Using LinkedIn

I started writing this blog more than a year ago, and in that time I’ve often given tips on using LinkedIn to improve your chances of finding a good job. I’m going to write about that again today because an article I read recently said that 94% of recruiters use LinkedIn! If you’re not on LinkedIn—and if you’re not taking advantage of all of its features—you’re going to miss out on some good opportunities.

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t use all of the LinkedIn features—but I’m planning for retirement, not starting a career. And just because I don’t use the features doesn’t mean I don’t know about them and can’t give you some guidance on how they can benefit you. My book’s Tip 24: Create a profile on LinkedIn before you graduate and Appendix G: Creating your profile on LinkedIn are good places to start because they give you some basic information about using the social media site. Furthermore, your LinkedIn profile is the first thing that a recruiter or potential employer is going to see and is logically the way that they will find you. However, there’s a lot more to LinkedIn than that. A simple Google search on the phrase “how to use LinkedIn for job search” returned 294,000,000 hits! I’m going to focus on just three of those hits that I think can make a big difference in how you use LinkedIn.

Liz Ryan published “Ten Ways to Use LinkedIn in Your Job Search” on Forbes.com. Her article provides an excellent overview of the how and why of LinkedIn, and describes some (okay, ten) of the features that are easy to use.

Allison Doyle writes articles for about.com on how to find a job. Her series on the use of LinkedIn covers a variety of topics. If you start with “LinkedIn and your job search,” you’ll learn how and why employers use LinkedIn, and you’ll see links to more than a dozen other articles she has written about the many ways you can take advantage of this social media site to promote yourself—both to begin and as you continue throughout your career.

Donna Sapolin took a different approach in her article which, like Ryan’s, was published on Forbes.com. “How LinkedIn Is Thwarting Your Job Search” describes her personal experience using LinkedIn for her own job search and provides advice on what not to do when using LinkedIn. There’s also a link within her article to some more good advice: Carol Ross’s nextavenue.org article “How to Use LinkedIn to Promote Your Personal Brand.”

Whether you’re just getting started on LinkedIn or have been using it for years, these resources can help you fine tune your profile and take full advantage of LinkedIn’s features. If you’re trying to prioritize a daunting list of tasks to do in your efforts to find a job, or change jobs, learning to use LinkedIn to your advantage should be at the top!!