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Imagine walking into an important job interview armed with information about your interviewer’s work experience, education and professional interests. Wouldn’t that be useful?

That is now possible with the new LinkedIn for BlackBerry smartphones app from LinkedIn, which lets you view profiles of more than 65 million professionals worldwide and in real time from virtually any location.

The LinkedIn for BlackBerry smartphones application brings the powerful networking capabilities of LinkedIn to your BlackBerry smartphone. Discover the app’s features and get insight into how LinkedIn for BlackBerry smartphones can help you land your next job.

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 one 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 to the resume. Your profile can include your work experience, education, affiliations, and so on.

But unlike paper-based resumes, with LinkedIn you can display recommendations from other members for work you have done – a powerful tool for building your credibility. Equally important is building a strong network, as this will help you make contacts with other professionals.

Companies can also post profiles on LinkedIn, which is useful for researching job openings. Research In Motion, for example, has its own profile, with links to employee profiles, company news feeds, and statistics.

What is the LinkedIn for BlackBerry Smartphone application?

With its professional focus, it was natural for LinkedIn to bring its professional network to BlackBerry smartphones. The application is available for free from BlackBerry App World™. With it you can search and view member profiles, send messages, and add professionals to your network—all from your BlackBerry smartphone. As of now you cannot view company profiles or search for job openings with the application, but LinkedIn tells us that these may be included in a future release.

The application tightly integrates with core native BlackBerry functions. For example, LinkedIn messages appear in your Messages folder, marked by a LinkedIn icon. From Messages you can reply directly to other members. When you make an appointment in your BlackBerry Calendar, you can view the attendees’ LinkedIn profiles, if available – a great way to get inside information for your next appointment. The application also augments your existing BlackBerry Contacts list with profile photos and updated information.

Turn a cold conversation into a warm introduction

How can the LinkedIn for BlackBerry smartphone application help you find work? Let’s say you are moments from an important interview. At the last minute, the hiring manager lets you know that the group CEO will be joining. So who is this person?

Pull out your BlackBerry smartphone, open the LinkedIn for BlackBerry application, and find the CEO’s profile. Now you can see the CEO’s:

Job description

Experience

Education

Degree of separation from yourself

You notice that the CEO graduated from the same college that you did. OK, now you can turn a cold conversation into a warm introduction.

What else can you do?

Here are more examples of how to use LinkedIn for BlackBerry smartphones for job searches:

Research: Vet potential supervisors by checking out their profiles.

Networking: How many times has someone said, “You should talk to so and so. You would be perfect for their team?”” Now you can look at the referral’s profile on the spot and even fire off a message.

On-the-go access to referrals: Request referrals from your network for job openings. You will be surprised how quickly your network connects you with opportunities.

An example: Seven steps to get a new job

You can use a combination of the LinkedIn website and the LinkedIn for BlackBerry smartphones application to supercharge your next job search:

Find job openings (website): Use the LinkedIn website’s Jobs tab to search for openings in your field. You can search by keyword, company name, job title, location, function, industry, and so on. Apply for the positions that interest you.

ID the HR manager’s (website): Applying for the position is not enough, however. To get noticed you need to reach the decision makers. So search the company’s LinkedIn profile to identify the decision makers you need to reach.

Look for common contacts (website): Check the hiring managers’ LinkedIn profiles for any mutual LinkedIn contacts. If you find one, ask your mutual contact for an introduction. The aim is for a personalised introduction instead of a cold call.

Set up an interview (smartphone): Use your BlackBerry smartphone to ask the decision makers to an interview.

Research the people you are interviewing with (app): Note conversation starters, such as common interests, contacts, education, etc.

Update your status (app): After the meeting, use your BlackBerry smartphone to update your LinkedIn status by saying good things about the people you just met. This gives your interviewers a good impression, and also alerts your network that you are searching for a new position.

Add the HR managers to your network (app): When you get the job, add the people you met to your LinkedIn network.

Next steps

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!

To download BlackBerry App World direct from your BlackBerry smartphone, visit www.blackberry.com/appworld

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