Networking is the most effective job search method, period. There is a tool that makes it easier to network, LinkedIn. Yes, there is now more competition in the professional social networking tool arena, so shop wisely. It is similar to the choices for internet search engines, find one that works for you and stick with it. (The number of users in your area/field is important) Here are ways to use LinkedIn, not an all inclusive list, but a teaser to get you started.
- Get in touch with past co-workers.
It used to be so difficult to find out where your friends went. I’ve found past co-workers who are doing some pretty cool things in other parts of the country. It’s fun to re-connect.
- Learn about someone’s background before you meet with them.
Information is power. If you know about someone’s background (work history, interests, education) before you meet, it makes it more comfortable and easier to break the ice.
- Join a group to share and learn
Start a discussion on a topic related to the group you are in. See what the responses are and who provides them.
If you want to learn more, you can go to their blog http://blog.linkedin.com/. Have fun.
I invite you to let me know some of your favorite uses of LinkedIn.