LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network, and it can be a great way to power-up your next job search. Having a profile allows you to:
- Share your resume
- View active job postings
- Build a network of colleagues
- Find networking events and other opportunities for career development
In order to take full advantage of these features, you need a reliable strategy. Here are 5 steps to help you use LinkedIn for a more effective job search.
FINE-TUNE YOUR PROFILE
Your LinkedIn profile works like an online resume, and you can safely assume that any potential employer will read it. With this in mind, use the different elements of your profile to create a strong impression.
“Build solid relationships by offering your help and support to people,” advises Walters. “The more you help those in your network, the more they will want to help and recommend you when an opportunity arises.”
Here are a few examples of how you can show your support:
- Choose a friendly and professional photo that shows your face clearly.
- Think of your summary as a sales pitch. What are you most proud of? What makes you unique? Talk about your passion for solving certain types of problems. Showcase your most important achievements and qualifications. Be concise and detailed.
- In the experience section of your profile, give a detailed description of your duties, achievements, and recognitions. Shout out your accomplishments!
- The additional interests section is an important building block for your LinkedIn network. Each interest you display is a potential link to professionals with similar interests, so make sure to build a list of interests with your career goals in mind.
- Carefully draft and
edit each section of your profile. Make sure the writing is
clear, concise, and correctly formatted.
Groups are one of the best ways to improve your job search on LinkedIn. When you join groups that are aligned with your professional interests, you’ll get access to relevant job listings, events, and industry news. Not sure which groups to join? Here are a few suggestions:
- Your college or university’s group
- Groups of companies on your list of potential employers
- Groups that are focused on your area of
expertise, or any topic that interests you as a
BE AN ACTIVE PARTICIPANT
There are millions of LinkedIn users, and some groups have thousands of members. It isn’t enough to set up a profile, join a few groups, or apply for a few jobs. If you want to leverage the power of LinkedIn to find a job, you should consistently interact with other members.
- Read about your industry and actively develop your knowledge.
- Join discussions and comment frequently.
- Always conduct yourself with professionalism.
- Endorse your
LinkedIn connections wherever possible. (A fast way to gather
endorsements is to endorse other people.)
ASK FOR RECOMMENDATIONS
Even if you’re new to LinkedIn, you’ve probably worked with people who are active on the site. Recommendations are a powerful asset on this platform, but you should only request them from people who know you well enough to attest to the quality of your work.
Look at your resume, and make a list of people you could feasibly ask for a recommendation. Always re-connect first. If possible, offer some sort of professional help or support before you ask for a recommendation.
USE THE ‘JOBS’ SECTION
Once you’ve developed your profile on LinkedIn, turn your attention to the jobs section. There are a number of powerful tools here to help you find and apply for jobs.
- Search job postings by keyword, category, and/or location.
- Filter the results by date, experience level, job type, company, or location.
- Take note of specialized job recommendations based on your activity (e.g., “Jobs You May Be Interested In,” “Jobs in Your Network”).
- Save every job posting that interests you so you can retrieve it quickly.
- Browse the LinkedIn pages of
companies you’re interested in working for and look for people
in your network who work there.
APPLY FOR JOBS
LinkedIn makes it easy to apply for jobs. On each job posting, you’ll see the Apply or Easy Apply button. You’ll either be taken to an application within the LinkedIn platform (Easy Apply), or you’ll link to the company’s web site or job board where you’ll find instructions on how to apply.
Keep in mind that once you submit a job application through LinkedIn, you can’t take it back or modify it – you can only contact the job poster. This is a good reminder to complete each application carefully.
FOLLOW UP AND BUILD CONNECTIONS
No matter where you find a job posting, and no matter how you apply, getting to the interview stage is what you want. That’s why it’s important to follow up with each potential employer in a timely and professional way.
Remember, too, that there are a lot of people applying for jobs on LinkedIn. If your applications are routinely getting passed over, you may need to tweak some things about your profile and/or your job search – but don’t give up. Using LinkedIn to find a job is all about being confident in the skills and talents you bring to the table and fostering connections for mutual support.
If you follow these guidelines for using LinkedIn to find a job, and if you are consistently active on the site, it should only be a matter of time before your efforts pay off.
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Neither Strategic Education, Inc nor Strayer University has a promotional relationship or is in any way affiliated with LinkedIn. Students should conduct their research on how they can best utilize LinkedIn.