Boost Your Job Search With LinkedIn

By Linda L. Hardenstein

As of August 2012, LinkedIn has more than 175 million Handshakemembers and its corporate hiring solutions are used by 85 of the Fortune 100 companies.  Here are seven tips to help you use LinkedIn as part of your winning job search strategy:

1.    An exciting new LinkedIn feature allows your colleagues to recognize you for a particular skill.   But before you give and receive endorsements check out these rules.

2.    Attract the attention of recruiters and employers searching for a candidate like you by getting the word out.  Use your profile headline to announce that you’re looking, for example:  “Human Resources Executive Open to New Opportunities” or “Marketing Expert Seeking Employment.”

3.    In addition to an attention getting headline, according to expert Wayne Breitbarth in his book The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success suggests in “the first paragraph of your Summary and Specialties section explain in a couple sentences what you consider to be the perfect position for you.”

4.    Use LinkedIn to research the companies you are interested in.  If you find an opening, see if someone you know is connected to someone at the company who can give you an inside track or make an introduction.  Recruiters may also be searching LinkedIn for someone like you.

5.     When you’re invited to an interview see if the interviewer has a LinkedIn profile.  The information you gather may be a handy conversation starter.

6.    I gave a presentation to Women in Technology about How to Thrive Not Just Survive in Your Career and someone suggested cleaning out your LinkedIn contacts every year, just your annual closet cleaning, if you hadn’t been in touch. This created quite a heated discussion. After the talk I did some research on LinkedIn and everyone who joined the conversation agreed — keep your contacts. You never know  when you may need to reach out to someone or when you can be of help to someone who reaches out to you.

7.    Guy Kawasaki’s article on How to Change the World: Using LinkedIn to Find a Job contains even more great tips.

What do you think? Has LinkedIn been helpful to your job search or career?  I’d love to receive your comments!

Linda Hardenstein, MPA, PCC, an expert career strategist and certified coach, helps you find the career and job that’s right for you and if you’re stuck, she’ll teach you how to thrive, not only survive, at work.  Contact Linda to apply for a career breakthrough session or access her Right Fit Career checklist