If you are trying to use social media to land a job, LinkedIn is probably your best bet. It is where recruiters go to hunt candidates and where most people go for their professional networking. However, just hanging out on LinkedIn is not enough. In addition to building a strong and professional presence, you have to be strategic about your approach in order to get positive results. Here are some tips that will help you use LinkedIn effectively:
Carefully create your profile. It is important that you invest some time into your profile. This is what employers will be reviewing to determine whether or not to consider you for the job. In particular, this means spending some time on your summary and your work experience section to demonstrate that you are a strong candidate for the position. Make sure you include a profile picture that is both professional and friendly.
Use keywords strategically. Keywords are important, particularly if you want to be visible when recruiters conduct searches (and you definitely do!) The easiest way to identify the keywords that you should be using is to pull fifteen to twenty job advertisements for your target jobs and to highlight the words that keep popping up. In order to show up in searches and to come across as being knowledgeable about the industry, you need to use language that is consistent with the language that the employer is using.
Connect with people. The whole point of LinkedIn is to build your network, so it's important that you invest some time into making those connections. Regularly visit the "People You May Know" section to identify people that you can add to your network. You can also import your email contacts, review the contacts of your colleagues, and perform searches on specific companies to grow your network in a way that will support your career goals.
Engage. Your presence on social media will be significantly more effective if you are actually ...present. Let everyone see that there is a person behind your profile. Create relevant posts that will catch the attention of the people in your network. Share articles and experiences that people will relate to, and comment on, like, and share the posts of the people in your network
Stay informed about your industry. LinkedIn provides an opportunity for you to keep up to the minute on the trends that are happening in your industry. It also allows you to participate in online discussions where you can share resources, experiences and opinions. You can use this information to guide you as you progress in your career.
LinkedIn can help you find a job but you have to be strategic about it. If you keep your goals at the top of your mind when you are interacting on social media and you are consistent with your efforts, it won't take long for you to build up a strong network.
(Written by Karen Bivand, Image Courtesy of jscreationzs at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)