Thoughts on LinkedIn

For a long time, I resisted LinkedIn. Every so often, emails would arrive in my inbox, inviting me to join the career networking site, and I generally ignored them. Occasionally, I would consult someone more familiar with the site, and no one seemed to think it was critical to become a member.

But after the board of The Canadian Jewish News, where I was working as a reporter, announced in April that the paper would cease publication – a decision that has since been rescinded – I signed on, and began to discover what I’d been missing.

It took me a while to get started. I ran into difficulty uploading my picture, and I had to try more than a dozen times before I was able to post it. Plus, after 22 years at the same job, I hadn’t updated my resume in a long time.

One of the first things that struck me after I joined was that, even before I’d added my work experience and other details, LinkedIn started sending me information about jobs, based only on my (then) current position and my knowledge of French.

Not only that, these looked like good jobs – interesting positions, several at well-known companies. Right now, I want to explore other options, including freelance work, before I start applying for more conventional employment. I also want to upgrade my computer skills, and possibly other skills as well, and the postings have helped me figure out what I need to work on. They’ve also given me hope that there are good jobs available.

But I also realize that some of the features of LinkedIn could have been useful a long time ago, when job hunting wasn’t yet on my personal radar screen. I’ve joined half a dozen groups for journalists and writers, and the discussions on their pages keep me up to date on issues that are relevant to me.

As well, I’ve been following with interest the discussion that ensued after a contact posted a question about a book she’d written, which hasn’t been published.  The feedback she received was helpful and encouraging – and it was encouraging for me to me to know that I can be part of similar discussions.

I am also on Facebook and Twitter – now I’m told I should check out pinterest and instagram as well.


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