LinkedIn is the top online site for professional, social and career networking. Individuals use LinkedIn for professional networking, connecting, and job searching, while companies use it for recruiting and for sharing company information with prospective employees. In other to effectively use LinkedIn in your job search, it’s not enough to just update your profile every once in a while and expect it to work for you.

Here are some tips on how to use LinkedIn effectively to boost your job search.

1. Update your profile

It goes without saying that your profile needs to be updated with useful information to show prospective employers what you are capable of bringing to the table. You must ensure that your profile is complete. This means having a good background image and head shot, detailed experience and education sections, including your strongest skills and a good summary.

2. Make your profile memorable

Everybody responds to a good story including recruiters and hiring managers; use your LinkedIn profile to tell stories that would leave an impression on the reader. Telling stories is more impressionable than listing off boring facts. So instead of listing off your achievements on a job, tell a story about what happened while trying to accomplish a task.

3. Build your network

Now that you have done all this work on your profile, it’s time for people to see it. Having a good profile is not enough to get you to where you are going. You need to connect with people, those you know and those you don’t know so you can get to know them. Some people you should consider connecting with include former colleagues, industry peers, decision makers and influencers in companies you might be interested in.

4. Be active

As we all know, “out of sight is out of mind”. Don’t just build your profile, connect with people and disappear. It’s important to be active on the platform, regularly posting pictures, videos or articles that are relevant to your field and valuable to your professional circle or the wider LinkedIn community. Strive to be authentic and in touch with current trends or topical issues.

5. Join professional groups

Joining groups on LinkedIn relevant to your profession or industry can be an incredible way to boost your job search. You would instantly be connected to people in your field and constantly get relevant information. When looking to join groups, focus on those that have recent activities so you don’t waste your time with groups that don’t have regular interactions. Ensure you are active in group interactions as this is a way to show your expertise and get noticed by recruiters.

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6. Update your other social media profiles

While most recruiters make use of LinkedIn for hiring, they also want to know what you’ve been up to by checking your other social media accounts. It’s important to ensure that these are updated to avoid having recruiters find posts that could have a negative effect on their final hiring decision.

7. Get recommendations

When someone likes a job you have done for them, ask them to write a recommendation for you on LinkedIn. Don’t be afraid to tell them what you would like the recommendation to say. Recommendations that are specific are more effective than generic ones. For example, saying “Mrs X’s contributions enabled the firm save 5% more than estimated” is better than saying “Mrs X was great to work with”.

8. Search for jobs

Use LinkedIn as a search engine. Just as you use Google, you can use LinkedIn to search for recruiters, companies, professionals and jobs. You could also use the “jobs you might be interested in” page to search for jobs. Recruiters search for candidates using keywords, so it’s important to build your skills and endorsement sections with keywords you want to be found with.

9. Research your future boss and executive team

While preparing for the much awaited interview, you can use LinkedIn to do your research on the hiring team and your future boss. Find out their likes, interests, and so on. This could help act as a conversation starter and also show that you have done your homework. 

10. Be accessible

It’s important to include ways you can be reached on your profile, this would make it easy for recruiters to reach out to you. Include your email address, phone number, twitter or Facebook handles, etc. You can also include a link to your blog if you have one.

How active are you on LinkedIn? Have you used it for job hunting before? Tell us about your experience.

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