Thursday, May 15, 2008

Do you LinkedIn?

I do not say this pejoratively, from my experience I have seen a consistent pattern in LinkedIn activities that can be tied to people's planned career moves or their expectation that something is not right at their current company. I did not do controlled experiments nor do I have hard data, but I have seen flurry of activities during layoff times. People update their profile, start making many new connections and seek out endorsements.

One thing I would say is to have your resume, LinkedIn profile and connections updated constantly and not in reaction to external events. The time to start networking is not when you need the job but when you already have one and is really looking to build a network that is not based on quid pro quo. It is very hard to make a withdrawal right away from a network. It takes time to nurture it.

So do not wait to network until you need it. In fact, the macroeconomic studies of unemployment numbers state that people who already have a job are more likely to find other jobs than those who are unemployed. This is attributed to exposure to other professionals the job provides and the stigma associated with being unemployed. When you reach out to others when you already have a job there is a higher probability of cementing a relationship because others are less worried about the give and take of the relationship.

You cannot cram an year worth of profile and network updates in a month, so pace yourself and do it more regularly.

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