Using LinkedIn During Your Job Search: 5 Things You Need To Know

You may be well-educated, incredibly talented and imminently qualified for the job, but you aren’t getting the interviews you want. What’s the problem? The issue probably isn’t you—it may be your LinkedIn profile, or how you’re utilizing LinkedIn. Many job seekers unwittingly make mistakes with LinkedIn that is holding them back. Correct the mistakes and watch your job search activity pick up speed. Related: The LinkedIn Profile Checklist Every Job Seeker Needs


1. Add a photo to your profile

This is a surprisingly common mistake. If you’re unsure, the rule is this: your resume should never have a photo, but your LinkedIn profile should always have a photo. The reason is that LinkedIn is primarily a networking site. People want to see who they’re connecting with. You don’t have to pay for a professional photo. You only need a photo that shows a business-appropriate picture of you. Typically, this will be a head-and-shoulders photo of you in business attire with a smile on your face.

2. Build a profile that ‘sells’ you

Your LinkedIn profile needs to sell you just as much as your resume does. Two sure-fire ways to do this are to jazz up your headline and use quantification in your summary. Start with your headline. There’s a difference in saying what you do and describing what you do in a way that makes readers interested. For example, ‘Susie Brown, Marketer’ is much less interesting than ‘Susie Brown, Record-Breaking Pharmaceutical Marketer Who Builds Brand Awareness and Revenue.’ As for your summary, think about describing your accomplishments in terms of numbers, dollars, and percentages. ‘Increased floor safety by 75%’ grabs a lot more attention and establishes more credibility than ‘Responsible for floor safety.’

3. Reach out to make connections…even if you’re uncomfortable

At least half the world is to some degree, introverted. If that’s you, it may mean that you hesitate to reach out to others, even if it’s only online. Think of it this way…if you’re reaching out to an introvert, chances are they are uncomfortable too, and they will be glad you did it first. If you’re reaching out to an extrovert, they won’t think a thing about it (except maybe, ‘yay, I have another person in my network’). Both of these are positive things. You will do yourself a great favor by making the effort.

4. Let your LinkedIn connections know you’re looking for a new job

Some people indicate they’re looking in their headline: “Seeking a position as X,” with X being whatever it is that they want to do. Or, you can reserve your headline for saying what it is that you do in a descriptive way: “Cost Accountant / Financial Analyst” or “Digital Marketing Guru.” Then, use your summary to say that you’re looking for a job doing X, whatever that is.

5. Spend time every day on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a very efficient way to spend your job search time. You can build your network, message people about job leads, and find hiring managers you need to be in contact with—all in a few minutes a day, in the comfort of your own home. If you were networking to this extent in person, you could spend hours driving to and attending events. While you’re there, check out what others are doing and comment. Participate in group discussions, congratulate people on new jobs or promotions, and let others know what you’re up to. LinkedIn is a great job search resource, packed with information and connections. Make sure you are on it and utilizing it for a great job search. Connect with Peggy McKee on LinkedIn.

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About the author

Career Coach - Peggy McKee is an expert resource and a dedicated advocate for job seekers. Known as the Sales Recruiter from Career Confidential, her years of experience as a nationally-known recruiter for sales and marketing jobs give her a unique perspective and advantage in developing the tools and strategies that help job seekers stand head and shoulders above the competition. Peggy has been named #1 on the list of the Top 25 Most Influential Online Recruiters by HR Examiner, and has been quoted in articles from CNN, CAP TODAY, Yahoo! HotJobs, and the Denver Examiner. Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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