OK, so you're all set with a LinkedIn photo that's both professional and engaging, keyword-driven content, endorsements, testimonials and all the other features we've talked about in LinkedIn. Now there are some new ways for you to leverage LI to get your next job. According to Lily Zhang of The Muse, who has researched what's new on LI, there are some new features to take note of. I discuss 3 of the best:
1. Endorsements - redeemed from the junk pile! Most of us have viewed the endorsements section of LinkedIn profiles to be kind of weak and a waste of time. But now recruiters can search and sort potential candidates by the skills listed in your endorsement section.
So, what can you do? When writing a LinkedIn profile, make sure to include the top keywords for the position you want in your Summary, in a skills list you create, and in your job summaries. Also, respond to the questions about your contacts' skills when they pop up, both because this practice enables you to help others and also because it invites reciprocol endorsements.
2. A Shift to an Instant Messaging / Chat format for emailing within LI - Yeah! For more than a century job seekers have relied on longish cover letters and for the last couple of decades on lengthy emails to communicate with recruiters. And LinkedIn, as a relatively old social media job search technology compared to Twitter, FB, and other platforms, hasn't innovated until now in its intra-LI communications.
What can you do now? Take advantage of the speed and power of the fast-read messaging you can do to recruiters now. We have become a society that prefers its communications in quick bytes. Practice your one-sentence or multi-phrase personal brand statement and add a short request to recruiters. If you really want to write a long email, go ahead, but it may not get read.
3. Network within your LinkedIn connections easily when you see a job you like - streamline your process! I've recommended for a long time that networking within the current workforce of a company you are interested in is a great way to get an employee referral. This channel is a super powerful and effective way to get hired (one of of 10 chance compared to 1 out of 100). Now LI has cut out several steps from the process of identifying appropriate employees to contact.
What can you do? Absolutely take advantage of LI's employee suggestions to network within your target company. It's a big time saver and may even make this process easy enough to actually implement!
There's another reason to leverage the inside company connections you can make when you uncover a job you are interested in. LI has blocked one of the workarounds you may have relied on in the past to contact someone out of your network with the Free version: you can no longer email within Groups. I guess it had to happen sometime. At least now the process has been made easier in another way.
What are some takeaways from these new LI changes? Fullly utilize LinkedIn as one of your most valuable resources, surpassing even the executive resume in many cases. Reread the blog posts on this site that talk about how to optimize LI for job search. And continue to sharpen your pencil to master short-form communication. Look to LI to further streamline the profile. Keep your eye on the future: candidates will at some point be sourced primarily from the Internet, so build your online identity and expand your online footprint now.
Want help writing a LinkedIn profile? Contact me now. Thanks!