LinkedIn has become an important social platforms for professionals seeking job advice, news and career opportunities over the last few years. I have applied within the last month for a few different internship positions and was surprised to see some applications offer an option I haven’t seen before — connecting my LinkedIn profile to help fill out my application. There are many uses for LinkedIn today, so instead of creating a profile and using it only when you need to, here are some tips for getting the most out of the social resume platform.
1. Completely fill out your profile: Many people fail to 100% complete their profiles. You never know when something as small as one skill can make the difference between an employer picking you over another candidate. Make sure to fill out all the smaller sections of your profile such as skills, honors and awards and volunteer experience. It is importtant to get everything about you on your profile for your connections or potential employers to see. You never know what can make the difference.
2. Connect your LinkedIn to applications and link it to other sites: As I said earlier, may applications now allow you to connect your profile to your job applications. This not only saves time but having your application automatically filled out, but it also gives the employer another source of information about you to look into. You should also link your profile to other social media sites like Facebook, your Twitter profile and Google+ pages so others can connect with you. This will allow you to broaden your network and find mutual connections between yourself and potential job employers or other connections. It can never hurt to network and mention names of people you and an employer both know that can give you an advantage over other candidates.
3. Join and participate in groups and discussions: Joining groups and discussions can connect you to other professionals who share mutual interests. Joining groups is a great way to learn new information in the fields you are interested in and creates employment opportunities from those in the group who are potentially looking to hire new candidates.People want to hire someone who is knowledgable in their field, and by participating in group discussions you can show how much knowledge on certain topics you have.
4. ENDORSE: This is a really cool feature of LinkedIn that I don’t think gets the attention it deserves. If you have a connection who is particularly good at a skill, you can give them credit by endorsing them for it. The more people endorse your skills, the more impressive your profile looks. This feature is very similar to giving K+ on Klout, but does so on a more professional platform. When a potential employer sees others recommending your skills, it reaffirms to them your competency for your abilities.
There are many other ways to use LinkedIn for employment, but these are some of the most important ways I think you can the most out of the site and your profile. Don’t just set your profile up and wait for people to view it; be proactive and get the job you want!
Connect with me on LinkedIn here.