You’ve probably seen the Bureau of Labor Statistics finding that 70% of jobs are found through networking. What many people miss is that it’s not just enough to have connections. You have to be extremely proactive in your networking for a connection to lead to a real job opportunity.Let’s look at three ways to do this.
First,you want to reach out individually to everyone you already know – friends, family, neighbors, former colleagues, former classmates, EVERYONE. This may sound obvious, but many people forget to connect with the people closest to them. Remember that people are in a different mindset when they are in the professional environment of LinkedIn, so even people you see every day will interact with you in a different, more professionally focused way on LinkedIn. And, many people may have no idea that you are job hunting or they may not really know what kinds of opportunities you’d be interested in hearing about.
If you haven’t done this already, or did it a long time ago, be sure to upload your existing address book of contacts – from Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook or elsewhere – and connect on LinkedIn to the people you already know.
Beyond your personal contacts, you have another easy network to tap into: the communities you belong to in the “real world.” Anyone with whom you share an alma mater or even an industry affiliation is a “warm” contact who may become a lead to a job opportunity. On LinkedIn, you can connect with these people by joining groups.
The more active you are in a group, the more value you’ll get out of it.Here is a screen shot of a typical university alumni association group. Here is how I advise navigating a group to get maximum benefit as a job seeker.READ ALL TABS, including JOBS and PROMOTIONS Discussions are a fantastic place to be visible in a professional way that highlights your skills and expertise. By demonstrating your expertise on LinkedIn you earn recognition that helps you build your credibility.STRATEGIES to stand out in a group and get real value:Comment on “hot” discussionsComment on discussions started by people you want to knowReach out privately when you see an opportunity
The third strategy for becoming more visible is to reach out to people with whom you share groups on LinkedIn. One way to use groups is to post publicly to group discussions – you may catch the attention of a recruiter who is impressed by your comment, and recruiters do love to scan group discussions to discover talent.But I also recommend using groups to build more one-on-one relationships, and here’s why: If someone knows of a job opportunity and sees you post a comment in a group discussion, that person may or may not refer you for the job. But if you’ve had a positive one-on-one interaction with that person, you increase your odds significantly that the person would refer you for an appropriate opportunity. So, here I am in the Job Seeker Premium Group, which is open to all LinkedIn members who have a Job Seeker Premium account. This is a great place to network because people in this group are all active job seekers and completely tapped in to what companies are hiring for what positions. Please join us in this group if you’re not a member already.
Let’s say for the purposes of this example I am no longer seeking a job as a technical product manager, but now I’m looking for a job working for a professional membership or trade association.So I’m in the Job Seeker Premium group and I see a discussion about why so few women have mentors, a topic that is very interesting to me personally and professionally.In addition to – or instead of – posting a comment publicly, I can use this as an opportunity to network with the person who posted the discussion. I might be able to be a resource to this person and the person could potentially be a lead to a job opportunity for me.
Here is how I would approach this message: READThere are a few elements here that I think are important:Show genuine interest in what the person has posted. Say that you’re job hunting and be specific about what kind of position you’re looking for.Ask directly to connect and/or keep in touch.Be thankful and offer to help the person.If you feel particularly passionate about the topic or you would really like to get to know this person, you might also suggest a phone conversation. Remember, too, to thank the person if he or she writes back and says it’s okay to send a connection request. If the person starts more of a conversation, that’s even better!Note that you are not using any InMail credits to send this message because you share a group with this person.
Note that LinkedIn has made some changes to the Jobs section of Groups that will make it easier for group members and group managers to share LinkedIn jobs specifically tailored to your group.1. Group owners and managers can set up a keyword-based feed of LinkedIn jobs into the group that appears under “JOBS”2. Group members, including recruiters, can share jobs with one another in the Career Discussions section. You’ll find that these primarily include postings for jobs at smaller companies, part-time positions, and postings from headhunters who attended your university. Definitely worth checking out on a regular basis.
You can also look for LinkedIn groups by industry, interest, charitable interest, geographic location and many other categories.As you can see, LinkedIn also recommends groups that might be a good fit for you based on the keywords in your profile and the people you are connected to already.
The third way to build your connections is to connect with people you want to build a relationship with.This includes: Recruiters Headhunters Industry leaders- Or anyone you think might lead to a job opportunity
You can be proactive and use LinkedIn’s incredibly powerful Advanced search to find people. Let’s say you are a finance executive and want to connect with CFOs in the 20052 area in Washington, DC. Just entering those simple search criteria, LinkedIn will show you anyone in the entire LinkedIn network who fits that profile
Almost 4,500 results What do you do now? You can simply search through and see what groups these people belong to and how they describe themselves in their profiles and use this information to help you improve your LinkedIn presence.You can see how you are connected to any of these people by a mutual connection you weren’t even aware of who could make an introduction for you or by sharing a group. You can narrow these results further through the facets on the left side of the screen and see if any of these people attended your alma mater or have other things in common that might make it easier to reach out. You can see who has the Open Link badge, which means they are open to receiving unsolicited messages.
