Gateway to a dream job

Sanjay Arora

Till 2016, you had to build connections on LinkedIn, try to find and contact recruiters, join professional groups or follow the post of people who would post about jobs. There were also some ‘leaders’ who regularly liked and commented on the posts of recruiters to gain their attention, in a hope to get a job. 

That’s all history now. LinkedIn has changed ever since Microsoft acquired LinkedIn in December 2016 by paying approximately $26 billion. At that time, however, almost everyone was of the opinion that Microsoft had invested in a sinking ship. But three years down the line, Microsoft has successfully converted the so-called sinking ship into a path-breaking website, which is now posing a threat to other similar platforms in the industry.  

Thus, this platform can serve as an effective tool to increase one’s visibility as well as the chances of landing a lucrative job offer. Leveraging LinkedIn for a job is a skill is both a science and art. Let’s learn 10 simple techniques to leverage this: 

1 Comprehensive profile 

All complete LinkedIn profile, users are much more likely to get contacted about job opportunities. Fill in standard sections at the beginning, ensuring you also have a current position, summary and a photo. Add your skills and have at least 50 connections. Fill in your experience for job descriptions, and make sure you have a current job posted. This may sound simple but estimated 80 per cent profiles are not completed.

2 Updated headline

Your photo (it should be formal enough for recruiters to identify with), name, and headline (which is listed below your photo) are the only items people see when they carry out a search. Your headline should clearly state what you do or what type of position you are looking for. “Talent Acquisition Geek | JobSeeker Ally |Wordsmith | Contributor” are examples of headlines that are clear and might grab attention when compared to plain-Jane headlines like “Management Trainee in a MNC”.

3 Add, Add and Add 

Add more and more connections, if you find someone who can add quality to your network and timeline- reach out to them and add them. Connect and actively talk to them. Think of LinkedIn as an unending  party running online — networking helps and it never stops

4 Research companies

By now you should know you’re interested in and follow them. LinkedIn makes it easy to search for your target companies and follow these. If you haven’t already done so, have a list of companies that you'd like to work for and follow them on LinkedIn. This will help you to be aware of the company news and new positions.

5 Endorse and get endorsed

Sometimes it is okay to shamelessly ask people who have worked with you in the past to endorse you, think of it as the foundation stone of your professional image

6 Three to four recommendations

Try to have a variety of people recommend you, like your boss, a direct report or a client. Coach the person on what you’d want them to focus on. Better yet, if they are willing to write a recommendation, offer to create a draft for them and suggest they edit it as they see fit. This will show them what you want them to focus on and take less of their time in the process

7 Use plenty of keywords

Make sure these keywords are used in the correct fields. Use keywords several times throughout your profile. Fields that are keyword searchable include your headline, summary, location, job title, job description, volunteer experience, skills, activities, publications and awards, organizations, etc.

8 Join job search groups

This needs to be handled carefully, make sure they are hidden on your public profile. Join groups within your industry and network in the city or cities where you'd like to work. If you join jobseeker groups, just be sure to turn off the option to keep groups visible on your public profile.

9 Find a hiring manager

Do this using LinkedIn search. If you can’t find the hiring manager, find a decision maker like a head of department, director, or a regional head. Looked for a head of sales or a regional manager during sales job search. If it is a smaller company, go directly to the CEO or president.

10 Don't be static 

Be active on LinkedIn and be authentic and current. Post any articles you write, videos you make and so on, as updates. Get involved with groups and interact with others on LinkedIn. The more you interact and post, the more you'll be noticed and build recognition

In a nutshell, be smart, not outdated. 

Just remember your LinkedIn network is your career net worth.

— The writer is Founder, Maven