Career Corner / Are You LinkedIn or Left Out?
With the majority of employees still working remotely and staying socially distant, the old methods of job searching and networking are long gone. Companies continue to hire interns and full-time positions, but the job search and hiring process have gone virtual. Organizations are now utilizing social media platforms such as LinkedIn to research and connect with prospective employees. While this is no surprise to most of us, it changes some things to which we are accustomed.
One of the most significant changes or advancements is your online presence — it is imperative to clean up your digital dirt. If you engage in social media, ensure that it reflects your brand and how you want employers to see you. According to CareerBuilder, in 2018, 70% reported using social media to learn more about candidates; in 2020, 98% of employers reported conducting background checks on social media to help with their search (McKean, 2020). Candidates should have a thorough, professional online presence.
LinkedIn is a great way to ensure you put your best foot forward in the online networking world. LinkedIn is the largest professional networking site, with more than 133 million users worldwide. While 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn to recruit candidates, more and more employers are solely using this platform to connect. In a recent event Career Services hosted, Senior Launch Day, our employer panel reinforced that LinkedIn was their sole recruiting method, outside of university relations.
Here are some other ways you can update your online presence:
Update Your Profile
Using your LinkedIn profile as your resume is essential. You should keep your resume and LinkedIn profile up to date, often highlighting your skills and experience. If you want to catch an employer’s attention, make sure your profile is current with skills and a professional photo.
Make Your Heading Stand Out
Move away from the typical job or student title on your LinkedIn profile —make it stand out. Focus on your mission and objective in your heading; “Communications specialist with an ability to enhance social media,” or “Student-centered educator with a passion for leadership, teamwork and mentorship.”
Indicate You are “Open To Work”
If you’re transparent about your job search, you can show you are open to work on your profile. Here’s a quick help article to guide you. This will make it easier for recruiters to connect with you.
Share, Like and Follow
Use LinkedIn to network with professionals by following the company and connecting with employees. Look for other UToledo alumni, “like” some of their content, and share relevant articles. Just remember to always keep your brand in mind.
Ask for Recommendations
Use your network to ask for recommendations to be added to your profile. I will do this once a year to keep my recommendations up to date. It’s similar to asking someone for a letter of recommendation or reference. This adds some additional information to your profile.
There’s way more to LinkedIn than discussed in this article. Besides enhancing your profile and networking, you can use LinkedIn to find and apply for jobs in your area. Use the main toolbar to search jobs, people, locations and groups. Here’s another article to guide you.
Assistant Director of Internships and Employment Development
University of Toledo Career Services