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What is LinkedIn and why is it Important?

An important technique for getting noticed and landing interviews is through social networking. The ability to make connections with other people in education or any industry unlocks tons of potential collaboration and job opportunities. That is why social networking sites like LinkedIn are such a great tool for job seekers and any professional. LinkedIn is a community of 50 million members and counting, who are all joined for professional purposes, which include hiring and employment searching, sharing ideas and creating business opportunities. The best part is that your LinkedIn profile can be used to complement your resume, letting hiring committees peruse your expertise and skills on their schedule. It is so important to have an impressive profile that will showcase your strengths and skills. You also need your profile content to be keyword-rich, enabling your profile to be successfully picked up by search engines and employer searches. Creating an online LinkedIn profile will provide you with:
  • An effective online career tool that displays all your important strengths, skills, and experience.
  • The ability to be found by employers in both LinkedIn and Google searches.
  • The opportunity to network about career opportunities with old friends, colleagues and new connections.
In addition to creating a profile LinkedIn also enables you to interact with others through specific interest groups, use applications to share information and collect recommendations from others.

Groups

By joining groups on LinkedIn, you can make contact with some people that may be in your field (education) but not necessarily in your network (working at your school). Members can start discussions, ask questions and connect with others in the same field. It is in these groups where you can display your knowledge on a particular topic you may be passionate about. You can comment on group discussions or post your own articles or research that can help build your online reputation.

Applications

LinkedIn is constantly updating their site. There are many extra applications that you can add to your profile. You can use Linkedin to send Twitter updates and tweets and you can also monitor key phrases on Twitter. You can post events, polls, news or even link your professional profile to your blog! You can share presentations, events, documents and other media that you want to share with your network.

Recommendations

LinkedIn also provides opportunities to give other users recommendations which can then be reciprocated. Much like testimonials, these are then displayed on your profile and can enhance your online standing. Building recommendations is a great way to gain references and network in your own field. No matter what you use LinkedIn for, it is a useful resource to take advantage of. It is an easy and simple way to keep up with the latest in your professional field and build relationships with those of the same interests.
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