How to use LinkedIn effectively for job search?
Job search is a tedious task especially if you are a fresh graduate. You are thinking that “Yes! I am in the final year. I will get a good job, earn a lot, buy a car, buy a house, get married and live happily ever after”. But all your beautiful plans after graduation come to a pause when the job search struggle begins. You are giving interviews after interviews, attending your college placements, attending career fairs, mailing your CVs on the career page of your dream companies. And all of these are excellent ways of landing a job. However, what many new graduates are missing out on is the power of LinkedIn as a platform used for job search.
Before we get started, let’s get a quick introduction to LinkedIn as a platform. Founded in 2002, LinkedIn is a platform for all working professionals, new job hunters as well as students. Anyone can use this platform simply by creating an account, optimizing your profile, and connecting with people. Different people have different motives for joining LinkedIn. While a fresher may have the sole objective of landing a job and an already working professional may be looking for a job change, a career advancement opportunity. Some people also join LinkedIn to stay connected with their colleagues, get the latest information about new opportunities. There are HRs (hiring managers) too who are looking for a suitable employee for their organization.
LinkedIn as a platform for job searchers has a huge potential and if optimized the right way, it can yield great benefits to its users. But the question is how to use LinkedIn effectively for job search? Most new users find the platform difficult to understand and eventually give up using LinkedIn because they don’t find it useful in the job search. However, it is to understand that LinkedIn is not a magical tool that will get you a job
overnight. You have to optimize your profile for job search and be continually active. You can’t just make a profile and expect to land a job.
Now, let’s come on to how to make use of LinkedIn effectively to land the job of your dreams. I am providing this guide which will include tips to use LinkedIn for job search and I will also be telling some of the benefits of using LinkedIn for job search.
Let’s start with the tips first.
10 Tips to use LinkedIn for Job Search
1. Create a profile and update it: To do anything, you have to get started somewhere. Applying this principle to a job search on LinkedIn, the first thing you have to do is to get started. Create an account with your real name; know that it is completely free to create a LinkedIn account and to use it. Now, the next step is to update your profile with your information. You can add contact information, information related to your educational background, work experience, skills and interests, certifications, website, etc. You must add a profile picture to complete your profile. Use your picture. It is important to help people recognize you.
2. Use a professional profile picture, please!: Girls, please avoid using the picture in your lehengas or traditional dresses from the time when you visited your cousin’s wedding and boys, not every suit is a professional suit! Get a headshot of yourself in professional attire. Possibly, get a headshot done with a plain background.
3. Optimize your headline: Your headline is what appears exactly below your name on your LinkedIn profile. This line describes who you are and what you
do. This is the first thing people are going to see after your name. Therefore, it must be true, professional-looking, and must include a keyword relating to your niche or your job role.
4. Make connections: Making great connections on LinkedIn will help you a great deal in your job search journey. These connections can help you by introducing you to the organization that they are working with. They may give you endorsements and recommendations. So, it is always a great idea to keep connecting with people in your niche. You can send connection requests with a personalized message. You may even send them a message thanking them for becoming a connection as soon as they accept your connection request. This is a great way to build relationships that may prove fruitful sometime later.
5. Follow your target companies: LinkedIn allows its users to follow companies of their choice. You can use this opportunity to follow the companies that you are passionate to work with. This way you can stay updated with the recent changes and updates within the organization. You can add the employees working there as your connections. You can get updates about new job postings at the organization. You can even ask your connections who work there to introduce you to the recruiters.
6. Don’t shy away to ask for that introduction: I mentioned this in point 5 above. Yes, LinkedIn allows you to ask your connections to introduce you to the organization they are working at. Companies do consider employee referrals while hiring for an open position. Therefore, there are high chances that the organization might select you if your skill-sets match their requirements.
7. Find your hiring manager: LinkedIn is a great platform to connect with recruiters and hiring managers. You can find them by searching for them. Now once you have found the hiring manager of your dream company, you may get in touch with them by leaving them a connection request along with a professional message. Don’t ask for a job in the message for a connection request though. It can make you look desperate and unpleasing. Wait for them to accept your connection request.
8. Ask for recommendations and endorsements: You can ask your coworkers to give endorsements to your skills. This will help you backup up the skills that you have mentioned in your LinkedIn profile. You can also ask your coworkers to write a recommendation for you. Getting recommendations from co-workers will particularly be helpful when you are looking for a job switch.
