Tag Archives: LinkedIn

Social Media: What’s the Difference?

Today it seems like everyone is on social media.   Social media is used for many different things:  staying in touch with family and friends, keeping up-to-date with news and trending topics, and promoting businesses and social causes.  It allows you to connect with people all over the world who have different backgrounds, interests, hobbies, and professions.  With so many different sites, how do you know which one is right for you?  Click here for an quick comparison graphic of the most popular social media sites.

Facebook – Created in 20014 by Mark Zuckerberg as way to keep up with his friends.  It is the world’s largest social media site with more than I.5 billion active users worldwide.  It allows you to send messages, post status updates, and share photos and videos.  Depending on privacy settings, requesting and accepting friend requests will determine what can be seen on your timeline and home page.  It works well on both a computer and mobile device.

Twitter – Another popular social media site, Twitter is designed around short updates.  Each tweet (or post) is limited to a total of 140 characters, spaces and punctuation marks.  You can attach short videos and photographs to a tweet.  Twitter is most popular for inventing the hashtag, which has now been adopted by many other social media sites.  With over 289 million active users, it can be used on a computer but because of its quick real-time messages, it is most often used on mobile devices.  You connect with other users by accepting and requesting to follow other users.

Instagram – Instagram is a photo-sharing app for mobile devices used by over 300 million active users.  The simplest of social media sites, it allows you to upload photos or short videos, write a caption, and add hashtags so your followers will be able to see them.  It is most popular with teens and young adults.

Pinterest – Unlike other media sites that are based on sharing status updates and photos, Pinterest is focused on collecting and sharing things found on the Internet.  You organize the things you collect on Bulletin Boards.  You can follow other Pinners who have similar interests and repin (or save) their items to your boards.  It is available on both the computer and mobile devices.

LinkedIn – While the other social media sites are more for personal use, LinkedIn is more of a professional networking site.  You create an online resume (or profile) of your skills and employment history.  As you add contacts and make connections you build your network.  Your connections can go in and endorse your skills.  Many businesses use LinkedIn to screen and recruit potential employees.

If you are over 50 and interested in learning how to use these popular social media sites, the Richland College Emeritus program will be offering Social Media 1 (Facebook) and Social Media II (Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and other sites) classes starting in January.  Spring registration begins on November 22 for current students and November 28 for new students.  Contact the Emeritus office at (972) 238-6972 or the Business Office Systems and Support program at (972) 238-6215 to sign up for these popular classes.  FYI—If you are over 65, the classes are FREE to Dallas County residents.


Part III: Finding a job through LinkedIn

Charles GillisLinkedIn is the largest business oriented, online social network in the world. Used effectively, LinkedIn can be a great tool in your career search. Charles Gillis will explain the growing significance of LinkedIn and provide tips to help you maximize your experience this great resource.

Part III: Finding a job through LinkedIn

Many businesses rely on external recruiters to help them find new talent, so odds are you’ll encounter more than a few recruiters during your career search.  Waiting around for a recruiter to find you isn’t enough these days, sometimes you need to find them, and finding them is easier than you might think if you have a profile on LinkedIn.  I searched my LinkedIn network to find recruiters that I could reach personally within my network and the search produced 174,518 names.  I’m not surprised in the least.  I don’t know a single recruiter who is not active on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is paradise for savvy recruiters.  The network is like a never-ending buffet of professional resumes.

Over the years the forum has become a goldmine for the recruiting industry.  After a decade the site has remained entirely business focused, unlike other social media sites.  The success is evident as LinkedIn has grown internationally to over 100,000,000 users.   Every day thousands of people find leads, apply for positions and land jobs through opportunities they found on the site.  I have lost count of the people I know who found jobs thanks to signing up for LinkedIn.

If you are searching for a job 174,518  recruiters sounds a bit overwhelming but I can narrow the number to adding any parameters, such as industry specialty or geography. Don’t forget, I don’t know all these people personally, in fact I have only connected with 36 of them as first degree contacts.  The first degree of connection contains people I have connected with personally, usually because we have worked together or have meet somehow and share common interests.  Of course the real power of LinkedIn is the trusted referral and the exponential growth of your network based on the connections that your own contacts have beyond you.

The 36 recruiters who are personally connected to me know many other recruiters, all of whom are also on LinkedIn.  Presumably everyone who is connected to me may know recruiters as well.  When I look to my second degree contacts, those people who I can reach through a referral by a personal contact, the number of recruiters jumps to 14,853.  That means through a simple connection request through someone who already knows me, I can reach an additional 14,817 recruiters.  By meeting them through a trusted contact I already have someone vouching for me, because they will convince their contact that I’m a good person to meet.

Taken a step further the third degree adds even more people who I can reach through a friend of a friend.  Through the third degree I can reach all 174,518 recruiters, if I were so inclined.  Job hunting can be a numbers game sometime, and it’s impossible to escape the old adage “it’s who you know.”  The power of connection is undeniable and there no better place than LinkedIn to create your own network.

