You’ve honed your LinkedIn profile (and if you haven’t, find out how here). Now it’s time to use the networking site to actively power up your job search or career progression.
Aside from continuing to add connections, what else can you do? The site is packed with extra features you can put to your advantage - here are six of them to try.
Share your own status, link or photo in the box at the top of the page, and you’ll be seen on your connections’ LinkedIn newsfeeds.
Mentioning that you’re on the hunt for a role may jog someone’s memory that they know an opportunity you’d be great for. Or talk about issues around your industry, posting interesting links or mentioning events you’re attending that will be relevant to your connections.
Engaging with others’ status updates or shares is another way to stay front of mind. But we don’t just mean congratulating someone on his or her two-year work anniversary. What will help you stand out more is writing something that genuinely adds to the discussion.
Most companies have official LinkedIn pages (take a look at the Exectec here). Following companies that you’d love to work for isn’t just about getting updated when staff leave, or when a new position comes up - although of course those things are valuable to know.
It’s also a way to get a feel of the company culture and all-round atmosphere of a place - handy stuff to weave into an application letter or interview further down the line.
You might spot that one of your connections knows someone you’d like to know. Whether they’re a person you used to work or study with, or a potential contact that could help you, all you need to do is ask for an introduction.
That way, they can move from being what’s known as a second-degree connection to a more meaningful first-degree connection.
The trick is to be as specific as you can in your request, spelling out why you’d like to connect and giving some context to why you’re asking.
Recommendations your LinkedIn connections make about you are displayed on your profile, so they pack a powerful punch. They’re a way to show a bit more about how people see you professionally, backing up specific skills and abilities or just adding to the big picture of you as a great potential teammate.
It’s OK to ask someone for a recommendation if they know you well enough professionally to write something authentic. It’s also fine to ask them to include specific skills in the recommendation.
Are you getting involved in relevant LinkedIn groups? There are thousands to choose from, many set up specifically for your area and others at your current level.
Sift through the choice to join three or four groups, and keep an eye on discussions to learn more about your industry - from posts seeking people’s advice to updates on the latest events.
Even better, take part yourself by sharing your perspective. The more active you are, the better known you’ll become - hugely beneficial for your professional credibility as you’ll be building a genuine professional network.
Don’t feel you have anything to contribute yet? Start by liking and sharing posts to get your confidence up. Plus, your membership of that group will appear on your profile; all good for showing you’re interested in the industry.
When it comes to landing a new job, at Exectec we know how impressive a spot-on application and killer CV are - not to mention the importance of confident interview skills.
But there are all sorts of clever ways LinkedIn can help you prepare for an interview, too. You can glean nuggets about your potential company on its official LinkedIn page, as dropping in a mention of a latest piece of news they’ve put out is a way to impress.
Looking at past and present employees can help you find out what skills and attributes they look for in successful candidates, too.
And don’t forget to search for available intel on your actual interviewer. From finding out how long they’ve been an employee, where else they’ve worked and even if you have any common connections, every little helps when it comes to setting yourself apart as a candidate that gets remembered - and ultimately hired.