10 Things Every Job Seeker Needs to Know About LinkedIn

linkedinIn case you haven’t heard, LinkedIn is the tool job seekers need to use to shorten their search and maximize the number of interviews they land (JobVite.com). In short, there’s no better way to penetrate the Hidden Job Market you may have heard about, which encompasses the 70% of all jobs never advertised in newspapers or job boards, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Improve your LinkedIn results with these must-have strategies:

Understand what LinkedIn is

  • LinkedIn.com is the #1 tool that HR managers and recruiters are using to source new candidates (JobVite.com). If you’re not [a] on LinkedIn and [b] easily found through a key word search, you aren’t visible to millions of companies.
  • LinkedIn is a database – an applicant tracking tool. If your profile does not contain the right mix of industry specific key words, your profile will disappear into a black hole and will not be found by recruiters and employers.
  • Your LinkedIn search results are directly related to the size of your network. If you have a small network, you will have more limited results when you search for groups, contacts, or companies.

Get better results with your LinkedIn profile

  • Groups are the easy way to expand your LinkedIn network and results. By joining 20-30 relevant groups, you broaden your network and expand your networking reach exponentially.
  • Google is your LinkedIn secret weapon. You can leverage Google to help you peek into LinkedIn and see the groups, contacts, and companies the website is screening from you.
  • Your tagline can help you boost your key word count. Incorporate 3-4 of your key word top picks into your tagline to bolster your LinkedIn AND Google visibility.
  • Your status can help you boost your key word count. Incorporate a rotating series of key words into your status line to improve your LinkedIn AND Google visibility.
  • LinkedIn’s Answer function is, well, the answer. Answers can also improve your LinkedIn visibility – source or ask questions strategically on a weekly basis to lace your profile with still more key words (provided you provide key word-rich questions and answers in the first place, of course).

Make the most of your LinkedIn self-marketing

  • Your offline networking commercials can strengthen your LinkedIn visibility. Post your key word-rich personal commercials in relevant group discussion boards on LinkedIn at least once weekly throughout the duration of your search.
  • You need to leverage a mix of “push” and “pull” marketing strategies on LinkedIn. Elements such as key words, photo, tagline, rich content, attachments, and LinkedIn Answers are all ways to pull recruiters toward your profile. But don’t forget to utilize discussion posts, In-mail, invitations, and proactive relationship-building as ways to gently push your profile toward your target market.

The bottom line? If you’re not on LinkedIn, you risk not being “found” by employers and recruiters. And if you’re not using LinkedIn pro-actively to promote your candidacy, you’ll risk languishing in your job search a lot longer than you would have otherwise. Get LinkedIn and get found!