HOW TO USE LinkedIn TO FIND YOUR DREAM JOB Source: Steven Petrow

So, you want a new job? If you’re like more than 450 million others on the planet, you’re going to turn to LinkedIn to let your fingers do the heavy lifting of finding a new position. I should know—I’ve been there, done that.

But here’s something I learned only recently: More and more businesses are using LinkedIn as either their primary, or in many cases exclusive, job-posting site — which means you’ve got to learn how to play the LinkedIn game.

Job Description

Teddy Burriss, social media strategist anLinkedIn coach and trainer, says the first thing to do is make sure the job you’re seeking is in your wheelhouse, meaning, “that it’s highly relevant to who you are and what you do.” If you’re an administrative assistant, for example, it’s downright foolish to apply for a risk management position. “You’re just shooting at opportunities,” Burriss says with a quick laugh, “wasting a hiring manager’s time and tarnishing your own reputation.”

Number two: Your profile must demonstrate that you are “relevant” to the position — it needs to show the recruiter or hiring manager that you have the requisite skills, talent, and experience for this particular job. How do you do that? That takes us to Burriss’s next recommendation: Your profile must use the key words relevant to the position you want. Before you apply for positions bake those words into your profile. (To add skills to your profile, check out this guide on LinkedIn.)

Key Words

Well, that sounds easy-peasy, right? Not so fast. “Key words are not common sense,” Burriss admits, because hiring managers are often idiosyncratic in the language they use to describe a position. What you must do, he counsels, is study each job description and use the words it uses in your profile and résumé.

Trudy Steinfeld, associate vice president and executive director of NYU’s Wasserman Center for Career Development, also stresses the importance of using the right key words, because that’s how “applicant tracking systems and LinkedIn work. You have to use those exact same words to beat it.”

Burriss’s third suggestion is the most intriguing — and I actually think it’s the most likely to help you succeed: Even if a position is relevant to your skill set and sounds perfect for you, don’t just apply for it willy nilly. Burriss insists that you first need to build a relationship with individuals in the companies where you want to work.  Sure, it seems a bit old-school, but even in our high-tech world you must network.

Groups and Influencers

While you are on LinkedIn, but before you begin your job search, start a business conversation—not a job conversation—that shows off your smarts. NYU’s Steinfeld recommends joining relevant groups and following people on LinkedIn who are connected to your career interests. This will allow you to comment on relevant topics in public forums, which may get you the attention from so-called “influencers” that you’re seeking.

To join a professional group Burriss told me that a high number of jobs are what he calls “hidden” ones—they’re not publicly posted. If you’ve developed multiple relationships over time with the right people, they will come to you with these job openings. How great—and what a trick – is that! Need help finding a professional group? (Click here for an alphabetical listing or here to search by interest, organization, or affiliation.)

Advice

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About facetteam
FACET is a human resources consulting firm specializing in the four phases of the Talent Management Cycle: Attract, Retain, Develop, and Transition. The Group's practice specifically addresses facilitation of smooth career/life transitions for individuals leaving organizations as well as career management, leadership training and coaching for employees whose assignments within organizations are impacted by change or other organizational needs. By application of several directions of pursuit, the corporation accomplishes a single goal: maximum utilization of human resource potential and productivity through efficient hiring, training and career development. The Facet Group was founded in 1981 and is headquartered in Lafayette, Louisiana. As an ARBORA GLOBAL PARTNER, The Facet Group shares a parallel philosophy of the highest quality and standards with other owner invested firms. Through this network, we provide services worldwide. To address organizational needs outlined by its clients, The Facet Group offers a comprehensive package of workplace consulting services, focusing on providing high quality, creative programs which favorably impact the bottom line.

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