LinkedIn is the newest tool in the job seeker’s toolbox. This career-focused social media network gives its millions of users an easy and intuitive way to seek and find both employers and employees. Each day, thousands of users successfully find a new position using LinkedIn and come one step closer to landing their dream job.
What is LinkedIn?
LinkedIn provides its users a permanent, linkable location to share professional information about themselves. It is used by both individuals seeking new positions and businesses seeking new employees. A LinkedIn profile focuses on your professional achievements; you’ll be able to highlight your skills, experiences and education in ways that go beyond resumes and cover letters.
Millions of Connections
As a global social network, LinkedIn has millions of users. Your profile has the potential to reach companies you might never otherwise even hear about. In addition, you can forge connections with your professional relationships, such as former and current supervisors, co-workers, clients, mentors and more. These connections are visible on your profile and provide you with an impressive list of references that potential employers can check. A well-connected profile speaks volumes about your value to a potential employer and can be instrumental in helping you to find your perfect job.
How to Start
Starting a LinkedIn profile is easy. Simply follow the on-screen directions to complete your profile step by step. Treat your profile as a comprehensive resume; unlike a traditional resume, you won’t have to worry about cramming all of your information onto a page or two of tightly-spaced paper. You’ll have the room to include as much information about each of your positions as you like; your LinkedIn profile gives you the space to showcase your skills and abilities and how you have developed them.
After completing your profile, you can begin building connections with other LinkedIn users. The LinkedIn network includes a powerful search engine, allowing you to easily find any professional colleagues who use the service. You can also connect with companies and join specialized groups to further increase your networking opportunities.
Information to Include and Exclude from Your Profile
Include any information that you would normally include in a resume, including work history, education and professional certificates. You should also include any awards you may have earned and any special accomplishments that you are proud of.
Do not include contact information; interested users can contact you through LinkedIn. If you include contact information, you may soon find yourself inundated with spam, scams and unwanted contacts. Avoid using marketing buzzwords when describing yourself; these words have become meaningless through overuse.
How to Get Noticed and Land a Job
The first step to finding a job on LinkedIn is getting noticed on LinkedIn. To get noticed, there are several techniques you can use. First, build your profile using keywords appropriate for the kind of position you want. Let these keywords flow naturally; overuse may get you picked up by LinkedIn’s search engine, but it won’t get you hired by a human. Second, build your connections. Profiles with many connections are given more weight by LinkedIn’s search engine. Third, join groups related to your industry.
Groups are a more focused way to connect with companies that might be interested in your skills. You can easily find many relevant groups using the LinkedIn interface, and joining these groups is usually as simple as clicking a button. Groups provide a space for group members to discuss topics and news related to the group’s focus. Active participation in these groups is another way to get noticed by potential employers.
Once you’ve been noticed on LinkedIn, your profile and your professional demeanor will help you land your dream job.