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How to Get Hired on LinkedIn

If you are trying to use social media to find a job, LinkedIn is your best bet.  Unfortunately, many job seekers don't use it effectively.  If all that you have done on LinkedIn is set up your profile and added a few connections, you are wasting a valuable opportunity.  Networking is always going to be the most effective job search strategy and LinkedIn puts your network at your fingertips and makes it easy for you to leverage it to help you find a job.  If you would like to be more strategic on LinkedIn but aren't sure how to go about it, here are some tips that will help:  

Be on there every day.  The best way to build momentum with your LinkedIn presence is to be consistent with it.  Try to spend at least ten minutes on LinkedIn each and every day.  Like and comment on people's posts, participate in discussions, post relevant content.  The most important thing is to engage with people.  Being consistently active on LinkedIn will make your profile more visible and it will help strengthen your relationships with the people in your network.  

Optimize your profile with key words.  If you want your profile to be visible to recruiters and employers, it is important that you insert the right key words.  The best key words to use will depend on your target industry and position.  Collect a few job postings for your target job and highlight any terms, skills, or qualifications that are repeated or highlighted.  Insert these key words throughout your profile two or three times.  Recruiters and employers will use these key words when they are searching for candidates with your skills.  If your profile contains the correct key words, it will show up in their search.

Use the job search function.  As part of your ten minutes a day on LinkedIn, do a quick scan using the job search function.  Some employer exclusively post their open positions on LinkedIn because they like to hire from within their network.  Also, when you are using LinkedIn to search for a job, you can easily see if one of your contacts work for a company that has an opening.  If someone is willing to submit an employee referral on your behalf, it will significantly increase your chances of getting an interview.  

Be strategic with your profile.  If you want to be a competitive candidate on LinkedIn, your profile needs to be strong.  This means that you must know which jobs you are targeting and you need to have a clear understanding of your strengths.  Ideally your headline should match your target job and your strengths should be prominently featured in your profile.  It is also important that your profile is warm and welcoming and that your photo is professional and friendly.  Have someone review your profile to give you feedback.        

Build a strong network.  Never forget that main purpose of LinkedIn is to build your network.  This includes both strengthening your relationships and making new connections.  Each day try to engage with someone in your network and try to make a new connection.  This is where the magic happens on LinkedIn; you never know which of your connections will open doors for you.  

Don't put too much pressure on yourself; you don't have to build a stellar LinkedIn presence overnight.  In fact, it's not ideal to aggressively network on LinkedIn only to set it aside for two weeks.  Just by investing a few minutes each day, you can build a strong presence that will bring opportunities to you.     

(Written by Karen Bivand, Image by