This article is a case study on my personal experience with LinkedIn job hunting and how it landed me two unsolicited job offers within 2 weeks. A co-worker of mine sent over an article describing how Accenture (Fortune 100 consultancy I used to work for) plans to hire 40% of it’s new employees through social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Blogs, etc. With our current economy, isn’t it time you stepped up to the plate and distanced yourself from the crowd?

LinkedIn – Social Media (For “Grown-Ups”)

When it comes to the corporate world, LinkedIn is the undisputed social media kingpin. Let’s warp back in time – I remember first reading about LinkedIn in an issue of Entrepreneur Magazine back in the prehistoric year of 2006. I was blown away by the ingenuity of the service. Their mantra? Relationships Matter. My reaction? Duh. So what? we’ve seen over the explosion of Web 2.0, the most successful companies are the ones that simply connect people to one another (hence the term “social media”). With Facebook, MySpace, and other social networking sites already in place, LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman had a spark of genius:

“You Google other people, so don’t you think they’re Googling you? Part of a networked world is that people will be looking you up, and when they do, you want to control what they find.”

Before we get into the actual specifics about successful LinkedIn job hunting, let’s talk about the basics of online branding and how it can mean the difference between being the laughingstock of the recruiting class or being chosen to receive a job offer.

Build Your Online Brand

Ok…so you’ve got Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc. Doesn’t matter. You NEED LinkedIn. It’s absolutely critical to your job search. Here’s what you do:

1. Go to LinkedIn and sign up (it’s FREE)
2. Add a professional photo.
3. Create a tagline – 1 sentence summary of what you WANT to be known for
4. List previous job experiences and add some bullet points around what YOU did (copy-paste from your resume)
5. Get recommendations from previous clients/employers/employees/colleagues
6. Pat yourself on the back. Congratulations – you’ve just established a professional online brand!

Note the word professional – it shouldn’t include drunken Facebook photos or inappropriate Twitter tweets. This is the page that comes up when people want to know who you are. And why they oferty pracy do business with you. This….is THE standard and as the above article proves, will soon become synonymous with the word “career”. If you aren’t on there, I suggest you stop dilly-dallying and get serious about your brand. People ARE searching for you – the question is, what are they going to find? Stills from “American Pie”? Or recommendations from corporate leadership? Your call.

Two Job Offers in Two Weeks – Without Applying:

1. Came to realization I need a job. Fast.
2. Updated LinkedIn Profile with job experience
3. Decided to copy-and-paste entire resume onto LinkedIn Profile

A days later I received an e-mail from a recruiting firm who read my LinkedIn profile (resume). She wanted to speak to me about opportunities for her client. This eventually led to a phone interview with recruiter, another phone interview with the client hiring manager, an in-person interview with the client hiring manager, and than an offer letter…all within the span of 1 week.

As I was going through the first interview process, I got another e-mail from somebody who also said they may have an opportunity for me. I got on the phone with them for 30 minutes. They offered a position on their “virtual bench”. This wasn’t the most impressive job offer, but it was an opportunity nonetheless.

Long story short, I was recruited specifically from LinkedIn based off of my profile. I ended up taking another consulting job with a local firm I DID apply for, but the experience really opened my eyes to the power of LinkedIn job hunting.

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