While many people use LinkedIn to add to their professional network or keep in touch with existing contacts, have you thought about actively using it to find work? Our US colleagues have created a handy guide to help you do just that.
If you're not already on LinkedIn, start by setting up a LinkedIn account (there's no charge for this) and entering your CV information on your profile.
Here are some tips for enhancing your LinkedIn profile, even if your information seems sparse:
- Update your profile by adding information about job experiences - not just the names of jobs you have held and the companies where you have worked, but descriptive information about what type of work you did, things you accomplished, promotions you received, and skills you acquired.
- Add information about your education. Don't stop with your school and when you graduated, but list courses in which you excelled and specialised training you acquired, include groups and organisations you belonged to, and activities and teams in which you participated.
- Add any honours and awards you have received.
- Add connections to your network by searching for people with whom you have worked, professors and other associates from school, personal acquaintances who might be able to recommend you. Also search for people whom you know who are connected to people at potential employers that interest you.
- Ask members of your network to post recommendations for you on LinkedIn.
- Use the Jobs section of LinkedIn to search for jobs in your area(s) of expertise.
- Join some groups and participate by joining discussions, answering questions, asking if there are ways you can help promote the group.
- Make recommendations of people you know.
- Send messages commenting on issues of mutual interest to your contacts.
- Check back frequently to see updates, add to your own descriptive information, change your status, respond to inquiries, find more contacts, and so on.
- Participate in the Answers forum on LinkedIn, asking questions and posting answers.
- Mention in your status that you are actively looking for a job.
- Search for people with skills like yours, and then see where they work. Consider making inquiries about job availabilities.
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