Find IT Help with the LinkedIn for BlackBerry Smartphones App
Figure 1. LinkedIn Connections
New professional networking app connects you to IT professionals
Imagine you need to hire a talented contract Java programmer for a major project due in 45 days. Not to worry, you have a vast network of IT professionals to ask for referrals. You send out a message with your BlackBerry® smartphone and get three high-quality leads, complete with work experience, education, and recommendations. That is now possible with the new LinkedIn® for BlackBerry smartphones app from LinkedIn, which lets you view profiles of IT professionals worldwide, in real time, from virtually any location.
The LinkedIn for BlackBerry smartphones app brings the powerful networking capabilities of LinkedIn to your BlackBerry smartphone. In this article find out the app's features and get insight into how the app can help you find IT talent and solve problems.
What is LinkedIn?
As you may know, LinkedIn is a social networking site aimed at your professional life. It now includes profiles of more than 65 million professionals worldwide. A new member signs up every second, and 1 million members join every two weeks.
The real test of any professional tool, of course, is whether it helps people get things done. In that sense LinkedIn is a huge success.
Because of its exclusive professional focus, in many ways LinkedIn has become the modern equivalent of the resume. Your profile can include your work experience, education, affiliations, and so on. But unlike paper-based resumes, with LinkedIn you can connect with other professionals—a powerful tool for finding IT talent.
Figure 2. Messages
What is the LinkedIn for BlackBerry smartphones app?
With its professional focus, it was natural for LinkedIn to bring its professional network to BlackBerry smartphones. The app is available for free from BlackBerry App World™. With it you can search and view member profiles, send messages, and add IT professionals to your network—all from your BlackBerry smartphone. As of now you cannot view job postings with the app, but LinkedIn tells us that may be included in a future release.
The app integrates with several key built-in BlackBerry features. For example, LinkedIn messages appear in your Messages folder, marked by a LinkedIn icon. From the Messages folder you can reply to other members. When you make an appointment in BlackBerry Calendar, you can view the attendees' LinkedIn profiles, if available—a great way to get inside information for your next appointment. The app also augments your existing BlackBerry Contacts list with profile photos and updated information.
Figure 3. The Profile screen
Find the talent and answers you need
How can the LinkedIn for BlackBerry smartphones app help your project? Let's say an unplanned problem has stopped your project cold. Deadlines are slipping and your project manager is having fits. What can you do?
Pull out your BlackBerry smartphone, open the LinkedIn for BlackBerry smartphones app, and ask your network for ideas. One of your contacts forwards your problem to an expert who offers to help.
Guy Kawasaki, Managing Director of Garage Technology Ventures
Tip: Create a meaningful LinkedIn profile and keep it up to date
The techniques outlined in this article mean that prospects, potential employees, customers, and managers will be looking at your professional profile. Consequently your profile needs to be good! Follow these guidelines from your profile on the web:
- Post a complete profile, including job descriptions, education, awards, interests, etc.
- Add a professional photo of yourself, which adds personality and credibility.
- Get recommendations from colleagues, customers, vendors—whoever will say good things about your work. (Recommendations are powerful marketing tools.)
- Link to your company website.
- Build credibility by recommending books in your field.
- Be easy to find by using keywords with which people will search. For example, if you offer BlackBerry app development services, you could include words like, “BlackBerry,” “BlackBerry App World™,” “Java programming,” and so on.
- Spell check and proofread everything. Few things defeat a good impression quicker than a sloppy profile.
- Ask questions and post answers to LinkedIn groups in your field; this gets your name out and establishes your expertise.
What else can you do?
Here are more examples of how to use the LinkedIn for BlackBerry smartphones app:
- Tradeshows: When you meet someone at a tradeshow ask the person about their profile as you are talking. It's a great way to deepen the conversation.
- Hiring: Vet potential candidates by fact checking against their LinkedIn profile.
- Networking: How many times has someone said, “You should talk to so and so. They would be perfect for your project?” Now you can look at the referral's profile on the spot and even fire off a message.
- On-the-go access to talent: Request referrals from you network for talent, such as project managers, coders, IT managers, etc. You will be surprised how quickly your network connects you with options.
An example: Five steps to hire a new Java programmer
You can use a combination of the LinkedIn website and the LinkedIn for BlackBerry smartphones app to supercharge your next talent search:
- Search for candidates to interview (website): Use the LinkedIn website to search for candidates with which you wish to interview. You can search by keyword, location, or by industry. Also find candidates by scanning the contacts of LinkedIn members who work in your target industry.
- Look at experience and recommendations (website): Check the candidates' LinkedIn profiles for any relevant experience and recommendations from colleagues and managers.
- Set up a meeting (smartphone): Use your BlackBerry smartphone Calendar to invite the candidates to an interview.
- Research the candidates you are meeting with (app): Note conversation starters, such as common interests, contacts, education, etc.
- Add the new hire to your network (app): When the candidate becomes an employee, add him or her to your LinkedIn network!
If you haven't signed up for LinkedIn, do so now. Create your professional profile. Then download the LinkedIn for BlackBerry smartphones app and start using it whenever you're on the go!