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LinkedIn - Why You Need to Be On It

By Jewel Bracy DeMaio

When it comes to effective job search, LinkedIn is, hands-down, the place to be – more specifically: the place to get found and be seen. Building a solid brand presence on LinkedIn will put an end to much of the spinning-of-the-wheels that surrounds job search, and accelerate you along your path to landing the perfect executive role that you want!

LinkedIn is the #1 social media site for job search. Employers and recruiters are guaranteed to search for you on LinkedIn, and what they find there will determine whether they call you! Jobvite’s 2014 Social Recruiting Survey says 94% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find job candidates, and 79% report hiring someone through LinkedIn.

New -- Executive -- Approach to LinkedIn

Adopt a mindset shift: LinkedIn was not built for you to conduct a job search. LinkedIn was built for employers and recruiters to search for you. The entire point of LinkedIn is to get found by relevant decision makers in your industry as you assess different career opportunities. To make sure they see you, avoid the following LinkedIn mistakes:

Mistake #1: Writing An Un-Searchable Profile

LinkedIn is a search engine that works similarly to Google. The thought process you use when you search Google is analogous to that which the recruiters use on LinkedIn. Just like you’re not scrolling down to page 72 in your search for plumber immediately after your basement pipe bursts, the recruiter is not scrolling down into the abyss to find you – even if you do have the particular brand of skills and expertise he wants.

The solution is to properly keyword optimize your profile. Start with the “skills” section of LinkedIn, begin to type in an area of expertise, and allow LinkedIn to auto-fill the term for you. If LinkedIn is auto-suggesting a term, that means that’s what users on LinkedIn are searching for. Use those same keywords throughout your profile.

[MORE: The 25 Best Keywords for Your Job Search.]

Mistake #2: Keeping Your Network Tight & Exclusive

This is not a members-only country club. LinkedIn is the world stage!

Your LinkedIn network is the most valuable part of LinkedIn and the key to truly leveraging the system. The size and depth of your network directly correlate to how long your job search will take. The entire point of LinkedIn is to be connected with people and demonstrate your expertise. The more strategic connections, the better.

The strategy is to systematically expand your network. Join LinkedIn’s LION network. LION stands for LinkedIn Open Networking. LIONS are people with tens of thousands of connections. Being connected to them means you automatically have tens and hundreds of thousands more people in your network. This is what you need to be seen by the decision makers on LinkedIn. Search for “LION” in LinkedIn’s main search bar, view their profiles and connect. LIONs typically do not click “I Don’t Know This Person” or “Report As Spam.”

[MORE: How to Engage Recruiters and Employers with LinkedIn Groups.]

Mistake #3: Applying For Jobs The Old-School Way

Being on LinkedIn provides you access to more than 300 million users worldwide – that’s a new ball game. Although LinkedIn features job listings, it’s a mistake to quickly hit the “apply” or “submit” buttons. After all, that’s what 99% of your competition has already done several thousand times over.

The correct approach when you come across an opening is to search for and connect with a relevant person who works there. That could be either someone in HR or a decision maker in the functional area relevant to you. Send a personal message to become top of mind with the person and stand out from the masses.

[MORE: Advance Your Job Search with Advanced People Search.]

Bottom Line

LinkedIn is evolving practically every day. It is the solution to getting past the hurdles of not hearing a response to your resume and finding out who the real decision makers are. LinkedIn can quickly turn your “job search” into “job found.”

More About LinkedIn:

About this author...

Jewel Bracy DeMaio, Job-Hunt's Executive Job Search Expert, finds out who you are, what you do, and the value you bring, and articulates that in a way that invites the employers and recruiters to call you. Ms. DeMaio is a triple-certified, nationally-recognized executive resume writer and job search coach. She is the author of The Ultimate Job Search Guide, available on Amazon. Learn more at, or call 855-JOB-FOUND

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