A LinkedIn expert taught the CSUN community how to efficiently use the social media website as a tool to promote yourself and find available jobs.
Stuart Fried has been an active member of LinkedIn since 2006 and worked in the recruitment industry for 30 years.
“It’s a professional network society with over 175 million people so whether you are a job seeker, own your own business or if you just want to do professional networking you have to be there,” said Fried, career coach and LinkedIn expert. “Eventually, I predict that this will actively become like yellow pages that people are going to start looking for anybody on LinkedIn because even if you are a doctor, if you get client recommendations it is better than having a yellow page ad.”
Jonathan Adrias is the program coordinator of the workshop co-hosted by the CSUN Alumni Association and the CSUN Career Center.
A few months ago, Adrias and his co-workers discussed the benefits of having a LinkedIn account and Adrias became curious about the many networking possibilities. He decided to try it out.
Like many other students and as a musician he knows the importance of networking with other professionals.
“Many students don’t know how to properly use it,” Adrias said.
People who are out of a job or graduates looking for jobs, can connect with the right people through their LinkedIn account and are more likely to get jobs because their face is familiar, said Adrias.
Not everyone was able to attend the workshop. Adrias said they had 17 people on a waiting list and 140 people signed up.
Diana Benitez, junior urban studies major, joined LinkedIn in May after attending a networking workshop. She was told the importance of having an account and felt there was a lot more to know about the site.
“He showed us how some people make their LinkedIn profile anonymous, and how there are ways to find them using Google,” Benitez said.
Benitez uses her account to reconnect with people from her high school, to find jobs and to join groups.
She has an app on her phone so she can easily access her account. Five times a week she edits her profile and adds people.
“I constantly edit my profile,” Benitez said.
Pedro Quevedo, junior kinesiology major, was not familiar with LinkedIn before attending the workshop. His friend and the organizer of the event, Adrias encouraged him to attend the workshop. Quevedo though it was an informative workshop and is planning on creating an account as soon as possible.
“I learned how to search for jobs at different companies and how to contact them,” Quevedo said.
Fried, the guest speaker, started with basic information on how to create an account to go into more advances such as how to find jobs that are not advertised.
“It’s a tool to connect with people and to find people you wouldn’t find otherwise,” Fried said.
Having a basic LinkedIn account is free but some people pay to get premium access. Fried does not believe individuals need to pay for this access.
“Let the companies pay, individuals don’t need to,” said Fried.
Fried explains LinkedIn as an expanded resume where a person can tell a story and people can read recommendations. He suggests accountants having three recommendations for each position.
He advised the attendees to not use their birthday or marital status because LinkedIn is a target for identity theft. He also advised them to make it easy for people to call or connect with them by placing contact information at the top of the summary section.