Linkedin always surprises me how they break the limitations of their product, and reach again and again the boundary of impossible. I love the Linkedin product as it is very useful for my job and my career.

Linkedin your Portfolio: It is a new feature I love.  I put my events link on my job description.  It not only accumulates what works you have accomplished, but also can able to promote my current and future events or projects when people click my profile. 

Linkedin Groups: I join all kinds of groups related to my job to get to know the news posted by other people, also use them as a channel to promote my events. I manage my own Group -ACI China to engage attendees, speakers or potentials.

Linked In & In: I am a conference producer.  For every conference, I need to find excellent experts in the right field to the forum.  Linkedin can help me to find them either from search or my connections’ connections, and send InMail to them.  It is the best tool to reach the potentials, or people you lost contacts as they change their job.  You can search by putting their past companies in the criteria.  Once you Linkedin, you won’t need to worry to update the contact info, as the users update themselves. Not only for looking for talents, a sales person can even utilize Linkedin to reach potential customers. Vice Versa, customers can perhaps find you or your company if they are searching for their needs on the Linkedin.

Linkedin Flag: I love this spy tool on the right upper corner. Unlike facebook, you can see some people look into your profile on Linkedin.  Maybe they are interested in you or your work!

Are you IN? I highly encourage everyone make full use of Linkedin and visit it every day.  It also has a lot of news that your contacts posted.  Don’t worry you can separate your personal life and professional life without putting your facebook profile - silly you do that. In the future I don’t think the CV is necessary any more, your linkedin profile is your real CV package including you resume and your portfolio and your other network linked.  

My main feature suggestion would be for the mobile app to be more interactive for the event function, so that you can easily connect with new contacts after you talked to them face to face. By checking the events you also get to know who else checked in and left the record that what occasion you met them. 

I have been job hunting for a while.  I have to admit that it is stressful process as well as the learning period for me as a foreigner.  I learned a lot of technique, strategy and skills from my job hunting.  I think it will not only help me to find a job, but also benefit for my entire career.
1. Networking

You always need to know more and more people to get connections.  I saw so many other people who have a job still networking with others.  Not only for future career, but also for current business connection.  We can also get some new tips and new trend of the current market by exchanging ideas, so that they can have more personal competitive advantage. Try to help other people first and contribute your idea, if they know you better, they will make friends with you and help you.

2.  Strategy

I used to apply for 10-15 jobs on internet or on linkedIn a day, seldom have replies.  I am frustrated about the results.  I am an MBA graduate who has multi-cultural and trilingual background, there even weren’t a recruiter to contact me in two weeks when I moved to New York.  I realized that I shouldn’t just work harder, I should work smarter.  I should totally use Inmail to connect to people in the recruiting companies or even in the same department and write them a short message to target to the position.  It works now, many hiring managers replied to my Inmail.  Thus, a strategy never works for me any more, I will analyze it whether it fits the situation and adjust it to the right strategy to meet the market’s need.

3. Business Intelligence

Applying every job and having an interview, I need to research thoroughly about the company, its services, competitive advantage, business model, cultural, social media, and financial information.  I even stalk company and employee in the social media to get some BI.  If I get a job, I think the research skills will help me to deep understand the market customer, and competitors to predict the trend and come up with the accurate strategy.

4. Learning New Skills

I learned Pinterest in two days by myself at the end of February, because there were so many buzzes about Pinterest, and I had no idea what it is.  Now I am become a master of Pinterest. I learned a lot of new skills, such as building a website, a blog, Google analytics, etc. Because the market changed so fast, you need to have new skills to compete with others.  I also have signed up a lot of educational meetup, Skillshare classes, webinars to learn new skills. 

It is a great learning process for me in the US job market.  I always keep positive and confidence for my qualification that I could find a good job here.

In the regular life, especially in the business world, people are networking all the time in the US - this is what we were taught first day I went to MBA.  I was thinking only China or Asia countries are high content and using relationship (Guanxi) to introduce jobs and doing business.  I was so surprised that the US does the same thing, but they are more formal, natural and transparent.  When I see so many people finding internships and jobs through their contacts including friends, friend’s friends, formal colleagues, Alumni, and even the person they just met once, I can’t help believing that this is a networking world.  The traditional or old style of online application becomes almost impossible to find a job because I am competing with thousands of people with similar backgrounds for one position.  You have to think of other strategies, among which the most effective way is networking.

I attended Marketing Mixer New York Meetup on Thursday.  I felt it was a great event.  Many people having the same passion - marketing - gather together.  I tried to talk to as many people as I could.  I first talked to a girl, like me, looking for a job.  Then another lady sought for a change from adverting agency to in house.  There is also a head hunter collected more candidates data in the field.   Some of the in-house marketers seemed to be good friends and laughed and drank a lot.   I also saw some agencies tried to hook up with in-house marketing department to get business.  Some digital marketing consultant wanted to find a new startup, some small business owners tried to use some marketing tools.  I felt the entire marketing world is connected at that moment.  The meetup was filled by steaming hot atmosphere of networking discussion.  

I have to admit it, in this new social networking era, the technology provides us with a good tool - mobile.  Exchanging business cards is out of date.  I can directly find them on LinkedIn and add them as my contacts, or worse case take a photo of their business card to become digitalized.  E-mail is not the only way to connect people, I can use social media to link them on different dimensions.  I can show them my website to promote myself and my marketing skills.  Don’t forget to follow up those contacts, I used all the energy to talk to people and tried to attract their interested.  I have sent some e-mails to those people the next day, who potentially can help me with my career.  

A lot of marketers are excited about the city.  They think the networking here is the most active and greatest thing in the world.  They encouraged me that New York has all kinds of opportunities, the essential thing is to know people who can help you connect to the chance.  I have to push myself to break my conservative Asian characters to be really socialized.   I need to spend more time and energy than national people to add more people into my circle.  At the same time, I also need to read and learn more about the new things on marketing, and practice it on my website to show people I have the talent, hire me!!!