Let’s face it, love it or hate it social media is here to stay.  Information is being shared faster and at higher volumes than ever before.  For any and all job seekers, this sharing of information can be slightly intimating (to say the least). Where then in the vast open space of the internet, should job seekers start?

My personal recommendation:  LinkedIn.  Many Gonzaga students have heard me on my soapbox for months about the literal power of the professional networking capabilities of LinkedIn.  I remember teaching a “How-to” seminar in January with an on-campus business fraternity.  Months later, I would ask the students who participated in the seminar how their profile looks.  They would look at me sheepishly and say,”Not great…”

Now, I have to wonder: where is the disconnect? What is preventing students from becoming more involved with LinkedIn?

For that, I have a simple answer: Honey vs. Molasses.

In the world of social media networking, Facebook is quick and easy.  Students have become accustomed to gaining new “friends” quickly and fluidly.  (Yes, similar to pouring honey.)  LinkedIn however, takes a little bit more time.  Relationships and contacts have to be researched and cultivated.  “Adding” contacts takes patience and time.  (Both typically are lacking when in the midst of a job search.)

To up the ante I thought I would share three major facts to drive home my point that LinkedIn is your social media answer for job seekers;

  1. As of April 10, there was approx 65 million users on LinkedIn.
  2. In a December 2009 survey of 1,200 hiring and recruitment managers, 79% of those surveyed reviewed online information about job applicants.   70% said they rejected candidates based on what they found. (For the full PDF and presentation, check it out here: “Online Reputation in a Connected World
  3. In a Google search, the LinkedIn profile will be highlighted in the top 3 search results.

LinkedIn has great training resources in their training center to get new users started.  We will feature the videos once a day to break apart the intimating LinkedIn dragon.

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Happy networking!