Sadly most people who are not actively looking for work tend to ignore their network. When they are suddenly faced with the loss of a job they desperately scramble to reach out to everyone they ever knew hoping someone might help them get their next job. Don’t let this happen to you. As Harvey MacKay suggests in his book, ‘Dig your Well before You’re Thirsty’, you need to make a practice of actively nurturing your network long before you are in job search mode.
LinkedIn is a tremendous networking tool that makes it easy for non-job seekers to stay in touch with colleagues while positioning themselves for their next career move. LinkedIn should be a part of your routine whether or not you are actively looking for work. Look at some of the benefits LinkedIn has to offer.
1. Expand your network. LinkedIn makes it easy to connect with people in your industry including past work colleagues, former bosses, customers and the like. Maybe you have recently attended a conference and met several individuals who share a common interest or expertise. Connecting on LinkedIn allows you a quick and easy way to share updates with each other and stay in touch.
2. Solving business problems. Why hire consultants to deal with a unique problem at work when you have a network of professional colleagues at your fingertips on LinkedIn? The larger your network, the more expertise you have access to. Your network connections will feel honored that you reached out to them. You also have access to LinkedIn Groups where individuals in the same industry or with similar interests can share content, find answers and collaborate.
3. Your own personal website. LinkedIn is the place to showcase your achievements. And, unlike a resume, it is dynamic. You can and should update it often with current projects, certificates and any work related conferences you have attended. LinkedIn supports multimedia content so your profile will be much more engaging than a resume.
4. Stay abreast of what is happening in your industry. LinkedIn Today let’s you receive customized news daily. You can set your preferences for news or LinkedIn will push content based on your individual profile, your network contacts and articles you share.
It will be much easier to hit the ground running in your next job search if you make a practice of staying active on LinkedIn. If you are not on LinkedIn sign up today. It is free. If you are already there, take advantage of all LinkedIn has to offer and do it often. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.