A few weeks ago I blogged about how Twitter can help you job hunt and find vacancies, this week I thought I would turn my attention to another social media site LinkedIn. Often described as the Facebook for professionals LinkedIn enables you to connect and network with potential employers. LinkedIn is now being used as a recruitment tool by employers so it’s essential that you make the most of it!
Although having a professional, well written profile is essential networking with people on LinkedIn is what can really give your job hunting a boost. Building up your network will enable you to highlight the skills you have to potential employers, hear about opportunities and even be recruited/headhunted.
- You can make use of the LinkedIn search function to find and connect with organisations or even specific people.
- Organisations – interested in working in a specific organisation? Search for them! Or use the tool to research organisations in the sector or located in the area you want to be based. Bigger organisations can sometimes have their own careers profile on the site which highlights their vacancies. You may also be able to see potential contacts who work there.
- Specific people – Searching for specific employees you have spoken to at recruitment fairs or events may be a good idea. Another idea my be to contact people with similar research interests or who work in roles you aspire to do.
- Making contact with people working in your chosen area/employer could potentially mean you get insider information or even offers of work experience.
- Viewing profiles of successful people will give you an insight into how they got there and ideas of possible career paths.
- Approach possible contacts tactically and build relationships slowly- whatever you do don’t immediately ask a new contact for a job things just don’t work like that!
- I would also recommend connecting to with course mates or colleagues from previous employment voluntary work or extra-curricula activities. You never know when you might need their advice or expertise!
- Join groups connected to your chosen career area or the geographical location you want to work in. Not only will doing this widen your network, getting involved in discussions about issues affecting the area will raise your profile with other professionals or potential employers.
- It’s becoming increasingly common for recruiters to use professional groups on LinkedIn when looking for scares skills. Therefore it’s essential that in your profile should reflect you interest in that particular industry/sector and demonstrate your relevant skill set.
- Think carefully about which groups you want to join. If you join groups in vastly different sectors you may find in hard to cover all the skills employers in the areas look for. On a practical note you might find keeping up to date with lots of different discussions/ topic in different groups may be to time consuming.
- Joining one of the Manchester Alumni groups might be a good idea as this will further increase your potential network.
More information about using LinkedIn to network and boost you job hunting can be found in our Getting Connected guide and also on our website. You can also get advice and feedback on your LinkedIn profile by booking an Applications Advice appointment.