It is well known that LinkedIn is the premier social site for networking and finding your new career. While a resume was the media of the past for finding career opportunities, a strong social presence is now an even larger part of the equation.

Over 90% of recruiters and 80% of hiring managers use LinkedIn, so it is no wonder that job seekers need to pay attention and become comfortable with LinkedIn. Even though there are a variety of search tools and networking venues available, a strong LinkedIn profile and an understanding of how LinkedIn works for you can be an amazing bonus.

Laura Shin of Forbes magazine provides five tips that are well worth understanding in your career search.

1) Make a definable and visually appealing profile. A professional headline, professional picture and your name are the first thing people will see when they view your profile. Take the time to make it very appealing.

2) Use your LinkedIn profile to showcase everything that does not fit on your resume. You have 1,000 words for a description that you can use to highlight items that may be important to your job search but could not be put on your resume.

3) When you have a profile, you’re ready to show the world, strategically connect with others. Connect with friends, former co-workers, members of the industry you are interested in etc.

4) Once you have a valuable network, snoop. Look for former or current employees who may be able to give you insights into the company and who the decision makers are.

5) Stay active on the site. Stay active even after you find your career as you never know when a downsizing or a better opportunity may come along.

For a more detailed description, see Laura Shin at Forbes