LinkedIn has in excess of 347 million members in over 200 countries and territories. That’s a big chunk of the working world. And that number includes more than 39 million students and recent college graduates, who have become LinkedIn’s fastest-growing population. Many of them, perhaps like you, are on the job hunt.
Through LinkedIn, I’ve been approached by hiring managers and employers looking for a new employee with my work experience. Some even revealed to me that they check a person’s LinkedIn profile even before they look at their CV or résumé. Your LinkedIn profile is your calling card and an important representation of you as a professional.
LinkedIn offers many benefits for job seekers, including the ability to connect with potential employers and learn more about their work environment. Twenty years ago, accessing this type of information would have been nearly impossible. Back then, I had to meet with hiring managers (in person) and learn about their workplace through an informational interview.
In the 1990s, it was much more difficult to get your foot in the door with an employer. Needless to say, LinkedIn now offers an amazing opportunity to learn about prospective employers. After all, the more equipped you are for your job hunt, the better your chances of landing employment in a field that you enjoy and will thrive in.
Here are four tips on using LinkedIn to help make your job search that much easier.
1. Make your headline strong
Your LinkedIn heading (just underneath your name) is your online mark, because your name and headline are the main things that a LinkedIn visitor will notice when viewing different profiles. Your headline, photo and name are the only part of your profile that users will see when they decide whether or not to view your profile. Make your headline attractive, professional and interesting!
2. Broadcast your job hunt
If you’re open about your job search (and don’t mind your current boss knowing you’re looking for work), then state it in your headline. For example, “Business Administration Graduate Seeking New Job Opportunities.”
3. Follow your target employers
If you’d like to work for certain companies, then follow them on social media and keep an eye on their LinkedIn profiles. You’ll get a good sense of their work environment, keep up to date on news within their industry and learn when they’re hiring (many organizations post job openings on LinkedIn).
4. Sharpen your profile
Keep your profile up to date with new projects, links to your work (where applicable), ask for recommendations (hiring managers love to see this) and ask a friend to take a good professional photo of you. Be sure to practise good LinkedIn karma by endorsing others for their skill sets—you’ll find they’ll reciprocate by endorsing you too. Soon you’ll have an engaging, professional profile that will help you land your dream job.