Those who dismiss LinkedIn as just being “Facebook for your business life” are selling this valuable tool, and themselves, short.
Yes, LinkedIn works hard to be many things to many people, and now that they’re part of Microsoft we can expect much, much more, but a look at the fundamentals suggests how LinkedIn facilitates the way our working world works these days.
Role of the Resumé
Many never stop to think about the core role and goal of our resumé. Here are a few:
- Obtain appointments for job interviews. This has always been the top goal of any resumé.
- Describe You, What You’ve Done, What You Bring. That’s what most people think a resumé is for.
- Check in a Box. These days, companies still want to have a copy of your resumé on file when they consider hiring you.
Your LinkedIn profile serves as a vastly expanded version of #2. Not only does it list your work history and educational experience, it also provides an opportunity for others to celebrate you.
A quick real-life story to illustrate how LinkedIn does much more when you’re searching for your next great work adventure.
A friend of mine called and said he needed my help. His company had missed payroll twice and he was becoming worried. He asked if I could help with his resumé and I said “no.” This, of course, shocked him.
I explained that a resumé was no longer the best way to seek new opportunities. I asked how many people he knew. As would most people, he had no idea. I implored him to simply start calling people and telling them about his need to find a new opportunity. Don’t ask them for a job, I told him, just tell them about your situation. Just about everybody you call, I added, will have also have been in that same situation, probably recently. He was still skeptical and really wanted my help with his resumé.
I asked him which he would prefer, to have a piece of paper that describes him, what he has accomplished, and what he brings to any company, or to have someone who knows him well introduce him personally to someone else they know well and who trusts their advice. He acknowledged that the personal introduction sounded a lot more effective.
We agreed that he would try making those calls and let me know how it went.
Two weeks later the same friend called and said he needed my help. “Déjà vu,” I said. Didn’t we already have this conversation? “Different problem,” he replied. He then explained to me that he received three different job offers and wasn’t sure which one to pick.
The great advantage of this story is that it happens to be true. It really happened and has happened repeatedly in different forms. Personal networking, calling people you know who can introduce you to other people they know, including those who might have opportunities for you, is the way most people find new jobs, new gigs, new opportunities these days.
Where Does LinkedIn Fit In?
LinkedIn exists, in part, as an online catalogue of the people that people know. That’s the most valuable resource anyone has!
Beyond job search, if you’re looking for resources to help you with research, projects, or any other endeavor, LinkedIn embodies a wealth of searchable information. Once you’ve found someone you’d like to speak with, you can also find out who you and they know in common, who can introduce you to each other. You can expand your personal network with high precision and focus.
You can also share your observations and interests with everyone you know, and attract others by posting in Groups. You can keep your finger on the pulse of what’s going on in the various communities you consider yourself a part of by monitoring those Groups. You can publish your thoughts where others may read them.
Networking – It’s all about linking in
Personal networking is the most important activity anyone participates in. None of us succeeds alone, and the more good you can do for more people, the more good finds its way back around to you. Meet more people all the time by leveraging the power of LinkedIn.