LinkedIn should be vital part of your job search. Here’s why:
- There are many firms who are avoiding using agencies/search firms by hiring their own internal recruiters. Those recruiters are really focusing on Linked In as their hunting ground.
- It helps you find connections to target firms fast since you can search by company name and find your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree contacts that may be able to help you get the information and connections you need for a specific company.
- It helps you easily get the message out that you are looking for a job and keep your contacts up-to-date on your search progress and direction. If you are conducting your job search while you are employed, I recommend you avoid sending an update message about seeking a new job to your entire LinkedIn network. You never know who knows who.
I listen to an audio presentation by a LinkedIn specialist and here’s information that will help you set up your LinkedIn profile effectively for job search purposes. You can use your resume to complete most of the fields. Here’s what I suggest:
- Professional Headline – use the most common title of the job you are seeking (for example, Corporate Accountant). In the blank field below your profile, I suggest you write your personal branding statement – how you help companies with your expertise.
- Job Titles – According the LinkedIn specialist, LinkedIn uses your past job titles as the primary field for search purposes. You can check this out by searching for Corporate Accountants in LinkedIn. Since this is the case, I suggest you use relevant generally used titles for each of your past jobs. That way it will be easy for internal recruiters to find you when they have an opening. Then, include your actual title in the description box along with the list of your key responsibilities and to whom you reported from your resume.
- Summary – I recommend that you put your full networking statement in this area including brief examples of how you’ve helped companies using your expertise.
There is also a job posting service on LinkedIn. I also find a regular number of senior postings coming to my inbox from my LinkedIn university alumni groups, particularly from the executive program groups at the Rotman School at U of T and the Schulich School at York U..
Feel free to post your comments to this article and let us know how you’ve used LinkedIn in your job search – what works and what doesn’t.