Have you heard of the professional networking site called LinkedIn?
Its not only a great place to find jobs, create professional career profiles that look appealing to hiring managers and make key connections that can further your career, it's also free. Hows that for a helpful job search tool?
This professional networking site has over 150 million members, including business owners, CEOs, and HR professionals. And while its primarily a place to scout for jobs and keep connected with professional colleagues, you can also use it to do the following:
Let's stick with jobs for a moment. How can LinkedIn help you with your job search?
There are two main ways this site can help you get a job, and its good to consider both:
LinkedIn has its own job board where you can actively search for jobs, or see what the site automatically suggests for you based on your profile. If a job interests you, you can apply right on site, add a cover letter, and attach your resume its that easy.
Your LinkedIn profile will automatically be included with your application. But the real beauty of applying for a job through LinkedIn is the ability to see the job poster's profile.
Not only can you learn a bit more about the person who will most likely read your application, you get to see if you share any common connections. And a common connection is a golden opportunity to dig for more information to make your cover letter stand out above your competition.
Say John is hiring and you realize that you and John both know Mary. You may not be best friends with Mary, but you have had some pleasant conversations with her in the past. You ask her if she knows John very well. She says she does. You mention that he's looking to hire for this position and you were wondering if Mary knew what John was looking for. Mary goes one better and says she'll introduce you to John.
You now have a leg up from the other applicants who don't have a mutual connection to John.
And even if this scenario doesn't happen often, LinkedIn gives you more information than the average job site or company listing about who's making the hiring decisions And wouldn't we all benefit from a little more information when applying for jobs?
And the job hunting opportunities don't just stop there. You can find jobs by:
The information available on LinkedIn, and the opportunity to leverage who you know to land a job are two very powerful advantages of using the networking site during a job search. But finding jobs is only half the battle.
You have to land the job too. Which brings us to our second point:
The vast majority of profiles on LinkedIn are incomplete. And I'd say that more than half don't have their Summary section (the place where you can really demonstrate why you should be hired) filled out.
So having a completed profile already puts you on a different playing field. And having a profile that re-affirms you as the perfect person for the job and company is priceless.
Recruiters are going to Google your name anyway. Might as well give them something good to look at.
So have a great photo posted. Put up as many detailed recommendations attesting to the quality of your work as you can. And have a summary that really sells who you are and why you're great to have on a team. (And please don't just copy and paste what you've written on your resume objective. That's being lazy. The other 50% are lazy. You're not).
If writing is not your strong point, I suggest you do a little reading or hire someone to help craft your LinkedIn profile. Just as you would hire a resume writer to give your application its best shot, you shouldn't skimp on your profile. Especially since it's public on the web. The last thing you want is for someone to be interested in your application, then Google you and find contradictory or negative information. Or feel unimpressed by how you present yourself online.
Invest in yourself. Have a professional profile. Show these recruiters that youre not a candidate they should pass over.
Happy job hunting!