Want to give LinkedIn an interview before you put it to work? Read on to see which of its features get passing grades and which ones get pink slips.
Build your links for free -- Most of LinkedIn's services are free to use.
You're your own job application --You don't need to post a resume or cover letter on LinkedIn, because your profile basically IS these things.
Find the job that's right for you -- You can search for jobs not only by salary, skills required, industry sector, etc., but also by how they're related to the people you're connected to on LinkedIn. It's easier to get your foot in the door somewhere if you have someone working in a certain field or at a specific job who can put in a good word for you.
Get on the inside track by talking with hiring staff -- Many people who use LinkedIn are actual human resources professionals working for companies looking to hire, so it's a good way to directly connect with these people.
Put in a good word -- You can connect with people you've worked with professionally before, and you can give each other recommendations and endorsements. This helps potential recruiters see that your skill set is credible, and this increases your chances of them responding to an application.
Connections only get you so far -- LinkedIn is, at heart, a social network. This means that while it can help you find jobs to apply for or prospective employees to fill gaps in your organization, and offer advice on these fronts, it won't do all the work for you. You'll usually have to get out in the real world and do interviews and fill out applications to get better at job hunting.
Be careful not to let your inbox get flooded -- LinkedIn sends people a lot of email, and this sometimes makes it easy to accidentally connect with someone who you don't know very well through these emails and your other social network links. As with any social networking website, be careful when dealing with giving out your personal information to anyone.
Business class comes with a business-level cost -- LinkedIn's premium services are expensive, and some people complain that they don't work all that well. Be sure that you're going to use this website a lot before you decide to get them.
Almost like dating websites, whether LinkedIn is good or bad for you is really determined by how much work you put into it. While it has employment-related advice and services, its main focus is on helping professionals connect with each other and put themselves out on the job market to strut their stuff. In that sense, it can help you find jobs and contacts that you wouldn't have otherwise. So, if you're a professional, the more complete your profile is, the greater the chance that you'll be getting some support in that regard.
With that said, when it comes to sharpening your employability skills, like how to write the perfect resume or nail your interview, you just have to go out and do it, and learn from your experiences.
In the meantime, if you're ready to give LinkedIn a shot, we'll start by teaching you how to create a LinkedIn account in our next tutorial!
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