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Lessons Learned From LinkedIn

July 25, 2012

First off, thank you everyone who registered and those able to join our July Professional Development webinar, “LinkedIn & Your Career”. We saw lots of great engagement from the audience and know that LinkedIn is a space that we want to continue exploring with our members.

Before the call, almost 50% of folks weren’t familiar or weren’t on the platform. But thanks to our outstanding panelists, John Hill and Naomi Woods, over 85% of attendees said they were more familiar with LinkedIn and felt encouraged to use it. They both shared very useful information for our attendees, which you can listen back to here.

We’re recapping some of what we learned on the call and how you can apply it to your life after AmeriCorps.

  • Find Your Best Affiliations: As John shared about building your professional network, you’ll want to make sure that you find your best affiliations and start there. For most people, it’ll be made up of these 4 groups: friends & family, university/college network, shared work experiences, and public service. The last item is most relevant for Alums as that’s how we’ve learned to connect with other AmeriCorps program alumni. Our unique experience of committing to service is a unifier that we can use to find professionals who share and understand that about us.
  • Dream Big: With LinkedIn having over 161 million members, it represents the largest professional online network. That means, there are probably at least one person who is in a position at a company that you are interested in. With LinkedIn and a quick online search, you can find an email or phone number of that person, if they’re out of your network. Or do like Naomi suggested, and see if you have connections that can introduce you to them. Either way, don’t hesitate to reach out for career advice (NOT a job) from the person as LinkedIn is providing a space for professionals to connect.
  • Don’t do yourself a “disservice”: One of the words John used a lot during the call was “disservice” in regards to how you can hurt yourself professionally by not using the professional tools and resources available to you o the best of your ability. This means not building your professional network during non jobseeking times, not connecting enough to professionals in your field, not seeking out career advice from those higher up, etc. The job market is currently a “who you know/ who knows you” make up, so you want to make sure that your personal brand is one that employers and recruiters can get the best understanding who you are professionally.

There were many more lessons learned from the call and you can listen to the recorded webinar here. Thanks again to our speakers, John & Naomi, who shared best practices on how Alums can best utilize LinkedIn.

What is something that you learned from the call?

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