While LinkedIn has become extremely popular with businesses and companies, it still seems to be lagging a bit when it comes to those seeking jobs. That’s a shame because it’s one of the easiest and most effective job search tools available today. Many company hiring managers check LinkedIn before looking anywhere else for new employees.
The main reason that LinkedIn isn’t being used as much as it should be by job seekers is because it’s considered a form of social media and that term alone makes people think of it as a leisure activity. Nothing could be further from the truth where LinkedIn is concerned. There are, of course, a variety of ways to use the service and some are naturally better than others.
To start, you want to make sure that your profile is 100% complete. If you aren’t sure how to go about doing this, consider hiring a professional to translate your resume into your LinkedIn profile. Having a completed profile that stands out is a great way to give potential employers a good look at you before the interview process.
It’s also important to note that many companies are asking for your LinkedIn profile when you submit a resume. It has actually become so common that many people just include their LinkedIn URL on their resume to begin with.
LinkedIn can also be used overtly for an active job search. Because thousands of companies have company profiles and use the site for headhunting, many of their job openings are published on the site before, or even instead of, any place else. Once you have a completed profile, you can simply click a button and apply for a multitude of jobs.
Consider updating, or even beginning to use, LinkedIn as a job search tool. It’s a great way to be seen by thousands of companies fast.
Have you wanted to sign up with LinkedIn but thought it sounded too complicated to begin? Just another profile to maintain? Oh, no. I’m here to tell ya–LinkedIn is a wonderful job search tool and (hopefully) here to stay.
You need to get around your hesitations in order to get your resume to the right people. One way to do that is to register with LinkedIn and develop a well crafted online business profile. If you’re not registered on LinkedIn yet, you are missing an excellent opportunity to get your name out. After you’ve registered, invite all of your friends and colleagues. The more connections you have there, your chances of forming an extended business network of your closest friends and associates rises – including their first and secondary connections.
Once you have your LinkedIn account set up and established some connections, use the search feature to try and learn as much about the different HR managers or corporate recruiters information. You can use the drop down menu to search for people and then type in the company name. Go through the results in order to find the people located in HR or people in leadership roles that you can befriend.
Start contacting these people through the following methods:
- If you see someone that’s a secondary connection (one of your friends is friends with them through a first degree LinkedIn connection), click “Get introduced through a connection” and add this person as a connection. This allows your personal friend to send a message to that person. Also, you can send your resume to your friend and have them forward it on to their first degree connections. Make sure you ask them to put in a good word for you.
- One option is to upgrade your LinkedIn subscription in order to send HR managers or recruiters a LinkedIn “Inmessage”. The cost is relative compared to the insider level it provides.
- See if you can find the HR manager’s email address through Google by searching their name and the company name through Google’s robust search features. If their contact information comes up in the search findings, you can contact them that way. Their information may be listed in a directory so it may take some time.
- If you can not find a valid email address, and the job requires that you apply by emailing a certain name, such as John Smith at email@example.com, then you all ready know what the email address will look like. So if you’re trying to email Kate Clayton at the same company, then the email address is likely firstname.lastname@example.org. Use this and send them a personal email with your resume attached.
Another option is to call the company and ask to speak with the HR manager by getting their name and information from LinkedIn. If the information is not available on LinkedIn, then the switchboard operator at the company may provide the email address and phone number.
For those of you who have talked to me, you know that I unabashedly love LinkedIn. As social networking goes for professionals, it’s my favorite. LinkedIn has a much cleaner interface than other sites such as MySpace, Plaxo or Facebook. Setting up a profile on LinkedIn can put your name at the top of the Google search rankings and can help you get connected and ‘be found’ in ways you might not have imagined.
LinkedIn is one of the best social networking sites to help you increase your online visibility. Because of its popularity among millions of people, the site has gained a significant presence in Google page rankings. Typically this means that when people search for your name specifically, they can find your LinkedIn profile as one of the first results. If you have a particularly common name, like mine, there are a couple of ways to help further boost your profile in Google searches. Specifically, you should include your LinkedIn profile link in each signature you use from discussion boards to blogs to other social networking sites. You can also use your actual name in the URL you select for your profile. Or, you can differentiate yourself by what you do. My LinkedIn name is: erinkennedycprw. The “cprw” stands for Certified Professional Resume Writer and also sets me apart from the other 212 Erin Kennedy’s. Ideally, for SEO purposes, you really want to have just your name, but if it is already taken, like mine was, you have to figure out something else that will work for you.
Once you have built your profile and included your job history and experience, you can start networking. Chances are that you will find many of your colleagues, classmates, and former university instructors. You can even branch out to the people who are connected to those in your existing network. For example, if you live in Austin and your spouse’s job is requiring that you relocate to Denver, you might not have contacts there. In this case, you can tap into your network to see with whom they’re connected. Chances are that somewhere among your connections, you’ll find someone who lives and works in Denver to forward your resume.
The most important aspect of networking on LinkedIn is building that network well before you need it. Usually, the “pay it forward” concept works here – give out help before you need it yourself. Always make yourself available for LinkedIn recommendations as well as a good word toward HR when a contact wants to apply for a job at your company. By doing this, you highly increase your chances of getting your own recommendations when you need them.
There is another way to use LinkedIn to your advantage. If you know your interviewer’s name in advance, you can look up his or her profile to get an idea of what to talk about during the interview. If you find something that the two of you have in common, such as the same university or previous job, you can bring it up during the interview. However, this should be done carefully. Only you can determine whether the tone of the interview is somewhat light or very strict. While talking about the things you have in common can help set a lighter tone, this tactic should be approached with caution.
Learning the basics of how to use LinkedIn for networking will help you maximize your networking potential. When you make yourself more visible in Google, make connections with your contacts’ networks and use LinkedIn for research, you can find your way to the next big opportunity.