By now, you probably know you need to have a presence on LinkedIn if you’re in the market for a new job, or looking to advance your career. But simply being present isn’t enough. Savvy job seekers know how to leverage LinkedIn to nurture and grow their networks, which is often the best way to gain access to job opportunities.
Here are 7 things you should be doing on LinkedIn regularly as you explore your job options:
1. Scan your feed for insightful articles and updates about your contacts and engage with them. Like/share, add comments, and say congratulations to help spread some goodwill, but also stay top of mind and reconnect with people you’ve been out of touch with.
2. Find new contacts. LinkedIn’s groups, alumni feature, and advanced search can help you find people with whom you have common history. When requesting a connection, add a personalized note so that the person is more apt to accept your invitation. Mention something or someone you have in common, or simply say you admire their work and would love to connect. In addition, go through the “people you may know” function often and invite those with whom you actually want to connect.
3. Keep your network in the loop of what you’re doing. Get out of the habit of being a LinkedIn lurker, and actually post some content of your own. Just make sure it’s relevant, or offers something informative or entertaining,
4. Follow companies of interest. If you’ve got a few potential dream employers, you should be keeping up with their latest news. You may even discover that someone you know is working there, and that could be the “in” for which you were waiting.
5. Remember that the little things count. A slick looking head shot, a customized URL with your name, and a smart headline that sells you and shows a little creativity all go a long way toward helping you stand out. Use first person for your summary, too, since you don’t want it to read like a resume.
6. Don’t forget to check for jobs. More and more employers are posting their opportunities and allowing you to apply directly on LinkedIn. Check the jobs tab frequently.
7. Stay organized by saving your job searches. This functionality will help you revisit your customized job search criteria whenever you’d like, so you don’t have to start from scratch every time.