Many people are comfortable with making a LinkedIn profile but don't know how to leverage it beyond that. LinkedIn is a great tool for gaining visibility, expanding your network and much more. However, you need to do more than make a profile and then wait for the phone to ring.

Here are five tips that I've compiled with ideas for how to make LinkedIn a part of your job search strategy.

  1. Conduct Salary Research—LinkedIn recently launched a new feature called LinkedIn Salary. Job seekers need all the help they can get in their negotiations, so take advantage of it. Cross reference what you find on other sites such as Glassdoor.com and Salary.com.
  2. Join Groups—Join groups and participate. This can be good for simply staying active and engaged in your field, but there are also job seeking groups that could actually produce job leads. Recruiters sometimes make it a part of their strategy to join groups to post jobs and look for candidates.
  3. Do Competitive Research—Do a search for others in your industry to see what they have on their profiles. Or, if you are changing fields, you can see what others in your desired field are doing. This can give you ideas for changes to make to your profile. Even better, search for the people with the exact job title that you want and determine what type of qualifications and experience these people have to make sure that you are competitive.
  4. Make New Connections— Search for your previous employers or schools and get a list of people associated with them to jog your memory of previous colleagues. Or simply make a list of everyone that you know, personal or professional. The larger your network, the more likely it is to produce a job lead for you. Also, remember that LinkedIn search results are relative to one's network. So the larger your network is, the more search results you will show up in.
  5. Connect With Recruiters or Hiring Managers— InMails are messages that you send to people outside of your connections. This is particularly beneficial when you are trying to connect with a decision maker such as a recruiter or hiring manager. As a Premium member, you’ll get expanded access to InMails. Do a search for people with the job title Recruiter in your area and start having conversations.

There you have it! Five things you can do with LinkedIn, beyond making your profile. Need more help? Contact me for in-depth assessment of your profile and a strategy session.
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