Written by Dave Cullen
Once upon a time applying for a job on the Internet was a simple two-step process – Find a job and send an email.
Nowadays the web provides jobseekers with a plethora of new social media networks that allow for increased exposure of their career profile, skills and experience. These new online mass media communications platforms are now a ubiquitous part of our everyday lives. Not only have websites like Facebook and Twitter become pervasive forces in our society’s digital discourse, they have also emerged as instrumental tools in connecting candidates with recruiters and employers.
Chief among these social networks is LinkedIn. If you’re a professional looking to showcase your experience, achievements and qualifications, LinkedIn is a ‘must have’ in your social media arsenal. Last year it was responsible for 26% of all social media-based job seeking activity.
How LinkedIn works
The website allows users to connect to people they know like friends, colleagues, former bosses and just about anyone you would consider to be a valuable contact in your job search.
LinkedIn allows users to:
- Submit a personal photo
- Upload a complete resume-style listing of your past job experience and qualifications
- Showcase career and personal achievements
- Display listings of all networks and societies you are associated with
LinkedIn is an excellent way to allow a prospective employer to get an at-a-glance impression of a candidate. Users can search for companies they would like to work for and attempt to connect with employees of that organisation. This can be achieved by finding people who may be already connected with some of your own personal contacts and asking to be referred to them.
Tips for getting the most out of LinkedIn
- Email members of your network directly and enlist their help in finding employment
- Integrate your Twitter feed into your profile
- Request recommendations from your references and tag them to previous employment postings
- Tailor your LinkedIn profile for the kind of job you want, not the job you have
- Think of LinkedIn as the online representation of your CV
Caution: If you are already currently employed you should never post status updates on LinkedIn advertising your intentions of finding new work. Such comments will only highlight your dissatisfaction with your current role to your employer or work colleagues.
Finding out what employers are looking for
One of the most effective ways of maximising LinkedIn’s potential of landing a role is by using it as a career research tool. This is achieved by searching for and viewing profiles of individuals who work at something resembling your ideal dream job. Conducting such an investigation will help you to better understand the kinds of skills required for the role you desire. It will also assist you in developing and improving your LinkedIn profile.
Building up your network and finding the right person
In our previous blog we discussed the importance of networking to find a new job. Networking is at the fulcrum of LinkedIn’s operation. Your goal is to build a wide and varied contacts base and connect with as many people who you think can help you as possible.
- Use LinkedIn’s powerful job search engine to browse roles of the utmost relevance to your target industry.
- Try to locate the HR representative or recruiter who posted the job advert.
- This aim can be achieved by finding out how many degrees of separation exist between you and them.
- Perhaps you know someone who knows that person. You can then ask your contact to forward your CV to this person directly. This personal recommendation could potentially put you ahead of other applicants.
- It is important to note that any more than two degrees of separation will likely make this task quite difficult. People are less likely to consider a friend of a friend of a friend. This makes the process of building your LinkedIn network an absolute imperative.
Success on LinkedIn is predicated on being able to showcase your career profile to its best advantage. By tailoring your LinkedIn account to what the employer is looking for you can increase your chances of being hired.
Be sure to connect with CPL on LinkedIn by following this link.