If I told you there was a place where, according to Job Vite, 93% of employers sourced job candidates, and that this was the same place from which they hired 89% of their employees, would you want know where it is? 

Sure you would! It’s (LI), a professional social media networking site with over 225 million members in over 200 countries.

The Wall Street Journal reports just 20% of jobs openings are represented through online job boards and the other 80% are filled through networking. By leveraging the varied resources LI offers, you can place yourself in front of employers and network amongst professionals as a way of breaking through to the hidden 80% of jobs out there.

The key to landing a job is networking – always has and always will be networking.  Although nothing can beat in-person introductions, meetings, and handshakes, it is necessary to create a professional presence and be an active member on LI as part of your networking strategy. And according to the above statistics, most employers are relying on LI to find you!

LI Profile Must Haves

Photo: Be creative but professional in posting your photo. Using a studio shot with a one-color background is not required.

Headline:  Include your job title with a value statement.  What do people in three seconds need to know about you?

Summary: Write in the first person.  Unlike a resume that requires structure, this is your chance to demonstrate creativity, communication skills, and soft skills.  

Recommendations:  Get at least five recommendations from the most senior people in your network, including former employers, your customers, and colleagues.

Keywords: Weave keywords throughout every aspect of your LI profile to help you get found through LI search engines.  For the sake of LI, a keyword is a word a recruiter may input to the LI search engine to identify candidates of interest.  For example, for a sales management position, words like business development, market expansion, client relations, team building, and sales cycle management may be used. 

Skill Endorsements:  Add a keyword rich list of skills to your profile so that you can be endorsed by your network and employers can find you via LI’s recruitment tools. 

Experience:  Use an abbreviated variation of your resume, not a cut and paste version. 

Build Your Network:  Your network is critical.  Connect with people you know.  Quality, not quantity, should be your focus.

LI is first and foremost a professional networking site which happens to have added benefits for job seekers. And for job seekers, networking is not asking for a job. It is building relationships, helping others, becoming a credible source of information, and establishing yourself as an expert in your field.  Build relationships so that when an opportunity arises, you will be top of mind with someone who will advocate on your behalf in landing a job.