Utilizing LinkedIn for Job Search Networking
Most job seekers are aware that social media has broadened the ways to search for a new position beyond simply attending networking events. However, you may not realize that LinkedIn, which is a social networking site focused on careers, can be an especially powerful tool for networking. Here are five ways to leverage your connections in order to make the most of your career search.
- Make your profile thorough, demonstrating what you’ve done and what you’re capable of doing next. Be sure to use industry keywords. This initial step paves the way for effective online networking. A complete profile reinforces a positive image of you, making sure that current associates will be happy to connect you with others.
- Get at least one recommendation from a former boss or employee. Testimonials are powerful in convincing hiring managers to put you on the short list. What’s more, the act of connecting with your former colleague will strengthen that relationship, putting you at the forefront of his or her mind when a position opens up.
- Take advantage of the JobsInsider toolbar, which can be integrated with your Internet browser. When you are viewing job listings on other websites, this tool helps you to determine who is already working for the companies that are hiring.
- Become active in one or more industry-focused groups. These groups offer you an opportunity to engage with colleagues on important industry questions and keep up with current discussion topics in your field.
- Use InMail to connect with someone you’d like to know better. Explain who referred you to this person and what you have in common. Many times if you see that they have posted a job on LinkedIn they see so many resumes you need to make more of a personal effort. Offer to buy the person coffee or lunch at a time that’s convenient, setting you up for a one-on-one experience with better results than attending networking events.
- Connect with people. Utilize your college/high school class mates in your job search. Without keeping in touch you would never know that a friend you made in your business class is now working closely with the hiring team of your dream company. This small world continually gets smaller when you go out and meet people.
Tim Nelson of MAP Houston is a resource for professionals to seek advice and help in career advancement. Get career tips from Tim on Twitter and Google+.