Optimizing LinkedIn To Help With Your Job Search

Optimizing LinkedIn To Help With Your Job Search

If you are a job seeker, it is crucial you optimize your usage of LinkedIn so you can be found by recruiters and hiring managers. LinkedIn is also a vital way to communicate with everyone in your network about who you are and what you are looking for.  Clear, consistent communication allows your network to work for you. Ten things every job seeker should do to make best use of LinkedIn:

  1. Make sure your profile is 100% complete. Fill out every field. Give lots of details in your background information. Include education, volunteer work and trade associations.
  2. Be sure your profile is set to public so you can be found. Pretty fundamental, but all the work you do on LinkedIn is useless if you don’t let the world see it.
  3. Change your LinkedIn URL to your name or brand.  Use that URL on resumes and other marketing material.
  4. Aggressively build your network. Add people regularly. When you go to a networking event add those you’ve met to your LinkedIn network, personalizing the invitation to remind them of your recent connection. Dig back into your past and take time to locate people from your past, professionally, personally or in school, and reconnect.
  5. Make your summary statement your 20 second pitch. (Also known as your elevator pitch.) Your summary statement should communicate very clearly and succinctly who you are and your professional qualifications and expertise.
  6. Use the status update on a regular basis. Every few weeks post inspiration, useful information or something that advances your personal brand. Don’t use it casually like a Facebook status and don’t excessively self-promote.
  7. Join groups, start groups, participate in groups. Pose questions, share your expertise.  Be a genuine part of the community.
  8. Get recommendations, write recommendations. Remember the recommendations you write for others show up on your profile, so be sure they represent your best work and bring out who you are even as you offer specific and useful information about someone else.
  9. Use filters, known as faceted search, as a valuable way to track down all kinds of information. You can use the search field in much the same way you do a Google search.  Locate people within just about any industry or company and even filter them by their previous areas of work or company. The possibilities are endless so give it a try. To learn more check out: faceted-search.
  10. Some of the best information on how to use LinkedIn is on LinkedIn!  The LinkedIn learning center is a great starting point. From there you’ll want to explore the blog and FAQs. A few links to get you started:

Ten tips to enhance your job search

LinkedIn tips on effective personal branding

Ten tips on building a strong profile

LinkedIn is now considered the most vital website for seeking and finding a job, so make it a goal to spend quality time every day optimizing your use of this powerful tool.
What are you doing to make the most of LinkedIn? Share your ideas with us!

Next: How to get and give recommendations on LinkedIn.

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10 thoughts on “Optimizing LinkedIn To Help With Your Job Search

  1. Great information! I’m always hesitant to add people I don’t know VERY well to my network. It feels a little like stalking to me, but you have inspired me to let go of that. Any idea if our profile should be more detailed than a resume, the same or less? Is it important for it to be different than our resume since some people will be seeing both? Also, any ideas on how to build your profile when you are “multitalented” and looking for more than one kind of job?

    1. Like your resume, your LinkedIn profile should be accomplishment based. As it relates to positions held, it makes sense that the same accomplishments will show on LinkedIn as on your resume. However the LinkedIn profile gives you the opportunity to go deeper than a resume. For one thing, there is less space constraint than on a typical resume. But you also show groups, professional affiliations and other details that may not fit on a resume. Every group you join on LinkedIn says something about who you are. So in many ways I view the LinkedIn profile as an even stronger, deeper statement than the resume. Another significant difference is that your LinkedIn profile may be quite comprehensive in hopes of attracting recruiters. Your resume will frequently be honed and customized for a specific position.

      To your final question, use the summary to state your qualifications for several positions. For example, you might start out by saying you are an accredited teacher with 12 years of experience in public and private settings. Then you state accomplishments related to your first goal such as “As a classroom teacher,” followed by experience, and accomplishments. Next paragraph, tackle your second goal. “As a curriculum developer,” followed by experience and accomplishments. You can do his for up to three paths. More than that, you start to look pretty scattered. In all cases, have demonstrated experience and specific successes that support your desire to go in that direction. In today’s market, is not unusual to be “multitalented”, or looking for work in several different arenas.

  2. Getting the LinkedIn profile 100% is tough because you have to ask people to recommend you. You can do a reciprocal approach. “I will do one for you too if you like.” It was very fulfilling to get that 100% rating after getting my recommendations posted. Needless to say that was the last thing I needed for my profile. My profile link is in my signature tag line too. I worked hard on this thing, I want folks to view it.

  3. After being laid off from my first job, I immediately got on LinkedIn and asked all of my coworkers to give me a recommendation. One day later I had 5 glowing recommendations and a message from a coworker’s connection asking me to apply to a job he knew about. It’s totally worth the effort, and as more days pass, I’m less nervous about my job search and excited about the possibilities. Also, adding the personal touch to my recommendation requests really helped people respond promptly and honestly.

  4. thanks for the info! I have been enlightened…. I really haven’t taken advantage of Linked In the way i should – I can see now it will add a whole other dimension to the networking/jobsearch possibilities.

  5. Join as many groups as you can; when you see people you are connected to are members of other groups, join those also.

    Keep your eye on the group discussions for Jobs. I’ve gotten two consulting assignments from LinkedIn. Both were from people I never would have met in the ordinary course of business, as they each live more than 1,000 miles away.

  6. I don’t find this advice useful. Some of it is too obvious (point 1,2,10) and the rest doesn’t apply (status updates – who reads those? Networking events – What? Where? People from my past – seriously?)

  7. Thanks for your comments, Henrik.

    Although some of the items on this list seem very basic, unfortunately we see too many cases where these fundamentals are not put into practice. We listed these items because we’ve seen how they have paid off for those who apply them.

    We hope the list can serve as a reminder for career-minded professionals to invest in implementing these easy-to-do items that will generate positive impact on their job search and career development.

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