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How To Use LinkedIn For Your Job Search

LinkedIn is one of the most important tools in your job search toolkit. It’s a great place to connect with other professionals, find new opportunities, and learn about employers. If you’re not using it right now, you should be! 

According to Linkedin, there are over 194 million users in the United States and 101 job applications submitted every second. Further, 365 million skills that users added to their profiles in the last 12 months. 

In this article we’ll show you how to use LinkedIn for your professional life so that you can start making the most of this powerful platform.

Know what you’re looking for.

Before you start searching for a job, it’s important that you know what kind of job you’re looking for. This can help make your search more successful by focusing on certain jobs and companies instead of just “looking” at everything.

What kind of company do you want to work for? Do you want to work in a large company or a small one? What field do you want to work in? Are there any specific projects that interest you more than others? Do any organizations stand out as having better opportunities than others? Knowing these things will help determine which types of jobs (and companies) are worth pursuing.

Make changes to your profile.

When you’re applying for jobs, you’ll want to make sure your LinkedIn profile is as up-to-date and professional as possible. Here are some simple things you can do to achieve this:

  • Update your profile picture. Make sure it’s a clear headshot that looks professional. If possible, ask a friend or family member who has an eye for photography to take the shot so that it’s just right.
  • Change your headline (the first sentence of your summary). This should be a description of what you hope to achieve in the future—for example, “Brand strategist looking for new challenges.” This will help recruiters quickly understand what kind of career path would be best suited for you if they are considering hiring based on your current skillset and goals!
  • Add a summary that describes your career goals if one doesn’t already exist on LinkedIn. Having this information easily accessible will save time during initial conversations with potential employers because they won’t have to go searching through all of their applications looking for any signs of ambition; instead all those details will already be there waiting patiently

Make sure you’re discoverable.

The more complete, up to date and well written your profile is, the better. Make sure your profile has a professional headshot and that it’s optimized for search. You can make these changes by going to the Edit Profile page in LinkedIn (under the Profile tab) and clicking on the pencil icon next to each section of information that you would like to change.

Network by making new contacts.

Once you’re on LinkedIn, it’s time to network. Networking is the act of building relationships with people you don’t know by connecting with them via social media platforms like LinkedIn. You can also build relationships with people who are not in your industry, as these contacts may be able to help you find other opportunities outside the scope of what they do—a win-win situation.

Reach out to people in your network.

LinkedIn is a great way to find people you know and connect with them. When you see someone in your network, just send them a message and ask if you can give them any feedback on their profile or other questions about their career. You may be surprised by how helpful they are!

If the person does not have a LinkedIn account, then this may be an opportunity for you to reach out to someone who knows that person well—perhaps another colleague from your organization. Ask if they would mind passing along your information to help assist in your job search, especially if there’s specific expertise that comes with knowing this person (e.g., “I’m looking for a job as an Accountant. Previously, I worked at Acme Corporation under the leadership of Luke Smith”).

Or maybe it’s someone outside of work who could put in a good word for you when he or she sees another friend: “Hey John—do me a favor? If any of your friends here at XYZ Inc have openings, please let me know!”

Join groups that are fit for your background.

Join groups that are relevant to your industry, your geographic region and your interests. Joining groups is a great way to get connected with people working in the same field as you. You can also learn more about different career paths and discover new opportunities.

  • Join groups that are relevant to your skills: If there are certain topics that come up in job interviews or conversations with recruiters, join a group related to those topics on LinkedIn. This will help provide insight into how others like you approach the challenges of professional life and what advice they might have for success in the field.
  • Join groups that are relevant to your background: When looking for work, it’s helpful if you’re part of an industry-specific network where people share information about job openings, trends and challenges within their particular area of expertise—and where individuals from different areas could exchange ideas as well (e.g., engineers who want more business experience).

Review contacts that work at companies where you want to work.

The next step is to review your contacts for those who work at companies where you want to work, who are in your field and/or have a position similar to the one you want.

  • Find them based on where they went to school. If they went to the same university, then there’s a higher chance that they’re still involved with that school as an alumnus or volunteer. This could be a great way of finding people who will be more likely than others to help you out if you need it!
  • Search LinkedIn by location: If your job search has a geographic element, then LinkedIn can help narrow down which companies and recruiters are active in your desired area(s). For example, if I’m looking for an entry-level PR position in New York City and Chicago at small agencies (not big ones), I could enter my city names into the search bar on LinkedIn’s homepage because both cities have active communities of professionals who use this platform regularly during any given day.

Check the job listing for the companies where you want to work.

Once you’ve identified a few companies that interest you, it’s time to check out their job listings. Look at the description of the position and see if you have the experience or skills they are looking for. If not, think about how you can get them. Do some research into local training opportunities or online courses that could help boost your resume.

  • This is where LinkedIn comes in handy! You can search for “jobs” near your location (by city) and narrow down by industry or company size. When posting an application on a website like LinkedIn instead of with an employer directly, keep these tips in mind:
  • Make sure all sections are filled out completely (education info, work history). This helps employers see what professional skill sets applicants have without having contact details from potential employees yet;
  • Write an informative summary of yourself as well as specific accomplishments related to what was listed in the job description;
  • Keep personal information off of the platfrom since this may hinder employment opportunities depending on what type(s) of company/industry one works within.

Find the right contact at the companies where you want to work.

LinkedIn is a powerful tool for your job search, but it’s not just about collecting contacts. The real magic happens when you know what to do with them.

To find the right contact at the companies where you want to work, take these steps:

  • Look at the company page. A good place to start is LinkedIn’s Company Pages, which allow you to look at all of a company’s employees in one place and see what they’re up to professionally.
  • You can also see if there are any openings or opportunities that might be right for you or other connections who may have access and influence within the organization (like an alumni network).
  • Check out their profile(s). After finding someone’s profile on LinkedIn, click “In Your Network” under their name—this will show everyone who has worked with them in some capacity over time so that you can get a sense of how connected they really are within an organization before reaching out personally yourself!

Tell your professional story in a good way.

LinkedIn is a great tool for sharing your professional story in a concise, clear way. The trick is to make sure it’s the right story for you. To do this, you have to figure out what makes you unique and different from other people with similar skills and experience.

  • Start by thinking about your key strengths: why are they relevant?
  • Think carefully about how these strengths could be used at a company or organization
  • Try writing down 1-3 sentences that describe how you would apply these strengths in an organization

Use personal branding to build relationships.

Personal branding is a way to show off your skills and expertise, and it’s an essential part of your job search. It can also help you stand out from the crowd when you’re applying for jobs.

LinkedIn is one of the best tools for personal branding because it provides an easy way for people to find out more about you and connect with you professionally—which ultimately leads to more opportunities in your career.

We hope these tips have given you a solid foundation for using LinkedIn as part of your job search. Remember that the key to success is consistency, so make sure to implement these tips as often as possible and stay on top of them throughout your career.

If you would like help in jump starting your approach to LinkedIn or your job search, contact us today for a customized approach. 

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