how to use linkedin, Job Search, job search tips, LinkedIn, LinkedIn Tips, networking, career, social media

The job market for professionals is extremely competitive today.

Have you been sending out (or blasting) dozens of resumes with no results?

Don’t blame the ‘economy’ or a tough job market. It might be time to re-launch your job search campaign and reinvent the way you are messaging & attacking this competitive job market.

What are top candidates doing to elevate their brand positioning, leadership and competitive edge? It can be overwhelming but doesn’t have to be. You have every opportunity to be seen as the go-to expert and thought leader by building credibility, trust and authenticity. Simply put, people buy from people or companies they like and more important, they DON’T buy what they are not aware of.

1. The most critical factor you must adopt is the job search is not about you, rather it’s about what you can provide to the bottom line to the company you want to work for and the people you interview with. Think solution strategy! Understand who you are and how you approach ‘problems’ and be ready to describe how you would add value to any company you interview with. Include examples of your talents on your LinkedIn profile!

2. Research companies by not only visiting the website, but follow the company on LinkedIn, see who you are connected to and what groups you may share. Use the tool ‘SIGNAL’ to be alerted of current company info. Proactively email employees of the company to ask about culture, current obstacles they face, etc.

I have received a wealth of information on many companies prior to my interviews by doing this (emailing current employees) and you have nothing to lose. This also provides you with a huge competitive advantage! You will be informed and ready to discuss how you would provide solutions to current challenges the company is facing. This also shows you really did your research and dug deep to discover what is happening NOW. Your competitors are not doing this!

3. Don’t wait until the last minute and try to jump into LinkedIn groups of companies you are interviewing with. You can join 50 groups and try to mix it up a bit. Find the discussions and groups that have members at the ‘hiring’ level or above. Resist joining peer groups as you will soon discover everyone is talking about the same issues you may be experiencing. Hang out where the people you want to impress are! When you see a discussion that you can contribute to, go for it! You will be noticed and the more you are visible, the higher the chance you make a positive image of yourself! Be visible so when you reach out to a potential hiring manager, he/she may recognize your writings!

4. Ask your network for help with connections at specific companies. If you have a list of employers you’d like to work for, then you can list these companies to friends and colleagues/connections to see if they know someone there. Taking the time to ask for an introduction is worth it. Be sure to share what you admire about what the company does as a way to validate your desire to meet someone who works there. The more specifics you can give, the more likely a person is to go the extra mile to introduce you.

5. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is complete and up-to-date in the best format possible. Those you request to connect with are going to review your profile. If it isn’t optimized and professional, it will increase your chances of getting rejected. And do NOT copy your resume into your LinkedIn profile! This platform gives you many tools to express your personal brand, activities, and so much more. Tell your story on LinkedIn and describe your experience on your resume.

6. Your ability to find a new job is directly connected to expanding your network. As they say, “It’s not who you know, but who knows YOU.” Better yet, it’s not who you know today, but who you get to know tomorrow!

7. Thus, you need to reach out to people you don’t know at companies on your target list as a way to increase your connections and (hopefully) establish new relationships that could lead to referrals to jobs. LinkedIn can be a super way to do this. In-person networking events and face-to-face opportunities are much harder to come by these days, so a social media option like LinkedIn is ideal for this activity. However, you need to do everything in your power make sure the connections you reach out to don’t dismiss your request. Simply personalize your invites, using their first name and a short message.

Thanks Vox Efx for the photo (cropped) via flickr