5 LinkedIn Tricks for Job Seekers

You know LinkedIn is a great tool for job seekers, but do you know the tricks for using LinkedIn that will improve your chances of finding a job that's a good match?

1. Look at Posted Jobs

This one seems obvious. LinkedIn often matches your skills and industry to list posted jobs that might interest you. This is a great tool and you can always narrow down your search to include certain locations. But you should also study posted jobs for key words and phrases that recruiters are looking for. Study several job postings (even those in locations you aren't interested in) and take notes of all those key words and write them down. Then really assess your own profile. Do you have those skills? Are they listed in the way a posting has them listed? Tailoring your profile to include those key terms helps put your name in front of recruiters who otherwise might never see you.

2. Keep in Touch

Staying in touch with former bosses and colleagues is always a good professional move. But when you're looking for a job, being in touch with old colleagues is especially important. They could be seeking new employees or know a job you would be perfect for. Staying in touch is exactly that – sending occasional notes to check in or offer congratulations when they post a career move or a new skill. If you only keep in touch when you want something, they may not be as inclined to help you. Make this a routine part of your LinkedIn habits. And don't forget to let former colleagues know of any job opportunities you know of that might suit them perfectly as well.

3. Sing Your Praises

Give yourself a shout out in the most professional way possible! Don't be boastful or you risk annoying people (and it's unprofessional), but do let others know when you have mastered new skills with a class or a new certification. Comment on a helpful article, invite others to participate in an online seminar you found, or post an informal meeting of a local nurses' association. Let others know you are constantly improving and adding to your skills.

4. Participate

This tip is for anyone on LinkedIn, whether they are actively looking for a new job or not. The incredible variety of discussion groups and posts on LinkedIn makes it easy for anyone to find a place that suits them. But you can't just join and tag yourself as a member, says Marie-Elena Barry, a senior practice and policy analyst at the American Nurses Association. You really have to become part of the discussion, she says. Recruiters can see who is an active poster and with a little research can see how you spark interesting and professionally relevant discussions. Several tools now help recruiters compile information on the most active contributors on spaces like LinkedIn. If you are looking for a job, this puts you in a great position. Just make sure your comments are genuine and not posted just for the sake of being seen. Finding a group that matches your interests is a good place to start.

5. Polish Up

This can't be said enough - keep your profile polished. You want a professional-looking photo (just a head shot is ideal), clear wording that's free of errors, and a complete listing of your credentials. Don't under- or over-represent yourself. Have someone else read your profile for clarity and to catch any errors. This is your first impression on anyone considering you for a job – make it a good one!  

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