You will have heard by now how important networking can be in looking for work. Word of mouth, personal contacts and recommendations are still the best ways to find out about job opportunities. At a networking event I attended last week, recent graduates spoke about how they used LinkedIn and Twitter to develop valuable connections and discover hidden job opportunities. They emphasised just how important it is to maintain a strong online professional presence.
These days most employers will do a quick Google search before interviewing potential candidates. Candidates with a strong professional LinkedIn profile will immediately be at an advantage. You might be thinking, just what does a strong profile look like? A strong profile would include things like: a clear, brief summary of your top skills and achievements and an indication of the type of work or industry you are interested in; show connections to well respected people in a relevant field or industry; show membership in relevant professional associations i.e. Marketing Association, HRINZ, CPA, CAANZ, etc.; include personal recommendations and list professional groups you may be following. It’s easy to grow your networks: if you have been to an interesting talk, lecture or event, invite the people you meet in these situations to connect with you on LinkedIn. Don’t just send one of those ‘automated’ invites, however, take the time to tell them how you’ve met them and what you enjoyed about their talk/presentation, and perhaps invite them for a coffee to continue the conversation. Most people are very happy to meet up with others who show an interest in their work.
Some organisations have a Twitter feed as do people who are active in their industry/field of work. This is another great way to develop valuable connections. Follow people who are active in an area you are interested in and take the time to comment on their tweets. This will get you noticed, and can even lead to the offer of an interview.
What are you waiting for? Get started on LinkedIn and Twitter today. For some more tips, have a look at LinkedIn for Students: https://students.linkedin.com/uk