I think a lot of people think of LinkedIn as just a more staid version of social networking. And I think the gainfully employed often neglect their LinkedIn pages in favor of its more scintillating cousin, Facebook. After all, would you rather hear who a former colleague is now connected to or read trash-talking among your Facebook friends?
Okay, maybe that's just me.
The fact is, LinkedIn is a great tool for what are perhaps the most important aspects of searching for a job-networking and online presence. And with the addition of some new LinkedIn apps, these have become tasks have become even easier to do.
First of all, you can put your work profile up there for the world to see. While you still should send targeted resumes for positions you want to apply for, LinkedIn gives everyone a snapshot of your capabilities. So if a potential employer is just looking around before he or she even posts an opening, you're out there. Here are some tips for using LinkedIn to its greatest advantage:
Avoid overused keywords just as you would on a resume
LinkedIn late last year released its top 10 overused buzzwords used in U.S. member-profiles. Avoid:
- extensive experience
- proven track record
Take advantage of new LinkedIn apps
I found three apps that I think are invaluable:WordPress
This app will synch your WordPress blog posts automatically with your profile. It offers a filtering option if you don't want to share every entry with your LinkedIn connections-you can just use a special LinkedIn tag.Events
The Events application adds a box to your profile that shows what events people in your network are attending. This helps you find events based on your industry and job function. You can sort by most popular events, search for events, and create new ones.SlideShare Presentations
With this app, you can share presentations and documents with your LinkedIn network and upload portfolios, resume, conference talks, PDFs, marketing/sales presentations. If you're really adventuresome, you can upload a video of yourself.
Toni Bowers is the former Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.