Now that finding employment opportunities through the classified ads in the printed newspaper is just about unheard of, new ways of job hunting have taken over. Regardless of your feelings about them, if you are seeking employment - freelance, contract or permanent - you need a basic knowledge of the methods available, in order to compete in the new world of job searching.
LinkedIn appeared several years ago as the professional connection tool of choice for many people. A large amount of individuals jumped on board to sign up for an account, but according to recent informal studies, a rather disappointingly high percentage of those people did not follow up by remaining active with their accounts. What this means is that although you may see thousands of people registered on LinkedIn, the amount of active users my be significantly less.
“Online life is about premeditation.”
― Sherry Turkle
For this reason, it is important to use all of the resources and platforms available to you when seeking jobs and assignments. This means keeping active in your search via LinkedIn, Facebook and even Craigslist, which, because of its cost to advertisers (none) has become very popular for even high-end companies to advertise for employees.
How to Use LinkedIn to Find a Job
First, of course, set up your account if you have not done so already. When creating your profile, consider where you want to be going, rather than where you have been. Keep your long-ago job descriptions brief, especially if they have nothing to do with the position you are currently seeking.
Invest time in your resume. Take advantage of the articles on LinkedIn (and elsewhere) that will help you improve your job search. Resume writing, free templates, free examples of resumes and interview questions etc. will serve you well. Devote a certain amount of time every day to your job search, or to doing something to improve your chances of finding the perfect job. Commit to the time and focus solely on this task without distractions.
This Shocked Me About Resume Writing
Choose your connections. Connections are requests from people you know. You will likely receive many of them once you become active on LinkedIn. Accept the ones you feel will be the best for you in your career. These are not necessarily your friends from high school or social connections (they may be, but don't choose them just because you feel you "should"). Send connection requests to your professional acquaintances. You will start to see levels of connections to new people, sort of like a web of people connected to each other. Reach out to those people who you think will mutually benefit with your connection.
LinkedIn Job Search Tips
Use the Job Search feature on LinkedIn. It can be filled with quite a few jobs or ads that do not have anything to do with your field of interest, so be patient as you search your keywords. Submit your perfectly prepared resume (proofread, proofread and proofread again) to all the positions that interest you. Note that on many of the job listings there is a contact person and email. Do not hesitate to contact this person after you have submitted your application, if you have not heard back form the company. Send a very professional note asking for an update - or ask a good question to show your interest.
Use the Answer section of LinkedIn. Responding to posted questions help improve your visibility and can make you recognized an expert in your field.
Improve Your LinkedIn Profile
A professional photo is nice to add, but keep it very business-like. Use keywords and skills that people will search for in your profile. Research these keywords online so that you are going to be found easily.
Recommendations are very important. These might be the best part of your LinkedIn experience. Recommendations are like testimonials. You can request them from your connections and write them for other people yo have worked with. The more glowing recommendations you have, the more your profile will stand out and the easier you will be to find. You can also copy them and use them in your hard-copy resume, for job interviews and applications not on LinkedIn.
Consider your LinkedIn connections as your sales team, and don't hesitate to call on them to assist you in your job search. This platform works because of the team approach - everyone helping everyone - and teamwork is the key.
The most important thing to keep in mind is consistency. Remain connected. Stay active in your account. Follow up on leads, tweak your profile or resume as it is needed. Write recommendations for others and request they do so for you.