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When you’re on the hunt for work, it’s not enough to just shoot out some resumes and hope for the best. Even with unemployment remaining at or near historic lows, segments of the job market can be quite competitive, and job seekers must make efforts to network with and connect to potential employers whenever possible. Social media platforms can obviously be a powerful tool for this purpose, and LinkedIn is the go-to choice for professional networking and job searching. But, just like with the job hunt in general, it’s not enough to just try and do the minimum. Here are five quick tips that can help you improve your presence on LinkedIn and use the platform more effectively:

Experience matters: Most often you will find that LinkedIn is the most effective social media platform to showcase your professional skills. Be cautious to only show work and information that you are content with current and future employers to see, however. The last thing you want is to lose a current job because you’re looking for a new one, or to lose an opportunity because you didn’t highlight the right credentials!

While you’re at it…keep your profile up to date: It should go without saying, but your LinkedIn account serves as a form of digital resume, highlighting your education and experience at a glance, so don’t let it become dated. As your career advances, be sure that your profile reflects the new skills and experience you have added.

Content also matters: Savvy LinkedIn users can tell you that you will get the most out of the platform if you put relevant, impactful content into it. Don’t just put your profile out there and let it sit. Research news and trends that may affect the companies you would like to join (or companies in an industry you would like to work within) and post that information to your timeline, being certain to engage with any commenters.

Connect: LinkedIn is a social media platform and, like all social platforms, it was designed to bring people together, so make connections! Connect not only to those people whom you already know, but also to those who may be thought leaders in your industry or work for a company that you would like to join. When connecting, it’s always good to send a brief note explaining why you would like to connect but be sure not to blatantly ask for a job referral during the process; rather, let them learn more about you and engage with your content at their own pace.

Join relevant groups: There are LinkedIn groups for virtually every business and education interest that you can imagine, so don’t be afraid to join as many as you can actively participate in. Just be sure that you join groups that are either relevant to your past education and experiences or are relevant to an industry or company you are seeking to join.

LinkedIn can be a powerful tool when you’re searching for a new position, but it should only be a part of your overall mix of job search activities. And, if you’ve hit a wall and need some professional help finding the position of your dreams, visit AtWork.com/locations to connect with an AtWork recruiter near you today!

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