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Personal branding on social networks > Professional social networks: Your cover letter 24/7

Professional social networks: Your cover letter 24/7

Professional social networks are excellent ways of finding jobs, or for making a career change. There are a number of professional social networks such as LinkedIn, Xing, Viadeo, Plaxo...

These networks are really important for finding employment as most jobs are found through friends and acquaintances. Professional social networks allow you to increase your network of friends and acquaintances and allows for instant interaction, so it can be key in finding employment or making a career move.

LinkedIn is currently the best professional social network, with more than 100 million users in more than 200 countries. Its main objective is to help professionals in all sectors find each other, to help put you in contact with them, and to generate business and synergies in every sense: contacts, opportunities, consultation etc. In order to define it in fewer words LinkedIn is a network to present your resume and build a network around it that adds value to what you say.

With LinkedIn you can keep your CV Resume up-to-date in a number of languages, ask colleagues and bosses for recommendations or include work you have done such as presentations.

These are only the basic uses of LinkedIn, something of a "steroid CV", but LinkedIn is , or can be, something more: if you cultivate and work your social network, it’ll have a great impact in terms of your employability:

- Put yourself in contact with people in your sector, and any complementary sector.

- Get back in touch with old colleagues.

- Keep yourself up to date with your favourite companies (and also news of any job offers).

- Join groups that are relevant to your sector, and keep yourself up to date.

- Discover "the shortest path" to get in contact with professionals that you admire.

- Show your concerns and knowledge with updates to your network of contacts.

- Know when events and training days for your job and sector take place.

Our advice is that you dedicate some time everyday, or at the very least once a week, to these networks: building relationships, meeting new people or participating in groups that interest you. If this is desirable, it’s essential that you remember that LinkedIn is your CV Resume available 24/7, 365 days of the year, so it should always be well maintained: current and up to date, without misspellings etc.

5 good practices for using LinkedIn

- Complete your profile, but don't copy your CV Resume: use a more personal tone. Complete it in all the languages that you are fluent in, and don't forget to link it to pages that are relevant to what you say.

- Always have a photo. You don't have to wear a suit for the photo but remember that it should be professional: no sunglasses, caps or self- shots.

- Use keywords related to your personal objectives and repeat them, they will help with finding you and also your page positioning.

- Join groups that interest you and are relevant to your sector and... that you take part in. Share and comment on other people's publications.

- Ask for recommendations. Some say that "there is nothing more false than a LinkedIn recommendation". However it still shows assertiveness, social skills and that you're a good work colleague (but your contacts shouldn't exaggerate about you).

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