• 3 years ago

7 ways you should be using LinkedIn right now

The social network LinkedIn has 423 million registered users and you're probably one of them.

It's a simple, efficient platform for connecting with people in your industry and hearing about the latest job openings.

But if that's all you're using LinkedIn for, then you've tapped into only a fraction of its potential.

"The biggest mistake I see people make is they assume LinkedIn does all the work," in other words, you fill in the blanks on your profile, hit post and you're done, says Joel Elad, author of "LinkedIn for Dummies."

Instead, think of LinkedIn as a tool.

If you just open the box and set it up without reading a manual, you're probably not getting much out of it — specifically, you're not being seen by the thousands of recruiters who prowl the site for candidates.

"Out of an eight-hour day, I'd say I'm on LinkedIn seven hours," says Shane Plantz, a recruiter and partner at Universal Coding Solutions, a Tampa, Florida, staffing agency.

To help get your name and résumé in front of hiring managers, we put together a list of eight ways recruiters say you can harness the power of LinkedIn and make it your secret job-seeking weapon.

1) You should complete your whole profile
You'd be surprised how many people don't — and it's a colossal mistake.

Recruiters use LinkedIn as a first stop when they hunt for new candidates. When they're weeding through thousands of profiles, the richer the detail you give about yourself, the more likely they are to pinpoint you as a fit and reach out to you.

"When I have more information to draw from, it catapults you up from a credibility standpoint," says Todd Maners, president of Titan Search Partners in Charlotte, North Carolina. "I'd rather talk to the candidate who is on target than track down a person with an incomplete profile only to find they're not the person I'm looking for."

Completing your profile means listing all past jobs that are in any way relevant to your career now or the field you'd like to transition to, uploading multimedia that shows off skills and talents crucial to your industry and filling out your educational background.

And though it may not seem like a big deal, adding hobbies, volunteer work and any foreign languages you speak or understand can help round you out as a candidate and help you stand out from the crowd.

A word about photos: Don't blow off this step, no matter how camera-shy you are, says Plantz, because it helps recruiters put a name to a face and complete that first impression. "Never use a selfie, and while a photo taken by a pro at a studio is nice, it's fine to use any clear photo in which you look professional," he says.

2) You should put industry buzzwords in your headline
Your headline is the first thing people see when they go to your profile; it also appears in multiple locations throughout LinkedIn. Leave it open, and it will default to your current or last position held.

This puts you at risk of slipping through the cracks, since recruiters often use a service to search for headline keywords to see which people on LinkedIn are best suited for their job openings. "The algorithm that LinkedIn uses weights keywords used in the headline when ranking people, so you want to ensure that you use this section to highlight key attributes using specific buzzwords," says Maners.

You can find which buzzwords strike the right note in your industry by looking at job openings that appeal to you and by looking at competitor profiles. Don't forget accreditation initials specific to your field, which recruiters also search for.

And if you're between jobs, say so rather than leave the headline blank. "Recruiters will put in a current job title, like CFO or controller, when searching, so if you don't have one, you're not being pulled up," says Maners. Try something like "CFO in transition," he says. "Don't be afraid to articulate that you're looking."

3) You should sell yourself in the summary

4) You should ask for endorsements

5) You should connect with (almost) everyone

6) You should add your contact info

7) You should be a groupie  

7 ways you should be using LinkedIn right now
7 ways you should be using LinkedIn right now
Think of LinkedIn as a tool. If you just open the box and set it up without reading a manual, you’re
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