Wednesday, January 30, 2013

"How to Find a Job on LinkedIn..." by Brad & Debra Schepp

If you have never used LinkedIn, read this book.  If you have used LinkedIn for years (as I have), read this book!  Go through it with your web browser open to LinkedIn.  You will keep looking back and forth between book and screen and finding ways to:
  1. Make your profile more expressive of what you can do, and more attractive to employers.
  2. Expand the network of people that you can rely on for advice, information, and referrals.
  3. Build a reputation for being an expert in your field--and a helpful person whom people want to help in return.
  4. Find companies you want to work for and people there who might be willing to talk with you.
  5. Actually apply for jobs using your LinkedIn profile, which can include a lot more than a printed resume can do.
  6. Receive thoughtful answers to your questions about how to do the job, once you get it.
LinkedIn is the focus of this book (even though it also includes useful chapters on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+) for one simple reason: people are on LinkedIn to talk about doing their jobs, not to watch cute cat videos or share recipes. The authors consider it the single most important online site for job seekers, and yet they are clear about what it can and cannot do.  With all their emphasis on professionalism, they still write with a funny, human voice, and give tips on how you can distinguish yourself by doing the same.

It is amazing that a book published in April 2012 can contain any out-of-date information, but social media sites change so rapidly that the printed word cannot keep up.  Usually, if the book says a feature is on LinkedIn (or Facebook, etc.), it is still there--you may just have to look in a different menu to find it.  Then there are things that really have changed, like LinkedIn no longer letting you display a reading list.  (I had to do an online search to find out that it was really gone from the site and I wasn't just overlooking it.) 

The book is most useful for ideas on how to use these sites, rather than specific techniques.  That's the advantage the Schepps bring to their readers.  They know what works.  We can figure out how.  I am having a wonderful time doing just that.

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