Four Steps for Using LinkedIn for Your Job Search
Using LinkedIn for your job search can be a powerful tool that can help you get noticed
by potential employers. However, most people don't really use it effectively to get noticed.
Below are four steps you need to take to make your LinkedIn profile work for you in your job search.
1. Fill out your entire profile - Most people don't take the time to complete
their entire profile. In the name box make sure you provide a crisp description of how you
want employers to perceive you.
• If you want to be positioned as a "senior marketing executive" put
those words in the introduction box.
• You can include 2-3 other descriptions besides your work title depending
on how you want to position yourself.
• Also, make sure to include a professional picture, it's a simple step
that most people don't do, but doing so will help you make the most of LinkedIn for your job search.
2. Optimize a primary term in your profile - Most people don't know this but LinkedIn
uses rudimentary search engine criteria to rank profiles. Although it is a social network first
and foremost, it's also a search engine for recruiters.
• You'll notice a search box on the top right of the LinkedIn page which
usually defaults to "people" as a drop down choice. Recruiters enter a term such as "Vice President
Marketing" or "Channel Business Development". If you are using LinkedIn for your job search
correctly your profile reflects the term in your background and positioning. The search will
look at the number of instances of the specific term searched for in each profile. The profiles
with the most references to a specific term get ranked higher.
• Make sure you work in your primary term that you want to be positioned for
in every place that is reasonable including your title profile, the summary box, the specialty
box, and the experience section where each job description is listed.
This is an excellent way to use LinkedIn for your job search as it helps you get noticed
in the way you want to.
3. Ask For Recommendations - You can have people you have worked with to write
a recommendation for you. One thing it does is to show what others think of you professionally,
which does have value. Just make sure not to overdo it.
• You only need 3-5 references to show a potential recruiter that people
will say positive things about you.
• We recommend you select potential recommendation authors with the types of
companies you want to be associated with to support your positioning as it a perfect way to use
LinkedIn for your job search. For example, if you work in wireless and want to show you have
worked with companies in that space look for connections to larger name brand companies (e.g.
AT&T, Verizon, Motorola, etc...) you may have relationships with. This way you can leverage
companies you have worked with, not necessarily for.
• By getting references you are associating brand names in a specific sector with you.
Recruiters will simply scan your profile and see those companies quickly which helps
to form a positive opinion about you and your qualifications. This is an example of how to
use your LinkedIn for your job search more effectively.
4. Use Social Media in your profile - If you write a blog or use social media,
such as Twitter, and the content of either is relevant to how you want yourself positioned
when a potential employer or recruiter looks at your profile, integrated into your profile.
• For a blog feed go to the "More" drop down on the left hand tool bar
and select "more applications" and find your blogging platform application you want to feed
to your profile.
• For Twitter users, consider attaching your Twitter feed, or at least add
your Twitter handle (name) to your profile box.
Optimizing your profile on LinkedIn for your job search is a good use of time and can
pay dividends to help get you noticed.
TX (Trevor) Jackson writes about employment and career issues and his current project
Jobs That Pay Over 100K helps people
find jobs in today's highly competitive job market. His recently published book
Job Search Warfare
provides job seekers with innovative strategies and techniques to get noticed by employers
and get job interviews.