LinkedIn to your Job Search

Are you asking yourself how LinkedIn could help connect you to industry leaders and jumpstart your job search? I recently spoke at the ITMI Symposium and found that for tour directors, as independent contractors, this was a huge issue.

With over 90 million LinkedIn members who are professionals in many fields, what better way to boost your credibility and accessibility? LinkedIn is similar to other forms of social media you begin by making connections and participating in conversations.

Here’s a couple of ways to begin building your connections:

• Search LinkedIn for names of people you’ve met thru industry presentations, conventions and seminars you’ve attended,

• LinkedIn provides a search tool that you can search by company name. The tool then lists all the employees of that company that are on LinkedIn, as well as stats regarding top job titles, top schools and median age of member employees,

• Read the trade publications and industry news websites. Search out names of industry leaders and then connect with them on LinkedIn,

• Connect with people you previously worked with.

Once you sign up with LinkedIn and begin your search using the ideas above, you can invite people to connect. Merely check the appropriate box indicating how you know this person and compose a brief personalized note saying where you met them or how you found their name. I would not recommend mentioning that you’re looking for a job at this point.

Next, check at the top of the web page for the search key ‘Jobs’. Simply complete the information and you’re rewarded with available positions that fit the specified category. In addition, all groups have a job board connected to the group and available to group members.

3 Mistakes to Avoid:

1. Beginning the job search conversation too soon. Listen, participate and learn first.

2. Not cleaning up your Facebook page. Do you really want potential employers to see your personal photos? You may want to start a new personal profile calling it your ‘at work’ profile. Additionally, if you’re a contract worker (perhaps a tour director) you may want to build a business fan page.

3. Posting irrelevant news or information. This is a professional space and your future may well lie in the connections you make here.

What tips and success stories can you share? I look forward to keeping the conversation alive as we all learn better from each other.

Catherine Heeg is an international speaker and trainer in the tourism and hospitality industry. Connect  on LinkedIn

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