LinkedIn is a phenomenal free tool for everyone. Essentially, it is an online resume that is very interactive. On LinkedIn you have the ability to get references, and be endorsed by thousands of different individuals. You are also able to find jobs, and show them your capabilities. I found five things to help to help build your network and find your dream job, using LinkedIn as the channel.
1. Create or update your LinkedIn
What are you doing in your job that is worth talking about? Have you won any awards, or have you been recognized in any other way? There are many things that LinkedIn offers. You can include classes that you have attended and specific projects you worked on. You are also able to include skills, for which others can endorse you. Every time something of worth happens in your professional life, update it on LinkedIn.
Post to increase your visibility to others. When posts are thought provoking, helpful, and professional they will build your profile and show you’re different from other people with similar qualifications as you. Remember- this is not Facebook- this is your personal resume. Do not post anything that a potential employer would consider inappropriate, or that could remove you from consideration as a possible employee. These are a few bad posts: motivational quotes, jokes, controversial topics, political humor, pictures not work or service related, feelings, using acronyms, Memes, advertisements, movie quotes, or anything that could be considered unprofessional.
3. View Profiles
LinkedIn informs the person or company that someone has viewed their profile. Make sure you are not privately viewing, and let people know your looking at them by commenting and participating. Companies post to be seen and love positive comments on their posts. When you are viewing companies find their employees and view them as well. Take any opportunity you can to get your face and information viewed by influential people.
4. Send Personal Messages
Whether it be to an employee or a company, you can send personal messages to show your interest and to put you on their radar. If you are sending a message to a company, compliment them, then ask specific questions. An example would be, “I love the design of your logo, and can see how it affected your brand in a positive way. I am a student about to graduate in design, and would love any pointers you have on creating logos to build a brand.” When you do this with smaller companies, you are able to connect and communicate with those that are working in your field of study. Larger companies are not ideal for this due to the amount of messages they may receive. If you send them to personal people follow a similar pattern, but ask questions relevant to their job until you build a relationship.
5. The Job Search
Follow companies and people that you want to work for and with. Use the jobs tab at the top of LinkedIn and apply. You cannot hurt yourself by applying for a job you want. Use your LinkedIn connections to build your credibility with future employers. Do you know someone who already works there? Do you have a 2nd level connection who knows someone who works at the company you’re interested in? Ask for an introduction or a recommendation.
LinkedIn is a perfect networking tool in our interconnected world. Applying these five steps, your network will increase and help you find the job you want. So get off this blog and update your profile!