Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Get linked to power up your job search

NEW YORK (6/10/09)--Nothing beats face-to-face networking to build your career. But do you know how to use professional networking sites to find a new job?

Reviewing new technologies to see which ones are worth keeping up with may seem like a full-time job, but it's worth the effort ( May 27).

Recruiters are taking advantage of professional networking sites like LinkedIn to recruit and accept applications from candidates. John Walker, co-founder of Talent Evolution, a career education and training company based in southern California, says that recruiters follow status updates in search of keywords related to the industry in which they are seeking candidates (Secrets of the Job June 2).

The benefits of posting frequently and using common keywords include increasing your visibility, getting found by search engines, building your network, and being able to search for employment via sites with robust job-listing portals.

Consider starting with LinkedIn. Its more-than-41 million members come from 200 countries worldwide. They include executives from all of the Fortune 500 companies and 170 different industries.

Your profile is the most important part of professional networking. Walker has used LinkedIn for years, as both a job seeker and a recruiter. Take your profile seriously--it could make or break your job search:

Complete your profile. Don't leave any sections incomplete. This will improve the likelihood of your profile being found in search results.

Use a flattering photo. Make sure it is sized no larger than 80 x 80 pixels.
Use common keywords. Name your skills in a way that makes your profile easy to read and easy to find.

Post recommendations. Get them from people you work with or from those who know your work personally. Posting recommendations turns your profile into a living document with power behind it.

Join LinkedIn groups. They help you connect with professionals in your area of expertise and facilitate your job search. Use groups to get leads on possible employers, and connect with people who might be looking for employees now or in the future.

For more information, read "Job-Hunting Tactics for This Recession," in Plan It: Retire Ready Toolkit.

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