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Career Hacker: Use LinkedIn to find your next IT job

September 02, 2014
By Melissa McFall

In a world where social media has become a recruiting must, it has also become a great tool for job seekers. Especially in IT, LinkedIn can be a great resource for finding your next opportunity. There are a few simple things you can do to maximize your chance of finding a great position through LinkedIn.

Make sure your profile includes your most recent work experience

When you have your updated work experience on your LinkedIn Profile, you increase your chances of finding a more relevant opportunity for your skillset. Particularly in IT, recruiters use LinkedIn as a main tool to source candidates, so you want to make sure your profile accurately reflects your experience. This will allow recruiters to contact you about opportunities aligned to your skills.

Reduce solicitations for the wrong jobs

If you’re getting inundated with solicitations that don’t match your interests, try paring down your profile. Remove tasks and accomplishments that don’t fit your current interests. If you’re public about your job search, you can also include specific requests right in your Summary.

Update your profile when you obtain new skills

One thing that gets your profile additional visibility is the updating of your skills. When you make a profile edit, an announcement is sent to your network to alert them that you have made a change. This is a great opportunity to showcase the skills you’ve been growing. If you are connected to people in your network who have hiring power, they’ll notice the new expertise you can bring to the table. 

Set up job alerts

Job alerts are a great function on LinkedIn. In the Jobs section on the main toolbar, you can access a ton of positions that match your skills. Now, if you have a lot going on in your life, it’s ridiculous to believe that you will have the time to access this tab daily to look for new jobs that have been posted. Do not fear, there is a Saved Search function. Here you can select search criteria, and when an opening matches these criteria, you get alerted. It can’t get much easier than that.

Cross-reference open positions with contacts in your network

Those of us who have been using LinkedIn for several years had to do this manually all the time. There is now a more automated way to do this, but it won’t always be useful. If you navigate to the Jobs page, on the bottom of the page there is a section where the site prompts you to “Discover Jobs in Your Network.” Here, you can choose certain prepopulated organizations to research. When you click on a company of interest, you can read about it and also see a list of open positions in addition to a list of current first-level connections who may be able to refer you to an opening. If you find a position of interest, reach out to a good connection and instead of sending your resume through HR, have them refer you directly.

If you find a job of interest through a search, you can also find contacts who work there by typing the name of the organization you are interested in applying to into the search function at the top of your screen. Make sure the drop-down arrow helps you set the search function to People. Then, type in the name of the company you are investigating. If you have a first-level connection, have them refer you instead of applying via the website. Referrals of this nature will almost always get you further than applying through HR or a corporate website.

Join groups of interest

Joining groups and setting up your profile to receive daily or weekly feeds is a great way to keep up to date on what’s going on in your areas of interest. Professional groups often post information on positions and projects that they are seeking assistance with. Replying directly to a posting about such an opportunity will give you a leg up past applying through a website. Also, if you can get active within group discussions and set yourself up as an expert in your area of knowledge, people will start to recognize your name, and thus think of you as the coveted resource you are!

Good luck in your job hunt. Using LinkedIn to maximize your efficiency and use your network to its best capabilities should increase the likelihood of positive results!

Using LinkedIn to find an IT job? Make sure to read the Top 10 things your LinkedIn profile needs.

Melissa McFall has worked over nine years in the IT staffing and services industry, including six years as an IT recruiter. She is an expert in recruiter/client relations and service delivery.

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