NJFS keeps coming back to internet tools. It’s pretty clear that the tool of choice for job search is Linkedin. While it has some competitors (Plaxo, Biznik, Spoke. Etc) and they all have reasonable value propositions, Linkedin is the one that has market penetration. It’s the one that recruiters scan first, the one that hiring influences check and the one your business contacts are most likely to be part of. There are also some great resources on the net to help us optimize our use of it. Check out Rita Ashley’s free white paper here.
Some things that seem sure:
· Be complete. Fill out the whole thing, including a good picture. If you need to have a pro take the photo, do it.
· In the “current” field, be honest. If what you are doing is volunteer work, put it down. If you left your last gig 4 months ago, be honest. It will be noted and you are not fooling anyone.
· Connect with everyone that seems appropriate. Becoming a Linkedin ”lion” is great for the Marketing Manager, but if you are a developer, then 1000 plus connections is probably not a good idea. Everyone does have more than 25 real connections and most of us can break over 100 while including only people we really do know.
· Recommend folks that you believe in and ask them for recommendations in return. Recommending others extends your visibility and being recommended provides you with credibility. Both need to be honest and both are important.
· Your connections are your network. If you have connected with people that you are comfortable forwarding an introduction for, then you can assume they feel the same. Understanding that you can’t recommend everyone on the list, you are not asking that of them. You are asking what you are willing to give.
A couple of great sites for volunteering: WWW.idealist.org and www.volunteermatch.org.