Tips to Use LinkedIn to Find a Job in the United States
New to the US or looking to move to the US? LinkedIn can be an effective tool to help you find a job in America. You just have to know how to utilize the platform and which strategies work best. Check out the tips below to get started.
1) Get a Professional Headshot
Your profile photo is one of the first things potential employers will see when they visit your profile, so you want to make sure it’s high quality and professional looking. Hire a photographer in your home country or invest in a good quality camera to take a headshot that is well-lit and framed correctly. Avoid using selfies, photos with friends or family, or anything that is too casual.
2) Optimize Your Headline
Your headline is right beneath your profile photo, so make it count! This is not the place to be shy—include relevant keywords that describe your skillset and experience as well as what kind of position you’re hoping to land. For example, “Marketing Professional with 10 Years of Experience in the Food & Beverage Industry Seeking U.S.-Based Marketing Manager Role.” Including these details will help ensure that you come up in relevant searches by recruiters.
3) Tell Your Story in the About Section
Your summary should be a brief overview of your professional background and expertise, as well as what kind of opportunity you’re looking for. Again, don’t be afraid to include relevant keywords throughout this section so that you pop up in searches. If you have any US-based work experience (even if it was just an internship), make sure to mention it here!
Keep in mind that most people drop-off your profile after this portion. They will either contact you or move on to the next person. So, use this section to convey a complete elevator pitch about you as a professional. Don't assume that people will keep scrolling to learn more. Instead, use this space to make people want to talk to you.
4) Highlight Your Skills
Skills are one of the most important parts of your LinkedIn profile because they show potential employers what kinds of transferable skills you have. In addition to including industry-specific skills, add some soft skills such as “communication” or “team player”—these are always impressive to hiring managers.
The skills section on your LinkedIn profile plays a bigger role than most people realize in their job search. For example, if you apply to jobs on LinkedIn, the recruiter will receive insights about your fit for the job based on what skills you have on your profile.
So, if you don't have the skill on your profile, LinkedIn will think that you aren't qualified for the job and will provide that indication to the recruiter. You will also not be searchable for that skill. Make sure that you complete this important section with the right information for the jobs that you want now.
5) Use Relevant Keywords Throughout
As we mentioned before, utilizing relevant keywords throughout your profile is key if you want recruiters to be able to find you when they search for candidates with certain qualifications. Do some research on which keywords are commonly used in job postings for positions similar to the one you’re hoping to land and sprinkle them throughout your profile accordingly (but don’t stuff them in there or it will look spammy!).
6) Join Industry Groups
By joining groups relevant to your field, you can network with other professionals, stay up-to-date on industry news and trends, and learn about new job openings before they’re even posted publicly. Many groups also host events that can be great networking opportunities—just make sure to check if they’re open only to members who live in the United States before signing up since some are geo-restricted.
7) Get Endorsements & Recommendations
If you have worked with anyone in the United States before (even if it was just an internship), ask them if they would be willing to write a short endorsement or longer recommendation for you on LinkedIn.
These serve as social proof for potential employers scrolling through your profile and can give them a better sense of what kind of worker you are. Remember to return the favor by writing endorsements and recommendations for others whenever possible as well!
8) Get Professional Help
Many people find a big benefit in having a professional write their profile for them. Working with a professional like those at The Contingent Plan ensures that you fully utilize the potential of LinkedIn. Your profile writer can share the best practices and will use the language and keywords that are best for the types of jobs that you want in the US.
Utilizing LinkedIn is a great way to land a job in the United States—even if you don’t live here! By following the tips above, you can optimize your profile so that potential employers will be able to find you more easily and see that you’re a qualified candidate for the role they’re looking to fill.