I’m continually asked this question by job hunters in almost every industry, occupation, and career level:
“How can I use LinkedIn to land a job?”
“Why are others getting hired off LinkedIn, but not me? What am I doing wrong?”
To start off, it’s simple: display a professional demeanor, update your Profile with critical information, and use the site to build industry relationships.
But there’s more to it than that—including numerous actions you’ve probably seen as unnecessary before now.
Well, listen up. Here’s the skinny on what you REALLY need to be successful on LinkedIn—and how your job search will be affected if you don’t follow through:
1 – You DO need (more) Connections.
I’ve explained this for years, but surprisingly, it still comes up at times.
Building a large volume of Connections isn’t important to impress people (OK, maybe it is to some people); it’s key to your success because of the proximity you’ll gain to the employers, industry leaders, and recruiters.
LinkedIn has demonstrated to us, over and over, that WHO you know—as much as WHAT you know—will move you along faster in your career. How can you tell?
- The default sort order for other LinkedIn users is Relationship degrees (your 1st, 2nd, 3rd-degree Connections, etc.). In other words, people close to others pop up first in searches.
- LinkedIn practically waves your Profile in the face of your 1st-degree or 2nd-degree Connections. This makes it easier for your Status updates and other actions to be consistently seen by other users.
Becoming at least a 2nd-degree Connection to a huge volume of people is startlingly easy, especially if you make nice with LinkedIn power users. Connect to them, and voila! You’re already on your way to mini-celebrity status (in the eyes of employers, where it matters).
Get in touch with former classmates, colleagues, or friends if you feel reluctant to reach out. Doing so will give you a head-start on claiming your spot in the social media stratosphere.
Remember: there’s no sense in joining LinkedIn just to hold back. The more Connections you build, the more people can access your Profile or read about you.
It’s a good thing—do it.
Up next: What’s the Secret to Getting Hired From LinkedIn? (Part 2: Setting Your Strategy for Groups)
Award-winning executive resume writer Laura Smith-Proulx of An Expert Resume has a 98% success rate collaborating with executives and rising professionals to capture top jobs at Fortune-ranked corporations, start-ups, and emerging leaders.
A 8-time certified job search coach, master resume writer, LinkedIn expert, and former recruiter, Laura’s work has been published in more than 200 venues worldwide and featured in CIO.com, CareerBuilder, Wall Street Journal, The Denver Post, Forbes, Monster.com, The Chicago Tribune, and other media.
She holds the U.S. record for global resume writing TORI awards from 2007 through 2013, with 23 total distinctions. Laura is a featured Personal Branding and Resume Expert for CareerRocketeer.com and Careerealism.com, the National Resumes Examiner for Examiner.com, and Job-Hunt.org’s LinkedIn for Job Search Expert, as well as the author of How to Get Hired Faster: 60+ Proven Tips and Resources to Access the Hidden Job Market and Power Up Your Job Search With LinkedIn.