As a tool for job search LinkedIn’s usefulness extends far beyond serving as a place to post your resume online. Here are some basic tips for using LinkedIn as part of your strategy when transitioning between employers.
Tune Up Your Profile
The elements of a good LinkedIn Profile are covered in more detail in this post. However, the basics are that you need to have a professional headshot for your photo, a headline that includes your key skills and a summary that describes what you have to offer potential employers that sets you apart from other candidates. Your summary and your descriptions of your Current and Past experience should include keywords describing the main skills you want to be found for.
Describe your achievements rather than your job responsibilities. Whenever possible refer to specific and quantifiable results that you produced. For example, “Introduced a new process that reduced production costs by 18% in the first 12 months after implementation.”
Get recommendations from employers, clients and colleagues. A third party to validation of your skills and capabilities is much more effective than you talking about yourself.
Expand your network
After completing your Profile, the next step is to expand your network starting with family, friends, colleagues, classmates and other people you know. Since most jobs are found through networking rather than job postings it is important to make the effort to connect with everyone you know.
LinkedIn makes it easy to invite those in your email address books. You can view a list of your contacts and select those you want to invite to connect with you.
LinkedIn also has an Alumni feature which lets you search for those who attended your alma maters. You are allowed to send invitations to other alums even if you do not know them personally.
Do Your Research
LinkedIn is a phenomenal resource for researching individuals, prospective employers and industry information. When you have developed a profile of the type of organization you want to work for or a list of target companies you can use LinkedIn to find a great deal of useful information. You can use the Advanced Search feature to look for people by name, location, keyword, title, school and company.
You can also search for Jobs by company, keyword, title and location.
The Advanced Search feature even enables you to save search parameters such that you can easily revisit your favorite searches. You can also save up to 3 searches if you have a free LinkedIn account and choose to receive daily or weekly notifications showing you a list of new people or jobs fitting your search criteria.
These are just a few of LinkedIn’s features that can help you accelerate your job search. If LinkedIn has helped you find a position, please let us know how.
For additional information on how LinkedIn can help with your job search, get access to our checklist 15 Tips for Using LinkedIn for Job Search.