‘Tech 4’ professional networking: Linkedin
If you haven’t signed up for LinkedIn yet, you might be losing a lot of opportunities out there. But if you have a half-complete profile, think twice… Once I heard a research adviser and staff member from Lincoln University saying that it is worse to have a LinkedIn profile half complete than nothing at all. Soon after I managed to complete my profile. After those words I wouldn’t dare applying for any job without having it in good shape.
LinkedIn is probably the most powerful professional network nowadays. There are others for specific interests, such as academia, but LinkedIn is the most complete and global one. It does give you and your work more visibility, but even more than that it has the potential of putting you in contact with practitioners, policy makers, book and journal editors and publishers and so forth. It opens up a whole new business perspective.
As with all other social networks, the more you share content – especially content that helps other people – the more visible you will be. It is also possible to join groups where you can add or answer questions and get closer to people whose work interests you.
It is fair to make a point at this stage: Social networks are not all the same! Twitter does not substitute Facebook and vice-versa, and none of them substitute LinkedIn. Be aware of whom you want to reach, and based on that be conscious about the updates and content you will share. LinkedIn is professional.
Some extra things to keep in mind:
- The purpose is to makes your work, professional profile and identity visible, so do the best you can to be found
- Write references for other people when you can (I haven’t done that yet, but it is certainly on my ‘to-do’ list), it makes your profile more visible providing you with more chances of getting referred yourself
- It is more used in some countries than others, so be aware of the language you’d like to work with
- And it is never too much to emphasize: have it complete!
I have friends who have been contacted from Amazon and Google for job offers, and they have been found on LinkedIn. I have done business myself, and just some time later I realized how ‘they have found me’. Any guesses?
LinkedIn has great benefits for academics as a professional networking tool as it makes your work visible, enhances your online presence and identity. If you are looking for a job, you might want to have a look at the benefits of the premium account as well.
I am no social media consultant or expert, but you don’t need to be one to quickly realise how powerful this platform is. My experience is that in a short period of time I have started to enjoy benefits from it. So, this is my opinion: if you don’t have a LinkedIn account you shouldn’t waste more time.
Do you have a LinkedIn account? Do you see advantages./disadvantages on using it? Would appreciate to get your comments on it!