I first signed up for LinkedIn on 12 June 2007. It was later that year that I made a major career change. And it wouldn’t have been as easy to do without LinkedIn. At the time, I was the internal communications manager for Rolls-Royce. I loved internal communications then and still do today. But I was ready for a change. I left and joined up with a technology company and haven’t looked back since.
There’s a big difference between merely having a LinkedIn account (most professionals do) and taking advantage of LinkedIn as an the amazing social network that it has become. Looking at the main social networks that I use—LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram—LinkedIn is the one that I wish was around at the start of my career.
If you’re looking to make a career change for whatever reason, LinkedIn can be a tremendous asset and ally for you. Here’s how.
Google your name
Let’s start here. Open up your browser and use incognito mode. This allows you to search as a stranger of sorts and will give you honest results that don’t take into account past searches and activities. Next, search for you name.
If you have a common name, tough luck. But if your name is unique, I guarantee that your LinkedIn profile will rank at the top. It’s No. 1 for me. This is both valuable and scary. Valuable because you will be found. And scary because you will be found.
I can think of no better way to begin investigating a career change than by beginning to write about it. But for so long, LinkedIn only allowed users to share brief updates or links to articles. Still helpful, but not very deep....
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