Ask Dave Taylor: Tech and Business


How to find a job and connect with others using LinkedIn

I need some help: I've joined LinkedIn and now want to find other people in Colorado who can help me find work. I've a background in computer networking and am a civilian employee of the Air Force, but I'm pretty new to LinkedIn. Do you have some advice for me?

Thanks for your question. I have a number of family members who have in the past been civilian employees of the military, so I know your situation pretty well. You're the first to be jettisoned if the flight gets turbulent, so it's smart to do some networking on your own behalf through systems like LinkedIn. But, as you say, LinkedIn can be a bit intimidating for new folk, so I'd be happy to take you on a brief tour of how I use it to make new connections online.

First off, it's critical that you spend the time to create the best and most accurate possible profile for yourself on the system. Over time, I've spent probably 10-15 hours on my profile, including adding my educational background, published works, different jobs I've held, and so on. The reason it's important to have a good profile is because first off, it makes you more findable for others, but even more importantly, when you initiate communication with someone else, the first thing they'll do is go and check out your profile. Even if your profile isn't that great, the fact that you've spent the time trying to make it comprehensive will tell them that you're serious, that you respect their time and attention, and that you want to use LinkedIn to its fullest capacity.

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