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​LinkedIn - a New Way to Find a Job

As a former military member looking a job, you should not limit your search to the usual channels: i.e. online jobs boards, trade publications, Craigslist, and networking with only your close friends. You need to explore and do what most people do nowadays…use ever resource available on the internet. Go out there and expand your area of influence as well as circle of friends and acquaintances. And one of the best online tools that you can use in finding a job is LinkedIn. It’s like an online resume full of recruiters, HRs, fellow job seekers, and companies who are head hunting.

Adults who are employed, as well as executives from over 140 industries, comprise a part of the more than 35 million strong members of LinkedIn. LinkedIn is like the Facebook of the professional world wherein people post their present work as well as their past careers. In LinkedIn, professionals get connected in a way that is conductive to an opportunity-laden atmosphere that will surely land a job for any applicant.

Below are 10 tips that will help you have a new career through LinkedIn. Please take note that you need to have a complete profile as well as 200 connections in your LinkedIn account before you can maximize your chances of landing a job. Forwarding these tips to a person with military experience and who is looking for a job is also another way to expand your connections.

  1. Do a shout-out. When we say ‘shout-out’, this means you are announcing to a large group of people your “order of battle” where the “OB” that we’re referring to is your search for a new position. This way, through the power of a lot of networks, you can be informed by your peers in LinkedIn about a position that you are looking for. You can also use status updates to inform people in your military network about your intent of finding a job.

  2. "Rub my back and I will rub yours." Parting ways with your former military boss doesn’t have to be a bitter pill to swallow. Both of you can still make the best out of that situation by giving each other recommendations in your respective LinkedIn accounts. The same can also be said if you were the manager.

  3. Hang out with the boys/girls on the block. Remember the adage “Birds of same feathers flock together”? The same could be said in this third tip. Do an advanced search for people who work in the same industry as you. People with the same skills as yours will indicate in their LinkedIn profile the company where they are currently employed. Ask them if you can connect to each other as industry peers.

  4. Tour of Duty. Checking on the companies that people used to work for (you can check on this through “Company Profiles” in LinkedIn), will help you in determining what a company primarily looks for in a particular candidate for a job.

  5. Tour of Duty 2. This time, look on the career path of people after they leave a company (again, you can check on this thru “Company Profiles”). Keeping track on the career paths of people will help you in determining where and what company they go to next. This is especially helpful in figuring out a successful career path for yourself after a military life.

  6. Any Vacancies on the Roster Call? In their LinkedIn accounts, companies have a section called “New Hires”. This is a list of people who were able to land a job in their company. Courageously asking these people how they were able to bag that position will give you tips on how to make yourself eligible for that position. Otherwise, you can just check on the profiles of these new people on the company.

  7. Call on the powers-that-be. When you’re looking for a particular job on LinkedIn’s search engine, keep track of people who are in charge of hiring people like you…ex-military. Take a moment to look if you’re connected to that person by at least two degrees (by degrees, it means you are connected to that person by a common friend or connection). The “Companies in Your Network” section in LinkedIn can also help you in looking for ties with companies.

  8. Get the connections you need. Ideal situations are when you can connect to the hiring manager through someone who knows him or her personally. Otherwise, you can use your connections in LinkedIn to help you get your application to the right hiring manager. In short, do “reconnaissance”.

  9. Decipher the Code. Read between the lines and be on the lookout for important tips and skills/tools that you might need in order for you to get that job. Again, doing “reconnaissance” will give you that edge over the others on getting into the company. Type the company name and look for the connections that you have from the military who are working in that company now. Otherwise, check on the profiles of people who are already working for that company.

  10. New Kids on the Block. Not all big businesses offer job security. As a military guy, you might as well try your luck on start-up businesses. These new businesses sometimes offer perks that you won’t find in large corporations, not to mention that feeling of accomplishment that you will feel if you played a large part in the development of that start-up business. When looking for a job in LinkedIn’s search engine, always include keywords like “start-ups” then narrow down the search by specifying the industry that you are working with.

Bonus Tip: Fortify your Defenses. You can never rest on your laurels. One important factor to consider is to make sure that you have a strong network of friends and connections in LinkedIn. When tough times will come, you can rely on your military connections to get you out of a professional rut.

By: Ritchell Thibodeaux

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