An effective way to take your career further is through the relationships you build in your professional and personal network. Effective networking; whether that is face-to-face or online using social media, can be extremely fruitful when it comes to your job search, but with so many “networks” to choose from it can be difficult for jobseekers to know how to use these valuable tools to the best of their ability.
LinkedIn, is the world’s largest professional online network with over 225 million members covering over 200 countries and territories in the world, and a great place to begin your social networking job hunt, so here are our top tips on how you can make LinkedIn work for you.
Devil is in the detail – Make sure your LinkedIn profile is detailed, include your work history – past and present, your education, and aim to achieve a complete profile bursting with your skills, experience and teaming with keywords (e.g. administrator, accountant, purchasing etc.). There is even a facility for you to upload a portfolio of your work, so make sure your profile packs a punch – you never know a job may just find you!
Personal and approachable – It’s not for everyone, and I do understand, but I would recommend considering using a “professional looking” picture as your profile image; a grey Ludo piece, for example, is not too welcoming for those looking at your profile, but if you do decide to use a photograph, make sure it is appropriate for the audience – that swimsuit holiday snap may not be the one.
Take a look around – when creating your account, take some time to search for contacts that may already be on LinkedIn. From previous employers and colleagues to friends from school, from your suppliers and your clients, to recruiters, they are essential contacts that while expanding your network, have the potential to find you your next job, getting your name out there is a good source for potential references and recommendations of your work and skill set.
Use the tools – LinkedIn has a “Job” search facility where you can search by job titles, keywords, or by organisation name. You can also use the “Advanced” search section to be more specific in your search, concentrating on your local area for example.
Small and large – don’t just concentrate on the job ads and searches; there are plenty of ways to get a position out to the LinkedIn audience. Remember it’s not only the “big boys” that are looking for talent via LinkedIn, if an organisation has a Company Page, they may be advertising vacancies there – follow the pages of those companies you are interested in joining and you may just find a gem!
Think before you post – I cannot stress this enough, on any form of social media, if you can see potential employers, more often than not they can see you – respect is the name of the game.
Above all it is important to stay connected and engage with the network you are building, don’t go overboard and post every five minutes – remember it is a “professional network”, so get involved, comment on areas in which you are an expert and contribute to discussions and soon you will be building an effective network which may contain your next employer.