You may have an active LinkedIn account — but are you using it to the fullest extent as you search for your next job?
The career-centric social media platform LinkedIn is an effective tool while looking for a job, HR professionals say. Creating an account is free and using the platform is free, too.
To take advantage of specialized services, you can also sign up for a paid subscription, which is offered in various tiers.
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“Your LinkedIn profile is often the first place hiring managers turn to when looking to learn more about you and your experience, so it’s important to update it regularly with your latest skills and accomplishments,” Yamini Kasera, group product manager at LinkedIn and based in San Francisco, California, told FOX Business.
“It’s your opportunity to really shine and tell your professional story,” she added.
Signal that you’re looking for a new role
LinkedIn offers an option to alert those who view your profile that you are looking for a position, to signal that you’re #OpenToWork.
“If you’re looking for a new role, you can turn on the ‘Open to Work’ feature on your LinkedIn profile,” Kasera also said.
“You can either privately signal to recruiters that you’re open to new opportunities, or add a public ‘Open to Work’ photo banner to engage the broader LinkedIn network in your search,” she said.
In addition, you can specify the types of roles you’re interested in, such as remote, hybrid or onsite work environments, Kasera said.
Spotlight your skills
More than 40% of companies on LinkedIn globally rely on job skills exclusively to find the right job candidate, Kasera continued.
“Take inventory and add the top five relevant skills for the job you want,” she suggested.
“If you’re unsure where to start, look at the skills listed in job descriptions of the roles you’re interested in, which will help ensure you’re using the same keywords hirers are searching for,” she said.
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Another expert tip is to add skills directly within a specific experience or job on your LinkedIn profile — for potential employers, it’s a great way to contextualize how you used them, noted Kasera.
“Then, when you search for jobs on LinkedIn, you’ll see relevant roles based on how your skills line up with those listed in job descriptions,” she explained.
Strengthen your LinkedIn profile to garner views, connections
First and foremost, representing yourself authentically is important, not only to help hiring managers learn more about you as a person, but also to assess culture fit, Kasera said.
In addition, she suggests that you create a “Profile Video” to share more about yourself, where you want to take your career — and to show off your soft skills.
“When you reach out to a potential new connection through LinkedIn, sharing a thoughtful, personal and brief note can make all the difference.”
“Almost 80% of hiring managers in the U.S. believe seeing a pre-recorded video of a jobseeker would be useful,” said Kasera.
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Another way to engage hirers is to add any previous articles, presentations or documents to the “featured section” of your LinkedIn profile, further demonstrating how you’ve put your skills into action, she says.
Consider joining sub-groups on the platform
Tapping into your network is vital when looking for a new job, noted Kasera.
“Groups on LinkedIn helps you tap into a network of professionals with similar interests to share experiences, insights and job leads,” she said.
For example, if you work in retail and customer service, there’s a friendly, supportive community in “The Break Room.”
Send a professional inbox message with an invite
Always remain professional when reaching out to a contact, HR professionals advise.
“When you reach out to a potential new connection through LinkedIn, sharing a thoughtful, personal and brief note can make all the difference,” Kasera said.
“You don’t want to send the same general, ‘template-y’ note to everyone you interact with,” she said.
“If you share valuable content, then your audience will come naturally.”
And, if you have a mutual connection on LinkedIn, highlighting that person is a great way to introduce yourself, she also said.
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If it’s the case that you’re acquainted with a connection but you haven’t been in touch in a while, Kasera says you can be a bit more cordial, acknowledging the time gap with an introduction like, “It’s been a while since we last spoke. I hope you’re doing well.”
How to ask contacts if they’re hiring
When asking someone if they’re hiring, hone in on what role you’re interested in, present your applicable skills and qualifications, and be sure to express your interest in working for the person’s company.
“Remember, you want to be considerate of someone’s time, clear about what you’re hoping to get out of the connection and how you can add value to the relationship,” said Kasera.
Stay active on LinkedIn
Keep your profile up-to-date and be sure to post recognitions or awards you receive, said Kasera.
In addition, post and react to others who post on their platforms.
“The best way to garner views on your LinkedIn [account] is to share your expertise on a regular basis with an intent to educate, not to sell,” Jessica Kriegel, chief scientist of workplace culture at Culture Partners, who is based in Sacramento, California, told FOX Business.
“If you share valuable content, then your audience will come naturally,” she said.
LinkedIn is a great resource for growing your professional network, Kriegel also said.
“Having an up-to-date profile and remaining active on the platform can result in great opportunities,” she noted.
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