LinkedIn: The Marketing Tool Veterans Need to Land a Job
Are you getting frustrated with the act of job hunting? Don’t throw in the towel. Giving up is not the veteran way. It’s easy to get discouraged, but veteran job finders implement different strategies to seek opportunities. Take a look at the one marketing tool that can shift your entire career planning process — LinkedIn.
“I already have a LinkedIn profile,” you say. The problem here is, you’re not using your profile to appeal to recruiters and hiring managers.
With this article, we’ll l explore how to use LinkedIn to network with others, apply for jobs and identify the decision makers that can be the key to your next employment opportunity.
What Is LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is a social media site. However, unlike Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, people use LinkedIn for networking on a professional level.
For transitioning service members, your profile is a marketing tool that allows you to:
- Build a powerful network
- Apply for jobs
- Identify key decision makers in companies
You can use your profile to highlight your professional brand – who you are, what you do, and how you’re known for doing it.
For instance, think about your favorite comedian. Who is the comedian? What type of comedy do they do? What is this comedian known for?
Marketing yourself throughout the job search process can take a toll. But LinkedIn is a veteran’s wingman.
As we mentioned previously, the site works around the clock to introduce you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
We’ll show you how to use LinkedIn to build a powerful network, create engagement, and apply for jobs.
Using LinkedIn To Build A Powerful Network
As a former service member who has crossed into the civilian world, you will hear the word network or networking over-and-over again.
Many people frown upon this word. But the term simply refers to connecting or making a connection.
Here’s how you can make the most of the world’s largest professional networking site.
1. Join groups
The military is all about community. When you separate, the ability to interact with others that share common interests does not have to end. Within LinkedIn’s platform are groups that you can join.
LinkedIn Groups allow you to meet people and interact in ways that you may not have if you didn’t join the group. This is one way to expand your connection base.
Keep in mind, some groups are public, while others are private. To find groups, click the search bar at the top of your LinkedIn homepage. Click groups from the dropdown.
To view the recommended groups for you, use the Work icon at the top right of your homepage. Select groups from the menu and click search.
Simply request to join the group once you find a group you like. Once you’re in, you can begin the fun of mingling with your new group members and learning something new.
We highly recommend joining the Veteran Mentor Network group. It’s a highly active supportive group filled with advice, answers and connects.
2. Invite People to Connect
One of the best parts of networking on LinkedIn is inviting people to connect with you.
This is one way of giving yourself exposure. It also gives you access to people, including those you already know and trust.
Sending an invitation on LinkedIn is much like giving someone your business card.
The business card contains your contact information and gives the person the permission to reach out to you.
There are two ways to send invites:
- The first way is to click My Network in the menu bar. Click connect under the name of the person you’d like to invite to connect with you. Don’t forget to send a quick message with your invite.
- The second way is to choose contacts on the left side of the screen. When the next window appears, you can sync your contacts, and export them from your email provider.
3. Create Engagement
Although you already have a LinkedIn profile, you can’t let it sit there and go stagnant.
Sharing ideas, news, and other information related to the industry you’re seeking to work in can give your profile a boost.
This means posting, sharing, liking and commenting. This is how you engage with others. In turn, others will interact with you and follow you. Industry leaders and companies will notice you too.
Creating a veteran LinkedIn and letting it sit idle is a waste of time. Additionally, it shows hiring authorities that you’re not interested in career opportunities.
Applying for Jobs Using Your LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn makes it simple to apply for jobs by clicking the Jobs icon in the menu bar. Once you click Jobs, another window will show you several different jobs, based on your profile.
In the top left corner of the screen, you can search for jobs using keywords, phrases, and location.
There are two options for applying for jobs:
- Easy Apply
The difference between the two can be confusing. Allow us to explain.
The Apply button will take you to the company’s website to begin the application process.
The Easy Apply button will allow you to submit the application within LinkedIn. You will not leave the site at all.
Here’s a quick tip. If your LinkedIn profile is in tip top shape, feel free to use the Easy Apply button.
If your profile still needs work, use the Apply button to apply on the company’s website.
In the meantime, you can always enlist the services of a qualified professional resume and LinkedIn profile writer to get your profile complete.
Identifying Key Decision Makers
There are more than 30 million companies on LinkedIn. These companies are located throughout the U.S. and abroad, and they all use LinkedIn for recruiting and hiring purposes.
Additionally, they share company news and insight with prospects. You will do well to follow company pages on LinkedIn.
Next time you’re scrolling through a company’s page, take time to look on the left side of your screen to view the following:
The about section gives a brief overview of the company.
Here, you can find the company’s website, the industry the company is in, the size of the company, where the headquarters is located and more.
Reading the about section can help you decide whether you truly want to work for this company or not. It’s always important to do your homework on companies during your career planning.
As far as searching for jobs with a certain company, check out how easy LinkedIn has made this for you.
Let’s say you’re interested in Entrata, in Lehi, Utah.
You can click on jobs on the left of the company page and it will show you how many job openings the company has available.
It’s amazing to have the openings right at your fingertips. You didn’t have to spend hours on other job sites searching for them.
Through LinkedIn, you can apply for vacant positions right away.
Last, but not least, LinkedIn will tell you who the company’s employees are. It shows you all sorts of people ranging from recruiters to presidents and CEOs.
You can easily identify and target the decision makers just by reading their job titles.
Depending on the size of the company, the person who decides whether you get the job is different. The decision maker can come in different forms, including:
- Department manager
- Business Owner
Do you want to know the best part about identifying the decision makers on LinkedIn? Connecting with them.
If you’re not ready to invite them to connect with you, just click on their profile to learn more about them and possibly get their email address.
Struggling with LinkedIn? Save Yourself from Headache with Empire Resume
Did you know that more than 95% of recruiters use LinkedIn as a method for considering candidates for positions?
This percentage tells you that LinkedIn is an essential part of your professional career when you’re out of the military.
It is the standard professional networking site online, and anyone who does not have a profile will possibly be passed by for another candidate who does.
However, creating a LinkedIn profile is not simply inputting the data into the site. It takes time, know-how, and strategy to develop an effective profile.
An effective profile will get you noticed by the company you’ve been wanting to work for since you left the military.
There are plenty of reasons to want to write your LinkedIn profile yourself, and hopefully the information we shared today helped you understand how you can use your LinkedIn to land the job of your dreams.
But imagine that you’ve entered all your military professional experience, along with the job positions and descriptions. And, you’ve even tried keywords and phrases, but nothing is working.
Now, it’s time to try Empire Resume’s LinkedIn Profile Writing services.
Our LinkedIn profile writing experts will create your profile to highlight your skills and enhance your professional brand.
Veterans count on Empire Resume to provide them with the tools they need to get the job they deserve. And, so can you.
Dr. Phillip Gold is President/CEO of Empire Resume and has vast experience writing resumes for service-members transitioning from the military into civilian roles. He served as a Captain in the U.S. Air Force responsible for leading nuclear missile security. Phillip is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and holds a BA in Communications from The Ohio State University, an MS in Instructional Technology, an MBA in Finance, and a PhD in Finance.