|Posted on June 22, 2010 at 9:31 PM|
With major companies including Microsoft, Ebay, and Target using LinkedIn for hiring, you may be wondering whether it's time to invest some time in creating a LinkedIn profile. Well, look no further, as below I will describe how Linked In is changing the face of the job search in the 21st century.
You may remember the time when the job search was conducted with the help of friends, school mates, co-workers, and perhaps a look through the classified section of the newspaper. You likely have realized that those times are gone, and now rely on online job search engines, resume sites, electronic newspapers, and job search databases. While these will remain critical to your job search, you may not yet be aware of LinkedIn and the unique opportunities it poses for your career objectives.
Launched in May 2003, LinkedIn is a professional networking site with close to a million users in Australia and over 67 million users worldwide. LinkedIn members comprise 130 different industries, and include 130,000 recruiters. With every Fortune 500 company represented, LinkedIn is composed of many of the movers and shakers in the business world. And what do they use it for? There are many uses, such as maintaining a list of business contacts, researching potential helpful contacts, and perhaps most important for us, hiring new employees.
Kay Luo, Director of Corporate Communications at LinkedIn, describes how this works: "The main reason that companies are using LinkedIn is to find passive job candidates. Another reason why companies are using LinkedIn, is because referrals from their employees are highly valued because they typically have a higher success rate. LinkedIn helps companies leverage the networks of their employees."
One LinkedIn member I spoke to said she found her current job through the website. Recruiters working for her employer, searched LinkedIn's database of information for people with relevant skills sets and experience pertaining to their position's requirements. The recruiter discovered her work history,downloaded the information, circulated it to group managers, and then contacted her. After a several emails and phone calls, her current employer scheduled a non-site interview. After that, it the normal hiring process was set into motion.
LinkedIn is your public face to the professional world. The first step in creating a profile is posting work history, interests, and education. Once this is done, you can start connecting with professional contacts you already know. Next, you can search your list of contacts for potentially helpful second- and third-degree contacts. Employers can now see your profile and the connections you have made – and you can search for available positions.
LinkedIn's Australian Managing Director, Cliff Rosenberg, says that it is not only the job search that has changed, but the very nature of the employee in the 21st century. In the past, professionals thought of a long-term career with a single company.However, in present times, says Rosenberg, “today’s professional increasingly acts as a small business rather than an employee and is constantly looking for new growth opportunities. With that thinking in mind, LinkedIn provides the perfect solution for professionals to navigate this new way of thinking and operating.”
So, now you may be wondering whether LinkedIn can help with your job search in Australia. Well, as it happens, there are some reasons why it is even more useful to your job search down under. First, the geographical size of Australia and its distance from other countries can present challenges to face to face meetings. Second, the time zone difference between Australia and other parts of the world can make even telephone conferencing challenging. So, given the fact that your work history and contacts can searched at any time, maybe it's time that you become the next LinkedIn member?