Tips for Effectively Using LinkedIn
In many industries, getting a job depends on who you know just as much as what you know. This makes sites like LinkedIn indispensable to your job search, allowing you to connect with people and explore companies that could be your future employers. Here are five tips for effectively using your LinkedIn account.
Make the most of your headline. Your headline is often the first thing people see when it comes to your profile. It’s a succinct summary of your expertise and field and what makes you stand out as a potential connection or job candidate. Include your specialty and refrain from using a default or hackneyed headline.
Keep your profile up to date and make it as detailed and complete as possible. While your resume should generally be limited to a single page, your LinkedIn profile is an opportunity to give employers a more in-depth look into your employment history, skills and qualifications and can add a new dimension to your application. You can also provide links to articles you’ve written or other sites that showcase your work. Profiles with pictures and information about your work history are much more likely to be found than those with blank sections.
Three words: Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Recruiters often search LinkedIn for potential candidates, and their results are based on profiles that contain the keywords they use. Look through job descriptions for the kinds of position you want and pepper key terms and phrases throughout your Summary and Skills & Expertise sections.
Build your network. One of the easiest ways to take advantage of all LinkedIn has to offer is to build your network. When you connect with someone on LinkedIn, you are also connecting with their entire network, thus expanding your opportunities. However, if sending connection requests to people you do not know and/or have no friends in common with, be sure to use the personalized note feature. Explain why you want to connect with someone - if they work for your dream company and you want to connect with them to learn more about what it’s like being an employee, clearly state so. Even just one trait or feature in common can make it much more likely that your request will be accepted. However, be careful - if too many of your requests are rejected because people don’t know you, your account can be shut down.
Join relevant LinkedIn groups. LinkedIn groups offer an opportunity to become actively involved in a virtual community of other professionals in your field. By posting or commenting in your group and communicating with those who share your interests or career goals, you can form meaningful connections with people that could eventually help lead to a job.
When properly utilized, LinkedIn can be an essential tool for networking and even finding a job. By following the above tips and fully utilizing every tool LinkedIn can offer, you can make important and meaningful connections that are instrumental to your future.