Unlike other social networking sites, LinkedIn has been started for serious career and business professionals. Because of this LinkedIn is looked at as a social network of professionals, for professional, by professionals. It has got strong professional brand image. Industry and businesses know today that they can find good and proficient skills for all kinds of jobs on LinkedIn. Hiring organizations, recruitment firms and verification firms look at the people’s profiles on LinkedIn to find more about them. Today LinkedIn is used as a prominent serious platform to search for a right talent that organizations are looking for badly. If you have any doubt then just search “Fortune 500 Used LinkedIn to Recruit in 2010″ without quotes in Google and you can see yourself how big boys are using LinkedIn for talent hunt.¬†LinkedIn is widely used by organizations in USA, UK, Canada and other countries for talent hunts.
Is not having your LinkedIn profile going to do any harm? Because hiring organizations, recruitment firms and verification firms look at the people’s profiles on LinkedIn to find more about them, if you don’t have one then naturally it would deduct few brownie points from you. Since nowadays everyone has their profile on LinkedIn then person not having it is suspected as not proactive and non serious professional.
Putting your profile on LinkedIn automatically gives you professional branding that LinkedIn has acquired over years. But be careful just putting your profile on LinkedIn is not just enough and it could do more harm than help if not done well. Stay with me and I am going to guide you here, step by step for harnessing the power of LinkedIn for getting your dream job.
First thing first, create your professional profile:
Please read it right, I said “professional” profile. Make sure that you have your right and complete professional profile on LinkedIn that is most suitable and matching with the dream job you aspire for.
Complete your profile with all the information including your qualification and past job experiences
If you want to add website URL and Twitter information then make sure that those are showcasing your professional side and helping to build your personal brand and not going to damage it
Ensure that your LinkedIn profile is matching with your profile information on job sites and your information that you may have hosted elsewhere on net. Having different information at different sources can seriously hamper others trust in you.
Add applications to your profile to give it real professional look. Use few of the right applications like SlideShare Presentations, Google Presentation, WordPress, Blog Link, Portfolio Display and others. Use only the one which is adding more professional value to your profile. Do not add your personal blog information or twitter information on LinkedIn which is not going to add any professional value.
Add your picture on profile with professional attire and ensure that it is recent one. It is not wise to put your casual photo on LinkedIn or putting your photo from your old days while you are looking quite different today.
Do not upload your personal photographs on LinkedIn. You can do that on other social networking sites which are meant for it.
And never ever post or upload any illegal content, not only on LinkedIn but on any other site.
Expand your professional connections:
Again please read it right, I said “professional” connections. Connect with as many people as possible in your own professional sphere. Keep your personal (non-professional) contacts away from your LinkedIn account. You can stay connected with your personal contacts on Facebook and other social networks.
While sending connection request to people who know you and the ones who do not know you, write few lines informing them about, from where you know them and why you want to connect them. For example if you admire someone then let them know, if you like someone’s style of working then let them know. This will not only ensure a better response to your connection request but you could build long lasting relationships with them on LinkedIn.
Recommend others and gather good recommendations from others:
Your prospective employers do also check if you have been recommended by anybody and have you recommended anybody. This gives them social proof and helps to find more information about you.
Question is how to gather good recommendations? And answer is the easiest way is by recommending others and then asking one for you. It is very important what you are writing about others in the recommendations that you have made. Prospective employers do check what and how you have been writing about others. What is style of recommendations made by you? Are they professional or casual? All this information is creating your personal brand and professional image.
While sending recommendation request to people, make a good habit of sending them sample recommendation of you so that they get some ready information about you and they can modify it quickly. This motivates them to respond quickly and quality of recommendation also improves because with your good sample recommendation you raise the bar of quality.
Yes, it is difficult and time consuming to write good articulated and professional recommendations with precise words. But there is one solution to it. You can take help from technical writers or from books.
Indulge in LinkedIn activities which give you visibility and recognition:
Here are some activities which you should engage into regularly to get visibility and win credibility.
Join the groups relevant to your skill and participate to demonstrate your knowledge and proficiency in your skill area.
Participate in Q&A
Send updates about you
If you do above things correctly as suggested then your dream jobs will notice you and will reach to you. You can also search for the job on LinkedIn actively by checking right job for you in Jobs section or by sending messages to people you know and by changing you LinkedIn status.