The dream of every job seeker is that someone emails or calls with the perfect job lead. The person knows you or your work, and the company wants you to interview right away. The company hasn’t even posted the job, because that would be a big hassle.

They WANT you. THEY want you. They want YOU.

It’s the right company, the right job, and they want YOU. You are about 80% home already!

When this happens, it’s likely that LinkedIn played a role. LinkedIn is a miracle of modern technology. It has become the best friend a job seeker ever had. Whether you are a rookie or an expert, you can enhance your search by increasing your activity today.

Not looking right now? Well, unless you plan to retire from your current job in the next few months, you WILL need LinkedIn. Now is the time to dig your well, before you’re thirsty.

Here are some simple ways to build your presence and be found on LinkedIn.

  1. Update your Profile. Be direct, clear and self-promoting. Use the “headline” to describe your expertise. If you are actively seeking, consider putting the word “seeking” into your job title. Instead of just your name, consider using something like John Smith, Seeking Software Sales Position. Smart recruiters will even search on the word “seeking” and having it in your profile will bring attention–and hopefully results.
  2. Join up to 25 groups. Being a group member is powerful, because you can invite anyone in the group to link with you. Choose groups that align with your job function (marketing, nursing, sales, business development, engineering), with your industry (software, hardware, healthcare), of with your subject matter expertise (long-term care, battery design, public speaking, personal injury). Then, set your preferences so that you track discussions, daily or weekly. Make substantive, relevant points. Add to the conversation. Invite thought leaders to link with you.
  3. Increase your contacts to 500+. Each new connection links you to 9,000 more people, 6,000 more companies and 130 more industries! A client of mine had 250 contacts in December. Just 4 weeks later, he was up to 500+. At this level, you have access to millions of people. When you search on LinkedIn, your results are magnified exponentially. Start with the groups you belong to. Send messages to start a conversation. It can be as simple as, “Are you planning to go to the X conference next week?” My client found that only 3% answered his question, but 100% linked with him.
  4. Write an update twice each week. Find something in your resume that you can report out in the form an update. It keeps your name in front of your network constantly. It should be timely and relate to your skills. For example: “Eager to attend the forum on corporate giving sponsored by the Austin Association of Fund Raising Professionals.”
  5. Follow companies you’d like to work for. You’ll find a wealth of information on the company tabs. “Recent Updates” gives you news, “Careers” has job listings, “Insights” tells you about job changes, promotions and possible vacancies. “Recent Departures” tell you who are leaving and where they are going. Look at “People Also Viewed” to discover similar companies to follow.

Of course, this just scratches the surface. Check out your local community classes to learn more about LinkedIn. Like the internet, it’s organic, and growing. It’s changing and becoming a better resource every day. Be a part of it. Benefit from this miracle of technology!

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