LinkedIn is a unique tool for every working person, not to mention every job seeker and hopefully-soon-to-be-employed student. More and more companies are encouraging candidates to apply for jobs on LinkedIn due to the social giant’s popularity and ease of use, which makes its job search and recruitment tools some of its most valuable assets.
To maximize your job search, first and foremost, you want to make your headline count. I’m talking about the spot right below your name. This is your online brand, so your name, headline, and profile photo (a professional one, please) are the first things users will see, so why not make it count and give them a reason to click to your profile.
Have you always dreamed about working for a specific company? Chances are they have a company page on LinkedIn for you to follow. By doing so, you increase your chances of seeing their updates, whether it’s for the release of a new product, the company’s community involvement, or better yet, a job opportunity!
If you want an avenue to locating the hiring manager of said dream company, you can search for them yourself! We’ve all been there, frantically creating an account with a company’s online application portal, and submitting our resume never knowing where it really ends up. This is why it is important to know the hiring manager for the company you are targeting, and LinkedIn lets you search for them! To find the hiring manager, use the ‘Advanced People Search’ tool (the word ‘Advanced’ is next to the search bar at the top of every LinkedIn page). Type in the desired company name and the most likely title for the hiring manager as a second search term, and voila! Chances are you just found the right person!
As I mentioned in part 2 of this series, the more first-degree connections you have on LinkedIn, the larger your entire network will be, and that is especially beneficial in a job search since you are looking for as much visibility into the potential hiring manager and employer as you can get. Go back to the advanced search page and perform a search using just your desired company’s name. From your search results, you will see who in your network is connected to that company and how. Yes, these people can make introductions, but they can tell you exactly what they know about the company, who they know there, and things they have heard. Having connections to get noticed for a job search is great, but it is also great to learn enough to decide whether your dream company is as dreamy as you thought it would be.
If you are looking for appropriate, yet professional propositions to hiring managers who are in need of someone with your expertise, LinkedIn can help, but only if you are actively using the mega social network and not sitting back and waiting for hiring managers to reach out to you. I’ll avoid using the “bull by the horns” metaphor and suggest you step in and step up to the next big break in your career.
Tom Liszka is Manager, Social and Digital Media, at the Creating IT Futures Foundation.