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Finding that perfect job can be a frustrating ordeal. In today’s congested job market it’s essential to draw upon all the weapons in your artillery to get that job you so badly crave. You’ve tried contacting all your friends; you’ve sat at the computer screen endlessly glaring at job sites, and whilst making gradual progress, you’re still that little step away from getting a job…. If that’s the case you might want to start thinking about utilising social networking sites.

LinkedIn is one of many such sites that help you reach out to employers and gain useful information to make you better informed when applying for a job. With more than 6 million registered users in the UK, LinkedIn represents a bank of potential employer contacts and information. Here are some top tips to make LinkedIn a vital component to your job search.

1.     Create a profile – Fill out as much information as possible and add a professional picture of yourself.

2.     Build connections – Start adding people that you know. Accepted requests will add your connections.

3.     Status Update – Let the network know your searching for a job. Update your status and publicise what it is you are looking for. Be specific and concise.

4.     Get recommendations – Find past employers, managers, or fellow employees, and ask for recommendations. This helps to build a positive picture and highlights your strengths and the fact that you were a valued employee.

5.     Search hard – Find out where people with your background and similar experience are working. You can personalise this search for the location that you want to work. You can also examine ‘company profiles’ to see what type of people companies have been hiring and what it is they look for. This also offers you the chance to see where old employees have moved.

6.     Keep an eye out – Company profiles have a ‘new hires’ section, which allow you to see and inspect who has recently been hired. Contacting new employees can be one method to see how they got the job. Alternatively, if you have connections with ties to companies, you can get access to hiring managers and their details. Companies will also often place job posts on their page once they have vacancies, so it’s essential to keep your eye out.

There’s no guaranteeing that starting a LinkedIn profile will deliver instant results. It will take a bit of time to build connections and find companies that are relevant to you, so patience is important. There is, however, little doubt that social networking can be a great tool to find a job, especially if used in correlation with job sites. However, as time so often against the job hunter, you might want to also consider using a site that searches over 150 job sites for you. Adzuna offers such a service and also provides the chance to connect with your LinkedIn profile, helping to provide you with connections underneath each relevant ad, along with handy links to message your LinkedIn contacts. So if your sick to death of your job searching routine, maybe it’s about time you tried something new!

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Jazz Panesar is a Digital and Technology Apprentice at Severn Trent. Read Jazz’s story here.

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