In today’s competitive job market, LinkedIn is not only a tool to find and locate jobs, but it also can provide opportunities for you to connect directly with people who can add value to your job search. That’s just one of the many tips that Phaedra Brotherton, principal of Resumes and Career Strategies, shared during AMADC’s “Build and Leverage Your LinkedIn Network and Brand to Accelerate Your Job Search” webinar held last week.
Drawing from her experience as a certified professional resume writer and job and career transition coach, Brotherton focused her discussion on LinkedIn and shared insights on how marketers can use the platform to better position themselves for a job search. Ideally, she noted, the goal is that you’ve positioned yourself so that when your dream job opens, you’ve made connections at that company and you’re the first name that comes up to fill that job.
But it helps first to get clear on your job target--what you want your next step to be and where you’d like it to be. Drawing up a list of dream companies is a helpful start, but it also helps to hone in on the skills and expertise you have and that you will bring to your next job.
Next, you’ll want to make sure your profile is networking-ready. That means having a business-friendly headshot and at least 50 connections. You can add life to your profile by adjusting your title from the default current position to one that is broader and encapsulates your skills and experience. In your description, make sure to use keywords that are relevant to your industry. Ask former colleagues to add recommendations. And try to be active on the platform by sharing relevant information for your industry.
These actions will put you in an excellent position to begin networking. Informational interviews are always a helpful way to conduct career research and to broaden your connections. While you can certainly start reaching out to people you know for such interviews, consider expanding your network by joining a relevant LinkedIn group--such as one for your industry, professional groups, or alumni groups--to help you connect with others in your field or at your dream company.
Brotherton noted that keys to a successful informational interview include:
- Clearly stating your connection to that person, even if you’re just members of the same LinkedIn group, when reaching out;
- Being respectful of the person’s time and noting that you are seeking to learn more about the company; and
- Making it convenient for them to meet by offering a phone call.
Ultimately, LinkedIn can be a powerful tool for expanding your network, even in times like these, and for positioning yourself for the future. How will you get started
By: Jennifer Adach, AMADC Collegiate Connector Co-Chair