LinkedIn and online job searching

    The job search space has changed. Once upon a time you could buy the Sydney Morning Herald, go to the Employment section, find suitable jobs, apply, and be invited for interviews. A job offer would follow shortly thereafter. Now there’s social media, online applications, and LinkedIn…and it’s far more difficult to get a job!

    If you’re looking for a new job, you really have no choice other than to get up-to-date and ensure you have a LinkedIn profile – and use it – and to look for jobs online. For a complete job search, you should also network (the number 1 way of finding a job) and partner with some candidate-focused recruiters.

    How LinkedIn works

    LinkedIn falls into the realm of social media, however, it’s business-focused and allows you to:

    1. Build an online presence to showcase your professional brand
    2. Be found by recruiters – over 90% use LinkedIn
    3. Apply for jobs
    4. Facilitate your networking by giving you visibility – and access to – your expanded network

    Taking that last point a step further, if you ‘connect’ with someone on LinkedIn, they become a ‘1st degree connection’. For people you don’t know, but your 1st degree connections do, they’re 2nd degree connections. So you have a conduit to this expanded 2nd degree network via your 1st degree connections.

    If you have not joined LinkedIn, it’s very simple. Go to www.linkedin.com, enter your name and email address, validate the email that LinkedIn will send you, and start populating your profile.

    Think of your profile like a record on a database – the more complete and detailed it is, the better. Recruiters and large companies search LinkedIn for candidates using key words and phrases, so ensure you use words that will allow them to find you. For example, if you’re in marketing, you might use terms like ‘Public relations’ and ‘event management’ throughout your profile.

    Key sections on a LinkedIn profile include:

    • Photo – a picture paints a thousand words, so present yourself professionally
    • Headline – use the 120 characters in this section by inserting key words and phrases. Don’t use ‘Seeking next opportunity’ or similar, as it just sounds desperate
    • Summary – provide a brief elevator-pitch paragraph that lets the reader know who you are, what you do, where you’ve worked and 5-6 key skills

    Beyond ensuring that your profile is complete, make sure you connect with people you know and be active by ‘liking’, ‘commenting’ or ‘sharing’ posts submitted by others, or even better, share content that you’ve found or written yourself. This is a great positioning tool and allows you to showcase your knowledge and insight on a range of business-related topics.

    To see an example of a good LinkedIn profile go to www.linkedin.com/in/thecareermedic

    As newspaper adverts for jobs have largely gone the way of the dodo, you now apply for jobs online using online job boards. I recommend:

    While there are others, if you register on each of these sites, set up and save searches for jobs (being very specific about what you’re looking for) and have relevant jobs emailed to you, then you’ll capture most suitable jobs on the market.

    What are you waiting for? Get contemporary and job search savvy by setting up or updating your LinkedIn profile and searching for jobs online.

    However, don’t forget it’s still the old school approach of networking that’s the best way to find a new job. Some things just never change – and thank heavens for that!

    ________________________________________________________________________Wahroonga-based Paul Di Michiel is the author of Fired to Hired, The Guide to Effective Job Search for the Over 40s. Find out more about his career coaching business, The Career Medic, at: www.thecareermedic.com

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