Ready or not, the holiday season is upon us. Depending on your industry, this can either be a hectic or very slow time at work. With the new year rapidly approaching, many are looking to make a change both in their personal and professional lives. As a result, many may be looking for new jobs to start off 2020.
If you’ve been considering a change of scenery (or even career), you should be using your LinkedIn to aid that search. Commonly considered the “Facebook for career professionals,” LinkedIn has over 645 million global users. Are you using the platform to its full potential during your job search? If not, you should be.
According to Kevin Wu, there are three things you should do to leverage your LinkedIn presence and “speed up” your job search.
Optimize Your LinkedIn
These days the true use of LinkedIn seems to have gotten confused with other social networks. While other platforms could help you find a job (or ruin your chances at one), the purpose of LinkedIn is to connect and network with other professionals. Your profile has been considered a “living version” of your resume and is a recruiter’s first look at who you are. Just like in person, you only have one shot at making a first impression, so make it worth it.
To do this, make sure you have a professional photo and the same name as your resume. There should be many similarities between your physical resume and your LinkedIn profile, but one major difference is the amount of space you have. Some schools of thought recommend your resume be limited to one page, but your LinkedIn can be as long as you want, so include as much detail as possible.
You should also include a short bio on your profile, as it could reel in recruiters. Mention what you are currently looking for (if you’re on the search) and give a brief description of who you are. Continue with your relevant experience and goals. The better you tell your story, the better your chances at finding what you’re looking for.
Let Recruiters Know You’re Open
It is one thing to put in all the work in optimizing your profile, but if you don’t let recruiters know that you’re open to new opportunities, they might not find you. This is a setting within your profile that you can turn on. You can also tailor your job preferences in terms of titles, locations, types (full-time, part-time, contract, etc.) and who can see that you’re open to jobs (all LinkedIn users vs. recruiters only).
By toggling your “career interests” preferences, your profile may be seen by recruiters letting you know what opportunities they have in their pipeline. When you apply to jobs via LinkedIn’s job board, you can also let the company and recruiters know that you are applying. This opens the door to future interaction and you can have similar positions recommended.
Find Connections In Cold Emails
The great thing about LinkedIn is that connections are just a few clicks away. You can connect with someone who has your dream job and pick their brain on how they got to their current position during an informational interview, or even connect with people at companies you would like to know about.
This is done through “connecting” with people but should be done tactically. When sending a connection request be sure to add a personalized note with your reason for connecting. Your message will be limited by the amount of characters you can use, but if you really want to take it a step further, Wu recommends finding their email via a service like Clearbit and sending them a cold email.
LinkedIn can and should be heavily used during your job search. Digital networking isn’t going anywhere, so leveraging your profile can certainly open doors to your next career opportunity. You never know who you will meet or reconnect with and what opportunities they may have or know about. If you’re looking to take your LinkedIn presence to the next level, consider these three things before you set out on your job search.