9. Check out job search options: You can explore LinkedIn’s job search section. Enter the relevant keywords related to your niche in the search box. You may add filters regarding your location and more. You will find plenty of job opportunities right on your desktop/mobile screen. Then you can go through their description, see if your skill sets match the job’s requirement, and if it does, you may apply for the job. In some cases, LinkedIn provides the option of ‘Easy Apply’ for some jobs. In this case, you can directly apply from LinkedIn without even leaving the app. However, in some cases, LinkedIn will direct you to a third-party service (for example, indeed, naukri.com, glassdoor, etc.), and you can apply for the job from there.
10. Use LinkedIn’s publishing tool: You can use LinkedIn’s publishing tool to write articles. You can do anything. You may use a story-telling approach to give a message, or you may share your personal and professional life experiences. It is also a great way to connect and engage with your connections. No, you do not have to be a professional writer, you just need something valuable to share.
Think of LinkedIn as your online resume which is open for everyone to see. You can add your education, skills, certifications, past and current jobs, work experience, contact information. It is recommended to have a complete profile with all your information added. An incomplete profile will only lower your chances of getting a job. Optimizing your LinkedIn profile will open doors to new opportunities in front of you. It can help you make connections that you otherwise would not even think of making. You can directly get in touch with recruiters and hiring professionals. Now, let’s move on to some benefits of using LinkedIn for job seekers.
Benefits of using LinkedIn for Job Search
1. Gain exposure to Hiring Managers and Recruiters: 93% of recruiters are using LinkedIn to research and recruit new candidates. A LinkedIn profile is like your own online personal brand. This means that if your name is put into a search engine such as Google, you will be appearing in search results. Therefore, you need to make sure to treat your LinkedIn profile just the same as your CV and you need to make sure whatever is on the profile is selling you in the best way possible.
2. A place to demonstrate your knowledge, credibility, and leadership: Having a LinkedIn profile will help you to build trust and credibility with employers and recruiters as they can see your recommendations from other people and connections. These recommendations are evidence of your abilities and show your recruiters whether or not you will be able to add value to their organization.
3. Use LinkedIn as a research tool: With a LinkedIn account, you can also research companies, interviewers, recruiters, and hiring managers. This is particularly helpful before you submit your application. It is a great idea to research who’s going to interview you and conduct interview research.
4. Follow Companies: You can use LinkedIn for researching organizations and people that are working at them. This can be valuable information when you are trying to target people within your network who are working with those organizations that you want to work with. You can ask these people for an introduction.
5. Join LinkedIn Groups: LinkedIn Groups are an excellent way to connect with people who have similar interests and expand your network. You can connect with anyone from other graduates in your field to professionals already working within your industry. Groups give you the freedom to take part in discussions. Taking part in discussions is a great way to exhibit your knowledge on topics related to your industry. While in the group, you may strike conversations with other professionals by simply asking questions to key people in key organizations.
LinkedIn has thousands of online groups, enabling professionals to network within their respective niches.
6. LinkedIn has extensive job listings. If you’re a job hunter, you can take advantage of LinkedIn’s job search engine. Many top brands use LinkedIn for finding suitable candidates to work at their organizations. You can directly apply for job positions using LinkedIn apply, save job searches. You can also turn on notifications for receiving regular job postings of your interest.
7. Receive (and give) endorsements and testimonials. LinkedIn enables your coworkers or colleagues to give endorsements for your skills and also to write up recommendations for you and allows you to do the same for them. If any recruiters are searching for job candidates, they will take these recommendations and endorsements into consideration. When someone recommends or endorses you, anyone who visits your profile can see these and it can work as social proof that you have other experts backing up your claims to have certain skills. This is very powerful in making connections. It helps to build your credibility when your contacts leave endorsements and testimonials that LinkedIn.
8. Make important business connections. You can choose whom to connect with on LinkedIn. You can connect with past co-workers, employers, hiring managers, and Fortune 500 executives.
9. Stay updated with your connections. Your connections may be posting news, some helpful tips, and even updates about their new jobs or work experience with their company, which can help you to stay updated about industry trends and timely topics.
10. A nice way to introduce people to your books, websites, blogs, and more. LinkedIn also provides a space where you can list the books written by you and links to your blog or website.
To conclude, the benefits of having a LinkedIn profile are almost endless with little to no downside of having one. You can get involved in forums, join groups and connect with like-minded individuals. LinkedIn is also mostly free to use. From a job seeker’s perspective, LinkedIn is an amazing tool that can help you get ahead in the competition when searching for a new job. So, if you are a new job-seeker, you need to get on LinkedIn right away.