How to Use LinkedIn to Get a Job

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LinkedIn is an online social networking site. Unlike Facebook or Twitter, LinkedIn is used for professional networking. Business professionals create profiles and connect with colleagues. LinkedIn can be a powerful networking tool, allowing users to build their business networks and easily stay in touch with professional contacts. Use LinkedIn to find a job by creating a strong network, contacting new people and searching for opportunities. LinkedIn can also be a helpful tool for people who are not currently looking for work but may need to in the future.

  • Create a LinkedIn profile. Include your education history, work experience, professional affiliations, a picture and current contact information.

  • Define your interests and goals. Create a short, compelling statement about the type of job you seek and your unique skills. Select the types of business opportunities you wish to be contacted about.

  • Build your network by contacting business professionals you know. Consider your bosses, coworkers, clients, classmates, friends and relatives. Connect with anyone you know in a professional context.

  • Join the pages of groups to which you belong. Many alumni groups and professional societies use LinkedIn to connect with members.

  • Ask former bosses to write you a strong recommendation. Request that they highlight key skills and include specific examples of your successes. Strong recommendations are key to effectively using LinkedIn to get a job.

  • Spread the word about your job search by sending short messages to members of your LinkedIn network. Ask them to contact you with any opportunities in their companies. Avoid sending a mass message, which may not be well-received by your contacts.

  • Locate a contact who works at a company you want to apply to. Ask your contact for tips about the hiring process and the skills the company is looking for. Request that she deliver your resume to human resources or give you the hiring manager's contact information.

  • Help members of your network by answering questions, providing introductions, writing recommendations and performing other networking tasks. Someone you have helped in the past will be more inclined to help you find a job.

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