Invest time into your profile. The first thing that any potential employer is going to do is review your profile. Build your profile in a way that presents you as the best candidate for the job. Make sure that your profile is complete, has a photo and that it includes keywords that are relevant to your target position.
Actively build your network. The power of LinkedIn lies in your connections. The more people you are connected to, the more likely it will lead you to a job. Make an effort to connect with people but only add people that you know and trust. Join groups, participate in discussions, and make an effort to reach out to people who work in your industry.
Get recommendations. People will be more likely to trust you if your past employers and colleagues have given you recommendations. These recommendations tell potential employers that you are trustworthy and that you’re good at what you do. Think of it as today’s form of a reference (although you will also have to provide a reference). The quickest way to get recommendations is to ask for them. You can also encourage your contacts to recommend you by providing them with a recommendation. Often they’ll be so touched by your words that they’ll recommend you too.
Identify opportunities. Some companies exclusively post their open positions on LinkedIn. The best way to find these jobs is to follow your target companies and to conduct a job search. Also when you pay attention to a company’s updates you can see where they are expanding, which may allow you to identify potential opportunities before they are even posted.
LinkedIn requires a consistent effort, but that doesn’t mean that you have to be on there for hours every day. The key is to be strategic and to stay focused. Also, whenever possible take the opportunity to give back to your network. Once people see a benefit to connecting with you, your network will grow exponentially.
(Written by: Karen Bivand)