Step 1: Fill out your entire LinkedIn profile so recruiters will take you seriously.
Start with a great headline. Keep it short — just a quick idea of your expertise and the industry you’re targeting. Also, I recommend using the same professional picture and positioning statement you used for your Twitter account.
Then add a detailed description of your work experience in the “Summary” section. It should explain what makes you unique, as well as your biggest accomplishments and your work history. In addition, you should join relevant LinkedIn groups for your industry. Try to find ones with the largest followings. That way, you’ll connect to as many people as possible.
Step 2: Expand your network.
The more people you add, the more people you can get introduced to and the more profiles you can view. So import your email contacts, and transfer as many of your Twitter relationships to LinkedIn as you can. People you might be regularly interacting with on Twitter almost always have LinkedIn profiles as well, and they’ll likely accept your request.
Step 3: Make a list of your favorite companies.
Do a company search and see if you have any first-, second- or third-degree connections with someone who works there. If you only have second or third connections, you won’t be able to message him or her directly. But don’t panic; tap your first-degree network for help, and ask those contacts to introduce you. Once they’ve hooked you up, shoot your new connection a short note. This way, you’re not asking for a job, but you’re showing interest in that person and advancing the relationship.
If you don’t know someone who can introduce you, find your contact on Twitter. Follow them, share relevant information and then try to transition that relationship to LinkedIn.
Step 4: Don’t give up.
Don’t expect overnight success with social media. Everyone won’t respond, and some won’t be looking to hire right away. That’s OK. Just keep chasing opportunities. And remember: It only takes one response.
Dan Schawbel is managing partner of Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and consulting firm, and bestselling author of “Promote Yourself: The New Rules for Career Success.”
Sponsored by University of Phoenix.