LinkedIn for Life

The latest issue of Fortune magazine profiles the professional networking site LinkedIn (read the full article here). The article states how more and more companies are relying on LinkedIn to recruit new talent and how individuals not yet on the site are disadvantaged in the job market. As I read the article on the train last night I recalled my direct experience with LinkedIn’s networking capabilities.

By the spring of 2008 I was in full-blown job searching mode. Although I had a job at a law firm, I wanted to try something else. I contacted recruiters, I submitted resumes on my own and I was networking as best as I knew how. LinkedIn was just one of many sites that I had my updated credentials displayed publicly. By the summer of 2008, the legal job market had started to slow down and I was having difficulty obtaining quality leads. Until one day when I received a call out of the blue. A recruiter for a Fortune 25 company had found my profile on LinkedIn and contacted me inquiring as to whether I would be willing to relocate. I smiled and told her I was willing and started the process of interviewing with the company. One month and three phone interviews later I found myself in Minneapolis at the company’s corporate headquarters. It was a great experience, but I knew halfway through the day as I was discussing why I was interested in the position that I was full of bull. The opportunity sounded intriguing all along, but by the time the curtain had been pulled back, I saw that it was more of the work that I did not want to do. Fortunately, I had contemporaneously been in discussions with my current firm and concluded as I was sitting in Minneapolis that it was a better opportunity for me in the long run.

The next morning I returned to my office in lower Manhattan early to call my current company’s headquarters in Switzerland and accept the job offer. I still feel that I made the right choice. But I’m also glad I managed my LinkedIn profile. It’s clear that many employers may turn almost exclusively to what the web is telling the world about a potential candidate in making recruiting decisions. Google yourself often and manage your online profile wisely.

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