Of all the job-related websites and resources, LinkedIn will give you the most bang for the buck. If used to its potential, it can absorb more than thirty percent of your job search/resource load. With LinkedIn, you can search and study almost every company in existence—including its corporate ladder—from entry-level employees to higher-level managers. Now that MOST people in the working sphere utilize LinkedIn, it provides unlimited opportunities to see who’s who and who’s where. But how can you BEST use LinkedIn in your job search? Here’s a few tips:
- Make Your Profile Headline Perfect: When other LinkedIn users search for you, your name, profile photo, and headline are the only things they will see before deciding to click to your full profile. It is important to make your headline count. Don’t be basic and vague with it. Be direct and specific. “Editor Seeking New Opportunity” is not acceptable; “Magazine Editor Looking for Small Publication to Make Big,” on the other hand, works well.
- Follow Your Target Companies: If you have specific companies that interest you, then you can follow their pages on LinkedIn. By doing this, you will receive news bulletins about the company, notifications on available job positions, and other helpful updates. This will allow you to stay in the loop should you ever interview for an opening. Stay current on everything that is going on at those places you’d like to work!
- Expand Your Network: Make your first-degree connections network as big as it can be. Connect with everyone you have worked with in the past as well as key people who orbit your working sphere. The more first-degree connections you have, the more you can expand your second and third degree connections. For instance, someone with 100 direct connections can increase their second and third degree connections by tens of thousands of people, since you will then be able to connect with their connections. The more connections you have, the more visible you will be on LinkedIn. And use the “colleagues” function in order to reconnect with past co-workers whose contact info you may have lost. Join as many applicable groups as you can, including industry and alumni groups.
- Find Your Boss and Hiring Manager: Finding the hiring manager for the position you covet on LinkedIn can be difficult, especially when seemingly everyone has the title of Project Manager or Director of Projects, etc. Try to utilize the Advanced Search function, include the company name, and type in what you think the most likely title for your hiring manager would be. Next, scope out the company’s main boss. Study these people and learn about their backgrounds so that you can figure out what it is they are looking for in their employees. Find out what makes the company “tick” from its point of view.
- Spice Up Your Profile: Simply listing your chronology of employment is boring. Show examples of what you did at each place. Post images of some of the content you contributed to, or videos of you speaking to a group. It’s easy (and generic) to just list all the things you’ve done. You can take your profile to the next level by actually physically demonstrating the those accomplishments. Potential/future employers will take notice of your creative flair. As the saying goes, “Show Don’t Tell!” Lastly, if you are truly looking for work, include your email address in your profile. To avoid spam, use an email address dedicated specifically for job searching.
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