It’s extremely important to remember that as you reach out to connect with people, especially those you’ve just met, remember that it matters HOW you ask people for connections and for advice. Be careful with “How do you know” question. Be honest if you don’t know this person. People get very irritated when you say you’re a friend and you’re not. On your screen is the generic LinkedIn connection request, but as you know I think this is a mistake to send. As a job seeker you want to show that you are someone who is willing to go the extra mile, so you should spend a lot of time and thought when you reach out to people you don’t know.
This is what I recommend:Write a brief, customized, polite note to explain your connection and why you want to connect. It’s also a good idea to thoroughly read the person’s LinkedIn profile and mention something that stood out to you or something you have in common. It is not appropriate to directly ask for a job in a connection request. As you can see in the example on your screen, I recommend using the request to build rapport and establish contact, then once the person accepts you can ask for advice or for the person to keep you in mind if he or she hears of any job opportunities that might be a good fit for you. Remember to use proper grammar and spelling – this is a professional communication that is contributing to your reputation. One great strategy is to offer your help to each person you’d like to connect with. You might say something like, “Please let me know if there is anything I can do to support you.” Remember that HOW you build your network is just as important as why you build it. Always be authentic, polite and positive. People will remember that when they hear about job openings.
Let’s start by thinking about what kind of opportunities you want to find.You might not be sure of what kind of career or job you want to pursue, especially if you are a recent grad, someone returning to the workforce after time off or a career changer. Or perhaps you feel that you’ve exhausted your current search options and you want to cast a wider net in terms of the positions or types of companies you’re targeting.What many people don’t realize is that LinkedIn is not just a networking tool; it’s also an excellent research tool…
Here’s what to do: Using Advanced Search you can type in absolutely anything that interests you and discover how that interest might become a career option. For instance, let’s say you think it would be cool to work in baseball. But you’re not sure what kids of jobs exist, where they are and what kind of experience you need to get those jobs. Just type the word “baseball” into LinkedIn’s Advanced Search tool and you’ll see the profiles of anyone on LinkedIn who has the word “baseball” in his or her LinkedIn profile.
In contrast, if you type the word “baseball” into Google, you get all sorts of information that has nothing to do with baseball career paths.Even when you type “baseball careers” into a general search engine you mostly get stories about the careers of baseball players, which is not particularly helpful for your career planning.But…
When you type baseball into LinkedIn’s advanced search, all you get is career information.Here you can see over 100,000 people on LinkedIn who mention baseball in their profiles. On this first search results page alone there are people working for Major League Baseball, local baseball programs, nonprofit baseball foundation and more.Of course, as you can see from the numbers next to each name, you can also see if you are personally connected to any of these people through your network or if you belong to the same LinkedIn group as any of them.
Once you know what kind of jobs you want, the next step is to start your job search on LinkedIn by clicking “Jobs” on the top menu. Enter a search term to start – or you can use the Advanced Job Search tab (where that bottom green arrow is pointing) to refine your search by company, location and other criteria. And don’t miss ‘Jobs You May Be Interested In’ where LinkedIn has already done the hard work to find jobs that match your skills and interests.
Now LinkedIn also provides the opportunity to receive targeted, personalized job listings automatically via email. The feature is powered by LinkedIn’s "Jobs You May Be Interested In" system, and the emails include results that are personalized based on the user’s profile. You can sign up to receive these job postings once a day or once a week.
Here is what those emails look like. Now let’s hop back onto LinkedIn and see how to apply for a job once you find it…
When you find a job that’s right for you, click the ‘Apply Now’ button to submit your application. What makes LinkedIn’s job postings different from other job boards is that LinkedIn doesn’t just tell you who is hiring, it tells you how you are personally connected to that company through your network. Show how to search for job Remember, if you are a Job Seeker Premium account holder and you click on Advanced Job Search, you’ll have the exclusive ability to search jobs by salary. How to click through to apply During the application process, simply check the ‘Featured Applicant’, your application will appear at the top of the list when the hiring manger begins reviewing candidates. FOLLOW DIRECTIONS regarding location, experience, salary range!
What if you see a job listing someplace else – on Google, Twitter, a jobs website or offline? You can still use LinkedIn to help you get a foot in the door at that company.
When you see a job you like outside of LinkedIn, use LinkedIn to find an “in” at that company, and learn more about that organization and other opportunities that might exist.The best place to do this is through LinkedIn Company pages.Here is the Company Search page, where you can search for companies in a variety of ways: Now you can search for companies not only by attributes such as location, industry, and size but also by how you are connected. You can filter a set of results to include only those companies where you have a direct connection or broaden your search to include companies in your extended network.You can refine your search to a list of target companies, filter to only those firms hiring on LinkedIn, and then quickly view the jobs that company has posted.LinkedIn Company pages have recently gotten much more robust and feature a wealth of incredibly valuable information for job seekers.
