LinkedIn is the top professional networking site. Still, it can be awkward to put yourself out there on social media when you desperately need a job.
You might feel overwhelmed or unsure how best to use LinkedIn to find a job or maybe it’s just one too many platforms to learn. But did you know that 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn? And 70% of all jobs are not even advertised? Getting to know LinkedIn and becoming familiar with using it is essential to finding your next job.
Follow these five simple LinkedIn tips and tricks for job seekers to get the most out of your job hunt using LinkedIn.
- Change up your headline.
You don’t need to put your title in the headline. Use this space to tell people what you do and who you are. For example: Experienced Front End Developer or Creative Strategist & Project Manager. These headlines let people know what you do as well as use keywords. Like all platforms, LinkedIn is searchable by keywords.
- Use keywords.
That is the perfect segue to talk about keywords. I have seen LinkedIn profiles use keywords in many ways. I find what is most effective is to include keywords throughout your profile including your “About” and “Experience” sections, and don’t forget the headline! LinkedIn has a great article on how to use keywords. Use words relevant to your industry. Avoid over-used words such as detail oriented. One trick is to search job posting to garner keywords that recruiters are using. Incorporate those keywords into your profile. Remember, when you’re updating your LinkedIn profile, you’re updating it for the job you want not the jobs you’ve had.
- Develop a strong “About” section.
You have 2000 characters to use in the “About” section of your profile. Use them! This is your opportunity to tell your story. List achievements and highlights of your career. Paint a picture of why you would make an excellent employee. Think of this section as a grand cover letter.
Just a side note: LinkedIn does not have sophisticated formatting. If you want to use bullets, which I recommend, create your document in Google Docs or MS Word, and then copy and paste it into LinkedIn. LinkedIn will keep most of the copied formatting.
- Stay current with your experience.
There is some debate how far back you should go with your job history. I coach my clients to include any relevant experiences – especially if your resume is sparse. That may include jobs that show you can take direction, or that you know how to communicate. However, once you’ve built a solid job history, you don’t need to include working at Outback Steakhouse during college.
- Be active and proactive.
Understand the difference between these two – being proactive means you’re updating your profile using keywords based on job descriptions and building your network. You do all of this before you start looking for a job. Being active means that you’re checking job postings, reading posts, joining groups, and engaging with your network. Use groups to grow your network as well as add value to the conversation. Check out my blog Best LinkedIn Groups for Job Seekers for helpful hints on how being active in groups is a great LinkedIn tip for job seekers.
Always remember – networking never stops. Building a network is just one step. You need to stay in contact with the people you “meet”. Set up a schedule to check in and put those dates on your calendar. Brand yourself and add updates as you gain new skills or change positions. Be intentional with how you use LinkedIn. Before you know it, you’ll be confident in using LinkedIn to not only find a job, but to move along your career path.
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