LinkedIn Jobseeking

Reviewing job seekers resumes at ye olde workplace

Are you job seeking, job hunting, searching for jobs? If so, then LinkedIn should be your new best friend. But there is a lot more to LinkedIn Jobseeking than just clicking on the “Jobs” link and searching for work in your desired field and location.

Start Early

What does “early” look like. Let me put it this way… if you are currently job seeking and unemployed, it’s already too late to start early. If that’s your situation, don’t despair, LinkedIn is still your friend, and we’ll catch up in a couple minutes. Using LinkedIn for job seeking should begin well before you actually need a new job.

For starters it is critically important that your profile is always up to date. Did you get a new position, or job title? Update your profile. Earn a new certificate or complete a work-related course? Update your profile.

Keep your connections current too. Did you meet someone new in the “real world”? Connect to them on LinkedIn. Are you connected to your friends and family? Connect. Colleagues (former and current)? Connect to them too.

Beyond keeping connections current, it’s important to keep current on what your connections are doing. Yes, most of the LinkedIn “anniversary” updates are annoying and useless… read them anyway! Look for opportunities to reconnect with those contacts. Consider these little contacts as part of your personal marketing strategy, just a little light tap or touch to let people know that you’re around and thinking about them. There is definitely no reason to respond or send congrats out for every one of these anniversaries, and announcements, but some are important (starting a new job, or new business, moving to a new city, etc.)

The critically important aspect of connection management on LinkedIn is that LinkedIn is a Social Network, and it isn’t social unless you are networking on it.

Networking for Job Search

Now that your profile is up to date, and your contacts are current, what can you do in the LinkedIn social network to actually find a job?

  1. Use your “Headline” wisely

    It’s right under your name on your LinkedIn profile. It’s the first thing people learn about you. Depending on your current situation, you might want to start with letting people know what you’re looking for. If that’s not appropriate (maybe you’re not ready for your current employer to know you’re looking elsewhere), the use this space to say something important about yourself that a potential employer might find attractive. Remember, this is not about stoking your ego, or impressing people with a fancy job title. Your goal is to put something here that a potential employer will find attractive. Let people know what you can do for them.

  2. Your work history is basically a resume

    Just like the resumes that you send out, employers and potential employers want to know what you have done and what you can offer. Let them know. The caveat here is you may want to go lighter on specific details than you would on an actual resume. Your goal here is marketing. Make sure employers are interested, AND interested enough to want to learn more about you. You don’t want people to make their hiring decisions based only upon what they see on LinkedIn.

  3. Work your network (part 1)

    Here is where the magic of LinkedIn really happens. Spend some time learning about your contacts. Do any of them work for employers that you would like to work for? Reach out to them! Ask them if they know of any positions that might be open, or are about to open up. Ask them who the decision makers are in their workplace. Let them know you would like to work with them. Ask them to let people in their workplace know that they have a friend interested in working there.

  4. Work your network (part 2)

    More LinkedIn magic. You can also network with your network’s network. How do you do that? Browse the connections of your own connections. Look for people that work for employers that you find interesting. Look for people who are experts in the field you want to work in. IMPORTANT: tact and tactfulness is required. Avoid being an annoying stranger. Instead, ask your own contacts for an introduction. Once introduced, be tactful again… unless the person you want to connect with and meet has indicated that they are actively seeking a new hire, it’s probably better to arrange for an information meeting. While very few people appreciate feeling ambushed by job seekers, nearly everyone loves the feeling of being respected for their opinions, views, and expertise. Remember; they already know that you are looking for a job,  make a good impression, show appreciation for their helpful information, and they will contact you if something becomes available somewhere – at their workplace or at someone else’s.

Ask for Help

Finding a job is hard work. It’s probably the most difficult job that any of us ever has to do. Don’t make it even harder by doing it all alone. This article shares some information about using LinkedIn to help with your job search. When you are a job seeker you should also use other resources – both online and offline.

Online, let your Facebook friends know that you are looking for a job. And while you’re on Facebook take a close look at your privacy settings and at your public posts and images. Make sure you don’t have anything there that a potential employer might find to be a deal-killer! If your profile is really wild, consider making it harder to find.

Offline, let your friends and family know that you are looking for work. Better still, ask some of them to review your resume and cover letters. Ask them to review your LinkedIn account. Be open to suggestions. What I’ve written here will be perfect for most job seekers, most of the time… but it might not be perfect for you.

Lastly, consider getting professional help. I offer my services at a steeply discounted rate, specifically for unemployed job seekers, and in addition to my expertise in using social media, I have a background (education AND experience) in career counselling.

Contact me to learn more

 

What About the LinkedIn Jobseeking App?

LinkedIn has a jobs app for mobile devices, and a jobs tab on it’s web site. Nearly every major employer now posts job openings on LinkedIn now. But just how useful is it for the typical jobseeker?

I’d rate it a solid “meh”.

Every job seeker should use it. It has a feature that for some job hunters could be described as “killer” (in the good sense). LinkedIn will tell you if any of your connections are working there. If that’s the case, it might bring you to the top of the list.

