May 14, 2012

Why You Need to Be on LinkedIn Part 1

You've probably been told more times than you could possibly count about how important networking is. Your professors tell you, your parents tell you, you career advisor tells you, and even we have told you. I know, it's annoying, not as easy as it sounds, and you're sick of hearing it! Fortunately, networking today isn't quite as difficult as it was in the past (though it may still be as painful, in which case you should check out this post for a few tips on breaking the ice). You know how your family is always telling you how much harder they had it when they were your age? Don't tell them I said this, but when it comes to networking, this may be one situation where they are correct. Unlike the generations before us, we are lucky enough to have technology like cell phone address books, digital business cards, portfolio websites, and social networks to make it easier to trade contact info and stay in touch. There's one tool, however, that has far more power and potential than any other: LinkedIn.

Here's a look at one of the biggest reasons you should take advantage of the site:

What's The Point?
LinkedIn is great as an easy-to-send online resume and a good way to show recommendations from those you've worked with. However, the most useful function in the music industry, is probably using it to see who you might have connections to. As they say, and I know you've heard, "it's not what you know it's who you know," and LinkedIn is probably the easiest way to figure out exactly who you know.

Let's say, for instance, that you were applying for an internship at Universal. A recommendation from inside the company can be one of the best ways to get your resume reviewed and increase your chances of getting an interview there. You can use the company search function to get a list of people who work there that are in your network as well as alumni from your college who work there.

Once you find someone who you share connections with, click on their name and scroll to the right column towards the middle of their profile where you will find something like this:
This box is actually one of the most valuable features on LinkedIn because it will tell you exactly who you know that is connected to someone you are trying to reach. You can use to as a networking tool to ask for introduction to new people, request recommendations for a job, or get introduced to someone new. It makes it far easier to figure out how you might be connected to a job or a person you never thought of and find an faster way to get your foot in the door and get your application reviewed. 

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