As a job seeker you have a new best friend and their name is LinkedIn. This new friend of yours not only knows a lot of people that you might want to meet but also has the ability to make sure that you are seen by that same bunch of well over 135 million business professionals who might just want to hire you. This friend is more than willing to help you find that next great job opportunity but like most of your friends, that turned out to be great friends; the relationship needs an investment of time and effort to make it work well.
Here are the places to spend your time and efforts on LinkedIn to help you land that next great opportunity.
1. Get Connected to over 250 1st level people
Connections are the gasoline in the tank that makes the engine work on LinkedIn for so many reasons. If you are messing around as a job seeker at 20-50 connections you are doing just that messing around. Get serious, you know 250 people that are on LinkedIn that you know and trust go out and get them connected to you.
2. Join 50 LinkedIn Groups
If connections are the gasoline in the tank then Groups are the oil that lubricates the engine. This is the place where you can find new connections, follow people, send messages, engage in conversations, be found and get exposed to people of similar industries, interests, backgrounds or geographic region.
3. Post a daily Status Update
A status update from you to your extensive network of connections (over 250 of course) about something of interest to you and to some of them will get you the kind of daily exposure one needs when in a job search. If your smiling face and name (along with the information you are sharing) appear in their status update feed you will become “top of mind”, at least for the moment, reminding them that you are still out there and still looking for that next great opportunity which they may have just heard about.
4. Participate in 3 Group discussions a week
The whole group may be listening and this could be quite a large audience (many groups are having over 100,000 members). This is why you want to not only make yourself known but show them just how smart you are, for the some of the same reasons discussed above in status updates. In addition to your gained exposure to a group of people (maybe even in your industry or specialty depending on your purpose for being in that group) that you are not connected to at the 1st degree, at least not yet. Be strategic about the groups you participate in since you don’t have the time to be involved in all 50.
5. Search and Save Job Searches
The LinkedIn Jobs tab at the top of your toolbar has lots of specific job postings that are directly posted on LinkedIn but it also accesses other outside job boards when you do a search. Your advanced job search can be filtered by not only title, keywords, geographic region, and other criteria. You have the ability to save up to 10 specific job searches, on the free account, and LinkedIn will send you an email notifying you of the job that meet your criteria, either daily, weekly, or monthly. This is like having your own virtual assistant who 24/7 looks for the jobs you have detailed would be right in your wheelhouse.
6. Download LinkedIn JobsInsider Toolbar
This tool when downloaded to your computer will tell you all the inside connections (people you know who know people) that you have at the company that you are interested in sending an application to from any external job sites like Career Builders, Monster etc.
7. Follow the Companies you are interested in working for
Great way to legally stalk and get information from the companies you are interested in working for. You will get notified of people coming and going, along with changes to the company profile and also company status updates. Believe it or not I have heard of company’s looking through their followers and finding their next new hire right from that list, you better be on it.
8. Search for people you know at the company’s you apply to
Advanced people searching will help you get a feel for not only who is at the company but if you know someone who knows someone at the company. Wouldn’t it be nice if you have a 1st level connection who knows someone who works in the HR department, you will find that out after you complete this type of people search?
9. Optimize your profile for your keywords in your Headline, Skills & Job Titles
Keywords are what your future employer or recruiters are using to find the right candidate and you have to know which keywords describe your most important attributes, skill etc. The three profile sections that you have to make sure that your most important keywords are dropped into are Headline, Job Experience-Titles, Specialties and Skills. If you can also include them in the rest of your profile (Summary & Job Experience details) as you are telling your experience and credibility story throughout your profile it will help you rank higher in a search.
10. Spend at least one hour a day on LinkedIn
Like most other things in life you get what you put into it and LinkedIn is no exception. Using LinkedIn consistently during your job search could yield that relationship that will result in your next great job but it will also set you up for a lifetime habit that will help you succeed in that job as well. We all have come to know and accept that our “Network is our Net worth.”
Sounds like a lot to do, I know, but you have a good friend that is going to work just as hard as you are to help you land that next great job opportunity.