Much has been written about the power of LinkedIn as a job search tool, but how exactly does it work? Is there really a way to leverage your profile to find that perfect position? The answer is yes!
- Get ready (this entails getting a professional headshot and polishing your resume language).
- Decide whether to pay for a premium account. (Upgrading allows you to contact anyone directly through LinkedIn InMail, among other benefits. Three paid account levels are offered: Business, Business Plus, and Executive.)
- Create your profile.
- Choose your profile settings.
- Use the public profile function.
- Make connections. (Networking and connecting is what LinkedIn is all about.)
- Use third-party applications to link to your Twitter account, blog, or articles written by you and posted on a document sharing site.
- Request recommendations.
- Join groups.
- Actively use LinkedIn in your job search.
Step 10 is the key and here is Heidi’s advice:
- Research potential employers and sources for informational interviews and referrals: If you identify a potential employer, use the search function on LinkedIn to find out whether he or she is a member. If so, review the profile to find out the person’s background and interests and, most importantly, whether you have any connections in common. If so, approach your connection to make an introduction for you.
- Ask for introductions from your LinkedIn network: This is one of the most useful functions of LinkedIn. In the local business or legal community, the chances are good that you can link to most other people in two or three steps. As you build your online network, you will be able to connect with people who are resources for your job search.
- Publicize your Public Profile: Use your Public Profile URL in your e-mail signature. Put the URL on your business card. (You can get business cards free from Vistaprint.)
- Keep an eye on your connections: Who are they linking with? Do you know their new links enough to invite them to link with you? What groups are they joining? Are they of interest to you? If your connections are potential employers or know potential employers, can you provide value to them in a way that enhances their impression of you (e.g. , through group discussions)?
- Keep an eye on your groups: Follow the discussions. Contribute to a discussion if you have something valuable to say. Start a discussion that would be of interest to the group.
- Update your status if you are involved in something interesting: But don’t let the status go stale. If it’s been up for a few days without change, it’s better to clear out the status and have it say nothing than to allow it to sit unchanged.
- If you have a Web site, add a LinkedIn widget: This allows people who visit your Web site to know that you’re on LinkedIn and to easily move to your LinkedIn profile. Many people use LinkedIn as a research tool, and this will help them to know who you may know in common and what your interests are.
Learn more about the power of LinkedIn from our Networking and Career Building seminar. Feel free to connect to me on LinkedIn, I’d love to connect.
Copyright 2011 Beverly Michaelis