Looking for a job while preparing to relocate can be a lot. LinkedIn can be a valuable tool in this process. But, this requires a different strategy to build your LinkedIn profile and to communicate with your network in a new way. Here are the top tips from professional profile writers and recruiters to make the most of your LinkedIn profile when relocating.
Why LinkedIn Matters for Your Job Search When Moving
Your LinkedIn profile is one of the first places recruiters will look when considering you for a job.
LinkedIn is the most popular platform for this, with 94% of recruiters using it as part of their screening process. LinkedIn also just published its own study showing that it was the acquaintances that people made on LinkedIn that were the most valuable source of job opportunities - not your strongest professional connections.
This means that if you want to land a job before relocating, you need to have an optimized LinkedIn profile and build a LinkedIn network strategically.
LinkedIn Relocation Setting
Unfortunately, there is no universal LinkedIn relocation setting right now that would make it easy for you to make the move. Instead, there are things you can do to increase your visibility to the right recruiters and hiring managers to show them that you are open to relocation on LinkedIn.
One of these settings is in the Open to Work portion of your profile. Here, you can designate the cities where you would be willing to work onsite or to work remotely. This is where you can enter the cities that you are targeting for your move.
If you are open to moving anywhere, then you could opt to put the United States here. But, remember that most recruiters in the US do not think about finding candidates this way. Instead, they are looking for people in specific geographic areas or that want to live (or travel to) those areas.
Specify Your Location
Removing your current location on LinkedIn or putting "United States" if relocating isn't the best strategy. If you opt to remove the location on your LinkedIn profile, then you will not show up in any geography-based searches by recruiters. This is a mistake as candidate location is one of the first filters that recruiters use in searching for candidates.
To stay in those geography searches, people relocating will need to make a decision on their location. If you are not sure where or when you want to move, then it is probably best to keep your current city as your location on LinkedIn. But, if you know where you are moving to, then you could opt to change your location to the new city.
Here is how to change your location on LinkedIn:
- Go to your profile
- Click on the pencil below your cover photo (right near your profile photo and your name.
- In the Edit Your Intro pop-up, scroll down to "City/District"
- Type your new city, but make sure to pick from the drop-downs (like "Greater Minneapolis-St. Paul Area" or "Denver Metropolitan Area") as this will ensure you show up in all searches in that region.
Consider Updating Your LinkedIn Headline for Relocating
People that don't have to worry about their current job can include their intent to relocate in their headline. Doing this will show everyone that you are open to relocation on LinkedIn. So, you will want to be smart about how you communicate your willingness to relocate on LinkedIn.
Examples of showing your openness to relocation in your headline are:
"Remote worker open to relocating for the right job"
"Marketing professional interested in relocating to XYZ city for the next role"
"Seeking new opportunities in XYZ city - open to relocating"
If you have a current job and don't want your boss or colleagues to see that you are looking for a job in a new city, then you may want to be more subtle in how you communicate your willingness to relocate on LinkedIn.
In this case, you can still update your headline, but don't mention that you are looking for a job or relocating. Instead, focus on how you can help the right company achieve its goals. This will show up when recruiters search for candidates with certain skills in a specific location.
Some examples of how to do this are:
"Achieving success through teamwork and creativity"
"Building high-performing teams that deliver results"
"Strategic thinker that excels at problem solving"
Make the Most of Keywords
Keywords matter more on LinkedIn than most people realize. This is because every field on your profile is a search field or filter that can be used by recruiters to find you or to show that you are qualified for the job. So, you need to have the right keywords on your profile and they need to be in the right places for your LinkedIn profile to help you land a job when relocating.
To make the most of keywords on LinkedIn, start by looking at job postings for the roles you want in the new city. Make a list of all of the skills, experience, and education that are required or preferred for those jobs. Then, ensure that those same keywords are included throughout your profile - especially in your headline and summary sections.
You can also use keywords in your professional experience section. You should pick your job title from the drop-down options to make sure that you show up in the recruiter searches. But, you should also include a full and complete description of the role on your profile. In fact, you can have up to 2,300 characters in the description of each professional experience entry. So, you should provide that description and include all of the keywords that matter for each role in your current search.
