The Power in Your Profile: How LinkedIn Can Be Leveraged to Lead a Fruitful Job Hunt

By Eve Orsburn, CEO of Social Media Delivered

If you have a profile on LinkedIn, you are already aware of the strength in what I find to be the most powerful social media tool available for career searches.

LinkedIn networks more than 60 million professionals with more than half of them located outside the United States. According to a TechCrunch study, a new LinkedIn user joins every second. Chances of being noticed by a company improve when you have a connection. LinkedIn excels at leveraging connections by creating relationships.

On LinkedIn, click the “Jobs” tab at the top. And check out the LinkedIn job search tutorial. In addition, here are a few secrets for using Groups on LinkedIn to give your job search superiority:

Find a Group

Click “Search Groups” in the drop-down section on the top right of LinkedIn and enter a keyword. For example, if you are an accounting professional and enter “accounting” in the groups search, 900+ groups pop up. Let’s assume you want to work in Dallas. Add the keyword “Dallas,” and the search narrows. Read group descriptions and check the number of members. If there are only a few members, it won’t give you a great opportunity to build your network. Once you find a group that looks like a good target, click “Join this Group.” Some immediately accept requests. Others check your profile to make sure you are a good match.

Join a Group

Repeat the process with groups that may expose you to targeted prospects. Consider joining groups with your interests. You may find companies you’re interested in working for that have their own groups. You can join up to 50 groups, but it’s a good idea to limit yourself to 10 or 20, so you’ll have time to participate and bring value.

Exclusive Job Listings

After being accepted into a LinkedIn group, take time to explore it. The first place you will want to click is the tab labeled “Jobs.” This is where members post jobs pertaining to specialties of the group. Because these listings are free, this may be the only place this job is posted. You can post under jobs within a group you are looking for a position in. Keep this listing short, and post experience and talents in a catchy fashion.

Direct Connect

In LinkedIn, you can usually only directly contact people in your network. When you join a group, you have the ability to communicate directly with almost all members, unless they have stipulated that group members are not be able to contact them (which is rare). Use this opportunity to reach out to people you want to meet. Explain what help you would like and what you can do for them.

Get Noticed

Offer value to group members. Comment on discussions with valuable information and post discussions and news articles. I advise posting or commenting in each group once a week to keep visibility up without being overzealous. Read the guidelines to posting on each group (usually at the top of the discussion section).

Get Work While Searching for a Job

Often, someone within a group is looking for help or offering temporary employment for an individual with specific knowledge in the area being discussed. Comment to respond or reply privately. These positions can turn into full-time gigs.

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