Why should I use LinkedIn to find a job?
According to recent reports, there are now more than 500 million users of LinkedIn – and many of these are employers and recruiters looking for the perfect candidate to fill their latest vacancy. The site is used not only to advertise new positions but by those scouring for the most suitable staff, so it's definitely a tool worth using.
To make sure you are taking full advantage of all it has to offer, have a look at our guide on how to use LinkedIn to find a job.
1. Be yourself
A normal CV is a great way to show off your career highlights, but LinkedIn has the added bonus of getting across more of your personality.
Keep it formal – this isn't your Facebook page – but take advantage of having more space to expand on your business interests, your career objectives and your professional highlights.
Adding a photo is also known to boost profile views, but again make sure the image is suitable and not a cropped headshot from a night out. Potential employers should be able to get a flavour of who you are without knowing what you get up to on a Friday night.
2. Refresh your profile
If you really want to use LinkedIn to find a job, the most important thing is to keep your profile up-to-date. You might have set up your LinkedIn page five years ago as a networking tool but if you haven't updated it since then you certainly aren't using the platform to its full potential.
Include the most recent information not only regarding your place of employment and role, but also the skills and experience you have recently gained. Add in the things you have done that are relevant to the kind of jobs you are now looking for – and as recruiters search by keywords, make sure your skills match up to those they are likely to search for.
Just like you would optimise your CV for ATS software, make sure you use these keywords throughout your whole profile and in the skills section.
3. Stand out from the crowd
Only your name, photo and headline are initially seen when people carry out a search, but as millions of people now use LinkedIn to find a job, you need to include something that will encourage recruiters to click on your profile ahead of others.
Don't be tempted to include a wacky image to grab attention, but do try thinking slightly outside the box when it comes to the headline, such as using a strong adjective rather than just your current job title.
However, don't forget that recruiters will use particular search terms so make sure these are also included in your headline to ensure you get found in the first place.
4. How to use LinkedIn to find a job if you're unemployed
If you are actively looking for a job and are able to say so, then why not do so?
Showing you are trying to find work by adding this into your headline means recruiters may be more likely to click on your profile, rather than waste time trawling through others who may not be interested in going anywhere.
Don't specifically highlight that you are out of work but list what you are looking for and make clear you are available e.g. 'experienced financial analyst looking for new opportunities'.
Of course, if you are already employed and are going to use LinkedIn to find a job, keep your current boss in mind. If they don't know you are looking for a new role, it's not something worth advertising – even if you don't think they will see it.
LinkedIn was set up for networking, so make the most of it and connect with other people in your field. The more you connect with others, the more likely you are to be seen by potential employers so it can be a real help in getting your profile noticed.
A key piece of advice on how to use LinkedIn to find a job is to talk to other users. Don't be afraid to send messages to relevant contacts at organisations you are interested in to enquire about any job opportunities or who the best person is to speak to – just make sure you don't bombard them.
6. Keep your eyes peeled
If you are going to use LinkedIn to find a job, then you need to check it frequently and keep a careful lookout for any updates. Many companies will use the site to post new positions they may not have advertised elsewhere – and by following them you've got a great chance of finding out about these at the earliest opportunity.
Additionally, if you are later invited for an interview, you can use their LinkedIn page to find out about the latest news and information to impress them with when you get there. Remember you can also use the site to search for jobs as well as subscribing to job alerts.
Even if your personal information is up-to-date and you are following relevant people, there's still more you can do.
Show you are active and interested in the industry by posting relevant items, joining or creating groups on topics of interest and getting involved in discussions. All of these things will show your enthusiasm in the field as well as connecting you with new people who might just be looking for that perfect employee.
How to use LinkedIn to find a job: A summary
LinkedIn has become one of the go-to places to find a job and it's certainly worth creating a profile, keeping on top of it and making connections with relevant people to get yourself noticed and to stand out from the crowd.
Put aside some time for LinkedIn on a regular basis and you'll be well on the way to finding that dream job – or it may just find you!
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