Ex-Football Player Makes Career Using Social Networking Site

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A former Arena Football League player and central-Ohio native is using a social networking Web site to help job seekers.

Lewis Howes, the single game NCAA record holder for receiving yards, had his sights set on a professional football career when he sustained a wrist injury, 10TV's Andy Hirsch reported.

"I was kind of down on my luck and really depressed, sitting around in my bed," Howes said. "The one thing I could do was type with one hand and a couple fingers on my broken wrist. So I just figured I'm going to try to figure this thing out."

The 'thing' Howes is referring to is LinkedIn. He is now a LinkedIn Business Coach and helps people across the U.S. use the Web site to find a job, Hirsch reported.

Howes describes LinkedIn as a Facebook for professional adults. Users can post a profile, work experience, education and even recommendations from other LinkedIn users.

"One guy had an MBA and after six months, he couldn't get a job," Howes said. "He said, 'What do I do?' So I sat down with him, fixed up his LinkedIn profile and within the next two weeks, he had a job."

Howes has moved from one-on-one training to co-authoring a book titled "LinkedWorking." He hosts social media events across the country that draw hundreds of people.

Howes said he knows that social networking is still a new phenomenon and recognizes that it can be a bit overwhelming.

"I just tell people to spend 10 minutes a day or 30 minutes a week, just get on there and play around with it a little bit," Howes said. "Read the tutorials, check out the blogs and eventually it's going to start to make sense."

Howes recommended that LinkedIn users make their profiles concise and compelling -- you want to let prospective employers know exactly what you can do and how you can help them. He also advised job seekers to connect with as many people as possible because a friend of a friend may sometimes to be the key to unlocking a job. And Howes said that while you may make some social networking mistakes when you first start out, do not be intimidated -- the more you use the Web site, the easier it will get.

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