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Are you using LinkedIn to its full potential ?

With only 9% of jobs advertised in Canada, the hidden job market is vast!

Not many people realize that job boards only account for an average 3% of the total job market while 75%+ of jobs are found through online and in-person networking. LinkedIn is a prime resource to find a job and be found. Over 86% of Hiring Managers use LinkedIn to find qualified and interested candidates.

Here are a few key tips for using LinkedIn.  

Complete your profile: Set a goal to have a complete profile status to avoid being passed over for lucrative job opportunities.

Promote your personal brand: Does your headline attract attention? Communicate succinctly and powerfully your differentiator; what is so special about YOU?

To say  “Seeking a new position” is vague and unappealing compared to a compelling headline such as: “Actively pursuing my next exciting project management opportunity”. Be specific in marketing yourself and your career direction.

Unemployed? Be an active participant: A job search involves 4.5 to 5 hours/day on serious work. Use LinkedIn to uncover leads at the companies or institutions you are aiming to join. Follow the companies you admire and where you want to work. Company pages are goldmines of information to generate names of key influencers, both current and former employees. Market yourself to both.  

With only 9% of jobs advertised in Canada, the hidden job market is vast!  Connecting with a person who can be your boss or your boss’s boss is a vital ingredient in your job search. Don’t assume there is no vacancy.

Groups are also a vital resource and LinkedIn allows you to join 50 groups. Join groups pertinent to your career goals and functions. Upon joining, introduce yourself clearly stating your expertise and career direction. Be gutsy; ask for leads! Don’t be passive in your approach to utilizing this feature.

Publish or Post updates daily.  This created top of mind. Share relevant information, articles and opinions to command attention of your industry expertise.  A passive profile will not give you the leverage you need nor will it adequately market the unique you.

Be available: If you are in career transition, be open to connecting providing there is value to both you and the person requesting the connection. LinkedIn is not for quantity; it’s quality!

If you are serious about your job search, you should have a network of 500 or more quality connections. On your profile, clearly display an email address and phone number to allow a decision maker to swiftly connect with you.

When sending a connection request, customize your invitation; do not use the default standard wording request which is very impersonal and unprofessional. Be specific in your connection request. And as a side note – make sure your email address sounds professional and does not look silly or portray you in an unfavorable light.

Look for jobs: Employers post genuine jobs on LinkedIn. You can drill down to specific job titles, sectors and geographic locations. Use the Advanced Search to uncover jobs by Company, Location, Function, Experience, Industry, and Salary. Sign up to receive email alerts as openings arise meeting your defined search criteria. The “Discover Jobs In Your Network” feature aligns jobs with connections, allowing you to utilize the power of referrals in your job hunt.

You can now see where the emphasis of your job search should be: LinkedIn. Are YOU using this powerful resource to its’ full potential?