LinkedIn Job Search Tactics

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If you’re looking for a new job, you’ve probably updated your resume and cover letters and are busily submitting them to online posting sites, job banks and employment agencies. But according to the experts, only a small percentage of new hires come through these traditional routes. Now is the time to learn some Linkedin job search tactics.

Linking In To Opportunities

LinkedIn helps you stay updated on former colleagues. But its true power lies in connecting users with the contacts of their contacts – and beyond – for career opportunities.

“LinkedIn is a game-changer,” says Harry Urschel, an IT industry recruiter based in Eden Prairie, Minn., and author of The Wise Job Search blog. “It allows users to network in ways previously impossible, and provides advanced tools to scout opportunities that would have been nearly impossible previously,” he says.

Getting Started

Create your profile with complete job and education history and a professional photo. Pepper your profile headline and description with job-related keywords to also improve your rankings, says Nichole Santoro, social media curator with Desert Rose Design, a digital marketing firm in Chicago. Need ideas? Look at the LinkedIn profiles for peers you respect to get ideas for the keywords, language and tone.

LinkedIn To Do List:

  • After you’ve created an online persona, invite current and former colleagues to join your personal network.
  • Give and ask for recommendations from former colleagues — these can help tell the story of who you are and what you’ve done better than any resume.
  • Visit the LinkedIn job board to locate job openings that match the information you’ve included in your profile.
  • Set up email alerts so that LinkedIn can keep you informed of new job opportunities that may be a match.
  • Visit “Groups,” search for ones that match your professional interests and join a few.
  • Use the advanced search box to research companies by location, job title, name and other criteria to uncover local employers that use your skills and check their website for job listings.

Work Your Network

When you find an interesting job opening, be proactive. Search by company name to find anyone in your extended network who works there. Then, introduce yourself with a personalized invitation, mentioning the colleague or group you have in common.

Next step: Inquire about the company. What’s it like to work there? What is the company culture? What tips might help you get noticed in a job search? After making a connection, ask for other peers who might have unique insight into the job you’re pursuing.

To beef up your approach, use the telephone. “It’s outside of a lot of people’s comfort zones, but a phone call to introduce yourself is more effective than sending an email,” Urschel notes. “Keep it brief and concise in your request to learn about the company and usually you’ll get help from the other person.”

Improve Your Odds

You’ll improve your job search chances by getting into some more sites such as Twitter, Monster.com and Careerbuilder.com. Many of these digital spaces already offer a connection to your other profiles. This means that you could update more than one site from a central profile.

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