The third part of our Returning to the Job Market series focuses on leveraging LinkedIn and your connections to get yourself in front of hiring managers. Whether you like it or not, your job search doesn’t start and end with submitting a resume and cover letter. In fact, some companies may strictly use online profiles – like LinkedIn’s Easy Apply, to evaluate your candidacy, but they will for sure view your LinkedIn profile.
Making & Using Connections on LinkedIn
It’s the age old saying, it isn’t what you know, it’s who you know. You can’t showcase your abilities in a tech test if you can’t get an interview. What steps should you take when you see a job posting that you are interested in? Start with LinkedIn.
- Apply first, you never know who will respond
- Determine if you know anyone who works at the company
- Send a connection request to anyone at the company that you may know or has a similar connection
- Initiate direct dialogue and clearly state that you are interested in a position at their organization
- Seek out the Head of Talent Acquisitions, HR, or the Head of Recruiting
- If possible, reach out to these connections via email.
Pro tip: A little sleuthing goes a long way. If you can determine the email cadence at the organization, you can likely determine their specific email address, i.e. first initial, last name. Likewise, you can often confirm the domain they are using for their email by seeking out common email contacts, i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Even if you aren’t actively on the job market right now, it is still wise to continue to make connections within your industry or desired industries. Establishing connections altruistically can benefit you in the long run and create time-tested relationships that are not built out of need.
- Attend in-person or virtual meet ups in your field of work. After these meet ups, connect on LinkedIn or outside of the event.
- Look for 2nd connections on LinkedIn.
- Post, comment, and repost content coming from companies or influential professionals.
- Use LinkedIn’s AI profile helper to enhance your page for increased visibility.
Your LinkedIn profile and activity do not operate in a vacuum. Every connection you make, job you apply to, content created, or post shared influences the algorithm. It is a dynamic social platform that uses your behavior to get in front of the right people. Your connections are the gateway to creating more meaningful relationships that can give you a leg up in your job search.