How to use LinkedIn to boost your job search
Social media platform LinkedIn is a useful resource for any job-hunter.
LinkedIn has 17 million users in the UK and 332 million users worldwide. While that may not match the reach of Facebook, it has the distinct advantage of primarily being a business tool.
The average CEO on LinkedIn has 930 connections, there are more than 39 million recent graduates and students on it, 40% of users check it daily, and there are one billion endorsements on the platform.
Crafting an all-star level LinkedIn profile can be your best advert for your skills.
Here are a few tips to help you make the most of it:
• Tell people you’re looking for a new job. Many people use phrases like ‘seeking my next challenge’ or ‘seeking new opportunities’. People won’t know you’re job-seeking unless you tell them.
• In your description, tell would-be employers what you can do for them. There’s plenty of room for your experience and educational history in those sections, focus on the people who might employ you and what they want to see in your description.
• Use a professional-looking photograph on your profile. Pictures from holidays or nights out might be your favourites, but they are not the best way to show a prospective employer your skills and personality.
• Ask your former employers and former clients for recommendations. Endorsements on your profile are good, but nothing beats a proper recommendation from someone for whom you worked, stressing your skills and experience. Former clients can also tell would-be employers how you helped them, and delivered a professional service.
• Detail volunteering experience. Many employers like to see this as they’re looking for rounded human beings. Volunteering can also give you different skills to your day job, widening your job opportunities.
• Select your skills to match the job you’d like. Ensure the skills relevant to the industry you’re interested in joining or rejoining are at the top of your skills list. Make sure you list valuable transferrable skills too, such as leadership, coaching, mentoring, and organisation. Look for endorsements of those key skills.
• Add any useful documents or videos. There are sections in each of the sections for the different jobs you’ve had. Use them to send your would-be employers to great examples of your past work. You can also link to external URLs for work posted on other websites.
• Keep your profile up to date. Add in any new training, certifications, or experience. You can allow your connections to see when you make changes, which helps you in getting profile views and potential interest.That can only help in your career search.
LinkedIn also has a jobs section which you can check regularly, and groups relevant to various industries which you can join and contribute to, raising your profile. Recruiters and HR managers often make their connections aware of job opportunities, so it’s worth building your base of connections within your industry.
It’s also worth posting articles which display your knowledge and experience on LinkedIn Pulse, an excellent platform for long-form content.