In this interview, Carole gives us an overview of LinkedIn, and provides us with a few simple tips for using it, especially for a job search. She also talks about Facebook and Twitter, without forgetting our main question on switching off from the digital world. Interview!
LinkedIn is a professional social network, how can the general public use it?
LinkedIn is not just for professionals, but it has a professional purpose. It is a network that makes sense for employed people, but an increasing number of people are on LinkedIn, and see the advantage of building their network to help their professional career very early on.
I believe that there are three different, but complementary networks: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Twitter is the instantaneous, real-time network; Facebook is a personal network, the one where you display your background with the Timeline, where you go over all the events in your life, and shared moments; LinkedIn is more professional: people discuss business topics on it and are more future-oriented. You build your network on LinkedIn in order to be able to seize new opportunities in the future: changing career, opening up new avenues, discussing ideas, and improving your skills. You can read news items, synchronise your calendar, answer your emails, see who your network connections are, and enter into contact with new people.
How do you get a potential employer to notice you on LinkedIn?
One thing is certain: the wider your circle of connections, the more you will be seen. So the first thing to do is to connect with the people that you know professionally. The second thing to do is to share news items that are of interest to your network and to your business sector. You can also join theme-based groups on the issues that interest you, which enables you to join people who share your areas of interest.
So do you need to have a large number of contacts on LinkedIn?
What is certain, is that once you have 150 contacts or more, the product experience is completely different. The attractiveness of the product increases. To prove this, I only need mention that when you create your profile on LinkedIn, people know your profession. If you state that you are a media professional and connect with 150 media professionals, you will receive contact offers, and will have content on your homepage relating to this area.
How should we use LinkedIn as part of looking for a job?
I believe that there are three very simple ways:
- The first one is to describe your professional goals on LinkedIn. An increasing number of people display them in their header, like “is looking for a position in e-commerce”, for instance. Your LinkedIn header is not necessarily your job title. Your header is your current project.
- The second way is to enter into contact with people in your network who can help you get closer to your goal.
- The third is to look at the job offers on LinkedIn. An increasing number of companies publish their job offers on the site on a very regular basis; you can also follow the companies that interest you.
Does internet recruitment work?
It not only works, but is currently booming. The internet and social networks have boosted connections between candidates, skills, and job offers by offering even faster access.
What is the difference between Viadeo and LinkedIn? People often say that LinkedIn is more international.
I usually avoid making comparisons. Each individual is responsible for finding the advantages of both networks. Essentially, Viadeo is a French company, while LinkedIn is a US company. LinkedIn has 175 million members, which provides completely different opportunities. The LinkedIn experience is more relevant for anyone who has even a slightly international career. Although I believe it is appropriate for some people to use both networks. However, given the time that we spend on the internet and on the mobile internet, we will increasingly be required to make choices, as keeping your profile up-to-date on all the networks is becoming increasingly complicated.
Facebook has just reached one billion users, what are LinkedIn’s ambitions?
We’re not talking about the same numbers at all. LinkedIn is used purely for business, while Facebook has become a sort of email. There are plenty of instances where we once sent an email, but now write a message on Facebook. We are not in the same business; this is known as the social network family. The difference between the number of people who use Facebook and LinkedIn is therefore completely logical. For me, the good news in Facebook’s progress is the fact that it shows how much the social network approach represents the internet of today. This progress will continue to bring great freedoms, like the Arab Spring on Twitter, or the Pigeons on Facebook; it is really a sign that social networking gives everyone one of us the power to express our convictions and to be a counter-force. In this context, LinkedIn is a means to exercise your professional freedom, and to move towards the career that you want.
Our topical question on the live Orange blog for the Women’s Forum is: are you a digital addict, and do you ever switch off?
I’m worse than a digital addict! I am such a digital addict that I no longer have a TV, so I read newspapers and books; I can no longer stand the radio, and I have three ‘phones! I very rarely manage to switch off. Although I do increasingly on the weekend, even though I obviously have to check Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn at least once anyway, just to make sure that nothing important is happening, because it has become a reflex. I admit that this addiction is not getting any better!
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