Recently I joined LinkedIn and came in contact with Tyrell Jenkins, a military veteran with a strong background in business and finance. I asked him if he would be willing to share his experience with LinkedIn and how it could help Veterans make new connections in order to find a job or a better job.
He informed me that military members and veterans are eligible for a FREE year of LinkedIn Premium, which is a $250 value. It comes with added features and benefits that help you maximize your LinkedIn experience and can help you supercharge your job search.
Tyrell’s response and advice were very informative and useful! Here is what he had to say:
How Military Members & Veterans Can Get the Most from LinkedIn
Calling all Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Marines, and Air Force – active duty, retired, and Veterans! Are you constantly thanked for your service? I remember how surreal it was when I received my first “thank you for your service” message when I served on active duty. Service members are accustomed to receiving military discounts at various establishments; but what LinkedIn has done, is unprecedented – and it has given the phase giving back an entirely new meaning.
The LI (LinkedIn) Job Seeker Subscription upgrade began circulating around the web on August 1. The benefit is a 100% free program that the popular professional social networking site has bestowed upon active duty military, retired, and Veterans.
It is well documented that the job market is still as tight as ever with the prospects for improvement going slowly at most, so what LinkedIn is doing is giving our service members a competitive advantage to succeed in a job market that is becoming more and more selective. I am a Navy Veteran myself and I have personally used this service. I have found that more opportunities have come my way – because I’m in the sales industry, it has even led to opportunities for me to potentially make additional money through networking! There are multiple advantages to applying for the Job Seeker Premium membership.
Listed below are the main benefits as outlined by LinkedIn.
LinkedIn allows you to place what’s called a “job seeker badge” on your profile next to your name which will alert recruiters of your intent to seek employment. You can turn this feature on under the “edit profile” and “Privacy & Settings” pages.
Reach Out to Decision-Makers
Send more direct or In-Mail messages to fellow LinkedIn members that are not closely connected with you. This means that they are not your 1st or 2nd level connections. This offers you the unique opportunity to reach out to decision-makers in the companies that you are interested in, and to initiate that crucial initial first contact. Additionally, if you have a business, you can contact individuals that you may have identified to be in your target market with the purpose of soliciting a sale. Only 5 In-Mails per month are allowed for non-paid members – Job Seeker Premium allows 10.
Become a “Featured Applicant”
Move straight to the top of the list as a LinkedIn Job Seeker feature applicant. When recruiters are searching for qualified applicants to fill certain positions, your profile will be shown at the top of the list; this will give you a distinct advantage over your competition. This is especially important if you have done a great job making your profile attractive by putting together a fully developed profile.
Save and Organize Profiles
With Job Seeker Premium, you have the ability to categorize your contacts within LinkedIn. Want to remember someone by a particular conversation you had? Want to make appointments to follow up with potential future clients? This feature will really help to keep you organized while on the job hunt.
In addition to the 10 In-Mails that you get, Open Link allows anyone the opportunity to send you a message without being connected or using In-Mail. This feature gives you optimum exposure when on the job hunt. Couple this feature with the fact that your profile shoots right to the top of recruiters’ searches gives you the ultimate advantage.
Find out Who’s Interested in You
One of the cool things about LinkedIn as opposed to other large social media sites like Facebook is the ability to actually know who is checking you out. The basic LinkedIn account will only allow you to view the last 5 people who have viewed your account. With Job Seeker Premium, you’re allowed to see the full list of people who have viewed your account. This is quite helpful when job seeking and relationship building because you’re able to use this feature to start a conversation with the person who viewed your account. Most times people look at your profile for reason – take advantage.
So how does one take advantage of the Free Premium Membership offer?
Simply join the “LI Job Seeker Subscription Sub-Group” and wait for LinkedIn to respond back with further instructions. The process should take less than a week – in most cases sooner. In order to ensure that you will be chosen for the offer, make sure that your military affiliation (active duty, veteran, or retired) is clearly spelled out in some fashion on your profile. Here is the link that you must follow to start the process. Happy job hunting!
If you have any questions regarding this article, separating from the military, or any general advice about personal finances, real estate acquisition using the VA Loan, or investment advice you can contact Tyrell Jenkins via his LinkedIn account.