Marcia just found out today that she is losing her job. As you can see from her picture, she is devastated and doesn’t know what to do or where to turn. She has been working for her company for some time and wasn’t expecting to be let go today.
Marcia is in shock and isn’t sure of her next steps. Since she didn’t realize that being laid off was even a possibility, she hasn’t yet updated her resume or started looking for a new job. So what should she do?
Obviously, this is difficult time for her, but there are five actions she can take on LinkedIn starting today to help her land an amazing job. It may take her weeks or months to find a new job, but these are some concrete steps that she (and you too) can take to get back to work.
Upgrade to a LinkedIn Job Seeker Account
Cutting costs after being laid off is (and should be) a natural reaction to the prospect of losing a good portion of your income. Decreasing how often you go out to dinner, cutting movie channels from your cable package, and holding off on major purchases are all reasonable steps to take to cut household expenses. While cuts are in order, I suggest that Marcia begin spending more money in one key area, her LinkedIn account.
A job seeker account from LinkedIn gives you access to much better information about who is viewing your profile. Upgraded accounts start at $20 and offer you an extensive history of the people that have looked at your account, what industries these people work in, and what words hiring managers are using to find you on LinkedIn.
Connect with coworkers
Ideally, Marcia has been connecting with former coworkers, friends, and family members while she was employed. If not, this is a great time to reach out to these people and establish connections with them on LinkedIn. You never know where your next job opportunity is going to come from. It may come an Internet job site, but more likely you will find out about the opportunity from a friend or business contact.
In his book, The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell says that almost 4 out of 5 job referrals are from weak ties. These are people that you see occasionally either socially or professionally. People aren’t (for the most part) getting jobs through close personal friends or family members. For this reason, having a large network of business contacts and acquaintances on LinkedIn is important.
Update Your Profile
Having a detailed, complete profile is crucial to letting recruiters know what you have done in the past. Since your profile is completely searchable on LinkedIn, having plenty of business keywords in your profile is going to get your profile found by recruiters looking for certain skill sets.
Marcia should make sure that every recent job she has held is listed on her profile. In addition, each job should have a short description of the job responsibilities and her accomplishments in these roles.
Ask for recommendations
Asking for and getting recommendations on your LinkedIn profile will help you stand out from the crowd. Rather than bragging about yourself, you can let other people do it for you. Now it can be daunting and uncomfortable to ask for recommendations from former coworkers, classmates, and other business contacts.
One way around the possible embarrassment is to pick out people who you would recommend and would like to get a recommendation from. Without being asked, write recommendations for each of these people. To fit this into your schedule, pick one or two people a week and write a brief (a few paragraphs at most) and honest recommendation of them.
Most people will automatically write a recommendation for you within a few days. If they don’t, send them a follow up request asking for one. If they still don’t write a recommendation, move on. They may not feel comfortable sharing a recommendation for some reason or may be strapped for time. Don’t dwell on any one person. This isn’t about giving with the intent of getting in return, but is about helping each other out. You have helped them and this should make you feel good about yourself.
Start Looking For Your Next Job
LinkedIn isn’t just a place for connecting with people you know. It is also a great place to scope out your next job. There are many ways to use LinkedIn to find a job. The most obvious is the job search function on the site. Each day, thousands of jobs are being posted to LinkedIn. Depending on what city you live in (or are interested in moving to) and what industry you work in, there may be many great opportunities. Pay close attention to how you are connected the hiring manager for each job. Do you know them or do you have a contact that knows him or her? If so, utilize those connections to get introduced.
Obviously, LinkedIn isn’t the only resource that Marcia should use in her job search, but it is a powerful one-stop shop for connecting with people that may be able to help her catapult her career forward. Have you been laid off recently? Are you considering leaving your job? You too can use these methods.
* Marcia isn’t real, but these tips are…