Military Employment Guide: LinkedIn
Step-by-Step Guide to Employment for the General Military – LinkedIn
An important part of your journey to finding an after military job would be to set up a LinkedIn account if you haven’t already. LinkedIn was created in 2003 and is a social media networking and job searching site. Since 2016, it has been a subsidiary of Microsoft. There are over 700 million registered members and is one of the best places to network online.
The first step is creating an account, and figuring out your goals for LinkedIn. If you are wanting to use the site to find a job or other opportunity it is best to have a goal of making 200+ connections. You also want to join 20+ veteran or interest groups, and follow 20+ companies.
As you are setting up your account, you will want to start with a good profile photo. Make sure the photo looks professional, but also looks like you. You also want to be dressed in business attire, and only you in the photo. Don’t use a photo of you in uniform. The photo should be 400×400.
Don’t leave your background photo blank. You will want to show who you are through the photo, who your target market is, or highlight your achievements. The photo should be 1584×396.
LinkedIn Profile Headline
Your profile headline is the line that is under your name. This is what people see in the search results. You will want to customize what it says vs just putting a title. Look at this as an elevator pitch in 120 characters. Tell people what you do.
Your LinkedIn Summary is your about section. You have a limit of 2,000 words, and the first three lines are visible before visitors will need to click on “see more.”
In the summary, you want to speak about your skills, experiences, and professional interests.
In your experience section, you will want to highlight your job experience, your responsibilities, and your accomplishments. Typically you will want to add the last 10-15 years of your work history.
This is the section where you will add your military experience. Make sure you put when you entered service and your military branch. This will identify you as a veteran. When adding skills for time in the military, make sure they fit with the job you are currently wanting to find.
When filling out your experience and even your summary and headline, remember to speak civilian. You are looking for a civilian job and you want civilians to be able to understand your experience and your skills.
When it comes to your education section, you may start with high school or college. Whatever schools you list, connections from those places will be able to find you. Make sure to also add vocational schools, certificates, and any other education you have had.
Looking to further your education? Use CollegeRecon to find military friendly schools.
Endorsements are unique to LinkedIn and allow your connections to endorse you for your skills. This can help boost your credibility which helps you in your job search. You can choose to accept them or not and you can choose which ones to list on your profile. Don’t get too hung up on them but they can be an added benefit to your profile.
Add your accomplishments to your profiles. There are any publications you are in, courses you have taken, projects you have been involved in, honors, awards, and even the different languages that you speak.
The interest section on LinkedIn is where you can connect with people on a more personal basis. You can add your hobbies and your interests and show that you are interested in more than just work. This makes you appear as a more well-rounded person.
Building LinkedIn Connections
One of the biggest benefits of LinkedIn is the connections you can make. You can easily see what your connections are saying and liking and they can see what you are in return. This allows you to easily find others in your niche or industry.
Find people you have met in person at conferences and networking events and connect with them. You don’t have to find all of your first 200 connections in one day, but make it a priority to be adding to your network on a daily basis. Connect with those you served with, those in your industry, and even those you went to school with if it makes sense to do so. You want to build up your network.
Join groups that have to do with your industry or your interests. Post often to create engagement. Be an active part of the community.
You want to build relationships with people on LinkedIn beyond just being connected. You can do this by engaging and commenting on your connections’ posts, being helpful, and sharing your own experiences.
When it comes to what you should put for your location, you should put where you are wanting to look for work. If you plan to move somewhere new, you would want to put that as search relies heavily on location. This will also tell recruiters that you are looking for work in their area.