LinkedIn brands itself as the social network for professionals and a lot of people do use it successfully for sharing information and news about their companies or discussing key issues in their industry. But what can LinkedIn do for the jobseeking professional? Many of us are not as clued in to all of LinkedIn’s different features as we might be. However, it’s worth getting to know this social network better as it has a surprising number of tools for helping your job search. Here are five of ten ways in which we can use LinkedIn in our pursuit for the right career. Let’s start with the basic features first.
Check out the jobs section
LinkedIn does actually have a dedicated jobs section. Employers post vacancies in the hope that a savvy jobseeker like you will come across them and turn out to be the ideal candidate. Click on the Jobs tab at the top of the homepage and you’ll be taken to a keyword search box as well as a list of suggested vacancies based on what your profile says.
Complete your profile
The more complete your LinkedIn profile is, the more jobs LinkedIn will be able to suggest for you. A complete profile obviously also appeals to people viewing it, as the reason they’re looking at it is to find out as much as they can about you. When a potential employer looks at your profile, they’ll be forming an opinion based on your tag line, summary box, and specialities. Your experience and education will most probably be important to them too, but you have more freedom in how you word those first three fields mentioned, so make the most of them. Also, right at the bottom there’s a field where you can put what you’re ‘interested in’. This basically means you get to say what you’re on LinkedIn for and what people can approach you with. If you’re on LinkedIn to boost your job search, don’t be shy, select ‘career opportunities’!
You’ll get more traffic to your profile if people know you exist. One of the best ways to maintain a visible presence on LinkedIn is to join groups and take part in their discussions. If you join several groups in your chosen career field, chances are you will keep coming across a few people who are also in all those groups. People build up a rapport by contributing to one another’s discussions in their shared groups. You can even start discussions asking for advice related to your job search, such as recommendations for good vocational courses.
Once you’re more familiar with people who share your interests or specialities, you’ll find yourself with more ‘Connections’. Connections are to LinkedIn what Friends are to Facebook and Followers are to Twitter. You can invite people to become a Connection and be invited yourself. Don’t wait to be invited though-if you believe someone could be beneficial to you, would genuinely like to connect with them on a deeper level, or just find them really interesting, send that invitation out. A major advantage of being connected to someone is that you can message them for free instead of having to pay for an upgrade to ‘InMail’.
Get the Messages out
Why is the ability to send messages so important? Many LinkedIn Members don’t have their email addresses on their public profile, so unless you know someone personally anyway, you have no way to contact them privately other than through the Messages function. Whether you message Connections to ask outright if they know of any job openings, to tap them for information on their organisation, or to arrange a voluntary/shadow placement, do it in the right way. Be clear about why you’re contacting them and what you’re asking for. Ask them if there’s anything *they* need help with. I’ve contacted several Connections in this way and they’ve been all too happy to help me every time.
Get the Professionals Do the Job
Writing a powerful LinkedIn profile can be tricky. It has to be very interesting, concise and professional at the same time. It’s your gateway to your dream job, so don’t waste the chance!
At Style Resumes, we know what we’re doing. We’ve helped thousands of job seekers get their dream job by giving them an impressive resume and LinkedIn profile that made employers feel in love with them. Get in touch with us and have that impressive LinkedIn profile!