Using LinkedIn For Your Job Search

Using social media tools has become a very common and effective way to assist in your search for a new job.  The most common of these tools are LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.  In this article, we will focus on the use of LinkedIn for connecting you with potential recruiters and hiring decision makers. Recent statistics show that those who use LinkedIn in their job search are 40 times more likely to be hired that those who do not.  The simple fact in this changing job market is that recruiters love to use LinkedIn to source their potential candidates.  You can use this reality to build relationships with them and showcase your skills.

The 3 focus areas to focus on in LinkedIn are as follows:

As you begin to build your LinkedIn profile, remember to use your resume as the foundation.  Include a current and professional personal photo and your profile will be 7 times more likely to be viewed than those without a picture. Your contact information can include your job search email and a cell phone number, but it is inadvisable to include your home phone number or address.

The “Summary” section of your profile should use action verbs.  Conduct research on your target companies and choose wording that closely aligns with what they are seeking in a candidate in their job postings.   Focus on showing results or solutions that you have achieved in each of your past work experiences.

The “Education” section can include such things as GPA, group memberships or any additional training you have received.

“Recommendations” are very helpful and serve as validation for the experience you highlight.  These can come from former bosses or clients and it is a good idea to have a couple for each past employer.  You can also add additional sections such as Certifications, Languages, Publications or Volunteer activities.

There are 6 basic components of a good LinkedIn profile.  They are:

Privacy Settings is an area that should be given consideration as you develop your LinkedIn profile. Under “Connections” and then “Contacts”, if you choose “Add Connections”, this will pull all your contacts from your email address book.  If you do not wish to be connected in this way, you can go to the bottom left of the page, and choose the contact by individual email option.

Once you have your basic profile developed, you can begin connecting with others and be well on your way to finding a job.  Keep in mind that you can’t find a job if employers and hiring managers cannot find you so having a LinkedIn profile will ensure that you are visible and have an edge in this increasingly and ever more competitive job market.

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