How to Use LinkedIn for Your Job Search by Candace Davies

Networking remains the number one way to find a job. That is why social networking on the internet has become such a popular tool for job searching. Social Networking allows you to meet and communicate with many different professionals and contacts within the teaching profession. And great tools such as LinkedIn allow you to expand your networking in new ways. LinkedIn allows you to network with other professionals, and also gives you the opportunity to market yourself through your online profile - allowing recruiters to find you.

By using LinkedIn you have two ways of finding jobs. You can search for jobs on LinkedIn itself, or you can search on LinkedIn's partner, Simply Hired, to find jobs as well. You can also use the advanced search option to tailor your search down to specific job titles, dates, schools, locations, and job functions. So let's say you type in teacher to the advanced search under your specific location. Some opportunities may pop-up in LinkedIn, but you will also find postings under Simply Hired. After you've found openings that interest you, you also have the ability to research different recruiters on LinkedIn to better prepare you for the application process and allow you to learn more about the position and school before the interview.

The number one benefit of joining LinkedIn lies in its networking capabilities. Utilize LinkedIn to connect with other members and build your network. By making connections with people, you may find that you have shared LinkedIn connections with some of the job posters. That means you will have an inside edge to help connect you with the job. Since LinkedIn is a bit like Six-degrees of Separation, you will be able to map out, through your connections, how to connect with people who may be helpful in landing you a great interview. The more connections you have will translate into more job opportunities, but keep in mind that you don't have to go overboard. Connect with people you know and trust or have business relationships with; there is no need to connect with everyone.

When searching for jobs on LinkedIn, remember to have your profile completed and up-to-date. Make it as detailed as possible, listing all your important information about your past and present employment, education, industry, and web sites. Remember to include all the keywords and skills from your resume in your profile, so it can be found by employers. You can also add a photo to your profile. I would recommend uploading a headshot so it looks the most professional.

The option to include recommendations from your real-world network will help to build your credibility and will also carry a lot of weight in your profile. You can also utilize the answers section of LinkedIn to as a great way to increase your visibility. Use it to respond to questions, and ask a question if you need information or assistance.

It's time to let your connections go virtual. Utilize the great benefits of job searching on LinkedIn. It's amazing what kind of great teaching jobs a friend-of-a-friend may have inside information about. Embrace technology and let it assist you in finding a great new job.

Author and Career Management Specialist, Candace Davies, owner of Cando Career is dedicated to advancing job seekers' careers by providing strategic, achievement-orientated resumes and cover letters and proactive interview coaching. For 20 comprehensive answers to the toughest interview questions are yours free when you sign upfor her free weekly newsletter.

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