Are you wondering why everyone in the professional world is so agog over LinkedIn? If you’ve been avoiding LinkedIn because you think it’s probably just a more boring version of Facebook, you’re missing out. This professional networking site has become a very powerful tool for job candidates who want to increase their visibility and showcase their best qualities.
1. Update Your Status ASAP
If people know you are job hunting, they are often happy to help you out. When you post to let your network know about your job search, put a positive spin on it. For example, “I’m starting on my job searchtoday. The years I spent at (name of previous company) have prepared me well to advance my career through this transition. I’m excited to see what’s available on the job market. If you know of anyone who’s looking for a (name your job title) with (name a couple of your top skills), let me know!”
2. Get Relevant Recommendations
Former managers, direct reports, coworkers, clients, and vendors can be great sources for recommendations on LinkedIn. When recruiters view your profile, they are very interested in what other people are saying about you. Don’t spam your network with requests for recommendations. Instead, ask about a dozen people who have worked closely with you to post feedback that is specific and focuses on both your character and your job skills.
3. Find Out Who You Know
Use LinkedIn to get the inside scoop. Run a search on LinkedIn for a prospective employer’s company name cross referenced with the name of your high school, any colleges you’ve attended, and your past workplaces. That way, you can pull up anyone you know who is or has been involved with a prospective employer. You can pump them for information about the company’s culture and how they were successful in getting a job there. It’s even better if they know the recruiter or someone else in the hiring decision-making chain. Friends of friends may also be able to hook you up with an inside connection.
4. Use the Job Search Function to Boost Your SEO
Finding posted jobs is only one of the reasons to spend time browsing the job search area of LinkedIn. This is where you will find out what skills recruiters in your industry are looking for. These are the keywords you will need to add to your LinkedIn summary and your resume so recruiters who are looking for jobs that aren’t posted can easily find you. For those that don’t know, SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization.”
5. Do Unto Others
Stay on the lookout for ways to assist people in your network in their job searches as well. The more you give, the more you get back on LinkedIn. For example, if you become active in a professional group geared toward your area of expertise on LinkedIn and start sharing your job search tips, you stay at the top of people’s minds when they become aware of a job that would be right for you. When you post helpful advice online, it also makes you look like a team player in the eyes of recruiters.