Top Tips for Making LinkedIn Work for You
Author: Steve Gore
In this day and age I'm constantly hearing about social recruiting and the importance of using social media to find work, but it's not always that easy, knowing what you should be doing doesn't necessarily help when it comes to knowing HOW to do it.
With this in mind I wanted to share some of my top tips for using social media to find new opportunities, the first one I wanted to talk about is LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is one of the biggest business networking sites in the world, with 100 million members already and steady growth it’s an increasingly powerful tool for networking. If you don't already have a profile on LinkedIn I would strongly recommend heading over and signing up for one.
Once you have your profile you’re set to begin building your network and then putting it to work securing your next job. Here are my top tips for doing so:
- Be thorough – Make sure your profile is as complete as you can make it, make sure you fill out the details of your past positions and education as well as being clear on your areas of expertise. Think of your profile as a CV, portfolio of experience and communications platform rolled into one; you need to ensure it paints the best, most detailed picture possible.
- Be detailed – Be sure to include all the specific details of your experience and expertise especially when it comes to technical competence, these are the details that are most attractive to recruiters and are most likely to be searched for so if you have 15 years working with high pressure gas storage systems, be sure to mention it!
- Be tailored – If you’re looking for a role within a particular industry, with a particular job title or working on specific projects then ensure you build these terms into your summary and specialties. These keywords will help your profile come up in searches performed by recruiters looking to fill those jobs.
- Don’t fear apps – Some apps are a major headache whilst some can be invaluable. Box.net for example allows you to upload files to your profile such as project portfolios, written references, certificates etc. Spend some time exploring the apps on offer and find the ones that could work for you.
- Join groups – There are groups for everything and everyone, so be sure to search for and join as many as are relevant to you and your profession. Recruiters are constantly using groups as a platform to find job seekers and you could be exactly what they’re looking for.
- Network, network, network – Your potential gains from using LinkedIn are limited only by the extent of your network which is defined entirely by your connections. Each person you connect to will add 50 people on average to your network, these people can see you and you can see them allowing you to find out about opportunities and make people aware of your availability. Be sure to add your friends, colleagues and business partners, grow your network aggressively.
- Participate – Get involved in conversations in groups and be sure to post regular updates to your network, doing so raises the profile of your online voice and helps contribute to you perceived online image. You want to cultivate the image of being knowledgeable, experienced and, above all, employable.
- References – Always be sure to ask for references from people you’ve done business with, whether they’re a colleague, a former employer or someone you’ve worked on a project with. Most people are happy to provide a short recommendation in return for one from you and these can be extremely compelling when your profile is being viewed by potential employers.
- Make Time – Whilst this might seem like a lot, it’s not; block out 10-15 minutes once or twice a day when you will go onto LinkedIn, answer any messages, update your status and post in your groups. You’ll find yourself able to get everything done quickly and easily.
I hope you’ve found this information useful and are able to put it to good use making LinkedIn an integral part of your job hunting strategy.