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Dec 12th

3 LinkedIn tips for jobseekers

logo_132x32_2The general consensus is that 2014 will be a better year for the economy – and a better year for job seekers.

Make sure you’re showcasing your talents to hiring managers and recruiters with a decent LinkedIn profile. Here are three easy fixes to quickly ramp up your profile ahead of 2014.

Write a good invitation message

Just going with the default “I’d like to add you to my professional network” was one of the biggest bugbears of careers coaches and advisors at a recent careers brainstorming day I attended.

It’s problematic because it gives the person you’re trying to connect to no idea at all as to who you are or why you want to connect.

It also means that they’re less likely to connect with you – or worse – might click the “I don’t know this person” button. Too many of those and you can get your account frozen.

Instead, say who you are, how you’re connected, and why you want to join that person’s network.

You don’t need to be too specific:

“We’re members of the same LI group and it would be great to also connect with you directly.”

“We worked together on the ABC project and I’d like to be able to connect with you on LinkedIn as well.”

“We work in the same industry and I always enjoy reading your blog posts. I’d really like to connect with you on LinkedIn.”

Invest some time in your profile

Don’t leave your profile bare. Check that you’re giving enough information about your work history, achievements and skills. Include some of the keywords from the job ads that you’d be interested in – and have a look at other people’s LinkedIn profiles. Are you missing anything?

A good headline (the words that appear immediately under your name) is also important. This is where you can write your job title (or the one you aspire to) or give a flavour of your main strengths or brand. Don’t just write “Unemployed”.

Be active

LinkedIn has its fair share of critics, but two of its greatest features are “groups” and its extensive database.

Joining groups will put you in contact with many other industry professionals. Comment or start your own conversation to start building your visibility. LinkedIn will suggest relevant groups for you to join, but you can also search yourself.

Tap into LinkedIn’s vast database to find hiring managers. Contacting people directly in companies that you’re interested in (rather than waiting for a job ad to be made public) can be one of the best ways to access the “hidden jobs market”.

And, rather like Christmas that comes early, here’s a way to do that. In Find the Hiring Manager, the enormously helpful Donna Svei (@AvidCareerist) has found a great (free) tool to find people with hiring authority on LinkedIn. Start playing around with it to locate hiring managers ahead of the rush in the New Year.

Comments: 1

  • Bob Berchtold June 23rd, 2014

    I’ve found that the two simplest ways to improve a LinkedIn profile are to (1) Add a high quality photo, and (2) Write a new Headline that catches people’s attention.

    Both of these things will take you less than 5 minutes and will have a huge impact on how professional your profile looks.

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