LinkedIn: you’ve heard of it, maybe created a profile, made a couple connections and then you haven’t really used it since. If you’re on the job hunt and haven’t had any luck from the usual job sites (like Indeed or Monster), LinkedIn is this next best thing to try (if not better!). The goal is to not get into the mindset that the minute you create a profile, recruiters will be contacting you left and right with job offers. LinkedIn is not a set-it-and-forget-it type of platform. It’s something you have to keep up-to-date, actively make searches on and constantly build your network by making connections. Once you get the hang of it and stay consistent, then you should be getting leads in no time! Here’s a quick guide to help you effectively use LinkedIn for job hunting.
1. Make sure your profile is up-to-date
If the last job listed on your LinkedIn profile says you haven’t worked there for the last year or two, then potential employers may be wondering what you’ve been doing since then. Have you been unable to get a job for over a year? Is there a reason you haven’t been hired? Don’t let their minds wander, and just keep your profile up-to-date as much as possible. Whether you’ve updated a certification, been promoted, graduated with a higher degree or learned a new skill, add it to your profile to showcase for future employers. When a company sees your application or message and wants to view your profile and see that it’s up-to-date, it really goes a long way.
2. Write a strong headline
To use LinkedIn for job hunting you should treat it like a second resume. Much like a strong header on your resume, writing a strong headline will pull in potential employers and prompt them to take a further look at your profile, or at least your bio. You want to keep it short and simple, but make a statement. A strong headline tells people what you do or the kind of position you’re looking for.
3. Constantly work on building your network
Making connections is a crucial part to being successful on LinkedIn. It increases your exposure and gives you access to numerous amounts of opportunities and contacts in your field. When someone accepts your request, or you accept theirs, send them a message to introduce yourself–it’s not as scary as it may sound, I promise! When you’re constantly working on building your network, you’re getting your name out there and it’ll be extremely helpful once you start sending in applications or making job inquiries through LinkedIn.
4. Use LinkedIn’s advanced search function
Take advantage of LinkedIn’s advanced search tool to find companies in your field that are hiring near you, people who currently work on those companies or different job postings. The search options make it easy to filter you searches to help you find what you’re looking for a lot faster and efficiently.
5. Follow companies you’re interested in working for
Whether you already have a specific company in mind or an idea of the kind of companies you’d like to work for, start following company pages for job postings or important general information. Once you’re following their company pages, you should also be able to find employees who work there. You may just be able to get your foot in the door by connecting and engaging with them through LinkedIn.
6. Reach out directly to hiring managers and recruiters
Although cold-messaging always sounds intimidating, sometimes it can be the difference between getting an interview or missing an opportunity. It’s one of the key ways to use LinkedIn for job hunting because it puts you right in front of them. Don’t be afraid to directly reach out to hiring managers or recruiters. Most of the time, if you have what they’re looking for, you end up making their job easier by literally landing right in front of them. If you’re applying to a LinkedIn job posting, locate the employer or recruiter’s information that’s listed and send them a quick message to introduce yourself and let them know that you’ve just applied.
How do you use LinkedIn for job hunting? Let us know in the comments below!
Recent Barry University graduate and Florida girl living in Dallas. If I'm not up writing or editing at 3AM, then I'm probably still up binge-watching Grey's Anatomy, again.