Last week, I saw a “CBS This Morning” interview with LinkedIn’s CEO, Jeff Weiner. Knowing that information specifically for creating and improving your LinkedIn profile is just a glance away from the mouth of someone in charge compelled me to sit down and write about it.
Why should you use LinkedIn for your job search?
LinkedIn is the top professional social networking site, with over 133 million users in the U.S. alone and reaching 200 countries around the world. Per the Jobvite Recruiter Nation Survey, 87 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn as part of their candidate search. It’s a popular place for job-seekers to network and look for opportunities; even former U.S. President Barack Obama once joked during a TV press conference that he would join LinkedIn to help him land a job after his term was up!
When your LinkedIn profile isn’t up-to-date and you’re not using all the opportunities that it can offer, you’re basically wasting time. Below are some practical tactics for leveraging the platform to its fullest to expand your professional network and find your next great job.
LinkedIn provides a ton of ways for you to connect with people and grow your network, so don’t forget these three tips from LinkedIn’s CEO:
- Keep your profile up to date.
- Be comprehensive about current skills and objectives.
- Highlight your work experience.
We’re looking for people who will be authentic and real on the platform. When it comes to making the best use of the platform, our advice is to show your true personality.
“Be yourself, represent who you are. It’s not just your experiences; this is not a resume … This is a more dynamic approach to representing your experiences, your skills, your objectives, what you know, what you’re interested in within a professional context,” Weiner explained. “It’s not just about the comprehensiveness; it’s also about freshness of the information, and the more complete and the more fresh, the more recent that that information has been updated, the more opportunities that are going to accrue to our members.”
14 ways to use LinkedIn to get a job
There is no greater feeling that when the right internship opportunity lands in your lap. The “right” one will come, but the trick is to leverage LinkedIn in order to secure it. Here are some of the best tips on how to get hired faster by your current company—we’ll say yours gets called Gone Bananas:
1. Profile Setup
Post your profile photo. Members with a LinkedIn profile picture are 14 times more likely to receive page views than those without, according to LinkedIn’s blog. You can also focus on adding skills to your profile and showcasing them on your company CEO feature with our CEO Profile report. As you’re updating your profile, make sure to highlight the skills you want other people to know about.
2. Current Skills
Know where you’re headed before you pipe up on LinkedIn. Your headline should include your current skill set if it makes sense. Include anything else that can help the hiring decision, and make sure your skills don’t appear outdated by updating them with frequent updates to your LinkedIn profile.
3. Your Recent Experience
At the top of your LinkedIn profile, you should highlight any recent relevant experience you’ve had. This will make sure that someone who is searching your profile sees it, whether you’re actively looking for a new job or not.
4. Headline Optimization
Using a keyword in your headline is always a good idea, because it help to improve your chances of appearing on search results. For example, “HR professional connecting employees with management” is far more likely to being seen than the less-specific and less eye-catching “Chemical engineer in the public sector.”
5. Today’s Economy
Finding a perfect position in today’s economy can be tough. It might take a bit of time, so use your headline to make the announcement. “Writer seeking businesses in need of a friendly ghost (or ghostwriter)” and “Petroleum engineer ready to strike oil and make you rich” are good examples of possible job titles that might catch someone’s eye.
6. Network Building
Build your network to the 1st degree. Your connections can exponentially increase your exposure and access to other connections. Connections on LinkedIn are built by importing your contact lists from sites such as Gmail, so it is easy to find those with the same interests as you.
7. Your Research
Because a job hunt is never easy, we recommend doing your research. Check out companies you’re interested in following on LinkedIn and then embed them in your newsfeed so that you stay up-to-date with company happenings and job postings as they become new opportunities.
8.LinkedIn’s Advanced Search
Try LinkedIn’s Advanced Search option. Use this feature to search for companies that interest you. Search your connections to find people who work there, and then send them a message if they are open to discussing the company culture and what it’s like to do business with them. You might also reach out to clients or service providers and ask how they feel about the company. Get creative when looking for information, and have fun doing your research so you can approach companies when you’re ready with a job offer.
Ask for an introduction. Go ahead and ask your connection to make an introduction to someone they’re connected to within the organization.
10. Fellow Alumni
To connect with fellow alumni, search for your school or university on LinkedIn. There are a lot of graduates in the same field and school that you attended who may be a good connection for your next job opportunity.
Shelley Roth has incredible experience as an entrepreneur and social media expert. When it came to answering my question about how she leveraged LinkedIn, Shelley said utilizing your alumni network was key.
“I would suggest that one of the best, easiest ways to leverage the power of LinkedIn is through using the Alumni tool. You can first join [or follow] your alumni college and then search for past alumni at companies or places of employment you are interested in,” she elaborated, “You also can input any college and search to see how many degrees of separation you may be from alumni at any school.”
Shelley is the President & Chief Navigator of Springboard and has written several books, including Give to Grow: 9 Principles for Conscious Business, Social Media and Life.
11. Active Use
Whether you’re pursuing marketing or another career, active use of LinkedIn is increasingly important. On LinkedIn, be true to yourself and your interests. Post any articles that you write with updates on other activities, like videos or presentations. Share your insights and share the knowledge that makes you a special professional.
Join LinkedIn Professional Groups. Do an Advanced Search to identify professional groups in your area and join. This will help expand your network and show your expertise (when you engage in online conversations and answer questions that come up), and possibly connect you to organizations that interest you. When researching groups, it’s important to look for ones with recent activity so you don’t waste time if a group doesn’t have daily or regular interaction online.
13. Interview Preparation
To get the most out of your interview and turn it into a success, prepare accordingly. You can research your hiring manager and interviewers on LinkedIn before, during, and after your interview. Utilizing this information can help to create relatability, establish the interviewer’s interest, and show that you’ve done your homework.
14. Business Hours
In the video on strategies to use Facebook to grow your business, statistics show that only 8.33 per cent of Americans use LinkedIn during working hours, while Facebook gets almost 30 per cent of people during work hours, indicating that you might get more interaction and exposure if you update your status, network with people, connect with companies, or post on other posts after business hours on LinkedIn. Try it out at different times throughout the day as there could be a strategy that’s best for you.