CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Tri-State computer expert Dave Hatter, an executive at Cincinnati consulting firm Definity Partners, admits he's crazy about LinkedIn. While many people are obsessed with Facebook, Hatter is often on LinkedIn connecting with others in the tech industry and, more importantly, business professionals who might need his company's expertise at writing customized computer programs.
Hatter believes the unemployed can use LinkedIn to find a job, too.
"One of the key facets I think most people really overlook is the incredible power of the search engine in LinkedIn," he said.
For instance, if you wanted to get a job at Kroger's headquarters downtown, you could use LinkedIn to search for the hiring manager you need to connect with. Once you find his or her profile, LinkedIn will show you which of your connections already know the Kroger executive.
"And I'm going to look at each one of those people and say now, of them, who do I think would be the most likely to help me talk to someone at Kroger that might be able to hire me," Hatter said, "to help me get through the maze to someone that actually may be willing to talk to me, you know?"
Hatter suggests contacting that friend in the real world to ask them if they'll help you set-up a lunch or coffee meeting with the hiring manager.
A recent article on the Forbes website points out that a lot of hiring managers are doing their own searches to fill positions. Hatter says this underscores the need for a snappy "headline" at the top of your profile and common keywords in your LinkedIn profile that would be used by people with your expertise. (He shows us how to do that in the extended web-only video at the top of this page.) That's what will get your profile to appear in those hiring managers' search results.
In addition, Hatter says it's a good idea to post something two to three times a day on the LinkedIn homepage that would be of interest to others in your profession. He says that increases your name recognition and reminds hiring managers that you're out there. Plus, you can join groups on LinkedIn, which will allow you to post interesting tidbits to an even wider group of professionals.
"There are over a million groups on LinkedIn," Hatter said. "Some groups have literally hundreds of thousands of members in them. By joining the group, you now have opt-in permission to share with that group."
Just don't spam them, he advises.
The good news is, with social media, you no longer have to be a social butterfly at cocktail parties to get to know the people who can help you get ahead.