LIVE DEMO TO LINKEDIN COMPANY PAGE: PwCHere you can research:What that company doesJob titles of anyone on LinkedIn who works there or has worked thereThe career paths people pursued before working at that company and after. This is great if you have a company or two in mind and you want to expand your list of potential employers. Remember that even if you find the seemingly “perfect” employer, it’s never a good idea to put all of your eggs in one basket and only apply to one companyYou can see where that company has all of its offices, which is great if you’re thinking about relocating to a new city or country. You can find the profiles of people who will be interviewing you – great tip for job interview prep!And, of course, you can see if that company has available jobs.
Finally, as you search job listings on the websites of companies where you want to work, you may have begun to see a button called “Apply with LinkedIn.” This allows you to do just that – apply directly from that company’s job listings with your LinkedIn profile.Here you can see an example on the Netflix jobs website.
Here is what pops up when you click that button – you are invited to edit and submit your LinkedIn profile to apply for the job quickly and efficiently. Clearly, the stronger you’ve made your LinkedIn profile following the tips in this webinar, the stronger your application will be.
Here is advice directly from a former recruiter on how to handle a gap in your experience, whether it’s for a long period of unemployment, staying home to raise children or another reason.
If you’ve done any work while you were out of the workforce, absolutely include this as experience -- volunteer work, freelancing, temping, helping out in a family business, ANYTHING other than just job hunting.In this example, let’s say I’ve been unemployed for a year but I’ve been able to do a bit of freelancing and volunteer work.As Debbie advised, give a brief explanation and then immediately move on to describing your past employment and your skills.READ
In this example, let’s say I am a lawyer who has been out of the workforce raising children.Again following Debbie’s advice, in my Summary statement I will explain without apologizing that I have been out of the workforce for X number of years for X reason and I am eager to get back to contributing my skills to a company. READAlso be sure to list any certifications, coursework or skills that you developed before you left the workforce or, especially, while you were away. If you feel your skills are rusty, then it might be a good idea to sign up for a training class and include that information in your Linkedin profile as well.
If you’ve been active in volunteer efforts during your time in school or away from the paid workforce, you can include all of that information here to show the skills you built in volunteer positions. [Be sure to characterize your volunteer work in professional terms – teamwork, communication, results-oriented – and quantify your work with the amount of money you helped to raise or other impact you had.]
Here is advice directly from a former recruiter on how to handle a gap in your experience, whether it’s for a long period of unemployment, staying home to raise children or another reason.
The key here is to revise your LinkedIn profile so it supports your career change goals. Start with your headline -- the most important piece of real estate on your profile -- and use it to promote the transition you want to make. If your job hunt is not public, try a general headline such as “Results-driven executive with experience across multiple industries.” Make sure your industry choice reflects the NEW career, not the old one.
Next, write a very strong Summary statement that briefly explains what you’re doing now and the fact that you’re changing careers -- don’t leave it up to the reader to guess that you want to make a change. Be sure to keep your explanation concise and positive (i.e., never lament the fact that your current industry is in decline or that you got laid off and are being forced into a switch). Then focus on explaining your “transferable skills” -- those skills you have that can apply to multiple industries or roles. Examples of transferable skills include: people management, technical training, sales, communication, negotiation, leadership, creativity, organization and general administrative skills. As much as possible, you’ll want to mention skills that you know are important in the industry you are changing into. Not sure what those are? Look at LinkedIn job postings and the profiles of people in your desired new industry for ideas. [Once you’ve revised your profile, ask a few people you know in your desired industry to check it out and provide any additional “insider” tips.]
You’ll also want to Join LinkedIn groups related to your desired career.Joining LinkedIn groups in your desired industry is a great way to build your knowledge, image and network in your new field. Remember that your group memberships appear on your LinkedIn profile, so they indicate to people that you are serious about your new career (if you are job hunting secretly, you can adjust your profile settings so these group memberships do not appear). You can remain in one or two groups related to your former industry, but you need to give the impression that the majority of your networking is now taking place in the field you want to enter. Find which groups to join by using the Groups Directory feature and by looking up the profiles of people you admire in your desired career and seeing what groups they belong to. Try observing group discussions for a while to see what people are talking about, and then join in the conversation. Once you feel more comfortable, start to interact in discussions, post and answer questions and respond to polls. Groups are a great way to get noticed and start to build industry relationships.
Finally, networking is crucial to a career change, particularly if you are currently employed and not able to publicly announce your career change plans. Reachout individually to everyone in your network to explain your desired transition and ask directly for their support. When you do this, don’t make the common mistake of sending out generic, blast messages about your job search. No one likes these and they generate little response. I know it’s time consuming, but the very best way to enlist your existing contacts in your career change efforts is to reach out to each person individually. In each note, be very specific about what you’re looking for as people probably still identify you with your previous career. Ask to set up a phone call or coffee to meet and talk further, then you ask this person for any potential referrals once you secure the phone call or meeting. If you make the extra effort to connect one-on-one, most people will make the extra effort to help you.
LinkedIn Networking and Job Hunting Secrets
Networking & Hire me!Job Hunting SecretsLindsey Pollak http://www.linkedin.com