- Build your network before you need it. Click the “Add Connections” button and look for people that you may know, have known, or have worked, studied, socialized, and collaborated with in the past.
- Think in terms of reciprocal relationships. Instead of asking yourself only, “What can this person do for me?” when requesting connections, ask yourself “What can I do for this person?”
- Personalize your connection requests for better results. Add a personal note to the generic "I'd like to add you to my professional network" line. Giving an indication of where you met (e.g., at a conference) will help them to remember you and increase your rate of accepted link invitations.
- Spread the word about your job hunt. Use the update feature to tell everyone in your network that you are looking for a job and ask for leads and introductions. Announce what type of job you are looking for and be as specific as possible. Don’t be ashamed. Everyone has been on a job search and most will be again…and again.
- Customize your headline. The text beneath your name at the top of your profile page is called your headline. LinkedIn® will insert default text that matches your current job title, if you have one. However, that text can be easily changed to reflect what you want contacts and recruiters to see first. For example, one of my clients adopted the headline, “Executive Assistant, Actively Seeking New Opportunities” and saw an increase in interview offers.
- If you are bilingual, build a bilingual profile. If you are proficient in a second language and want to capitalize on that skill set in the job market, you can build a second version of your profile in your second language.
- Optimize your profile for searches. Use LinkedIn®'s suggested key words and phrases to attract recruiters who are looking for what you have to offer. Use consistent word choices, tenses, and adhere to industry standards. Check your grammar and spelling meticulously.
- Exchange recommendations and endorsements. Invite people with whom you have worked or studied to post a positive review on your profile, or to endorse your skills. Positively recommend and endorse others.
- Join groups that match your interests. There are many networking groups on LinkedIn®. You can search by topic yourself, but after you have built a profile the system will suggest some for you. Groups can keep you apprised of new developments, discussions, and jobs in your industry or profession. You may also let a group know that you are searching for a new position. Set your e-mail notification frequency to suit your preferences.
- Follow companies where you may be interested in working. Searching for companies in your geographic area and professional field will enable you to follow them and receive notifications of new job openings.
- Actively look for job postings and find useful connections. Browse the “Jobs” tab in LinkedIn® for positions that might interest you. Check for second or third-degree connections between yourself and the company– a personal introduction from a first or second degree contact within a company might not automatically get you a job, but can help you get an interview.
- View your own profile page regularly. Many people overlook this strategy, but it's useful because LinkedIn® will constantly suggest people you might know, companies you might want to follow, groups you might want to join, jobs you might be interested in, and new ways to improve your profile.
- Remember that LinkedIn is a professional network. Don't confuse LinkedIn® with social networks or social bookmarking. Keep your content professional and relevant.
English Language, Culture and Curriculum Consultant