BUSINESS networking site LinkedIn can be a very useful tool in your job search.

Besides providing companies in Singapore with a venue to advertise themselves and post job openings, it also gives job hunters a credible list of leads, helps you project a professional image and puts you on the radar of headhunters looking for specific qualifications.

Part 1 of this article yesterday looked at three of 10 LinkedIn features that can help you in your job search: a focused headline, your network of connections and inviting endorsements and recommendations.

Part 2 continues with features 4 to 10:

Skills and expertise

Speaking of skills and expertise, LinkedIn allows users to log in as many as 50 in your profile but you should be more thoughtful regarding what is worth the space. It is not about quantity, but about relevance.

Remember: When you add a skill or an expertise, LinkedIn automatically adds you to a category of professionals with similar competencies, and the right keyword increases your odds of being found for the right reasons.

Plus, your unique combination of skills and expertise adds to how you brand yourself — for instance, not everyone has the powerhouse combination of proficiency as a CPA, franchise consultant and social entrepreneur.

When an opening calls for a specific set of skills and expertise, what you list in your profile marks your competitive edge.

LinkedIn groups

Joining and even creating groups in LinkedIn can help you position yourself, especially among people who share your interests, area of specialisation and target markets.

Joining discussions and giving insightful comments can highlight the fact that you have the brains to back up your formal credentials. Some headhunters also post job openings in relevant groups, especially if there are only a handful of you in the market.

LinkedIn Today

LinkedIn Today is the news feed section of the site. It gives you three kinds of updates: news that’s relevant to your field, news that’s of interest to people in general, and news posted by the people in your network.

One great way to use LinkedIn Today is by posting thoughtful comments about issues relevant to your profession. Another strategy is to post updates that underscore your interests. Just attended a workshop on latest trends in your field? Tell your connections about it.

Professional Gallery

Professional Gallery is a feature that allows users to post hyperlinks under the Summary, Experience and Education section of your profile. The links can be directed to pictures, videos, documents, presentations and other media.

Professional Gallery is a way to emphasise the strengths of your credentials, by providing readers with an idea about what you actually do. You can post portfolio samples — if you are a professional photographer, for example, this feature helps you showcase your work.

You can also post documentation about projects you have done or workshops you have attended. You may also want to include links to the official website of the universities you attended or companies you worked for.

Following

Just like Twitter, LinkedIn gives you the option to follow companies you are interested in. Following a company in Singapore will keep you abreast of new job openings and information. You may not see the job opportunity you want right now, but the follow function ensures you will learn about the opportunity when it does present itself.

Volunteer experiences and causes

Many choose to keep this section blank, but socio-civic work is an excellent way to market yourself. Volunteer work highlights your transferable skills — a big plus, especially if your work experience is still unremarkable.

More so, volunteer work talks about your values. What you write here speaks about your character as a person, your contribution to the community, as well as the things you care about.

Jobs

Finally, there is a LinkedIn tab titled Jobs. I placed this last because it is the most straightforward LinkedIn feature for job hunters in Singapore, and probably the one that needs the least explanation.

In this section, you can search for openings using basic and advanced settings; for example, you can search by company or postcode or salary grade. You can also browse the latest job postings offered by companies.

 

Start using these LinkedIn features to raise your profile and give your job search a boost.

 

Article by Kay Vardeleon, an associate writer with Sandbox Advisors, a firm that helps people with careers, job search and training in Singapore. For more information, visit www.sandboxadvisors.com