LinkedIn Tips to Maximize Your Job Search Success
Now is a great time for job seekers to update their resumes and social profiles to hit the ground running for their 2012 job search. Many employers and security recruiters use LinkedIn to source talent, making it imperative for job seekers to incorporate this professional network into their job search strategy. Aside from it being a great tool for networking, it also has a variety of topics which you can learn about within the security industry.
For our purposes today, here are a few tips for finding job search success on LinkedIn.
Complete Your Profile
1. Include all relevant companies, positions, education and awards that you’ve held or accomplished to show off the experience and education you’ve developed over the years. The more robust your profile is, the more likely your profile is to appear higher up in search results of employers and security recruiters.
2. Use keywords throughout your profile to improve your search ranking on LinkedIn and Google. First, generate a list of keywords for which you would like to show up in searches. Incorporate these in your profile by including them throughout your summary, specialties, past experience and education fields.
3. Include a professional profile picture that you use on multiple social sites. Since faces are often easier to remember than names, this will help others identify you when adding you as a connection on LinkedIn. It can also help someone recognize you in the local coffee shop, ASIS or other industry related event, when meeting up to discuss business ideas or potential employment opportunities.
4. Add any websites, blogs or online portfolios that can give a potential employer more information about you and your work. Such information could put you ahead of another candidate that did not include this information.
Utilize Your Network
5. Increase the number of your connections by adding people that you know, including past and present colleagues, vendors, clients, etc. LinkedIn has an easy webmail upload tool to help you add your email contacts as LinkedIn connections. When adding connections, make your request message personal, including how you know the person (for example, you’re in the same group, have the same alma mater, or have a mutual acquaintance) and why you would like to add them to your network. Statistics show these messages are much more likely to result in an acceptance than the generic invitation message.
6. Solicit meaningful recommendations from your connections to highlight some of your specific accomplishments and give some perspective on your work from an outside source. However, skip the recommendation from your parents, sibling or best friend, unless you’ve had a substantially relationship in a workplace environment as well- even then I would suggest using them as a last resort only. Recommendations are the most useful when they sincerely describe exactly what you’ve done and why you’re such a talented employee.
7. Update your status with relevant information about your current company and business accomplishments, news articles you’ve written or are quoted in, information about your latest blog post, or even that you’re looking for a job (and what you’re specifically looking for). Keep in mind that LinkedIn is a professional network, so not all statuses that you might post on your Facebook or Twitter profiles are LinkedIn-worthy.
8. Use the “Company Follow” feature to stay updated with the specific employers for which you have an interest. You will then receive updates when there are changes to that company’s profile, including when employees join, leave, or take on a new role in the company, new employment opportunities posted on LinkedIn, and other company news.
9. Join and participate in LinkedIn “Groups” that are relevant and interesting to you. In these groups, you can position yourself as an expert in your field and network with others with similar interests or backgrounds. You can share appropriate articles with the group, solicit information about a certain subject or begin a topical conversation. It’s also a great way to connect with those who have the same alma mater, who work in the same field, or live in the same area as you.
10. Participate in the “Answers” section of LinkedIn, by posting and answering questions relevant to your career and interests. Here you can also strengthen your brand as an expert in your niche of the security field by sharing your knowledge with others.
11. Create your own personal vanity URL on LinkedIn to build your online personal branding and help control your Google search result ranking. This also makes your LinkedIn profile much easier to share on your resume, business card or in your email signatures. If possible, opt for the same vanity ID that you use on your other online profiles, to standardize your identity and professional brand online.
12. Set your visibility settings to publish your full public profile to the Web. This will make your profile easier found by security recruiters and can give potential employers a snapshot of your experience at-a-glance.
To jumpstart your 2012 job search, maximize your LinkedIn presence to build your network, stay top-of-mind with friends who could introduce you to a great job opportunity, and give potential employers and security recruiters a sense of your stellar work and background.
Do you have additional tips for LinkedIn job search success? Have you found a job through LinkedIn?
Share your insight and experience below and be sure to connect with me on LinkedIn!