4 ways to use LinkedIn to land your dream job

If used properly, the social network can be a trove of career opportunities. Here’s how you can spruce up your profile and make the most of the platform.

Whether you’re switching positions or embarking on a PR career, finding a job can be challenging.

We have the internet, which makes certain aspects of the mission easier, but it’s still hard to go through the extensive résumé and in terview processes to find that perfect position.

Using the right resources can make things a lot easier. LinkedIn was built for that purpose. The professional social network has enabled millions of employers to connect with top talent over the years. It’s become the top network for job recruitment and the sharing of professional knowledge.

The numbers show it all. There are more than 6.5 million active job listings on LinkedIn, and more than 94 percent of recruiters use the site to vet job candidates. What’s more, 48 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn as their only source for social media outreach.

Facebook might reveal details about an individual’s personality, but LinkedIn will inform recruiters about your professional record, so they can use that information to discern your suitability for a certain job.

As a result, professionals searching for meaningful employment shouldn’t take LinkedIn’s utility for granted. If you’re trying to find a job, here are four essential tips for using the platform:

1. Follow companies.

If there’s a certain company or set of companies you think you’d like to work for someday, follow their pages. Businesses often post their job openings publicly on LinkedIn, because they hope to recruit high-quality talent from its archives.

Take Park West Gallery, one of the largest art galleries in the world. It always posts about openings on its LinkedIn page. People looking for a career as an art auctioneer, art writer or production specialist can follow the company’s page and check regularly for career updates.

2. Mine new contacts.

When you make a connection, take a few minutes to peruse his or her list of contacts. This works best when you connect with someone who works in an industry you’re interested in, of course.

Once you’ve made contact, reach out and begin networking. You don’t have to say you’re looking for a job with a particular organization; you can establish yourself as a personable individual with a passion for that industry.

The connection could be as simple as an innocent query regarding a profile picture or the number of contacts you have in common. Bonding in any form will improve your chances of launching a career.

3. Work on your profile.

Though your LinkedIn profile doesn’t need years of photos and posts to make a strong impression on a hiring manager, it should be well developed. Let executives see you through professional photographs that are in color.

In addition, you’ll want to tout your attributes. Start with a summary stating your professional passions and where you’d like to see yourself someday. Post your skills, and update your professional status weekly, even daily, to make your page more visible.

Gather endorsements, as well. Send requests to contacts to ask whether they’ll testify to your abilities. Hiring managers look at the skills and endorsements section of your website when selecting their top candidates. The better this section looks, the greater your chances of landing the job.

4. Make yourself more visible.

After you’ve updated your profile, turn to your contacts and status updates to put yourself on the radar. Let people know you exist and are looking for expansion opportunities. Focus on posting high-quality content to bolster your credibility.

Connecting with highly visible people and influencers is also a great way to get seen. Reach out to show your interest in a certain field and improve your traffic. Becoming a valued connection with an influential industry voice is a great way to gain prominence on job recruitment maps.

Anna Johansson is a freelance writer, researcher and business consultant. She is also a columnist for Entrepreneur and The Huffington Post. Follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.



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