There are a variety of elements that go into finding your next job. An updated resume and cover letter explicitly created for the job opening are essential. A personal web page can make a difference. But if you have not set up your LinkedIn profile, you’re missing out on an excellent opportunity to take advantage of arguably one of the best job-seeking tools.

Just be aware that being on LinkedIn has the potential to help you in your job search. Job hunting is not a passive activity. You will need to use LinkedIn’s many features to assist you in your search. Just as buying a treadmill will not get you fit—you must actually use it—creating a profile on LinkedIn is not enough to secure your dream job.

Here are just some of the things you can do on LinkedIn:

You can brand yourself for the job you want

Your personal brand should always be specific. Generalizations such as “problem solver” and “strategic leader” are sometimes less than helpful. Not only will you keep hiring managers in the dark about your abilities, they will probably move on to the next profile without looking further.

Be clear in your LinkedIn headline about the job you want. Then give the details explaining why you are the best candidate. Recruiters can’t help you unless they know what you can do. Focus on a set of job titles, and brand yourself for them.

You can tell recruiters you’re on the market

If you are currently unemployed, you can add the words “In Search Of” or “Seeking New Challenge” to your headline. That will inform recruiters and hiring managers that you’re available right now.

You can make connections

After you’ve set up your profile, you can begin making connections. Invite your friends and former associates to connect with you. If you’re connected with more people, your profile will be easier to find by those who are searching the LinkedIn database.

You can advertise your skills

The Skills section of your LinkedIn profile is the perfect place to showcase what you are good at and enjoy doing. If you have established yourself as an expert in any area, make sure it is listed there.

You can search for job opportunities

You can find openings under “Jobs” in LinkedIn, but it’s not recommended to apply through them. Instead, search the company name through the LinkedIn database, and find the person who will likely be the hiring manager. Apply directly by sending your resume to this individual.

You can research companies

LinkedIn is an excellent tool for researching potential employers. Use the “Advanced Search” feature and conduct your search using keywords related to your job, industry and location. Your search will reveal other users who match your keywords and location. You can add their employers to your list of prospective employers.

Do you need more help with your job search?

Contact Pro Resources for the light industrial or technical/professional position you’re hoping to find. We’ve been in business for over 30 years, so use our expertise to help you find your next job.