Do not just put keyword lists in the description of your jobs on LinkedIn. This is because real people will look at your profile after you show up in the searches. Instead, incorporate these keywords in a way that communicates what you do so that everyone can understand.
Update Your LinkedIn Summary Section
Your summary section is one of the most important sections on your LinkedIn profile. This is because it allows you to control how people see you and how you are introduced to new connections. So, make sure that your summary section includes all of the keywords that are important for the roles you want in the new city.
Your summary should also include information about your skills, experience, and accomplishments. This is your chance to tell recruiters everything they need to know about you and how you can help them achieve their goals. So, make sure that it is complete and concise.
If you are worried that your summary sounds like a resume, don't be. LinkedIn is not a resume platform. In fact, your summary should go beyond your resume to tell the full story of how you can help recruiters achieve their goals.
To make sure that your summary packs a punch, start with a strong opening sentence. This could be an overview of your skills and experience or how you have helped other companies achieve their goals in the past. Then, go into more detail about your skills, experience, and accomplishments. Use bullets to make the information easy to read and digest.
End your summary with a strong call to action that tells recruiters or contact how to get in touch with you or how to learn more about you. This could be inviting them to connect with you or to include your email.
Join Relevant Groups
Linkedin has countless groups that focus on different industries, cities, and interests. Joining relevant groups is a great way to connect with other professionals in your industry who live in your target city. It's also a great way to learn about job openings and other opportunities that might be a good fit for you.
To find groups, enter the keywords in the LinkedIn search field. In the results, you can use the "Groups" filter to narrow the results. Scroll through the results to find the right groups for you. In some cases, you may have to click on the "Ask to Join" button and wait for the group's administrator to approve your request.
Remember that everyone can see what groups you join. This is because your groups show up in the "Interests" section on your profile. So, be smart about what groups you join if you can't be open about your job search or interest in moving to a new city.
Consider Posting an Update About Your Relocation Plans
Another way to let people know that you're interested in relocating is by creating a status update telling everyone that you are moving. This is probably the easiest way to tell everyone in your network at once that you are looking to move. Just be sure not to mention anything specific about your job search or plans to relocate until after you've accepted a new position.
Be careful about using this strategy unless you have set your status updates to connections only. Otherwise, your current employer could see this information and so could other recruiters/employers. And, if you are like most people, you may be connected to coworkers on LinkedIn, and in that case, it is probably best to tell people individually rather than all at once that you are looking to move.
To create a status update about your relocation plans, go to your profile and click on the "Share an update" box. From there, you can write whatever you want in your update and choose who can see it.
Get Involved in Local Events
Another great way to connect with professionals in your target city is by attending local events that are relevant to your industry or interests. These events could be anything from professional meetups to networking happy hours or conferences.
To find upcoming events near you, go to the LinkedIn search bar and enter the keywords you want or simply type "Events" to pull up all results. Then, use the "Events" filter to find only events. Now, scroll through and find the right events for you or use the filters. Then, click on the event title and click on the "Attend" button at the top of the page so that LinkedIn knows you plan on attending.
Grow Your Network in the New City
Professional connections are your most valuable asset in your job search. As explained above, it is actually the newer or weaker connections that matter the most in your search. So, by building your network on LinkedIn, you will be able to see a big impact on your job search while trying to relocate.
To network effectively on LinkedIn, make sure that you are looking for the right types of people. When trying to relocate, this means starting with people that already live in the city you want to move to. You don't necessarily need to know these people, but they should be in your extended network. These are the types of connections that will be most likely to help you with your job search or at least introduce you to someone who can help.
To find potential new connections, go to "My Network" and then click on the "Filter" button. From there, you can search for people by location, industry, and other factors. Once you find someone who looks like a good fit, click on the "Connect" button and send them a personalized message asking if they would be willing to meet for coffee if you will be in the area soon or to connect by phone/Zoom. This second step is important to create meaningful professional connections rather than merely numbers.
Updating your LinkedIn profile is one small but important step you can take when trying to relocate to a new city. By using targeted keywords, specifying your location, joining relevant groups, attending local events, or even creating your own event listing, you'll be well on your way towards making valuable connections – and maybe even landing your dream job –in no time!
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