Don’t underestimate the power of using your LinkedIn connections during your job search.
LinkedIn is changing the way we network with like-minded professionals and the way we get jobs. Recruiters and employers now use LinkedIn to look for candidates and to evaluate candidates. Having an up-to-date profile and an active presence will help you grow your network and connect with people and opportunities that may not have been an option before.
Here are some quick tips on how to better brand yourself:
- Have a profile picture – This may seem minor, but it will help someone remember you as a real person, rather than just an online profile page.
- Update your job history and include descriptions – By doing this, you will come up more often in searches. It will also give someone viewing your profile a better idea of what you do and what you enjoy doing.
- Have a summary – This brief paragraph can describe your career and your passions. Maybe mention areas or fields that you have dabbled in, but would like to explore further in your career. It might encourage others with those potential opportunities to reach out.
- Publish posts – If you work in a field day-to-day, you come to learn it inside and out. You make mistakes and you learn from them and you develop insights and opinions on happenings in the field. Publish these thoughts into a post on LinkedIn and you will start a conversation with others in your network, sometimes even beyond your first-degree connections.
- Be active about connecting with people – Growing your network is key. It will allow you to start conversations with other people in your field. You can learn from them and network with their connections. According to this article by Forbes, having 500+ connections tells others viewing your profile that you are a veteran on LinkedIn and that others think you carry some value by having you in their network.
- Participate – You should like other people’s updates, check in with past colleagues, congratulate them on new endeavors, join groups that you have an interest in and participate in discussions. All of these actions will help you network further and actually develop relationships with your connections.
- Stay professional – Just like the workplace, LinkedIn is not the place for politics. It is not Facebook or Twitter and you do not want to be arguing with people in your network, hurting your chances for a potential opportunity.
If you have a LinkedIn account, you might as well maximize all of its potential. Networking and making real connections will only help you. You never know when your dream job may come knocking….