Recruiters and networking are often your best job search tools for C-Suite and Board level positions, but LinkedIn can be an effective search tool as well if you are well-prepared. Here are some tips for getting the best results when using LinkedIn for your job search.
When you are seeking a job using more traditional methods, you should have your social media and branding in top shape, but ensuring your profile and skills list are perfect (and perfectly matched to your resume) is a must when you use LinkedIn as a job search tool. After all, if you’re reaching out to hiring influencers on LinkedIn, they are guaranteed to research your career on that same platform!
Fill out your profile completely: List current and past job titles with descriptions, put a full list of skills you want to feature, include your education details, list your industry (or the industry you want to switch to and aim your profile in that direction), use a professional headshot for your profile picture, write and upload a career summary, and match your skills, education, and job history to your resume. Then add your network connections, as LinkedIn rates you higher in search results when you have at least 500 connections. If you ask colleagues and previous employers to endorse your skills or provide a recommendation, be sure to do the same for them. Finally, choose your top 10 target employers and follow those companies. This shows you’ve had a sustained interest in those employers.
Begin your search.
Use the jobs tab at the top of the menu, and specify the job title and city you want to search for, and click the search button. Give a cursory look at the results, and take a deeper look at the ones you feel qualified to do. Ignore the urge to apply for every job that has the “easy apply” feature! Application review and interviews cost a company time and money, if you waste both their time and yours inquiring about jobs you don’t want or aren’t qualified for, you’ll develop a reputation as a poor candidate for any job.
Extend and use your network.
Reach out to connections who work where you’d like to find a position and ask them to keep an eye out. Send a message to hiring influencers at your target employers. Don’t forget to keep networking in person as well, those contacts can also be added to your LinkedIn contacts! Have an executive MBA? Reach out to alumni in the same industry and start a conversation. And reach out to recruiting firms listed on a company website or LinkedIn profile; recruiters can be a vital job search resource!