Monday, January 21, 2013

The Benefits of LinkedIn

Lately I have been exploring the possibilities of the social media network known as LinkedIn as a way to promote oneself in the professional world. As it turns out, LinkedIn, in my opinion, is one of the best way to network and get to know professionals in your field.

The best way to start out is by filling in as much information about yourself as you can. Not only does this start to tell people who you are and what you're all about, but it also is a great motivator to get your résumé together, finalize your portfolio, and really delve into the things that you love in your field, and the skills that you have to compete in the professional world.

After that, you're going to need connections. Remember to connect with people that will help you progress in your professional life. If you're in architecture, there's not really a need to connect to Jane, who is living in China to attend a culinary school about asian foods. Yes, this will gain you extra connections, but all of those extra potential connections in your network will be completely irrelevant. After all, people in architecture are probably the biggest purchasers of box dinners with all the time we spend in studio...

Update your profile often. Ask for recommendations from your studio teachers and others who have seen your work. These people can attest to your skills, both professionally and personally. They can express what you can do which is really important, because otherwise it's just your word to a potential employer and there's pretty much nothing else to back it up.

Based on your industry that you select and the past jobs that you input, LinkedIn can recommend jobs it thinks you might be interested in, or even select people to connect with. Note that you should really only connect with people that you know... this is not Facebook or Twitter.

The last part is to join groups. Joining groups that you are interested in opens you to the world of discussion, forums and questions. By joining groups you can surround yourself in the digital world with the experts of your field. Already in the few months I've had a LinkedIn profile, I've been able to participate in discussions about programs and what to use, ask questions to those with a bit more experience than I, and read countless articles about everything from sustainability, to interview advice, to the world's smallest homes.

Basically, I think that LinkedIn takes social media to a whole new level: One bursting with opportunity. If you haven't already checked it out, give it a look. I guarantee it will be worth it.

Today was just another day in...

1 comment:

  1. Excellent tips for Linkedin, Greg! You gotta put the time in to make your profile look professional, informative and, like you also note, being active on the site is super important. As I'm job hunting currently, I try and go on every day. I'm glad we're connected on this forum as well.


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