There’s a lot of great advice out there on using LinkedIn to find jobs. This post is different because I include actions to make your search so fruitful that the jobs find you.
1. Get Your Headline Right
Although the search algorithm at LinkedIn is a closely guarded secret, one thing many experts agree on is that the words in your headline play an important role in how search results are ranked and displayed. That means you need to make sure the most important words hiring managers and recruiters would use to find are included in your 120-character headline. One way to identify all the right keywords is to go to indeed.com, put in the title(s) of the job for which you are searching and look for the words that come up over and over among the job listings.
7 Ways to Make LinkedIn Help You Find A Job
2. Grow Your Network
It’s as simple as this: The more connections you have, the more frequently you show up in search results. This makes some people nervous – connecting with people they don’t know. Let me allay your fears. LinkedIn provides a way for you to remove, block or report a connection if they become a problem. So the risk of accepting connection requests from people you don’t know is low. You also get to see the full profiles of first- and second-level connections. The more connections you have, the more full profiles you will see – making it easier for you to check out hiring managers and others you will meet before those interviews!
3. Follow Desired Companies
Get clear about your ideal employers and follow their company pages in LinkedIn. This keeps you up-to-date on what they are talking about – giving you great fodder for your interview. Some of their posts can also include the names and other information about your potential hiring manager or others who could help you open doors in the company. And LinkedIn allows you to follow 10,000 companies – that’s probably a lot more than your full list of targets.
4. Use the Alumni Feature
Including your education in your profile does more than show potential hiring managers what degree you earned from what school. Perhaps more importantly, it gets you on the radar of hiring managers who are your fellow alumni. But the alumni search tool works both ways. Get familiar with this extremely valuable feature. It is one of the best ways to find warm leads inside companies. By searching on your alma mater, you can find people who also went to your school. Then you can reach out, asking them for an informational interview or finding out if there is someone in the company to whom they can connect you. It’s the antidote to cold calling.
5. Add AKA/Common Misspellings
Save some of those 2,000 characters in your summary for a section called AKA/Common Misspellings and include all the different ways people may spell your name, your nicknames, maiden or married names, etc. That way, people can find you whether or not they know exactly how to spell your name.
6. Get Your Skills In Order
Literally. Sure, LinkedIn endorsements seem silly. Most of us have been endorsed for skills we don’t want to be known for – or we don’t even possess. The challenge is that even though we roll our eyes when we think about endorsements, they matter. A New York Times article underscores this, quoting Bill Peppler, a managing partner at the staffing firm Kavaliro. He seeks out the most endorsed person with specific skills in a particular city: “It’s hard to know how meaningful that will be in the long run, but to me, it makes them one of the most influential people in that region for what they do.”
7. Be Redundant
Take every opportunity to repeat all the keywords for which you want to be known. Make a list of them. Then prioritize them and add them to all parts of your profile. Make sure they are in your headline, summary and all relevant experience sections, too. Include an additional section at the bottom of your summary called Specialties. Repeat your keywords there, separated by commas.
These easy-to-implement actions will help you get found and make you more attractive to the hiring managers and recruiters who hold the key to your ideal next job.
William Arruda is the CEO of Reach Personal Branding and host of the Reach Interview Series. His full podcasts are available here.
This article was written by William Arruda from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.