Social media has changed our world and lives in countless ways. Job searching is no exception. You have probably heard of LinkedIn, the premier social media site for professionals. It has approximately 93 million registered members in the United States alone, and continues to grow. Why is it critical that you be a part of this trend? This article highlights four major ways that LinkedIn can help you maximize your job search and provides tips to help you get the most out of the LinkedIn experience.
Expand Your Professional Network
LinkedIn is foremost an online professional networking forum. Networking is critical to your job search, and the site allows you to do it from the privacy of your home and the convenience of your computer or mobile device.
LinkedIn lets you to connect with people you already know, see who they are connected with, and if desired, request introductions. This is a great way to grow your network, and LinkedIn makes it easy to facilitate these introductions.
You also can use LinkedIn to seek out people in your target industry who you might not otherwise know. When you invite someone to connect through LinkedIn, the site provides a generic personal note template to send with your request. If you do not know the person you are trying to connect with, take the time to write a personal note explaining why you would like to connect with him or her. Many people will be happy to connect with you when they know how you can help one another.
Find Employment Opportunities
LinkedIn is an essential tool for your online job search. You will find many job postings on LinkedIn, and keep in mind that employers are often searching LinkedIn for qualified candidates to fill positions they have open, which might not be posted. It’s critical to have a complete and current profile so they can find you.
Utilize LinkedIn’s jobs section to search for employment opportunities, save job search parameters and job postings, and set up email alerts. In some instances, you can apply directly to a job by clicking the “Apply with LinkedIn” button. Your profile then serves as your resume, which again underscores the importance that you have a recent and comprehensive profile.
It’s imperative to remember that recruiters and managers are also using LinkedIn to critique you. It’s common for employers to look at your LinkedIn profile to validate the information on your resume or to confirm what you say in an interview.
Demonstrate Your Skills
It’s easy to list skills on your resume, but to get the job, you have to prove that you can walk the talk. Your LinkedIn connections can endorse you for specific skills and provide personal recommendations for work you have done. This third party validation is a nice feature that a potential employer is not going to find on your resume.
You can also demonstrate your skills by including examples of your work, in some cases doubling your LinkedIn profile as an online portfolio. To demonstrate skills that you’re not using in your job, consider adding the volunteer work section to your profile to highlight additional skills you’ve developed outside of traditional employment.
Stand Out From The Crowd
LinkedIn is always adding features to make it more interactive and engaging. With millions of users, your LinkedIn profile alone may not always be enough to get you out in front of potential employers, but there are actions you can take to get noticed.
Try participating in the groups that are available on LinkedIn. You can find groups for college and company alumni, and groups based on interests, skills or industry. Not only are groups a great source of information for your job search, being an active participant in them can help your profile get noticed.
Another way to stand out is to regularly publish content. The “Share an update” feature is your opportunity to ask questions, share your thoughts and ideas, and distribute interesting articles or other information that your contacts can see in the activity feed on their LinkedIn home page. Engaging with the content your contacts are publishing also gets you out there.
Plenty of tools and resources are available online to help you create a stellar LinkedIn profile. To save time, you could hire the professionals at Capstone Resume Services to get you started with your LinkedIn profile writing so you can remain focused on being an engaged participant.