If you a job seeker and want recruiters to find you on LinkedIn, you'll want to use your status updates effectively. In designing your strategy, you might fall into one of two categories:
1. You are currently employed. (In this situation, you might not want your employer to know that you're looking for a job.)
2. You are currently unemployed. (In this situation, you do not want to sound desperate as you let the world know you are out of work and looking.)
Before I talk about the status bar, a word on your Headline: Hopefully you've written a strong headline and have that marketing tool in great shape. Perhaps you've mentioned in your headline that you are a job seeker or open to new opportunities.
For purposes of this article, let's assume the headline is all set. Now, moving on to the status bar:
Never fear! Use your LinkedIn profile to make yourself stand out. Luckily for you, recruiters do not just browse the profiles of the unemployed. They have a time-honored tradition of finding not-completely-happily-employed people and enticing them to move elsewhere!
The good news for you? Your task is simple. Just write a great profile. Keep your status bar updated with interesting business news that will catch potential clients' attention or make your boss know you're doing a great job where you are. You will by default catch recruiters' attention as they search through LinkedIn!
The boss never has to know.
Keep your language positive and engaging. Important note: You do NOT have to say anything in your status bar about looking for work! If you just attended a conference, or if you are studying the latest trends in your field, tell us that! Example:
...is ravenously reading up on Health Care reform debate and stimulus package issues.
This job seeker shows anyone who's looking that she is keeping up to date on current issues in her field. She makes herself marketable that way.
If you do choose to write that you are looking for a position, here are some things that DON'T work:
...is enjoying acting in her first theatrical production! [Why would you have this update posted for 12 days (at least)? What about your job search?]
...is looking for a job in IT. [boring and too broad]
...Any help would be appreciated. [desperate?]
...1 month ago [update please?]
...3 months ago [really. Update. Please?]
Some better updates:
... is seeking full time employment as an HR Manager in the Boston area. [If your headline is strong, this update will be a nice complement and will present itself as an opportunity for recruiters!]
...is actively networking and researching opportunities with established and growing architecture practices [This one shows you are doing your part to create a great position for yourself, without looking like you need help or are desperate for work.]
Let's take a look at one that tries hard but doesn't quite do the trick:
Accountant looking for next great opportunity!
There's some desperation coming through here. "Great opportunity" is a catch phrase that might not land the way you want it to land, especially with an exclamation point at the end. Use your *headline* to state what sets you apart from every other accountant. In your status bar, state what kind of position you are looking for, what sized firm you are targeting, or something about what activities related to your field you are doing day to day.
There is a fine line between enthusiasm and desperation. Get someone with a professional eye to check which side of the line you're on.
No matter what your update, make sure it is no more than 2 days old! How would you react if you were a recruiter and someone's status update were a month old? Or even 2 weeks old? How would you know whether their status were still current?
If you're not going to update your profile every few days, you'll be better off not using the status bar at all. Put what you're doing in your Summary statement so it stays the same and doesn't look like you've neglected it.
Keep it specific. Keep it positive. Keep it current.
And get professional assistance with your LinkedIn profile. It makes a difference.
There are times when it’s not a matter of finding the best job, but finding a job period, and finding it fast. Those types of times are upon us, and using the usual means of sending your cover letter and resume out don’t work if you need something quickly. So here are some tips on what you can do when you need to land a job like yesterday.
The first secret to finding a job quickly is to understand that starting at the beginning doesn’t work, we need to tap into already existing circumstances in order to do it quickly.
One way that works is to look at the networks you already have; whether professional or personal. Many times these networks aren’t really tapped that often or even thought of as networks because they may be people you just hang out with in general, or professional ties you connect with to let of some steam, etc.
But when it comes to finding a job quickly, forget about anything but letting people know you’re looking for a job and that you’re willing to work at just about anything to get it.
Remember, you’re trying to get a job in a very difficult market. That requires lowering expectations in order to survive until things turn around.
The key point it to identify networks you already have and don’t assume they don’t have any value in job hunting. Anyone has the potential to know about a job available somewhere. Just start asking and you’ll be surprised at how many opportunities start to turn up.
If you’re too fussy at a time like this, then in reality, you’re really not trying to get hired quickly, you’re acting like we’re in a normal hiring environment, which we’re not. So you must be flexible in this type of economic situation, and if you’re not, you’re going to end up having to be one way or the other. Better to do it right away than be brought to the place of having absolutely no option but to take the first thing that comes your way.
How about your neighbors
If you have had some contact with neighbors, they can make an excellent source of information for possible job openings. They also talk to one another a lot, so if you ask one about it, they can spread the word around the neighborhood and you’re sure to get a hit quickly.
We tend to put our net way too far at times we’re looking for jobs, and if we have the time to do that, it works great, but when we need a job quick, local is probably the best place to spread the word.
So any of your friends can be sources for job opportunities, and don’t fail to let them know you’re looking. Almost all of this is about communication, and the more you communicate locally, the better chances at getting a job quick.
Most of us belong to some type of organization or another; whether church or what have you, and there are a lot of people you can let know that you are job hunting, and that can very quickly generate legitimate job possibilities in a hurry.
Just get the word of mouth going and get out of the way.
Former managers or supervisors
Assuming you’re on good terms with former bosses, they are a great source for job openings; not only for where they work, but they are always in contact with other businesses and managers that are looking for people. You never know, if you left on good terms with them, they offer you a job then and there.
Let your fingers do the walking
Yes, the yellow pages are still around, and they offer up plenty ideas of jobs you can look for. Remember, local will provide you a job much quicker than national searches, so look through the businesses to find places you can contact immediately.
This one almost always works
I’ve had to apply this strategy to my job searches in the past when I was getting desperate, and that’s to go to a local mall and start applying.
Many times you don’t have to go store to store, but can find an answer desk where any store in the mall that is looking for workers has that information available.
While that’s what I would try first, I would still try individual stores if there’s not much there, as many stores don’t immediately post job opportunities, and so you could walk into one without any competition to battle for the job.
This can be one of the fastest ways to get a job if you are getting right down to it.
Online job searches
You would have thought I would have listed this first, but with needing a job quickly, the Internet, in many cases, is much slower to respond, and you may have to go through many hoops to get something.
So because the parameters we’re talking about is securing a job quickly, we can’t rely on the Internet for that.
Now having said that, I would still put out my application, but I would it in conjunction with my local networks and searches. If you don’t you’ll find yourself getting deeper in financial trouble waiting for an online opening or response, which probably is the most competitive and time consuming out there.
Follow these numerous strategies and you should be able to get a job quickly and start bringing in some much needed income.