This post is about timing, as the title so subtly suggests...
How long does it take to:
- Update/create your resume?
- Write a cover letter?
- Complete a job application?
- Call an old manager/professor for permission to list as a reference?
But how long does it take to build a network on LinkedIn that you can leverage to find a job? It is different for everyone, but the more connections you have, the better chance you have at finding the right position or helping a connection find their perfect job. Building an expansive network takes time and authentic communication.
If you ever played sports you've probably heard "Luck is when preparation meets opportunity." Well it's just about the same with LinkedIn. The time to start preparing is now, regardless of when you graduate. If anything, you may already be behind the curve.
Let's talk about the way you can begin preparing today. The following two points are time-sensitive aspects of LinkedIn. They take time to build and you will want them to lend you credibility when the time comes.
1. Actively Make Connections with LinkedIn Features
- Add connections to solidify the network you already have (don't request people you don't know unless you have a very specific purpose, it is obnoxious).
- Utilize the "People You May Know" section. It sounds basic, but if you just keep scrolling, you might find several people you do know. The bigger your network the better.
- Under the "Network" section, click the "Contacts" button and it will show recent emails and if you are connected with these people through LinkedIn.
- It is important to add your specific skills to your profile. Those who view your profile can endorse you with a single click if your profile already has your skills entered.
- Remember that LinkedIn wants you to look successful by using the features they offer, so use them!
- Consider endorsing others, but only if you are in a position to do so. If you endorse a connection for a skill you haven't seen or something technical you don't know, you both lose credibility. Endorse when you can to continue to feed your network!