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It is more than likely that you have already read countless articles which focus on the importance of maintaining a LinkedIn profile, in fact, this really is as important as having an up-to-date resume. It is true that an increasing number of recruiters are looking to LinkedIn as a source of great candidates. That being said, simply having a current profile is not the same as making the most of this exceptional resource.

CONNECTING NEEDS TO BE A CONSCIOUS THING

Now we are not talking here about clicking a button and perhaps having a new connection profile. When you have made the connection you then have the chance to actually start engaging with the right people. As you begin to focus in on the organizations and positions that you would be most keen on, it’s time to use your connections to reach out to people who are already within such companies.

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Even better, don’t wait until you are ready to make a move, rather have these connections set up from the word go. Doing a check-in monthly will do much to build the connections that can really make a difference as to whether you get hired for your dream job, or get left behind.

CLUE COLLECTION

Questions are your friends! Have you ever been in the position that you are working for a new company but are wondering why you hadn’t found out first what the ins and outs of the role were? Now is your opportunity to find out – in fact, the most valuable feedback you could possibly get is from someone who is already working for the company.

To get started, explain your interests and ask if they could give you a little advice and guidance. The majority of people are happy to discuss their work – the good points and the bad points. Clue collection now helps you avoid confusion and mystery later on.

GET CONDITIONS COMMUNICATED

During your application processes for various positions, at some point a recruiter is going to make contact with you. This contact is good. That being said, remember to make your LinkedIn connection aware of this contact. This for a number of reasons, staring with professional good manners, although mostly to help you with your end goal as the connection may reach out to the recruiter on your behalf.

In the world of recruitment, an endorsement is a precious thing, keep things in the open to make the most of them.

CULTIVATION IS A PROCESS

Certainly, you need to be strategic in your connections, but don’t forget about them once you have accepted an offer. Keep the connections you have and make some new ones too. You don’t know what could be around the corner for you.

 JOIN CIRCLES

You certainly need key contacts, however, LinkedIn offers a lot more than the chance to have single connections. To make the most of LinkedIn as a social networking tool, you need to join a few groups. Don’t feel you need to reach the maximum (at the moment you can join a maximum of 50), however, look for groups which are of special interest to you.

You will find a group for pretty much everything, there’s hobbies and alumni organizations which cover every job function going. Don’t be happy just to join the group, make sure you participate in conversations and show yourself to be both an expert and a credible member.

CHIP AWAY CONSISTENTLY

It’s vital to keep your LinkedIn profile current. Apart from personal updates, take the time to spend a little time each week chipping away on the site – kind of like what you likely already do on Facebook (this may be more frequently if you are like me and have a little jungle notification on your phone). Setting aside 15-30 minutes each week will make sure that you are not missing out on important conversations, connection requests or other valuable opportunities. Here are some good ideas for chipping away to build a career from Quanta.

Regardless of whether you are fresh out of university and looking for a golden opportunity or are ready to challenge your well-developed skills, it takes hard work to use social networking to its true potential. If you are not yet a member of LinkedIn, it’s time to move things up to the next level and use connections for the purpose they were intended.

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