New uses for LinkedIn

•  When you have a scheduled appointment for an interview and with a specific person, send that person a LinkedIn Invitation, noting in the Invitation Box, “I look forward to our meeting on _____.”  This demonstrates initiative and preparation on your part, plus it implies you are computer and LinkedIn savvy.

•  Professional Associations can be a tremendous boost in your job search, but attending a meeting for the first time can be daunting.  Walking into a room full of strangers could unnerve even the greatest extrovert!  Instead, try this approach:  Every association lists their local officers on the local chapter site (see the Professional Associations link) with their email address and where they work, and oftentimes with a short bio and link to their LinkedIn profile.  Choose one or two officers whom you would like to meet – they may work for a target company, have a certification you want to explore, etc – then send them a LinkedIn Invitation to connect.  In the Invitation Box, note that you found them on the association’s web site, and that you plan to attend the next meeting and would like to meet them there.  When you arrive at the meeting, instead of walking into the room of strangers, ask where that specific officer is, then go over an introduce yourself.  He/she will be expecting you, and then will introduce you to other members of the association.

•  When attending a convention, conference, professional association, or any other meeting that features a Speaker, look up the Speaker on LinkedIn before the meeting.  Send him/her an invitation to connect, and in the Invitation Box, say that you look forward to hearing the speech and want to connect.  Most attendees will wait until after the meeting to send an invitation, but by being more pro-active than the others, you will stand out.  At the meeting, plan to introduce yourself either before or after the speech.