LinkedIn remains the #1 platform for recruiters and hiring managers to find candidates to fill jobs so it stands to reason job seekers need to know how to use LinkedIn to find a job.
According to Job-Hunt.org, “to land a job in 2020, you will need to have a strong LinkedIn profile.”
The fact is, you will lose credibility without a great LinkedIn profile in today’s world. It’s an expectation not something that is an afterthought.
It’s easy to copy your resume to LinkedIn and call it good but this is why so many people fail to get the interview because that approach is based on work history and responsibilities.
Guess what – that’s what most people do!!
6 Tips on Using LinkedIn to Find a Job
You don’t need a history-based approach, you need a forward- thinking approach that helps you stand out from a very crowded job market. Mastering LinkedIn can give you a competitive advantage by understanding the value of your brand and your network.
1. Know That You Are More Than Your Resume
When it comes to your job search — especially in these trying economic times — you need to do everything you can to set yourself apart. Yes, your resume is important, but your LinkedIn profile just might be the clinch pin that gets your foot in the door.
When recruiters and hiring managers visit your LinkedIn profile (and they will) are they
- Does your profile they give them a clear sense of your passion and the problems you solve — and for whom?
- Are your top hard skills prominent in your headline, about, experience and skills & endorsement sections?
- Do they get what makes YOU unique and different from other candidates? Or, like most people, is your LinkedIn profile simply a mirror image of your resume? Worse yet, does it not tell a story at all?
- Wouldn’t you rather have a LinkedIn profile that works for you — not against you?
2. Make a Great First Impression
When you think beyond your resume, that means thinking beyond your title. It is important that you know the job title that is commonly known for your position and what keyword is searched to find someone like you. (Keyword should be focused on hard skills, ie; Project Manager)
It is also important to know the title for the job position you want and incorporate that into your profile because recruiters and hiring managers are using software to scan your LinkedIn profile for the keywords they are looking for in the position. They will flush out hard skills before soft skills because soft skills are subjective, hard skills are quantifiable.
Here are the four things recruiters will scan first:
- Your name with any relevant credentials such as MBA, PhD
- Your photo – professional, where you are facing forward, people always see the eyes first!
- Your headline with the most important keywords for your target job followed by a great accomplishment or result statement that quantifies the keyword. This will catch their eye from those who only have a title.
- Location – make sure this is your desired location and keep it broad to avoid being eliminated.
3. Tell Your Professional Career Story
The mission of your LinkedIn profile is to present yourself so your employer, recruiters, referral partners or advocates think “this person has the answers I need!”
So, what is your story and how will you sell it to move to your next role?
This is what you use the ‘ABOUT’ section for your LinkedIn profile. You have 2000 characters to elaborate on where you’ve been and where all your hard work is leading and should be written in the ‘first person’ which is more intimate and credible. After all, this should not be a biography you’d find on the back of a book.
It provides a current perspective on your expertise (hard skills) and how you’re adding value for clients (internal & external clients) in the here and now. Revisiting the different elements of your profile and asking yourself how prospective employers will interpret what they find there, is the key to using it as an active tool to sell your career story.
4. The Importance of Recommendations
Recommendations are social proof of your credibility. When people of authority take the time to write a recommendation regarding your skills, recruiters pay attention. You want to ask for recommendations from quality people that can speak to your hard skills including the quantifiable facts.
So, who are the persons in your network that you would value an endorsement from? Don’t be shy — reach out and ask!
Tip: You want to be specific about what you most want to be recommended for. Think about your next job, what would impress and employer about you? What skills would that employer find valuable?
5. LinkedIn Networking Strategies to Get the Job
Today, some estimates suggest that up to 70% of all jobs are not published on publicly available job search sites, and research has long shown that anywhere from half to upwards of 80% of jobs are filled through networking. You’ve worked hard to create a network of LinkedIn connections, reaching out to those people in the network you already have could be the networking key and the fastest way to an opportunity.
One great feature of LinkedIn is you can see mutual connections for people with whom you are not yet connected. Rather than blindly attempting to connect with an industry influencer, ask your mutual connection to make an introduction. Bottom line is you need to let your network know you are looking for a new position. Be as specific as possible with each connection as to what you are looking for and who you would like to be introduced to. You can always follow that by asking “Is there anyone else in your network that you think I should know?” and let them give you some suggestions.
Tip: Never ask without offering to give. Always ask if there is anything you can do for the other person so the relationship is never one-sided.
Make growing your network a priority! Develop new connections with recruiters and hiring managers after you have researched the company and any open positions. Never send a default invitation, let them know you have done your homework and in one sentence, let them know how you can add value to the position.
Research and follow companies that interest you. When you follow a company, their posts will start to appear in your LinkedIn feed, which will give you an opportunity to share and comment on their content. And, who knows, they might even post your dream job.
6. Be Active within the LinkedIn Community
You can actually change the algorithm in your favor the more consistently active you are on LinkedIn because they favor activity. The more active you are your community will start to notice as well and this shows commitment and leadership when done effectively.
Being active on LinkedIn with a regular cadence of Likes, Shares and Posts to show how you can deliver value is where to begin. A bit of a warning here, clicking the thumbs up on every post will never enhance your credibility. You actually must engage in thoughtful comments and engage in conversation.
Tip: Likes and Shares are nice, but original posts in the form of articles, videos and short slide presentations are an incredibly powerful way to optimize your chances of getting found via search.
Adding media to your profile enhances the visual interest and your credibility.