Leveraging LinkedIn to Find Career Opportunities

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Leveraging LinkedIn to Find Career Opportunities

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LinkedInLogo.jpgJob hunters know LinkedIn as the social network that caters primarily to job seekers and recruiters. Users create professional profiles and highlight job experience, internships and educational achievements. Yet there is more to leveraging the power of LinkedIn than merely creating a profile.

Be short and to the point. Make it easy for recruiters and potential employers to scan your background by providing a summary that features keywords. Leave out anecdotes. Instead, focus on highlights and achievements that are of interest to someone looking to hire you for your desired position. If you are at a loss for words and phrases, look at the job descriptions recruiters currently use to advertise available positions. Use some of these same keyword phrases.


Fill out the skills section. Do not be modest! This section is easy for a recruiter to scan, which makes it so valuable. List the types of skills that represent your strengths and are marketable as well. Since your LinkedIn friends have the opportunity to endorse you for these skills, it is a good idea to do this early on during your job search. This allows the section to grow with endorsements, which makes it look much more professional.

Network. Recruiters frequently find your name because you are connected either to the company they represent or to someone else who is connected to the company. If you are changing careers, it is vital that you branch out and make connections with professionals in the industry. Although it is possible to randomly send connection requests, it is much more acceptable to connect with one or two people whom you contact ahead of time. For example, you may want to connect with vendors or customers you currently deal with.

Follow companies in your niche. While these do not necessarily have to be the companies where you want to seek employment, it does help to stay in tune with industry trends and changes. LinkedIn offers you the option to follow these companies and learn about their updates. In addition, when you connect with the companies that do look like possible employer prospects, you might hear about positions opening up before anyone else does. This truly allows you to leverage LinkedIn's power to find a career opportunity.

Get Engaged. One powerful way to stand out is to have a potential employer see your name over and over again. If you get engaged with any posts they put out, they will take notice. Put thought into your engagement. Don't simply add a “great post” but think about the thread and the other comments and write something that will make you stand out from the crowd.

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TAP class, whose name is now Transition GPS due the passage of the 2011 Vow to Hire Heroes Act, was heavily geared towards providing military members the tools to become Government Service (GS) employees or defense industry professionals.  I certainly understand why.  After all, everyone in the class served in the military their entire career, some spanning over 30 years.  It makes sense that most would want to capitalize on the skills they acquired during their many years of service.

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