If you are searching for a job, you should be using LinkedIn and all of its features.. As of April 2017, LinkedIn had more than 500 million members-most of which are working professionals. This is an amazing networking opportunity and resource to have at your fingertips.
LinkedIn provides you with access to hundreds of posted job openings, and you can curtail your search to be as broad or focused as you wish. And the search works both ways. HR and hiring managers can find you if they are searching for a candidate with your credentials. LinkedIn is also a great tool you can utilize to stay up to date with companies and industries that are relevant to you. So, before you walk in for that first interview, you can study up on the company beforehand.
Here are few ways you can leverage LinkedIn to give you an advantage in your job search.
Make Sure Your Profile is Accurate and Up to Date
You want your profile to be complete and have it accurately portray who you are, your experiences and what you have to offer in your next position. Your profile gives you much more room than your resume does, so be as detailed as possible. When you are writing about your skills and experiences, use keywords that are relevant in your industry. These are the words hiring managers will be using in their search for candidates like you.
Get involved with discussions in your industry. LinkedIn groups are a great way to do this. When you join a group that is relevant to your profession and field, you become instantly connected with like-minded professionals. Groups also often post exclusive job openings that you may not have access to on the home job search page.
Within a group, you can also contact other group members directly. With a standard connection outside the group, you can only communicate with them once they accept your invite. This is a clear advantage and strong networking tool when it comes to the groups feature.
The formula is simple. The more connections you have, the bigger your network will be and the more likely you are to appear in hiring managers’ search results. You can begin connecting by allowing LinkedIn to pull the contacts from your email address book and allow the system to see which contacts are on LinkedIn. From here, invite them to connect and add a personal note versus sending the default connection invite.
Another way to find connections is through the “People You May Know” feature. Through this, you can connect with current and former co-workers, classmates, and friends. Over connect-you never know who will be able to help you.
Don’t expect results by simply updating your profile, joining a few groups and hoping for the best. Once you have these in place, you have to set time aside daily, if possible, to hop on LinkedIn and engage with your network. Participate in the Q&A’s within the groups you joined. Ask questions and even offer your two sense when the opportunity strikes. This is your chance to stand out!
Also, continue to communicate with your connections. Do not send out a mass message about your interest in finding a job. Engage with your connections one-on-one and tell them what you’re interested in and ask if they know of any leads. This style of reaching out will go much further than sending out blasts to everyone and hoping for the best.
Ask for Recommendations
If possible, try to get past customers, co-workers, or bosses to write a standout review for you on your profile. This is not as common in LinkedIn profiles; therefore, it can really make you stand out from the crowd.
LinkedIn is an amazing resource that you almost have to be utilizing in today’s job market. So get your profile lean and mean, and get involved with like-minded people within your industry and you’ll be on your way to landing that dream job.