Are you there, LinkedIn? It's me, the Aspiring Professional.
Every recruiter, consultant and job expert says the same thing: Maximize networking sites!
Whether it's Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, BrightFuse or MySpace, put up your resume and connect with prospective employers and like-minded professionals. If you already have a job, do the same; head hunters troll sites like LinkedIn looking for talent (a friend of mine was contacted by a recruiter after he saw her profile).
Wailin Wong, who writes the Chicago Tribune's Digital Life column, could not agree more. In her article today, Wong praises the virtues of professional networking sites. She mentions the traditional avenues--like those listed above--and also draws attention to the demand for industry-specific sites. She notes that there are already social networks organized around specific industries including law, information technology and the airlines.
During our coffeehouse last month, many of you expressed an interest in gathering with other individuals in your specific field. This could be a way to do it. If you're a lawyer, an aspiring lawyer or an out-of-work lawyer, the LexisNexis-run Martindale-Hubbell can help you find other lawyers in your area. I can't be certain what's out there for other fields, but it would definitely be worth your time to find out.