Over the last few years, LinkedIn has turned itself from an average social networking website mainly consisting of networker’s in the USA, to the number one online business networking tool for professionals all over the world.
According to US News, 94% of recruiters use LinkedIn on a daily basis to find candidates. If you’re looking for a new job and you’re not actively using LinkedIn, then you’re missing a significant opportunity.
The biggest problem with LinkedIn, like any other social website, it’s very easy to waste a lot of time and get nowhere. In this job search article, we’re going to focus on LinkedIn as a networking site and most importantly the best ways to find a new job using LinkedIn.
Where To Start
It all starts with your LinkedIn Profile which needs to be complete if you’re going to have any chance of networking yourself a new job. Below is my LinkedIn front page and a few comments to make sure that you’re found, however, if you need help completing your LinkedIn profile here is for one of the best infographics across the internet showing you exactly how to write your profile.
Remember, in this case, your LinkedIn profile is going to act as your CV and therefore it’s important that it’s complete with your experience, achievements and relevant keywords.To network using LinkedIn, we’re going to be reaching out to hiring managers and recruiters directly.
The first thing they’re going to see is your profile, so it better be good. A complete LinkedIn profile will also help you to show up in recruiters searches. This means the next time a recruiter is looking for a candidate with the similar experience to you, your profile will show up in their search, be read and you might find a message inviting you to interview in your email box.
The LinkedIn Job Board
LinkedIn has one of the best online job boards that allows you to search for potential jobs. Firstly it’s possible to apply directly to a job advert using their job boards sections as shown below. Just enter the job title, choose a location, and you’re presented with relevant jobs.
The great thing about LinkedIn is that it’s possible to take this a step further step further and see who we’re connected to that is working at that company. One point, this is where connections are important. You need to make sure that you have 500 as a minimum and ideally many more. Personally, I have over 20,000 connections, and while I don’t know them all, it does help when it comes to this type of networking.
The Next Step
Let’s head over to the job section and run our “sales manager” search again. This time we’re looking for jobs that are relevant to our profile, in companies that we have connections (people that you know work there).
The idea here is that rather than applying directly to the role, we’re going to use our network and reach out to our connection, asking them to pass our CV onto the hiring manager. Given your referee knows you well and the reference will be trusted, you’re likely to skip the interview queue and head directly to the interview room.
In the above example, there is a Technical Sales Manager at Microsoft. It’s been open for three weeks, there are 116 views and probably many more applications. The good news is that 33 people are working at Microsoft that are connected to me.
Unfortunately, I don’t know all 33 connections working at Microsoft, however, within my network, two recruiters are working for Microsoft that I know well, an area sales director, but she is based in Boston, and three other sales professionals based all over the USA. We’re connected on LinkedIn meaning I have their contact details and with an email or phone call can quickly get in touch.
The LinkedIn Referral Introduction
All companies are looking for talented professionals to join their team. Some companies are actively hiring, while others passively, but if a hiring manager finds a decent talent to add to their team, they will.
The LinkedIn referral introduction method combines both a reference attached to your CV, with an introduction to a potential hiring manager. In this example, we’re looking for a Sales Manager position, within the technology sector, in London. To start with, we’re going search for the hiring manager (in this case the Head of Sales) in London. After entering “Head of Sales” into the search bar, LinkedIn generates us a list of potential hiring managers. It also shows connections that we both know.
In this example, I have found Erdem Celik who is Head of Sales at Facebook in London. Unfortunately, I have never met him, and we’re not connected on LinkedIn. We do however have “8 Shared Connections”, i.e., people that we both know.
The idea in this example. Rather than me merely emailing him, I am going to ask one of my “Shared Connections” who knows me well, to share my CV directly with Erdem and ideally put in a good word. While it does take some time to search through LinkedIn looking for mutual connections, this method works well, and I have had lots of success over the years. One point, you do need to have a decent size network of connections. Even if you don’t know them all, it will help you find both hiring managers and referrals.
The Direct Approach
The direct approach is used when you’ve no connections at a company, or you have used all your LinkedIn network. In this case, we can alter the approach above and directly contact relevant hiring managers using LinkedIn. Let’s imagine we’re still looking for a Sales Manager role, in a technology firm in London.
You would run a search for potential hiring managers within that specific field.The idea here is to try and add them to your LinkedIn Connection list. Once they are connected, you can approach them directly through the platform. Obviously, Erdem above would be a key potential target.
Generally the acceptance rate is quite low; however, this can be improved if you personalise your introduction message with their name and a relevant introduction to yourself.
- It is possible to take this a step further. Click here to see how I emailed by CV directly to 150 hiring managers in only 30 minutes.
Other Ways To Use LinkedIn
I am a firm believer the easiest way to get a new position today is through networking. The difference between having a reference and not having a reference is enormous. That all said, LinkedIn still offers a lot offers a lot of options to you to find a new position even if you don’t have that important reference.
We discussed above connecting with potential hiring managers by merely adding them to your network. LinkedIn also allows the possibility of sending In-Mails hiring managers outside of your network. To send in-mails, you will need to upgrade your to LinkedIn Premium which starts from $19.95 per month.
With LinkedIn Premium and the ability to send In-Mails to hiring managers outside of your LinkedIn Network you now can search for hiring managers and send them your CV. You have two options; firstly you can try and find the hiring manager for specific jobs that you’ve seen online and directly send them your CV.
This action works best with smaller companies where it’s straightforward to work out who the hiring manager is. The second option is to search for hiring managers outside your network and directly contact them using the In-mails. This option works better for larger companies that have a higher turnover of employees. It also works better if you communicate with the department head, rather than the overall head. As an example, if you’re a sales manager covering North America, I would be approaching the Head of Sales for North America rather than the Global Head of Sales.
As part of your normal subscription, LinkedIn allows you to join “Groups” where you can discuss topics that are closely related to your expertise. These Groups can be very useful and will give you an excellent opportunity to network and ultimately find a new job.
Today there’re around 2 million groups on LinkedIn, and while there is little no activity within the majority of those, the larger groups can give you access to thousands of potential networking opportunities and hiring managers.There are two great blog posts here and here that will point you in the right direction for the best groups to join if you’re looking for a new job. These mainstream groups can help with contacts, however, I would highly recommend that you find niche job boards within your specific field as these will give you a much better opportunity to network with contacts that are relevant to your specific career.
Once you have joined and are accepted by the group (some groups require a moderators acceptance), you can put your networking skills to the test. If you add members from a Group using a short message, something like “we are members of the group xxxx, please accept my connection.” In my experience, the ratio of those that connect with you from a niche group can be as high as 80%.
LinkedIn Job Seeker Subscription
LinkedIn recently introduced a job seeker package that while does not 100% fit into the post title as a networking tool, it’s another excellent way LinkedIn can find you a new job. The Job Seeker premium package is not free with prices starting at $19.95 per month rising to $49.95 per month for the top package.
As with all the paid packages on LinkedIn, you have access to a range of Tools from sending in-mails (Job Seeker and Job Seeker Plus only) allowing you to contact people outside of your network, a Premium Badge which will help you stand out in any search results and the ability to become a “Featured Applicant”. This means that any jobs you apply to, your application will be moved to the top of the recruiter’s list of candidates.
LinkedIn is a genuinely brilliant tool for job seekers who are trying to find a new job, however, it does have one vital problem. It is the best tool for spending hours and hours on the site and achieving nothing at all. I have personally spent hours and hours looking at LinkedIn and not achieving anything. My advice is to concentrate on a set goal that you want to achieve and give yourself a set period to do it.