Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 23rd 2014 Contents If you’re like many job hunters
today, you’ve heard the buzz about
LinkedIn as a must-use job hunting
tool that can help land your next
gig. Yet, you might have signed up
for a Profile at the site, looked
around a bit, and then wondered,
"What am I missing?"
The truth is, if you’ve only just
joined and are standing back at a
distance to observe, what’s missing
is YOU. Your personality, your value
in building relationships, and your
digital identity are still not fully
formed if all you’ve done is merely
So, even if you’re late to the
LinkedIn party, here are some steps
you can take on the way from novice
user to super-connected, job-hunt-
Tuesday, December 23, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Fill in your Profile with as much infor-
mation as possible.
As one recruiter recently told me about
finding nearly empty Profiles of job seek-
ers, "It’s a turnoff to see someone create
a Profile and then abandon it. It’s as if
they’re at a networking event standing
in a corner with their back to the room,
saying leave me alone."
As you’ll see in other articles here on
Job-Hunt, the way that you populate
your information and the search opti-
mization of your content is critical to the
impression others have of your profes-
In addition, it pays to take a look at
the way others use the site. Get used to
searching for people in your field (see
that drop-down box at the top of your
LinkedIn Home page with the word “Peo-
ple” next to it? Click on “Advanced” to
the right, and you’ll uncover a full search
function that lets you find others in your
industry or occupation). Note the key-
words, Summary sentences, and job titles
that help you navigate these users’ Pro-
Christy Spilka, a recruiter with
Polaris Search, notes that when
she is using LinkedIn for
recruiting, she’s "more likely
to skip over someone who has
not filled out the descriptions
in their job history."
Even if all you have to use is your
resume content or job description, this
data can help recruiters understand each
of your jobs, education, and skills.
Don’t forget to add a professional head-
shot to your Profile, as this is also a critical
piece of your online brand message.
Accept others’ invitations to connect
and create some of your own.
This isn’t Facebook, and you aren’t
being judged by the company you keep.
Each Connection brings you closer in the
web of relationships on LinkedIn to a
recruiter, potential new colleague, or hir-
Gaining new relationships is critical.
As you become more familiar with the
site and take more action visible to your
connections, you’ll benefit from wider
exposure to others that can help with
your job search.
Even if you don’t "know" all of your
Connections personally, you can think
of LinkedIn as an open forum that allows
you to expand your professional reputa-
tion, person by person, toward your goal.
You can create new Connections by
letting LinkedIn import the contents of
your email address book, reaching out
to those contacts that interest you, or by
accepting the invitations sent your way.
Take a moment to look closely at the
As LinkedIn continues to release beta
versions of new search tools, Profile sec-
tions, database categories, and other
goodies, there’s always something new.
In fact, you can click on the tab marked
"More..." at the top of your Home page,
and see at least 1-2 new areas that are
listed as beta releases.
Rather than ignore these functions,
take a moment to review the releases to
see if they can benefit you. As an example,
LinkedIn released a Skills section in late
2010 that allowed users to input various
competencies and rank them in terms of
proficiency. Now, there’s a new site tool
that allows these Skills to be searched as
Given that many users skipped over
this section, guess who’s going to benefit
as recruiters and business users start to
mine Profiles for their hiring require-
ments? As usual, those who pay attention
and leverage the site to its fullest.
Surf around to see what the site has to
There’s a wealth of activity on LinkedIn
that will escape you if you don’t take the
time to learn about it. For example, you
can join Groups that reflect both your
job title and field of interest, making it
easier for recruiters to contact you through
these areas on the site.
Events are also often posted in various
industries; as some are virtual, you can
make a note to attend even if you can’t
be there in person. This activity is also
frequently scrutinized by others on
The Answers section is a great tool for
building an online identity. Here, you can
respond to others’ queries or add one of
your own. Be aware, however, that this
is a professional forum, and anything
you post is widely readable by all site
users (including your boss!), as well as
Indexed for widespread search on Google.
These steps toward maximizing
LinkedIn are just your crash course! To
learn more about LinkedIn, consider
downloading a copy of I’m on LinkedIn:
Now What???, which has become the
gold standard for job seekers and users
who want to leverage the power of the
site to its fullest.
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