AARP Eye Center
How important has LinkedIn become to job hunters? The numbers say it all: 87 percent of recruiters use the social networking site at some point in the hiring process. It gets about 106 million unique visiting members a month, making it the No. 4 social network in the United States, eclipsed only by Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.
Ask most any job market expert, and that person will say that creating a great LinkedIn profile is among the most essential things you can do to find work. But merely pasting your résumé into your profile and then sitting back doesn't cut it. Whether or not you're job hunting, a fully fleshed-out online profile—plus ongoing engagement with your peers—conveys to the world that you're comfortable with all the latest tech tools and aren't afraid to use them. Try these six sure-fire LinkedIn tips.
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1. Connect with former coworkers
Maxwell Hoffmann, 63, built up his LinkedIn connections by methodically reaching out to as many previous coworkers as he could find, writing a personal note with each invite. He now has more than 5,000 professional connections. He then exported his contact list to a spreadsheet, color-coded the people who could help him and then contacted that group at least four times a year. "If you're over 50, chances are, you'll find that people you worked with in your early years are now in senior positions," Hoffmann says. All that connecting worked for him. One offhand comment he made on social media about "how little free time" his job search left him led to an offer of a dream role as a product marketing manager for a company in Portland, Oregon. A former colleague had seen his post and immediately recommended him for an opening where she worked. "She saw the value in me and was a ferocious champion of me," says Hoffmann.