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7 Tips to Use LinkedIn Effectively in Your Job Search

Friday, September 7, 2018


Finding a job in the current workforce requires more than a resume and references. Most hiring managers now research a candidate’s LinkedIn profile before even inviting him or her to an interview. To ensure you stand out among the ranks of other qualified job seekers, you need to spend some time on your LinkedIn profile.

1. Shorten your LinkedIn profile URL
LinkedIn automatically generates a URL for your profile when you create one. However, it usually has multiple numbers and is longer than most people can remember. If you add the web address to your resume it may take up too much room and make the document look cluttered. To alleviate this issue, LinkedIn allows you to edit your profile and customize or shorten your URL. You can change it from linkedin.com/janedoe2348428 to just linkedin.com/janedoe. 

2. Ensure your photo looks professional
Some people don’t even take the time to upload photos, but candidates are much more likely to get noticed if their profile has a photo. Save the candid photos for Facebook or Twitter. Your LinkedIn photo should be a professional headshot. If you don’t have the money to invest in a professional photo, have a friend take your picture from the shoulders up. First impressions are important, so ensure you look the way you would in a job interview. 

3. Make sure your headline is catchy
Your headline will be seen in a LinkedIn search under your name. If you don’t change your headline, then it will display as your current position as a student or professional. You can add keywords or skills to make your headline more visible to recruiters. Use industry-specific skills because most keywords are vague and over-hyped. 

4. Expand your story
Upload a copy of your resume onto your LinkedIn profile. Even if you are not currently looking for a new job, you will appear in job searches for recruiters. If they have access to your resume then they may ask to connect with you because they would like to invite you to come work for their team. Add information to your profile that you would not normally have room for on a 1-2 page resume. Volunteer work, awards, or articles you’ve written or found interesting can help employers get a better idea of who you are as a person. You can also add an online portfolio if you have one. 

5. Ensure an accurate history
Recruiters have to eliminate a number of candidates before they invite anyone to an interview. For this reason alone, ensure your LinkedIn profile mirrors your resume. If you said that you worked for 2 years at a specific business on your resume but only listed it as a 2 month position on your online profile, the recruiter may see that as a red flag for poor attention to detail or just plain lying. Also, a resume does not provide much room for you to explain what you did at each job. LinkedIn gives you ample space to describe your duties or how you helped save a business money. Don’t waste this space. This is your chance to shine with your work experience.

6. Get notified about jobs
You can set up your LinkedIn account to receive notifications about new roles or jobs. Turn on the feature in your profile that is labeled, “Let recruiters know you’re open.” Even when you are not actively searching for businesses or recruiters, you will still show up in their searches for candidates. You will also receive recommendations for other jobs that may be of similar interest. 

7. Join some groups
Follow your college on LinkedIn to connect with other alumni. Search for other groups and businesses that relate to your industry. Connect with current and former employers to maintain a relationship with professional references. Search for general terms like engineers, technical writers, psychologists, etc., to see a list of people already in your field. Connect with them and ask questions to learn more about how they got into the business.

These tips can help you in your job search, but ultimately it is up to you to take the first initiative. So, don’t delay and begin using LinkedIn today. There are many tutorials online to help you set up your profile with LinkedIn so you can be well on your way to finding a job that makes you happy.