With an active membership of more than 350 million professionals, LinkedIn is among the most popular social networking sites available today. Its status as the first port of call for developing professional connections means that it gives potential jobseekers a real opportunity for a more effective search. Indeed, job seeking has become one of the most common - and beneficial - uses of LinkedIn. But, how can we harness this immense connective power? Here’s a handy guide to maximising your LinkedIn potential:
1 Convert your ‘Profile’ into a ‘CV’
We’ve already established that job seeking is one of LinkedIn’s most useful functions. As a result, LinkedIn has recently developed software that allows you to effectively tailor and format your profile into a CV friendly layout. Using this tool will also allow you to create and export a pdf file that can be distributed as an official copy of your CV to other interested parties, either via LinkedIn itself or via an alternative application procedure. This makes it easier to continue your job search via multiple avenues.
2 Get endorsed for your skills
One of LinkedIn’s most celebrated features is the way in which it allows members to ratify claims made by other users. Take the education sector, for example. Having your skills as a teacher approved by a third party will lend extra weight to your profile as a whole and prove to potential employers that claims about your abilities are not erroneous. If, for example, you can demonstrate that you have gained a number of specialist skills through a variety of jobs that are supported by previous employers, it follows that you dramatically increase your chances of securing further teaching assistant jobs. This is one of the most powerful ways of demonstrating your sincerity and legitimacy whilst making you a more appealing prospect for potential employers.
3 Flesh out your profile
It is possible to begin using LinkedIn with a very limited profile. In order to maximise the website’s effectiveness, however, you should endeavour to provide as much information as possible. Make sure that you have a professional looking headshot, for example, as your profile picture. Provide a concise but rich summary of yourself and where your skills lie. The more detailed you are, the more attractive your profile becomes. Try to think of it as a personal, yet professional, advert.
4 Choose your connections
It’s easy to be gung-ho when you begin to use LinkedIn’s connective service. However, whilst growing your list of contacts can prove invaluable, it’s important to avoid adding connections for the sake of it. Try to focus on individuals or companies who you feel are relevant to you and your sector. This approach will allow you to focus your LinkedIn use and ensure that everything you see as a result of using this service remains appropriate. A few strong partnerships are often better than many weaker ones.
For more suggestions of how to use LinkedIn for job hunting read this article.
Article written by Rachael Matthews
Picture adapted from Flickr