LinkedIn is a valuable tool for job seekers. Coupled with a job search strategy, consistent networking, determined research and effective interviewing, LinkedIn can be an important piece in your job search.
Lydia* had been out of work 8 months. With Jobfully’s guidance she had already:
- Optimized her LinkedIn profile
- Created a robust and growing network by reconnecting with past colleagues, fellow alumni, social contacts, family and friends and added them to LinkedIn
- Joined industry, job related and job search groups including several on LinkedIn
- Researched companies of interest on LinkedIn and elsewhere
- Reached out directly to people she wanted to meet
- Kept in touch with her network including reading their LinkedIn updates regularly and communicating consistently.
When Lydia came across a job of interest, she knew from Jobfully coaching that simply submitting her resume and cover letter was not the best way to get hired. It was time to employ all the networking and research skills she had been practicing, in order to improve her chances with this job. Here’s what she did:
- Researched the company including reading their LinkedIn profile page
- Used LinkedIn search to locate connections currently at the company
- Reached out directly to the one first level connection she had in the company
- Reached out to four first level connections who knew people in the company and asked for introductions
- Reached out to two people in shared LinkedIn groups who were currently at the company
- Used search function to locate current connections who had worked at the company in the past
- Researched the hiring manager and other key company leaders
Lydia’s great groundwork in broadening her network meant she found more first and second level connections than she might have otherwise, and she made good use of them. (If you find a job but can’t find any connections read: Finding Connections When Applying for a Job.)
- Her single direct connection met her for lunch gave her good insights into the company’s current needs and problems
- She was successfully introduced to one of her second level connections, an employee of the target company. After some email dialog, they met for coffee. That new connection was acquainted with the hiring manager and submitted her resume directly
- She was able to connect by email with one additional second level connection for more insights into the company
- Both of her connections through groups responded to her emails and gave her valuable information about the job and company
- She found three past employees and each gave her helpful information about the company and, in one case, the hiring manager
- She customized her resume using insights gained in these conversations
At this point, the way was well paved for Lydia. She was invited to interview and used the insights she gained from her connections to position herself as a match for the job and a problem solver for the company. Her connections opened doors for her, and Lydia effectively sold herself.
Lydia offers these insights about how good preparation and smart use of LinkedIn positioned her for success:
- I never would have found so many connections if I hadn’t worked hard over the last many months to widen my network, using Jobfully techniques for networking and adding new contacts to LinkedIn
- Getting familiar with LinkedIn search capabilities in advance was helpful
- It felt awkward asking for introductions to second level connections, but in the end it was one of those people who submitted my resume directly to the hiring manager
- Reaching out to people with whom I shared a group also felt like a stretch, but both were receptive and helpful
- Every conversation, even with a past employee, was valuable in gaining a deeper understanding of the company, allowing me to interview more confidently
- I was fast to make use of all of these connections over a period of just a few days because I already had a strong network in place.
- I was already prepared when the opportunity showed up. Jobfully showed me how to network, communicate effectively, make cold contacts, research thoroughly and interview well. My confidence helped me stand out and tip the scale.
Great preparation coupled with strategic and creative action allowed Lydia to make smart use of LinkedIn when she found a job she wanted. Lay the groundwork now so you can achieve your own success in the future.
*Not her real name.