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Use LinkedIn in your job search and build professional network

Use LinkedIn in your job search and build professional network

LinkedIn should be the starting point for any professional’s job search. By completing your profile and growing your network you’ll be leaps and bounds ahead of others in your industry that fail to capitalize on LinkedIn’s power.


Do

Do state your objective

Be candid about the type of work or projects you would like to be involved in. People like to help others, when someone sees that you are interested in working for a particular type of business or on certain types of projects they naturally want to find a way to make that connection for you. You can describe your career interests in your Summary section.

Do have an endorsement mindset

One of the best parts of LinkedIn is that people can see who’s raving about you. Ideally you want others to endorse and recommend you and the best way to get them to do that is by first endorsing or recommending them. If a potential employer sees that a CEO at another company has written a stellar recommendation of you, they are going to stop and read it - and then try to figure out how they can work with you.

Do actively connect with others

When you meet someone at a conference, invite them to connect on LinkedIn. When you’re introduced to someone interesting at a social event, invite them to connect on LinkedIn. You should connect with any clients, co-workers, friends and industry leaders you can to start building a strong network. This does not mean to spam people and connect with anyone you can find. Be strategic about your network connections, you never know who might be able to connect you with a job in the future. Social equity is sometimes more important than monetary equity. Remember, you can’t buy yourself a new job and sometimes it’s who you know not what you know.

Do follow companies

What better way to get yourself in front of your dream company than to follow them on LinkedIn. This shows them you are truly interested in them (it’s surprising how many times people are turned down for jobs because the employer simply thought the person wasn’t really interested in the job or company) and gives you an advantage when they post a job opening. If they post the opening on LinkedIn, you’ll be among the first to see it and can apply right away. If you get an interview, you’ll be able to prove your knowledge of the company based on all their updates you witnessed.

Do participate in groups

A great way to expand your network on LinkedIn is to participate in groups. You’ll meet people you may not have ever connected with otherwise. These connections can help you find employment opportunities, provide feedback and mentorship, and connect you with other important individuals that can help foster your career.


Don't

Do not stretch the truth

LinkedIn is a great place to share your professional accomplishments, but it is not an opportunity to embellish your experience. Be honest about your employment history, your skills and your accomplishments. Remember, this is all online so with a few quick searches, people can see if you’re telling the truth and you don’t want to tarnish your professional image long term.

Do not assume your connections know what you do

Your connections need to know more than your job title. Take the time to explain your job duties, responsibilities, and accomplishments. This gives people a better understanding of your strengths and areas of expertise and can get them thinking down the path of how you can work with them.

Do not get too comfortable

This is not Facebook, this is not the place to talk about your bad day or how cute your dog is. Your LinkedIn profile is directly tied to your professional image and should be used to share your industry knowledge and what you have to offer professionally. Share links others in your industry would find valuable, participate in groups and provide quality feedback when people ask questions. Participating in this way helps to establish yourself as an industry expert and when you’re thought of as an industry expert you’ll be the go-to person when someone has a job opening.

Do not forget to add your skills

Endorsements are relatively new on LinkedIn and they provide a quick and easy way to gain credibility for your skills and build on your reputation as an expert. But the catch is, if you don’t provide a list of Skills for others to endorse, you won’t get endorsed. Try to avoid listing a bunch of cliche things and really think about skills that will stand out to possible employers and that will help you in your future job search.

Do not neglect the advanced search

LinkedIn’s Advanced Search might be one of the most underutilized networking and employment tools out there. This is a gold mine for your job search and emphasizes the importance of connecting with as many quality people as possible. Perhaps there is a company you’ve always wanted to work for but never knew how to approach them. Well, here’s your chance to play 7 Degrees of Separation with your professional network. The Advanced Search lets you find people (such as the HR manager of your dream company) based on relationships, location, industry, school, company size, seniority and much more. You can also search jobs based on your LinkedIn network, company, job function, location, industry and more.


Summary
Jumping cartoon

Just like a resume or business card, LinkedIn is a tool in your job search. If you print your resume and never hand it to anyone it won’t do you any good. If you have business cards but never introduce yourself to anyone, they won’t do you any good. If you set up a LinkedIn account and don’t take advantage of the networking opportunities and ways to build your professional image, it won’t do you any good. I hope you choose to maximize your employment opportunities by taking advantage of everything LinkedIn has to offer.
 


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Laurie Morse-DellSocial Media and Personal Branding Coach

Extensive experience in strategic marketing with over a decade working to promote small businesses, government agencies, non-profits and international corporations. I have created unique and successful marketing campaigns that increase sales and...

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