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Job search: Using LinkedIn to find a job

Have you heard of eBay and Target? Or do the names Hewlett-Packard and Netflix ring a bell? Of course they do. But did you also know that these big-name companies and many others like them use LinkedIn for recruiting potential employees?

Getting started on LinkedIn

As with many other social networks, the first thing you will want to do upon joining LinkedIn is to fill out your profile. Filling out the profile section completely is a must for every job seeker. And it is important to include pertinent information such as your present and previous positions, educational background, and notable accomplishments. However, it's not enough to have a static profile no matter how impressive or complete it is. Enter LinkedIn groups.....

The group feature

The group feature at the LinkedIn site is exploding in popularity and for good reason. It is in these compartmentalized populations that people with similar interests exchange relevant links and discuss pertinent information relating to a particular field or vocation. Becoming involved with select groups is a great way to network with potential employers. Here are a few tips for navigating LinkedIn groups:

•Pick groups strategically. There is no sense in wasting time in groups outside of your interests.

•Don't be afraid to make connections. People in your select groups can offer valuable advice and insight about job opportunities that you may be interested in.

•Promote other people's links. This simple action creates goodwill and affords you the opportunity to stay involved without having to come up with new content.

•Be respectful. Remember, LinkedIn is a professional site and your contributions are reflections of how you conduct business. To put it simply, your posts can either positively enhance or totally ruin your online reputation.

•Don't join too many groups. Be wise about how much time you choose to network.

Currently, LinkedIn has over 35 million members. And a new member joins every second or so. But LinkedIn is no ordinary social network. It is a professional site that focuses on vocational interests and it has become useful to both business owners looking for exposure as well as individuals who are looking for gainful employment. In fact, one of the wonderful things about LinkedIn is that their platform enables recruiters to find you instead of the other way around. Increase your odds of finding a job by joining a LinkedIn group today.