LinkedIn is currently the number four social media platform in the world. However, many job seekers fail to leverage LinkedIn as the valuable, wealth-building resource it has become. The more you can increase your annual salary, the more flexibility you have in your monthly budget. In addition to the freedom that comes with increasing your earning potential, the faster you can pay off your debt, the more strategic you can be with your financial plan. Here’s how to make the most of LinkedIn.
My friend and colleague, Kimberly Palmer, is a personal finance journalist and author, who has three published books on the topic of personal finance. One of her goals is to help women understand the value of getting connected on social media. In her recent article, “Super Charge Your LinkedIn Profile!” for AARP, she discusses the value of getting connected. She suggests searching for and connecting with colleagues from early on in your career to your most recent job. It’s likely you have at least a handful of colleagues who have been promoted to senior positions.
Leveraging Your Connections
Reconnecting is an excellent reminder to your previous colleagues and managers of who you are and what you have to offer. However, you must do more than just connect on LinkedIn. Once you bulk up your contacts, make a list of those who are best positioned to help you achieve your professional goals. This isn’t just those in management positions, but also:
Anyone you feel truly appreciates what you bring to the table
Those working in your industry or niche you would like to pursue
Contacts with powerful connections
Identify a short list of such connections, and reach out at least three or four times a year. This is in addition to “liking” and commenting on their posts to keep you top of mind.
Ask for an Introduction
According to Glassdoor, 44 percent of new hires are employee referrals. While you go about your job search, look to see if you have a first or second connection who works at the company you are applying to or who is connected to someone who works at the company you are applying to. Don’t hesitate to ask for an introduction.
Let Your Strategic Connections Know You Are on the Lookout for a New Job
Odds are you don’t want your current employer to know you are searching for a position that provides you with a more attractive salary. Since your connections are not mind readers, directly let those you have identified as strategic connections know that you are job hunting. If you aren’t employed, feel free to post what you are looking for to your LinkedIn personal feed. In her AARP article, Kimberly points out how a casual post about how little free time job searching leaves, was all it took for one man to receive a referral to his dream job.
Kimberly also points out how 87 percent of recruiters utilize LinkedIn. This means if you are looking to take charge of your career, you must also invest time in updating and improving your profile and featured skills. Even if you aren’t in the market for a job, always be open to the possibility of wealth building opportunities.
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