LinkedIn Job Search Strategies
When you include LinkedIn in your job search, you need to prepare your total LinkedIn profile and network to get the optimal job search experience. Although no strategy can 100-percent positively guarantee the job of your dreams, these strategies can improve your odds of getting that right contact person, interview, or extra consideration for your job application that’s in a stack of potential candidates.
Here are some strategies to keep in mind:
Connect with former managers, co-workers, and partners. This might seem like an obvious strategy. Part of getting the job is communicating (to your future employer) your ability to do the job. Nobody knows your skills, potential, work attitude, and capability better than people who have worked with you and observed you in action.
Therefore, make sure that you have connected with your former managers, co-workers, and so on. When these people are part of your network, the Introductions they can facilitate will carry extra weight because they can share their experience with the person you want to meet. You can encourage them to provide recommendations for you to express to the entire community your capability and work ethic.
Look at colleagues’s LinkedIn profiles. Using the search functions or your first-degree connections in your network, try to find people with goals and work experience similar to yours. When you see how they describe their work experience on their profiles, you might get some good ideas on how to augment your profile.
Get referrals from past bosses and co-workers. After you add your past bosses and co-workers to your network, keep in contact with them, let them know your current job search goals, and ask for an appropriate referral or Introduction. They can use their knowledge of your work history and their expanded networks to make more powerful Introductions or requests than just a friend asking another friend, Hey, can you hire my friend, Joel?
Don’t be afraid to provide extra information to your past bosses or co-workers to help them make an effective referral. Before the Internet, when job seekers asked a past boss or co-worker to write a letter of recommendation, it was acceptable to include some bullet points of stories or points you hoped they would cover in their letters. The same is true in the LinkedIn world. Guide your contact to emphasize a work quality or anecdote that would be effective in the referral or Introduction.
Collect your Recommendations. Nothing communicates a vote of confidence from your network quite like a Recommendation. When anyone reads your LinkedIn profile, he can see exactly what other people have said about you. Because he knows that you can’t alter a Recommendation, he’s more likely to trust the content and believe you’re the right person for the job.
Use LinkedIn Answers to demonstrate your experience and knowledge. Your network of connections has an idea of your knowledge and capabilities, but what about everybody else out there? If someone is evaluating you for a job, they’ll probably access your LinkedIn profile to learn more about you, so the more your profile can say about you at any given point in time, the better.
One way you can improve your overall presence is to participate in LinkedIn Answers. You can share knowledge you’ve gained by answering other LinkedIn member’s questions and providing advice. All your replies to questions posted on LinkedIn Answers are available from your profile.