linked in job searchWhen you finish your education and begin searching for a job, an important tool you have at your disposal is professional networking. Making connections with other professionals in your field can generate job leads and help you impress potential employers. The more professional connections you forge, the easier it will be for you to land the job you want. In today’s digital world, one of the most effective ways to connect with other professionals is through LinkedIn.

Why LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is a social network designed to foster professional collaboration among users. More than 120 million people are already active on LinkedIn, and approximately 1 million more people join the network each week. With so many people using the platform, you can easily connect with local professionals in your field who may be able to help you find a job or even offer you a position in their own companies. To further increase your chances of finding a desirable position, LinkedIn will also send you email alerts when relevant jobs become available.

Using LinkedIn

To maximize the benefits of this social network, job candidates should use LinkedIn as an online resume. When you complete your profile, make sure that you add information to all sections that are relevant to your career. LinkedIn allows you to include information about your academic record, past work experience, professional recommendations, and career goals. The platform also allows you to add links to external documents, such as a hard copy of your resume.

In addition, LinkedIn recently developed a new profile tool known as “add sections.” This tool allows you to include information about any written works you have published and foreign languages you speak. You can also add information about relevant skills you possess, such as familiarity with certain software programs. Finally, this tool allows you to add sections to your profile that cover your professional certifications and any patents you have earned.

Optimizing Your Profile

To create the most effective LinkedIn profile, you need to make sure that the profile is optimized for the specific job you hope to land. While it is important to include plenty of information on LinkedIn, the information you include should always be relevant to your chosen career. For example, if you want to work in the medical field, including a large amount of information about your past experience as a computer programmer is unnecessary and may actually decrease your chances of finding a job. You should also make sure that your profile can be easily scanned. Profile headings should be direct and concise, and you should leave out over-used buzzwords such as “game changer.” Keep your profile professional, and avoid including personal information that doesn’t add professional value to your resume.

Finding a job in an increasingly competitive job market is anything but easy. By creating valuable professional relationships on platforms like LinkedIn, you can greatly increase your chances of finding a position that is right for you. In addition, because LinkedIn acts as a digital resume, you will be able to reach a much larger number of potential employers than you would have ever been able to contact in person.