Are You Maximizing LinkedIn?

The economy is improving, so naturally we are all starting to look at new and innovative ways to get ourselves out there, front and center, in today’s job market. Whether you are looking to re-enter the workforce or seeking a new and more fulfilling opportunity, there are many tools that you should deploy to land that ultimate next gig. Obviously, because you are receiving this message, you already have one very powerful tool in your satchel: By engaging with Clarity, you are able to gain unprecedented exposure to some of the country’s most prestigious companies! Since we meet with you personally, we are able to offer a direct approach to tailoring a perfect match between you and your future employer.

Aside from your number one tool, there is another that we want to make sure you are actively engaged with: LinkedIn. Over the last few years, social media has taken hold as the ultimate way to digitally network with your friends, family, classmates and colleagues. We all know that in today’s job market, networking and who you know can account for a huge amount of your job search success.  What you may not know is, that in today’s market, how you engage with that network is equally important as who is in that network. In the recruiting and professional engagement world, LinkedIn has risen to “must have” status in professional social networking. So it’s important to pay attention to the following questions… How are you presenting yourself to your professional network? Is your profile up-to-date and accurate? How much clout do you possess within your profile?  Here are a few tips from your friends at Clarity to ensure you are taking advantage of everything LinkedIn has to offer.

The Headline:

Your headline should be catchy, but still professional. This appears at the top of your profile and is the key to ensuring you capture a viewer’s attention. Make sure this summarizes you as an individual, as well as your experience and industry expertise. Why have you been successful? What makes you stand out? If you’re in a more corporate industry such as finance or legal, keep it concise and descriptive. If you’re in a creative environment, get a little snazzy; this is your opportunity to showcase your creativity. Our only warning: Don’t go too far, as subtle creative nuances are all you need.

The Resume:

Ensuring that your job experience is up-to-date is critical when you are embarking on the job search. Aside from this, make sure that your experience is relevant and targeted to your next career stage. If you are going for an entry-level position, showcase areas where you have significantly contributed to the team. If you are embarking on a managerial track, make sure to feature your leadership qualities and specific measurable successes.

The Recommendations:

In a world where company policies often prohibit accepting letters of recommendation, LinkedIn recommendations can fill that void. When you depart from a company, be sure to reach out to those with whom you’ve worked. Notes on your performance, personality and work style will go a long way in providing a future employer insight into what kind of employee you may be. Don’t be offended or take it personally if someone doesn’t recommend you, as this is a personal preference. Keep in mind, however, that one must be willing to give in order to receive, so if you are actively asking for recommendations, feel free to take a proactive approach and offer to return the favor.

The Network:

Now that your profile is all set to promote your own personal brand, it’s time to engage with your network. First, seek out friends, colleagues and family members with whom you engage on a regular basis. This is one of those instances where scrolling through your cell phone contacts will be helpful. Next, take advantage of LinkedIn’s “Recommended Connections” feature. This will help quickly build an initial following.

Once you have your initial network established, consider adding vendors that you work with and other miscellaneous professional contacts. Remember, they should know who you are before you extend an invitation to connect. By randomly adding people you don’t know, you could jeopardize your account standing by violating LinkedIn’s policies.

Now you’re set to start your job search. Find companies that you have worked with in the past, as well those that you hope to work with in the future, and follow their social media and news-related paths. (Be sure to follow Clarity as we actively post new job opportunities and useful information to help boost your job search.  http://www.linkedin.com/companies/clarity-llc/)

Don’t overlook the power of associated groups. Find groups that are associated with your professional background, social interests and of course, companies of interest. (Again, for the same reasons above, you’ll want to join Clarity’s group on LinkedIn. http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=86228).

That’s A Wrap!

Now that you’ve completed all the basic elements of preparing for engagement on LinkedIn, it’s time to actually engage! Sign in often, keep an eye on your favorite companies and groups, check out what your connections are up to and, of course, keep the network posted on your current and future plans.

Happy job hunting and best of luck with your job search!

P.S. – When you visit our company page, be sure to connect with your Clarity Counselor.  We’d love to be in your network!