January 22, 2013

How to Turn Digital Connections into Tangible Job Leads

connectionDigital networking is one of the most common ways for today’s job seeker to access prospective employers. Social sites such as LinkedIn are crucial to establishing and maintaining professional connections, as well as showcasing a job seeker’s experience, accomplishments, relationships, and other information beyond the traditional paper resume.

However, building and maintaining your online presence is a great responsibility. The public nature of LinkedIn, and resume posting sites such as Indeed, provides employers with instant access to your personal information, creating fierce competition among job seekers. In simpler times, innovative job seekers relied on the “elevator pitch” to sell themselves to potential employers – staking them out near the corporate elevator bank to talk about their personal skills and experience during the 30-second elevator ride. Today, building security may not allow this type of face-to-face access, but the fact remains that job seekers only have a small window to impress.

LinkedIn is a popular way for job seekers to market themselves to targeted industry professionals. Only instead of a short, engaging speech about how you are an asset to a company, today’s job seekers have only a blank slate (or computer monitor) on which to write effective, concise, and captivating text. Prolific writing is key to using the platform to find the job you want, captivate potential employers, and show your professionalism:

  • Keep a blog about topics relevant to your field. Share the most recent entries on your LinkedIn profile to show employers that you are current on the newest innovations, ideas, and best practices in your industry – and that you have something to say about them.
  • Make smart, pertinent commentary. Have an opinion about what’s going on in your industry or targeted companies, and engage with thought leaders in open discourse. However, be sure to keep your comments positive, concise, and well written. All your contacts can see them!
  • Join groups. Follow top groups in your industry to stay abreast of potential job opportunities and to make lasting connections. Contribute regularly in order to create dialogue with your peers (and potential co-workers), as well as to maintain visibility.
  • Exchange endorsements. Not only will a past co-worker’s praise improve your image, but your endorsement on their wall is a nice writing sample on your behalf for all of their contacts to see.

LinkedIn was created around the idea that we are all connected. Writing can be the key — or a job seeker’s biggest obstacle — to making digital connections into tangible job leads. By knowing what employers are looking for, or what may pleasantly surprise them, you can tilt the odds. Just make sure that you double-check your spelling and grammar so that the odds are in your favor.

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A self-proclaimed word nerd, Allison VanNest works with Grammarly to help perfect written English. Connect with Allie, the Grammarly team, and nearly FIVE MILLION Grammarly Facebook fans at www.facebook.com/grammarly.
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