Dear Coach Joan,
Do I need to use LinkedIn for my job search?
Will it really help? Does it make a difference?
And if so, how do I go about creating an effective profile?
The answer is a resounding YES! Social media is now the preferred way for organizations to find new talent. In fact, a resounding 92% of companies use social media to find their job candidates. 87% of recruiters specifically used Linkedin to search for candidates. And 73% of people used social media to find their next new position.
If you haven’t started to use social media in your job search I strongly suggest you consider doing it. And I suggest starting with building a Linkedin Profile.
The key elements of your Linkedin Profile should include:
- A clear, nice headshot of you. The best ones have the individual dressed in business attire looking: clean, fresh, professional, warm smile, friendly and approachable. Do not include pets, other people, children, bold jewelry, too much makeup, tattoos, etc. Look professional and ready to work!
- A short and clear summary of your expertise and the kind of work you do. A couple of key results and achievements are helpful in the summary
- Full list of past employment and academic credentials. Include key results and if possible, quantify those results.
- Any special awards, publications, leadership positions, additional professional classes or certificates, etc.
- At least 2-3 recommendations that are written well and reflect the recommenders relationship to you, with positive affirmations about the quality of your work and your work style.
- A bonus is to add any articles or publications you have written. You can also add articles that reach all of your contacts. A periodic piece on your thoughts on the industry go a long way toward getting you noticed as a leader.
- Keep you profile up to date. If a recruiter finds you and your profile does not align with your current situaton, it is quite unimpressive.
- Join GROUPS on Linkedin. This way recruiters can see your interests and specialities. Recruiters look to find those who are active in their profession. Join alumni groups from the colleges you attended and alumni groups from the companies you worked in. If you can, play a leadership role in at least one of those groups or professional organizations.
- CONNECTIONS – Connect with all of your current and past colleagues, look up friends from your college days to connect with. Make sure to connect with former managers, bosses and supervisors. Try to get at least 100 connections. Below that number you do not appear to have a professional network yet established.
Yes, Will, the job search world now almost requires participation in Linkedin. It is the number #1 site that recruiters, both in-house and independent use to both identify job candidates and verify their credentials, recommendations and network.
Best of luck to you in using Linkedin as part of a robust job search campaign.
Onward in your career success!