1. Update your LinkedIn profile
Your LinkedIn profile is the most important public feature that you have to communicate with potential employers about you as a candidate. Most people don’t update their LinkedIn very often, so it is important to make sure it has your most recent jobs, education, and experience listed. There are also things you can do to make your profile stand out and demonstrate your experience and qualifications better. You can do this by having bullet points listing all your roles and responsibilities in prior jobs. It would also be good to make sure all your job titles and dates are accurate and truthful. You should also change your settings to show recruiters that you are open to hearing about other job opportunities. Lastly, fill out the summary on your profile to express a little summary about yourself. This would be your opportunity to give voice and personality to who you are as a potential hire. It will make you stand out from those who don’t have one.
2. Your network is your greatest tool
Throughout your career you have made connections with colleagues and friends. You can now use LinkedIn to build your network even further. It might not be the same as meeting someone in-person but using LinkedIn, you can make connections with almost anyone. The best way to expand your network is through second-degree connections. Second-degree connections are those individuals who are connected to the people you are connected to, but you are not connected directly. If you are targeting a specific company or industry for your next job it would be smart to start looking at individuals who are in the role you want to be in. If they aren’t a second-degree connection, look for individuals who went to one of your schools or perhaps worked at one of your previous companies.
3. Purchase and use LinkedIn Premium
LinkedIn Premium is a paid service where you can get a lot more detail around companies, individuals, and job listings from across the internet. It also provides you the ability to send messages to individuals you aren’t connected to. It is about $60 per month so it isn’t cheap, but it is worth it for a short while. Once you find a job posting that you want to apply for, make a connection with someone in the company who could either give you some guidance on applying for the job or would be willing to give you a reference. It might be a stretch to ask someone you don’t know for a favor or to refer you for a job, but if you are respectful and demonstrate why are you excited about the role, they may help you out. If you come to them with all the details about the job listing and who they can forward your resume on to, you can make the task very easy on them. Make sure you reach out to more than just one person, the more people you try, the better your odds are!
4. Interact on the platform
We have already established that you can use LinkedIn to find connections and reach out to them. It is also a great way to promote your work experience. But equally as important with LinkedIn is the fact that you should be actively commenting, liking, and posting articles. By putting yourself out there in people’s activity feeds you can increase your online visibility. This will lead to more people noticing you and perhaps helping you along the way. If you post something specifically about looking for a job and use the proper hashtags you can increase your chances of the post gaining a lot of interaction. There are many stories of how people posted about their desire to find a new job and people will respond helping them out some way.
5. Redo your resume
You would be amazed at how many people have outdated resumes. If you haven’t revamped your resume in a few years, it has been a few years too many. It is important to make sure that your resume resonates with the type of job you are going after. Check out the description of the job you are trying to apply for and use those same keywords to describe the roles and responsibilities you have fulfilled. Not only will the keywords stand out to recruiters, but companies actually process resumes they receive through software that strategically picks out specific words related to the role. The best way to format your resume is by using bullet points so that it is easy to read. You can start each bullet with a verb describing the work you performed. Another important thing is to have someone proof-read your resume. Having nonsense or errors in your resume would reflect badly on you as a candidate so make sure someone else does a thorough editing job on it before submitting it.
6. Nail your interview
The best way to stand out during your interview is by doing considerable prep work going into it. Research everything you can about the company that you are interviewing with and know their business as if you worked there. This will enable you to ask smart questions and be able to answer questions they ask you. The best candidate is the one who is curious and who can convey their confidence and knowledge in the moment. Good questions to ask would be something like, “What is the biggest business challenge you are trying to solve for today?” Or “What type of impact are you looking for a quality hire to make in their first few months on the job?” Coming prepared with questions will show the people you are interviewing with that you took the time to research and think thoughtfully about the role and their company. If you need advice going into your interview remember it would be good to ask those same people you connected with on LinkedIn the best way to prepare for the interview as well.