Thursday, June 23, 2016

5 Ways to Use LinkedIn for Your Job Search

According to Jobvite’s 2015 Recruiter Nation Survey, only 4% of recruiters DON’T use social media in the recruiting process and 87% of those surveyed use LinkedIn for recruiting.  Why?  LinkedIn is the largest professional network in the world with over 400 million users across the globe including executives from all fortune 500 companies. LinkedIn is an easy way to meet new people, network with others in your field, and promote yourself as a polished professional.

Here are 5 ways you can use LinkedIn to reach your career goals:

1. Create an effective profile: Thoroughly complete all of your profile, add a professional photo, include important skills, and get recommendations!  Check out the LinkedIn Profile Checklist on our website to create your strong and professional profile.

2. Find and connect with alumni: Use the LinkedIn Alumni tool to get information about where your fellow alums work, what they do, and where they live. Reach out to alums with jobs you’re interested in and get ideas on organizations to target.  Review the blog Networking: Leverage LinkedIn's Alumni Tool for more information.

3. Join Groups: LinkedIn Groups are virtual meeting rooms where people with similar interests can post and hold conversations around topics they want to share or learn more about.  Join groups related to your industry, show off your expertise around a subject, reach out to individuals within a group, and grow relationships with like-minded people. Don’t forget to join your alma maters’ groups and alumni groups like WGU’s Alumni & Students Group! Learn how to find and join groups here.

4. Research Companies, Employees, and Jobs: Search for a company on LinkedIn to conduct research, view job opportunities under the company’s Career tab, and see if you’re connected to anyone who works or has worked there.  Research the career paths of people at that organization, find related companies, and see what recent topic trends are in the company’s updates.  Also use the Jobs section of LinkedIn to keyword search jobs in any region.  Read LinkedIn in 30 Minutes’ tips on How to Use LinkedIn to Research Companies.

5. Stay Active: Frequently share status updates, upload photos, or publish a post from your home tab to keep your LinkedIn network engaged and your name fresh in their minds!  This strategy improves your LinkedIn profile’s visibility in search engine results and showcases your knowledge, passion, and goals related to your field of work.  Just remember to keep the content professional and carefully edit grammar and spelling.   Read LinkedIn’s helpful article on Sharing an Update vs. Publishing a Post.

For help with LinkedIn, be sure to review the LinkedIn Resources on the WGU Career & Professional Development website. For personalized assistance, contact your WGU Career & Professional Development Specialist.

Give it a try, make it a habit, and creatively expand your job search today with LinkedIn!