Unfortunately, the list might be pretty long. The success of LinkedIn’s foray into the job market has been a bigger boon to employers than to jobseekers. There can be hundreds of applicants for each position posted, making it exceptionally difficult for anyone without personal connections to stand out.

Obviously one should apply for every position that makes sense for them. But unless your application is the 1 in 300 that’s a perfect match (and it might be!), the best way to leverage LinkedIn is through your personal network.

LinkedIn Jobseeking Samples
(Apple iPhone App)

 

Sleep Country Marketing Job add from LinkedIn app
Marketing Position has more than 100 applicants in only 3 days.

 

LinkedIn advertised marketing position with more than 700 applicants in less than a week
LinkedIn advertised marketing position with more than 700 applicants.

Jobseeking and Blogging

Jobseeking

There is a lot to think about while we are looking for a job. Jobseeking is a tough job. It’s a world of resumes and rejection letters, of occasional interviews, and too much insecurity—and too many “helpful” people offering too much “useful” advice!

For most people, social media seems to serve mostly as a time wasting distraction from the real business of looking for a job, and blogging seems like the ultimate in self-centered vanity. But that is not how it should be.

Perhaps the most difficult part of jobseeking is networking. It can be tough to network when we are out of the natural networks formed in a workplace. Blogging and social media are the keys that can open up new networks. The important thing is to use our blog wisely, with purpose, and determination.

So where does one start, and what can one do?

Let’s start with Facebook

If you’re not already on Facebook, get on it today. And if you are already using Facebook, remember that nearly every potential employer is going to take a look at your Facebook profile. If your profile is hopelessly personal and full of party pix or politics, change all your privacy settings to make that profile as private as possible. Then set up a Facebook “Fan Page” in your name that contains all the information that you’d like a potential employer to see. If you don’t have a Facebook profile yet, just use your newly created one as a home for the kind of posts that you’d like a potential employer to find.

NOTE: Personal pictures, family posts, friends comments, are all OK on Facebook. The goal here is not to make Facebook look the same as a blog or LinkedIn; it;s to have the kind of Facebook profile that an employer will think, “Gee, this person seems like they’d be a great fit here.”

Speaking of LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the jobseekers best friend. It’s imperative that every jobseeking person has a LinkedIn and profile, that the profile is complete, and it is always kept up to date. If you’re serious about finding work, do it today. We’ll talk more about LinkedIn, and Facebook soon, in our next section…

About Your Blog

OK, now we’re ready to start blogging. Having an employer friendly Facebook page, and an up to date LinkedIn profile, is only the preparatory groundwork for our real mission. What is our real mission?

To have an online content magnet that sets us apart from all the other people looking for the same kind of jobs that we are.

Since money is probably more precious than time while looking for employment, an exception to my general rule that every blog should have a unique Domain Name and URL can be made for the jobseeker. If you can afford 8 or 9 dollars a month for yourname.com, I recommend that you go for it, but if money is tight, you can always use yourname.wordpress.com. Don’t get fancy or cute with the name of your blog. You are the product that blog will be pitching. Make it obvious. Make that clear.

How Can a Blog Help me with Jobseeking?

This, of course, is the question that you’ve been waiting for me to answer!

Remember what our goals are—to build our network AND to be the person that potential employers want to hire when they find us online.

We’ve already accomplished part of that goal by having our name in the URL and in the title of our blog. The next thing we need to do is start writing blog posts. What to post? The blog is to help us land a job, so our posts should emphasize the kinds of skills that we have to offer potential employers. If your an IT professional, blog about IT. Are you a marketing professional? Blog about marketing. If you’re a lawyer, blog about the law.

What if I find writing difficult?

Not everyone finds writing easy. Maybe you are someone that finds writing difficult or intimidating. You can still blog! Here are few tips to get you started blogging—even if writing doesn’t come easily to you.

  • Start your post with an image. Pictures a re captivating. Take a photo, or find an image that illustrates a point you’d like to make. Don’t be a pirate! Always acknowledge the source of your images, and link back to the web pages that host them. Most bloggers are happy to share with people that help bring traffic to their websites.
  • Share an interesting article from another blog. Post a brief (no more than a few sentences) from the article, add your own value to the article with some thoughts of your own. And (as with images) always link back to the article on the original website.
  • Write an article about a company you’d like to work for, or one of their products. Remember, you might want to work for one of this company’s competitors too. Always be positive, never write anything negative about any person or company. Stick to benefits and value propositions.
  • I’ve talked a bit more about this here.

Getting Readers, or Why we Started with Facebook and LinkedIn

You knew we weren’t finished with social media right? Now that we have a blog, it would be nice if we had people visiting it, and reading our posts. We can probably assume that the people that might want to hire us upon receipt of our resume will visit, but what we really want is to get in front of people that don’t get our resumes or applications before visiting. Here’s where our accounts on Facebook and LinkedIn begin to serve double duty.

Every blog post should be shared on LinkedIn and Facebook. Post a brief excerpt, just enough to tweak interest, and then a link to your blog article. Oh, and while we are on the topic of social media, don’t forget to add your blog URL to your Facebook and LinkedIn profiles.

Now Start Blogging and go Get That Job!