Some people are lucky enough to have found their dream job in public health. They jump out of bed in the morning enthusiastic about their next contribution to making the world a better place. If you’re like me you are not one of these people. I don’t hate my job. I actually like it (more than I dislike it). I work in biotech developing and manufacturing lifesaving drugs, which is rewarding. However, I’ve learned that making these drugs is not a panacea for infectious diseases. Delivering these drugs to the people who need them most is the final step and just as important making them. I am ready for a change. The problem is looking for a job is hard work, especially when you’re already working. Therein lies the problem. So what is the most effective way to find a new job? LinkedIn!
LinkedIn has several easy-to-use functionalities that facilitate the whole the job search process.
Search for Jobs – There’s more to it than you may think. You probably already know you can search for jobs on LinkedIn. What you might not know is it is one of the most active job boards in the world (lynda.com). In other words, it is well worth your effort to focus your search here. Be sure your profile is up to date so those hiring can find you and LinkedIn can recommend appropriate jobs to you. Remember LinkedIn will look for jobs based on keywords in your profile. If you want to change careers then don’t highlight skills you don’t want to continue using. Instead emphasize skills you already have and want to develop in your next job. In my case, I would downplay my lab skills and focus on my policy experience. Rest assured all job search activity is private and not shared with your connections.
Build and engage with your network. Connect with people you know – colleagues, classmates, friends, and family. Remember LinkedIn is a professional social networking site so keep things professional. Periodically send them messages to keep in touch. Also, sharing updates is a quick and easy way to keep people informed about what you’ve been up to.
Join LinkedIn Groups. In Here Comes Everybody Clay Shirky discusses how social media helps individuals overcome the high costs to form groups thereby breaking down barriers to social (and professional) networking. LinkedIn is a perfect example of this in action. There are millions of groups on LinkedIn. Join some (or all) of the groups you are interested in. You’ll be able to join discussions, ask questions, post answers, and stay up to date on current events and industry trends. LinkedIn groups are a fantastic opportunity to network with people you may not otherwise have a chance to meet in person.
Give recommendations and your connections will reciprocate. Heather Mansfield says recommendations are like public references. Proper etiquette is to reciprocate with anyone who writes you a recommendation. So if you initiate the effort by writing recommendations for your connections then most will likely return the favor.
Apply for your dream job(s). LinkedIn allows you to export your profile as a resume so when you do find a job of interest you can quickly apply. This is one more reason to keep your profile up to date.
Mansfield, Heather. (2012). Social Media for Social Good. New York, NY: McGraw Hill.
Shirky, Clay. (2008). Here Comes Everybody. New York, NY: Penguin.
Dream Job and Application image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
Social network image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
Thumbs up Image courtesy of iosphere at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.