The first question is do you have a LinkedIn® profile? If you answered “no”, stop reading this article and sign up immediately – it’s free. LinkedIn® isn’t only important in the job search process but as a part of your professional career. You will use LinkedIn® to network for jobs, identify new business opportunities, partnerships, and to ask for recommendations. When looking for a job, employers are using all forms of technology to screen candidates in and out – don’t you want to make a good first impression without ever having to walk into an interview?
What is LinkedIn®?
LinkedIn® is basically an online resume and networking site. You can upload your resume to make filling out a profile even easier – but you will have to review your profile to make sure it filled in the spaces correctly. You can highlight your achievements, awards, scholarships, etc. for potential employers to see, that you may not have room for on your resume.
LinkedIn® gives you the chance to meet and be introduced to people you may not have the opportunity to have coffee with. After completing your profile, start connecting with people. LinkedIn® is not Facebook®, so don’t Connect with people you don’t know. More importantly, if you are in the job search process, don’t Connect with potential employers, it will come off as creepy. Connect with previous employers, current and past co-workers, teachers, professors, friends and family members.
Now, how can LinkedIn® help you find a job?
Don’t expect to complete your LinkedIn® profile in 10 minutes. Before you even start looking for jobs you want to make sure your profile is complete and as professional as it can be. This includes asking for Recommendations. This aspect of LinkedIn® helps you show a potential employer what you have accomplished and that your previous employer, co-worker, or professor would recommend you and your skill set.
Starting your job search
Once you are ready to start your job search, click on “Jobs” at the top of your homepage. Begin by typing in industry specific keywords that you are looking for in a position. If you type in “sales” or “non-profit”, expect a lot of results, the more specific the keywords, the more specific the results. After the initial search, you will be able to narrow down the results by using the navigation on the left. Only include cities you are willing to relocate to, and “Experience Level” is a convenient way to narrow down the results to positions you are qualified to apply for.
Additional perks of LinkedIn® Jobs
Follow up, follow up, follow up. Candidates who follow up with employers are the candidates who land the interview. LinkedIn® Jobs will usually show you who the description was posted by so you can review their profile or better yet, send them an InMail. This is an internal e-mail service through LinkedIn® that allows for you to reach out to your Connections by sending messages. Most recruiters prefer LinkedIn® over major job search engines, so this is the perfect time to get your foot in the door with a LinkedIn® profile and start applying for jobs.
- Making a job interview fun (LOL) (helpyourcareer.org)
- What can LinkedIn do for my business? (marketing.yell.com)