How to leverage the power of the most powerful professional network:
It may not be as fun as sharing silly memes on Facebook. Or posting pictures of your last vacation on Instagram. But, when it comes to helping you find a job, it’s one of the most useful social networking sites available today. It’s LinkedIn, a powerful, professional networking database with hundreds of thousands of members from around the world.
So how can you leverage the power of LinkedIn to benefit your career — or more specifically, to help you find the job you want? Here are 10 ways to put LinkedIn to work in getting you work:
1. Complete your entire profile. A completed profile will make it easier for potential employers to find you.
2. Create a powerful headline. A strong headline can drive a potential employer to click on your profile to learn more about you. Make sure your headline captures your unique skills and experience.
3. Keep your profile current. Many people set up their LinkedIn profile once and leave it alone. Be sure to regularly review your profile to ensure it reflects any new position, experience, skills, awards, or credentials you have obtained.
4. Use a professional photo. Your photo is one of the first things potential employers will see. Make sure you choose one that is professional versus one of you in a casual environment. It may be well worth it to have a headshot taken by a professional photographer.
5. Let people know you’re seeking employment. If you’re able to announce that you’re looking for work, make it clear in your headline. For example, “Experienced CPA seeks new clients.”
6. Build your network. The more connected you are, the better your chances of finding a job. LinkedIn makes it easy to connect and find others by allowing you to import contacts from your contact list. In addition, its “People You May Know” tool can help you easily locate former colleagues, managers, and other contacts. Be sure to review the “People You May Know” list regularly to add to your network.
7. Follow companies that interest you. This will make it easier to learn about new opportunities available.
8. Connect with associations. If you are part of a professional association or are a college alumni, connect with these organizations, which can help you find other members of your network or prospective job opportunities
9. Ask for introductions. If you see a position that interests you and know someone who is connected to that company, reach out and ask them to introduce you.
10. Get recommendations. Try to get a former boss, client, or colleague to write a recommendation about your work, which will let potential employers know about your proven abilities.
The best part about LinkedIn is that it’s always available to you. You can use it to search jobs, update your connections, and read helpful articles that will make it easier for you to link to the job of your dreams.