You’re probably used to using LinkedIn to search for jobs and talk with recruiters, but LinkedIn has so much more to offer! Most job seekers use LinkedIn in a very reactive manner—namely to respond to messages or accept invites to connect. This is a great start, but an even better approach is to proactively use LinkedIn to start a conversation and build a professional presence online. In this blog, we’re passing along 6 tips to help you see better results on LinkedIn...rather than waiting for things to happen on their own:
1. Know Who is Checking You Out on LinkedIn
LinkedIn tells you who is looking at your profile page. If those people aren’t viewing your page in “private mode,” then you can look at their profile to see what company they work for and what job they do. If you notice someone has viewed your page and that person works at a company you admire, don’t wait around until you’re in need of a job! Send that person an invite to connect along with a customized note that says something like, “Hi Jane, I’d love to add you to my network. I really admire the work your company is doing and would love to stay connected.”
2. After you apply to a job, connect with others who work in the department
Once you’ve applied to a job, use LinkedIn to proactively connect with people who already work there. The goal is to follow up on your application and connect with someone who can direct you to the hiring manager. APPLY FIRST, before you send a note to connect. Then you can say, “Hi Jane, I’d love to add you to my network. I really admire the work your company is doing and I’ve just applied to the Marketing Assistant position in your department. Do you know who I should follow-up with regarding my application? Thanks so much!” With this approach, Jane is more likely to respond since you’ve asked a direct question. Hopefully she’ll point you in the right direction or connect you with the hiring manager (which may even be her).
3. Follow Companies & People You Admire
Your LinkedIn profile sends a signal about what you’re interested in, and the kind of companies you follow says a lot about how well connected you are and where you want to go in your career. Make a list of 5-10 companies you admire and would love to work for—whether you’re in job search mode or not. Then, follow those companies on LinkedIn. On the individual side, work on broadening your network. Quality is better than quantity, so don’t hastily add random third-degree connections to hit 500+ contacts quickly. Instead, connect strategically with people who are in jobs that you’d love to have or who are doing cool things in your industry.
4. Be Active
One of the biggest mistakes most LinkedIn users make is not having a presence on LinkedIn until they are in a job search. It’s important to regularly check your account for messages, comment and share interesting articles, and consistently work on growing your network. Being active on LinkedIn is a great way to “remind” people that you’re out there and you’re great at what you do. Then, when they have an opening on their team they will be more likely to think of you.
5. Create a Meaningful Dialogue
Commenting, responding, and sharing things others have posted is great, but take it a step further and share your own content. Whether it’s an interesting article that’s relevant to the work you do, or it’s a question that you’d like to get feedback on—engaging your network is a great way to start a thoughtful dialogue, gain visibility, and receive insight from other professionals.
6. Regularly Update Your Own Job Description
We’re all a work in progress and our job description changes—sometimes more often than we realize. Keep your profile updated through the year as you earn new certifications, training, and gain new responsibilities. Use strong keywords because they are an important part of making your profile stand out and show up in searches.
LinkedIn has become a powerful tool for learning, professional growth, networking, and career visibility. Visit your page regularly and think about not just where you are, but where you want to be!
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