In the first post in this series, I wrote that social media can help you differentiate yourself when job hunting. Today’s post focuses on using LinkedIn for this purpose.
Just over two year ago, my daughter, with a brand-new Bachelors degree in Classical Studies in hand, announced she was going to find a job and an apartment in Toronto. In that order. Within a couple of weeks, she had accomplished both. How did she find a job so quickly? Through LinkedIn. She had a strong profile, she devoted time to LinkedIn each day, and she kept her eyes open.
You too can use LinkedIn to help find a job. Here are a few tips to make it happen.
Strengthen your summary
Your headline and summary in LinkedIn must be well written. Be honest: Would a recruiter or hiring manager be able to find your profile, and would she then be interested in you, based on what you’ve written about yourself? While you’re tweaking your LinkedIn profile, be sure your photo is professional and shows you in your best light, so to speak.
Be sure your headline in LinkedIn announces to everyone that you’re seeking an opportunity in your field. Be specific. (Of course you need to tell everyone you know in person and in other networks that you’re looking for a job!)
It’s no time to be shy. Reach out to the people who can help you. And be sure to ask how you can help them back. Ask your first-level connections to introduce you to people in the organizations you’re targeting.
Update your status at least once a day
Be sure to update your status on LinkedIn at least daily. Not sure what to say? Share a helpful article or blog post you’ve found, or an interesting statistic. If you’re attending an industry event or reading a good business book, write about it. When you update your status, your name and face appear in the news feed. You want maximum exposure right now, don’t you?
Recommendations are much more powerful than endorsements on LinkedIn, because people have to take the time to write them; they require more than a simple click. If you have fewer than 10 or so recommendations, it may be time to ask for more. Is there someone you’ve done great work for? Perhaps he wrote you a beautiful email thanking you. Approach him and ask if he can turn that email into a LinkedIn recommendation.
Discuss and network
Join in the discussions in pertinent LinkedIn Groups. Show your expertise, be helpful and keep networking.
How to Use LinkedIn to Find a JobFollow companies
In addition to connecting with individual people, be sure to follow organizations you’re interested in. In their news feed, you will see fresh info about the company and job listings too.
When you’re looking for a job, it might be worthwhile to spring for the “LinkedIn Job Seeker Premium” account. Even with a basic (free) account, you can sign up for LinkedIn’s email alerts for jobs you might be interested in, based on your listed skills.
Check out these free resources for beefing up your LinkedIn skills.
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