The popularity of LinkedIn has created a fundamental change in how business professionals network and find new employment and business opportunities, especially in the Information Technology sector. Recruiters quickly realized the importance and value of a searchable pool of talent, and spend hours connecting with and contacting potential candidates. Unfortunately, the sheer volume of connection requests and InMails (LinkedIn’s internal mail system) in ‘hot’ skill sets creates a frustration akin to spam for many. As a result, the Recruiters at TDK Technologies have heard many grumblings in recent months regarding the excessive traffic and emails. Although many reading this are likely nodding their head in agreement and see ‘spam’ as a negative to having a LinkedIn account, there are actually several positives that can be gleaned from this.

The first positive is that you can get a good read on the market for your skill set. If you are receiving numerous requests to discuss a variety of opportunities, that should give a good indication of the current demand for your skill set. Perhaps the comfort of seeing the demand gives you a bit more peace of mind or even the courage to take a calculated risk to leave a known but less than fulfilling job for a new opportunity. Conversely, if you’ve taken the time to build out a decently informative profile with work history and the requisite buzz-words, and you are receiving very little interest, then perhaps that is a sign that it's time to update your skill set.

The second positive resulting from increased LinkedIn activity is the ability to window shop various opportunities. While it doesn’t take an incredible amount of effort to jump over to and take a quick survey of the local market, the Recruiters that utilize LinkedIn bring that information to you. You can avoid submitting your information to career portals and losing control of the destination of your resume. Not only that, but unlike blindly submitting your resume through a job posting, most Recruiters contacting you through LinkedIn will readily answer any questions you may have so that you can pre-qualify an opportunity that meets your needs. You can then cherry-pick to see what opportunities, notes or Recruiters catch your eye, and then engage in conversation if it suits you.

The third positive is the ability to get a glance at the various Recruiters and firms out there before deciding to engage and giving out private information such as a phone number or even an electronic version of your resume. You can get a look at how the Recruiter communicates, what their approach looks like, and even peek at the background of the Recruiter by viewing their profile. Most Recruiters that are effectively utilizing LinkedIn will have a ton of information you can use. You can view the connections you both have in common and find out from your connections what their dealings with a particular Recruiter have been like. You can get a look at the Recruiter’s experience level, tenure history and even see if the Recruiter has been formally recommended by other IT Professionals.

Most IT Professionals recognize there are just too many advantages of LinkedIn to not have a profile. The ability to connect with and professionally network with peers, former co-workers and other professionals, and the ability to join informative groups for learning and problem solving are just a couple of the benefits. While it can be annoying and even overwhelming for some to wade through the InMails and countless invitations to connect, take solace in the fact that even spam has a silver lining.

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