section as this uses your existing network to suggest people you may already have had contact with through work, based on their place in the networks of others.
In the world of job hunting, LinkedIn has become a fundamental tool for recruiters. A great idea to expand your own second and third level network is to get yourself connected to a few recruitment professionals. Many recruitment agents and headhunters are happy to link up as they have already acknowledged the value of being able to see into other sectors and areas when they're trying to source experienced candidates. Being linked to their large networks will in turn allow you to see a much expanded second and third level network, opening up new companies and geographical areas to your view. Your searches can then return more valuable results when you're looking for people or companies to contact regarding job opportunities.
The job listing element of the site is becoming more and more popular as companies doing their own recruiting start to realise the potential to target people with the skills and expertise they need. This, combined with the core function of the site in establishing connections, has seen LinkedIn become a core tool for recruiters and job seekers alike. The power of LinkedIn to connect you to new potential employers should not be underestimated. Even if you never actually connect directly to the people you find or the companies you uncover, the website will become an invaluable tool in your job hunting quest for useable intelligence and opportunity.
Article Added: 17/03/2014
Posted By: Paul Docherty