A well-written résumé is the most critical tool in your job search arsenal; after all, it is what gets you job interviews. However, LinkedIn is an equally, if not more, vital tool that far too many job hunters overlook.
Yes, LinkedIn is primarily a professional networking platform, but never underestimate its effectiveness when it comes to finding new chances. Indeed, hiring managers use LinkedIn to analyze potential candidates, so a well-written profile will almost certainly lead to more opportunities.
And you can take advantage of this.
Here’s how to manage your LinkedIn job search effectively – and leave with more interviews and better offers.
1. Follow The Companies That Interest You
Want to stand out to the company you want to work for? Take their lead.
Why? Because you’ll be able to keep ahead of the competition when new job opportunities arise, generate leads that can turn into recommendations for those job vacancies, and discover more about a company’s mission, culture, and activities for your interview preparation.
Furthermore, potential employers will assume that if you follow their firm on LinkedIn (rather than merely looking for jobs left, right, and center with no clear strategy), you are truly interested in their company and keep up with what they are doing. As a result, they’ll be more likely to invite you to an interview – providing, of course, you match the qualifications.
2. Upload A Professional Photo
True, you should normally avoid including a photo in your résumé (unless in extremely rare circumstances, such as modeling or acting roles). Indeed, it can expose you to discrimination and unconscious bias, while also consuming valuable real estate that could be better used to sell your expertise, abilities, and achievements.
However, a photo is required for your LinkedIn profile. After all, leaving your profile photo blank appears strange — nay, like you’re hiding something. Adding a photo to your profile not only negates this, but it also helps you establish your own brand by putting a face to your name. As a result, you get reputation as a job seeker and recruiters trust you.
3. Share Updates On A Regular Basis
It’s a good idea to be an active user on LinkedIn when looking for work. This entails sharing regular updates and posts regarding topics like as growth hacks, personal experiences and tips, and even long-form pieces. This helps you get your name out there, increases your credibility as an industry expert, and builds your brand, ultimately making you an attractive candidate.
You don’t have to update your LinkedIn profile every day, while there’s nothing wrong with doing so (just keep your posts to one per day). Still, you should strive for at least two updates every week to expand your followers and relationships and ensure people remember you.
4. Comment On Prominent Posts
You should not only actively post on LinkedIn, but you should also actively engage with others. Not just on your own posts, but also on theirs. Make a point of commenting on high-profile postings by major influencers, your connections, and the companies you want to work for.
Make sure your comments are purposeful and bring value to the debate; otherwise, they are pointless. Only by asking intriguing questions, expressing your expert opinion, and overall demonstrating genuine curiosity will you be able to expand your network and, eventually, move one step closer to your ideal job.
5. Get Recognized For Your Abilities
Although the skills part of your résumé is an excellent location to communicate your expertise to potential employers, it is somewhat limited in that you cannot establish the legitimacy of that expertise. After all, anyone might claim to be able to conduct cardiovascular surgery!
However, with your LinkedIn page, you can not only showcase your talents, but you also have the extra benefit of having them endorsed by peers, bosses, and employers – which gives you more credibility. Indeed, if recruiters see that your surgical talents have been supported by no less than the Secretary of Health and Human Services, they will move you to the top of the candidate list.
6. Participate In LinkedIn Groups
One of the numerous advantages that LinkedIn provides is the possibility to establish a virtual network of contacts, and one of the best ways to do so is to join relevant LinkedIn groups. Indeed, you’ll be able to meet like-minded professionals who can put you in touch with people at the company you’re interested in. Not only that, but you’ll be able to learn about possible employers’ hiring processes (including standard interview questions), giving you an advantage over the competition.
Make sure the groups you join are clearly relevant to your field – for example, joining a graphic designer group if you’re an accountant would add minimal value to your total LinkedIn job hunt. Joining organizations with recent and consistent activity is also vital; otherwise, you may be wasting your time.
7. Continue To Make New Connections
Remember that you want to be an active LinkedIn user, which involves creating a network of contacts. In general, you should have at least 50 relationships, but obviously, the more the merrier.
However, don’t add just anyone to your network unless you have comparable interests or they work for a company you want to work for. You should, for example, avoid adding connections who will provide no real value to your LinkedIn job hunt. You should also ensure that it is mutually advantageous: a mutually beneficial relationship will boost your chances of success in your job search.
One final bit of advice: when using LinkedIn to get a job, fill up your profile as completely as feasible. Unlike your résumé, which is normally limited to two pages, you can — and should — be descriptive when demonstrating your experience, talents, and qualities. But, whatever you do, never leave your profile blank!