How To Use Linkedin To Enhance Your Job Search

Are you looking for a job or always keeping your eyes peeled for that next awesome opportunity? Many people are using LinkedIn as a tool to help pave the path to their next career milestone. The popular professional network can be a good complement to your job search.

Use LinkedIn the enhance your job search

Not on LinkedIn yet, or on it but not sure what to do with it? Here are some ways you can customize your experience and enhance your job search.

Join LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn has groups its members can join, providing a great opportunity to meet and network with like-minded people. These groups can function as a springboard to expand your professional network and help you develop meaningful relationships. It's not a fast way to find a job, but over the long run, the more people you know, the better your chances are of being referred or actively recruited. Statistics say upwards of 85 percent of jobs are gotten from referrals. As an additional benefit, the more active you are at making valuable contributions, the more likely it is you'll eventually become an influencer, further increasing your visibility. Want to see what it's about? Log into your account, check out LinkedIn Groups and get posting.

Tip: Don't focus on self-promoting, become a genuine, contributing member of each community you join.

Consider Premium Services

For a fee, LinkedIn offers Premium Services as a way to enhance your professional brand. The company says the average Premium subscriber gets more profile views, connection requests and messages about opportunities. In addition to the features a base (free) membership offers, perks of their lowest-tiered package include:

  • See who has viewed your profile in the last 90 days (with a free membership you can only see 5). If you want to reach out to any of these people, you can access the information you need. Keep in mind: those who choose to browse privately won't be visible to you.
  • Receive three free InMail credits every month—this allows you to send private messages to anyone on LinkedIn, even if you aren't connected or have any common connections.
  • Get analytics to see how people find you, top search terms and details about people visiting your profile, along with arching trends you can use to better your profile and increase your visibility on the site. See how your profile and skills compare to other people.

Other benefits LinkedIn offers its premium subscribers include applying to jobs as a "featured applicant" which means it moves members above the applications of basic subscribers, improving chances of your application being viewed. You can test drive Premium for 30 days and cancel if it's not for you. If you decide to continue, the lowest tiered price is $29.99 per month, or you can go with one of the higher-priced memberships.

Tip: Renewal for Premium is automatic—be sure to pay attention when 30 days is up.

Include your resume when applying to jobs

LinkedIn offers the opportunity to apply directly to employers through the network. When applying, you can share your LinkedIn profile along with an uploaded and attached copy of your resume (PDF or Word). The network automatically stores your last four uploaded resumes so you can reuse them when applying to other jobs.

Tip: Make sure your resume is in tip-top shape.

Other best practices

Whether or not you use the basic or premium services offered by LinkedIn, it's a good idea to establish a presence and create an attractive profile. Employers are looking!

  • Use a professional-looking headshot (avoid the random beach shots or Friday night party shots)
  • Be sure to fill out the description area in detail (it boosts your searchability)
  • Write a good headline about yourself
  • Include relevant keywords in your profile and resume so recruiters can better find you

Remember, as in any other aspect of the job search, first impressions matter. LinkedIn is another tool you can use to get yourself noticed, increase your professional network and strive to land the job you want. Always put your best foot forward—in the long run it pays off.

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