Get a Job on LinkedIn

20 Feb

job seeking

This post is the 4th in a series in which I’m covering LinkedIn in detail. The past two entries focused on selling and recruiting on LinkedIn. Recommendations and groups are the final two topics soon to follow this article.

You don’t have to read my first three posts to understand this entry, but I’d highly recommend you go back to the recruiting topic (Recruiting on LI blog). If you are going to use LinkedIn to find your next job, you should understand how recruiters, HR professionals and hiring managers may be using it.

As a job seeker, it’s crucial that you have a great profile – below I’ve highlighted seven areas on which to focus.

#1 – Your Photo. I believe people can go overboard regarding the importance of your picture on LinkedIn, but this IS the first thing people see. Make sure it’s not a lame selfie – but a good head shot. Absolutely do not use LinkedIn without including a picture of yourself.  It personalizes and warms up interactions. And when there isn’t a photo, I usually assume that the person doesn’t actively use LinkedIn.

#2 – Headline. Besides your photo, this is the first thing people see even if they don’t click into your profile. A headline is limited to only 120 characters, so make it clear – state what you do and/or what you are looking for. If you aren’t working, it’s a must to put “Actively Seeking Employment” on this line. Even better, “Actively Seeking Employment as a SaaS Salesperson” is the type of descriptive headline you might want to use. What do you want people to know about you? Mine personally states that I’m a Sales Recruiter, Sales Coach, Consultant, Author and Speaker. That’s clear, concise and covers all the things that I do as an entrepreneur. Be sure to take advantage of this line.

Editing these sections is done by clicking on the pencil on the upper right-hand side of your profile page. The intro section includes your photo, headline, name, current position, education, location, industry, contact info, summary and media attachments. It’s not mandatory, but consider attaching a video, documents and/or samples of your work. 

#3 – Summary. This section is at the top when someone clicks to view your profile. You can be fairly descriptive about yourself as it allows for 2,000 characters. The summary should be about YOU because it gives people a chance to learn about your talents and what “makes you tick”. I think it’s important to not only illustrate what you offer and are looking for, but also show a little bit about your personality. This is your opportunity to share more than what a one-dimensional resume describes about you.

After your summary, be sure to fill out Experience and Skills & Endorsements. Experience is your work history – I suggest you copy and paste EXACTLY what is on your resume. Selecting your skills are easy and important; but in my opinion, getting endorsements of your skills from others is a silly feature so don’t bother asking for them.

#4 – Keywords. Don’t underestimate the importance of these. By optimizing your keywords, you will turn up higher in search results. These are the words others will enter into the search box when recruiting qualified candidates. I would suggest repeating industry key words in your areas of expertise so that you will be easily found in advanced searches.

#5 – Recommendations. Much different than the triviality of skill endorsements is the importance of getting recommendations. I can’t stress enough their importance! I care more about what other people say about you than what you tell me about yourself. Clients and people that you’ve reported to are the best recommendations – but colleagues as well as others you’ve worked with on projects can also write one for you. Don’t be shy – ask for them! Then ask again… if they say yes the first two times, then pester them a third time until they actually write one for you.

What is the best way to get a recommendation? Give them to other people on LinkedIn that have impressed you over your career – and then ask for one in return. You should get 3-5 recommendations as a job seeker… but you know a lot of people so why not get 10+? People are heavily influenced by these so don’t wait until they ask for your references after interviews – put them out there for the world to see!

#6 – Job Alerts. These are a confidential way to advertise that you are looking. Through job alerts, you can let others know you are open to opportunities with specific companies – and only those companies will be aware of your interest.

  • Click on Me in the upper right then Settings & Privacy; under Privacy, select Job seeking preferences.
  • Next, search for the companies that you’re interested in on the LinkedIn homepage.
  • On the Company Page, click the Jobs tab.
  • Click Create Job Alert to setup alerts for when the company posts jobs that match your skills.
  • Once you create these, you can also let recruiters know that you’ve have job alerts for their company by switching the toggle to On.

Ongoing, you can view and manage your list of company alerts for by clicking Manage job alerts on the Jobs page. Here you can also manage your specific job alerts from the section – At companies you’ve saved job alerts for.

Obviously, LinkedIn has its own job postings that you can easily navigate by clicking on Jobs at the very top. You are going to need to be proactive with your network and connections, as this feature (and job boards in general) won’t necessarily get you hired.

After all that work, you now have a great profile!

#7 – Introductions. The best thing that LinkedIn can do for a job seeker is help you find the specific name of the person to contact. You can find the hiring managers, leadership and HR contacts and reach out to them directly.

You probably aren’t connected to that person, so find out who is and get an introduction. They don’t have to be hiring – but they will likely be flattered if you tell them that you want to work for them. This may get you in the ideal situation in which you are the only person interviewing for an opening not even posted.

Use LinkedIn to its fullest potential because it is so much more than a black & white resume! If your search isn’t confidential, don’t be hesitant to tell everyone you know well that you are on the hunt – and the more specific you can be, the better. 

Good luck chasing your dream job!

It’s time to grow faster~ Drew

drew@blueoctopusllc.com

blueoctopusllc.com

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