8 Tips on Using LinkedIn and Making the Most of Your Time Job Hunting

So I recently accepted a full time job offer and it was a whirlwind of an experience.

Over a period of 5 days (Mon – Fri) I had 3 interviews that led to a verbal offer 20 minutes after the final interview. I attribute a lot of my success to LinkedIn and here is why…

Firstly, the awesome thing about this job offer was that, I was the one who was initially contacted regarding the role by a recruiter via LinkedIn. Wouldn’t it be awesome if this was the case all the time. Where you can just wait for job opportunities to fall into your lap instead of tirelessly slugging it out and doing research which may or may not be useful in the end?

There’s a saying when you’re self employed that business owners need more time to work  ON their business as opposed to IN their business. What that means, is that instead of being the person at the cash register, be the person in the back office working on promotional ideas that will generate more customers and revenue. Leave the day to day operations to someone else and take charge of the business direction. Work smarter not harder.

I feel like this is the same approach needed when job searching, for example:

Instead of spending 50 hours applying for positions, why not spend 40 hours applying and the remaining 10 on improving your resume and other profile building activities.

I think LinkedIn will only become more and more important in the future, as a potential employee’s digital profile / presence becomes increasingly scrutinised under a magnifying glass. May as well put your best foot forward and control what employers see when they look you up (and they WILL find you).

As an example, this is my LinkedIn profile. Feel free to connect with me =)

Here are my tips on using LinkedIn from my experience.

Tips / Hints on using LinkedIn

  1. Don’t have a LinkedIn Profile? Start creating one now! This is because search engines such as Bing and Google place LinkedIn profiles as highly relevant and are proritised when search results are displayed. They rank highly in SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).
  2. Fill out as much as possible. The more information you provide, the more likely your profile will be the number one result when your name is searched. Most of the information should be on your CV anyway so it shouldn’t take too long if you already have your CV in order.
  3. Join groups of relevant interests / professions and follow companies and people that you’d like to work for as well organisations that are within the industry you’d like to work in and industry influencers. Not only does this help you keep up to date with news and events that will help you gain industry knowledge, but LinkedIn will have a better understanding of the positions you may be interested in and suggest them to you!
  4. Make it clear that you are searching in the job market. I would suggest putting this information in your headline (see screenshot), something along the lines of “Looking for New Opportunities”. The more obvious that you’re looking, the less time a recruiter or someone from the HR department will need to find the information to determine your suitability and therefore more likely to contact you.LinkedIn Headline
  5. Connect with previous employers (if you’re on good terms with them) and ask if they can provide a recommendation on your profile. These are instant references and are particular useful if your employer’s profile is well connected and thus a credible source.
  6. Endorse other people’s skills and expertise, as people are usually happy to reciprocate the gesture. I would recommend endorsing only those who you have worked with and have seen them display those skills / expertise instead of spamming every single contact.
  7. Continually add people to your network that you have met through functions and events, as the bigger  your network the more likely there is someone who knows a key decision maker in staffing, and thus may help you land a job.
  8. Post news articles about your industry and expertise, to further increase your credibility. This also adds the benefit of continually appearing on the newsfeeds of your connections, meaning longer exposure to others (keeping your name top of mind) and a greater chance of being contacted (this can be combined with slowly adding connections and endorsing others, as these actions are all displayed on your LinkedIn newsfeed).

Got any other tips and suggestions? Leave them in the comments below.