The Social Media Job Search Jungle & LinkedIn
Unlike Facebook or Twitter, LinkedIn focuses solely on professional networking. In fact, simply being on LinkedIn is considered a mark of professionalism these days. That’s because your LinkedIn profile is essentially an online resume filled with interactive features that can increase your visibility in the eyes of employers. In this article, we look at what you can do to leverage LinkedIn to its full potential.
Employers put a great deal of value on recommendations. When someone writes you a recommendation on LinkedIn, it not only appears on your profile, but on the recommender’s profile as well. This is particularly beneficial because one of the recommender’s connections may be looking for someone with your skillset, and they’ll like seeing that you’ve been endorsed by a mutual connection. If you haven’t already, start requesting recommendations today and remember to proactively recommend those you feel deserve it.
Connect, connect, connect
It’s not that you should add just anyone, but if you receive a request from someone you don’t know, don’t write them off so quickly. They may be a recruiter or manager who wants to keep you in mind for some upcoming opportunities. Have a look at their profile carefully and consider if it’s worth adding them to your list of connections. Likewise, you shouldn’t be shy about requesting to connect with those you don’t know personally. If they’re part of a group you joined (see below), a mutual connection, or simply someone who works at a company you’d like to work for, request that they connect with you, and add a personal message to go with it so that they’re more inclined to view your profile.
Add skills to your profile
LinkedIn has a “Skills & Expertise” feature that allows you to select up to 50 predefined skills to be showcased on your profile. This feature even shows you how the demand for a given skill has gone up or down over the past year. LinkedIn will even suggest related skills that you can add, and your connections now have the ability to endorse those skills for all to see. Once you’re happy with your list of skills, try incorporating those same terms into other parts of your profile, such as your “Summary” and “Experience”. Adding skills to your profile and incorporating them into other sections as keywords increases your chances of showing up near the top of employers’ searches.
Organizations tend to have “Groups” on LinkedIn, which can be wellsprings of opportunity. For example, when you join Adecco’s LinkedIn Group, you’ll be able to view, participate in, and start discussions, launch polls, and post links to articles from other websites. Being active in an organization’s group is a great way to increase your visibility with them. But don’t limit yourself to specific organizations. There are other types of groups you can join that are based on professions, alumni, interests, and more. You can even create your own group.
Follow “Company Pages”
In addition to having Groups on LinkedIn, organizations tend to have “Company Pages”, which feature different information and are managed by specific administrators. For instance, on Adecco’s Company Page, you’ll get to read more about Adecco and our services, learn about new hires and departures, and view career opportunities. When you click to “follow” a Company Page, you’ll start receiving notifications that will keep you up-to-date on developments at that organization.
Answer questions using the “Answers” feature
If you click the arrow on the left-hand side of the main search field, you’ll see an “Answers” option. It will take you to a section where you can browse questions that people have posted in a given category. Choose a category that you’re knowledgeable about and answer people’s questions. If someone receives several answers to a question they’ve posted, they can select one as the “best answer”. The more questioners choose your answers as “best answers”, the more “points of expertise” you gain, which means you’ll show up higher in the list of “Experts” that appears beneath the questions in a given category. This is great for building credibility, visibility, and your list of connections.
Use the job search feature
It probably goes without saying, but LinkedIn has an excellent job search feature. Simply click “Jobs” under the “Career” tab in the main menu to view job postings that LinkedIn recommends based on the information in your profile. When you click “See More” you can filter the results even further. You can even create email alerts based on your search criteria.
Consider getting a premium account
The features mentioned above are all free, of course. However, there are “Premium Job Seeker Accounts” that range from $19.95 to $50.95 a month. The additional features you get with these packages include: appearing automatically at the top of the list when you apply to jobs, being able to see who’s viewed your profile, the ability to refine your job search based on salary, and more. Of course, ultimately it’s up to you to decide whether you feel these added features are worth the price.