Social Enterprise

Optimizing LinkedIn for job hunting

Here's a list of things you can do to optimize LinkedIn for your job search.

In an article for LAPTOP Magazine, writer Dana Wollman has some tips for supporting your job search using LinkedIn. Here are some of the best tips she provides:

1. Expand your profile

You'll hear from any resume expert that you should limit a resume to one full page. But for those of you who feel compelled to list every job, including that one you had the summer of your junior year in high school, LinkedIn could be just what you want. Wollman says the more things you list, the more people will happen upon your profile.

2. Customize your URL

Change your LinkedIn URL so your name appears in the link. This will optimize your search engine results. To do this, go to your profile page, go to Accounts & Settings, and click Public Profile under Profile Settings.

3. Write recommendations

Wollman says that penning a thoughtful testimony will reflect well on you and increase your visibility. You're also likely to receive one in return.

4. Choose your friends carefully

Well, that's just good advice, period. But Wollman stresses it in regard to LinkedIn. "Whereas rampant friending is the norm for Facebook and MySpace, LinkedIn users should use discretion in building a network of colleagues they know and trust." (The word "friending" threatens to give me an aneurysm, but I won't edit it out. Don't want to do any enemy-ing.)

5. Find an expert

If you have a question for someone in a certain field, Wollman recommends asking because most people will be happy to help.

6. Ask and answer questions

This helps you build credibility in your field.

7. Plumb Outlook for contacts

You can build your network by adding frequent e-mail contacts. Just download the Outlook Toolbar from the Tools section at the bottom of LinkedIn's site. When you click on the LinkedIn icon, the site's home page opens in Outlook. You can also add contacts from AOL, Gmail, and Yahoo address books.

See Wollman's article for more tips.

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

8 comments
wendy
wendy

I provide my resume clients with three additional suggestions that you may want to try. First, search for groups that are relevant to your role. While LinkedIn hinders communication, when you join a group you are invited to join their forum on a seperate platform (ning, google, yahoo etc.) where you can post messages and get information from other professionals in your industry. Second, with LI's new company profile program you can find detailed information about the company you are considering along with a list of LI members who work there. You can request introductions to these individuals through your first-line network to solicit additional information. Third, run a search on a company name to bring up a list of members associated with it. Look at these for employment trends. Do you see people being promoted? Did you find high turn over or short-term employment spans? This can be an indicator that underneath the icing your being fed at the interview is actually a turnip, not a cake.

ssharkins
ssharkins

I don't understand recommendations. Also, I have more than one career field. I'm not really sure how to best use this resource yet.

DelphiniumEve
DelphiniumEve

I have a few colleagues for whom I have written recommendations. I felt strong enough about them as a person and their skill set that I felt it was appropriate to give them recommendations. I may not have been on their top 5 reference list, but if they are searched on LinkedIn my comments are available for anyone to see. I think these can help when maybe they had a lackluster interview or they are in a dead heat with another candidate for a job. I hope I can break the tie and assist those who I would work for or with again.

stuoutlaw1
stuoutlaw1

While I agree linkedin is a good business resource but is it worth paying $20 a month for? Many of the people I am linked with there have pages an facebook as well and they are IT professionals, I have gotten many contacts for free from other sites as well I would love Linkedin if it $20 a year.

bernard
bernard

Can somebody please make a suggestion regarding how to isolate jobs to relevant countries of domicile.

Jaqui
Jaqui

since the short look at it I took indicates it requires the use of a browser plugin for it to really be effective, and that plugin was only available for windows based browsers it didn't sit to well with me. a plugin for "Firefox" that wouldn't work on all operating systems Firefox supports? I did mention the issue to them, right before I canceled my membership. They seemed shocked that anyone didn't have a windows system to use the plugin. They did say they would get the plugin available for OSX and Linux soon, but I didn't stick around to see if they did or not.

nmeyer
nmeyer

I use OSX 10.3+ (several machines in use - range of revisions) and Firefox (latest, greatest) and have no issues with LinkedIn. You may want to try again if this was a purely technical matter.