3 Things to Keep in Mind before Joining LinkedIn

Most web-based career pundits tout LinkedIn membership as being a critical component to finding a great job. The site has well over 120 million members and is regularly adding new services and resources for job seekers to use in creating a personal brand and identifying employment opportunities.

Using LinkedIn as an essential strategy in a job search campaign is very reasonable and even expected by many employers. However, before jumping on the LinkedIn bandwagon, consider these 3 issues because they could make an important difference between finding employment through LinkedIn or coming up empty.

LinkedIn is only as helpful as the effort a job seeker is willing to put into it. Making the decision to use LinkedIn as a job search strategy is only the beginning of the journey. Many job seekers have the mistaken notion that just “being” on the site is enough to get noticed by employers. Instead, considerable care needs to be taken to create a compelling, concise, and easily readable profile narrative that promotes your personal brand.There is nothing more discouraging to employers or anyone for that matter than to see a LinkedIn profile that is clearly done in a hurry and without much thought. It will totally defeat the purpose of being on LinkedIn. Therefore, plan out the profile narrative to cover all major points related to job experience, community involvement, education, accomplishments, and skills.

Membership in LinkedIn can not be Passive, but must involve a commitment of time and energy. Creating a compelling profile is a great start, but it is essential to seek out colleagues and potential employers by reaching out into the community. This can involve searching and identifying people with similar interests or who work in positions of responsibility for companies you are targeting.

One very good way to achieve this is to join up to 3 groups that focus on specific career or job areas of interest to you. Read the groups posts regularly and respond with well-thought-out comments and posts of your own. This is a great way to get noticed by people who may be able and willing to help you at some future point.

Another approach is to search through the LinkedIn membership database to specifically target people you want to connect and build a relationship with. Request to become connected and start a dialogue regarding common interests.

LinkedIn’s job board has become more useful over time and now rivals many of the more established job boards, such as Indeed, Monster, and Simply Hired for access to posted job opportunities. It is possible to establish e-mail alerts on newly posted jobs using keyword phrases that you choose based on your career goals and specific job requirements. Remember that prospective employers you find on LinkedIn will most likely review your profile before reaching out more formally for a resume and related materials, so this is another reason to make the profile strong and persuasive.

LinkedIn can be an essential tool for finding a great job. However, think through the decision a bit before leaping onto the site. Time, energy, and perseverance are required in order to make LinkedIn worth the effort.

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