Thursday, November 4, 2010

It's Not Your Mother's LinkedIn

Have you tended to your LinkedIn profile lately? If you're actively seeking employment, it's likely that you visit LinkedIn at least weekly. Even if you're happily employed, this recession has taught you to nurture your networks and leverage social media to maintain valuable contacts.

Yesterday, LinkedIn announced new features aimed to improve results for active and passive jobseekers. LinkedIn Job For You leverages the information provided in your profile to serve up job ads that match your experience. Early tests show that the recommendations prove to be pretty accurate. To do: Make sure your profile is up-to-date, accurate and uses descriptive words. Avoid abbreviations and jargon, and make sure you that you highlight your relevant experience in the summary section.

Another long awaited feature, LinkedIn Referral Engine, is scheduled to be fully released in the first half of 2011, but some LinkedIn customers (employers) are using a beta version. The Referral Engine will make it easier for employees to refer their LinkedIn contacts for open positions. Employees are often incentivized to submit referrals -- many companies offer cash bonuses when a referred contact gets hired. What does this mean to you? In this case, size matters. The larger your network, the better chance that one of your contacts will refer you for an open position.

Lastly, have you checked out LinkedIn Company pages? They are terrific resources when researching potential employers. I'll write a more in-depth post about how to leverage the rich information found in LinkedIn Company pages next week. In the meantime, have a great weekend!

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