Today’s job candidates have more tools available to them than at any time in history. Still, those resources are of little help if they’re not properly used. Take social media platforms like LinkedIn, for example. Your LinkedIn profile can be a powerful tool for enhancing your job search, but only if you know how to leverage it effectively. The good news is that there is a right way to use LinkedIn to find a job. In this post, we’ll explain what you can do to make this important tool work for you.
Why it’s important to use LinkedIn to find a job
LinkedIn has several hundred million users on its site. That alone makes it an important resource for connecting with potential employers and others in your industry. Even more important, though, is the fact that more than nine out of every ten recruiters utilize LinkedIn to find great job candidates. What does that mean for your job search? It’s simple: if you’re not using LinkedIn properly, those recruiters may not be able to find you. And that could mean missing out on that job of your dreams.
How to use LinkedIn to find a job
First, let’s be clear here: LinkedIn is a tool. By itself, it won’t provide you with a job.
It can, however, help others locate you, and potentially provide you with job opportunities that you’d otherwise miss. It also has powerful search features that you can use to locate job opportunities that might not be advertised in other forums. The following tips can help you to properly leverage this tool to get a better return on your job search efforts:
Understand LinkedIn’s role, and use it the right way
Before you can use LinkedIn to find a job, you need to understand what it’s designed to do. Within the realm of social media, each platform offers unique benefits for its users.
For example, Facebook excels as a branding tool, while Twitter provides a great platform for directing attention to other online activity. Instagram appeals to our love of visual information and Pinterest allows us to save visual information in categories.
LinkedIn has seized different ground in the social media universe, and now provides one of the best platforms for connecting with others in your industry.
Obviously, LinkedIn can do more than just help you find business contacts. It can also be used to strengthen your resume presentation, by providing a platform for you to tell more of your story. In that way, it can showcase you as a real person in ways that your resume cannot.
In addition, its advanced search tools can offer recruiters and others an easy way to locate you–which could lead to job interviews and offers. So, take the time to understand this platform’s importance, and make sure that you properly leverage your LinkedIn page to maximize potential benefits.
Your LinkedIn summary can be one great place to start! Check out our post on that topic: How to Write the Perfect LinkedIn Summary.
Brand yourself properly
Your professional brand is vitally important if you want to enjoy LinkedIn success. You can enhance that brand by presenting yourself as a formidable expert in your field.
Use your LinkedIn page to share your insights, experiences, and expertise. In addition, include news about workshops, conferences, and other industry-related events that you’re attending. Post photos, insights from the event, and other news as updates.
That not only showcases your competence and involvement in the industry, but helps you to share your experience with others. That’s a powerful way to engage with other LinkedIn users and enhance your brand and network.
We wrote a good post here on including the right skills on your LinkedIn profile.
Use the search function
LinkedIn’s search function works both ways, of course. You can and should focus on keyword-optimization for your profile to ensure that recruiters and others can locate your page. But your efforts should not stop there!
Instead of just waiting for someone to locate your profile, you can proactively seek out opportunities. The key is to learn how to use that search engine to connect with people in your industry and discover new job opportunities.
The LinkedIn search features enable you to search by industry type, position, companies, groups, and even specific experience levels. When you use it right, you can develop new network contacts or find others who are connected to people you already know.
Even better, LinkedIn will eventually learn your search habits, and that will enhance the search experience to offer you even more relevant results.
Engage with others
Like other social media platforms, LinkedIn requires active engagement if you want to properly leverage its power. You should be actively seeking out relevant groups, and posting content that is of interest of others. You can ask specific questions to spark conversations and create more engagement with people in those groups.
That engagement helps to enhance your brand and gain you recognition within the industry. Just remember to keep your topics focused on industry-related matters, and avoid controversial topics that might create dissension.
Build a strong network
When you use LinkedIn, it’s important to be guided by one simple fact: each contact could be a potential lead to a new job. Work to build a large network of contacts, and engage with them on a regular basis to create a strong personal relationship. When you’re at events, network with people that you meet, and maintain those contacts through LinkedIn.
That random stranger you met at an industry workshop might end up being the person who leads you to your next great job!
Don’t be afraid to ask regular network contacts for recommendations either. You should also get in the habit of offering those recommendations to your contacts. Doing so may help to encourage them to do the same. Once you get in the habit of building these types of strong network relationships, you can more easily ask for referrals and introductions that can open the door to a new job.
Use LinkedIn to find a job, and watch your opportunities grow!
As we noted at the onset of this post, LinkedIn is a powerful tool for any job search effort. When used correctly, it can open new opportunities and showcase your expertise and value. Naturally, you will still want to focus on resume submissions and other traditional job search techniques.
However, even those techniques can be enhanced by the proper use of social media platforms like LinkedIn. So, take the time to use LinkedIn to find a job, and then watch as your odds of finding a great job increase dramatically.