Five easy ways to use LinkedIn for your job search

By Hillary Mantis

A lot of students would like to make better use of LinkedIn, but are not sure how to do so. They sometimes doubt that they can actually get a job from it. Well, the good news is, they might.

I’ve been hearing more stories lately from students and graduates who found a job or at least a great lead from LinkedIn. According to a recent story in the New York Times, many companies are increasingly relying on internal candidate referrals, who utilize their LinkedIn networks, rather than job web sites.

“The trend, experts say, has been amplified since the end of the recession by a tight job market and by employee networks on LinkedIn and Facebook, which can help employers find candidates more quickly and bypass reams of applications from job search sites like Monster.com,” the article said.

Here are a few simple ways to start to get LinkedIn to work for you:

1. Find an “In” to the HR Department
If you are applying to a large company or firm’s HR department, look to see if any of your connections, even remote ones, are part of the organization. I have found that people are often more than willing to forward your resume internally to their HR department for you, or walk a copy of your resume to the HR department. I’ve seen that little “push” be sufficient to get candidates called in for an interview.

2. Complete your Full Profile
According to the LinkedIn learning center, users who complete their full profile are up to 40 times more likely to hear about opportunities from Linked In, than those who don’t. So think about spending a rainy Saturday filling in the incomplete parts of your profile.

3. Join Groups, and Start Your Own Group
A lot of LinkedIn groups post internal job postings. I’ve seen a lot of listings that I haven’t seen posted elsewhere. A good place to start is to join the LinkedIn alumni group for both your undergraduate school, and your law school group. You will be able to instantly expand your network. Another great idea is to start your own group. Why not? If you have a particular interest you can be the person who initiates the group. You can then invite people to join your new group, who might turn out to be good contacts for you.

4. Post Frequent Updates
If you have written an article or a blog post, or have other news or achievements to share, post an update. It’s a great way to remain visible to your contacts.

5. Use Industry Buzzwords
If you post your resume on LinkedIn, make sure to include a lot of industry buzzwords that will pop up if a recruiter or other employer is searching for candidates, using a keyword search. I would also include a lot of buzzwords in all of the other areas that you have completed in your LinkedIn profile. I have met lawyers who have received calls from recruiters this way. Also make sure to include any foreign language skills, as I’ve seen that get picked up by recruiters as well.

Hillary Mantis is a consultant who works with law students, pre-law students, and lawyers nationwide. She is the author of Alternative Careers for Lawyers, co- author of Jobs for Lawyers: Effective Techniques for Getting Hired in Today’s Legal Marketplace, and a Director of the Pre Law Program at Fordham University. You can contact Hillary at altcareer@aol.com.

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