LinkedIn is still one of the most used job search tools and for some, it has been extremely successful.  Just like other resources such as Monster.com and Careerbuilder.com, LinkedIn is a database of your profile and is searchable by others.  As a job seeker, you also should be searching profiles, of recruiters, personal connections, and local networking events.

More than half of the people I talk with who say they are on LinkedIn, also say they aren’t “actively” using it.  This means you have a profile up, but that’s about it.  So once again, it’s the waiting game and then wondering why you aren’t being bombarded by recruiters or others about job opportunities.  It should never be a waiting game and that’s why networking became a big thing, it was reaching out and talking to people.  With the job boards, you are uploading your resume and they should be used as lead generation resources.  Doing a search on the job boards allows you to apply online to the job, which no matter what, you will have to do that step anyway.  Once you apply, that is when you start doing the research on LinkedIn and making connections.  Making sure you are getting noticed and not waiting around hoping someone notices you.

One reason LinkedIn may not be working for you is that it’s not being used as a proactive job search tool.  Make sure all of your contact information is visible on your profile.  Get involved in the LinkedIn Pittsburgh local groups as well as industry groups and stay active on the discussion board.  A lot of times, recruiters put up job ads in the career opportunities section and in the discussion area.  A recruiter most likely will not see the responses because they forget about the post and don’t go back.  It’s important that recruiters include their contact information, but surprisingly enough there are more that don’t include it than those who do.  As a job seeker, you should take the initiative to contact the person directly.  If they do not include an email address, go to their profile and see if they list where they work.  Then look up the number and call them directly.  Trust me, as a recruiter of 11 years, it’s helpful when someone is proactive, that’s half our job!

If you want LinkedIn to work for you, then make it work for you, by being proactive, making connections and most importantly, building relationships.  The key is to position yourself for your next job opportunity.

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