Nederlands: Linked In icon

Whether you’re trying to capture the attention of a financial recruiter, a hiring manager or a professional peer, using social media is becoming increasingly necessary.

It’s even becoming unusual for a qualified professional not have a LinkedIn profile. Therefore, taking social media seriously can pay big dividends. In fact, LinkedIn may even help you land a job.

A Subtle Way to Impress

Let’s do a thought experiment: say you submit your resume to an accounting firm and the financial recruiter responsible for hiring is interested. What’s the first thing she will do? Likely search your name online. Within minutes, the financial recruiter will be looking at your LinkedIn profile.  What does this mean? You have a great opportunity to impress. A profile with a high-quality photograph, a complete (and well-written) work history, several recommendations, and a thoughtful summary will help you land an interview. Or, to conduct another thought experiment, let’s say a different financial recruiter is searching for candidates for an open position. Of course, one resource she’ll likely use is LinkedIn. If your work history is a match and you have a clean, smart profile, you may land an unexpected interview. In both situations, being on LinkedIn (and having a solid profile) make all the difference.

Digital Networking

Using LinkedIn isn’t just tending to your profile, however. There are several ways that you can use LinkedIn to gain contact with other professionals. The most obvious is simply by “connecting” to friends and colleagues. By doing so, you are expanding your network, and giving yourself the ability to correspond with “connections of connections.” While this might seem like a minor perk, you can make valuable contacts with industry insiders, with current employees of companies you’re interested in, as well as directly correspond with company recruiters, for example, if she advertises for an open position.  Another way to network is through joining online LinkedIn groups of like-minded professionals. You’ll have access to shared message boards (and ideas) as well as the ability to communicate directly with fellow group members.

Unique Job Listings Available

Unbeknownst to many, LinkedIn also has job listings. Often, the listings are posted by recruiters and are direct invitations to apply to an opening. By staying active on LinkedIn and doing some searching of your own, you’ll likely be able to find many few worthwhile listings – though if you’re considering applying via LinkedIn, keep in mind that you need to keep your profile polished: it will be sent to the recruiter, along with your resume and cover letter.

Researching Companies

Finally, LinkedIn has company pages that allow you to learn more about companies within your field of interest – if you’re looking for a high profile accounting position, for example, you can search companies within the field and even find individuals employed with companies of interest. Or, for example, you can find the profile for a financial recruiter and read about the services the recruiter’s company has to offer. In other words, LinkedIn provides many different methods of approaching a job search.

The Digital Age

In the end, the issue is availability. In an increasingly digital age, with numerous avenues of 24/7 communication, a successful professional embraces the transition to the digital life rather than resists it. Having a well-maintained LinkedIn page is just one way to show potential recruiters that you’re serious about your professional career long-term.