If one of your New Year’s resolutions was getting a new job, rethinking your LinkedIn strategy is a super place to start. Founder and CEO of the Human Workplace, Liz Ryan, says that you can get a lot more out of LinkedIn than just a static social resume parking spot. If you put these steps into action, you can make LinkedIn do a lot of the tedious legwork for you while helping you connect with decision makers at your target companies.
How To Use LinkedIn for Job Search
- Re-write your headline. Use that blurb of text directly under your name to get a hiring manager’s attention. Forbes notes that most people just have their title and company listed there—but it’s just a boring old default setting. Instead, write a compelling description, complete with SEO-friendly keywords describing what you can do. If you’re a web designer it might go something like, “Web designer who turns boring websites into gorgeous money-making machines.” This tells them what you do, and why they urgently need to contact you.
- Polish Your Profile. It can be so much more than a static online resume—use it to showcase an awesome Infographic you designed, your YouTube Channel presentations, the digital version of your portfolio—anything that shows, rather than just tells your story. And don’t forget to include a great photo and ask some of your trusted colleagues to post some recommendations for you!
- Track your target companies. Start following a list of companies you’re interested in working for on LinkedIn. Their status updates and other posts will give you insight as to their latest news, products and possible job rumblings and even potential problems the company may be encountering that you could jump in and help solve! That’s great research material you can use in your approach to the company when you send in your resume and cover letter, or “Pain Letter” as Ryan suggests—and great intelligence for a potential interview!
- Network! Go to the Connections menu and navigate down to “Add Connections.” Use your email address to help LinkedIn find more first-degree connections you may have overlooked in the past. The bigger your first-degree connections list is, the bigger your second-degree connections list becomes, which can lead to further potential connections and opportunities.
- Ask your connections. If any of your first-degree connections are linked with people in any of your target companies, ask what they know about the company, the culture, and find out what you can about your potential hiring manager.
- Ask for an introduction! LinkedIn can help you jump over the HR department wall if you have a first-degree connection who is connected to someone in your target company. Just navigate to your target person and click on the drop down arrow to the right of the “Connect” button and click “Get Introduced.” Then your first-degree friend can help facilitate that introduction.