This is the second installment in my “How to Get a Job” series, which I started last week with a post on where to apply to jobs. This week, I’d like to show you how to use LinkedIn to get a job.
LinkedIn is a social network for professional people. It’s not just for job hunters – people use it to network and to create connections. Most big companies are listed on there, so it’s a great way to get noticed and to just get your name out there.
But how can you do that? Well, I’m glad you asked!
1. Use a good photo.
A few months ago I had a photo shoot pretty much just for my LinkedIn photo. I had absolutely nothing to use on my profile (I’m always the one HOLDING the camera, rarely the one having my photo taken!).
The type of photo you use would be depending on what kind of job you are looking for and the image you want to give. I chose this photo because it’s still formal, though I’m smiling in it, but I look confident and strong. I want to say to potential employers “you want me because I’m a winner, and I’ll make you lots of money”.
2. Have a great summary.
The summary of your LinkedIn profile is different to the intro to your CV – so don’t just copy and paste it! Remember this is about both networking as well as catching a good job, so keep it friendly and light.
I use mine to explain my situation – this is what I do now, these are my hobbies, and I’m looking for a job in the UK.
3. Add only the jobs that are important.
When I’m applying to companies, do they really want to see that I worked at The Factory Shop when I was in 6th form, or that I worked at Build A Bear when I was at uni? Probably not.
As in a CV, list only the positions that you’ve had that are relevant to what I want to do.
4. Include projects.
If you’ve had a job that includes projects, then include them! This your chance to explain exactly what you do. For example, in my case there are projects that I’ve done where I was a leader, and some which were really huge.
5. Get endorsed!
Don’t just say what your skills are – get your friends to say it for you! Get your friends to endorse you for all your skills (and remember to do the same for them!) It’s a great way to show people what you can do (and how popular you are!)
6. Get recommended!
A professional recommendation is good when applying for a job, but what’s just as important are recommendations from your peers. Get people you’ve worked directly with to write a few lines about you for LinkedIn profile and show potential employers exactly how you work with colleagues.
7. More connections mean…more connections!
The unique thing about LinkedIn is that you can’t just add anyone you like – you have to have people in common to add someone. Of course, you can easily add colleagues and people you know in real life, but if there you’ve got your eye on a company and you have a friend in common, then the website encourages you to get that person to introduce you.
The more connections you have on LinkedIn, the wider you’ll be able to reach with your networking.
8. Check out companies you apply to.
When I am applying to a company then one of the first things I do is check out their LinkedIn page. While you can find out WHAT they do from their official website, you can find out WHO they are from their LinkedIn. For example – are the people working there all old? Are they mainly men? Are they all young, cool people?
Those are my top tips for getting a job via LinkedIn. I get a few messages a year about jobs – and am contacted by recruitment agencies about them as well, so it’s definitely worth making an effort with it. You never know – it could lead you to your big break.