Let's "Link Up"

Monday, October 30, 2017

If you are spending more time stalking your crush over the gram than seeking out people with your dream job on LinkedIn, then you are DOING IT WRONG.

Let me introduce you all to LinkedIn, the more professional version of Facebook. Here is the formal adult world where you will not find modern day memes, INSIDER videos, and every wannabe news reporter. Expect to find inspirational quotes, positive stories, and situations to reflect on. Of course you can't do this all without a proper network.

Remember when you were younger and added everyone on Facebook from people you actually knew to people you've made eye contact with just a strand of their hair? If even that. Welcome to LinkedIn, where you will renew this younger social media habit. Instead, this time, you are going to put the "social" in social media.

On the first day of school or a job, theres ALWAYS that round of introductions followed by an eyeroll from someone that dreads the idea. (tbh that was always me in class) Instead of adding someone and never talking to them, how about you send a request and INTRODUCE YOURSELF. Ask them how they are as well and if they would be willing to talk about their work experiences. Do this especially with people that are working in your desired field. Just because you don't personally know them does't mean you can't reach out to them. Didn't all your friends start off as strangers anyway? Exactly my point. So start typing and building that network.

Next up: your actual profile. Pick a really good picture, not your Saturday night TAO or Dream Downton ones, but a simple, "heres my face one."Rumor has it you should't have a picture with glasses on, I do and I've still gotten got offers. Just post a full face high quality photo in good lighting. Then list all important/ relevant work experience and educational deets. Don't know what to put under your job description? Go to your jobs website if they have one and pull out some key points from that description! You can now smack the easy button.

So now you're back to typing. Start adding start talking. Start applying to jobs by requesting HR Managers directly and then emailing them your resume. It is 2017. It took a man to send a box of donuts to an employer to get her to read his resume. It'll cost you nothing because you got LinkedIn. The goal is to get noticed and make it known that you are interested. If that doesn't work, connect with other people in that company or organization. Someone will have a direct contact. Obviously be smart about it. Don't just email "Hey, I really want to work here can you give me a contact from someone that can make this happen..." What stranger is going to want to do that? None. Once again, introduce yourself and a very little bit about what you do and how it will be relevant. But before that ALWAYS ask how the person is doing. It's polite, professional, and shows that you aren't messaging for just your own benefit. Personally by experience, this has worked best for me.

So lets say you get an interview, now what? Go on Glassdoor and start reading reviews from people that once worked there. This helps because you'll get to know the pros and the cons, ALSO, some people leave potential interview questions that they will be using. Write them down on a piece of paper and start creating a well developed answer of your own. How to used LinkedIn with this: message people, like an intern, and ask them about their interview experience/ do they enjoy working there. Go on Google and search the company. See if there was anything relevant going on related to them in the news. Maybe it was a current collaboration with a well known designer, maybe they just had a new acquisition, maybe they are implementing a new technological system. You never know whats going to come up in a interview, so you want to be as prepared as possible. Since you "really wanted to work there," what better way than to show you actually care than about knowing the behind the scenes / staying up-to-date with all things related to them.

Here's just some of my personal tips/ ideas on using LinkedIn for jobs and interview prep. I've gotten five job offers/internship offers just from doing this. Lately I feel like a lot of people don't know how to properly utilize LinkedIn, so it's a missed opportunity for them. This blog post was highly requested and if I could help a few friends or strangers out, the content in this piece was the goal.
I hope this helps you on your journey! If you have any questions, comments, or even suggestions, feel free to drop them below.

Photo by Kieran Bammann. Hopefully someone caught on the chain links on my belt in relation to the post. I'm so witty, I know.

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