Here’s a question to ask yourself honestly: How many people do you know who found their dream jobs on LinkedIn?
This is one of the most common criticisms leveled against LinkedIn—that for all its focus on career advancement, at the end of the day it’s just not that useful for finding good, quality jobs. Your answer to the above question may well be zero, and if so, you’re hardly alone. It is important to note, however, that this is not necessarily because of some fault with LinkedIn. It may have more to do with the fact that so few people really know how to use the social network to its full potential.
Consider this: There are more than 277 million people on LinkedIn—and many of them are employers or recruiters! There are absolutely good jobs out there, but to get them, you’ve got to stand out from the pack. This means making yourself truly LinkedIn savvy.
Doing Your Research
To begin with, understand how LinkedIn fits into the broader social networking environment. Facebook is for fun and for personal branding; Twitter is for news and entertainment. LinkedIn is 100 percent career focused, and it’s an ideal place to make a connection with people who might offer you a job—plain and simple.
It’s also about doing research. One of the smartest things you can do, when on the job hunt, is to get on LinkedIn and do some checking up on people and companies. Get to know the values of the companies you’re interviewing with. Get a glimpse into the personality of the person who’s going to be interviewing you. Look for some common ground—a shared school or hometown, for instance. Make sure that, for every application you submit and every interview you head into, you’re fully prepared and you’ve thoroughly researched!
Have you ever spent an hour or more sitting with your tablet or laptop, simply drifting from one interesting Wikipedia entry to another? When you’re job hunting, you might do something similar—only, instead of Wikipedia entries, you might drift from one LinkedIn company page to another.
The best way to do this is to use the search feature. More than anything else, LinkedIn is a high-powered search tool—yet many job seekers fail to use it as such. Use the search bar to find open positions for a certain job title or description. Once you find a listing, note that LinkedIn will also offer further jobs with the same company, as well as similar positions at other companies. In other words, once you get started with the LinkedIn search tool, there’s no telling how far it might take you.
The Grammar Chic, Inc. team has already shared ample insight into making yourself more marketable on LinkedIn; if you have not yet read up on how to optimize your profile, do so now! We will offer one additional insight, however, which is to get active in sharing positive experiences—not just in your profile, but also as status updates. Ensure that any recruiter or employer who glances at your page sees you as an active and engaged member of your industry. Highlight achievements such as seminar and conference attendance, or simply offer expertise in your field, perhaps linking to pertinent industry articles or blogs.
Status updates are not the only way to get active, by the way: Joining groups and adding something substantive to them—not just sales pitches but insightful comments or interesting articles—is another important way to build a name for yourself.
A final tip: Remember that you can send direct messages to anyone in your network. There are many ways to use this feature constructively, but the best approach might be to send introductory messages to anyone you are applying for work with—simply letting them know who you are and that you’re interested in the open position. In a way, this message might be a bit like an abbreviated cover letter.
You can bet that these tips will help you land a great job—yes, perhaps even your dream job—through LinkedIn; to learn more, please reach out to the Grammar Chic team today! Visit www.grammarchic.net or call 803-831-7444