Last month we put up a blog post that discussed the ever-evolving role of social media within the job search. We concluded that social media can go a long way towards helping your job search or hurting it, depending on how you decide to use these relatively new platforms.
Each social media platform probably warrants its own blog post, and even then we would just be scratching the surface of how to use social media to land a job. In light of this, we decided that it would be helpful to focus on LinkedIn in today’s post. Of all social media sites, LinkedIn is the most professional-oriented, which makes it particularly valuable when looking for a job.
Here are some tips to help you get the most out of LinkedIn:
Step 1: Perfect Your Profile
On LinkedIn everything begins and ends with your profile. From your profile picture to your experience, your profile on LinkedIn is essentially an online copy of your resume.
With that in mind, choose a profile picture that gives off an aura of professionalism. This is typically the first thing that people will look at when viewing your profile, and as you hopefully already know, first impressions are vitally important. A head shot is often best because people will be able to see and recognize your face. Also make sure that the picture is reasonably current so that hiring managers and/or recruiters aren’t in for a surprise.
While having a good profile picture is important, the real meat of your LinkedIn profile lies in the “experience” section. In fact, it probably isn’t a bad idea to lift this section right off your resume. Use the “professional summary” section to provide a summation of your experience, highlighting experiences that are particularly important or notable. Remember to list your skills in the “skills and expertise” section. People who can vouch for these skills are able to “endorse” them if they feel so compelled.
Step 2: Connect
Once your profile is satisfactory, start connecting with people you know in an effort to grow your network. The more people you know, the more opportunities you will have to potentially advance your career. If possible, try to get at least one recommendation from someone you have worked with. These recommendations appear on your profile and will only increase your chances of landing a job.
Make sure that you don’t go overboard, though - only connect with people that you know and trust. There is no need to connect with random people just so you can look popular or important, and these people will likely decline your invitation anyway.
Step 3: Search and Stay Active
While it’s not unusual for people to be contacted by recruiters or hiring managers, don’t sit back and assume that employers will find you. Go to the job search section and see if there are any that look appealing. If there you find a position that seems to be a good fit, don’t hesitate to hit the “apply now” button. Also, be sure to take note of what keywords appear in postings that interest you. Ensure that these keywords also appear in your profile so that you are more visible to employers and/or recruiters.
In the end, LinkedIn is just one of many tools that you, the job seeker, have at your disposal. Hopefully the tips above will get you headed in the right direction, at the very least. Good luck!
- Cobey Culton