How to Use LinkedIn to Land your Dream Job
Are you using LinkedIn to its fullest? The age old saying “It’s not what you know, but who you know” rings true when it comes to landing your dream job. Now, more than ever, it’s pivotal to network, network, network. Learn how to navigate today’s job field and leverage the number one social network for recruitment: LinkedIn.
Unlock five keys for a successful job hunt:
- Maintain your profileOne of the best things you can do for your professional career is ensure your LinkedIn profile is maintained. This includes your professional headshot, job history and skill sets, licenses and certifications, honors and awards, and organizations and memberships.When is the last time you updated your profile picture? If you’re actively looking for a job, ensure your profile picture accurately represents you at this current time. No one wants a professional catfish walking into an interview. A good rule of thumb is to update your headshot every 2-3 years. When updating your headshot, ensure the photo is well lit and that you’re in appropriate attire. Remember, LinkedIn is not Facebook, Instagram or, God-forbid, an Only Fans account. Keep it professional!
Grab attention with your summary section. This is the first spot where you can let your personality shine though; think of this as your elevator pitch. Additionally, let your headline tell people more about you. This doesn’t have to be reserved solely for your current job title. It’s important to keep in mind that LinkedIn serves as a search engine. What lives on your profile is searchable so try and be as comprehensive about current skills as possible.
Pro tip: LinkedIn will notify your contacts when you make changes to your profile. While you are making updates, ensure the “Notify my network” function is toggled off. When you’re happy with your updated profile, turn it back on and let everyone know.
- Leverage LinkedIn’s features to the fullestAre you leveraging all that LinkedIn has to offer? In order to attract the type of traffic that leads to referrals, job offers and connections, you have to make sure your LinkedIn presence projects the right image.The majority of LinkedIn users access the platform once per week. When they do log on, ensure what hits their feed is interesting and thought provoking. If you haven’t posted to your profile in a while people will lose interest in it. Remember, the more you put into your profile the more you’ll get out of it.Ensure you’re leveraging the search tool on LinkedIn. Here, you can discover trending topics, search by hashtags, find relevant groups and explore jobs openings. You can also research companies you’re interested in working for. We suggest following companies or thought leaders that align with your values and turning on the notification feature so you never miss an update.
Pro tip: Serious about enhancing your presence on LinkedIn? Explore LinkedIn Premium. This service showcases you as a featured candidate to recruiters, allows you to see who’s viewed your profile, provides InMail credits and grants you access to LinkedIn Learning courses. LinkedIn Learning’s on-demand library of instructional courses is designed to help you achieve your full potential. Access the sessions on your schedule, anytime. Whether you’re transforming your career or sharpening skills in your current role, this can help guide your success. You can try LinkedIn Premium for free, here. After the trial period is over, it is $29.99 per month.
- Regularly build your networkRome wasn’t built in a day. And your professional network will not be either. This is something that will take time. Start slow. Download the LinkedIn app to your phone. This will encourage you to check out the site whenever you have downtime. Make it a regular habit and set aside time to work towards this weekly. Think less Facebook, more LinkedIn, until you have a new job.When you are inviting someone to connect, add a personal note to the invitation. Did you work together on a project or client team? Meet them at a networking event? Or were you part of the same sorority or fraternity? Include a note before hitting the connect button to make your invitation more memorable. If you haven’t worked with someone but see they’re a thought leader in your industry, or work at a company you’re interested in, feel free to hit that connect button, too. As you begin to build your network, try not to add new contacts in big batches. Schedule time on your calendar to regularly reach out to people and build your network slowly over time.
Pro tip: When building your network, let go of any expectations of getting something immediately (like a job) in return. Instead, work toward making authentic connections and learning from your community.
- Join professional groupsLinkedIn Groups provide a place for professionals in the same industry to share their insights and experiences, ask for guidance and build valuable connections. We hope that you are part of a few groups already, but if you’re just starting out, LinkedIn’s ready to help. When searching for groups to join, recommendations will appear based on keywords and interests displayed on your profile. If you’re not sure how to get started within groups, join a few and observe the conversations for a couple weeks. Understand what others are saying within the group and figure out how to present yourself as part of the conversation.Pro tip: LinkedIn allows you to join up to 100 groups. Join as many that make sense for you, but don’t overwhelm yourself by joining 100 groups right away. Instead, focus on quality over quantity. What groups will elevate your professional career? When engaging in groups, make sure to contribute fresh, relevant insights without self-promotion.
- Let people know you’re availableLinkedIn offers several tools to help users let people know they’re available and open to new opportunities. The first thing you’ll want to do is enable the #OpenToWork feature on your profile. Here, you can choose who sees you’re “open”. Select either recruiters only or all LinkedIn members. Next, specify your preferred job location and if you’re open to remote work. And identify if you’re actively applying or casually browsing. For increased visibility, add the #OpenToWork frame over your profile picture.Pro tip: In addition to leveraging LinkedIn’s tools, reach out to your network. Connect with former coworkers or classmates and let them know you’re looking for a new employment opportunity. You never know who could open a door for you. They may be able to make an introduction and help you get a foot in the door.
Even though you may not be working at your dream job right now, begin to take an active role in your presence on LinkedIn. Work at this regularly and you will have the best chances of landing your dream job!