How to Use LinkedIn to Support Your Job Search
LinkedIn is a great resource for job seekers, but you may wonder how to best leverage it. Our team of executive recruiters uses LinkedIn every day as a part of our tool kit to find and recruit food and beverage industry professionals. So today we’re sharing our best Pro Tips on how to use LinkedIn to support your job search:
- Open to Work: First and foremost, if you are actively open to new opportunities, be very clear about that on your profile. There’s a setting where you can indicate that you are “open to work” – and you can choose whether everyone can see that, or only recruiters who have what’s called a “LinkedIn Recruiter” account. If you can be completely open, great! Mention “Open to work” in your title, headline, and your “About” section.
- Location: Next, be sure to indicate your location – and not just “United States.” Most recruiting-related searches on LinkedIn include location criteria, and if you do NOT have your general city, state location populated, you will be invisible in those search results. Remember, you’re welcome to include “Open to relocation” in your profile (see below regarding Relocation).
- Industry: Under the “industry” field on your profile, indicate the industry you work in, not your job. For instance, if you are a project engineer working in the food & beverage industry, your industry should be “food and beverage” or “food production”, not “engineering.”
- Experience: Include a detailed description of each job experience. Mention what the company does/did. Be sure and include the keywords you see in job postings that align well with your background.
- Proofread: Ask someone else to proofread your LinkedIn profile. Nobody is good at proofreading their own content. We’ve seen people who have misspelled job titles, employer names, and even their own names. One profile we viewed recently indicated that the candidate had very good “attention to dtail.”
- Relocation: Additionally, if you are open to relocation, be very clear about that. If you are openly job hunting, it’s worth putting right in your headline. (e.g., “Food Scientist specializing in New Product Development. Looking / Open to work. Open to relocation anywhere in the Midwest.”)
Growing Your Network
- LinkedIn Network: Make sure to grow your network to a healthy size to be visible, ideally 500+ connections. Why? Because you aren’t actually on LinkedIn, rather, for all practical purposes, only on that portion of LinkedIn that is visible within 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-degree connections of your personal network.
- Connections: Growing your network is good, but don’t over-send connection requests to strangers. If you do, and enough of them indicate that they don’t know you, you can lose your LinkedIn account access.
Check out our recent blog Networking Tips for Online and In-Person Events to learn how to grow your network.
- Email Address: Make sure to add multiple valid email addresses (personal and work) to your LinkedIn account (under settings) – so you can always get a password reminder/reset if needed. You want to retain access to your Linked Account so that you don’t have to start over. It’s mind-boggling how often we see people who have multiple LinkedIn profiles, specifically because they forgot a password and lost access.
- About Section: The “About” section is critical, but many LinkedIn users don’t include any information. You don’t want a recruiter to have to comb through your entire profile trying to figure out who you are, what you bring to the table, and what you want to do next in your career. As you create your “About” section, keep in mind that as a job seeker, it’s all about answering the question “why should we hire you?”
- Paid Account: Lastly, we often get asked whether the paid version (for job seekers) of LinkedIn is worth it. The simple answer is yes, but only if you like LinkedIn and you are a frequent user.
LinkedIn can be a great resource, but only to the extent that you use it well. If you are a food & beverage professional, reach out to anyone on our team with questions about how to connect with us on LinkedIn.Follow Kinsa Group on LinkedIn
Kinsa Group’s food industry recruiters and our broad network of food industry executives are always looking for top talent and we’d like to help you find the best opportunity to match your skills. Submit your resume today to secure your future.
This blog was written by George Blomgren, Kinsa Group Recruiting Manager. Connect with him on LinkedIn.