LinkedIn is the world’s biggest social networking website for professionals. Although many of us are on LinkedIn, few of us truly know how to make the most of it, especially for job search. There’s so much more to seeking work on LinkedIn than browsing the job listings.
Following are some valuable tips from the career guides from career consultancy Position Ignition, so you can tap into LinkedIn as the vital job search resource it is.
Filling in your profile to attract employers’ attention
The first and most important thing to do upon joining LinkedIn is to fill in your profile in as much and as relevant detail as you can. Your profile page is the “go-to place” for people who want to find out more about you, having seen you comment on a discussion in a group, or answer a question in the Q&A. It’s the first impression you make on people who are browsing LinkedIn profiles or Googling certain terms. The profile offers a marvellous opportunity to tell the world about your experience, skills and accomplishments — it’s an opportunity not to be wasted.
Using the applications to enhance your profile
LinkedIn offers a myriad of applications that you can use to enhance your profile, such as Amazon reading lists, Blog Link or Company Buzz. On the Amazon reading list you can include books that are to do with your career area or the career you want to get into, as this will show people what your field is or what field you want to be in. Blog Link allows you to link your blog to your profile. As soon as people visit your profile they can see your blog and click through to it, getting an even better idea of whom you are. You can use company buzz to monitor what people are saying about on both LinkedIn and Twitter about the organisations you want to work for. There are many more useful applications.
Connecting with people who will be of value to you in your job search
‘Connections’ on LinkedIn are the people you choose to add to your own sub-network. And of course, once you’ve connected with someone, they’ll be aware of you. The first thing they’ll probably do is look at your profile — and, if you’re the one who was approached for the connection, you should look at their profile, preferably before you accept the request.
Job searching on LinkedIn isn’t about amassing as many connections as you can. Connect with employers, recruiters, professionals and experts within your chosen career area who you have or can build a relationship with. If you’ve met someone offline who you had a genuine connection with, look them up on LinkedIn — you never know where it might lead.
Researching potential employers
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. First, complete your profile in as much detail as you can so that LinkedIn will automatically show you jobs relevant to your experience and area of interest, when you click on the jobs tab at the top of the homepage. There’s also the opportunity to search for jobs yourself and sign up for email alerts.
But don’t just stick to the job listings — on LinkedIn you can also explore companies without listed vacancies. This is because organisations can have LinkedIn profiles as well as individuals. Research companies you’re interested in working for by searching for them, reading their profiles and clicking through to the profiles of their listed employees. By looking at the job titles of the organisation’s employees, you can tell if the business has roles that match up with the position you want.
Be focused and targeted about the roles you go for on LinkedIn. If you are applying for a range of roles that seem to have no correlation or relevance to each other, you may appear as rather unfocused and unselective in your applications. Go for a focused approach rather than the scattergun approach