Using LinkedIn to Map Your Career Path
Building a career can sometimes be a daunting task. You see the grand picture – your future destination, but the steps you have to take may not be so clear. Wherever you are in your career and whoever you may be, luckily, there are people that have come and gone before you and can show you the way.
While industries and economies have expanded, the world itself has shrunk and become more transparent – connecting people with others in a matter of clicks. LinkedIn is the popular social networking website primarily used by professionals to connect with others and to look for new opportunities. However, it can also serve as a navigation tool to shape your career. Here’s how you can do it:
1. First and foremost, the rule of thumb with LinkedIn is if you are going to have a profile, make sure it is as robust as possible. A skeletal profile will do more damage than good and you will not be taken seriously by other professionals. LinkedIn will show you the strength of your profile as you build it. It is a good idea to put a lot of detail about your jobs and to get recommendations etc.
2. Find people who are already doing what you want to do. A good place to start is through your college alumni association. Most associations provide ways of networking with other professionals in an industry or position you may be interested in exploring.
3. Look at where they came from. Chances are – they were once in a similar position as you are now.
Look at how they built their career. This will help provide guidance as to what opportunities you should consider with the experience level you currently have.
4. Connect with them. They may be about to provide invaluable insight, advice, or even mentorship based on their own experiences.
Of course, no destination requires the same journey and no journey the same steps. However, by tracing the career path of others, you have found a guide and goal to having the career you want and the professional you want to become.
For more tips and advice on your job search: