How to Use LinkedIn to Advance Your Career

With 500 million worldwide users, LinkedIn can help you establish a wide professional network. It is also a powerful marketing tool that can boost or derail your job search. A reported 87% of recruiters source passive job candidates on the social network for busy professionals.. So, if you are a jobseeker and not on LinkedIn you are basically invisible.

The keys to leveraging the strength of LinkedIn? SEO, KLT and TOMLinkedIn networking to advance your career

SEO: LinkedIn is keyword-driven and you are on LinkedIn to be found, right? Including the keywords that someone might use to find a person with your skillset throughout your profile, will ensure that you appear higher in recruiters’ search results.

KLT: People do business with people that they know, like and trust. Don’t just make connections – start conversations and build relationships. Be approachable and highlight your expertise by sharing helpful information.

TOM: Stay top of mind through frequent activity. A recruiter may not have a position for you right now, but you want them to remember you when an opportunity does arise.

Your LinkedIn profile should be a 3-dimensional snapshot of you as a professional. According to LinkedIn, many recruiters consider your summary section the most important part of your profile. Unfortunately, I see that many people are not using this powerful section because they are unsure of how to promote themselves without sounding boastful. Simply put, people want to meet the person behind the profile. Use your summary to share your passion for your work, your achievements and what differentiates you from your competition. And don’t forget a headshot! Profiles that include a photo are 21 times more likely to be viewed than those without one, and 9 times more likely to receive connection requests.

In today’s competitive job market, how you use your LinkedIn profile is as important as its content.

Your resume and LinkedIn profile work together to solidify your professional brand and are most effective when used in conjunction with a strategic job search plan. You can speed up your job search by developing a strategy to identify and attract your target market, and being intentional with your LinkedIn activity to connect with decision makers. The right kind of activity will draw attention to your profile – which means your next job just might find you.

Many job seekers I work with are concerned for their privacy, which is definitely something we all have to worry about. However, you have complete control over what people see, since you are determining what information you share about yourself. If you are conducting a stealth job search, send me an email and I’ll be glad to share strategies to keep your activity under the radar.

It is important to stay up on LinkedIn changes. I lead monthly workshops at the local library to help job seekers and business owners navigate the new interface, and share how I have used LinkedIn to build a steady sales pipeline and national referral network for my career coaching practice. If you are new to LinkedIn, a hands-on workshop can get you up to speed quickly. It can take a while to cultivate a professional network, so I recommend establishing a LinkedIn presence now, before you may need it to promote your job search.

An inspirational Career Coach, Resume Expert and Job Search Specialist, Trish Thomas has been helping people develop the tools, strategies and confidence to build satisfying careers since 2009. Providing structure, support and objective advice, she guides her clients through the job search process to make it less overwhelming and more successful. Ready to move from where you are, to where you want to be? Contact Trish today to see how she can help you gain the competitive edge to advance your career. (860) 658-6480 or trish.thomas@edgecareersolutions.com. Discover your EDGE.