GETTING LINKED IN

The social networking site “LinkedIn” is largely used for business contacts and keeping in touch with former colleagues. The site has added a couple of new features worth exploring.

One is “company follow.” Once you follow any company, you’ll get updates on new job offerings and find out if you have any connections who work there. Most jobs are obtained through personal contacts. To use “Company follow,” go to LinkedIn and click the “more” link at the top of the page, then “companies.”

You’ll probably find that you have many more connections than you would have guessed. Joy has 42 direct LinkedIn connections, which links her to over 2.1 million other professionals. (Who knew that we knew someone who knew someone at Yahoo?) Bob has 95 connections that link him to 2.2 million professionals. It’s exhausting just thinking about it. Bob said he has to go lie down now.

The second new LinkedIn feature is “Career Explorer.” This is aimed at college students who want job tips. It offers career advice, job news, and companies to follow. So far, “career explorer” has been rolled out on 60 campuses in the U.S. If it’s at your school, you’ll see a link under the “jobs” menu at the top of the screen.

Finally, LinkedIn lists job openings in your career specialty, in a small section on the right hand side of the first page you see when you sign in. Membership is free.

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