As a job-seeker, you might have come across innumerable articles with tips on how to network on LinkedIn. However, the casual LinkedIn job-seeker might have limited knowledge in using LinkedIn as a job search tool. Besides being an impressive networking platform, LinkedIn is also a powerful job board and a strong search engine for job opportunities. Over 90% of recruiters use LinkedIn as a platform to post job openings. So it is prudent of a job seeker to use this platform to look for job openings and connect with hiring managers who are responsible for posting these jobs.
Here is how you can use this platform to grab your next opportunity.
1. Complete your LinkedIn profile
The first step to using LinkedIn as a job search tool is to touch-up your digital face – your professional profile on LinkedIn. A detailed profile gives every recruiter a full picture of your professional accomplishments, experiences and your capabilities. Make sure your profile is at 100% completion for best results.
The following are the essential elements of your LinkedIn profile.
- Professional summary – Your summary should be a description of you and your accomplishments (quantified whenever possible). Describe what you have accomplished related to your current job role and what you want to do next.
- Profile essentials – Remember to fill in all details regarding your education qualifications, industry experience, employment history, certifications, awards and honors and links to your personal website or blog in case you have one
- Photograph – Add a headshot or a full profile photo. You can add a full picture and then edit it. Ensure that the photo is no larger than 80×80 pixels
- Key Words – Identify the key words that are important for the industry and function you are targeting and incorporate them along with your key skills. All your resume key words should be present on your profile
- Recommendations – Make it a habit to ask for recommendations from people you have worked with or reported to after project completions, major professional accomplishments or transition. Recommendations from your network add a lot of credibility to your profile
2. Utilize the search function
LinkedIn as a search engine is a huge platform that enables you to look for people, jobs and companies.
Use LinkedIn to find out information about people before you meet them or have an interview with them. If you know ahead of time who you will be meeting at a company, it’s good to gather some background information before the meeting.
Use “Company Pages” to see who of your connections works at a particular company, if you have any connections in common with someone who works there or if anyone at the company is in your extended network.
3. Leverage the jobs section
The jobs section of the platform is the most important source to find jobs. You can use this section on LinkedIn by entering keywords, company name, job title and location or use the Advanced Search option to search by more specific criteria. It is recommended that you set up email alerts to receive alerts on any new postings that meet your search criteria. You can also keep track of new openings from your smart phone using the Linkedin Job Search App.
4. Join groups and engage
Linked has over 500,000 groups. Groups are great networking grounds for you to interact with people from similar fields or with similar interests. Many group members post job openings that they think are relevant to the group. Look out for them.
Post useful and interesting content in your groups. This may include articles and blog posts you read (or wrote), a funny (but work-related!) video you watched, or a major report on your industry that just hit the news.
5. Stay updated
Constantly monitor companies of your interest and keep tab of new job postings. Also continue visiting the jobs tab on LinkedIn to check new postings. It is critical to check your feeds regularly for the latest news, job postings and discussions.
As mentioned by the online job search expert Susan. P. Joyce –
Using LinkedIn, recruiters find good candidates, get to know them a bit, and approach them when the right opportunity develops rather than posting a job and being inundated with applications from unqualified applicants. Of course, your mileage may vary, but, for most industries and professions, time invested in LinkedIn is usually time well spent.