Helping your job prospects getting on social networking sites like LinkedIn is the new to-do thing, in a difficult job market. But as self-aware and as with it as young people are these days,you do have to wonder at them for the naive way in which they just blurt out on LinkedIn how they are just looking for a job.
That kind of brutal frankness just says to a potential employer that is is one person who has nothing else going on, and nothing better to do but to hopelessly cold call on LinkedIn. Is this the only way to go about your online job search – or is there a better way ?
To begin with, those youngsters coming on board LinkedIn with their I’m lost, please help meplea may not really be as clueless as they seem at first. Two years ago, when the job market was promising and there were such things as choices in jobs to pick from, looking helpless might have been a risk; but at a time when everyone and their uncle is looking for a job, being delicate about it is just not needed.
That is no longer your fault. It’s the fault of the economy. Still, there is a lot to be said for appearing to be in control even when you’re unemployed and desperate. In that spirit, your declarations going to your situation in your online job search, need to still look professional.
For instance, to just say that you are looking for an opportunity as many people do, does sound a little unnecessarily clueless, because it has an air to it of how you will accept anything. You need to make your jobless announcements more to the point – about how you’re qualified, and what exactly interests you.
LinkedIn even has a Professional Headline Tool to help you. Using phrases like moving to higher challenges to describe your situation might be a good opener. And since they give you status box on LinkedIn, you can use this to fill potential employers in on what you’re doing at the moment – the temporary consulting jobs you are taking up, and so on.
An online job search is powerful, for the way it grants you wide exposure. But when people do see you, you do still need to apply those traditional rules of putting together a resume to get their attention.
The first rule there, would be complete honesty. We’ve turned into a society of background checkers these days, and if they ask you specific questions about whom you worked for in those freelance assignments you’ve claimed on your online resume, you’ll need to give them very specific information.
If you come up with unconvincing replies that are short on specifics, they’ll probably think it right away that you’re making something up. Better than claiming imaginary work experience, would be just putting on your LinkedIn resume that you are open to accepting freelance work for very specific skills, for the added experience that they will give you.
Another rule of the LinkedIn resume is that you need to keep that status box updated every day. Letting on that you’re not serious enough about your job search to need to look in every day (by having an out-of-date status box for a month) can spell ruin.
The more specific the information that anyone finds on your page, the better your chances are. And of course, the cardinal rule of the online job search with social networking is, that you need to expand your network. You mustn’t think that the employer just directly comes and looks at your page.
Most of these opportunities come from acquaintances of acquaintances. You need to get out on LinkedIn, and add as many people as possible. For instance, there was this LinkedIn page with the regular qualifications and work experience a friend of mine had.
It didn’t really work out for her, until one day she put it out on her status update that she had just moved to Philadelphia. LinkedIn contacts who knew of an opportunity there right away got the wheels spinning, and a contact of a contact put her through to a promising lead. That is how LinkedIn works. You need to keep all your possibilities working for you.