Many of us use LinkedIn as part of our job search, and this method can be quite successful if you know what do.
LinkedIn has become the 800-pound gorilla in business networking so you must spend some time learning how to best take advantage of it. A previous post I wrote went into optimizing your LinkedIn profile, and this article will go deeper into the topic of using LinkedIn in your job search.
- Fill out your profile – Make sure that your full profile is filled out including the summary, title, and get some recommendations from people you’ve worked with in the past. Those are all the things that people are paying attention to when they’re skimming your profile. Spend some time picking your profile picture and make sure it is professional enough and friendly enough.
- Be active in groups – By actively engaging with people in groups, it not only helps to position you as a thought leader, it also helps to educate you. But you have to make sure to go to the right ones. When you find an interesting group, check out the statistics to see how active it is by going to the “i” letter next to the Join button. Then in the About section that opens up, click on “Group Statistics”. I usually like to look at Growth and Activity to see if the group is growing and how many posts are published a week.
- The search box is your friend – Learn how to find people on LinkedIn in your target company or industry. If you have some connection to them, go ahead and reach out to them as well. Familiarize yourself with the Advanced Search function. You can do a search and then narrow it down using different categories to filter out results. LinkedIn allows you to save up to 10 job searches and 3 people searches for future reference. You can enable that feature by clicking on “Save this Search” after you conduct a search.
- Taking in-person networking online – Many of us go to networking events and get multiple business cards that we then have to store somewhere. Did you know that you can scan business cards using your smartphone and connect with a person on LinkedIn? In 2014 LinkedIn announced a partnership with Evernote that lets you do that. For users of CardMunch, a card scanning business LinkedIn acquired, you can move your business card data.
Now that you have these extra tools to take your LinkedIn usage to the next level, give them a try and see how you can leverage your network on LinkedIn to make your job search that much easier. Remember that it it’s not about which tools you use, but rather how well you wield them.