You can’t afford not to be on LinkedIn in today’s world. According to Jobvite, 94% of recruiters use or plan to use social media for job recruiting. An equally interesting statistic from the same source: 94% of recruiters are active on LinkedIn, but only 36% of candidates are.
LinkedIn should not be a mere duplicate of your resume. It offers the opportunity to showcase yourself differently and you should take advantage of those capabilities. Here are 5 tips on using LinkedIn to land a new opportunity:
- Tune up your profile regularly. Don’t think of LinkedIn as a repository for a resume that remains static for years at a time. 89% of all recruiters report having hired someone through LinkedIn (source: HerdWisdom). An engaging, current profile draws opportunities. Even though I am not a job seeker, I have been asked to apply for jobs by recruiters who find my profile a good match for openings for which they are sourcing.
- Focus on your value proposition. Keep your profile focused on how you can add value to an organization. Self-assess to get clear on what you want, what an employer wants, and what you have to offer.
- Demonstrate your skills. Describe past work examples of being a problem-solver and meaningful contributor in an engaging way. I’ve found people have some wonderful stories about their contributions buried so deeply in resume-speak that the impact is lost.
- Research individuals and companies. Do you have an interview lined up? See if you can read about the interviewer on LinkedIn ahead of time to understand more about them. Even if you aren’t connected, most people have at least a portion of their profile appearing when you perform a google search by their name. Similarly, use the Advanced Search capabilities of LinkedIn to see if anyone in your network or their connections are employees of a company where you are interviewing in order to uncover inside scoop about the job and/or the company culture. Also be aware that many companies pay their employees a small bonus for referrals that get hired – before you apply for a job online, see if you know someone on the inside and reach out to them (as many employers require the employee to deliver the resume directly to HR).
- Network in before jobs are posted. If you’re considering a switch, identify some target companies. You might find these by researching a list of companies within a specific industry or by looking to employers that are aligned with your interests or values. Once you’ve identified some target companies, follow them on LinkedIn and read what they post. And more importantly, use the Advanced Search features to find people who work there to talk to now. Your goal is to be an identified candidate before a job comes open so that you are a premier candidate once an opportunity arises.
These are just a few ways that you can use LinkedIn to help you land an opportunity. If you think you need some one-on-one help with your LinkedIn profile, please contact me. You can update your profile based upon my recommendations or I can do it for you, writing the update to your profile. Read more about these two options on my website.
Ann Potts is President of Executive Performance Fuel, LLC, a premier resource for personal branding, training and leadership development. Ann works with individuals and companies who are growth-oriented and committed to ongoing development. If you’d like to explore working with Ann, send an email to set up a consultation to discuss what support you may need. Also, feel free to connect with Ann on Twitter (@CoachAnnPotts), on her Facebook business page or LinkedIn.