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For more information on the Business Office Systems and Support department, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu 972-238-6215.


Getting Started on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the largest business oriented, online social network in the world. Used effectively, LinkedIn can be a great tool in your career search. Charles Gillis will explain the growing significance of LinkedIn and provide tips to help you maximize your experience this great resource.

Part II: Getting Started on LinkedIn

The good news about LinkedIn is that is it easy to just dive right in.  Before you create your account, grab your resume and have an electronic photo of yourself ready.  In the time it takes to brew a cup of coffee you can be online and active in the LinkedIn community.

The entire system works around the individual profile.  The first thing you do when you create an account is create your own profile.   LinkedIn will prompt you for information on your past work history, your education, and so on to build your profile.  As you populate the fields your profile takes shape.  LinkedIn uses that information to create your place in the network.  In the beginning you have no connections, so your network is only you.  As you create connections, your network will grow exponentially.

The more people you know, the better it works, so after you update your personal information you want to start adding contacts.  Use the search feature look for everyone that you know on the system.  Teachers, old bosses, friends—they’re all there.  LinkedIn in will even allow you to upload your contact list to find out who is already there.  Once you identify your existing contacts reach out and connect with them.  You will be surprised at how many old co-workers, colleagues and friends are already online.

Once you make your first connection you are now part of a network. It’s only takes one contact to get the ball rolling.  Let’s say my first connection is Bob, a former co-worker.  Bob has been active longer than me and already has ten other connections in LinkedIn.  By connecting with Bob I now have access to him as a first degree connection, but I also have access to his friends because his first degree connections are now my second degree connections.  To put it simply, my network now consists of Bob and ten of his friends.  Technically I could reach out to any of Bob’s contacts and make a connection.  I have access to my friends, and the friends of my friends.

It actually doesn’t stop there.  LinkedIn allows access to connections up to three degrees away.  Let’s say that one of Bob’s friends has a connection who is a recruiter.  Bob may not know the recruiter, but he has a friend who does.  Through LinkedIn I could reach that recruiter through Bob, who would pass my request to his trusted contact, who would then pass the request to the recruiter.  The system works because trust exists all along the chain.

This is just the tip if iceberg.  The more you put into your networking, the more you will get back.  LinkedIn makes the entire process even easier.

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For more information on the Business Office Systems and Support department, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu 972-238-6215.


LinkedIn – A Business Necessity

Charles GillisLinkedIn is the largest business oriented, online social network in the world. Used effectively, LinkedIn can be a great tool in your career search. Over the next few weeks Charles Gillis will explain the growing significance of LinkedIn and provide tips to help you maximize your experience this great resource.

Part I: LinkedIn—A Business Necessity

When it comes to your career search, everyone knows that effective networking can help you identify more job opportunities.  For years the power of online social networking has grown and LinkedIn.com has become the dominant forum.  Recruiters know the power of LinkedIn and scour it daily to find ideal candidates for their vacancies.  More and more job seekers have realized that LinkedIn is a great place to self-promote and be seen by these recruiters.  A LinkedIn profile works for you, promoting your credentials 24 hours a day.  With over 100,000,000 LinkedIn users around the globe, a LinkedIn profile is no longer just a helpful add-on, it is a business necessity.

Over the last decade a local company called Architel has grown to become one of the largest technology service providers in Texas, offering managed IT services to companies throughout the United States.  Growing companies like Architel are always looking for talented individuals to join their team.  On their career page, candidates can apply for a variety of positions but they have to provide one thing first: a link to their LinkedIn profile.  Like many employers, Architel knows the power of LinkedIn and recognizes that a LinkedIn profile is very efficient way to learn about a candidate’s work and educational history.  More importantly it show the candidates career successes, connections to their industry.

A good LinkedIn profile is better than a resume in many situations because it provides additional content to the potential employer.  LinkedIn works because we connect with people we know and trust.  The trusted referral is priceless in recruiting, as are recommendations.  If I am considering you for a position and learn through LinkedIn that we have shared business connections, I’ll probably feel more comfortable about your candidacy.  If our shared connections have provided excellent referrals for you, I will feel even better.

Architel provides job seekers with a friendly reminder that candidates with a LinkedIn profile are much more likely to get hired if they have a complete LinkedIn profile.   This is true for all companies.  When your name is Googled, and it will be, your LinkedIn profile will appear on the first page.  With competition high and many opportunities short lived, setting up a LinkedIn profile might the one thing that connects you the job of your dreams.

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From the BOSS Blog Team: We would like to thank Charles  F. Gillis for this excellent article on social networking tips. Charles is Executive Director with the Dallas law firm Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr, P.C. Charles is a former Richland student, and he currently serves as a member on the BOSS Advisory Committee. He can be reached at cgillis@munsch.com.

For more information on the Business Office Systems and Support department, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu 972-238-6215.