From balancing bank accounts to buying airline tickets, the internet has dramatically changed the way we do many things. Add looking for work to the list. We are now at the point where several job seekers would prefer to conduct their search online. It’s easy to see why when considering that you can fill out and submit dozens of applications without leaving the house.
When it comes to looking for gigs online, LinkedIn is hands down one of the best tools out there. LinkedIn, for those who don’t get around the web much, is one of the top social media platforms on the web. But unlike Facebook and Twitter, its approach to social networking is strictly professional. This particular site serves up an environment that is tailor-made for marketers looking to connect with clients, and employers looking to fill open positions.
LinkedIn can help you secure the job of your dreams, but there is a right and a wrong way to go about your business.
Optimize Your Profile
Tons of articles have been written on using LinkedIn to find a job. The number one tip promoted by most of them is completing your profile as thoroughly as possible. A complete profile is equipped with a profile picture, in addition to information regarding your skills, past employers, education, and other relevant information. I’m going to go a step further by suggesting that you not only complete your profile, but optimize it.
When you optimize your LinkedIn profile, you don’t just upload an picture, you choose a quality photo that presents you in a positive and professional light. Instead of just listing off your skills, you incorporate keywords potential employers may use when combing the site for recruits. Optimization is all about doing the little things that will take that complete profile, and transform it into an effective profile.
Create a Resume
The LinkedIn profile makes a heck of a resume. On that note, it never hurts to have an official one, and your favorite professional social network has you covered here, too. The LinkedIn Resume Creator is the ideal tool to use. What this free tool does is take the information in your profile and turn it into a resume you can share with potential employers. You are provided with a small selection of templates, which can be customized with your resume content, printed, and stored how you see fit.
Build a Strong Network
A profile and resume are definitely essentials, but you will not get anywhere with your job hunting efforts without a solid network to back you up. Connect with other people. Comment on their posts. Share relevant updates of your own when necessary. Recommend others for their skills and encourage them to recommend you.
Having a professional network on LinkedIn can enhance your presence in many ways, but really comes in handy from a visibility and credibility standpoint. It helps your profile rise to the top of they listings when managers search for candidates, and makes you look like a superstar when they review your credentials.
Follow the Dream
Finally, identify the companies offering what you consider to be a dream job, and follow them on the network. With the “Follow Company” feature, you can track your favorite companies and be among the first to find out about new job opportunities and other news pertinent to your mission. Linkedn allows you to customize updates in the way of type, format, and frequency, which after all this, is just icing on the cake. Like many things in life, if you want that job bad it enough, this social tool can help you secure it.
Francis Santos is a writer for Benchmark Events, a best practices event marketing company.