Congratulations! You completed your LinkedIn profile. Now all you have to do is sit back, relax and let the job offers roll in, right? Wrong! There are scores of qualified job candidates out there. To be successful, you need to leverage your LinkedIn network to attract new job opportunities. Here are five LinkedIn tips for professionals to use to be sure you get noticed.
1. Keep It Fresh
When was the last time you updated your LinkedIn profile? Is your contact information current? Even if you haven’t been promoted or changed jobs, your profile may be missing some key information. Perhaps you’ve mastered the latest software program, or earned a new certification. Details like these will help to move your name to the short list of candidates – the ones who get called in for an interview.
You’ll find that job sites will often re-direct you to the employer’s career page. With a fresh LinkedIn profile, you’ll likely be able to populate the application form with just a couple of clicks. This is obviously dependent on the application process the employer chooses to use but if the option is available you should take advantage of it. Not only does this save time, it reduces the chance for errors, and ensures that potential employers are presented with a consistent view of your qualifications.
2. Strength in Numbers
Once your profile is up-to-date, use it to gain exposure to the widest possible audience. Although it’s possible to build your network one professional at a time, to grow exponentially you’ll want to join a group.
Begin by searching for groups related to your profession or industry. Some groups will require approval from the group leader, while others will grant you instant access. Being associated with like-minded professionals is a sign to your future employer that you are committed to mastering your profession. And don’t be reluctant to seek out a group that appeals to your interests outside of the office. You never know when a personal relationship will turn into a career-building connection.
3. Engage Your Network
Once you’re a member of a group, don’t lurk in the shadows. Be an active member. Connect with others who have similar interests, comment on a blog post or start a new discussion. Why not contribute some original content of your own? Each post will raise your visibility.
Use the same approach for your own LinkedIn profile, by offering your professional opinion on the hot topics of the day. Active participants get noticed. People who get noticed get offers.
4. Make Personal Connections
You probably have a list of the companies you’d like to work for. Many will have a LinkedIn page of their own. Visit this page to see a list of all past and current employees with a LinkedIn profile. Follow the company to stay abreast of new job openings. Reach out to the employees in your field or the appropriate departments to ask for an informational interview. Search for individuals with phrases like human resources, talent acquisition, or lead recruiter in their job title. You’ll find that many of them will list job opportunities in the summary section of their profile. Some will even use their profile summary page to invite candidates to contact them directly.
5. Highlight the Great Work You’ve Done
Human resource professionals are always looking for the details that make a candidate stand out. To cut through the clutter of resumes, you need to provide more than just a cursory view of your experience.
Use your profile to mention training, awards, or accomplishments. Emphasize the skills that are most applicable to the direction you want your career to go. And, to ensure that your unique set of qualifications is not overlooked, ask a few key connections to leave you a recommendation, and endorse one of your skills.
You work hard at your career. By following through on these five simple tips, your LinkedIn profile will work just as hard to attract your next job offer.