LinkedIn and a job search

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Q: You seem to be a fan of LinkedIn for those of us looking for a new opportunity.  Please explain.  Why should I spend time on my LinkedIn profile or even connecting with others?  Years ago, we never used LinkedIn for job hunting.  Why do you think it is important in 2022?

A:  After several years of using Linkedin actively, I can explain how I think it is valuable.

1. It is a networking tool for professionals.  You have probably read in this column (and others) that encourage networking as a critical tool to landing a new job.  LinkedIn is not a complete replacement for in-person networking but it is a good shortcut to building a network of contacts.  Of course, some contacts you will know better than others.  Sometimes I have only met a Linkedin contact once.  Sometimes I have known them since kindergarten.  There are many ways to build your network and Linkedin is one of them.

2. It is easy to find passive job seekers on Linkedin.  Assume you are working long hours and completely devoted to a looming deadline.  You barely have time for lunch.  You are arriving to work super early before the rest of your colleagues.  While walking through South Station one morning, you wonder how your favorite Boston sports team did last night after playing well past midnight.  You can’t find your phone in your backpack so upon your arrival at work, you jump on to check the score.  They won!  Then, you check your personal email, which you should really check more often than you actually do.  There is a message from a recruiter asking you if you have interest in a new career opportunity.  You have to admit that the role looks ideal for your background and career interests.  You save the email so you can review more closely after work.  You enjoy your current role but it would be foolish not to consider at least talking to the recruiter.  At lunch, you email the recruiter back with a quick note expressing interest and explaining that you can talk but only after hours.  In short, you were not actively looking for a new job but you are open to talking.

3. Joining groups is important on Linkedin.  Groups should be related to your career interests and/or geography.  Some groups might even be associated with your college or university.  Updates from these groups keep you connected and keep you current in your industry or your field.

Technology has changed the job-hunting process!

Pattie Hunt Sinacole is a human resources expert and works for First Beacon Group in Hopkinton, an HR consulting firm. She contributes weekly to Jobs and the Boston Sunday Globe Money & Careers section.