How to use LinkedIn for your job search
Are you job hunting or looking for an alternative job? I strongly advise that you maximize LinkedIn for your job search or even for simply managing your career to take you where you want to be. It has worked for me: LinkedIn has been quite instrumental in my own shift from marketing to organizational development.
Using advanced optimization tools and keywords, you can position your profile to attract the attention of HR, recruiting or hiring managers, and even headhunters within your target industry. This can help you expand your professional network either on a local, regional, or global scope with professionals in the same industry, industry thought leaders in the field, and target companies.
LinkedIn optimization service can also help your LinkedIn profile to appear as a top search result when hiring managers Google your name and perform research on you, your background, and qualifications. Their optimization service can also help accelerate the application process on the LinkedIn job board.
The LinkedIn Job Board is probably one of the best sources for job postings. I recommend it because: (1) you can set up your job preferences and directly receive recommendations for jobs that match your expertise, experience, and career campaign objectives; (2) you can directly send your profile and resumé to the hiring manager’s email address and/or LinkedIn profile inboxes; and (3) you can try the “premium” option – which includes valuable features including direct messaging to recruiters, online video courses, and applicant insights to see how you compare to other candidates – free for one month. Also, there is a feature where you can see who has viewed your profile in the last 90 days and how they found you. You can even become a “featured applicant” and move to the top of recruiters’ application lists.
After you have set your LinkedIn profile ready for optimization, here are some helpful tips and proven strategies that you can use to maximize LinkedIn for your job search:
Request for professional recommendations. In my opinion, the most powerful and business-critical function of your LinkedIn is having clients, former (or even current) managers, and even colleagues vouch for your competency and character. This will definitely build your credibility and give you a competitive edge in the eyes of hiring managers. I personally suggest that you have at least two recommendations for every job position that you’ve had. As an employer, I’ll probably look for 10 recommendations on LinkedIn profile.
By the way, you also need to give recommendations to other colleagues with your LinkedIn profile. That’s normally how it works.
Build and expand your connections. You never know when a connection will prove to be valuable, so make it a regular practice to connect with people you conduct business with or interact with on LinkedIn. It’s important to grow and expand your connections because at the end of the day, your true value is not in your wealth, but in your connections. In job hunting, “word-of-mouth” networking is where the most promising and powerful job leads come from.
Become involved in LinkedIn groups and discussions. Within LinkedIn, you will find the option to join, follow, and participate in a vast variety of industry-related groups and discussions. Try to become as involved as possible, as you want to keep a high profile both inside and outside of your network. Ask questions, reference relevant and informative news articles, and you could even moderate a group that involves job search and/or professionals in your area of subject matter expertise.
Capitalize on applications or plug-ins to your LinkedIn. Complete your LinkedIn experience by using some these applications available on the platform. I write a lot of articles like this one so I automatically post it on my LinkedIn account. But I can also write an article on Linkedin! If you are an avid blogger on job-related topics that demonstrate your authoritative knowledge and professionalism, there is an application that allows you to directly post onto LinkedIn. You can also directly post what you are reading via Amazon, and you can utilize Tripit to tell your connections where you are, if you frequently travel for your job. All these can build a possible impression about you, who you are, and what you can do.
Research your target companies. When applying for a job in a new company, always check out their company LinkedIn business page first, because you can find important information there, including a company description, number of employees, and recent news. This information will be helpful for your cover letter, thank you letter, and the interview process itself.
Take advantage of LinkedIn’s learning opportunities. LinkedIn has continuing education opportunities for professional development within your career. You can discover hundreds of business topics to boost your credentials to become even more attractive in the eyes of your target companies. These are online courses so they are easy to watch or read. An extremely popular platform for sharing presentations and information online is their SlideShare. It’s a great marketing tool, not just for companies, but also for individuals searching for new jobs. – Rappler.com
Boris Joaquin is a corporate trainer, executive coach and consultant. He is an Investors in People (UK) specialist and co-founder of Breakthrough Leadership Management Consultancy which carries Salt and Light Ventures and founder of Project Purpose Philippines. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter @borisjoaquin