7 ways to get the most out of LinkedIn in your job search.
- Optimise your LinkedIn headline to make recruiters want to click to view your profile when they see you in search results or in a group update email alert. Review your headline in detail so that each word serves a purpose, either from an SEO standpoint or to describe what you can bring to the table and why a recruiter should want to find out more about you. Avoid generic, overused descriptors such as “innovative,” “dynamic,” “goal-oriented,” etc.Instead, focus on your experience, accomplishments, and the value that you can bring to a new organisation.
- Get on the radars of recruiters in your sector. Recruiters often check the “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” page to check for potential candidate and client interest in their business? So researching recruiters on LinkedIn and then viewing their profiles is a great way to get yourself noticed, especially if you’ve written a compelling LinkedIn headline that entices the recruiter to want to know more about you. If they have an open position that they think you would be a good fit for, they will likely contact you via InMail message or email. Even if they can’t help right away, if you look like an interesting candidate for the future then they may well send you a request to connect. Here’s my LinkedIn profile incidentally.
- Network with and contact your industry peers (for free). Did you know you can contact most LinkedIn members for free simply by joining a group that they are a member of and then searching for them within that group? From there, you can send a direct message without having to pay for InMails. If the group is an industry-focused group, such as eMarketing Association Network (currently 578,061 members) then you can make professional contacts in your field by getting involved in discussions. A connection can be made by someone simply liking what you had to say, looking at your headline and then clicking through to your profile. You, in turn, can follow-up on an interesting discussion by contacting the participants privately as described above.
- Comment on, like, or share a recruiter’s update. This is a quick and simple way to get on a recruiter’s radar. It can also serve as a nice ice-breaker when looking to interact with them directly. It feels good when people interact with the content you share, and recruiters are not immune to that feeling of gratification. Especially if you comment on original content and show them that you have given some thought as to what they wrote – or help to spread the reach of their updates.
- Keyword optimise your profile to maximise the chances of appearing in relevant recruiter searches. To find appropriate keywords, look through job descriptions of the types of positions that you aspire to move into and take note of the similarities in terms of skills and desired experience profiles sought.
- Research and compile a list of companies that you are interested in working for. Look up their company pages on LinkedIn – and if you can see they update these pages frequently with company updates then follow them. The insights you gain about their company and their industry could prove invaluable when you’re interviewing with that company in subsequent months.
- Connect to people who can help you in the long term. If you have a plan of where you want to be 5-10 years from now, connecting with both industry contacts and recruiters could prove very helpful to your career in the long run. Don’t be fixated on just making senior contacts either. The more junior contacts you make today could be in positions or far more influence by the time you next come to be thinking of making a career move. LinkedIn is all about relationships and while it is important to evaluate your needs in the present moment, much of your career can grow from long-term thinking as well.