In its ten-year history, LinkedIn has been skyrocketing in popularity with more than 200 million users. After being branded as the professional social network, it may not come as a surprise that one of the most popular uses for LinkedIn is job searching. In fact, according to Forbes, 97.3 percent of recruiters used LinkedIn to find candidates in 2012. As a job seeker, LinkedIn probably feels like a gold mine of opportunity, so follow these tips to help you tap into everything this social network can do for your search:
Upload a Professional Profile Picture
Due to privacy concerns, you might have skipped uploading a profile picture. Rethink that. Not only does a profile picture help recruiters put a face to your name, a good profile picture should convey confidence and professionalism. If you don’t have a professional headshot, have a friend take one for you.
Fill Out All of Your Profile Information
It might be tempting to skip sections of your LinkedIn profile, but don’t do it. Write your summary, list information on all of your past jobs, add awards and certifications, put in your professional skills, include organizations you’ve been involved with, add updated contact information and request recommendations. The more you include, the more complete picture a recruiter will see of you as a potential candidate.
Don’t just sit around and wait for a recruiter to find you – be proactive! Use LinkedIn’s search tool to find companies you’re interested in, job opportunities and more people to network with. Then take it one step further by joining relevant LinkedIn groups. Groups give you more opportunity to network and find open positions. The wider net you cast, the easier it will be to find opportunities and be found, too.
Even though LinkedIn is the more professional social network, you still want to include a personal touch to everything. When you’re adding new connections, ditch the canned default message, and write a personal note instead. Furthermore, personalize your headline, as that is one of the first things a recruiter sees when clicking on your profile.
LinkedIn is an awesome tool to bolster your job search if you use it properly, so spend some time this week to ensure your profile is job search-ready!