Social media sites have soared in popularity over the last decade, with platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn proving useful not only for keeping in touch with friends, but for job searching and employment opportunities too.
While many of us login to our profiles on a daily basis to check in with friends or share life events, social media, and in particular LinkedIn, can be an incredibly powerful tool for job hunting.
People searching for employment might find they miss opportunities because they are unsure how to use LinkedIn properly, but a user-friendly app and a rapidly increasing number of users mean it is now easier than ever for job seekers to connect with potential employers.
If you’re wondering how to use LinkedIn for job hunting, there are many ways in which you can do so that extend beyond the LinkedIn jobs search tool. It can be used to network, connect with other users and to sell yourself as the ideal candidate to any potential employers, who often favour this method of recruitment over sifting through piles of CVs.
We’ve put together some helpful tips to help you understand how to use LinkedIn and other social media profiles to their maximum potential for job hunting.
How to use LinkedIn for job searching: Be professional
It goes without saying, but if you’re using a social media profile to go job hunting, you should provide a professional representation of yourself to ensure employers are taking you seriously.
Your photo and URL are usually the first thing an employer will see when they visit your LinkedIn profile. Be sure to be sure to use an appropriate and professional picture of yourself and that your URL correlates as closely as possible to your first and last name – avoiding nicknames will make it easier for people to search for you.
While you might use Facebook or Twitter as a socialising tool, ensure your profiles are suitable for viewing by potential employers and industry professionals.If necessary, change your privacy settings, or set up a separate job hunting account that you can then use to further network or direct people to your LinkedIn profile.
How to use LinkedIn to get what you want
Using social media wisely to capture the attention of anyone visiting your LinkedIn profile is important if you are job hunting.
It can be difficult to work out how to use LinkedIn to engage potential recruiters by using only a small amount of information, but your LinkedIn profile headline should make it clear that you are seeking opportunities or employment. Using a short, snappy and punchy introduction will grab the attention of your connections and may even open up important networking conversations.
Try to succinctly communicate what it is you are looking for, your goals and your most relevant or recent experience, so that any recruiters who are short of time can quickly gauge whether to read the rest of your profile or LinkedIn CV.
If you are currently unemployed, avoid highlighting the fact, as this may lead to recruiters to ask why. Instead, indicate that you are open to new opportunities.
How to make a good LinkedIn profile
With over 600 million global users, LinkedIn is the world’s biggest professional networking. With statistics like these, it’s easy to see why it’s well worth your while spending the time to craft an impressive and up-to-date LinkedIn profile.
If you want to know how to use LinkedIn effectively for job searching, pay special attention to your social media CV and ensure that you are updating and improving it regularly.
Even if you have been in your current role for a long period of time, don’t neglect your profile. Providing a good LinkedIn summary and adding to your skills and expertise will make it easier when it comes to job searching and will give recruiters a good idea of what you might be able to bring to their company.
One of the benefits of LinkedIn is the ability to post updates about your career interests and share articles relevant to your industry. You could even consider writing an article yourself. If you have taken on a new responsibility or been promoted, don’t waste time when it comes to updating your social media profiles. Anything that will enhance your LinkedIn CV will help you when it comes to job hunting.
Be selective with your connections
If you’re still working out how to use LinkedIn effectively, be selective with who you connect with. This will make LinkedIn a more effective tool for job searching and achieving your career aims.
Anyone looking for tips on how to use LinkedIn would be advised to connect to people you have worked with, anyone you have been introduced to or industry professionals that are of interest to you. Your connection network will then give other LinkedIn users an idea of your interests, passions and the field in which you either currently work or are hoping to break into.
Making only the most relevant connections will help ensure you receive industry updates from other like-minded professionals and any relevant opportunities that you might otherwise miss.
Once you have connected with people, don’t be afraid to reach out for advice, or enquire about any LinkedIn jobs that they may have advertised. Starting discussions with other industry professionals will inevitably help with your job hunting.
How to use LinkedIn and other social media profiles to look for opportunities
If you are going to use LinkedIn to find a job, ensure you are checking it frequently and keep a lookout for any updates. Many companies will use the site to post new positions they may not have advertised elsewhere.
It’s also a great way to find out more about someone you are interested in professionally; you might gain some insight into how certain industry professionals got to where they are now, which might spark a job searching idea.
Twitter can still be a great tool for connecting with professionals and looking for job opportunities. Consider setting up a job hunting twitter account if your main profile is for social and personal use only. By doing so, you can further network with relevant contacts and drive traffic back to your LinkedIn profile. Follow anybody who may benefit your job search: industry leaders, companies you’d like to work for and job websites are a good place to start. Your Twitter feed will soon become a goldmine of advice and resources.
Using LinkedIn for job searching: A summary
Taking the time to work out how to use LinkedIn effectively can dramatically improve your employment prospects, whilst having an accessible and well-constructed social media CV will widen the net for opportunities. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people you think might be able to help along the way, and use the online networking opportunities to show recruiters and potential employers why and how you stand out from the crowd.