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Best Practices for Using LinkedIn to Find an IT Job

Best Practices for Using LinkedIn to Find an IT Job

If you’re not getting much response from the job boards, we have some good news for you. Recent studies show that the massive majority of people find a new job through networking, with less than 10% finding success through job ads. The potential downside to this data, however, is the fact that networking your way to a new job takes a little bit more strategy than simply sending your resume off in response to job ads. We’re not going to pretend there’s some quick and easy way to succeed in using LinkedIn to find an IT job. But we do have some best practices that will give you the upper hand.

Don’t Wait Until You’re Looking

The reason networking works is because it’s a mutually beneficial activity for all involved. That means you need to be active on a consistent basis, not just when you need it most. Even when you’re happily employed without a thought of leaving, make sure you keep your profile updated and stay engaged with your connections. Add to the conversation on status updates and group discussions, and keep building your network steadily over time.

Don’t Underestimate a Good Profile Pic

Your profile picture is one of the first places people’s eyes are drawn to. Thus, it’s a critical factor in establishing a great first impression of yourself as a personable, professional individual. Neglect to add a photo or use one that is blurry, low quality or unprofessional, and whoever is viewing your profile is going to naturally make a snap judgement about the kind of person you are. Unfortunate but inevitable.

Optimize Your Headline

LinkedIn’s default headline is your current job title at your current employer. However, this is customizable, and you should by all means take that opportunity to do so. Why? Because after your profile picture, it’s almost certainly the first place someone will look to figure out who you are. It’s a great space to highlight your skills and specialties, the key benefit you deliver or accomplishment you’ve achieved in your role (Example: “Senior Software Engineer with 10 years of experience in Ruby on Rails and Javascript”) Make sure to include one or two critical keywords that will make you searchable.

Write a Killer Summary

After your headline, the summary is the next place people will read. It’s also the first section to offer you ample space to really describe who you are. Leave the impersonal approach for your resume. This is the place to articulate your passions and values in your career, provide a snapshot of your achievements and accomplishments, and set yourself apart from your competition. Keep it concise but descriptive to attract the attention of your target reader.

Add Media

LinkedIn allows you to create a truly interactive, engaging profile by attaching documents, photos, links, videos and presentations to your summary and your work experiences. This is an excellent opportunity to showcase your portfolio or any previous work examples. It gives your profile extra depth and genuinely sets you apart from other jobseekers.

Ask for Recommendations

Recommendations give your profile the element of an outside perspective on who you are and what you’ve accomplished in your career. They enhance your reputation and also show that you’re competent of building solid working relationships.

Stay Active and Engaged

It’s not enough to fill out your profile and build connections. If you want to stay top-of-mind with your network, you need to stay active and engaged, showing up on their home page feed on a regular basis with high-value contributions. That means posting industry-relevant status updates, participating in group discussions, and engaging with your followers’ updates and posts.

Using LinkedIn to Find an IT Job

Sound like a lot of work? We won’t deny that using LinkedIn to find an IT job is going to take some effort on your part. But if you get started well before you’re actively job seeking, and you make a daily or weekly habit to stay actively networking, LinkedIn will become a valuable tool is helping you uncover opportunities.

If you need an extra hand in your IT job search, we’ve got you covered. Download our free job seeker guide for tips on resume writing, networking, interviewing, and more.