Encore Encore!!! As I recently learned the majority of my Top 10 Tips for Jobseekers series articles were suddenly removed from the original careers website they were on, I’m re-publishing them on my own blog so that jobseekers can continue to benefit. (Big thank you to those who made me aware of this!) Check back next Wednesday for my final piece in the series, Part Six – Internships.
While we all know LinkedIn is a great tool, not everyone knows how to fully utilize it during a job search, from features, to creating a strong profile, to the many ways to connect.
Here are my top 10 LinkedIn recommendations:
- Match your resume with your profile! It seems obvious, but as a recruiter, I’ve checked applicant profiles on LinkedIn enough times to find differing dates, gaps in employment, and other conflicting data that raises an eyebrow.
- Use a somewhat professional photo. This isn’t Facebook. It doesn’t need to be a professional portrait – a snapshot is fine – but it should be just you (not with your kid or your partner or your buddies), we should be able to see your face, and make sure you’re wearing something in it that you’d wear on the job.
Hint: Please try to look friendly or at least approachable in your photo – no scowling.
- Connect with everyone you know – professionally AND personally. The business world is smaller than you think. You’d be surprised who your cousin Joe or neighbor Sally is connected to – and which ties might lead to assistance during your search.
- Have a header that makes sense. Your LinkedIn header (just below your name) should summarize what you do professionally, i.e., Nonprofit Program Manager. Avoid the default of your employer’s name – too often companies have weird or way-too-generic job titles, so if you want to be found, provied your profession.
- If you don’t know them, request an introduction! Don’t invite someone to connect blindly. Use the introduction feature for those secondary connections instead, and maximize that network.
Hint: ALWAYS include a note as to why you’re reaching out. Blank invites are extremely impersonal and many – like me – will ignore them.
- Confidential job search? Keep updates off your activity feed. Go to “Settings” and uncheck the activity feed box to ensure that profile updates aren’t posted as news to your connections (like your boss).
- Get recommended. I can’t stress enough how important recommendations are from past employers. As a recruiter, few companies these days give detailed references. Having them on LinkedIn make it SO much easier for hiring teams – and is a great backup in case your references can’t be located.
Hint: In your request, ask them for what you’d like them to touch on – it makes it so much easier for the writer and you’ll get a faster response!
- Get to know company pages. Not only is it a great way to find employees to reach out to, many also have separate sections for their jobs, projects and other details which can help prep you for an interview!
- Join groups. There are many great industry and technical groups with discussion forums, job boards and networking opportunities. Join them – and see who else is a member!
Hint: Great example? PDX Marketing Pros.
- Super user? Consider a membership. Obviously as a recruiter I use LinkedIn a lot. It’s a great tool for those in sales, marketing, and hiring managers (as well as those who just love to network!). One of the best features of paid memberships is the Profile Organizer tool – a lifesaver when you have 500+ contacts and want to be able to categorize them in an easily understandable fashion.
Have questions? Please feel free to comment below or connect with me on – you guessed it – LinkedIn!