Just today I recieved an email from LinkedIn congratulating me for being among the first 3 million members from Australia!
I gave a smile, silently accepted the personal congratulations of the LinkedIn Managing Director for this region, and then noticed the last line of the message suggesting that I try getting more out of LinkedIn by connecting with more professionals you may already know. A nice ploy to publicise the value of LinkedIn I thought.
Now I must say, there’s more to this than meets the eye. Just recently I had, in the one week, four different surprising and interesting experiences with LinkedIn which really paid dividends for me. All four happenings were totally out of the blue and are worth mentioning if only to illustrate the power of this professional social network.
- An old friend, someone I went to Teachers’ College with many moons ago, found me on LinkedIn, connected with me and we subsequently enjoyed a very long coffee! Truly a blast Liz!
- A few days later, a work colleague asked me about a new connection I had with a specialist teacher. It turned out that this colleague had noticed my recent connection with my old friend and asked me if I could ‘introduce’ them to each other on LinkedIn so that they could network on their common specialization and possibly tap into each others’ networks.
- Someone I knew professionally, asked me to join his network. When accepting, I sent him a message indicating my interests in exploring the area of proofreading. Next thing I know, I had the pdf of a soon to be published book in hand with the opportunity to ‘have a go’. It was a great way for me to develop an understanding of the complexity of proofreading, as well as a ‘real’ experience to test if I want to explore this area further.
- When the phone on my work desk rang one morning, I was blown away by the request of a journalist from Australian Teacher Magazine asking if I’d agree to be interviewed about the process of getting into presenting. How did the journalist find me I queried. On LinkedIn was the reply. How powerful is that! The call came out of the blue, but resulted in a lovely article in both the online and hard copy of the March edition of Australian Teacher Magazine.
Just these experiences on their own are proof of the unexpected value of a professional social networking platform such as LinkedIn.
Then ….. later today ….. a link to a recently screened video Looking for a Job? How to Catch Google’s Attention was sent to me. How interesting to hear comments made which reflect much of what I wrote about in my last post: Don’t be shy to share with others. While acknowledging that the most appealing candidates for a job are not actually looking for a job because they are happy in their current position and are treated well by their employer, Bock notes that employers look to see how capable a person is by checking if the person has a “presence” – whether they have presented at a conference, have published something or have a blog. These attributes are, he says, of greater value than a company recieving random resumes. The other point that Bock makes is that networking really matters. Mentioning the value of social networking platforms like LinkedIn and Google+ Bock points out the advantages of being recommended to a job.
Very powerful advice for job seekers.
Have a listen to this short interview: