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With over 500 million users worldwide, LinkedIn is the most powerful social network for building your personal brand, growing your network, and finding your next career. In fact, a study found that 122 million people received an interview through LinkedIn, with 35.5 million having been hired by a person they connected with on the site. 

As a military job seeker, you might be new to LinkedIn, or maybe you need some insight on how to make the most of this social platform. Our podcast episode, Leveraging LinkedIn in Your Job Search, discusses the importance of LinkedIn and how to leverage the platform to find your next job opportunity, including how to let Recruiters know you are available, the top five tips for getting noticed, and what to avoid when using LinkedIn.

LinkedIn has a feature now to let Recruiters know you are actively looking for employment. To activate this feature, navigate to the Dashboard section on your profile, and under Career Interests, click the radio button “Let Recruiters know you're open.” You can even choose the types of opportunities that you'd like to be connected with. For active duty military members transitioning to a civilian career, this is a great tool that allows your profile to be higher on a search list, tells any companies that you are open to networking and interviewing, and is very critical in engaging with Recruiters.

The podcast also outlined the five tips for getting noticed on LinkedIn, including first having an engaging headline. A headline that highlights what matters to you, what you are looking for in a career, what you are passionate about, and emphasizes your transferable skills from the military will grab the attention of Recruiters and make them want to contact you.

The episode also advised on the importance of indicating that you are actively seeking employment and transitioning from active duty, whether through the Career Interests feature on the Dashboard, or through your headline. If you are comfortable doing so, you can also provide your contact information, which will allow a Recruiter to connect with you faster.

Make sure that all content is well-written, use spell check to avoid errors, and have a professional photo. LinkedIn is a professional platform, and should be treated as such.

Lastly, the episode discussed the best practices to avoid when using LinkedIn, including posting any political content, volunteering personal information such as relationship status, children, etc., using military jargon, or even posting a photo of yourself in uniform. By posting a photo of yourself in civilian clothes, this will show companies that you are ready to enter the civilian world.

Be mindful of tailoring your profile to be specific to only one field, unless it is something that you are certain that you want to do. Most transitioning military members don't know where they fit into the private sector, or which roles would make a good match. It's important to try to explore as many options as possible. The beauty of having military experience is the ability to adapt and switch roles easily, and you acquire so many skills in the military that can transfer into a variety of roles.

The podcast ended with a reminder to keep LinkedIn professional, be respectful of other users and their opinions, and be open to connecting with Recruiters. They are there to help you find an opportunity that will bring you closer to your career.

Listen to the full podcast here, and follow Orion to stay connected to job opportunities, insights, and advice for transitioning service men and women.

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